Snowball's Chance


elisabeth2_icon.gif katherine3_icon.gif

Scene Title Snowball's Chance
Synopsis Elisabeth and Katherine have an unlucky meeting with an unlikely outcome.
Date May 3, 2010


The greater New York metropolitan area — really the entire eastern seaboard of the United States — is a mess. Only supply planes are flying in at all, and then only military ones equipped for the extreme cold. Supplies are being offloaded at both JFK and La Guardia airports and shipped via truck across the various parts of the city as quickly as they come in, but it's dangerous work. Most people are being warned to remain inside as much as humanly possible — at -50 degrees Fahrenheit, frostbite can happen in a very short space of time. Weather-related deaths are skyrocketing and the true toll may never be known considering how many homeless and unreported people are in the area. FRONTLINE regularly makes runs with the National Guard, which has been active in this state of emergency for weeks now, and attacks on the convoys are beginning to become commonplace.

In today's case, however, it was no attack that started the situation. The Kennedy Bridge into Manhattan proper had already been treated for ice, but travel across an open bridge is always treacherous at best. The lead truck in the convoy was handling the situation all right, but the second rig hit a patch of unsanded ice and the driver, unused to the ice and snow, panicked. He slammed on the brakes instead of slowly pumping them and the truck slid out of control as quick as that. The two trucks behind him in the convoy plowed into the spinning transport, and the lead truck pulled to a stop some 200 yards ahead of the group of vehicles to allow one FRONTLINE officer to climb out of the passenger seat, a hat jammed down on her blond hair but no helmet.

As they worked to clear the bridge, three police cars were alerted to the problem and headed for the scene. Just as they cleared the midpoint, a red car trundled onto the bridge from the other direction going just a bit too fast for the conditions. And that's when all hell breaks loose. In just moments, the red car loses control, fishtails into the path of the oncoming police cruisers, and literally smashes itself head-on into the lead cruiser. All three police vehicles find themselves essentially piles of rubble as the lead car and the red car spin out of control and hit the side of the bridge just 50 yards from the stopped trucks, the second car tries to miss the collision and spins out of control to slam into the jersey barrier between the lanes of traffic, and the third car manages to get off with just a rear quarter-panel crunched to oblivion.

"Jesus fuckin' Christ!" can be heard from all parties, and the radio call goes out that we need tow trucks and ambulances on the bridge — officers down, major accident. Any traffic, such as it is, needs to be rerouted off the bridge.

It takes forever for help to actually arrive. When they do, the scene looks bad. The lead cop car and the red civilian car are precariously perched on the outer edge of the bridge and clearly there are some major injuries inside them, as Guardsmen and cops are swarming the site trying to render assistance. There are a grand total of 10 Guardsmen (4 directing traffic on the bridge as well as they can), 6 cops, 3 civilians, and 1

The call came in and soon emergency personnel on en route to the site of the accident, one of many that have occurred during this abnormal winter. One of the teams arriving in ambulances contains Katherine Marks, as her partner follows carefully behind police officers leading the way through the weather worn city. Even with the heater blowing full blast inside, the temperature is still barely tolerable, and she's having to constantly reach over and clear the fog from the windshield. All emergency personnel have been equipped with proper gear for the extreme cold.

As they arrive onto the scene, slowly pulling into a stop, Katherine rolls down her window and an officer comes up to get them up to speed on the situation. They're told to sit tight until it's decided that they're needed. She's thankful to find that so far, there are no deaths, and even the most serious of injuries is not even all that. Just a bit shook up and some minor injuries. However, the elements can change all that real quick. Rolling back up the window, she turns to her partner and reaches over to try and turn up the heater in the vehicle, only to find that it's on high and full speed. She crosses her arms in front of her chest and huddles up as best she can.

A fire truck, an ambulance and two more police cars. Fabulous. Elisabeth is not a little annoyed at this whole mess, quite frankly. Once the cops relay that the ambulance has arrived, the FRONTLINE operative heads for the driver's side door to speak with whoever's there. She taps on the window with a gloved hand, her face mostly covered by the ski-style insulated mask she's wearing. When the window is lowered, she pulls the covering from her face — which is red from the cold in spite of the covering. "We've got five people requiring transport. You'll have to take two with you, the other three can ride in the cop cars. The driver of the cop car," she's pointing as she talks to let them know which vehicles she means, "is pinned, the support beam of the front door has punctured his left leg. Until they get the jaws in there, I don't think you're going to be able to tell how bad it is. The driver of the car that hit him," she points again, "rammed her face into the steering wheel and I think the worst she's got is a broken nose. But the old lady in the back seat is having chest pains. If you guys can handle that while we wait for the firemen to get the cop out, you can take both." Her voice is more than a little familiar to at least one medic in there.

Liz Harrison. Katherine turns and looks past her driver and lowers her face-mask down and offers a smile in the FRONTLINE agent's direction. Whenever Kat comes in contact with Harrison, there seems to be subtle nudges that her brain gives her. Perhaps threatens to explode her with memories of the past. To be honest, Katherine doesn't have much of a past to go back to, so Liz and a few others are really her only link to anyplace she may have come from. She listens to everything that the agent has to say before she nods. "You know what I can do. If you need my help with anything other than the obvious, just let me know." She glances at her partner, "I can stay, if you want to take two back with you. I am probably better served being here, but it's up to you." It's not normally how things are done, as usually one of the medics will ride in the back, but since there are no life threatening injuries at this point, it's really not necessary. Kat is actually more concerned about the stuck driver, knowing she could probably use her ability to help get them 'unstuck'. "Yeah, no problem Kat. Let's get these two loaded up." Putting her mask back over her face, Katherine climbs out of the ambulance, walking around to meet with Liz. "Where do you want to start?" she asks, her voice muffled under the mask.

Surprise shows in Elisabeth's face when the person in the other seat is Kat Marks. There's a pause and Liz looks at the driver with a nod. "Head for the red car," she tells him. When Kat joins her, Liz says, "Actually…. " She knows what Kat's ability is. As they start to walk, she says, "You might be able to help get him out faster." Pulling the thermal mask back down, Liz asks mildly, "How've you been?" It's meant merely to be — pardon the pun — an icebreaker since she hasn't seen the other woman in ages.

"Been alright. Busy, as you can tell. The weather has kept us on our toes." With partner heading off to deal with whoever is in the red car, they head for the other vehicle. "And yourself..?" Icebreaker or not, Kat seems to be intently looking at the accident they are approaching, already attempting to survey it. She walks up and would glance through the window if it hadn't already frosted over. Obviously someone has already tried to open the door, so she doesn't even bother with that. "I have to touch this with my hands. If I do that, my hand will probably freeze to the metal, but let me try something.."

She pauses for a moment before slowly removing her gloves. She has never tried this before, but in theory it should work. Whether it does in this cold of temperature, that's another story altogether. The door of the car is caved in, blocking the opening mechanism from functioning, so she places her fingers against the metallic finish of the car and soon the layer of frost begins to melt as she attempts to move the most minute fragments around and around to generate enough friction to at least warm the metal surface to keep her hands from freezing to it, then she slowly begins to push her fingers between the crack as if it were a thick liquid. Slowly, pulling towards her, she is able to release the mechanism that blocked there efforts and pulls the door open. Quickly, she pulls her hand free of the metal before it freezes on her and she shoves her hands into her gloves again, giving them a shake. "Shit. That's cold." She steps back to allow other emergency personnel access to the victim, turning her attention back to Liz. "Where to next?"

"Not too bad," Elisabeth replies mildly. It's a big fat lie, but Kat doesn't need to know that. Not really. She stands back from Kat's movements, watching intently. She's honestly not sure if the other woman actually can help, but it's always worth a shot. The officers and two firemen who are inspecting the door and how it's got the officer inside pinned. His partner is conscious, with a bloody nose and most likely a couple of black eyes from impact with the air bag, but he's talking to the driver to keep him conscious. He looks more than a little worried. As Kat begins to fiddle with the door, one the firemen admonishes, "Careful. If you pull it out too hard, he'll bleed out. The door's the only thing keeping pressure on the wound." How he knows what she's doing is anyone's guess at the moment, but the information that she's going to pull the injured cop safely out makes the others — even the ones who have disgust for Evos in general — back off. There's merely a vague rumble of discontent from somewhere behind the two women.

Back at the red car, Kat's partner is assisting the older woman out of the back of the vehicle and directly into the ambulance, which he's parked right next to it. Two EMTs from the fire brigade go to fetch the stretcher from the ambulance for the cop who is about to be freed. As soon as the door is loosened, they slide in to stabilize the officer in the car without giving Kat time to get in there and do her job.

Which may turn out to be for the better, because shouts suddenly erupt from the caravan of smashed-up two-ton trucks. They're all still drivable thanks to the kind of transport vehicles they are, but it appears that in the time it's taken rescue personnel to arrive, word has also managed to leak about the fact that it's a supply convoy on the bridge. Though traffic is relatively low key for New York City there has still been a line of cars passing by at slow speeds, and now a delivery van has stopped next to the trucks. Seemingly having decided that the four Guardsmen standing next to the rigs were no match for whatever's in their personal arsenal, six men have jumped from the 15-passenger van — which is empty of seats — and taken one of the guards off-guard, rapping him on the head with the butt of a shotgun. And they are in the process of attempting to unload supplies from the back of the truck.

For a moment, Elisabeth stares. She can't help it. "Just how fucking stupid do you have to be?" she actually wonders aloud. And then she sighs heavily and starts in that direction. "Sonuvabitch." I mean, really.

Blinking her eyes a few moments, whether from the cold or something else, she turns her attention to where Elisabeth is looking. "They have balls, I'll say that. Really big ones. Even if they're brains aren't all that big." Katherine starts towards them for a moment as if she were going to go after them, but she suddenly stops and just briefly looks confused as she turns to Liz. "Are you going to stop them?" Whatever it was that tugged at the former Company agent, briefly dissipates, though something remains tingling at the front of her mind. She knows what she used to do for a living, and perhaps this has something to do with that. She steps to the side, though her eyes dart around, seeing if perhaps she can be of use elsewhere. Of course, there are a few cops who stop what they are doing and begin to turn their attention to the van and the occupants.

The almost expected shout of "Freeze!" is heard but that doesn't deter the thieves who begin to fire towards the officers who take cover behind the vehicles and return fire. Kat is already moving behind a nearby vehicle, taking cover. Seems her medical services may not be done here today.

As soon as gunfire erupts, Elisabeth reacts with the instincts of every person who values their hide — she ducks! Behind the nearest convoy truck, the same one behind which Katherine has taken refuge. She barks, "Marks, stay down!" Climbing around to the door on this side of the truck, Liz yanks it open to haul out one of the machine guns that the drivers have beneath the seats. She doesn't have her helmet, but at least she's got her armor on. Ducking back around Kat to the back end of the truck, Elisabeth shouts out, enhancing her voice to be heard above the fray, "~You have exactly three seconds to throw yourselves back in your vehicle and get gone before things get ugly! This is FRONTLINE.~"

Even with all her layers on over her head, the bullhorn that is Elisabeth Harrison is loud and causes Kat to wince and bring her heavy gloved hands up to clamp down over her ears. "Dammit, Harrison. Warn a girl next time, alright?" She reaches for her hip, then utters another curse under her breath. This incident is really messing with her mind.

From across the way, a shout is heard, "Fuck you, bitch!" A few more shots ring out, "We're taking this shit back with us. We're tired of doing without." The sad part is that with all the winter gear on, none of these guys will be recognizable in the future. "If we don't stop.." Kat pauses, then corrects herself, "If you don't stop these assholes now, you'll never get them." Katherine lifts herself up enough to peek over her shelter.

The sound of the oh-so-familiar dulcet tones of Katherine Marks, MegaBitch, brings Elisabeth's head around sharply to stare at the woman. "Thanks. I think I've got that. Unfortunately, in this case, I'm also the only Evo on this team — and if we don't want a fuckin' firefight on the bridge, we may have to stand down." She reaches for her shoulder and clicks the radio on. "Hardiman, you copy?"

"Copy, Harrison. Damn, woman, that's some set of pipes!" he comes back with.

"Yeah, yeah. Where you at?"

"Behind the last truck."

"You armed?" she asks.

"Yeah, Jackson and I are. I don't think Firth and Rodriguez are, though. They were at the front of the convoy."

Rodriguez's voice comes back. "Armed and pinned down!"

The sounds of gunfire are very close, and apparently Rodriguez and Firth are pinned down behind the truck in front of Kat and Liz's hiding space, between the two vehicles.

Elisabeth pauses a moment to take mental stock of everyone's positions. The rest of the Guardsmen are back with the wrecked cop cars, so it's the four who were directing traffic and her. Seems like reasonable odds to Liz.

"You may not want a fire fight, but it looks like you already got one." Katherine Marks, stater of the obvious. Listening to the exchange over the com unit, Katherine is digging into a portion of her brain she hasn't tapped in a very long time. She's looking for a way to finish this. It hasn't really been her thing in so long that for a moment, she just stares blankly over towards where the intruders are trying to hold off law enforcement, while a couple others are loading supplies into their van. She lowers herself down onto all fours and peeks around the front of their handy barrier, looking as if any moment, she might make a move forward or something else stupid.

"Marks," Elisabeth hisses. "For God's sake woman, I thought you were over the death wish shit!" Ironic, coming from the blond perhaps. She touches the radio at her shoulder. "Hardiman, Rodriguez, tag team. In that order. Burst fire. Cover me while I move. I need about four sets of rounds from each squad, and then I need you guys back behind the trucks again." Out of the range of what Liz is considering doing next.

"What death wish shit?" Katherine is still crouched down. She hears Liz' comments over the radio and turns her head back. "Whatever it is you have planned, you may as well fill me in because I'm coming with you. In fact, if you have an extra firearm, you might want to hand it over. I don't think throwing snowballs is going to make much difference here, but I'll do what I gotta do."

"You know, the shit that has you going into a firefight with no fucking armor," Liz retorts. Damn, it's almost like old times. "There's a pistol in the side door of the truck, but you're a fool if you do it."

Elisabeth turns her attention to what's going on out front of her — Marks is a grown-up, she can do what she wants. "I'm going to basically make 'em all puke their fucking brains out," she tells the woman. She waits for a lull in the shooting, about 20 seconds later, and then says, "Now!" into her radio. Hardiman's team pops up for a couple of bursts of rounds toward the six men who are scrambling to load boxes from the huge truck into the smaller van. Then he ducks back when their attention turns to returning fire and Rodriguez's team pops up to do the same.

Kat hasn't handled a weapon in — a very long time. Who knows with her trauma if she even can shoot straight. She reaches for the weapon indicated, and it feels heavy in her hands. She glances over towards Liz for a moment, as she explains and then it all becomes clear. Still, if she has to defend herself. She decides to stay behind the shelter, but rises up so she can look over the top, holding the weapon at the ready, just in case she needs it. It seems that it all feels so familiar to her, yet also so distant. Like it was another life ago, or it happened to someone else. She takes in a deep breath and exhales, sending a puff of steam into the air through her face-mask. Despite the rounds going off in front of her, she doesn't take her weapon off of safe — at least not yet.

Liz moves forward, ducking down low to stay behind the hood of the large vehicles. When she reaches a point between the two trucks, she steps out says, "Well, shit…. you are as dumb as you look!" It's a normal tone of voice but it's laced with subsonics. The kind that take about 10 seconds to create vertigo and uncontrollable puking. Ten seconds in which the bad guys can notice the black-clad figure standing between the trucks and turn to start to fire on her. Or at least two of them can. It becomes very clear to Kat that it's about to go bad wrong — Elisabeth has cover but it's not perfect. One of the shooters apparently is a crackerjack shot or something because she takes two bullets to the shoulder region when he fires at her. Dammit all… that's gonna leave another bruise too. But at least it's not as big as the armor-piercing rounds.

Liz would hear two shots fired behind her and then the designated wanna-be-sniper falls. Katherine is not where she had been a few moments ago, but moved to a more convenient position in which to fire upon that shooter, hitting him in the shoulder — whether that was her intent or not, it was enough to stop that threat. If Liz has her super-hearing going, she might hear the rapid heartbeat of Katherine Marks, firing a weapon for the first time in a very long time.

Elisabeth in fact does not have her hearing going. The shots from behind her falter her concentration, though — even more than the gunfire into her armor. Her head whips around for a moment, staring at Kat. When she meets the other woman's gaze, there's a moment … a moment where months have not passed, where they are standing on a bridge watching a man almost fall. A moment where they are sitting in a car, about to talk to a child who had done something so stupid. Then Liz rips her gaze from the ex-agent and puts it firmly back on the men in front of her, keeping the sonic vibrations going. It takes several additional seconds due to her distraction, but three of the men are suddenly bending double on the bridge, reeling from vertigo. One is retching. The one shooting at Liz is out of her range, but that guy's already incapacitated by the bullet to his shoulder. The last man dodges behind the van they were loading and boxes start hurling themselves at the two women.

The look is returned as another memory haunts Katherine's mind. A look of acknowledgment is there, though of what, it's hard to say. All there is in response is a nod from the medic. When the boxes begin to fly, closing in on the two females, the situation almost seems to lessen in the seriousness of it, however if the boxes get damaged then the supplies can no longer be used. This entire day becomes null and void. The injuries, the risk, all for nothing. From where Katherine is barricaded, she doesn't have a very good shot at the one throwing the boxes, so on her hands and knees she begins to move, trying her best to stay behind anything that'll protect her. Perhaps, if she can get into position to distract him, they can stop him from behind.

For her part, Elisabeth has to duck several boxes and hope that whatever they're throwing, it's stuff that's not breakable. Most of what they're running in the trucks has been non-perishables. Still, every bit they lose is someone who doesn't eat. When she sees Kat moving to flank the telekinetic, Elisabeth looks at the sky. God…. let her have at least a few of her old brain cells? Then she pops up and fires off three bursts of gunfire from the automatic weapon in her hands. She's gotten far better with the things than she ever thought she would. She hits the side of the van close to the rear door, behind which the last guy has taken refuge. And she yells to him, "Your friends are down! Give up and it'll go easier on you! At least jail is warm with three hots and a cot!" She's apparently also picking up military lingo. She waits for his response.

So, when you're stuck in a firefight and it whittles down from bullets to boxes, you use what you have at your disposal. Kat would disappear from Liz' view for several moments while she tries to talk the guy down. Unfortunately for Kat, there is still a vehicle between her and the guy. She continues to crawl until she has a little bit of a clearing, though if she goes any further, she runs out of shelter. She glances around and soon Liz would see several large snowball flying through the air. The guy's attention distracted as he turns his focus of the boxes towards the source of the snowballs.

Nice…. Liz has to admit that was nice. When he turns, she gets a decent shot at him. Not a gunshot. She dodges out of her own cover and runs — or maybe ice skates?? — across the slick road, slamming full bore into the open back door of the van. The door slams into the guy, the guy slides off his own two feet and slams his face into the bumper of the van on the way down. And Elisabeth sort of loses her footing — no, really, it was on purpose! — and lands on top of him, knocking the wind out of both of them. Still, it's a fortuitous spot, because she grapples his hands behind him and murmurs in a voice laced with both venom and subsonics, "You move, you even try to use that ability again, and I'm going to make sure when you wake up it's in a fucking padded room on negation drugs." This close up, it ought to make him dizzy enough not to be able to fight much.

All Kat sees is Liz sprinting by on the other side and disappears behind the truck. Standing onto her feet, she begins to run — well, run and slip, then steady herself and try to run again, weapon in hand. She reaches Liz, on top of the asshole culprit and comes to a sudden stop against the side of the truck, which she meant to do, of course. She smirks down at Liz, "Well, don't count on me for too many of these escapades. At least not without some body armor." She hands off her weapon to one of the other law enforcement types as they start to round up the six guys. Kat just turns and begins to police up the boxes, putting them back into the truck from where they originally came. While she tries to brush it off, inside she feels very alive right now. It was all so familiar to her and yet, it seemed like it was a lifetime ago. She glances over as she watches them haul off the thieves, then picks up another box and tosses it into the back of the military vehicle.

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