2010-02-21: Zero Eight Hundred Hours

Starring:

Erin_V4icon.pngJanet_V4icon.png

Guest Starring:

Morris_V4icon.png

Date: February 21, 2010

Summary:


"Zero Eight Hundred Hours"

Building 27 — Governor's Island

No one can go through what Erin just did and remain unchanged it some way. Granted, compared to what some people have faced, Erin's torment was minor, but when you've lived most of your life in a pretty good approximation of luxury, even little things can affect a person in big ways. The silence in the cell is more deafening than the noise was, and so she's been talking to herself for the past few hours since the ordeal ended, just so there's something to listen to. At least she hasn't come out of this a gibbering maniac, which is good. She actually appears wholly sane - except for the talking.

She also looks tired and sicker than she was a day ago.

"No, Kenneth, it's a bad idea. What's a bad idea? What do you think, going to Craven's hill in the middle of the night. But that's where we can find a way to help you. No, you don't understand, I like being able to help people. You were helping people before— Not like this. This is what I was meant to do. How— How can you say that? Don't you love me anymore now that I'm a were-porcupine? — "

The dialogue goes on and on and on.

Morris and Janet pad down the empty grey hallways of the Alpha Protocol on Dr. McCarty's rounds. She's not supposed to see her sister, and Agent Timothy Morris knows this, but he's feeling less structured these days, albeit his unstructured is most peoples rigid, but Janet takes what she gets.

"I bet you didn't even know I like superman ice cream! Seriously, it's amazing — all of the colours. It's like… eating the rainbow," she explains as the pair pad from one cell to the next.

Agent Morris looks at her a moment and for just a second a smile flickers over his lips. It lasts a second and nothing more before his gaze flits to a cell the pair know that Janet isn't supposed to be in. He clears his throat and warns, "No talking."

"Aye, aye Mon Capitaine," she responds with a sigh before the cell door opens. Morris lingers in the doorway as Dr. McCarty enters the room. She tilts her head at Erin questioningly; Erin looks miserably. Deathly, even. Pressing her lips together, she carefully pads up to her sister as she plugs her stethescope into her ears and pads forward to listen to Erin's chest.

"…don't think that's the way to the hill. I don't care. This is the way we're going— "

Erin stops for a moment, looking up as Janet enters, then she starts up again, looking away, at the same spot on the floor she's been staring at for hours. It doesn't blink or flash or make her have a seizure.
Erin doesn't recommend seizures. They kind of suck.

"…because it's the best way to get what we need. I don't think you're even paying attention to me anymore. Would you stop whining like a little bitch and follow me already? Fine, but I hear you're in for some torture if you go down that way…" This is where she deviates from the script entirely. She doesn't know if Janet will get it, but Erin's letting her know what happened - subtly. Chances are, most of the people here have never watched Afterlife and have no idea what Erin's even talking about.

Erin's heart is hammering. It's like she's just run a marathon or something. It shouldn't be that fast when she's been sitting in a chair all day. She's also noticably very warm to the touch.

"Did you hear that? What. Noises. Sounded like screaming. Flashing lights coming from over that way. Don't investigate. You won't like what you find. You know what's there? No, but I don't want to find out…"

Unlike many of the people in this place, Erin's sister watches Afterlife. Religiously. She adores Erin and has been keeping tabs on her for years, even if she mocks her sister's occupation some, it's admirable. Janet twitches. The word sticks with her. Torture. Scripted or not, she purses her lips together. This isn't good. She removes the stethoscope and openly frowns. Erin needs to know this isn't good. Her eyes reflect her upset. Erin isn't healthy; far from it. Her body isn't fighting the virus it contains and now, her fatigue won't allow her to bounce back. Between the depressing place that is building 27, the circumstance Erin finds herself in, and her current illness, her chances of recovery are slim. Janet raises a hand to her forehead — her one real tell. It's her desperate measure move.

Her sister's fever has peaked. She looks very very sick. Pressing her lips together she reaches for Erin's wrists to look them over and see how the bruising is healing. If at all.

The bruising isn't healing, but it isn't any worse, either. She's had no reason to pull on the chains.

She stops speaking as she meets Janet's eyes, so the guards won't think she's talking to her sister. Her gaze is almost dull now, distracted, disinterested, and her eyes seem to move without her intending them to. She can't hold her sister's stare for more than a few seconds at a time.
Well, crap, Erin thinks to herself. THAT look is never good.

She looks away, back to the floor. It's been too quiet for too long. "You don't even know where we're going, do you?" A real line from the show. "Let's just get it over with, Ken. There's no reason to prolong it anymore. Just… get it over with." …Not a line from the show. At all. Not even close. She goes on, picking up on scripted lines where she left off. "We don't know what we'll find there. It's okay, I'll be with you. I think there's something waiting at the gate…"

And on, and on.

The only time Erin stops is when she has to cough, and that happens often. Here and there, she sneezes, too. Her voice is barely audible anymore… She can't even remember if she spent any time during those sixteen hours of hell screaming or not. Sometimes she thinks she did. Other times, she's sure she didn't.

"And what happens if we're caught?" A scripted line, which is followed by a non-scripted line. "If something goes wrong, just remember that I love you."

Janet's face turns pink as tears well in her hazel eyes. She blinks them back as hard as she can. Erin is asking her to do it: follow the dream and kill her. Biting her bottom lip, she successfully suppresses the sob that threatens to come out of her mouth. Instead, she takes a deep breath and reaches over to give Erin's shoulder a squeeze before running her fingers through Erin's hair. It's an affectionate touch, representative of her love, she's saying it in her own way.

Somewhat unsure, she reaches into her bag and extracts an already prepared syringe. She'd had it in her mind earlier that if it came down to it, she would help her sister. And Erin looks a mess. Janet arches her eyebrows as her eyes flit to the syringe. She's asking. She'd done it in a dream, but Erin had talked to her. Now it's real life. Does Erin want this? She is dying; Janet knows this, but is this the solution to their problem?

Erin continues spouting lines from the show, her voice wavering as she considers the implications of asking her sister to kill her. It's… necessary. She already promised she'd help one of the agents here in their lab… And despite her forced ignorance, she knows that he wants to make her create a virus. It's just not worth the freedom.

Plus - and this was the big deciding factor - he's going to make her wear a collar.

Vanity has a way of tempering peoples' resolve. Erin does not want to have to wear a collar. That alone was the deal-breaker.

The world remains safe for another day, and Erin doesn't have to live this nightmare anymore.

She keeps talking, but her eyes slowly close, and open. They're watery. Not crying, but close. This time, she doesn't answer in words, but in a very tiny nod of her head.

She's just condemned herself. It's oddly peaceful, which isn't something Erin thought she'd feel when she looked at her own mortality through a microscope.

Even then, she keeps saying lines from the show, finally culminating with one line: "See you on the other side." It's a line from Afterlife. But it also has meaning. And after that, Erin falls silent.

Janet blinks slowly as she sniffles. A glance is given to the door; Agent Morris gives her a nod before he states, "Dr. McCarty we need to continue with rounds." It's not mean or impatient, it's a gentle reminder that she can't linger; she needs to make a decision here. Biting her lip she leans over Erin and injects her sister with the clear fluid contained in her syringe.

She nods at the statement. And mouths the words, "I love you," before she squeezes Erin's shoulder again. Slowly she backs up and closes her eyes. What has she done? What will this mean? And what penance will she need to do to make up for it?

Morris motions for the doctor to follow him out of the hall. "Dr. McCarty, more patients to take care of. We need to get to room twelve, he needs his medication again."

Janet nods and sighs following Morris. She'll weep about this later.

It's not long at all.

Erin didn't expect it would be, though. It wasn't in the dream, after all. Still, it seems like forever until it starts kicking in. She tries not to be afraid, but she can't help it.

It would have been nice to get some more time with her family, now that she's wised up a little bit. Still, the important part is that she at least got to make up with Janny.

Her thoughts become sluggish as the drug takes hold. It's ever so much more powerful than a sedative. It's as if she can feel herself shutting down. Fascinating and terrifying.

Janet had to close her eyes in the dream. She doesn't want that to have to happen, so she closes her eyes. That allows the sleepiness in… hours of having no rest have caught up with her.

Thump. Thump. … Thump…" Her heart slows.

… … … Thrum. …. Thrum. … … …"

Nothing.

The monitors watching Erin's heartbeat draws a single doctor into the room. Dr. MacArthur reaches his patient immediately and touches her skin. He walks to the back wall and pushes a red button, alerting the medical staff that his patient hasn't a pulse. He does chest compressions and has Nurse Wallace give the patient oxygen through a mask for a good half hour to no avail.

After half an hour with no response, he finally turns to Wallace and shakes his head, backing up from his patient. "I'm calling it." Pursing his lips he finally says, "Time of death; 08:00 hours." He glances at the body, "Alert the staff and have her taken to the morgue. I'll consult with our superiors, it might be for the best Dr. McCarty doesn't know. She'd tell the WHO about this for certain…" That said, the doctor removes his gloves and exits the cell. "Another one bites the dust," he murmurs before disappearing down the hall.

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