2010-01-14: Sink or Swim



Guest Starring:

Kevin Gainesfield

(played by Noah & Erin)

Date: January 14th-16th, 2010


An ice queen's revenge.

"Sink of Swim"

Six Months Ago…

City lights shine onto the gunmetal silver of the Nissan roadster — top down — belonging to Tracy Strauss. Having just shut the door and sat down, she tucks a stack of neatly stapled papers from Erin McCarty into the sleek black faux alligator leather attaché on the passenger seat of her car, she's just about to start the engine when her phone rings. One glance secures her knowledge of who’s calling, and before she answers it, she puts on an indulgent smile and tosses her long hair away from her ear. "Hello Governor…"

"My life used to be so normal. As normal as the Hill can be. Maybe a little restrictive… all I had to worry about was my doing my job, the silver-tongued world of politics, dinner parties and overpriced martinis. The Beltway Insider life. Can I still be that person?"

Three Weeks Ago…

Rainwater falls off a rooftop ledge, dripping off the piercing ends of icicles that bedeck the overhang. Rain isn't the only source of the water, however. Up on the roof of Gray & Sons, shattered pieces ice are melting. The roof is empty now, save for what's left of Tracy. The only thing recognizable as a person is a half of a face, a mask in ice. It quivers in a puddle as the rain pounds it and, with other shards of seemingly lifeless ice, it's whisked away in the downpour, falling onto a sewer grate in the alley below.

"I felt myself shatter into a million pieces on that roof."

"Now … I don't know what I am."

Breathing in hard and coughing in cold, biting air, Tracy finds herself bursting above the surface of choppy water. It's morning now, still dusky, light flurries falling from the sky. Terrified eyes fight to make sense of where she is: behind her, she can see the iconic Brooklyn Bridge in the distance. So it' the East River she swims through, climbing up on a cove trying to catch her breath.

An early morning jogger starts to run by with his dog, a German Shepherd, on a leash. It starts to bark and tug in Tracy's direction and she scrambles to slide back into the cold river and flatten her back against a rock, turning her head, trying to hide and watch at the same time. She looks down at her hand; it's made of moving water, dripping crystal clear back into the river.

"I do know this: for the first time since I actually had something to lobby for, I feel like I have a goal I can accomplish. No rules. No restrictions. When all of those pieces me came back together in the East River, I knew what I had to do."

"They took everything from me. So I'm going to take everything from them."

Cumberland, Maryland

It starts as a steady drip. Droplets of water fall from the dingy stainless steel faucet into the basin of the small sink bolted to the wall of the unwelcoming, windowless federal prison cell. Lights are out. It's night, and this cell is quiet; the dripping is monotonous.

Soon, it turns into a trickle, and the trickle turns into a flow of clear water as if the tap has been turned on. Of course, it hasn't been.

All over the world, people snap all the time. Bouts of cursing, road rage, domestic abuse, gang violence. Some of it is justified, most of it is not. However, most of these explosions are contained. Most are swept under the rug and either forgiven, forgotten, or ignored.

Kevin is not one of those people.

While his cellmate was out doing acting some Shakespeare, Kevin reads his Penthouse. Smuggled in, the federal man enjoys some smut. When he gets to a blond woman though, he tosses the magazine against the wall.

The freak got him in trouble. The senator got him locked up. Ivory got his though… proof that the justice system worked in Kevin's mind. Even if the government couldn't lock up Wynn, he figures someone got to him. The government usually doesn't stand for people not strong enough to do what needs to be done. Wynn wasn't strong enough. Kevin thinks his time is coming. He'll be back serving his country soon enough. Uncle Sam won't forget a job well done, even if it meant being a scapegoat for a time.

"Gainesfield was one of the worst."

Three months ago:

Kevin Gainesfield is in a room with Tracy, who's shackled to a chair, heat lamps bearing down on her. Holding onto her arm, he twists and wrenches; the sound is amazing and unbearable - somewhere between a crunch and a snap - and then he lets go.

"I asked you if she has a power."

She screams.

It's loud, animal and so intensely pained that it dies off in cries, which the woman tries very fast and hard to choke back. In pain, her whole body goes rigid — which means she shoots up, lifting her head. Those wildly pained eyes might have glimpsed the man, but then, maybe not. They squeeze shut as Tracy tries to control her breath. "Screw you."

"Even after I learned that I wasn't exactly the perfect example of normal, I tried to ignore it. I kept living my life with a blanket over my head pretending everything was fine. To say I had some … trouble coming to terms with the truth would be an understatement. I wasn't okay with being a freak. Now I now that just because someone's special, it doesn't make them a freak."

"Gainesfield will never change his mind. He broke my arm. He forced me to sell out a friend. I'm not saying I wouldn't have done it anyway if I thought it'd help me get out of that hell faster. Erin didn't deserve it either way. Gainesfield is in jail for what he did to me, rotting away in an eight by twelve cell."

"Not good enough."

Now, the water can hardly be ignored. It fills the sink, rapidly overflowing the shallow confines. With a splash on cold concrete, it spills onto the floor, spills and spills and spills. The water chokes out of the tap with pressure beyond what could possibly be attributed to faulty plumbing. The spray of water is an angry one.

The resulting puddle of water on the floor takes up a lot of space in the small prison cell… but it starts to move, gliding cohesively to the corner furthest from the cot, incidentally soaking the thrown magazine. Atop it, the water starts to take shape.

Horizontal turns impossibly vertical as the water streams upward and takes the contours of long legs. It swells and morphs, living water, until the shape of a woman is standing in the corner facing Kevin. When she solidifies into a very real and breathing thing, naked and dripping wet, there's no mistaking Tracy Strauss. She takes a moment to take a breath in and adjust — even throughout, her vengeful precision, her eyes are already locked on him. He tried to keep his damndest to keep his face from him, but was determined, back then, to catch just a glimpse.

It was burned into her memory, like she's been burned into his. "Remember me?" She looks amused. Dangerously so.

Three months ago:

He's got what he needs to know now, drawing the weapon away from Tracy's neck…

Before he presses it against the base of her skull, pulling the trigger.


"…You don't really think I'd bring a loaded weapon in here, do you? Not that I need one." He seems pretty self-assured now. …Now that he knows Tracy's not going to be able to turn him into a Goonsicle.

Naturally, Tracy stiffens when the gun clicks. What was she supposed to believe? The goon may be self-assured now, but Tracy's turn comes immediately afterward, restrained and beaten down though she is: she whips her head around to throw the full effect of her glare on the nameless agent. To see his face.

Kevin shouts: "I told you— don't. LOOK. At. Me!"

The water erupts and Kevin sits up with a start. "What the hell?" he asks looks around to see… The water coming together. The ex-federal agent peers at what happens. A naked woman. A familiar naked woman. "This some kinda freaky ass dream?" Kevin replies, the 'causal' grin unable to hide the bit of nervousness in his voice, the faint bit of terror in his eyes. Despite his fear, he stands up and puffs his chest slightly. "If this IS a dream, I prefer slutty redheads, not slutty blonds."

The man's words only serve to rile Tracy's ire just that much further. Her brows drawn in, her jaw twitches ever-so-slightly, and that vindictive gaze narrows to a sharp point on the prisoner. Her hair does a look a little darker than blonde, as it happens, but that could simply be because it's so slicked back and dripping wet.

The water around the woman's bare feet starts to move, and she lifts a bare arm up, fingers curled in slightly as her palm faces Kevin from afar.

"The best part is, I didn't even have to get close to that sick son of a bitch to give him what he deserves."

He doesn't even deserve a reply. What he deserves is the torrent of water that suddenly launches at him, strong as — stronger than — any fire hose. Straight as his face; his mouth.

"What the…" The man raises his hands, trying to block the water as it sends him back into the wall. Kevin struggles to speak as the torrent comes. "Guards! Guar-" He gargles on the words, the water moving around his hands into his mouth despite his best attempts to breath. Confusion and fear mingle together as Kevin tries to figure out what to do. If this IS Tracy, how can she be doing this? Her abilities was to be some ice woman not… this.

"It's too easy."

Tracy is lost in what she's doing. She's fixated on it, not flinching as Kevin chokes on the water under her control — a very new control. Her eyes show nothing but ruthlessness as she stays completely and utterly focused on ending this man's existence. Because of what he did to her — and to other like her. The water keeps flowing, drowning the man against the prison cell wall.

His confusion only makes her smile. She beat the odds. She survived to become … this. A vengeance machine.

It's coming. He knows he can stop it. Kevin is a dead man, dead for pushing too far. For caring too much, for hating too much. But as the fear fades with his life and he slumps down in a seated position on the floor, he offers one last bout of defiance. A flip of the bird is proudly displayed for a couple of seconds before he finally drops his arm, entirely lifeless.

"I can strike number one off my list. Even dead, he still manages to make me hate him. I'm taking it as a good sign. There's less morality to bury that way."

Meanwhile in the distance, a guard can be heard going down the hallway. "Gainesfield? I thought I told your whiney ass to shut up…" he calls as he makes his way down.

Tracy looks away from the infuriating specimen of a person that is Gainesfield and shoots a look to the door. She's not worried about being caught here, though. Bare feet step along the wet floor toward the sink, a puddle of water seeping away from the drowned prisoner, following Tracy. She doesn't have to think of what she'll do next; she had it planned.

* * *

Moments later and Tracy is gone. The lifeless man is the only figure in the cell. He's soaking wet along with the cot around him. The puddle of water no longer wets the floor, but the sink starts to overflow once more. A solid crack sounds in the wall behind the sink as they freeze and trap the water above.

"With any luck they'll think he drowned himself. If I was a sorry individual like Gainesfield, I probably would've drowned myself, too."

"Thankfully, I'm over that."

"There are a lot of Gainesfields out there and I know just who's next on my list."

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