Blood And Metal

Participants:

everleigh_icon.gif shane_icon.gif

Scene Title Blood and Metal
Synopsis Revisiting a childhood haunt leads to Shane and Everleigh investigating an accident.
Date January 31, 2020

A beach near NYC


If there's a flashback, it's all playing inside their heads. Visiting this site? It's been a long time. Long years in the past, this beach. And now? It's just destroyed. Those memories from their teenage years, in wreckage.

It looks like the whole of this part of the coast just fell into the sea. Who knows what it was hit with. Shane didn't expect it; he released a soft thick breath of sound, sitting down hard on the upper bluff of sand. It used to be a wharf busy with shops. Dreams were made here. Laughter, friendship. In the shape of a cherry coke float and a race on the beach to a teenage bonfire.

He hadn't really thought about what the war did to this particular memory. One of those things just packed away tightly in the past, safe and sound, idyllic in it's perfection kept by unchanging remembrance.

"It's gone," Shane says quietly.

"They say time heals all wounds, but it certainly does a number on everything else…"

Everleigh's arms are folded over her chest, though it's a relaxed position as she observes the lack of a place that once existed. While he sits down, she doesn't join him. Not right away. She stands nearby, reachable but still not giving in to the feeling of the place being gone. "These things tend to be a constant reminder that things change. We might not want it, we might have preferred things a different way, but they always, always change." She nudges him with the toe of her shoe. "You alright there, Mulder?"

Mulder doesn't stand yet, he looks around near his feet, at the sand. There's something else. He lifts one hand a little bit in a 'hold on a moment' gesture, and slides down the dune a little more, on his feet and partially on a thigh. He looks around them, his expression intent.

It's been a while, but the look is familiar, a echo of old times when Shane the Investigator was Mulder-ing at something. This is just a very official breed of it from the adult man, that has spent many years investigating very real things. "Just a minute, I almost have my finger on it," Shane says quietly.

The slide down gets a bit of an eyebrow and Everleigh steps forward to watch him, unsure if she's willing to follow him down. He is, however, the investigator. She's the people person. If he's trying to solve something, she's more than willing to let him—especially if it's personal. "You know, I kind of thought when we were younger that we'd come back, years later, and the place would be abandoned. One of those creepy places that you see on shows where it's like everyone just got up and never came back."

She sticks the toe of her shoe into the sand a bit, watching it before she looks back in his direction. Against her better judgement, she moves to sit so she can slide a bit down after him. She's unfortunately not as graceful, but arrives at her destination with no actual problems in the process. She just certainly looked shaky.

"Something's wrong. I can't explain it," Shane says, quietly, looking at her sideways. "Stay right here, a minute. I've got flashlights in the car," he adds, moving a hand to attempt to touch her knee once with a few fingers: a slight warning motion. He doesn't think it's unsafe, but he wants her to keep an eye out.

"I need to look around here, and it's getting too dark. I'll be right back." Shane stands, and as he climbs back up the dune, he walks in his own footsteps, disappearing back to go back to the trunk of the car….

Everleigh stays put. Perhaps he's trying to indicate to be careful and that things are fine, but she's already suspiciously looking about. While she doesn't move from her location (that was a silent promise she wasn't planning on breaking), she's certainly trying to get a sense of whatever he was feeling. But whatever investigator senses were tingling, they certainly weren't raising the alarm for her.

Here, she just sees the graveyard of a memory. An event that can no longer live on in a place has to live on in their memories, a place where things often become faulty. Memories change over time, though she's not about to preach about something somewhat depressing to someone already mourning the loss of something from his childhood. She stays put, but silence wasn't something she'd made any promises about.

"I swear, if this is some kind of weird elaborate prank you're about to pull you're going to owe me lunch for a month." She pauses. "No, I've decided two. Two months."

"No. Here." Shane gives over the second flashlight while he swaps the other into his hand, and pans it over the dune. "There's some back where I was, too. Torn up ground. I've seen too many car accidents with these ripped up trails to not recognize it. This is recent, too. Come on," Shane invites her, focused on the item at hand. He heads down the dune finally, passing his light around, down into the mess of broken buildings, debris, overgrown turf.

"Here, see this long scratch?" Shane says, panning his light down a flung guardrail. "That was up there. This is all new damage, this wood here just broke." He indicates it with his light, and then looks around, and continues down. The footing is getting problematic, though, it isn't very safe, but Shane's quick and agile, moving with confidence.

It's a real Mulder-Scully investigation! Everleigh takes the flashlight, switching it on and aiming the beam of light along the scratch he indicated. Her eyes scan the damage before she breathes in deeply. If he's implying that maybe there was an accident recently, there could be the scent of smoke or rubber near it. It'd be a good indicator. She probably wouldn't have noticed the scratches otherwise, but now that she knows what she's looking for she's already carefully trying to move about nearby to see if she can shine her light on anything that might indicate what happened.

"You don't think that there's still someone…" She trails off, not finishing her sentence. They don't know how long ago the accident was—it was entirely conceivable that there was indeed someone trapped nearby.

She's with an investigator. This is what Shane /does/. And he's willing to talk her through it as they follow the trail. "The sand had blown over most of what the tracks would have been if a car passed by, but it's pretty windy out here. I'm guessing maybe ninety minutes, give or take an hour," Shane observes, as he continues on ahead. There's a ripped out piece of some fallen scaffolding, which makes it easy to then come to the edge of where some trashed buildings are, and look down.

One of the shops' floors has fallen inward, down the embankment, and lodged down in it… is indeed a car, smashed, and partially rolled. Shane releases a firm expletive, and begins to look for the best way down. "I don't see tracks out, those doors are shut - they are probably in there." He also calls it in, quickly, while scanning visually, and giving Everleigh a concerned but firm look.

There's a reason Everleigh got into the field she did—it involved living people whose damage was psychological, not physical. She could sit in a chair and talk through whatever situation to work on restoring things to a better level. Investigating a situation where people could be hurt, potentially dead? This was not exactly her expertise. She catches his look, internalizing it. He needs her help and she always found it hard to turn down that kind of request.

"Alright," she says slowly. "How are we going to get them out of there, then?"

Shane finishes calling it in, and texts her the contact number he called. "I think I have to go down there. If, ha ha, something happens, you've got a number to call," Shane says, moving along the edge of the small collapse restlessly, panning with his flashlight, unwilling to just do nothing, very clearly. He's looking for a way down, in a very thorough way: he isn't hugely agitated, there's an analysis here.

"I have to at least see if we have anyone alive," Shane clarifies. How much of a rush is the situation. He looks around further for something to use. "This doesn't look too bad, I think I can get down along that way." But then he checks on her. "All right?" He doesn't want her to panic or be too stressed. His look shows confidence, though.

"You can't just…" Everleigh starts to protest, but she trails off, unsure. What did she expect him to do? Of course he was going to. "You'd better not make me have to call. What am I going to say? 'Yeah, my best friend played hero and now I don't even know why he's not responding, sure, I'll hold'." Expecting her not to be stressed was an impossible task. Panicking however, was something she could control. So long as she was an observer, as long as danger wasn't right in her face, she could mostly keep her cool.

Sometimes, though, danger gets pretty close and it's very hard. She's hoping he's got it together enough to keep himself from somehow getting hurt. "Alright, just keep talking when you can. The sound of your voice may also alert anyone inside to your presence and it may allow them to signal for help." Sure, it's entirely for the passengers.

"I've done this before, Scully," Shane assures her, moving back past her and attempting to squeeze her shoulder on his way by. And then he's already doing it, right down into the thick of things, by snaring a piece of outcropped wood, lowering his body slowly over it with care, and then carefully dropping down about six feet. He lands evenly, careful. He doesn't weigh much, and doesn't disturb the area next to the car by landing. He continues to climb down towards the front, using a hand to grip the upper ledge of the car's roof, as he tries to get a look inside.

"Anyone there? Call out. Help's coming," Shane calls, squinting, trying to bend to see inside the broken window. His weight moves slowly and cautiously along the wood next to the car, inching, and the whole car tilts and moves. Shane freezes, cautious now, but still trying to see inside. "Hello? Anyone alive in there?"

"Yeah, yeah, you're an old pro. Not your first rodeo and all. It's just easier when I don't have to see!" Everleigh is calm, however. Nothing's going to jump out and scare her, it isn't a horror film. Seeing someone needing to be rescued from a car feels a little more like the war than she'd like, but she's just the one on the sidelines, ready to be an extra pair of hands at this point.

Hearing his voice calling out to whomever might still be in the car is a bit of a relief. It lets her know he's still doing fine and also lets her know what he's doing. Her eyes scan the car as he seems to have wiggled it a touch. Nope, still calm. Nothing has happened, so there's no need to panic. She wipes her sweaty palms on the bottom of her shirt, passing her flashlight from hand to hand.

"Hello? Hang on," Shane yells into the car. He moves slowly down the end, trying to manipulate the door open, rushing now, trying to hurry, very obviously. "Shine that light on my hands, will you?" Shane yells upwards, trying to work on leveraging the door open with the handle. It's jammed. Instead, he turns, pulling off his sweatshirt, and uses it to guard the side of the remaining glass, working to kick the pieces of the glass out of the way without hurting himself.

On the final kick, everything gives way. The car falls, Shane falls, the debris falls, in a tangle of sudden lurching movement.

Everleigh aims the flashlight so he can have a better look at what he's doing, but of course that means she's got a great view when the car gives way. "Shane!" She's bothering with his real name this time. It's enough of an emergency. Now is when the panic starts. Her instincts scream to do what she would do in the same situation with someone else: call the number he gave her and stay back.

But it's not someone else, it's Shane. She's very unsure of what she's doing as she suddenly finds herself cautiously approaching. It's extremely counter to everything her mind and her body are screaming at her. Nausea is even fought down as she edges closer, not certain if she risks making it worse if she bumps anything. "Shane, you'd better fucking say something right now or I swear I'll do something really stupid."

The sounds continue, some cracking, as additional debris shifts from the heavy weight of the leaning car. The flashlight beam pans around but doesn't find much beyond the taillights of the car, lighted up reflective from the flashlight amidst clouds of sandy dust that got flung up from the lurch of the car down further.

Everleigh swears several times under her breath. She swallows hard, her flashlight still scanning for some sign, any sign, of what's going on. What was it she had suggested earlier? If he continued to talk, perhaps someone would hear him and alert him to their presence. So, in this case, she takes her own advice. "Alright, I gave you one chance. I'm going to do something really stupid and there's no one at all here to stop me."

Right now, that even includes herself. She creeps closer, her bravery not an all-encompassing thing. It's cautious, but certainly there. She's trying to get a better view, searching carefully for a sign of him, the flashlight's beam shining through the dust. "Come on, just say something! Or groan, I'll accept a really pathetic groan right now."

There's a creak, another. But under that, some coughing, sounds of life. "Scully?" yells Shane from below. More coughing.

Then, "I'm okay. Bruised and stuck under this door, but I'm okay. I can see the driver; he didn't survive," Shane calls up from where he is, voice sounding far, too far, really, away. "I'm okay, I—-"

That's when his voice is drowned by the sounds coming from the car, and the light of the fire coming from the hood makes the flashlight really irrelevant.

The sound of his voice is far more comforting than Everleigh expected, though it doesn't quite wash away the sick feeling in her gut she gets from being this close to the wrecked car. "Your definition of okay is questionable, Mulder!" The nickname's back with her assurance that he's not dead… and then that's a mistake she quickly corrects.

"Shane, get out of there! I know you said you were trapped and whatever but there's fire and I can't find you."

That's the worst part—even if she could overcome the fear even moreso than she has, she's relatively helpless. Getting to him seemed some kind of impossible feat, and should she get there, how would she manage to get him out from under that door? The inability to help was eating away at her and she struggled to find something she could do, anything to make the situation easier. Her flashlight still searches, even with the fire there, trying to find something that could help.

"Get out!" She screams in the direction she heard him in.

Metal screams as it's bent and heated, electrical sparks flutter, and the fire grows worse, with a small explosion under the hood, and increasing flame as the gas ignites. It's just a horror of smoke and flame down there now, impossible to see much of anything at all…

Everleigh makes a noise that sounds like a combination of a scream and a yelp, unable to keep herself from taking a half-step back. Keep talking, she thinks. "I told you not to make me call that damn number! I told you!" The fact that there's low visibility is making it worse—it's entirely removed the chance that she might be able to see him escaping.

She does make good on her threat. Pulling her phone from her pocket, she selects the number he'd sent her, quickly tapping the screen to call. She's not even sure whomever's on the other end could even help at this point, especially if they aren't here immediately. "Come on, come on. This is not how X-Files ends."

Shane and his orange.

It's the orange that shows up. On the side of the fire, Shane's there, his orange shirt apparent against the dark rubbish he's laying against. Even at this distance there's some clear injury, some red there, darkened from the fading light, shiny to the channel of her flashlight. Still, he must have moved himself there at least partially, but he's non-responsive, the thick smoke a possible culprit there, if he's breathed in too much of it.

Behind Everleigh, though, are sounds of the approaching aid that Shane had originally called for. The cavalry…

Sure, the cavalry was arriving, but in Everleigh's eyes they weren't here fast enough. She doesn't bother hitting the button to even end the call, shoving it into her pocket again as she quickly bridges the distance between Shane and herself—regardless of any hazards that stand in her way. She navigates them a little hap-hazardly, but soon makes it over to him. Kneeling down, she's already checking to make sure he's breathing and has a pulse. She can do that for him at least.

His burns she can't do anything for. She'll have to wait for someone else to take care of those. Instead, she simply monitors to make sure he's living and as alright as he can be for the situation he's in. She clutches his hand in both of hers. "Dammit Mulder," she mutters, unsure of even what she can say to him right now. It's too hard to think.

"I think," mutters Shane as she comes and hangs onto his hand. Both hands have burns, but one is far less severe. He's a bit too out of it to react much anyway. "My super power is being lucky," he coughs, before passing out.

She's barely aware of the paramedics behind her until they're already working on Shane, and the gentle nudging for her to back off takes a little more effort than perhaps the paramedics would have wanted. Begrudgingly, she backs off out of the way to let them work. She picks up her flashlight, still on, to turn it off. She hesitates for a moment before clicking it off. She once again finds herself in the position of being entirely unable to do anything.

Without any other real choice, Everleigh retreats to where the ambulance is, swatting away anyone trying to hold an actual conversation with her while she moves. There, she waits for them to bring him to the relative safety of the vehicle.

As they bring Shane up, Everleigh is questioned a little — what happened, what were they doing down there, and so forth. Before many of the questions, though, Shane has been brought up fully, and Everleigh gets some news: he's going to be taken for medical treatment, for the burns and to check for anything worse. Whoever was in the car, if they weren't already deceased, they are now. Shane's pretty lucky, considering the fire down there.

Everleigh is aware of how they don't always let someone ride along to the hospital. So instead, she asks where he's being brought before retreating to her own car. It was a boon, in a way. As soon as she's alone in the car, she lets out a deeply held breath. She leans forward, resting her forehead on the steering wheel as she takes a moment to take a moment. It's not until she finally lifts her head several minutes later that she even realizes she's been crying. She scrubs a hand over her eyes and wipes her face with the back of a sleeve before she sucks in a breath and composes herself.

Maybe his ability really was luck.


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