2009-11-13: Positions Reversed



Date: November 13, 2009


Life does not always imitate art, and sometimes it imitates things, yet in the opposite way. Such is the case with Erin and Taine.

"Positions Reversed"

Studio Lots

Erin ran until she couldn't run anymore. She had no idea if they were after her, or if there were people waiting for her somewhere outside. Perhaps they were everywhere, watching, waiting for her to tire.

Between the soundstages and various buildings on the studio lot, there are various alleyways and drainways. It's nearing midnight by the time she feels safe enough, tucked away in one of these areas between two dumpsters. At least they're just used for set decoration disposal, which means they don't smell too bad.

As the adrenaline slowly fades, the pain sets in. It seems silly, but she hadn't realised her arm was broken until now. The rest of her aches, certainly, but all that is nothing compared to the compound fracture piercing through one forearm. Her good hand goes to her lips as she tries to hold back tears, but the fact that they fall is inevitable.

She was just attacked.

Who can she call? It doesn't occur to her that they may be tracking her cell phone use. It's still clipped to her belt - thankfully, she didn't leave it in her bag back in the soundstage - so she pulls it out and holds down the '1,' dialing Taine.

Who's she gonna call? Well he's not the Ghost Busters, but Taine could probably pretend to be Crocodile Dundee if he really tried. National hero and all that. Not quite up there with the Crocodile Hunter, but close enough.

On speed dial, the number calculates and rings, and rings… and rings…

And then a tired voice sounds on the other side. It wouldn't be difficult to picture him laying in a bed, sleeping off the long shoot that he had today so that he can be up at the god awful hours of morning for the make up chair and rolling over to grab the phone. "Hullo?" he manages, muffled by a hint of a yawn, before there's shifting sound, likely him sitting up.

There's a long pause on the other end when Taine answers. "Taine?" Erin's voice is frantic, quiet. Then the whole story comes out in one long word. "Theycalledmetothestudioforasetevaluationbutitwasn'trealtheytriedtokillme!"

She sobs. It's a pained sound. "I jumped off the walkway, Taine! I can't— I can't— I think I got away. I don't know if they're still following me - can you come? I'm…" There's a long pause, as she huddles backward between the dumpsters. Was that the wind, or was it footsteps? "Uh— Between stage— I don't know. I didn't look."

There are some things that words are not needed to convay. Panic, worry, fear, pain and identity. If Taine hadn't heard her activing voices in all of these many things, it may have taken him a moment to recognize the voice, but he's heard all of the different tones she's capable of, in all of the many ways she says them, so he knows immediately it's Erin on the other end of the phone.

And either she's practicing for a scene to try and get his attention and giving one of her best performances ever, or she's genuinely feeling all those emotions he can hear.

"What? You're where?" he's moving, though she can't see it, throwing back his covers and rushing around to find clothes. "Just stay calm, I'll be there as soon as possible, just— stay on the phone." He switches it over to speaker so he can still hear her, and quickly moves to get clothing on. Jeans. Shirt. Shoes. It's all done quickly. "Keep talking, whatever's going on just keep talking. I'll be there soon."

He grabs keys, an earbud to stick in his ear, plugs it into the phone, and is making his way downstairs. He didn't even bother to put socks on.

"I don't know, Taine! I'm— I'm in the lot. I don't know where. They drugged me with— with something…" She's quiet again. It's the wind. She's sure of it.

Or is it?

"I can't stay on the phone. I don't want them to hear me talking." She whispers, trying to think of how to tell Taine where he can find her. Honestly, she ran in so many different directions that she has no idea where she ended up. "I'm between two soundstages…" She peeks out from her hiding place, looking out into the night. "I can see— I can see a cell phone tower from where I'm at." Does that help? Probably not. You can see that tower from anywhere on the lot. "I'm sorry, I didn't have time to remember where I was going— "

There's a hiss of pain, another sob, and then the line goes dead.

"Erin, Erin wait!" Taine yells into the phone, but it's too late. The line goes dead. This leads him to curse, "Crickey fuck," before he shoves the cellphone away, pulls out the earbud, and tries his best to go over everything she just said. Cellphone tower. Two soundstages. The cellphone tower doesn't help, cause he's pretty sure it's visible from most of the lot, but that doesn't mean he'll sit and wait.

Should have stayed on the bloody phone, especially if she's drugged. He's been in enough soap opera episodes to know trauma plus drugs can lead to very bad things, especially if the person falls unconscious.

Who's after her? Why? Is it a stalker? A crazed fan? Some…

It's a lot longer drive than he probably wishes, until he makes it to the gate. There's always guards, and this time is no exception. He leans in, offering his best smile, hair in his face. "I left something really important at the soundstage. I need it before morning or I'm going to get fired. Can you give a guy a break?"

"Of course I can, Mr. Whitaker. There's some folks in there right now— they have an inspection warrent. Try to avoid them if you can…" He looks back into his hovel, and then says, "They're inside warehouse B right now."

"Thanks a lot, Sam. I owe you an autograph."

"You owe me two! One for my daughter and one for my wife."

"Certainly, I'll make sure to bring some pictures tomorrow."

As he starts to drive away, he hears, "Their names are Tina and Hailey!"

Warehouse B… he drives by the Warehouses, hoping to spot her before he gets to Warehouse B, looking between them. Come on, Erin. Where are you.

It's taking too long. Maybe he couldn't get into the lot! What's she going to do if Taine can't get to her? By now, she's so cold and worn down that she's shivering, and the blood loss certainly isn't helping, either. Maybe they called off the search for her by now - she hopes - which means she can chance a look out from between the soundstages as she hears the sound of a car passing. Taine's car! He's found her!

She stumbles toward it, nervously checking around her every couple seconds to see if there's anyone watching. So far, so good… And she's ended up quite a ways from where she started.

Reaching for the door, she tries to remember how to open it, fumbling with the handle until the door swings open. She's not sure if the car has stopped or if it's still moving as she literally falls into it, grasping a broken, bloody arm with her other hand.

Blue eyes look up to confirm that it's actually Taine who's come for her, and not one of the people who were after her earlier. It's him, though, which brings an immediate sense of comfort. "Thank you," she mutters, burying her face in his shoulder. "Thank you, thank you."

"Shh, shh, it's okay," Taine says, immediately reaching for her, looking down at the broken arm with a grimace. That's going to be difficult to explain away— and he's not a doctor, even if he plays one on TV. It's not something he's trained to handle, and there's very little he can do other than… "We need to get you to an emergency room, or one of those little emergency care clinics. Whatever's open all night," he says, twisting around to pick something out of his back seat. A blanket. Don't ask why he keeps such things back there. "Get under this. If someone's still in here, stay out of sight and— I'll get us back out and then we'll find somewhere that'll take you, fix you up."

A few more rummages and he's grabbing something out of the glove compartment. It looks like a script. It's not one of their scripts, though. His name is watermarked on the front page, and likely every page after it. That's how these things work.

"Stay down and stay quiet, okay? You're going to be all right." And with that, he'll start driving back to the gate, hoping that she listens to him and gets down low and out of sight as possible, even with her hurt arm.

"No it's not. No it's not," she says. For a moment, she thinks about telling him about that woman - the young one that won't be walking out of the building alive. She can't, though, because… What would he think of her?

When the hell did she get so needy?

Erin's worried about going to the hospital, too. It shows in her eyes when she looks at him questioningly. They're after her - isn't that the first place they'll look? Ideally, they'd call in a favor to one of their doctor friends. Cass, perhaps. "Maybe — "

Out of the corner of her eyes, she notices that she's bleeding all over his center console.

"Sh— shit. Fuck it. Get me somewhere," she cries, voice managing to give a waver of pure anger.

God, it hurts so much it's starting to not hurt. That's never a good sign. Sliding down in the seat, she throws the blanket over herself, though is unable to help another whimper as she does so.

"I'm working on it," Taine says, checking her over in the jeep as well as he can, before he turns and drives toward the front gate. The guy at the gate seems to be expecting him, when he drives up, because the gate opens and he lets out a whooping sound.

"That was quick, Mr. Whitaker!"

"When you lose one of these they can sue you right out of the Guild and the country if they want to," the actor says, holding up the script.

"Is that a new movie?" he asks, moving closer with interest, but the script is already getting put down into his lap and out of sight.

"Can't reveal anything, I'm afraid. There's all that fine print," from the voice, he's flashing one of his best smiles.

"I'll see you tomorrow, Mr. Whitaker! Don't forget those autographs!"

There's a wave of a hand, but no further words as he quickly drives out into the street and begins to think of options. There is that one clinic… where they went with the virus. "Do you want to see if we can get ahold of that woman who helped with the virus?"

Erin stays quiet under the blanket as Taine talks with the guard. Every second that goes by seems to take forever, though. Worries run through her mind, like - what if she bleeds to death? Not likely, but the fact that she - and other people like her - exist might lead anyone to the conclusion that anything's possible.

There's also the question of her ability. Gone for good? Not likely, or they wouldn't have tried to catch her after they drugged her. What good would she be to them now? Unless they found out about the trees, which would be her bad. Oops. She'd never killed anyone, and the only people she's told about her power, she's trusted.

Wait. Wait. "God, some kid saw my eyes glowing," she moans. "She must have told someone. Shit." Not really a kid, but, hey. Details. Erin tries to sit up again, but can't get proper leverage at the moment, and besides that, it's starting to get harder to tell the difference between up and down. "N— I think I'm — " She takes a deep breath. "I think I'm about to pass out."

"Try to stay conscious if you can, okay?" Taine says, thinking back on all of his many scripts as a doctor. Staying conscious is important! Maybe that's with head injuries more than arm wounds, but it seems like the thing his character would say, so he's going to say it. "I'll get you somewhere safe." Someone saw her eyes glowing. So this has something to do with… what she can do. The thing that's inside her.

In many ways, their positions have always been reversed when it came to life versus television. And just like Morgan Starr would often protect Kenneth Pryce when something terrible happened, Taine Whitaker will protect Erin McCarty. Or he's going to do his damnedest to try.

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