2010-02-28: The Best of Both Worlds



Date: February 28, 2010


How hard is it to turn Miley Cyrus into Hannah Montana? Probably not as hard as getting Candice to turn into this…

"The Best of Both Worlds"

Stephanie Sheldon's House

It has taken a long time. A very long time to find this particular address. Stephanie Sheldon, sweet little computer geek from Columbia. Well looks can always be deceiving. Dressed in a rather unassuming little getup, pizza delivery liberated from the back of some poor little shop a few blocks away, Cody walks up to the door. There's the light growth of a Camaro 'stache and wannabeard on her face. From a few feet away, the woman looks exactly like a teenage boy with brown curly hair.

Carrying the thermal pizza case in both hands, she presses the door bell with her elbow and then steps back. Should anyone look through the peephole, they will see 'Pete' a nineteen year old pizza delivery boy from Vito's. It's a good thing the real Pete doesn't work out.

Stephanie hadn't ordered any pizza tonight. But that doesn't mean that she'd turn it down. Especially since, as far as SHE knows, everything is fine on her end. The "AP Raid" on the place she was with Tiago at was nothing but her illusions, after all. She looks out the peephole, before opening the door. "Yes?" the blonde asks.

When the door is answered Cody is very swift to move, pulling a tranquilizer gun from the bottom of the pizza case, she unloads four shots into the blonde answering the door. Candice may find things going a little hazy for a moment before everything turns black.

some time later…

The room is rather dark, Candice is still at home, but is very skillfully tied to a chair… with ropes made of hair. It's a good thing that no one else is there, because they might find themselves in the same predicament. "Stephanie… or whoever you are… Good of you to join the party again. You and I need to talk. Don't bother using your ability, I've pumped you so full of the solution that you won't be able to make me see anything until I'm long gone."

'Pete' the pizza boy isn't standing in her living room. It's a woman, mid thirties, dressed in his clothing. Her hair is blonde, not brown, and a little bit shaggy. "We're going to have a little chat."

She comes back to consciousness, trying to stand…and that's when she immediately knows something is wrong. Not only is she tied up, but her body kinesthetics are all off. Her power's gone; it's the only way she'd feel like this. "What the fuck?…" she slurrs a bit, looking at the blonde there. "Who the fuck are you? What're you doin'?"

"I'm the woman that just saved your life, that means I own it according to a few East Asian philosophies. Before you ask how I'm saving your life, let me tell you. I'm not going to bring you in." Pacing the living room, Cody tries not to look at the woman in the form she's in. It's a pity, really, going from a vibrant young woman to the sad display that's in front of her. "You live in a little fantasy where everything for you is pretty perfect, don't you? Always using your abilities to get the better of other people. Well now you're going to use them to help other people."

Betty scowls. "How the fuck did you find me? What the…" she strains a moment against the bonds. "You don't know shit about me. I don't need you passing judgment on me."

"I admit, it took a lot of work. I only had the name Stephanie to go by… Do you realize how many Stephanies there are in the city of New York? Over ten thousand. So it's taken me just a little while to track down the right one." Pausing in her pacing, Cody squats down in front of Betty and gives her a little bit of a smile. "Judgment's been passed already and you're really in no position to bargain. You either agree to my terms or you'll find yourself wearing a lovely collar that will pump you full of this solution for the rest of your life." To emphasize her point, Cody pulls out a syringe full of a cloudy liquid and taps the air bubbles out of it.

Betty is not happy at all about this situation. But the concept of the collar terrifies her. And she can't exactly keep it out of her face. "So what are your terms?" She doesn't like this one bit. But the one thing that's biggest in her personal list of fears is being without her powers.

Taking a deep breath, Cody purses her lips and stands again, putting the syringe back into its little case. She takes her time in replying, mostly because she's weighing her options. They're both women that shoot first and ask questions later, this time the questions could do more harm than good. "Alpha Protocol isn't what it seems. It's bigger and deeper than anyone knows. Good agents that have been trying to figure things out from the inside are being killed. I need you to find out how and why."

Betty looks back, narrowing her eyes a bit. "Really? Cause right now it seems a lot like a bunch of norms trying to hunt us down. I'm assuming you're an "us", given these ropes, which really means I'm curious why you'd sell out your own kind."

"Is this really how we're going to play things? Really? Because I have a pretty unlimited source of solution. I could keep you from the little pretend life you have built up for a very very long time." Cody's not going to play around here, it's in her voice, in every glance, even in her stance. "But if you really want an answer to the question. I hunt down my own kind because it's my job to do this job."

Honestly, she can't fault her too much for that. Because there was a time when Candice hunted down her own kind, too. Because it was her job. "Fine. So, you want me to find things out. You sound professional enough to realize that I'm not going to be able to do that unless I can get inside. That means replacing someone. Or getting "recruited"."

Giving the woman a small smile, Cody nods and puts the pizza boy ballcap back on. "Oh, I have that end covered already." Then she leaves for about ten minutes and comes back with an unconscious man that she ties into a chair right next to Betty. "This is Agent Smith, he's a low level peon. You'll be getting his card and all his credentials. He will be staying right here until you get back." The man looks like someone you'd just pass over in a crowd. His mousy brown hair is combed over a bald spot on the top of his head, his thick glasses magnify his face tenfold. His unruly eyebrows curl over the top of the plastic frames in a rather unsightly manner.

Betty makes a face. "We couldn't manage someone better than this?" She says. "Not that I can't be a guy. But I've got a lifetime of experience being a woman." Plus, he's unattractive, and Betty hates unattractive guises when she can manage.

"This man is your ticket to invisibility. He's Protocol's answer to that guy looking for the stapler in that movie. Once you get into the building you can be whoever you want, as long as you don't get caught." As for the real Smith, she's still working out the kinks on that end. "If you get caught, I won't be able to help you or help anyone else. Now, tell me if your illusions can fool cameras."

Betty frowns, but nods. "Yes." She says, tersely. "I can fool cameras. And I'll switch to someone else once I'm inside and checking it out."

"Good, if this is successful, then there will be other things you might be able to do." With that, Cody drops a knife next to Betty's feet. "I'll leave you with that. The solution that you've got in you will last another hour. His tranquilizer will last two." Pulling a pay as you go cell phone out of her pocket, Cody places it on the coffee table. "I'll be calling that to get in touch with you. Don't disappoint me and don't try to blow my cover. If you do, they'll be wanting to put a collar around your neck."

The heavy woman nods once. "All right." She's terse, but beaten on this pass and recognizes it. This will complicate matters, and she's not sure yet how to spin it to her own advantage. "Call soon." she says, dryly.

The bound woman won't be able to see the small nod that Cody gives her, "Remember your job. Find out who is killing the agents. I'm not stupid enough to believe in mass suicide." After all, the life of an agent isn't that stressful on someone who is military trained. Mercenaries are more likely to shoot the detainees instead of kill themselves.

There's nothing more than another nod there. She'd love to put the knife there in Cody's neck. But right now, she's going to have hours of hard work getting herself out of this. Dammit.

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