2007-08-06: DF: For America


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Summary: Recruitment, Empire style.

Dark Future Date: August 6th, 2009

For America

NYC - Bat Country Labs

Despite all her designs and hopes to go home and rest and see her family, emergency after duty after exhaustion has kept her from doing so. Snatching a quick nap in between patients and orders and making sure that Ali is taken care of (and eating), Cass looks tired and slightly rumpled. She has managed to change clothes, at least, from the stash she keeps in her office for baby spitup and after particularly bloody patients, but they've been folded in a drawer for awhile and look it. /Finally/, though, she's packed and ready to go home for a long needed sleep and cuddling with fiancee and baby. Grabbing her bag, wrapping her hair back into a bun, she steps out of her office and makes her way for the door. As she walks, she talks, "Tegan, I'm finally going home, you can start cleaning up the biohazard room, but make sure you're still wearing a mask. Pack all the blankets and needles we used in one of the safety bags and we'll find a place to dispose of them. Too bad we can't just dump them on the White House lawn to kill two birds with one stone. Watch out for the Ramirez girl, her stitches keep itching her and she's cranky. Call me if anyone's condition changes."

There's something different about Bat Country today. Not a few moments before Cass started packing to leave, vehicles pulled into the area, a pair of ominous and obviously black window-tinted vans. Call it good timing. Good luck. Maybe something more deliberate. In this future, uncertainty is key. What isn't uncertain are the aims of the one man and one woman striding out of the vans, dressed in militant black, guns pointed. Silencers go off, and two very dead guards collapse to the ground.

That's what happened not a minute before. What happens now? They wait, wait for the door to start to budge open as Cass exits the labs. The man of the pair suddenly rams his shoulder into it with the intent to catch the woman just behind it by surprise, if a ruthless surprise at that. "Path is cleared," he announces into the comms device as he moves to barrel his way in, and the second van's door opens.

Every system has flaws. And theirs has some, too. Unaware of the two dead guards outside, Cass makes for the door. All the guards know their posts and when they hear something outside, they tense a little. "Ca—-" A guard is about to reach a hand out to stop the head of the labs from opening the door, but it's too late. It pulls back slightly and that's all it takes before the door is flung smack at her, cracking her right on the cheek and sending her sprawling. "Breach!" A guard calls out. Immediately, nurses and lab technicians go into full lockdown mode. Wheeling patients out of the main room, they quickly make for a back room. "Someone make the call! Get back up!"

One of the two guards starts firing at the intruders while the other throws his own weight back against the door to try and get it shut again. For her part, Cass is trying to get her bearings, dizzy and weak from having taken a heavy door to the face. "Come on, Cass," Tegan quickly swoops down to try and help her superior up and whisk her back to safer territory.

The agents know they have to move fast. There's always a back up plan, but even they would prefer not to resort to it. There's gunfire, the female agent taking a blow to the stomach, staggering. The bullet proof vest protects her from immediate gunning down, but it hurts like Moses, enough so that the agents suddenly pouring out of the second van shove her out of the way. Back up is here. The scuffle with the door is solved quickly, the man pressing his hand against the surface. Immediately, whatever it's made from seems to crumble, his hand suddenly bursting through as if the door were made from nothing more but dry plaster. The barrel of his gun is shoved through, different to the silencer rifle from before because this one is loud when it shoots the guard opposite through the stomach. Another shove, and they're in.

More and more agents seem to climb from the van, and it's getting to clown car joke proportions, because surely there isn't enough room for— for all those completely identical Agents. They all hold guns, all dressed in suits, and they don't seem to need to communicate with each other as they start pouring into the building, the first agent moving out of the way as the horde of identical Jaden Cain lookalikes move in. They don't actively start shooting - in fact, they seem to allow themselves to be shot, popping out of reality as they go, more following. The objective is to overwhelm, not to massacre, but they do shoot when needed.

That's when Logan chooses to exit the van, alongside another man, both of them surrounded by yet another handful of replicators, acting as bodyguards.

It takes the help of Tegan, but Cass gets herself to her feet and quickly starts to make for one of the back rooms. A few steps forward, though, and the door crumbles and bursts forward. Instinctively ducking, the lab head decides that there is no way they can make it to the rooms. And by now they should be locked, anyway. Making it to one of the heavy metal lab tables, she gets behind it and tips it over so that the toppled over surface faces the door. It's a loud crash, but with the sound of gunfire and lots of other Agents, it could be masked. The desperate move takes about all the strength Cass has, though, so it's Tegan who then drags the two of them down behind it just as more bullets take down the first guard.

Diving behind the table with the two doctors, the remaining guard quickly moves to survey the area. He sprays protective gunfire across the lab, in hopes of taking down that last Agent, the Jaden Cain Evil Dittos and Logan appearance not within sight yet. Meanwhile, Tegan starts to tend to Cass' wound and trying not to squirm too much, the lab head pulls out her gun from the pocket of her lab coat. Tegan is sure to have one stashed somewhere as well, but she's more concerned with making sure Cass doesn't have a concussion.

The man getting out of the van alongside Logan doesn't seem fussed about the replicators. Or the shooting going on around him. Even though he's behind the replicator shields, he's wearing kevlar over his suit as well as a helmet to protect his head. In the event of stray bullets. Just in case. Silently, he stands by Logan's side, waiting for the signal. Say the word, and the extra guards are out of play.

More replicators go down. They're Logan's favourite kind of agent - disposable, expendable. But one such Agent who isn't so lucky to just be a Ditto gets bullets ripping through his body. The crumpler shudders, collapses, the ground beneath him because cracked and flaky as his powers begin to go a little haywire, but not for long. Pity, he was handy. Outside, a Ditto turns to the President as they approach the door. "The target isn't secured yet, Mr. President," he reports, though there was no way he could see, and he wears no telecommunication devices. Such is the mystery of the replicator. "And there is the possibility of more guards within the building. I have to ask you to wait outside until the area is clear."

Logan smirks, casually sliding his good hand into his pocket, his other trapped in the sling beneath his jacket. He turns towards the man next to him, though addressing his Agents as he says, "If you could escort Mr. Winters inside, I'm sure he can take care of it. No one else needs to die today." As if, you know, this was a major concern for him or something. Now, he addresses Benjamin directly. "Keep her awake for now." There's really only one 'her' he can mean, there.

There's only so much that can be done. Cass' headwound is mostly a bruise down her cheek, but there's no concussion. Thank heavens for small favors. The guard takes down another Agent and it looks like they're winning. Not very handy at fights, Cass merely holds onto her gun and then waves Tegan's attempts to treat her bruise away. "I'll be fine," she tells Tegan. Resisting the urge to touch where she's hurting, the former book store owner peeks over the edge of the table to see Dittos storming in. "Oh God. It's Dittos," she informs her friends. That means that no matter how many they shoot down, more can come in.

"Shit," the last guard tones eloquently. Quickly, he pops up, shoots off a couple of rounds and then ducks back down under the safety of the table. "They should have gotten the distress signal in by now. We'll have help soon." Hopefully. Taking their pointers from the remaining guard, the two ladies fire off shots in order to try and thin the crowd when they can.

"Yes sir," Winters says from behind the helmet, as he waits patiently to be escorted inside. No 'Yes Mr. President', as sir suffices and he's wise to keep his personal feelings on the war and the President's course of action to himself. Under a tight lock and key. Along with the other Agents, he strides forward, ready to knock down those in their path.

The Dittos all nod in unison to Logan's order and Winters' confirmation, more seamlessly popping into reality and surrounding Winters in a tight, protective circle. They move with him, skilled at providing that wall without hindering movement. Helps to have the perspective of everyone in the room that looks like you. When they move in, the first one just in front of Winters is gunned down, and in unison, they move to fill the gap, firing off rounds that seem more to frighten than kill those trapped.

Benjamin simply glances in the direction of enemy fire. No gestures, no focused look of concentration, none of that's needed now. The guard just collapses to the ground, sound asleep. While all the shooting is useful to keep the opponents confused, it also helps to take out those firing on you. One down and incapacitated, he proceeds forward, surrounded by the !clones.

When Tegan drops off to sleep, Cass quickly ducks down to check and make sure that she's okay. After a quick once over, there's no wounds, no bleeding. It's just like the woman fell asleep. Which makes her tense. "Oh shit." Now it's /her/ turn to swear. She's pretty sure she knows who this is. "Aim for the tall guy!" she tells the other guard amidst all the gunfire. While not the best shot, the next time she pops up to shoot, she aims for the taller man. While she may not be able to see his face, she knows that ability, knows who has it. Who else would the President use to incapacitate people?

The circle around Winters spaces out a fraction, the closest Ditto placing a hand on his shoulder and urging the taller man to duck when gunfire continues. The Ditto out front fires off a few rounds just above Cass's headspace, putting holes in the wall just behind her and destroying a few items in the room along the way. "Drop your weapon," is barked out. "And come out with your hands up." It's a good try.

Benjamin was told to keep Cass awake.. but the President didn't say anything about not making her drowsy. It's for her own good really. He doesn't want to see her shot or roughed up, all things considered. When urged to duck, he doesn't waste time. That and Cass giving orders to aim for him are heeded. "Drop your weapons, Cass, call them off. No one else has to die in here."

When the last guard drops off to sleep, Cass curses. Left by herself, she's not sure of what to do. There's no way she wants to be weaponless here with Benjamin putting people to sleep and an army of Dittos. But she can't take them all on at once. That and she's starting to get sleepy. Fighting against it, she shakes her head strands of her hair falling out of her swept up hair. "Yeah, because your word is really good with me, Benjamin," she snaps. The shots fired just above her head causes her to duck and cover her head. "You drop your weapons and I'll drop mine." Soon back up will arrive and they'll take care of everything.

Cass doesn't get a reply initially as a few Dittos break away to check the rest of the area, now that it's just them, Winters, and Cass in the room, observing the lockdown on the doors. Outside, Logan is given an update and he shakes his head. Let those hiding hide. He glances towards the woman, who's struggling with like a cracked rib and maybe some internal bleeding, but she's guided towards the building. Pressing her hands against the wall, it takes a few moments. And then, it's as if the entire complex is trembling, like that of an earthquake, epic vibrations making the structure quiver. It takes effort, the woman weakening visibly, but no one tells her to stop, especially not Logan. Hell, he's not inside, so. As the building shakes around them, the Ditto speaks out again to Cass. "This is not a negotiation, Ms. Aldric. Drop your weapon and come out from around the table." They let Benji handle this how he chooses.

Two years ago, Ben would have defended his position. Now? Not so much. He doesn't move any closer to Cass, he stays put behind his replicator shields, ducked down. Frowning behind his helmet, he doesn't approve of the building being shaken. He's still in here for one. Flashing a look towards Cass, he waits for her response before acting.

Behind the table, Cass automatically reaches out to hold onto the too unconscious people next to her when things start to shake. While the basement itself is pretty solid and built up, the hospital above them is not so much. It can topple and block them in…anything can happen. And Cass can't let that happen when all these people are here under her command. It may be a trap and if they want to talk to her, she doubts they'd actually pull the building down, but she just can't take that chance. There are people here who don't have the choice that she does. "Okay! Stop the shaking." Dropping the gun, she slowly raises her hands up so that the dittos and Benjamin can see that they're empty. Then, she stands up and edges her way around the table. "What do you want from us." Negotiations are open, it would seem.

A nod from a Ditto, and the Evolved female agent takes her hand off the building, staggering back and breathing hard. Would she even be able to live through keeping up the vibrations long enough to collapse the building? Someone inside is not taking that chance, it seems, which Logan can appreciate. He murmurs something to a Ditto, who nods. Inside, two holster their weapons, and move directly over towards Cass with the intent to grab her arms and pull her further away from her barricade. Surrounded by his expendable bodyguards, Logan moves inside.

It's almost disappointing when they give up. Almost. Before Ben can signal dittos to go forward to grab Cass, they're going ahead. He pulls off his helmet and stands at his full height. Tucking his helmet under his arm, he stands attentively as he waits for Logan to enter. Those he put to sleep, stay asleep. He has gotten eerily good about control with time and practice.

When the two Dittos approach her, Cass takes an immediate step backward. It's /strange/ to see her friend and Saint companion here in this capacity. Trying to shoot her, hold onto her arms and detain her. Helping to try and ruin what he gave her all those years ago. Glaring at them, she doesn't /want/ to have her arms grabbed /or/ pulled further from the barricade. However, she doesn't have much choice in the matter. Her angry stare moves from the army of Dittos, to the masked Benjamin and then to the newcomer. There's a hesitation when her eyes widen. Then, they narrow and she just spits out, "/You/." It's possible she remembers Logan. Nathan. Whoever he is.

Not much choice at all. The Agents are firm, determined to get the job done, eyes hidden by incredibly dark shades, and they drag Cass out to the center of the room, positioning her arms behind her back. They don't handcuff or otherwise restrain her, however. Perhaps there won't be a need for it.

Logan appears to be every bit the friend Cass used to know, in every way except demeanor and presence. At least Nathan could fake warmth when needed. Logan gives her a smile that is utterly detached and devoid of warmth. "It's nice to see you again, Cass," he says, irony written in his tone. Back up may be coming for her, but he's acting as though he has all the time in the world.

Benjamin remains standing at attention, staying alert to the surroundings. He's been here before, he's familiar with the layout, despite possible changes. This is now the President's turf, and he's nothing more than a weapon to be used. Every so often, his gaze finds its way back to Cass, just to make sure she's behaving.

Perhaps the Dittos are right, they don't need to further restrain Cass other than to hold onto her. Keeping a wary eye on Benjamin, she then turns her attention to her former friend. Her drinking buddy. It's true, she doesn't know the difference between Logan and Nathan, but she isn't looking for any differences at the moment. "Mr. President." The way she manages to hiss the proper title, it sounds more of an insult. "Your ties are almost as ugly as I remember them." /Almost/. "What do you want." It's not a question, nor a demand. It's something in between. She has a lot of people locked in hiding right now and she'd prefer to not test those doors and walls.

The detached smile doesn't change. It's even worse than Nathan's politician smile; it's more used car salesmen in its insincerity. His right arm strapped in its sling, though partially covered with his jacket, he raises his left hand to smooth out said tie. "Well some of us never change," he says, on the subject of ties, before his expression frosts over a little further, smile fading. "I want you to do your part for America, Ms. Aldric. I want you to earn your keep. If you're so adverse to the detainment provided for your kind, then you can work under me." None of this sounds like an offer, he's just telling her the next step. A Ditto who had accompanied Logan lifts a hand to the comms device in his ear, and speaks into the mic in his cuff. Trouble on the way?

That smile, it creeps Cass out. It's so totally like and unlike Nathan. It's like seeing her friend superimposed on a picture that's been warped just slightly. The speech gets nothing but furrowed brows and more angry staring. "My /kind/? I'm still a human, Nathan. Just like you, and Peter and Heidi. We're all the /same/!" Just because some people can fly and other's can't doesn't make them an entirely different species. Doesn't mean that one should be locked up in cages. Offer or not, it's not something Cass is going to take sitting down. Or held back. The moment she catches the Ditto distracted and talking into his cuff, that's when Cass attempts to strike. Help must be on the way, this is the time to aid them. "I'll do my part for America, alright." Swiftly, she slams her foot down on one of the Dittos and then tries to toss the other one toward Benjamin. It's something she's seen Lachlan and Jack do, work with what they have. And what she has is a whole lot of Dittos. If she manages to get free, she lunges right for Nathan/Logan.

Being alert has its advantages. Along with being on top of your abilities. The moment Cass spurs into action, Benjamin's already focusing on dropping the woman. He might get a little enthusiastic about stopping her, as he finds a ditto shoved in his direction. Ben doesn't even shout for someone to catch the woman. If she hits the ground and wakes up sore, it's her own fault for resisting.

The Dittos make up for mistakes such as this by being so numerous. Though the two holding onto her are taken down, there are only more coming between her and Logan, and he barely bats an eye. In combination with his security, Benjamin's power seals the deal, in the end, and two Agents wind up holding onto her as she slumps into that coma. "Alright," he says, expression settled back into the frosty stoicism, no trace of even a mocking smile of satisfaction, now that the show is over. "Let's move out." Murmurs of 'Yes Mr. President' from the group of Dittos, who start to thin out in number, two of them picking Cass up and hauling her out towards the van. Absently, Logan glances down, flicking the end of his teal and gold tie. This seems to be of some concern for him, and he turns to Winters. "It's not that bad, is it?" he asks, starting to move out of the building.

"No sir, it's not." Benjamin replies tactfully when asked for his opinion on the tie. He's seen worse. He was an accountant for crying out loud. The tie of course is ugly, but when the leader of the country asks about his tie. You generally smile, nod and say it's nice sir. Through the cold exterior he puts up, he does glance in Cass's direction. Concern briefly appearing in his eyes before it's gone. "She's in a mild coma for now. I'll bring her out of it when she's secured."

Not ever really expecting to get very far in her attack, Cass only gets a few steps before Benjamin's powers kick in. It's not an immediate slump, it's a slower step and then a slow descent until she's toppling forward into the waiting grasp of the wall of Dittos. The woman is out for the count where she will dream of an army of evil cross-dressing Nathan pirates warring with smurf-like Saints, all painted blue and wearing strange white hats. The two sides are locked in epic battle, each sides gathering more and more clones as others fall. Unable to fight back in dreamland, she's easily carried to the van and placed there. If only she were awake she would affirm that, yes, Logan, your tie is that bad.

Damn right it's not that bad, actually. Cass. Logan moves on out of the building and towards the armored black vans, nodding once at what Winters has to report. He glances towards the female agent, who watches on, attentive, and at the slightest eyebrow raise from Logan, she replaces her hands back against the building. All the Dittos are reduced to one, which makes travel so much easier as Logan is helped back into the vehicle. "Your cooperation was much appreciated," he tells Winters, as the sound of bricks grinding, falling to pieces, wood creaking, fills the air. It'd be impossible for the woman to take down the entire thing… but putting it out of business for a while? She can do that. As swiftly as they came, the vehicles clear the area.

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