Working Within The Rubble


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Scene Title Working Within The Rubble
Synopsis Katherine tries to help after the disaster and stumbles onto someone very familiar to her.
Date October 9, 2009

Financial District

The mountain of debris is not as large as the WTC collapse, assuredly — it's only a forty-story building, and there was only one of them. But the scene is still eerily reminiscent of that day just over eight years ago. There are fire trucks, police cruisers, National Guardsmen, paramedics, everyone dressed in jumpsuits and uniforms all caked in gray dust so that you can't tell one person from the other. Elisabeth Harrison is one of the faceless many in the chaotic scene, and she's currently perched precariously atop a piece of shifting rock grimly holding a rope while she slides backward into a hole to brace a piece of rock with her legs and back. A rescue worker is crawling headfirst through the opening between her legs to get to a man trapped beneath all of them and get an oygen feed and some water to him. Liz calls softly to the woman between her legs — because the 4'11" nurse from the relief tents is the only one small enough to shimmy down in there to get to the pinned man — "His pulse is stuttering and I'm pretty sure he's got a pacemaker. I keep hearing an electrical sort of sound. And it doesn't sound right."

The nurse's voice remains calm as she talks to the trapped man, ascertaining his condition. And whatever it is that Elisabeth hears from her sets her jaw tightly. She leans her head back on the rock and closes her eyes for a moment before seeking out the paramedic above her, holding the rope secure for her. "Jim, his pacemaker is shocking him regularly and he can't breathe even with the oxygen feed. We're going to have to try to get him out some other way. He can't afford to wait longer." Hardy looks even more grim and nods slightly. "Lemme see if we've got someone onsite who can handle it." He scrambles away from her, handing off the belaying rope to a man next to him with a warning. "Don't you let EITHER of them fall or you'll crush Nelson." The nurse between Liz's feet.

Sitting at Veronica's apartment has Katherine crawling up the walls with boredom. She knows she should find something to do. A job or something to keep her occupied, but on this morning she uncertain on what to do with her day. She reaches for the remote and clicked on the television. Some might think she lived in a cave not to have heard of the collapse of the building over in the financial district, but the fact is Katherine Marks tends to live in the confinements of her own little bubble most of the time. As she watches the news report, she realizes she knows where that place is and grabs her jacket and exits the apartment.

It takes her a few hours to get to the site, along with the pestering of numerous individuals on how to get to this location on the bus. It's only when she sees the array of emergency service vehicles that she realizes that she's where she needs to be. Without even thinking of it, she tries to cross the tape that tries to keep out nosy civilians as the emergency services work to try and rescue those still trapped under the rubble. There is, of course, one uniformed officer who takes his job way too seriously and comes over to stop her. "M'am, you can't come in here. It's dangerous. We have crews trying to rescue those still stuck inside."

Katherine glances at the man for a moment and nods. "I've come to help." Of course, without a badge, she's not getting anywhere near there if this man has anything to say for it. Katherine Marks does not look like she belongs to any of the emergency services working here. As she tries to cross beyond the tape again, the officer steps in her path. "M'am, I don't want to have to ask you again to please stay behind the line." This doesn't sit well as Kat starts to get just a little agitated. "You don't understand. I can help," she says just a little bit louder.

Across the radio at the uniformed officer's shoulder, a request crackles out. "This is Hardy in grid 12 — Anybody seen Officer Varlane? Or anyone out there got gravity or … earthshifting… or something out there? We've got a guy trapped under, we can just reach him, but he doesn't have time for us to dig. Comeback."

Elisabeth can feel the rubble shifting slightly and she murmurs to Nelson, "For God's sake, Tina, get your fuckin' head out of there. If this goes, it'll kill you!" She's alarmed by the movements that she adjusts for with her legs. But Tina Nelson refuses to back out. She's managed to get her hand in to where the guy is trapped, and he's holding on to her for all he's worth.

"I can help!" Katherine exclaims as she hears the report. She kneels on the ground and opens a small hole in the pavement, then closes it back up to show him. The officer looks at her for a moment, then nods and lifts the tape before taking the com unit in hand. "Someone coming through.. what's your name?" Katherine looks at him for a moment, "Ju.. Kat. Marks." "Kat Marks is here and says she can help. I'm on the east side of the building, where do I send her?" Katherine steps beyond the tape and waits for direction on where to go.

Jim Hardy sends back, "Grid 12 — Southeast corner. I'll meet her at the bottom." The brawny blonde man's as good as his word, too. He waits there for Kat Marks and when she arrives, he yanks a mask out of his pocket. "You'll need this," he tells her brusquely, and then he hustles her up the unstable rubble to get her back to where the situation is. On the way, he demands, "What exactly can you do? I need to plan for how to get in there. I've got a man pinned twelve feet under. We've managed to dig and stabilize a tunnel at his level, but we can't get him any air, and he can't wait any longer to be evacuated."

"I can make a hole. I can get you access." Kat states plainly as she meets with Jim and he leads her to the site. She takes the mask and puts it over her face. "It doesn't matter where he is, I can get to him if you point me in the general direction." It takes every amount of effort in her not to stop and pick up trash and debri that litters the site. That being said, it doesn't stop her from avoiding stepping on any cracks that appear in the foundation below her.

As the two arrive back on the scene, Elisabeth glances up. "JIM!" Things have shifted again, and there is panic in the blue eyes that seek out the paramedic supervisor. "She's caught, and I can't hold it much longer!" Brute strength is not exactly Liz's forte. The man who was holding the rope for Liz has tied it off to huge rock and he's on his belly now, squirming to dig Tina Nelson out from where the loose debris has cascaded around both the cop and nurse down there. It's a train wreck.

"Fuck!" Hardy growls, leaving the new arrival to scramble hurriedly back up the slope and bark into his radio, "Grid 12, we've got rescue workers caught in a collapse. We need more hands!"

Without even thinking, Katherine spots Liz and hurries over towards her to find out what the problem is. She doesn't recognize the detective at first, with the face mask on and she yells. "I can help," through her own face mask. Squinting her eyes, she turns and looks down towards those behind her. "Clear the way. Stuff will be falling soon," she warns. She reaches over to place her hands on the piece of debri that Liz is holding up and it begins to lighten her load as it slowly begins to stream down the mountain of debri towards the sidewalk, hardening back up as it reaches the bottom. So, there's nothing left for Liz to hold up. "Can you get her out now? Then I can try and make a path to the man down there." she offers loudly.

Elisabeth looks up, and in the mess she doesn't recognize Kat for that moment either. All she cares about is getting them free, so when the woman says she can help, Elisabeth's attention goes to what's happening around them. As her load lightens, Liz scrambles downward to help the man who stayed to haul Tina Nelson out of the loose debris by her ankles. Then the three of them — Liz, Tina, and the unnamed man whose uniform says "Bristol" — pull back to Hardy's position, where Bristol shoves a mask onto the nurse's face. Liz stands with Hardy and watches the woman with the ability…. and it hits her. Kat. She watches to see how the other woman will make things shift so they can get to the man beneath.

Kat scrambles closer once the nurse if pulled free of the opening and she looks down inside. She places her hands near the edge and begins to pull it the debri away, the edges smoothing under her touch and she begins to push and pull, making a rough but usable form of a ladder that will allow someone to climb down into the hole a little better. Which she of course does before anyone can stop her to see if she can find the man who's trapped and maneuver the debri off of him.

Leaving Hardy at the top, Liz slides back down the slope to Kat's position. "Can you get to him, Kat?" she asks urgently. "The collapse buried the only air hole we had, and his heartbeat is slowing down. He's not going to make it if we don't get in there now."

"I think so." She crawls around the debri and then slowly begins to push her hands through the rubble. It molds around her hands like clay as she turns her head to look up at Liz. "How far down is he, can you tell?" She seperates her hands, making the opening bigger so she can try to get deeper. She reaches in again and feels something cloth against her fingers. "I think I can feel him," she yells through her mask as she tries pushes the clutter away from his face so he can breathe again, hopefully she's not too late.

She has to push away the thought of how odd this is, working with Kat Marks. A dead woman. But she's got too much going on right then to worry about it. "He's about three feet in from where the shaft was," and about that time Kat says she's got him. "If you can get the rubble off him, Hardy and his team will try to stabilize him," Elisabeth says quietly. Her own presence is somewhat superfluous down in the hole, all she's doing at this point is monitoring the man's condition. "Hurry, Kat," she urges softly, blue eyes seeking the woman's. "His heart's stopped. The pacemaker is shocking him to hell."

"I'm.. hurrying." There's a cough from Kat as she inhales a little of the dust, even through the mask that is caked in it now. She is able to get the rubble from atop him, so at least they can get him out of there now. She starts to climb out, up her makeshift ladder. "Okay." she crawls away from the others and pulls off her mask and takes in a few gulps of the dusty air, which is at least more than she was getting down below. "Is he going to be okay?" she asks, while staying in her kneeled position. It seems that Katherine has a knack for getting extremely dirty as of late, whether on Staten Island here among the rubble in the financial district.

As soon as Kat gives the all-clear, Hardy and Bristol are climbing down to try to stabilize the man in the rubble. Elisabeth pulls Kat back to where the nurse, Nelson, is sitting with an oxygen mask, and the women watch the two men work. Elisabeth flinches several times at whatever it is that she can hear, and then she looks at her companions and shakes her head slightly. The man in the hole didn't make it. Hardy makes the call on the radio to let the teams know they're extracting a dead body. Elisabeth drops her head so that no one else can see the tears — she and Nelson were on this site for nearly 20 minutes trying to get to him. "Shit," she whispers softly. Nelson, for her part, lets out a soft sob behind the oxygen mask and then rips it off her face to go back to the triage tents. This part isn't really her job — she was just here because she was small enough.
ORDER: It is now your pose.

It takes a moment before the shakes of Liz' head makes it to Katherine's brain for what it means, and she gives a soft 'oh'. She.. tried. She reaches up and runs her fingers through her hair, still only have cut from when she fled Raquelle's salon a couple of days ago. She leaves a smudge from the heel of her hand on her forehead. Her own blue eyes look down at the rubble, then to the nurse, then back to Liz. It must mean something, but what that is, Kat has no clue. She reaches up and places her hand on Elisabeth's shoulder and gives it a gentle squeeze. "I would have come sooner, if I had known. But.." she starts, then pauses for a moment, as she looks to the workers as they pull the man's body from the wreckage, ".. it wasn't for nothing." Someone will get closure tonight.

Yanking off the mask, Elisabeth uses her filthy hands to wipe away the water on her face. It leaves a muddy mess, really. But she looks at Kat and says quietly, "It wasn't for nothing. You're right about that." She pats Kat's shoulder and moves to stand. "You're welcome to tag along with me, if you want." She's going to get back to work, seeking out heartbeats in the piles of rubble around them. "I have to finish this grid." She avoids looking at Hardy and Bristol right now. They've all seen just as many like this as they have live recoveries.

It's not a decision, it's what's right. As Elisabeth extends the invitation, Katherine stands and follows her. It's going to be a long day, and Katherine will stay as long as she's needed. There's something awfully familiar about all of this and it tugs at Kat's mind as she maneuvers her way behind Liz as they look for more to help.

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