2008-07-06: Escape From Sunny Hill


Niki_icon.gif Cass_icon.gif DL_icon.gif

Guest Starring: Dr. Livitz, Bruno and featuring Nurse Stephanie

Summary: The recently reunited Niki and D.L. use some old school tactics along with those fancy special abilities in their attempt to spring Cass from the institution Pinehearst has been keeping her in.

Date It Happened: July 6th, 2008

Escape From Sunny Hill

Los Angeles, California

Sunny Hill Psychiatric Facility

Even at night, the driveway leading to this building somewhere in the hills of L.A. is picturesque: between colourful flowers, white cobblestones snake up through a well-manicured lawn, toward a white building of typical Californian architecture. There's a pond. It might have koi. The gate itself is flanked by tall palm trees. SUNNY HILL, curving wrought iron letters declare.

It only takes a glance over to realize, however, that this is not exactly a picture perfect getaway. A high stone fence surrounds the entire property. No one gets out if they're not meant to, and that goes the other way around, too: no one is meant to get in. That doesn't matter a bit to these intruders. "We're kinda going in blind," Niki says as she stands next to D.L., already holding his hand. For travel purposes. Maybe. She's taken little in the way of precaution as far as wardrobe is concerned: black jeans, purple sleeveless shirt. Not exactly clandestine. That's what D.L.'s for. "All we have's a room number. You ready?"

Somewhere inside…

Dr. Livitz sits in a bedside chair, shining a light in a certain patient's eyes.

That certain patient would be Cassandra Aldric. Not much has changed for the bookstore owner over the weeks. There have been more experiments, more drugs, more deliberate attempts to illicit emotions and test them out on other patients. Somehow, the form of Cass has remained at the psychiatric facility without notice that one of their number has been kept here against her will. That may be because when she's not being experimented on, she's heavily sedated and restrained. The light that's shown into Cass' eyes only pulls a soft groan from the brunette. Her eyes are dilated, the sedatives deep in her bloodstream and working their sleepy magic on her. Even at this check up, she weakly struggles to go back under her blankets.

Dressed in all black like his skin tone, D.L. seems to be as dark as his complexion is. Luckily, this is night time or something close to it. Whatever. D.L. is, for the most part, just staring at the building. He's not really worried about anything else at the moment. Especially anything that has anything to do with people and their blindness. "S'all I need." D.L. says, trying to make himself sound like Christian Bale or something. Definitely trying to be Batman or something. Which isn't, exactly, going to work out too well. But whatever. He's ready for Niki to lead the way and all that good stuff.

… Except that D.L. is actually going to lead the way and thus the phasing begins. Cue Phase Special Effects.

…Nevermind. D.L. is actually waiting for Niki to lead the way from the bushes to the wall, after which he will then do the phasing thing and phase them into the building. Past the damn fence and anything else solid that may be in the damn way. Dammit.

Dr. Livitz flicks the tiny light off and refrains from touching the patient's eyelids any further. "Sedative is still too high for the next round of testing." Who is he talking to? That would be Bruno, large and strapping man in scrubs. The doctor leans back in his chair and simply regards the squirming woman. "She could use some exercise. A shame she doesn't play well with others…"

Outside, the warm night air is quickly being left behind by the recycled, cooled air of the facility. There's no two ways about it; this place has the air of a hospital. It smells medical. Niki and D.L. phase into a corner where a wide corridor turns into an indoor cul-de-sac with a large window that looks out onto the rear of the building. It's quiet, save for shuffling feet somewhere in the far distance. Definitely too open.

Niki just holds tighter to D.L.'s hand. Or maybe she doesn't. It's really freaking hard to tell when everything is all phase-y. "207 must be upstairs," she says, keeping her voice low.

Unaware of those phasing in and out, or of anything, really, Cass slumps back down onto the bed as soon as Dr. Livitz releases her. This isn't natural, this sleeping all the time, the inability to snap back commentwise. The lack of fight. She mutters something incomprehensible, but unmistakably hostile toward Dr. Livitz and Bruno, very belatedly attempting to push the hand that was forcing her eyelids open away from her.

So. This is where things are going to get tricky. "Next time? Blueprints." is what D.L. tells Niki before he realizes that they are in a very, very open area. "We can do this two ways. I can go get her. Now. While you make some noise down here. Or we can pull a Bonnie and Clyde and try to get upstairs without being riddled with holes." D.L. leaves it up to his woman, since he's just the muscle of this— wait. not the muscle. Niki's the muscle. THE TOKEN. Yes, the TOKEN of this mission. There we go. "Choose wisely." He's watched one too many Indiana Jones flicks in his day.

The good thing about this place called Sunny Hill is that it's not teeming with security like Pinehearst; at least not visibly. Nurses roam the halls, and sure, there are security guards, so far not in the intruders' vicinity — but this is not Pinehearst's place of power. They're simply taking over a small part of it, manipulating it to hold Cass, hidden away.

"We couldn't get blueprints." Deal. Niki hesitates in her 'choosing wisely', glancing at the reflection in the high windowpane that looks out on the grounds. She can get some glimpse of the hall, and it's empty. Mostly. Looks like someone shuffling around in slippers at the end. Her hesitation is short-lived. "I'm going with you. Cass has an ability now. Who knows how she'll react when you walk in and grab her. No offence," she flashes a quick smile, "You're kind of intimidating." She sidesteps to peek down the hall for real. "I think I see the stairs."

Meanwhile, Dr. Livitz rises and leaves the small room belonging to Cass (that is, Pinehearst); the giant Bruno follows, but not before adjusting the blanket around the patient.

"This is because I'm black, isn't it?" The joke out of the way, D.L. keeps hold of Niki's hand and proceeds with the leading the way down the hall. Of course, though, he's paying too much attention to making sure they are phased, in the event that something comes flying their way. Not to mention the fact that he's actually in something of a brisk walk. It could be confused with a jog, but it's hard to jog when you're dragging a hot white woman after you. Just so long as he can get them to the stairs without too much hassle. Somebody cross some fingers.

Niki has her eyes on anything and everything that moves, but it's mostly all a blur as she follows D.L. in a hurry. She starts jogging all on her own when they get closer to the stairs.

It's Mona, the middle-aged, freckle-covered and frizzy-haired woman Cass was paired with in testing. "You're not supposed to BE HERE!" she shouts helpfully before bursting into tears and falling on the floor. Well, just incase they weren't sure they were in a psych ward…

Mona's shouts are not out of the norm, and no one comes running — yet. The next floor up is busier than the bottom; there's a counter behind glass with a nurse behind it and doors that lock this floor from the other. Behind them, down the hall, is Dr. Livitz and Bruno hovering outside 207. If Niki and D.L. aren't fast, someone's going to see them.

Fitful in her drugged sleep, Cass tosses and turns in her bed. The shout of Mona makes the woman's eyes open again, but they're lidded and every moment she attempts to stay awake is a struggle. "N-no," she slurs, agreeing with Mona. She's not supposed to be here. She's supposed to be as far from here as possible. Though she doesn't know of the rescue attempt here for her, whenever she can manage it, the brunette attempts her own. Sluggish and weary, she rolls over and half falls off the bed with a loud thump. Once there, she merely lays on the floor. It's impossible to tell if she's asleep or not, but after a long while before a hand reaches out and attempts to push herself up onto her knees and into a crawling position. She shakes as she attempts this.

The stairs seem easy enough to handle. Which is why D.L. kind of takes them two at a time. Though, he kind of pulls up short at the top, so that he can get a better look at what's going on up above. Spotting the nurse and things of that nature, he ducks back down to the stairwell with Niki and looks at her. With a small smile. "How fast can you change clothes?" And, well, with that in mind, he kind of does this thing where he goes intangible and into the floor… and kind of slides his way off towards the glassed section and he kind of reaches up to grab the nurse by the ankles and yoink her down into a mouth-grabbing (NO YELLING) kidnapping pose to bring her back to Niki. Or should we say… Nurse Niki?

"…" Niki is left all by her lonesome, gaping blankly at the floor D.L. disappeared into. The expression she gives him and the sudden nurse isn't much different when they appear. "…fast. Job skill." Already, she's pulling her shirt over her head and snaking out of her jeans in the stairwell at super speeds. Not quite superhuman, but superstripper— maybe. "I'm really sorry," she tells the nurse with a sincerely apologetic wince as she's forced to steal the flowered pink scrub shirt and unflattering toothpaste green pants right off the woman. One quickchange later, Niki shoves her own clothes at the now half-naked nurse and D.L. Holding onto the nurse's ID card clipped to the front of her shirt, she tromps up onto the second floor. The card lets her right through the security door.

Cass' own escape attempts are not going very well. Once on the floor, she doesn't really have the strength or ability to crawl out of her own accord. She makes slow half baby step attempts, but they exhaust her and the sedative's seductive grasp makes the black in the corner of her eyes grow and ebb with each movement. When she has to fight very hard just to stay awake, it's hard to walk. In all the time that it's taken for D.L. to get a nurse uniform and Niki to dress and undress - which may not be that long in actuality - she has barely made it a few inches from the bed.

D.L. is doing that thing where he slides back across the floored ceiling and pops up behind the glass. He looks at Niki and her Nurse Uniform, winks and then points off down towards the hall where Bruno and the Doc are hanging out. There's a motion for her to make a distraction, while he gets down with the phasing through the wall so he can get through the rooms that lead to 207. Hey, the people in these rooms are probably crazy. They won't care about a floating ghostly black man, right?

A few patients look up from their beds and stare as D.L. goes past. Man, this is going to prolong their stay…

Niki doesn't have much space (or time) to work with, here — just the length of the hall. Not long until Niki will be in the midst of Dr. Livitz and his assistant. She has to think fast, so she does the first thing she sees and jogs after a nurse who's walking just ahead of her and relieves her of her tray of meds. "I've got it," she says, shining a bright smile on the bewildered employee. "They want you back at the desk. Phone call." Before the 'who are yous' and 'isn't that Stephanie's shirt' can escape, Niki and her innocuously beaming smile are off down the hall with the tray. She brings it straight to Dr. Livitz. 207. "I think it's time for Ms. Woods to get her meds." Stall stall stall.

Dr. Livitz's beady eyes stare at the "nurse". "I'm attending to her drug rounds personally. …Do I know you?…"

The little bit of clamor outside of her door causes Cass to pause in her extraordinarily slow escape attempt. And, as she's paused, she sinks back down onto the floor again to listen. The voice on the other side of the door sounds familiar. Awfully familiar. Like something out of a dream. In her state, it takes her a little while to place the voice, but when she does, heedless of the danger and the improbability, she calls out in a thin, weak voice, "Ni-Niki?" Is this just another one of her hallucinations again? She sounds almost pleading, "Niki?"

"Shhhhhh." The voice comes from the shadowed figure of a black man with a hood phasing through the wall. His finger is already to his lips and his other hand is pulling down his hood to reveal D.L., just in case she needs to see his face for some recognition. "You'll blow her cover." is whispered, even as he crouches down in the room to make himself look less intimidating and threatening. "Normally, I would say something about being Luke Skywalker and being here to rescue you, but I don't think I can pass for a scrawny white kid, do you?" And yeah, his hand is extended out for Cass to inspect, see, hold… whatever will get them the hell out of here sooner.

Niki isn't sure she heard her name being called until the second time Cass pleads. She can't help the worried glance that shoots past the doctor and at the door — a worried glance that becomes solidly determined. She plasters on that smile. "No, I don't think so. I'm new." Come on, D.L. Are you in there yet? Has enough time passed?

Dr. Livitz is distracted, listening; did he hear something in there? He may be old, but his ears still work. It's Bruno who suddenly steps in to grab Niki's ID card from the pocket of her shirt — or shall we say, Nurse Stephanie's. The metal clip slides right off into his possession. "You're not Steph, honey." Yeah, about her cover not being blown…

Two things happen while D.L. tries to free Cass. One, Dr. Livitz opens the door and steps inside. Two, pills and tiny paper cups go flying every which way as Niki smacks Bruno soundly in the face with the metal tray, a loud *CLANG* sounding in the hall. Naturally, the giant of a man goes flying into the opposite wall and suffice to say everyone suddenly knows something's not right here. "S-security?!" A nurse yells from somewhere.

Though Cass has met D.L. before, when faced with a strange man she doesn't know reaching for her, she let out a weak shriek. Though still sedated, the pills she was given were no Haitian pills and the piercing stab of fear she felt quickly permeates the room like a being doused with ice cold water. It takes her a moment before she realizes that D.L. is saying something to her and that the words are friendly. If Niki is truly outside, then this may be her husband. The fear subsides slowly. Though she doesn't reach out to take D.L.'s hand, she doesn't yell again, nor does she stop him from holding on to her. She doesn't quite have the energy to do much else.

D.L. does that thing where he grabs for the Cass and works hard on pulling her into his arms. The lifting up and scooping into the arms is the plan of business right now. Of course, this is the same time he's being faced with the Good Doctor of Evil. "… It's not what it looks like!" is called out, hoping to keep him distracted long enough for Niki to take this fool out. Gasp! He's also phasing himself and Cass, just in case there are bullets.

While Bruno's down and the hallway becomes an increasingly chaotic place to be, Niki shoves the door to Cass's room open wider and grabs Dr. Livitz by the back of his white coat. She spins and so does the Good Doctor of Evil — right through the air into Bruno. She wastes no time in running inside and shutting the door, splaying against it. As long as Niki's in here, no one's getting in after them. She quickly takes stock of where she is. Four walls with the distinct feeling of closing in that comes part and parcel with a place like this. Bed. D.L. Cass!

Already, someone is banging on the door.

"Let me take her," Niki says determinedly, daring to move a hand away from the door to reach out for D.L. and Cass. "You focus on getting us out of here."


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