Common Sense Is Debateable


cat_icon.gif elvis_icon.gif ben_icon.gif

Scene Title Common Sense Is Debateable
Synopsis Ben comes to treat Elvis.
Date February 7, 2009

Village Renaissance Building, Fourth Floor Safehouse

Saturday morning, and it's early, maybe not even seven in the morning. Cat is out on the fourth floor of her building, coming round to check on Elvis in the unit she's occupied since Thursday night. She's got one of the disposable phones in hand, and is tapping in digits to contact Ben. Her other hand holds a book on basic medical diagnoses which she's reading from here and there. She slides her keycard into the door of the appropriate unit and opens it, then taps the button to begin the call.

It takes a few rings before Ben picks up; he sounds fuzzy-headed, which is probably no surprise considering how wiped he was last night. "'Ello," he manages. With a yawn.

She's made herself comfortable, Elvis that is. She's curled up on the couch under a blanket and her own jacket, helmet and boots set not far away. She's taken the time to construct tools, because there's not much else she can really do. Laid delicately out on the coffee table is the whole of her lock pick kit, and fresh copies made out of a stash of bogus credit cards she'd been stockpiling for just this purpose.

There's her Mac-11, the Mustang, and loaded mags for both set beyond. Knives and such are laid at the far end, but it doesn't look like she'd been able to clean and touch those up before she passed out.

Walking into the unit, Cat takes a quick look around and stands regarding the young woman when she spots her there on the couch, at the same time as she hears the phone's other end pick up. "Morning, Ben," she offers. "Cat here. I've got a patient for you, needs to be looked at a bit, if you're free."

Her eyes slowly survey Elvis, checking to see what her color looks like, to judge her condition.

Rustling on Ben's end. "Hey. Alright, uh, what happened to him? Or her?" A long snuffle. "Oh, Jesus. Right. And whereabouts are you? I'll be over as fast as I can."

Elvis isn't just pale, she's positively gray by now, save for a slight yellowy undertone to her flesh. For the moment at least, she seems in the midst of a particularly deep sleep. Something she's been doing alot of lately, not that it's ever particularly restful.

"She fell off a bridge the night we cured the Earth of a cancer called Kazimir," Cat answers. "And she needs some serious attention. Might need to involve a doctor in the network. Elvis is gray, with a yellow tinge to her skin." There's a pause. "I'm at a new safehouse in Greenwich Village, 14 East 4th Street, the Village Renaissance building. On the first floor there's a security desk. Go to the first elevator on the left of that, and I'll bring you up. Call back when you're just about to come in so we time it right, please."

"Got it," Ben says. More rustling as he hangs up.

It takes him a while to get over to them, but he's ringing up soon enough, a large duffle bag in hand. He looks tired, but next to Elvis he's like the glowing picture of health.

"Stay on the line," Ben," Cat replies as she exits the unit and takes the elevator to the first floor. Doors open, and she waits for him to step inside so she can go back up. The fourth floor, he will find, is similar to the first floor, except for not having the security desk and holding a total of sixteen units, where the entry floor has just twelve due to space taken by that desk and other functions. The elevator's control panel is open, for access to hidden buttons.

Ben joins Cat in the elevator, bag over his shoulder, and rides on up with her. When he finally gets to see Elvis, he grimaces faintly. "Well, you look like shit," he informs her, unshouldering the bag and setting it down near the young woman. He's never seen someone so close to starved, and somewhere in his mind is a sort of detached curiosity about that. "Does she have any physical conditions I should know about?" This is a polite way of asking if she does crazy Evolved stuff.

The question causes Cat to flash back and call up memory of the meeting where Edward outlined the plan. "She's got crazy strength," she states, "but I think her body chemistry and it don't exactly mesh well." Elvis and Ben are watched carefully, this is a learning experience being committed to flawless memory.

Ben rubs his chin briefly, nodding. "Uh huh. I imagine she was eating pretty regularly before the mission? If it takes it out on her body, she's probably malnourished, which would explain the colouring. I'll have to set up an IV. A very makeshift IV, unless we can move her somewhere else." He glances over at the guns with a flicker of recognition before turning his attention back to the passed out girl. "Were you there when she got fished out? I'm assuming she hit water and not pavement." He opens various containers in his bag, producing a package of sterilized needles, some tubing, some disinfectant, and various things related to intravenous fun.

"I wasn't there," Cat replies. "She called me Thursday night and came here. Said she had flu, and some quack claimed she had cancer. We tried to reach Abby but she's on vacation in Louisiana. "But I wouldn't guess she impacted concrete, the battle was near the middle of Verrazano Narrows bridge. I thought about taking her to a hospital, but I think she might have warrants outstanding, putting her in one probably only leads to trouble."

"Water." comes a quiet, raspy voice. Elvis peers sourly from under her blankets, eyes tracing slowly from Ben to Cat. "I don't have warrants, just other bikers." She sighs heavily. "Who's this guy, Cat? Is he a doctor?" Yes, ignoring Ben directly whilst he's standing right there. Always a class act, that Elvis is.

Ben looks for somewhere suitable to hang the IV bag. "I need to put this somewhere," he murmurs. "Where it can drip." He looks to Elvis, squinting an eye. "I'm Ben. I'm an EMT and I was in my last year of medical school before that. You're in some pretty bad shape, but I think it's fixable. Could you take a couple of deeper breaths for me? You sound a bit off." He looks to Cat, apparently expecting her to do the water thing. As for being ignored, he just kind of takes it in stride and addresses his patient anyway.

There it is, in view a few feet away from Ben. A coatrack. Excellent for hanging the IV bag. "What he said, Elvis," Cat replies as she goes to the kitchen and gets water for the patient.

"Three are broken, and I nicked a lung. Been coughing up blood since I got out of the river, but it ain't bad. I can't keep anything down, I can't eat." She closes her eyes for another low sigh, pushing the blanket off to slide a heavy pair of brass knuckles onto the table. "I don't worry about my lungs, doc. I've had my ass kicked enough to know when it's serious."

"Enh," Ben says, which perhaps is some dubiousness regarding the seriousness of her lungs, but the malnutrition and flu thing's his primary concern. Glancing about, he stands again and makes for the coatrack, setting it up by the couch and slinging the IV bag to dangle from it. "It'll do." That said, he reaches for her arm but doesn't take it. "Arm, please?"

The water glass is handed over when Cat returns, and she resumes observing.

Elvis supplies said arm, which is good. Grabbing Elvis, perhaps especially sick Elvis is rarely a wise decision. Giving her cookies and beer is a very wise decision, so someone should really get moving on that. "Thanks Cat, hand me my cigarettes please?" She sipsips at said water, before passing it aside to set it down on the table.

"Nuh uh," Ben says, fingers probing for a vein. "No smoking. Like a real hospital." Now he might be in trouble. Regardless, he finds a suitable sticking point and swabs it clean.

She defers to Ben's guidance there, opting not to acknowledge hearing Elvis ask for cigarettes. Cat remains a few feet away.

Elvis frowns visibly, her gaze narrowing. "Don't you fuck with me cocksucker, I'll put you in an early grave." Which is about as much venom as she's capable of, because as Ben feels her heartbeat pick up she just passes right out on the spot.

Ben sighs very faintly. "Don't let her have cigarettes," he tells Cat absently, 'cause really. Lung damage! He angles the catheter over the peripheral vein and inserts it; then he joins it to the infusion line. "She's spunky. She'll get through this."

"I'm not one on arguing such things with women who can pick me up and break me in half, but she isn't in her best fighting shape right now, Ben," Cat answers. She watches Elvis return to unconsciousness and focuses on Ben. "This one's a real spitfire. Motorcycles, guns, manufacturing her own goods. Not bad for finding a target and aiming her at it. Told me she got this way tangling with some big guy at Eagle Electric and battling Volken himself on the bridge."

Ben rolls his eyes a little. "Then you can tell her I took her cigarettes. It'll be on my head." He starts taping the line in place. Either he's not taking her seriously or he really doesn't care. "Sounds tough. I won't worry too much about her." He actually smiles faintly.

"She looked like walking crap, to be certain, but if I thought she were really in trouble she'd have been put in a hospital a while back," Cat asserts.

Ben glances over at Cat as he gently lays Elvis' arm down again. "She was in the red zone for starvation," he says, voice a little flat.

"Something's making her unable to eat," Cat replies. "She says flu, probably best to check for other causes too."

"The IV should take care of that," Ben says, the tiredness seeming to come upon him now that the basic medical stuff is over with. "D'you mind if I have some water or juice or something?"

"Not at all, Ben," Cat answers. She enters the kitchen and returns shortly with orange juice.

Ben takes the juice with a grateful smile. "Thanks. I… who died? On the missions?"

"Conrad, some of the jackasses." Comes Elvis, yeah she wasn't out for good just yet. "The badguys mostly." She turns, coughing into her shoulder before just sighing. "I can't believe Conrad's gone."

"Conrad and Felix, from what I've been told," Cat replies. "Brian copies too. He's still around after that, but it eats at him, to feel someone who came from and is connected to him dying. Helena, Al and another of the Brians got captured."

Ben sips his juice, nodding slowly. "I only met Conrad once, I think," he says quietly. "But he seemed like a good guy. Helena's gone? That explains some of the meeting last night. Where are they being held, do we know?"

Elvis shifts some "He was my best friend, he and Helena. I got nobody left now." she sighs, falling silent for a moment. "I got a text from Felix, he says he's ok. Brian is such a fucking liability, he's a fucking amatuer. This is just a game to some people, just playing at this shit."

"I don't know where Helena and the others were taken," Cat replies somberly. "Only that Wireless says two of them, no idea which two, are out of state. The third she didn't have a fix on." One hand rests at the patient's shoulder and squeezes gently. She understands loss, is very familiar with it. "Conrad's team had to face a tank, they beat the tank, but heard one of the Vanguard people say he was going to release the virus by steam tunnels rather than the mortar, and had to act quickly. He brought the whole ConEd plant in on him."

Ben rests back on his heels. "A tank and a power plant? That's what took out the plant?" He blinks a few times. "That's… impressive. We owe him our lives, then." Rubbing his eye again, he murmurs, "And Volken is gone?"

"Fucked his shit up, I'm pretty sure I put lead in him but I don't know. I was pretty busy riding a two hundred horsepower superbike on slicks with one hand, and firing a mac with the other one in between cigarette breaks." Well, the cigarette part isn't right but the rest? "We'll find Helena, and we'll get her out and then I am out of here."

"Volken is gone," Cat confirms. "He had a very extreme allergy to being healed. Turned him to inert dust," she states. "It was a rough mission. I was on team with Al and two Brians. One of the Brians got cut down by a sniper with what sounded like a tank gun. The other got taken after we were flung across the street when the warehouse went up. Homeland Satan was right on top of us. I crawled over to the box and thermited it, saw it start to burn. They had someone or something to make limbs numb, not work right. The further I got from the agents, the better my legs worked."

Ben squints some; he nods to Cat before looking to Elvis. "Out of here and going where?"

"Into thin air, where I belong. This is what happens when people like me, try to act like the good guy. I was better off breaking shit, and killing cops." She closes her eyes to sigh slowly. "I'm better as a villian, it's just that simple. When I start giving a shit, I always get let down. Every time."

"How'd you get let down, Elvis?" Cat asks, both looking and sounding confused. She doesn't comment on the killing cops part, except to look at Ben with an expression which says non-verbally that's why she thinks Elvis has outstanding warrants. "The plan wasn't perfect, no plan is. We lost people, and doing what we do, that's unavoidable. But the mission was pulled off. Kazimir is gone, billions of people aren't getting sick and dying."

Ben settles down on his butt and stretches his legs out in front of him; he snorts once, quietly, and looks briefly annoyed.

"It could have been done better." She stays quiet on the last part for a moment, "They fished everyone else out of the river, why not me? I was all alone, had to get another biker to come help me. I almost froze to death, then he got shot for his trouble. I got lied to, I got left behind."

"I didn't hear anything about you going into the water, you weren't at the area where the others went in. And I don't know how they got out. I just know I started looking to make contact with anyone I could find the next day. That's when I heard Helena got taken. That thing I talked about, making legs not work, it was on the bridge too. Stormy just went down and stayed there. The person I talked to said she felt what I described, it made her lose grip and go into the water."

Ben has another long sip of juice; he wriggles his toes in his boots and, after some thought, says, "Things didn't go well. Didn't go perfectly, anyway. I'm glad the virus isn't out, so I'd say things went well, considering." He exhales through his teeth. "You got dumped, you made it out, you're here and being cared for now. I lost my best friend to this fight. You've got abilities and experience. I'm not sure there's a better place to fight this fight than New York is the thing. Then again, you don't know me and you didn't ask for my opinion. I don't think anyone wants this community to splinter further, though. Nobody's going to get anything done that way."

"New York sucks, I'm not doing this for evolved. I'm not doing this for me, I'm doing this to hurt them." Elvis lays it all down right there. "We're just as hopeless, as they are."

People will believe what they believe. Cat opts not to debate Elvis on what she says, she just leaves it alone and rests eyes on Ben. In them is reflected her experience with loss and grief. "Your best friend?" she asks in a subdued voice.

"If that's all Conrad wanted to do, I guess you're off the hook," Ben tells Elvis, planting one hand on the floor and pushing himself up, trying not to spill his drink. There's something dismissive in the way he says it. "Yeah. My best friend. He was working on Evolved rights, making support groups, that sort of thing. Pulled me in to help. That's how I got involved."

Elvis just fades out again, muttering somewhat incoherently before falling completely asleep. Already, she seems to have picked up perhaps a tone of color.

"One of Volken's group got mine. Tortured and murdered her," Cat whispers. "I was in this before then, shortly after I got to the city in late August. I salute your common sense, being non-evolved and in the mix. History's filled with sufferings of people different from the majority. It isn't about evolved versus non-evolved, though some will say otherwise. It's about the role of government. Most of the old problems with race are overcome. It just moves to a new target group, and now it's our turn. If they wiped us all out, they'd have to cook up another giant enemy,"

"Common sense is debateable," Ben tells Cat with a wry expression. He glances to Elvis and adds, "She looks a little better already. Unless there's something else, I'm gonna head back home and try to get a little more sleep. I'm sorry about your friend."

February 7th: That He Can't
February 7th: Agent Winters
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