2010-02-24: The Fire Drill



Date: February 24, 2010


How do you get a former speedster angry? Make her run.

"The Fire Drill"

Building 27 - Barracks

The barracks. Maybe if Daphne'd been the type to go to summer camps as a kid, the cramped roommate, military-style windowless rooms would have seemed vaguely familiar. As it is, it all just looks like the box to the speedster.

She hasn't even made it out to the television today; instead, Daphne lays spread out on the cot they tell her is a bed with her eyes staring meaninglessly at the bland architecture above. Though her arms are behind her head in an almost relaxed manner, she hasn't gotten so far as to pose her legs and, instead, they stretch out uselessly along the lightly blanketed mat. That symbol of her dependence, the hospital-grade wheelchair, has somehow made it across the small room, facing the wall. Perhaps it's been pushed there in a moment of raging emotion that's now left only apathy in its wake.

Cody's not completely familiar with the layout of the barracks. She knows the structure, but the room assignments and which side is reserved for men and which is for women has never been high on her list of priorities. Tonight, she's on a mission. The couch potato residents have been sitting around like human excrement for a little too long. It's time for some calisthenics. Walking past Daphne's room, the soldier gives her an upturned nod and barks out, "Millbrook, right? Time to get up. Meet in the common room in five minutes."

With that, the agent walks off, without even an offer of aid. If Daphne is listening, she can probably hear the woman barking similar orders to nearby rooms.

Startled into sitting up onto elbows she plants into the cot, Daphne pays at least that much attention to the woman's orders when they're issued. For a long second afterwards, she considers the space where Cody'd been standing. Then her eyes shift to the abandoned chair in the corner. Bleary-eyed, she lets out a loud snort for her own benefit and then nestles herself straight back into the position she's kept for the last… who knows. Without her ability, time's gotten twice as boring.

"As if," she also informs the ceiling. Because that feels kinda good.

It's about fifteen minutes later when Cody returns to the room and without a word, she picks up the woman and tosses her in a fireman carry over her shoulder. "Everyone has choices in this life, Millbrook. You chose the life without the wheelchair. So here we go." And they walk right from the room, without the wheelchair. The barracks are empty. Completely devoid of life. It isn't until the blonde woman kicks open the door, that Daphne can witness what is happening. A line up of detainees, all under guard… doing jumping jacks.

Once they are down the stairs, Cody unceremoniously dumps the woman on the ground and looks down at her. "You want to go back to bed? You're going to have to work for it." Then she walks a few paces away to supervise the other prisoners. "You call those jumping jacks?! Drop and give me twenty mister! DOWN!! NOW!!" And the man is forced to go prone in the mud and struggle with some rather heavy labor.

"What?!" She sort of expected the storming back in, but being bodily handled elicits a definite emotional response from Daphne. "Hey! No way! Get off me, you creep!" But there is little for the downed former-speedster to do but smack her hands against Cody's back and complain. After a while, even that subsides. That might have something to do with crossing the threshold out of those terrible barracks. From over the other woman's shoulder, Daphne sucks in a breath like it's new.

THUD. Then it all gets sucked out of her as she hits the ground vaguely on her side and then a portion of her face when her limbs refuse to do much to support her. Shakily, she pushes up on her elbow, spits out a bad mouthful. "Work?" She scoffs, "You people are ridiculous, this isn't a… ugh." But even on the ground in, as they say, the mud, she pulls herself up with little to no actual enthusiasm. Her legs cooperate so much as to let her get them in front of her, arms slung over her knees. Fine. She chooses the ground, too.

"This is exactly…" Whatever it is Daphne was going to say. Cody turns her back on the woman, fully expecting more complaints from her. When none are offered from the former speedster one of the other prisoners pipes up.

"Hey! You can't do that!! She can't walk!" The protest is met with a glare from the blonde agent and a wordless face to face. The prisoner quiets down quite quickly, not knowing what punishment he will end up serving for his insolence.

"Here is where we separate the men from the mice, boys and girls." Cody shouts above the huffing and puffing. "If Millbrook can make it back inside before you give me twenty laps around the barracks, then you'll be free of me for the rest of the night. If she doesn't make it back to bed, it's calesthenics until I get tired." Then there's a deliciously wicked grin from the woman. "And trust me, I've got enough coffee to keep me up ALL NIGHT."

Although she's putting on a pretty clear act of giving none of them any mind, Daphne's own light eyebrows shuffle upwards into her forehead when someone speaks on her behalf. Not that she appreciates it. In fact, her chapped pink lips push markedly to the side in irritation and she plants her chin on her combined hands and continues a secure vigil on the bland but at least not familiar scenery.

"If I was a mouse, I'd be out of here," she mumbles to her own disobedient feet. They twitch sorta. And then hurt. Fantastic. This constant reminder of her condition sours an already ill temper so that, hearing the rules of the game, she only gives an even louder snort than the one that started all this. "Man. Hope nobody's depending on the likelihood of me giving a shit."

"You are a mouse, Millbrook." Cody says as she looks down at the prone blonde, her boots only a foot away from her face. "If you're ever going to hope to get out of this, get back inside." The agent's blue eyes pierce down at the former thief. One by one, the rest of the detainees struggle in the cold to run around the barracks, over and over again. "It's all up to you. You can help your fellow prisoners or you can be selfish and stay here forever."

Once again, Baker turns her back on the other woman and claps her hands twice as the first of the collared evolved makes it around the corner. "That's ONE!! Nineteen to go! Move it!! Move it!!" Who is she encouraging, Daphne or the others?

"Really? Cause I thought I was an evolved human. Weird." Daphne doesn't particularly like the sight of that boot, even if she's sitting up and not completely pathetic on the ground. Still, the cock of her head at the agent is decidedly full of attitude. "Hmm. Let me think. If I want to get out… get back inside. There's something backwards about that and I've just about got my finger on it." This would be the perfect interval for showing exactly which finger the speedster is talking about, but she declines. Her fingers are laced too tightly around her knees, keeping them in place while they attempt to buckle inwards.

She lowers her gaze to the horizon to watch the parade of other prisoners come into sight with not even a blip on the guilt meter. "Yeah. Fairly certain that decision boat has sailed. But I like your gutso, Urgayle."

"Obviously, you're just not getting it, are you Millbrook?" Cody either refuses to acknowledge that the other woman has a name or she doesn't know it. Squatting right in front of her, Cody reaches out and grips the hurt leg, her fingers wrapping around the bullet wound but not pressing against it. "You don't have a choice in this. You can either help your fellow inmates out, or you can suffer along with them. I can't make you run, but I can make you scream like a little girl." And with that, the soldier squeezes hard for a brief moment.

"Millbrook doesn't care if you guys die out here tonight!!" Cody shouts to a few passing prisoners, all of whom pause to look at the pair. "So the next one around the barracks gets to poke her along to get her to cooperate!!" The agent lets go of the poor wounded leg at that point and stands. Turning to the other detainees, she takes stock of faces. Who knows if they'll lag in order to save the crippled woman some humiliation.

The instant there's movement towards her legs, Daphne attempts to squirm. But this for her is just planting her hands in the mud behind her and scooting backwards, so it does very little to prevent the grabbing of her wound. Cody's sure to feel how everything does a vague, damaged impression of tensing. She sits only in complete anticipation of what the woman will do next to cause pain. The pressure has her biting down on her lip hard, but still a humming groan of complaint escapes into the air.

Her leg turns inwards, the light spasm passing through it and to Daphne's upper body, squelching her fingers further into the mud where she's planted them on the ground. But even through this demonstration, the chin bucks up and she scowls full-tilt at Cody like only an unruly teenager being asked to clean their room can. "My own mother couldn't get me to try. Fat chance on you, Urgayle." The message might stick if her gaze didn't flutter downwards at the mention of said mother.

The urge to quote is almost beyond the agent's ability to squelch, but she manages, with a tight lipped smirk. "Your choice, Millbrook. Too bad, I thought you were made of better stuff than this." Then Cody just walks away from the woman in order to concentrate on the other inmates. The first one around the corner is given two claps and ordered inside to the showers. The second one is pointed over to the crippled woman and told to wait. The third one, again to the showers. The rest? Well they were too slow to get a medal so they get to keep running.

"Nash!" Baker calls to the prisoner beside Daphne, "Stand her up and start walking her around the barracks. She's going to join in the fun." Taking a bandana from her back pocket, Cody folds it into a thin rectangle.

"Yeah, well, so did I… and here I am," again with the muttering, after the woman's walked off this time. While the running is being paid attention to by the other — Daphne's yet to really look straight at anyone able to use their legs for this purpose — the former speedster pulls one hand up to push her hair out of her face then uses that hand for balance near her hips as she drags herself to a higher seated position.

The sight of company has her halting any movement, and the sound of what he's apparently supposed to do earns him a death glare that could poison someone. "I notice you like to switch your views to benefit your own agenda," she raises her voice to the agent, though the deadly staring contest with Nash isn't broken throughout. "We all have choices, oh, but I don't have a choice, oh now I have a choice. You should try writing it down sometime."

As commanded, Hash picks Daphne up and supports her under one arm so that they stand side by side. "You have a choice to cooperate, or to sit and cry like a spoiled baby. You don't have a choice whether you'll get up off your ass and do something." Cody says as she lashes Nash and Daphne's legs together like they were about to participate in a three legged race. When she finally stands again, she smiles at the pair and points them in the direction that the others are running in. "Twenty laps, if you're lucky, you'll finish before I get tired. Chop chop."

When Nash protests, Baker holds up her hand. "You're right, you were second in the little race… Too bad you weren't good enough for first or smart enough for third. Now get running." With the way they are lashed together, they either have to cooperate, or they will fall in the mud quite frequently. "Get a move on people! Those showers aren't getting any hotter!!"

At the physical hustling, the feel of someone strong-arming her into standing completely against her will, Daphne's brave facade breaks momentarily into the humiliation this really means. Her face scrunched in a combination of this and the pain of her condition, she has no more needling stare for the unfortunate Nash. As soon as she's righted, there's little to no improvement on the legs front. Without braces to help force them into a normal shape, her knees bend completely inward. Little of her own positioning to try and master balance helps, and the lashing to Nash as support actually seems to be a good deal. Perhaps some of that posturing was a cover for a truth more demeaning than cooperation.

But it's still going. "You know what—" Once she's been hefted like a tiny sack of meat, "Screw you. I've taken my punishment, and it's being here. Beyond that is everyone else's problem. Oh, also, you totally just said I had the choice to sit and cry but then I didn't have a choice about getting up off my ass. Do you, I don't know, listen to yourself when you talk?"

"You could have dragged yourself back into the barracks. Your legs might not work the way you want them to, but your arms sure as hell do." Cody says, there's absolutely no sympathy in her voice. "You could have wheeled yourself out to the common room with the rest and had something different, but you decided to pout in bed. Now you get to run around the barracks until Nash falls over from exhaustion or you finally admit that you can do more than lay down and take it like a dog." Cody is definitely not the hero anyone asked for, she's something worse, and probably the only one these people have.

If some deep down part of Daphne still cares for or believes in heroes… it'd have a few words to say about putting Cody in that definition. As it is, she stays quiet on that front. The only one that really matters, as Nash struggles to complete his assignment attached to virtual dead weight is her muttered, "That relies a bit too much on me wanting to."

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