4929/Bad Cassie, Part II

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Bad Cassie, Part II
Date of Scene: 29 January 2021
Location: Untermyer Gardens, Yonkers
Synopsis: Caitlin and Donna rush to investigate the Invisible Jet's distress call, and locate an unconscious Diana. Cassie is discovered tied up in the trunk of her car. After verifying her identity, they scramble to take Diana for treatment, locate Helena Sandsmark, and gather whatever they need to fight her Silent Armor-powered doppleganger.
Cast of Characters: Cassie Sandsmark, Donna Troy, Caitlin Fairchild, Diana Prince

Cassie Sandsmark has posed:
Yonkers might seem an unlikely place for an epic superhero showdown, yet a scenic local attraction at the north end of the town has become the site of just such an encounter. The Untermyer Gardens were foremerly a sprawling estate called Greystone, owned variously by a Governor of New York and then a prominent lawyer (who expanded the gardens in honor of his wife), and represent the extravagance that graced Westchester at the height of the Gilded Age, when magnates like Rockerfeller made it their summer retreat away from the city. Now a public park, its extremely photogenic architecture and statuary - culturally appropriated from India, Persia, Greece, and elsewhere - draw various local visitors and no small number of wedding parties for photography.

The Greek-inspired 'Temple of the Sky,' it seems, also drew the interdimensional refugee version of Cassandra Sandsmark, who had been using the site to commune with Ares.

Fortunately, Diana's instincts to draw the combat into the air and away from the gardens spared this local treasure from property damage, although the floor of the Temple does bear some evidence of the encounter: the destroyed remnants of stolen clothes, in obvious Prime Cassie style, as well as Diana's sunglasses and jacket. But there's little other sign of Diana or her apparent opponent. Cassie's red Miata is parked in the parking lot, alongside a vintage Lasalle Model 50, the latter no doubt belonging to one of the wedding groups, who are in the process of scurrying back to their vehicle in terror.

The Invisible Plane hovers over the adjacent Hudson, having just returned from its pursuit of the fleeing Silent Armor; the Gardens are separated from the river by a road and another strip of parks and hiking trails, following the path of the old Croton aquaduct. That wildnerness is the most likely location for a crash, assuming Diana didn't end up in the water!

Donna Troy has posed:
Titans Tower, a few minutes ago:

    Donna yanked her arm away from Kian's grip, breaking the mental connection the Akiar had set up with herself and Terry. She was frustrated, disappointed, annoyed even, and she wants to fix things - but it was an overly intimate way to communicate when you're in an emotional mood. Her phone pinged, and she took her phone out to check the message as she walked away from bird and ex-cat.

    The message was from Adrastea, and the six words hit her with the force of a gigante's punch. "Diana's hurt, it's bad. Untermyer gardens."

    She had said something to Kian and Terry, but she couldn't remember what. She thumbed a quick message to Caitlin: "Roof, now. Emergency." Another to Raven, but she wouldn't be awake to read it until later in the evening.

    Moments later she had stepped out onto the rooftop, with her sword and shield on her back. A worried Caitlin had had enough time to ask "Donna! What..." but Troia wasn't waiting to give answers, and before Caitlin had got a third word in, she had found herself scooped up into the air. The pair had broken the sound barrier a hundred feet up, rattling the tower windows, and kept accelerating. For the next few minutes conversation had been impossible, Caitlin's demands for an explanation lost behind the pair, traveling faster than the words she spoke, left behind them unheard. The expression on Troia's face would have said it all though. As far as Caitlin knew, Troia had never flown this fast before.

Untermyer Gardens, now:

    The boom of Caitlin and Troia's passing rumbles across Yonkers, and they hurtle down towards the folly of the Temple of the Sky with a brutal deceleration. The last hurrah of the supersonic flight, the shock cone narrowing as they get closer to the ground, sets off car alarms two hundred feet away in the parking lot, in North Broadway, and even the lot for the St. John's Riverside hospital beyond.

    Troia releases Caitlin as soon as they are on the ground, but there are still no explanations. Already she's sprinting across the lawn to where Diana's jacket lies discarded, and has her phone out, dialing Adrastea, snarling "Pick up, pick up!" in a mixture of impatience and panic.

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
After ten years of friendship through thick and thin, Caitlin trusts Donna. Enough to stifle her questions and just hang on, plunging through the whipping winds with her body as close to Donna's back as possible to cut down on resistance.

It's a slightly-underdressed Caitlin that lands with a hopskip to check her momentum, wearing grey calf-length yoga pants, a green zip-up sweater, and low-top trainers in white and blue. The sole item she grabbed up was the hammer Donna gave her as a birthday present, Themysciran iron even tougher than Caitlin's own fists.

"That's Di's jacket," Caitlin says, and her blood runs cold at the implications. While Donna's messing with the phone she readies the hammer in a two-handed grasp and keeps careful watch on the immediate area to ensure they're not about to be ambushed.

Diana Prince has posed:
The Invisible Jet hasn't left yet.

It's not on the park property, but it's not exactly far either. IT's just beyond the tree line to the northeast, and its in full Invisible mode too as the pilot aboard it is waiting and monitoring Galatea's search on the ground for the Princess who'd fallen from the sky a handful of minutes ago.

Diana had fallen in to the trees of the wooded area, and it wasn't exactly easy to get in there, even for an Amazon warrior like Galatea.

But she's pushed her way in... while Adrastea waits for updates.

The call Donna puts out goes to the Jet itself, and rings inside of it. Adra reaches out and taps a holographic button floating on the projected screen. "I am here, Donna." She says in her sultry toned voice. "We are recovering the Princess now, her status is. Unknown. We are just north of you."

Her other hand reaches up to another console above her head and she taps another holographic button above her. "Beacon is on."

Should Cait or Donna look to the northeast, they'll see a column of pure blue light silently shooting up in to the sky.

"Donna." Adra speaks again then. "Cassandra's car is nearby. It is on my radar. Southwest of your position, not far."

Cassie Sandsmark has posed:
The area of the gardens around the Temple is basically empty of people at this point, even as Caitlin takes up her vigilant guard. It's obviously not nearly as busy in winter as it is throughout the rest of the year, but it's never completely empty if weather allows. Thus, her and Donna's overhead approach would have spotted a lot of the people fleeing or at least crowding toward the south end of the garden, where the modern entrance and parking is all located. This is Yonkers, and a superhero fight is not a casual occurence here! So those people are probably scared out of their minds, and the booming approach of the newest pair of Amazons is not reassuring!

Notably, the Gardens as a whole are at a significant elevation from the river and the aquaduct trail. While not exactly a sharp cliff, the hillside's grade is pretty significant, with a rather long and winding switchback trail through both open fields and denser forest, connecting the gardens to the old carriage entrance of the Greystone estate. This entry is somewhat impressive itself, with paired statues of a Unicorn and Lion guarding the entrway, or at least it looks like it might once have been. Clearly, this area doesn't have the tourist appeal of the sections above, and some of the old buildings here show not only physical deterioration, but bits of graffiti and other signs of youthful indiscretion; one might guess that the ruins would be the sort of place edgy teenagers might come to do drugs or engage in sexual escapades! GASP!

None of this is noteworthy, probably, but what is a path of gouged Earth that leads from a part of the hill just west of the Sky Temple, intersects the carriage trail, and then vanishes on the dirt of the footpath past the lower gate.

At the south end of the park, in the parking lot, Cassie's car remains where it is. Caitlin's upgrades probably included a tracker, which makes picking it up on the Jet quite easy. The reinforcements, however, make it difficult for the woman who is inside the trunk and just regaining consciousness. Despite her love of the car, she doesn't hesitate to try kicking her way out, but she's still depowered and... clunk. It doesn't budge.

Donna Troy has posed:
    "Cassie's car? Is Cassie here too? I don't see her," Troia says into the phone, her eyes going to the blue beacon. Her voice is unnaturally cold and precise. "Sister, I need you to tell me exactly what has happened here." She starts to move towards the beacon.

    "Cait!" she hisses. "See if you can find Cassie. If you do, be very careful. Check her finger for the dot, but don't let her know you're doing it. And do not let her stand behind you or get out of your sight. "

     As she speaks, Troia slides her sword off her shoulder, lets the strap drop to the ground and stamps on it, pinning it in place as she pulls the sword free from the scabbard mid-stride. The scabbard is left on the ground, and Themysciran steel glints in the pale sunlight. She doesn't attempt to draw the sword over her shoulder, because Yonkers isn't Hollywood.

    Troia takes off down the gouged path, veering off it to the north through the trees as it starts to peter out and the leaves the direction of the beacon. She crashes through the trees, coming to a sudden halt where she finds Galatea, kneeling beside Diana.

    Diana isn't moving.

    Troia looks down at the figure of her sister, lying still, but still breathing. Her knees feel unsteady, her breathing becomes ragged. She raises her phone to her lips to speak to Adrastea, and it takes a couple of attempts for sound to come out. "Ad-Ad-Adrastea. Bring the jet down gently. Just north east, there's a clear area."

    Troia kneels by her sister for a moment, touching her cheek gently. Then she stands again, striding towards the clearing she had guided the jet towards. An old birch stands in the middle of the grassy area, but before the jet can maneuver to the position, Troia tears the broad-beamed old tree from the ground and hurls it like a giant spear into the Hudson. She may be feeling a little on edge. They can bill her later.

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
"Hey." Caitlin grips Donna's bicep before she can dash off. "-You- be careful, too," she advises her friend. Not arguing with Donna, no, because that's a fruitless endeavour. But-- a little reality check for the princess, clearly on the edge of a blood rage. A moment of solidarity. Then the two split and Caitlin takes to the task Donna set, worry clear on her face for the absent Amazon girl. "Cassie? CASS!" Caitlin bellows, trying to locate her.

Caitlin sets a haphazard course around the gardens. It chances to bring her near to the parking lot, and her acute hearing picks up on the sound of limbs kicking at metal. Cassie's car is visible and Caitlin is watching when the truck lid bounces visibly from inside.

It's quite dark inside the trunk until four distinct holes tear their way through the fragile metal. There's a screech of twisting steel that tears the lock apart and Caitlin pulls the trunk free from the latch, leaping back almost immediately with her hammer raised in a ready striking position.


Diana Prince has posed:
Adra is still on high alert, so she's instantly replying. "Diana checked out of the Embassy at 2:37pm local time. She left with Cassandra, it was never specified where they were going. The emergency call came to the jet via Diana's bond with the Lansinarian intelligence inside the vehicle. This happened at 3:52pm local time."

A second later and the Jet is heard moving as the column of light is deactivated. The whine of the jet's alien engines echoes over the area around the gardens, it does a hopping motion of-sorts as it moves toward where Donna had called for it.

Galatea, looks up to Donna as she arrives. She's not a medic, she has concern across her face. "We will need to lift her." The brown haired Amazonian tells the other. "Her injuries appear to be primarily stabs and cuts, but it will be hard to tell until we can get a doctor's attention."

Galatea stands up then as Donna throws that tree. "Troia..." She urges. "Focus." Gala's eyes look to the clearing as the jet shifts in to Visible Mode, its cloud-hued hull shining in the winter's sunlight.

"Carry her? We need to go now." Galatea states, moving over to a nearby tree to grab something she spied glinting in the sunlight...

Cassie's lasso.

Cassie Sandsmark has posed:
Out of everything that's happened, one thing is certain: The Hudson has had much worse things floating in it than uprooted trees!

In the parking lot, the banging continues, and when Caitlin gets a little closer, it is joined by a muffled "MRRRF MMMMPH!" sound from within, very clearly a person in some distress. There is a bit of a whine when Caitlin's fingers pierce the trunk - even in peril, Cassie really loves this car! - but it's no real obstacle to her, and soon the trunk is flung open revealing... what would normally be a VERY incriminating thing to find locked in the trunk of a person's car.

That is to say, it's Cassie... in her underwear, tied up with her hands behind her back and her feet bound together, and a gag in her mouth (a sock? probably her sock). VERY SHADY!

The bound young woman gives another surprised but fairly unintelligible sound as light floods the trunk, revealing the imposing silhouette of Caitlin there about to bash her with a giant hammer. It seems like her day just keeps getting worse!

"OOO- IF EEE!" she cries, with feeling! Yeah she's not getting much out but vowels.

But suffice it to say, it doesn't look like she's much of a threat, and the fact that she hasn't burst out of her bonds means she's obviously in a rather weakened state. That, or this is a VERY ELABORATE TRAP! But really, no, it isn't, and if Caitlin checks her finger before untying her and/or bashing her with a big hammer, a rather faint version of the sharpie dot will be discovered.

Donna Troy has posed:
    "I am focused, Galatea," Troia says. Past that initial struggle to get the words out after seeing Diana, her voice has become very precise and controlled again. It's a little chilling and may be more worrying than her seeming unfocused. "The tree was in the way, I moved it."

    Troia looks off into the distance. "Galatea, stay with Diana and do not try to move her until Cait has taken a look at her. She knows medicine better than any of us. I think Caitlin has found Cassie, I will be right back."

    She looks down at her hand, where her phone, still connected, hangs momentarily forgotten. She lifts it to her ear. "Adrastea, open the door at get it as close to the tree line as possible." She shuts the phone off, puts it away and takes off again. No sonic boom this time, just a short hop to the parking lot where Cassie and Cait are.

    Troia lands with a thump, eyes fixed on Cassie as Caitlin checks her hand for dots while undoing the gag (doctor of engineering and sock removal), and jabs her sword back the way she came. "Cait. That way, three hundred feet. Diana. Check it's safe to move her. Go."

    Poor Cassie is not immediately being untied. This is cruel. "Cassie. I need you to answer a question, very quickly, without arguing or asking why." This sounds very credible. This is Donna not brooking any argument. Srs bsns Donna. "This is important. Cthulu crossing the what?"

Caitlin Fairchild has posed:
Caitlin's lips press into a thin line. This is not the behaviour from Donna the redhead approves of. It's terse and short, pitiless. But-- it doesn't slow her for a moment. Donna's more than earned her stripes as a field tactician, and for the moment she has the superior view of the situation.

"I'm on it. Get me a medical kit," Caitlin bids Donna. She gives Cassie a look, part worry and part apology, and turns to start running towards Diana's position. The redhead darts through the woods with big bounding steps and lands near Diana's prostrate form.

Near-panic lodges a lumpy protest in Caitlin's throat but it doesn't slow her duty. The redhead sets the hammer down and knees next to Diana. Fingertips check her neck and spine, looking for injuries. She's patted down in search of bloody wounds that Donna might have missed, and last does Caitlin check her airway and tilt Diana's head to the side so she can breathe easily.

Caitlin cues open the Titan's communicator line. "No obvious spinal injury or cerebral haemhorraging," Caitlin says. "I want to stabilize her on a backer board and get her intubated immediately, and get an IV line prepped. New York General is the closest hospital; she might need a CAT scan to check for a brain bleed. I've never seen her... /out/ like this. Unconscious."

A hand rests on Diana's arm. Not checking anything; just squeezing with gentle, worried reassurance.

Diana Prince has posed:
The orders from Donna are heeded and Adrastea gets the Jet ready and as close as she possibly can navigate it. The redheaded Amazon in armor appears at the foot of the ramp, darting out of the jet now and holding a First Aid kit claimed from inside of its storage unit.

She's running toward Diana, Galatea, and the arriving Caitlin...

Galatea is there with Cait as she cheks the Princess, her blue eyes going from the Princess to Caitlin. She's smart enough to stay quiet though and just observe, and wait to be useful.

Caitlin's initial search will yield that Diana is alive, she's breathing, there doesn't /appear/ to be any reason she couldn't be moved. But what stands out are the wounds thmeselves. Her red turtleneck sweater has been sliced across her arm, the once taut fabric has become stretched open there, with a visible bloodied wound across her left bicep. But also down across her stomach, puncture wounds are visible, they don't look particularly deep at first glance, but what really stands out is the... sight of it all.

There's some kind of active chemical reaction going across the Princess' wounded skin, it looks almost... alive.

Cassie Sandsmark has posed:
Despite Donna's firm and no-nonsense approach, this may be the one time where Cassie DOESN'T roll her eyes at such a heavy-handed question or command from one of her sisters: after the day she's had, after having her mom flip out on her inexplicably and take her powers, and then promptly getting jumped by her own double, beat up, and her clothes stolen before being tied up and stuffed in the trunk of her own car? Yeah, she's under NO illusions about the seriousness of the situation. Thus:

"East River! East River!"

But aside from this rather urgent answer to placate Donna and presumably see to her own release, her worries obviously go much further than herself. "I heard Di in the car, is she OK? Did you get in contact with my mom? Call my mom!" Really, none of them have the full picture of what happened aside from Cassie herself, and that knowledge clearly doesn't put her at any greater ease about the situation. Rather, it's exactly the opposite.

In the meantime, she continues to squirm and struggle in her bonds, the fact that Donna is there apparently no reason for her not to work on them herself! "C'monnnnnn-"

Donna Troy has posed:
    When Cassie speaks, Troia raises her sword... and carefully slices open the bonds. The terseness Caitlin so disapproves of vanishes in an instant to be replaced with an expression of tenderest sympathy. She gently helps Cassie out of the trunk, giving the youngest Amazon a quick hug on the way.

    "Cassie," she says softly. "Di is hurt. We're getting her on the jet now, she's going to need medical attention. It's serious, but we're going to deal with this, and she is going to be okay, understand?"

    This version of Donna is almost as unfamiliar as terse Donna. Normally she speaks to Cassie in a very informal and jokey manner, but now she's talking to her as she might speak to someone who was in shock.

    "Was this your doppelganger? I need you to tell me what happened, but as quickly and simply as possible. Then I want you to go with Caitlin, give her any help she asks for, and think very carefully about every detail you can so you can tell me later."

    Troia bites her lip and looks across to the Temple of the Sky, where Diana's jacket has been left. "I will make sure Helena's okay, and we'll go pick her up as soon as we can, okay?"

    She smiles a bit, resting a hand on Cassie's shoulder for a moment before unslinging her shield as she awaits Cassie's story. "It's going to be alright, but we need to move fast."

Diana Prince has posed:
The First Aid kit is delivered to Caitlin, while Gala and Adra move off to get something to use to transport the Princess. Caitlin's medical attention is as thorough as it can be in this situation, and by the time the two Amazons return, she has Diana bandaged up, ready for transport.

Gala and Adra return with a ... door. Don't ask where they got it. They got it, and it's going to work. The next few moments are spent putting the Princess on to said door, while Caitlin calls ahead to prepare for where they're taking the Princess.

It won't be long now before they have the Jet prepared and ready to go, where they'll reach out to get a status update from Donna...

Cassie Sandsmark has posed:
Once she's untied, Cassie squirms around a bit to try and get herself upright first, before swining her legs out over the side of the trunk and reaching for Donna's hand to help pull herself out. Although everyone has given them wide berth, there ARE civillians in the parking lot, and some of them are definitely giving this whole 'teenage white girl tied up half-naked in the trunk of a car' thing the attention that such things tend to garner. Kidnapped white girls are very popular news items! Still, Cassie ignores most of the gawking, just lightly rubbing at her wrists, even as she processes the news about Diana with a grim expression.

"Yeah," she answers Donna a moment later, terse and to the point. "It was her. Me? Whichever. But like, uh, she's got something else going on, something totally different. Weird armor? Not like she needed it. I'm all noodle-armed. I think she-"

She keeps talking as she moves around from the back to the front of the car, looking around. "Ugh. Did you find my stuff? I was wrong." Callback number two: "She -did- get into my phone, somehow. I heard her on it. I think she was watching me. And probably pretended to be me long enough to fuck up my life some and piss my mom off enough to ground me. Except, like, it got the real me, not her."

On the way back to the Jet, they'll pass through the center of the garden again, and by the Temple. Cassie's phone, the car keys, and a few other things are salvagable in a detached hoodie pocket among the wreckage of her clothes, whether someone grabbed them before, or does so now. But it's already obvious the other version of her had gotten into her phone, and indeed, had clearly stalked her enough to plot all this out- something that raises further dangers for everyone she knows.

Once Cassie has her phone, she'll start trying to make calls, and the others may have already tried on their own. Either way, Helena isn't picking up.

Donna Troy has posed:
    Troia reaches out to give Cassie's shoulder another quick squeeze. "It'll be okay, I promise. Go to the jet, be with Diana. I'll look after Helena." The steel returns to Troia's eyes as quickly as it had departed. "Your double got the better of Diana because Diana was suprised. I will not be. I will find Helena and keep her safe, don't worry. Now go!"

    She accompanies Cassie to the faux temple to recover Diana's jacket, too. By the time Troia has reached it, the steel has hardened to cold fury. She rifles quickly through the pockets of the jacket, finding Diana's phone, and quickly sends a message to Helena: 'If you are with Cassie, tell her you need to go to the restroom NOW. Without her. No questions. As soon as you are there, text back your location. If you are not with her, CALL ME. URGENT.'

    She hits send on the message just as she arrives back on the jet, where Diana has been settled safely in, with Caitlin fussing over her like a mother hen. "I'm going to find Cassie's mom. Gala, Adra - Caitlin is the medical expert here, so follow her lead. When Diana is stabilized, let me know." Galatea and Adrastea tend to have trouble not thinking of Donna as a child still, but this is a voice that brooks no argument. "Caitlin and Gala, I want you to stay with Diana. Adra, you'll drop Cassie off at the Tower, and Cassie, until I get to Helena and get her to restore your powers, no arguments, okay? As soon as you get to the tower, go wake Raven and tell her what's up. Adra, when you've seen Cassie to the Tower, take the jet to Themyscira. Tell the queen what has happened here, and bring Eponia back with you, I think we'll need her." The Amazon's chief healer. "There's one more thing I want you to fetch from Themyscira, if my mother will allow it. Theophontes."

    Galatea and Adrastea share a look. Caitlin and Cassie will probably know enough Themysciran by now to translate the word.