2010-02-18: One Less Diva



Date: February 18, 2010


Erin meets an adoring fan… kind of.

"One Less Diva"

Outside Taine's Apartment — NYC

It's getting pretty late by the time Erin finally leaves Taine's apartment. She's sure Beth is wondering where she's at by now.

After a shower - without Taine, much to his disappointment - she called a cab to take her home. It's not there yet when she steps outside, but she can do with a little fresh air. It feels good, despite the fact that her hair is still damp.

She's glad he didn't kick her out or make a fuss. It meant a lot to her, and it means she made somewhat of a decent decision. The threat, though still very real, seems somehow more distant at the moment as she looks up at the stars. Well, star. She can only see just one in New York, and it's probably a planet anyway.

It was a good night.

And Taine's idea was pretty ingenious. It'll take some work, but she can take the best symptoms from several viruses and combine them together into something debilitating. That way, she won't have anyone else's death on her conscience.

It's on this relatively clear night, that a dimpled brunette walks the sidewalk in front of the building. She looks innocent enough — slim build, curly brown hair, and a pretty smile all make her seem non-threatening. Her stance is casual enough as she walks, but she seems to be pacing, also waiting for a cab, perhaps?

"Ohmigosh! I have no idea how long I've been waiting out here do you have the —" And then the woman's face utterly lights up. "You're Erin McCarty, aren't you?! Wow! It's a real pleasure! I'm sorry, you must get this all of the time, but I LOVE your show! I can't believe they changed you into a porcupine though, but seriously, you're very talented…"

Erin doesn't think much of anyone else being out here. In fact, she's comforted by the other woman's presense. Last time someone came after her, she was alone, and they came in droves with their black masks and guns. It was seriously scary.

At the moment, she's not thinking anything of it.

There is a slight roll of her eyes, though, when the woman starts talking. There's a smile for Jo, though. "Yeah, guess I'm guilty of that." She chuckles, holding out her hand. Typical response, typical small-talk to follow. "Thanks for watching the show. Means a lot."

With a warm smile Jo accepts the proffered hand and gives it a solid shake, the ring on her right hand likely puncturing Erin's skin. "Oh gosh! I'm sorry!" she apologizes quickly as she spins the ring on her finger so the diamond faces out — a typical princess cut solitaire. "I…" her face flushes as the flicker of a frown forms along the sides of her lips. "My boyfriend just proposed, and… " her cheeks flush further, "Not sure I'm the marrying kind is all so I've been wearing it on the wrong hand when he's not around. Probably makes me a terrible person or something… Turns out he can't estimate ring size very well…"

She winces. "So… beautiful night, isn't it?"

Erin draws her hand back with a hiss of pain as she looks at the damage. She looks… irritated, but one thing she learned quickly is that she cannot snap at fans. They don't tend to like it much. Shaking the slightly-injured hand, she forces a smile. "Eh, don't worry about it. Maybe they'll work it into the show somehow, huh?"

Fans also like to feel that whatever they do somehow contributes to the awesomeness that is Afterlife. Yes, Erin is wise in the way of the fan! "Congrats on the engagement, though. I dunno if I could wear a ring. I work with my hands a lot… I do all the sets for the show, too. Keeps me busy."

She rubs her hand, looking upward at the star/planet/light at the sewage treatment plant/UFO/whatever. "It's okay. Could do without the cold." Her eyes drift toward Taine's window for a moment, before coming back to meet Jo's eyes. "So, you just waiting for a cab?"

Something might begin feeling off for the actress, but not off enough to suspect anything terrible. Yet.

The brunette takes a step closer towards Erin. "Yeah… the whole big ring, big dress, big aisle thing just really isn't me is all… you know? Like I'm not a poofy person and I'm not a go-big-or-go-home kind of gal. Not really." She grins broadly before wrinkling her nose and reaching into her purse.

"Yeah. Just waiting for a cab — I called what feels like ages ago. My best friend lives here and we were celebrating or commemorating, I guess my engagement." She shrugs. "Didn't think walking home in this light was a good idea, but then maybe standing on a street corner isn't the best thought out plan either…" She too glances up at the windows, "I'm sure she's watching me still though. Worrisome friend."

She reaches into her purse fishing for what seems to be a cellphone.

Jesus GOD. Shut up already! Erin isn't interested. She's really not interested in a lot unless it has something to do with her, so having meet-and-greet with fans usually ends up just irritating the hell out of her. Feeling a bit of an odd chill - there's no wind at the moment - Erin pulls her coat a little more tightly around her.

"Yeah, I'm thinking I might go back upstairs for a bit. It's too cold to be standing here." Who was she with up there? That's carefully left out. There are enough rumours already, without adding fuel to the fire. Taine's probably staring at the door, hoping she comes back in! The thought makes her smile, as it's nice to have someone.

"In fact, I think I'll do that. It was nice meeting you." Turning toward the building, she starts to walk back. With any luck, she'll just miss her cab, and she'll just have to stay at Taine's a little longer. Nothing wrong with that.

And as she turns, the AP agent steps in front of Erin, with her hand drawing out of her purse. There's a dart in hand as a white van pulls up to the front of the building. She reaches out to puncture her target in the arm. It's a full dose of the solution — the small dose from before was just enough to make the actress less dangerous, this will virtually incapacitate her ability.

And there's Jo, in front of her. She's not sure what's going on for the first few nanoseconds, but then it hits her. This is it.

There's a small window - tiny, really - where Erin reaches out, finger's brushing against the nearest article of Jo's clothing she can reach. She can only feel the viruses forming - hazy and almost insubstatial due to the initial dose - for a split second, then it's gone.

She's helpless.

Erin's not much of a fighter. With her ability, she had an advantage. Now? She gives Jo - a TRAITOROUS FAN!! - a dirty look before turning to run. As Erin regularly runs in the park, she's decent at it. However, she knows her prospects of escaping this time are slim to none. She was lucky last time.

The touch does its little bit of magic and the SEAL can feel her throat turn scratchy, but that's the least of her worries, the target is now on the move. Adrenaline courses through her veins, pushing her past what will likely be a nasty cold for the time being. Fortunately as an ex-SEAL (and an obsessed hunter of one particular target), Jo darts after her, and a team of black clad men begin to fill the blocks around the street.

Erin is very quickly surrounded on all sides.

Gritting her teeth, Erin looks for a way out. She stops, turns, finds that way blocked, turns again…

She wants to beg. Please, let me go - I didn't do anything wrong! And technically, she didn't. Hamm was an ass and got what was coming to him, according to Cody. But Erin doesn't beg. She's not going to give them that satisfaction.

Maybe it was Janet. Janet told them that they had to get her now. Erin really should have known that talking to Janet was a mistake, considering she was in the AP. Lesson learned for next time? If there is a next time.

They're going to turn her into a weapon. She's going to kill everyone she knows. Shouting some random string of angry syllables, she charges at the guy that looks the easiest to bowl over. She's going to get away - she has to. This has to work. That's the only thought in her mind.

Mr. Easy to bowl over doesn't give, however, and his colleagues are on Erin in a flash, one of which shoots her with a tranquilizer dart so they don't have to keep chasing her.

As the brunette bends over in a coughing fit, Erin is apprehended by one of the AP agents accompanying the marine. Jo curses quietly under her breath before she catches up to her colleagues, "Bring her in. The world could do without one more soap opera diva, anyways." At this she sniffles, turns on her heel, and disappears into the night to head home and nurse her cold.

LATER in Building 27

The darkness was actually pretty blissful. It kept her from really knowing what was going on. Tranquilisers are awesome that way.

Except it can't last. Wakefulness comes with the realisation that she's uncomfortable. At first, she can't imagine sleeping outside of a bed, so she tries to turn over into a more favourable position… Except a soon as she tries to move, there's a wrenching sound - metal against metal, and her arms won't seem to listen to what she's telling them to do.

Sluggishly, the memories return as she opens dull eyes. She still feels groggy, and probably will for awhile, considering she's hooked up to an IV pumping both the anti-power solution and a mild sedative into her system. She can see that she's in a chair, literally chained by her wrists and ankles to the floor.

"Sszgottabeadream," she mutters, giving her arm a tug for good measure. This can't be happening. Her defense was fool-proof! She was safe! This time, Erin gives the chain another tug, more out of frustration than any notion that she can escape.


"You bastard," she grumbles.

"Bitch is probably more accurate," Jo says as she tilts her head at the prisoner. She's sitting in a chair in the room — the only one, a few feet away from her prisoner before she falls into a mile coughing fit that she manages to get under control. She'd appeared warm and perhaps kind on the street, but in here Agent Scott's features are hardened, harsh, calculating, perhaps.

She's dressed in a harsh black tailored suit and a pair of too-tall-for-her-job heels. "Welcome to your new home, Ms. McCarty. I hope you get…" she sneezes now, three times over. "…used to it…"
At first, she's so drugged that she's not entirely sure where the voice is coming from. Eventually, she zeros in.

"H— Hha. Haha. Ha, ha Hey, I remember you." Erin almost seems to be in good spirits, except for the ugly look of rage and death on her face. Defeated!? Not by a long shot. That glare turns into a rather malevolent smile, though. "Got you," she adds.

Probably not helping her 'I'm not a terrorist!' case, true. But she's here, and she can't even figure out beyond reasonable doubt which way is up, so she's probably not going to convince Jo that she's a bastion of goodness and kindness and just get up and walk out of here.

No. Erin's the kind of person that when the chips are down, she says 'screw it,' and throws her chips all over the place like a two-year-old. "Bitch would be a compliment."


Another tug on the chains, this time, on the other side.

But Jo is a safe distance from the prisoner. She's not stupid and she's calculated it out. "Just doing my job, Ms. McCarty," she smacks her lips together. "Was that a threat? I'm certain you're aware that the United States navy, military, and government in general does not respond well to threats." Even threats that aren't all that threatening. Like Erin at this moment.

"So. I'm going to make myself clear. I want a couple of things from you. Names would be a good place to start. I'm making a collection of sorts and need names" she coughs again "to fill it with."

"Your job." Erin shakes her head. This is one of the people who wants to turn her into a weapon or something, isn't it? "Just get it over with already," she mutters. "Do whatever you do and ship me off to— To— " God, where's a place that would need a biological terror right now?

The thought is lost. "A threat? Sure. Threats are usually made after the fact, right? Makes 'em more threatening." Jo is already sick. The threat has come and gone. "I hope it's rabies."

Erin… really can't recall those last moments before her capture with any clarity. Does rabies make people cough? "Does rabies make people cough?" she asks. Without the ability to really inhibit her words, she finds herself asking an honest question to her captor.

Names? Jo wants names? "Cecelia Nuthatch. Hermione Granger. Punky Brewster." Pause. "Morgan Starr."

"Well then I'll have rabies," Jo says cooly. "I'm sure you'd like me better then." Yes, an insane version of Jo is all Building 27 needs. "And I don't know what you're talking about. I've done what I do. I catch threats on American soil and keep them from being unleashed on the world again." She purses her lips together before she coughs again.

"The doctors here seemed to think you gave me the common cold. Congratulations on that." Her lips curl into an idle-yet-cool smile.

"You can cooperate and I'll be nice to you or you can continue down this path and see where it leads. I must say that I already am not pleased at your presumably fortudinous display. It wasn't brave or courageous. It just was."

Erin wasn't a threat until these people started coming after her. But seriously. Let's all be honest here. How many times has Jo heard that? How many of these so-called terrorists has she taken? And even if she knows what's going on for real, and Erin has to assume she does, Jo doesn't seem to shaken up by it.

"Love isn't the right word," Erin says after awhile. "But I guess I'd be pretty happy.

The common cold. Well, that sucks. "What do you want me to cooperate with, you moron? I'm the one tied to a god-damn chair. I'm pretty sure you've cooperated me right into a corner." And because in times like these, it's really good to further anger your captor, Erin spits.

She's also been trying her ability this whole time, and like her previous brush with the AP, not having it feels wrong.

The agent doesn't react to the spit or the rant. Instead, she watches Erin intently before she soothes carefully, still-smiling that peaceful other-worldly smile, "I bet you enjoy it."

She stands from the chair and paces the edges of the room, maintaining a safe distance from Erin. "When you kill people with your ability — accidentally or not. And perhaps that's a presumption, but there's something delicious about having that level of power."

"I bet it was deliciously fun for you. Like pulling the trigger of a gun for the first time. That moment of satisfaction when you realize you are holding all of the cards and your adversary holds nothing." She smiles that ever-present cool, smile.

"You didn't think about their families. Didn't consider that maybe you orphaned some children. Probably didn't even think that whoever you killed was someone's father. Mother. Brother. Sister. No, you didn't think about the other victims."

What. What? "How many people do you think I killed?!" Erin shouts, tugging at all the chains. Okay, now she's pissed. And if Jo was going for the begging/pleading reaction, she just hit the right button. "Two. And both of them were people who came after me. I was defending myself! And I wouldn't have had any problems just staying the hell out of your way if you'd just left me alone!" She continues straining on the chains until the sedative decides that's enough of that, and she sits down heavily in the chair.

Erin doesn't want to be thought of as a murderer. She's not! She's been so careful. "It's not fun," she says. In fact, it scares her, but she's not ready to give that much up yet. The only reason she killed Hamm was out of necessity. And Jo… Should have been next on her list. Damn!
Erin laughs again. It's somewhere between exhausted and seriously troubled. "You know what they're gonna do with me if you keep me here? I'll tell you. They're going to turn me into a weapon. You knew that, though, didn't you? To you, as long as I'm killing the bad guys you're after, murder is okay, huh? Hah. Huh. hh." She bows her head, relaxing against the chains.

Chains. God, this is really happening, isn't it? A sound very much like a squeak comes from Erin as she represses the urge to just start bawling. It's getting harder and harder not to lately, especially now. "Why," she asks. It's not really directed to Jo, though it could very well be a short conversation with God.

"You killed Agent Hamm," Jo says levelly in turn. "That doesn't bode well with my superiors. You're all the same. All killers underneath a cool exterior claiming that every death is warranted, imperative, or accidental. When I fired my weapon, I have to take account. When you infect someone you don't have to account for anything."

The mention of the weapons trade is met with a flicker of a frown, and if Erin watched she'd easily see that this is definitely something the marine knew nothing about, but the frown only lasts a moment. "I want the American people safe. One way or another." Pursing her lips together, she can tell she's losing her own resolve. After another coughing fit, she clears her throat and marches towards the door, "Think on the names and we'll talk tomorrow." That said, she opens the cell door and pads out to the echoey sound of her heels on the tile.

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