2010-03-12: No Code For Erin

Starring:

Cody_V4icon.png Erin_V4icon.png

Date: March 12, 2010

Summary:

The truth is revealed! OH NO!


"No Code for Erin"

Secret apartment… IN SPAAACE

Erin's been home alone for the past few hours. Irritated, moody, somewhat belligerant, and definitely unhappy, she hasn't exactly been great company lately, ever since finding out that the man she hates more than anything else in the world is one person her roommate is trying to protect. The only times Erin is tolerable is when she's either meditating or doing Tai Chi. And even then, she's sullen and angry, which kind of defeats the purpose.

She can't touch Max, but there's always another.

She sat down to write a letter. It's on the dining room table at the moment, half-finished, but seemingly abandoned. Erin stood up to go get something, then forgot what she'd been doing in the first place. She's up in her room.

The paper itself… familiar, in a way. The envelope sitting next to it is one that Cody might have seen before. Lines of printed letters are cut out of computer paper and glued carefully to a card.

Hello, Jo!

I hope you're learning to use your newfound ability.

They're coming for you

The last line is unfinished.

—-

Cody's been between the exercise room and the kitchen all day, with one little stop at a grocery not too far from their apartment. Even though they're not expecting company, she's been cooking up a feast that far exceeds the one that was prepared for Taine's visit. It can't be said that Cody's the most superb cook in the world, but she far outclasses her room mate in that respect… only because she loves food so much. Most of her meals have come about from experiments that have either gone bad or have been devoured after the first taste. This one is shaping up to be the latter.

After checking on the roast beast (beast because it can't be too sure what kind of animal it came from), the agent comes across the abandoned letter and picks it up. Her eyebrows point into a sharp vee and she looks up the stairs. Apparently her room mate isn't doing too well at her lessons, because instead of letting go, she's nagging her sentiments on.

"Erin! You left your letter on the coffee table! Should I put some sort of ransom demand at the bottom before sending it off?!"

—-

Erin doesn't just let things go. Or… Not yet. She's just not there. Thirty years of NOT letting things go ensure that Erin's outlets are more confrontational than anything. She can't understand just forgiving someone for what they've done to her, and revenge is sweet and pleasant. If Erin weren't saving the world, she'd make a damned good villain.

"What?" she says appearing at the top of the stairs. She sees the letter in Cody's hand. Shit, no one was supposed to see that. "Don't worry about it. It's not for you." No, it's to her best friend. Why is everyone Erin hates on Cody's good list?! "It's for the bitch who captured me." Coming down the stairs, she reaches for the letter. "You know you can embed a virus in paper?"

—-

Frowning, Cody goes back to the kitchen to wash her hands quite thoroughly. "You mean Jo… What are you doing to her? Are you the one that's turning her technicolor?" She's not sure if she ever told Erin about her friend, she generally keeps her protocol life quite separate from the one she has here.

As the woman dries her hands, she can't help but send a look to Erin. One that says 'fess up or else.' Whether or not the soap star listens to it is another matter entirely. "You know, hanging on to that kind of stuff isn't good for your mental state. If you were anything like me, you'd be bald all the time."

—-

"Relax," Erin says, following after Cody. "That one's got nothing in it. Only the first one did." The first one was enough to get the job done. And it's incurable, persistant, and… Well, harmless, overall. At least, that's what Erin intended it to be. "I just gave her something that makes her red when she's hot and blue when she's cold. Maybe a few minor hallucinations. She'll have it for the rest of her life." Thankfully, Taine got to Erin before she sent Jo a letter laced with something deadly.

Looking over the letter, Erin sets it on the counter. "I'll have to redo it now," she says. "Don't want anyone touching it, just in case she's smart enough to use forensics. I doubt that." But just in case. See, to Erin, Jo's kind of like a big, dumb gorilla. A big, dumb evil gorilla.

"She deserves it."

—-

Stare. That's what Erin receives, a big long stare. "That was YOU?! Jesus tits Erin! I thought it was Eta Protocol that did that to her! I thought they were creating more of us!" It's not the fact that she gave the illness to her friend that pisses her off as much as the fact she needs to start all over again with her hypothesis.

With a frustrated grunt, Cody grabs her notebook and sits down hard at the table in order to start her list again. "Eta protocol isn't about creating more of us… but they are sending out assassins to kill the agents that aren't completely with the program…" She looks up at Erin with another frown and chews on her bottom lip. "Did you give her the better visual accuity too?"

—-

"So you know her, too?" Erin says sarcastically. "You know everyone in that place?" Erin sits down across from Cody at the table, folding her hands on it. "Look. You gotta let me handle a few things my way. I mean, all that bull shit with meditation and fighting — it helps, but not like this does." Erin doesn't seem to loathe Jo as much as she does the man who tortured her. After all, Jo was just doing her job - even if it was the capture that made the torture possible in the first place.

"Honestly, I don't know. I wasn't as careful about what I put into it as I was with the one for the barracks. This was the first time I put together a virus from scratch for use on people, so… Yeah, she could have all sorts of weird stuff going on." Erin shrugs, but a frown creeps across her face. "It wasn't supposed to be strongly symptomatic. Just enough to scare her. Why? What's going on?"

—-

"Yeah, I know her. I've known her for over ten years now." Cody mumbles, still writing and then scratching out several different theories. Of course she's writing in the strange curly-que language that is Sanskrit. "She didn't always used to be this… like this. Something happened before she joined Protocol, I think it had something to do with her family, but she doesn't talk about it." Like everyone, the soldier has her problems, just ones that have affected her more than would most.

The sheet is torn out of the notebook, crumpled, and tossed by the wayside as a frustrated grunt is let loose from the woman. "Sit, please." she almost commands the starlet. "You have to tell me what you did to who… I might be completely wrong about all of this and I really don't want to start back at square one." There's a twitch in Cody's right eye, apparently she doesn't like to waste time either.

—-

Erin's lip curls involuntarily. God dammit! Why does there have to be so much more to people than what Erin's seen! They're all supposed to be EVIL! Unlikable! And now, apparently Jo has some tragic past that turned her into an asshat. Fuck. "Well, she shouldn't be pulling in innocent people!"

Hah. Innocent does not describe Erin.

She hunkers down in the chair, shoulders rolling forward. "I shouldn't have to tell you everything." Her eyes meet Cody's. "You have your life, I have mine. Last time I checked, you put a lock on your door." A little bitterness there. A little. And the undertones of their last argument creep into the statement, as well - she was also sleeping with Erin's enemy. "So unless you plan to tell me everything you're doing, well…" The statement is left open-ended. Erin doesn't expect anything from it, and she's already standing up.

—-

"The lock on my door is to protect some of my more … Eh, I'll take them off. It's stuff you need to know in case anything goes wrong anyway." Not that Pyle wouldn't be barging in the second his agent went missing, maybe, this is one of his places after all. Pushing the book over to Erin, she flips to a few pages, of course they're all written in code. "This is my life, right here in this book. Everything I've been wroking on for the past three years is right here." No wonder it's so thick. "In my room are four more just like it."

"I don't trust computers, they're too easy to hack into. This… this would take people forever to decipher if they didn't know what to look for." Or moments for someone with the power to decypher cyphers. "Plus, in my room I have the sweetest piece of experimental body armor known to mankind. No one has a bullet proof vest like that one. If Jo ever changes her mind about killing me, I'll need it."

—-

Erin pauses as she stands, eying Cody. This woman never stops surprising her, honestly. In the end, Erin sits back down, still scowling.

Erin pages through the book. She can't read any of it, which kind of makes the whole thing useless; Erin rolls her eyes. It's like a fake check you get in the mail - you try to cash it, only to find out that the company who sent it to you was just pulling your leg. OOPS.

Erin feels slightly less guilty when Cody tells her that Jo was - or is - or still might - be thinking about killing Cody. "I don't have a lot to tell. The only other person I went after was Hamm. And I swear to God, if you tell me he was only doing it to save his wife and kids and all the orphaned kittens in the world, I might just give myself SARS and be done with the whole thing. I mean, three strikes and I'm out. First I almost kill you, now you're telling me Jo has some … problems. Can I pick 'em or what?" She pauses, looking away, crossing her arms. "There's gotta be someone in the AP that's actually just a fucking bastard. Point me at them."

—-

The lofting of one eyebrow skyward is the response Erin gets for her self depreciating attitude. "No, Hamm was pretty much an asshole. Jo can be too, but she wasn't always like that. She used to be fun and a really good soldier… now she's just a good soldier." What Cody considers 'fun' can be up for debate though, given the fact that all of the people on Erin's list of MAIM/KILL are among her top ten favorites.

"Okay, how good are you at learning new languages?" The actress is given a rather dubious look, not that Cody's expecting her to learn everything in one night, of course not, that would be impossible. A week maybe, but not a night. "This one is written in a few different languages and there's code embedded in every page. Some of the pages might only contain one or two words… are you getting this?" There's the vague feeling that the starlet might either be glazing over like a donut or not paying attention.

—-

It was a lot easier when Erin thought that all of the people she wanted to hurt had no lives outside of the AP. Resting her elbows on the table, she runs her hands through her hair. "She's not a good soldier," Erin mutters. Thanks to Jo, Erin's never going to be able to trust any of her fans ever again. Of course, she could if she'd just let go of the idea that everyone shaking her hand wants to shoot her full of the solution. "She could have just left me alone. She could have just… left me alone."

Her eyes scan over the things Cody's written. "Are you serious? All this?" she holds up the notebook. "For two words? You've gotta be crazy." Erin can't even figure out how to play a kid's video game. "I've never really tried to learn another language. I mean, I never had to."

—-

"Well I'm not going to argue about it with you… I'm just saying she obeys orders without thinking about them. It's just one of the little ways we're different." Thinking about things is how Cody gets into trouble, it's also how she got her job and the protocol job, and the job that she's just starting at Lane Industries, also the reason why she's classed as one of the 'living dead'. "Trust me, you weren't going to be left alone. You should have gone into hiding the night we met, they weren't going to leave you alone." It's quite possible that Cody might have been the one sent out instead of Jo.

"Anyway… listen, if I ever disappear, there's a bunch of things you need to know. First, Pyle will come in… he'll be looking for all of these books. Second, don't kill Pyle… he's important. Third, there's a bunch of cash in the safe under my bed if it ever happens. Probably enough to get you set up in some dinky little town in the middle of Oklahoma or something. If something ever happens to me, don't be a hero, just clear out. Okay?"

—-

Cody's probably right. Still, Erin throws all the blame for the capture on Jo. since that's the face Erin has. Maybe she didn't even want to do it. Of course, it's easy to form this ugly picture of people in your head when you want to hate them so badly. "Well, now she's going to have to live with thinking she's one of the people she's hunting," Erin says. "I hope someone goes after her. I want her to know how it feels to be locked up and— And just— Stripped of everything. Dignity."

Erin doesn't want Cody to disappear. In fact, she kind of misses most of what she says after the whole 'if I ever disappear' part — much like she really wasn't listening the night Cody told her about the terrorists, and really, she can only just now remember the name 'Udeen.'

If Cody does disappear, Erin is going to try to find her. She actually likes the agent quite a bit by now. What she says, though, is "No problem." She looks at the notebook again. "All right, so how do I read this chicken scratch??"

—-

"Okay, all the pages you see bold? It's actually a code…" Then the agent goes into a long explanation of the code that lies in the scribbles. It's quite detailed and there's more than a few steps to decyphering the text. Turning one of the other pages, it's all numbers in rows. "Now this one, this one is numbers, obviously. But the code isn't the numbers itself, it's the position of the spaces, see? You can do it with anything…" Apparently, codes get Cody all sorts of excited because whatever they were talking about with Jo is a little bit forgotten in favor of teaching the starlet the various languages in the book.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License