Situationally Appropriate


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Scene Title Situationally Appropriate
Synopsis Noriko awakens in the hospital at McMurdo Station and inadvertently creates a crisis.
Date January 17, 2009

McMurdo Station, Antarctica

Located on the southern tip of Antarctica's Ross Island and operated by a branch of America's National Science Foundation, McMurdo Station — normally the logistics base for half the continent — has become a bustling center of U.S. military activity in the wake of Operation Apollo. Eileen has spent the past few hours in the research center's hospital, lending her hands where help is need, partly to take her mind off what happened at Amundsen-Scott, but also to fulfill whatever obligations she still perceives that she has.

Dressed in a dark gray sweater, a knee length black skirt and a pair of wool stockings to protect her legs from the brittle Antarctic air when moving between buildings at the facility, she stands at Noriko's bedside and goes through the familiar motions of changing her former teammate's intravenous drip with a fresh bag of saline solution supplied by the doctors aboard the USS George Washington docked at McMurdo Station's port. She hasn't spoken a word to anyone belonging to any of the Shield teams since the helicopter landed, but she also hasn't needed to — whatever she's experiencing emotionally is only a partial cause for her silence.

Partial or total cause may not be important in the big picture. Because, as far as Raith is concerned, the issue with Eileen is not the cause of her silence; it is the silence. It bothers him, for whatever reason.

Quietly is the way in which Raith enters the hospital, not lingering in the doorway but glancing briefly over the patients as he moves past them. There aren't many people standing up and moving about, and Eileen is not confined to a bed. She's easy enough to find. Raith doesn't speak up right away, but silently watches her for a moment as she works. "Potential future in medicine?" he finally asks.

"I haven't decided yet," is Eileen's reply, voice made terse by exhaustion rather than any residual feelings of ill-will directed at the large man in her peripheral. A few fitful hours of restless sleep between Amundsen-Scott and McMurdo allow her to function at a basic level, while the package of caffeine pills she cracked open earlier, now nestled in her sweater pocket, ensures that she's capable of coasting along until the current shift is over.

She could end their conversation there, abandon Noriko's bedside and move onto the next patient. She doesn't. Instead, she picks up the chart at the foot of the bed, removes the pen from behind her ear and marks down the time after a quick glance at her pocket watch. Supplies at McMurdo are stretched thin. Although it wouldn't be a disaster if someone came by and replaced the saline bag again, it would be, at the very least, inconvenient. "I'm applying my scholarship to Columbia," she continues. "There are forms I need to fill out, classes I need to register for. I want to take a language. Maybe something in the social sciences. Dance."

There is a blond entering the room behind Raith. She pauses at the doorway noting his and Eileen's presence at Noriko's bedside. She had planned to slip in to check on the people who'd been injured — Noriko, Felix, Gillian primary among them. Instead Elisabeth finds Eileen — she hasn't spoken to the young woman, though she knows who she is. Nor has she really spoken to Jensen Raith except to thank him for keeping the craft in the air during the explosion as she climbed of the helicopter yesterday covered in Noriko's blood. She props a shoulder against the door jamb, listening to them talk for a moment.

"Kind of a mixed bag," Raith replies, pausing a moment to glance over at Elisabeth. Just to acknowledge her presence, and not much else. "Good for feeling out where your interest is, what you're best at." A nod of the head, even though Eileen won't see it. "Good plan. Starting in Spring? Fall?"

"Spring." Eileen replaces the chart at the foot of the bed, maneuvers around it, and pauses at the other side to tuck one strand of inky black hair behind Noriko's ear. It would be a lie to allege that she and the other woman became close during their stay in Madagascar. It would also be equally untrue to suggest she feels nothing for her, and while the same can be said of Sanderson, Huruma and Bennet, not one of them is unfortunate enough to be interred here.

She hasn't noticed Elisabeth yet. "They're setting me up with a one bedroom and an account with one of the local banks," she says. "Apartment's paid for, but it's my responsibility to find a job to supplement it."

"I'm sure you'll find something," Raith replies. Almost immediately, he adds to his statement. "Something legit, I mean. That has to be part of the deal, of course. Wouldn't make sense to give you all that and let you go right back to…. sounds like you got a pretty good deal out of this." No sense in dwelling on what used to be, Raith.

"Could have come out a lot worse, if you ask me. Dead or crippled. Or like me, back at square one."

Noriko stirs a little as Eileen brushes her hair back while she is kept in that bed, her eyes slowly opening to look upon a world that is very unfamiliar to the hydrokinetic, eyes move around as she asks in an almost panicky voice, "Where am I? Where is this? /Who/ are you people?" Her thoughts scrambling back to the last portion that she remembers, and she says, "I didn't mean to kill that guy… it was an accident, I swear!" First thought is that she is in trouble, considering her memory goes back to right before she was caught and sent to Moab.

Dead or crippled. Back at square one. Stripped of her memories. Eileen is beginning to notice a distinct trend about the way the American government operates — the look of confusion contorting Noriko's face is briefly reflected in the Briton's before she places a hand on her shoulder to calm her. It doesn't take her more than a few moments of protracted silence to arrive at a grim conclusion, her features settling into a more neutral expression that's softer around the edges, lips slightly pursed.

What do you say to someone who doesn't remember you? "You're in the hospital," is what she eventually settles on, tone low so as not to be overheard by the medical staff, now craning their necks dignified and swanlike in an attempt to discern the cause of the commotion. "Try to relax. No one's going to hurt you."

'Back to square one' was perhaps a more situationally appropriate descriptor that Raith was anticipating. First Eileen, and now this other woman. Noriko was her name, wasn't it? "Fair to bet you're starting to see why I got out when I did?" Raith asks, more of Eileen than anyone, although anyone else is certainly free to speculate what he might mean. "This is what it's all about, now. Not about protecting people, but protecting secrets. I got out because of it. I'm not going back. If I have my way, none of us are."

Noriko looks at Eileen while she stands there, before she nods her head a little to what she says, getting the feeling that perhaps Eileen can be trusted. Or its something more akin to an imprinting, since Eileen seems to be nice and the like. Her eyes look around, before she looks at her body and the beat-up state that it is in, "Wha'… what happened?"

Unless you want to disorient them further, you don't tell someone that they don't understand what's happening because the government is taking special measures to keep them quiet. Eileen angles a look over her shoulder at Raith, brows knit in consternation, then directs her attention back at Noriko beneath the starch white sheets. "I'm not the right person to explain," she says, "but we'll stay with you until we can find someone who is."

She suspects that someone is Sarisa Kershner, though she's loath to put in the call. "Do you remember who you are?"

Listening from the door, Elisabeth frowns at the whole loss of memory thing. She steps further into the room now, slanting a glance at Raith as if … well, no never mind. He won't have the answers either. She waits for Noriko to answer Eileen's query. Christ, what a mess.

Noriko looks at Eileen before she says, "I'm Candace Allard… Candy to my friends." She frowns a little and asks, "I don't think you told me your name." Her eyes looking at Eileen while lays there, eyebrows knitted together.

"I'm Eileen— Spurling." Or at least according to the paperwork tucked under her pillow back at her bunk that she has yet to sign and finalize. This is all going to take some time to adjust to. "I volunteer here. This is Jensen, a friend of mine. The doctor is a little preoccupied at the moment," she adds, a glance at Gillian's bed down the line and the medical personnel hovering over her, which includes a tall, lean man with a head of silver hair, a hawkish nose and a white coat, his spindly hands constricted by surgical gloves in baby blue. "You're going to be all right. Your injuries aren't too serious."

When she does notice Elisabeth, recognition brightens her eyes, straightens her spine and invites the blonde closer with a faint gesture of her head.

This particular zone of infirmary is becoming quite the popular place. While Eileen performs her medical duties, Raith speaks with her, and Elisabeth observes from the doorway, Cat steps up. Her features are neutral, much of her standard demeanor in place. The Frontline operative is given a silent nod of greeting, then eyes turn toward the interior. She is also careful not to press too closely in, given the tendency of doorways to be narrow and not well tolerant of two people at the same time.

Elisabeth nods to Cat as the brunette steps in, and then she steps forward toward Eileen with a faint smile. Her face has the exhausted cast of someone emotionally drained — it might even be somewhat like looking in the mirror for Eileen. "Hey," she greets simply, blue eyes sympathetic in recognition of the similar strains the women share. Then she looks at Candy and says, "Hi, Candy. I'm Elisabeth. How're you feeling?" It seems…. odd. She spent quite some time yesterday holding this woman's blood inside her body and now they don't know one another.

If nothing else, Elisabeth is bold, and in a way, Raith can respect that. However, there is such a thing as being too bold. Whatever point that may be in, Raith won't be the one to find out. Rather, he takes a moment to leave Elisabeth and, Miss Spurling, to take care of Candy. He, in the meantime, gives Cat a small nod to the side and steps back a short distance to a spot populated by unconscious patients and no one who might care if they overhear something. We need to talk.

Noriko looks down at herself and says, "I'm alright, I guess," she says in a soft voice, going off what Eileen told her. "Nice to meet you, Elisabeth," she says to the other woman, while she looks around. "What… happened to me? The last I remember… I was walking out of a club, and this guy was bothering me and tried to…" She trails off and shakes her head a little before saying, "Then I did… something, and he died… What happened after? What day is it?" The Asian can't figure anything out, and it is ultimately frustrating since everyone is… not admitting that they know her, but she can tell it in the way that they are acting around her.

"It's January seventeenth," Eileen offers Noriko gently. "Twenty-ten."

Her head tilts to one side as Raith makes that gesture and moves to another spot. Cat's attention on others present is thus truncated; she steps into the room and makes for the helicopter pilot/demolition man. Curiosity does remain, her eyes linger across other patients held here for recovery and consideration is given to reading charts, but not followed up on. Yet.

On reaching the area Raith indicated she stops and faces back the way she came, keeping those present there in sight, and studies the man's features briefly. "Yes?"

Elisabeth slants a glance at Eileen as she offers the date, and she takes a mental inventory. "You, uhm… you're missing a lot of time due an injury." It's a little white lie, but … maybe it'll suit the purpose for now. "Right now you're in hospital in Antarctica. You volunteered to use your ability to help with a terrorist situation that required hydrokinetic talents. The situation was resolved, but you were hurt while assisting. They're not sure if you're going to regain your memories, but… trust me when I tell you, Candy…. you did good." It wasn't the girl's fault that her power was augmented wildly beyond her control and caused the sinkhole. Really! The thing with Raith and Cat in the corner? Not really her business at this moment.

Once more quick glance around to make sure no one else is likely listening. Only when he's sure that' the case does Raith speak, low and whispered. "That's two of us with our memories taken, now," he says, emphasizing this point by holding up two fingers. "I don't know whether it's convenience or opsec, but there's at least a couple of us that could pose a serious liability because of what we know. Simply put, we know too much. If they haven't made you an offer for compensation, you should watch your back. If they make you an offer, watch your back whether or not you take it. I know Kershner. If she thinks taking your memories will help her achieve some goal, then whether or not those are her orders, she'll do it if there aren't any consequences for it. You get me?"

Noriko blinks a little as the date is given by Eileen and she shakes her head a little, "No, that's… that's…" She shakes her head, unwilling to deal with the fact that she's missing such a chunk of her life. "That's impossible… and I don't have any ability." For her, she's currently hiding that fact, she isn't going to suddenly divulge it to everyone, even though everyone knows. "They wouldn't ship me off to somewhere," she protests.

Eileen meets Elisabeth's eyes, saying nothing at first. It isn't until Noriko is verbally groping for answers that she lifts her hand from her shoulder, moves past the blonde back to the bag of saline solution hanging fat from the IV stand. The sedative she administers intravenously isn't enough to put her out, but she's hoping that it should at least calm her down and direct the staff's attention away from them while Elisabeth explains further.

If Elisabeth explains further. Eileen isn't sure what she can or should contribute — either way, it's a good first test for the new FRONTLINE operative, and she's mildly curious to see how she handles it.

"Two?" Cat replies, eyes intent on the man's face. "Which two?" She's gathered there seems to be some memory editing in Noriko's case, but only has suspicions and speculations about another. And concern. "I've not told anyone around Kershner what I've learned about Madagascar, and am not planning to." Silence settles in, she holds up a hand to indicate requested silence and listens carefully long enough to clearly hear the voice down the hall.

"Shit. We should all go elsewhere and not be found talking to or around patients here. Probably too late, though. Noriko doesn't remember us well enough not to spill that we came here."

Slanting a glance at Eileen, Elisabeth looks back to Candy and says gently, "Candy… you've been part of our team for weeks. You're officially registered at this point. I know that it's hard to take in… that you're missing months of time. ~But I promise, kiddo… it's going to be okay. You're not in any danger here, and you're not in any trouble. You did a good job out there. And once you're healed, we'll all be heading home to New York, okay? Just… try not to panic? Your help was invaluable out here.~" Her tone is soothing and she laces it still further with her ability to try to keep Candy from panicking. "~Eileen and I are friends. You're all right.~"

The dulcet tones of the Boss Lady can be heard down the hall, and Liz rolls her eyes a bit. Idly wondering if she ought to head off the shark before she gets into the room.

"Doesn't matter, in my case," Raith says darkly, "I know these people. Either I'll leave here with my memory, or I'll leave in a body bag.

"Listen, you've got a steel-trap brain. I'll find out what I can, pass it on to you. I suggest you make records of everything you saw while out here and hide them, just in case. We can't take them down, they're too powerful. But we can weaken them, if we get the right info to the right people. Capice?"

Noriko looks at Eileen and Elisabeth as she nods her head a little, the sedative proving to calm her down a little as she sinks into the pillows that are kept around her. The hydrokinetic continues to look around, struggling to give names to faces, or just looking at unfamiliar faces that they are telling her she should know.

"Well I don't care what they said I told you that she was in critical condition and not to have any visitors!" Sarisa Kershner's sharply pronounced words come as quick and clipped as the noise of her hard-soled shoes down the hall. The doctor at her side is standing shoulder-slouched and head bowed, brows furrowed with a look something akin to a puppy who peed all over the new carpet.

"I'm— they moved her to the primary medical wing, I assumed she was— " The head physician at McMurdo looks for all his worth like he's fearing for his job and his well-being right now, backing away from Sarisa with his hands raised and eyes wide, a look of frustrated confusion.

Sarisa doesn't spare any more words on the head physician, moving at a quick pace through the doorway and into the patient recovery ward of the hospital with her dark brows furrowed and down, and at her heels a much smaller shark that also happens to wear aviator sunglasses indoors. Aviators doesn't go past the doorway, just stops and folds his arms across his chest and leans his shoulder against the door casing. The scene he's observing is reflected in the mirrored lenses of his sunglasses.

"Miss Amagi." Agent Kershner offers with a nod as she comes in, a lingering stare given to Eileen and Elisabeth. "Please excuse these people for their… interruption. I know it must be confusing on you right now. I had given the chief medical officer explicit orders to keep your quarantined for at least a few more days, but— " But she's going to tear his head off and swallow his body whole later.

Glancing over her shoulder, Sarisa looks back towards Aviators, then out the door with a squint, before looking back into the medical bay. "Miss Amagi has suffered from a severe mental breakdown and neural damage from what happened at Amundsen-Scott." Sarisa offers like a snake's hiss to Elisabeth and Eileen, in tones quiet enough that Noriko cannot hear. "She has scarring on her brain and it's highly possible that she will have severe learning disabilities and other permanent damage from what happened."

Rolling her tongue over the inside of her cheek, Sarisa breathes in slowly and exhales a sharp, pained breath. "Do you really want to be the ones to have to re-explain to her about her adoptive parentage? Do you really want to burden that poor goddamned girl with the memories of what she did with Humanis First again?" Sarisa's blue eyes flick between the two. "We have psychiatrists and mental health specialists waiting to take care of her back in the States. Just— " Sarisa breathes in a slow, calming breath and exhales it through her nose. "I'm sorry. You two of all people don't need a lecture right now; Harrison, Ruskin." Something's got Sarisa more on edge than normal, she's snapping at everyone.

"Could you all please just… give miss Amagi some space?" Sarisa swallows, noisily. "She and I need to talk."

Eileen bears the brunt of Kershner's tirade in stony silence and continues busying herself with the IV until she makes her request. The plastic syringe that had, until a few moments ago, contained a small dose of sedatives is discarded in the designated waste receptacle — the one with the biohazard sign plastered to the front. "Of course, Agent Kershner," she says, removing her latex gloves. They, too, join the spent needle in the bin, its top fastened shut with a short length of chain that hooks into the lock at its side. "Elisabeth was just helping me administer a sedative."

The soles of her flats click against the hospital's linoleum floors, easier to mop down than tile, and away from Noriko's bedside. Her first instinct is to veer off and join Cat and Raith in the corner, but fear of arousing suspicion directs her course past them and toward the doorway where Aviators is situated.

Elisabeth moves to take Kershner's arm and move her to one side, offering a small smile to Candy. "Hang in there, lady. It's all good." And then she surrounds herself and Kershner in a bubble so they can have a private conversation in the middle of the room. The blond keeps her face very neutral.

"Agent Kershner, obviously we apologize for whatever slip we may have made. Noriko has only just woken up, and we've given her zero information on what's happened in the past few months. I've given her a very basic explanation of current things — that she is in a hospital in Antarctica, that she is officially registered, that she volunteered to help the government with a terrorist situation that required hydrokinetic talents. That the situation was resolved but that she was injured while assisting and that they're not sure whether she'll regain her memories. That she did a good job out there, and that she's in no danger. I kept it very vague, and all she knows is that we're friends. She doesn't even remember that she was going by Noriko Amagi, so I'd advise some careful treading there." Her blue eyes are calm. "Since I came merely to check on her and she woke, it seemed prudent to give her a basic explanation with no details attached."

"I'd leave, but she probably already knows we're here," Cat remarks in quiet tones. "We're just here to visit injured people. Veronica Sawyer, Gillian, and Noriko. Don't shake Sarisa's hand," the panmnesiac cautions. "Psychometry. Now… other things are good to discuss, but not here and now. I do intend to develop as many detailed after-action reports as possible, with redundancies. Master copy in my head, a number of hardcopies in case something happens to me. And," she cautions, "if you see a large dark and bald man coming, be elsewhere fast. His name is Rene, he's a memory eraser."

At that point, perhaps hopeful of leaving such topics to discuss at a safer place and time, Cat becomes less careful about the volume of her voice. Not caring if she's overheard or not. "Good flying out there, Jensen," she tells the man. "Piloting is something I plan to learn."

"Noted," marks the end of Raith's whispered dialogue. "Plan for years," he says in a more normal tone of voice, "Instructors are really, really good at finding every reason in the world for you to not fly on a given day." He hazards a glance towards the exit, and notes that there is someone else standing there watching them. With a mostly contained note of inward anger, he turns to Cat and says, simply, "Excuse me," before turning and stalking towards the exit, and specifically, towards Aviators. Obviously to punch him, or kick him.

Or, in fact, to grab his face with both hands and mash their mouths together in the most unexpected and ungraceful manner possible. The surprise last no more than a second before Raith breaks it off. "We need to have words, you and I," he hisses, "Later." With one hand, he points a finger squarely in Aviators' face, circling around him to the exit proper. As a finishing touch, he withdraws his own, round-lensed sunglasses- miraculously tough to have survived everything- dons them, and turns around to depart from the scene proper. Likely to the benefit of everyone present.

Noriko blinks as she manages to catch Raith kissing Aviators, before her eyes go to Eileen and Sarisa, and she just watches them. Her eyebrows knitting once more while she tries to catch what is being said but unfortunately, she can't quite make out the hissing that Sarisa is giving to Eileen and Elisabeth, and she just looks around to the others.

Sarisa brings one gloved hand to her forehead, the other held out palm up to Eileen. "Don't apologize it— we're all a little high-strung right now." Her dark brows crease, hand moving away from the bridge of her nose to join the other as it tucks into the pockets of her slacks. "I apologize. I still haven'theard any word from the recovery team yet about… our missing team members." There's a tightness at the corner of Sarisa's eyes, she actually looks visibly upset at the loss.

"Harrison, no one asked you to— " Sarisa winces shaking her head, cutting off that expectedly sharp line of conversation before closing her eyes and dipping her head down into an apologetic nod. "I'll need to talk to you later about Richard, if you have the time. I ah… there's— considerations that need to be made regarding commendations for his service to the country."

Somewhere around this time, Aviators is pawing at Raith's face as if he's being attacked by a wild dog. There's a struggling scuff of heels and feet and a palm applied to the other man's forehead and then a sharply hissed and confused breath. Aviators chokes out a strangled sound of disbelief, looking back at Sarisa, then the rest of the room.

Sarisa just quirks a brow, lips pursed in the first sign of amusement she's had all goddamned week. "That's cute," she offers in a chirping tone of voice, "I never knew." Aviators gapes at her, mouth hanging open before he very eloquently offers his explanation to his superior.

"Ff— Fuck you." Then he just turns around, and storms off down the hall. Huffing to himself.

Eileen is already outside by the time Raith is seeking Aviators with his hands and mouth, the hospital's fluorescently-lit interior and sterile environment traded for the billowing wind, sub-zero temperatures and ice-encrusted gravel that paves the pathways connecting the research facility together. She wouldn't be sad to hear she missed it.

Elisabeth's shrugs slightly. "No. No one did ask me. But I owe the woman, and I gave her the best explanation I could without giving her too much," she replies. At the mention of commendations, Elisabeth says quietly, "Talk to me about … commendations or whatever… back on board." The flash of agony that crosses her features is accompanied by a low-level hum of not-sound and a dropping of the silence field. "I'm heading back there." Not like Cardinal will care about a commendation. She pivots on her heel, unwilling to speak further on that… and she stares at Raith and Aviators. And Aviators's response? Makes Liz crack the first half of a smile she's managed too. Looking at the woman who will be her boss soon enough, "Well now. Definitely didn't see that one coming. Usually my gaydar's pretty good." After all, she's been on-again, off-again with Ivanov for months. "See you back on board, ma'am."

Watching Raith as he moves away from her and plants that kiss on Aviators, Cat seems a bit surprised. She doesn't speak of her impressions regarding the act, but doesn't perceive it as a homosexual act or even a sign of homosexual tendencies. No, having seen the anger Jensen displayed on spotting Aviators, Doctor Chesterfield's memory flashes to an entirely different imagery. A scene from one of the Godfather films plays out as she moves toward and through the exit.

The one where Michael Corleone gives his brother the kiss of death.

Noriko watches as folks start to leave, and she merely lays back and closes her eyes, letting the sedatives that have started to go through her system finally conquering her mind as she lays back to let unconciousness claim her again. Its so much better than the confusion that the waking world has become.

Watching the hospital room being emptied, Sarisa crosses her arms over her chest and shifts her weight to rest mainly on one foot, her brows crease, eyes dip down, and lips remove that painted smile off of her face. Scrutiny is returned to Noriko, in the form of blue eyes narrowed, and a more honest but less obvious smile forming on thin lips.

"Miss Amagi," Sarisa offers in a hushed tone of voice, "you and I have a great many things to talk about."

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