Components, Part III



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Scene Title Components, Part III
Synopsis A case of mistaken identity and bad timing lands Kaitlyn into the hands of the Institute.
Date April 1, 2010

Ruins of Midtown

It's bitter and it's cold and this building looks like it's been burned more recently than all the others. Maybe there's a good reason why no one lives out here, from the coppery colored stains on the concrete floor to the shards of metal that once belonged to a space heater. This derelict warehouse on the edges of the ruins of Midtown suffered not just the ignoble death of the collapse of society within the radius of the bomb, but also what may well have been a recent murder if all indications seem correct.

The way Jerry Lee is nosing about and sniffing at the brownish-red stains on the concrete is enough to give the German Shepherd's owner pause. He has a scent from it, and with his ears folded back and pace slow, it's obvious the mess on the floor isn't paint. Somebody died here recently.

Standing silhouette in the bay doors of the warehouse with the empty but snow-laden streets at her back, Kaitlyn Dooley won't be staying in this abandoned warehouse tonight, which means she and her two other four-legged companions are going to need to find their own place to stay for the night. Not here — not with blood stains on the floor — not tonight.

Hands shaking slightly in the cold are brought up and folded to blow a warm breath into to warm her freezing fingers. It is getting colder and she needs shelter. Her dark eyes watch the old german sheppard, lips pressed tight. Blood on the floor is nothing new to her, she had once been a K9 officer, she's seen a lot. After a moment, Kaitlyn turns back to the door a firm order bard out in German. "Jerry Lee! lass es." Leave it. The dogs head lits from the spot and without fail, moves to join his owner.

The use of German words when training K9's was standard practice. The ex-trainer knows what the words mean, but that's it. Beyond that, she doesn't know a lick of German. "Hier" Come. She says to all three stepping out of the warehouse.

Eyes squint out in to the white wonderland of Midtown, trying to figure out where to look next. A soft whine at her feet has her glancing down at the small white and tan form of Benny, his head tilting up at her, tail wiggling excitedly. "No, Benny. We're not staying here. I personally, don't want to be anywhere where someone was killed." Of course, the dogs doesn't understand a word, but his head tilts one way and then another.

The healer, bends down to pick up the small dog, with the as deep as the snow is, the poor little canine can't walk easily. It's more like watching a rabbit hop. Benny is, of course, as thankful as ever, leaving a line of dog spittle chilling on her cheek."Yeah, thank me by behaving and doing what I save."

Another whine, a deeper one forces woman and Terrier to look down at the boxer mix leaning against her leg. "You're too big. You're on your own, you damn lummox."

The streak of headlights is a jarring intrusion on Kaitlyn's senses after she's picked up her smallest, Benny. In the brief time it had taken Kaitlyn to crouch down and stand they'd swept through the large warehouse windows at the front of the abandoned structure. Only now when those unusual sources of illumination for Midtown come shining through the glass does Kaitlyn hear the rumble of large engines from the two vehicles attached to the four headlights. Vehicle traffic in this part of Midtown is restricted, anyone who lives in New York knows that, since the road access to the areas worst devastated by the bomb are controlled by checkpoints and concrete barricades that otherwise prohibit civillian access to the dangerous ruins.

This of course means the rumbling vehicles coming to a stop out front of the warehouse were able to bypass the checkpoints, which in all likelihood identifies these vehicles as law enforcement of some kind, which is exactly what the majority of the residents of Midtown's scarred heart are seeking to avoid by living out here.

In the time it takes for the vehicles to come to a stop, Kaitlyn can already hear doors opening and closing, slams of driver and passenger side doors from both vehicles, along with an unusual mechanical whirring and a whining hiss of pressurized air, mixing with the ambling of dark silhouettes moving in front of the headlights.

Immediately, Kaitlyn's German Shepherd is crouching down, ears folded back and a disconcerted growl growing in the back of his throat. He can sense the danger.

There is a suspicious look as those headlights flash, a touch of unease gnaws at her stomach. It's enough to make her go, "Shhh.." A hand going out to calm the German Shepard, "Heir" Come. There might be something going on but the healer has no intention of waiting to see what. Kaitlyn isn't much of a people person, so she moves back from the entrance and moves in further into the warehouse to find another way out. "Let's get out of here."

Benny is lowered to the floor again, so he has to hurry along on those short legs. Jerry Lee is a little slow to follow so the ex-K9 offer has to his another firm "Heir, Jerry Lee. There are too many." Silently, she wishes her shotgun hadn't been lost in the collapse of her home.

As she hurries along, she keeps lower, looking for any way out, a loose bit of metal siding, a broken or loose window.

« — Jackman, Angelina. Variant Pyrokinetic, combustion.» There's a crackle over a radio outside, and as Kaitlyn is headed to the back of the warehouse in search of a way out that isn't blocked by the trucks, she can hear the chatter from the arrivals coming from the front of the warehouse. «Tier-3 likely. Sweep in and contain, Team Two is in position.> Long shadows dance across the back wall of the warehouse as more figures move in front of the headlights, and as Kaitlyn slips into a back loading dock at the rear of the warehouse out of the line of sight the headlights, she can hear the pop and creak of a door opening ahead of her.

The rear door to the warehouse is opened, apparently just as unlocked as the front was, and stepping through from the back of the building a pair of men in white plastic hazardous material suits come striding in, faces concealed by black visored masks and breathing in hissed respirations thorugh the filter hanging off the front of the plastic helmet.

At the noise of the door, Jerry Lee comes claws on concrete skidding past Kaitlyn towards the noise, fur raised on his back and upper lip curled into a snarl as the sweep of a large flashlight comes shining over him. Kaitlyn stands just out of line of sight of the intruders behind a half finished wall constructed of mortared cinder blocks.

At the sight of Jerry-Lee, the lead man in the white suit steps back with ihs flashlight while another bearing what Kaitlyn can hear from the click-snap of a slide coming into place as some sort of firearm, likely automatic judging from the shoulder strap, though its small size likely means a low caliber. «Probably a feral,» comes the crackled hiss of one of the two men, leaving Kaitlyn with little time to consider her next course of action.

The sound of the slide is all too familiar, it makes Kaitlyn's blood turn cold. They were going to shoot him. These were her companions, her children, each raised for a puppy. Jerry Lee has been with her much longer. She the healer doesn't even think, she dives out of cover, to throw herself between her and the dog. "Stop!" She yells, hands coming up to the men, beofre she shouts in german, "Jerry Lee, Steht Noch" Stand Still.

That leaves the other two dogs to where they are, Benny whines softly and lays down, ears back. He's worried. Hooch only watches, a line of drool, head down waiting.

"He — he's just protecting me. Don't shoot. Jerry Lee, Fuss" Heel. Her command to the dog sharp, Kaitlyn's hands stay out, trying to look untheatening. "We're just leaving, looking for shelter."

«Contact!» The cry from one of the invading men in the biohazard suits is a sharp and crackling hiss through his respirator. That shoulder-strapped rifle comes up despite Kaitlyn's peaceful protest, and the case of mistaken identity is so unfortunately timed that the following snap, snap, snap, snap of a silenced weapon firing seems almost too tragic. It isn't a spray of blood that results from the gunfire though, but the release of excruciating pain as the impact of high-velocity rubber bullets strike Kaitlyn's body leaving immediate red-purple bruises and welts that weep blood from them through burst capalaries.

Following those shots that strike her across the chest, shoulder and abdomen there's a click and a pop from the furthest figure, followed by a metallic clicking when a canister is rolled down along the ground, beginning to spin after its delivery as a pressurized hiss comes with the release of a yellowish cloud of gas.

As Kaitlyn involuntarily staggers back from the gunfire and hits the wall behind her, she can feel that cloying gas sticking to her skin like an oily film, along with an unusual numbing sensation that prickles her fingertips and sends an unfamiliar tingling sensation up her arms and into her shoulders.

Were it not for the gunfire Kaitlyn's dogs would have remained stationary, would have listened byt through the haze of yellow gas, Kaitlyn can hear her precious dogs barking and growling loudly, she can see dashing silhouettes and the flash-snap of silenced gunfire and yelps coming from her babies. The gas stings her eyes, though it causes them to water less than the horror of the situation does.

Through the gas, one of the men in the hazard suits emerges with rifle slung to the side and a small handgun trained down on Kaitlyn. «We've got her,» he reports with a reflection of Kaitlyn's slouching form in his black visored mask, the case of mistaken identity not even realized as he pulls the handgun's trigger. This time it isn't a rubber bullet that strikes Kaitlyn, but a dart driven square into one shoulder.

At the sound of her dogs being shot, Kaitlyn shrieks a "NO!" Tears blur her vision, and even as the dart hits her, the healer launches herself at the figure with a keening, hands out to grab at it, her eyes wild for only a moment.

But then the chemicals are coursing through her fast beating heart, and she looses her footing, going hard to her knees. She looks up at the figure, head wobbling somewhat as it's hard to keep it up, her world graying at the edges, but she fights it so hard.

The tears roll down her cheeks. "Didn't have to kill my babies." She whispers pasted a choked sob, she'd spit on him is she could, but all she can do as the world goes black is whisper a hope that they get executed the same way as her poor babies.

The blackness is a comfort. Pain of the world can't reach her there. Maybe if she's lucky she won't wake up and have to live in this god awful world.

A rubber bullet rolls across the concrete, near a gray-brown form laying on the floor of the warehouse in the yellow smoke. It stops when it bump up against the shepherd's rear paw, settled in the shadow of the tranquilizer dart sticking into the dog's back leg. The last thing Kaitlyn sees isn't that reassurance of her animals' survival, but the muted depiction of her own reflection in the black visored mask of the retrieval team.

«Sir?» Comes a crackling hiss over the respirator, sounding watery and muffled to Kaitlyn's fading senses, «We may have a problem…» Her heavy eyelids fall shut as Kaitlyn slouches to the side and falls to the floor, her brow resting against the cold concrete, world dark and sound fading as she begins to black out.

«We may have the wrong woman.»

Silence. She can hear her own breathing, sedately and serenely.

«Take her anyway.»

The blackness is a comfort.

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