Come Out - Part 1


elle_icon.gif niki_icon.gif

Scene Title Come Out - Part 1
Synopsis In her not-so-subtle way, Elle tries to coax Jessica out of hiding.
Date September 14, 2008

Primatech Research, Cell Block A

Level 5. Niki Sanders is where she's been all along. She's laying on the bed, on her side, staring at the wall. Or staring in the direction of the wall. She doesn't really look like she's looking at anything, particularly. Her food lies near the door; she's gone an entire day without it now, the trays lying there untouched.

Level 5 indeed - to Niki, it might not make a huge difference what cell she's living in, since they're aesthetically not much different from each other. The one important difference here, in fact, happens to be that There Is No Adam in the adjacent cell. Furnishings are as bare and sanitary as ever. It's no wonder its sole occupant hasn't found a lot to do.

That's about to change. Just because Mr. Monroe is gone doesn't mean there won't be further sources of provocation - as Niki is about to find out. Without knocking, there comes the (by now) familiar sound of a lock being undone. Elle is visible a moment later as she slips into the doorframe, dressed in her blue scoop-neck shirt and dark jeans. Though her eyes fall on Niki right away, she doesn't speak at first - simply leans, a very small smile on her face, gauging to see how long it takes for the other woman to notice she has company.

Niki doesn't bother to respond for a very long time. Whether she even notices Elle seems in debate, but finally after a very long moment she asks "What do you want?" She hasn't even bothered to look over to see who it is; just addressing the comment to the person in general.

Just as Niki doesn’t move, Elle doesn’t move from her position, either, though a thoughtful expression touches her eyes as they become more scrutinizing. “You haven’t eaten your food,” she observes matter-of-factly, flickering her gaze to those untouched food trays for a fraction of a second.

The other woman replies "No. I haven't." She doesn't say anything else, just looking at the wall. "There's no point to it. Just leave me alone." She hasn't yet once looked at Elle.

After a second or more of lingering, Elle finally does slip off the doorframe to stalk further into the room. No mention of why she's here yet, though she's working to steer the conversation that way. "You'll die if you don't," she offers. How obvious. Thank you, Elle. "You think doing a Mary-Kate's going to help once you're out of here? You don't want /that/ to be the first thing your husband sees, do you?"

Niki is again silent a long moment. "…good." is what she finally says in answer to Elle's statement. "It's what I deserve. I'm not going to see D.L. again. Or anyone again. I'm just going to be here. Till the end."

None of that, now. When it’s clear no further response is coming to her question, Elle makes a move to seat herself at the foot of Niki’s bed. She extends a forearm over the top of Niki’s feet, letting her head lean towards that shoulder as her eyes continue to softly watch the woman’s face. “Niki,” she says earnestly, finally. “We /can/ help you. We can help you never see Jessica again. But you have to want it.”

That finally at least gets her to look down at Elle. Niki looks down to her, and looks about at the room, divested of reflective surfaces. "You don't understand. The things that I've done…that she's done…it's too much to make up for, whether or not she ever shows up again." She sits up, slowly, sorely.

Elle moves her arm as Niki does. Just a little, so it's not arcing over her toes so much. Her voice is still relaxed, her eyes still sincere. "Hey - I've done my share of things, too, but I'm not letting it eat up my life. Difference with /you/ is it's not your fault, so much. Jessica's not you. Getting rid of her'll be a step towards getting your life back."

Niki frowns. "There's no way to be sure that we can get rid of her. They -tried- that." When she was in prison. "It's dangerous to anyone just to even try it. I should just be kept in here."

“/They/ haven’t ever had to deal with people like us,” Elle informs coolly. ‘Us’ is used in the sense that they’re both, well, special flakes; it’s Niki’s first hint that she’s not the only person in the room with powers. “Oh, I know how dangerous it is. Trust me when I tell you I can take care of myself.”

Yeah, Niki sort of missed the electric ouch that happened earlier. She considers Elle a moment. "But unless you're the only person around, it's dangerous to more than just you. Jessica can tear someone apart in a heartbeat. And abilities or no, she can kill people without them.

This is very true. As though Elle had read into Niki’s mind: “We’ve taken away your abilities so you won’t be able to punch through things. You’ve probably noticed that already.” She shrugs. “—If we don’t try, Jessica will be a danger to everyone /anyway/. At least here, we’re equipped to deal with this sort of thing.”

Niki hesitates a moment, and then says "All right. If we assume that this is a good idea. And I'm not saying it is, but IF we say it is…how do we even go about any of it? Psychologists have TRIED."

Elle fixes Niki with a look more evocative than any other she’d given so far, her blue eyes searching and calm. “Yeah - you’re not going to like it when I say this. We have to try and bring her out. To see what sets her off.” Déjà vu, any?

Niki's eyes widen. "No. NO. That's exactly what we DON'T want to do. That is a bad idea." She looks to Elle as if she's insane. "IF you succeed then the only thing you've gotten to do is bring her out, and that's the opposite of the goal."

“No. Like I said, it’d be to see what…sets her off.” As she finishes this repetition, Elle looks towards her own hands with a quirk of a smile, her last words elongating as through she’s distracted. A bzzt of static is audible in the quiet room; between thumb and pinky is stretched a perfect, thin line of electricity. “If we fail and you’re stuck there? Well, /you’re/ the one who wanted to be locked up forever.”

Niki looks at the electricity. Well, there's proof of Adam's earlier claim. She considers the line, and looks at the blue arc, before finally looking back to Elle's face. "Then make me a promise. If you do bring her out…and if I don't come back out, or can't…kill us. Don't let her hurt anyone else. -Promise- me."

It takes a moment for Elle to find the words for a reply, letting her glance lock with Niki's. "I can't promise that," she says at last, letting the streak melt away into her palm. Zzt. "My dad would /kill/ me if he found out I'd killed you without his permission. But I do promise I won't let her hurt anyone." The smile, though still tiny, takes on an attempt to be at once casual and reassuring.

Niki looks back. "Promise." she repeats. "Or I'm not going to cooperate. I'm not taking the risk of her killing more people." She looks resolute; this is the most passion she's shown about anything since coming out.

Well. Nobody ever said Elle had to /keep/ her promises. "Fine." It's a sigh, and a short one.

Before Niki can speak again, Elle's eyes flash up towards Niki's again, dark. "You do know, of course, that I'm going to have to use electricity on you for this to work. It's a self-defense thing - and all that."

Niki hesitates at that. Her body still hurts from Elle's electric shock the other day. But finally she nods. "All right." she says. "What do you need me to do?"

"If it's any consolation, I'll try not to hurt you if I can help it." This is accompanied by a slightly pondering hum; this may or may not have been truthful, though it certainly sounded like it. As far as what Elle needs Niki to do? "—/Move/!"

Without any warning - up to this moment, Elle had been sitting exactly in the lazy position she'd been slouched in - a ray of electricity ZZZRAKs out of her extended palm as though beamed from a laser gun, leaving a black burnmark on the wall by Niki's head.

Niki lets out a gasp of surprise, before ducking to the side. "What in the hell are you doing?!" She might have been expecting pain, but not expecting to have laser blasts or the equivalent coming at her.

“I said /move it/!” It’s pretty difficult to dodge bolts of electricity. Elle is specifically aiming to /not/ hit Niki, keeping in line with her own promise, though unexpected movements make that particularly difficult to time. This time, the line of the blast explodes violently towards Niki’s left, a hair-breadth away. Wall or you? Make up your mind – quick.

Niki stares at Elle, gasping, and then self-preservation wins out. The taller blonde runs, heading for the door. It looks like she doesn't want to die -that- badly.

Oh /what/, no. Can't have that happening. Niki may have had a head start on Elle, but the counteraction promptly comes in the form of another bolt that ZZTs on past right over her head - which, with any luck, will force the other blonde to pause and duck. Elle adds a few vocal interjections as she advances, hoping to have the effect of a taunt.

"You've been running your entire life, Niki. What's the problem? Coward? /Defend yourself, dammit/."

Sure enough, Niki does, indeed, duck and pause when electricity goes searing by her head. Niki's not much of a fighter. But she does, indeed, make a run for Elle. She has no other choice. But she lacks the skills Jessica has; Niki is untrained and amateurish.

At this point, the room is going to look like something blasted it full of craters. But contrary to expectation, Elle doesn't let out another bolt of electricity, instead choosing to physically react to the attempted run.

Bad choice - though it might be that she'd chosen it on purpose, or she had under-anticipated. Niki does have long legs. The end of is it that Elle goes crashing to the floor with a /gasp/ as Niki's lands on top of her, hair wildly obscuring her face. Her elbows pay the price, one landing with a sick thud.

Niki tries to use her superior height and position to her advantage, trying to grab Elle's wrists and pin them to the ground. "What are you DOING?! You're supposed to be trying to bring Jessica out, not trying to -kill- me!"

It works. Elle looks at the same time calm and wild as she's pinned, waiting for a second to resume struggling. Dull pain flows through that elbow, still trapped beneath the rest of her arm. "…Jessica comes out when you're in trouble. Supposed to."

Which might be the issue. With Niki knowing on some level that this -is- a test…she knows that she's not really in trouble. Or she thinks so. "Find another way. I'm not here to be a shooting target!" She slowly lets Elle's wrists go.

Ohemgee. Elle winces hard, still lying on her back; her funny bone's been hit x1000. She grabs for Niki's wrist as soon as her own is let go, seeking to drive a small but very painful current through the taller woman's body if she succeeds in connecting.

Are you sure the little blonde's not willing to hurt you?

Time to take the test one step further.

September 14th: Not a Job Interview

Previously in this storyline…
Not the Doctor

Next in this storyline…
Come Out - Part Two

September 14th: Come Out - Part 2
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