"Mr. Langton, I would like to see you in my office immediately," DeWitt barked into her intercom. Swiveling her chair around to face the room on her raised dais where he desk sat, she noted with some humor how god-like her position gifted her to be. I speak and whatever I say is made to happen. My office is above all in the clouds, and when people see me they can expect either life or death.
Hearing the chime on her private elevator ding, DeWitt stood and tugged at her skirt smoothing it over with a deft brush of her hand. As Boyd Langton exited the elevator, shoulders squared, stride perceivably assured, he made eye contact with her. DeWitt motioned him toward her sitting area as she strode towards her bar. He was a large, intimidating man but still had a sense of gentleness that in no way conflicted with his overall authoritarian demeanor. And that is exactly what makes him such a great Head of Security, she mused as she sauntered back to the plush leather armchair eyeing Langton to get a read on her employee. She came back with her usual summarization, stoic yet perceptive and ready to work.
"I want to know if you have noticed anything out of the ordinary about Echo." DeWitt demanded.
"Like what? The fact that the frequency in which she groups with Victor and Sierra has increased? That almost as soon as she returns from an engagement she seems almost single minded in her solitude? That maybe there's more to her relationship with Mr. Ballard than she's letting on? Of course that would be impossible in her doll state now wouldn't it? Topher swears by it." Langdon said with a slight crook of his mouth.
"I have learned that while Mr. Brink is a genius," she started, "that it in no way is a guarantee that the technology he employs is perfect. In fact, I'm beginning to wonder if it's working anymore, at least in regards to Echo. Something changed in her after Alpha downloaded all those personalities in her at once. Even he should have known the danger. Either way, I want you to have Mr. Brink do a complete diagnostic on his machinery and software. Make sure it's up to date and flawless. I shan't be having broken dolls running around. Once Echo returns from her engagement I want a complete wipe. Restructure her brain if you have to but I want nothing but Echo when he's done. Otherwise there will be no other alternative but the Attic. Do I make myself clear?"
"Completely, Ms. DeWitt. But may I say something?"
"Yes, go ahead," DeWitt replied.
"What if who she is now is the real Echo? We could be destroying Echo the individual. I know what you're thinking. You're thinking that Caroline is somehow trying to impose herself back into the main seat in Echo's brain. But if you'll remember Alpha didn't use that wedge and destroyed the backup. Alpha didn't want Caroline any more than you do. Granted, we did make a back up of Caroline once we rescued Echo from him but she was nowhere near the wedge. It seems quite impossible to me that Caroline can ever make it back without Topher's help." Standing up Langton buttoned his suit jacket and started heading towards the private office elevator. "However," he said turning in mid stride, "I will relay your orders to Topher and make sure they are carried out."
DeWitt narrowed her eyes and stood, finishing her drink, "Mr. Langton, the dolls are not supposed to be individuals. We let one have that freedom and look where it got us."
"Yes, a crazy psychopath with multiple personality disorder and a penchant for killing, and a doctor. Sometimes you get the bad with good." Langton stepped through the opening doors of the elevator and descended.
Standing there for a few minutes more DeWitt considered what Mr. Langton had said. Did he really notice these things in Echo or was he simply trying to get under her skin? It was hard to tell with him sometimes with his easy smile and genial personality. Caroline always was a thorn in her side and it wasn't too out of line to think something of her still existed in Echo. She will always resist me, she thought and made her way back to the bar. Pouring another shot worth of the amber liquid she said aloud, "I'll just have to make sure Caroline goes somewhere that not even Topher can find." With that, she tossed the scotch back.
Stepping out from the nurse's changing room at the hospital Echo knew would carry the element that would make her entire plan work she peered around the corner to see if anyone was coming. Luckily, it was in the middle of the late shift and hardly a soul could be found. After informing the FBI director they'd begin their investigation the following morning Echo had Paul drop her off at the hospital as a patient. Once left alone, Echo snuck out of her room and made her way to the changing room. Cautiously, she walked down the hallway to the nurse's station to find some form of map that would lead her to the dispensary. There were two head nurses sitting at the desk gabbing away over their love for some show about a weird glowing bug or starship or something. Approaching them Echo started acting lost and waited for them to initiate conversation.
"Dear, is there anything we can help you with?" the blonde nurse asked. She was older with pale skin; the pink tinges to her face made her look perpetually cheery. Her gaze was searching kindly for an answer from Echo who then spun around.
"Actually, yes…," she replied searching for the woman's nametag which read, "Jean. I just started my first shift tonight and you know, after my dinner break, I got so turned around. Would you be able to direct me to the pharmacy?" Spreading a disarming smile across her face, Echo relaxed her body posture and waited for Jean to process the question.
"Well sure sweetie. It's over in the north west wing just past the chapel," Jean directed pointing with her chubby finger. Echo smiled again, thanked Jean, and then headed towards the northwest wing.
The hallways were empty and eerily quiet which unsettled Echo as it reminded her of the Dollhouse. Except no one here is forced to be their best, she thought, although they were being made their best; maybe that's the same thing? Walking past the chapel she noticed a sign that labeled the entry door to the dispensary. A card key was required. Damn, Echo sighed inwardly. Closing her eyes, she allowed the swarm of people to buzz around her. Settling upon one she reopened her eyes and instantly set to work getting past that door.
"Blue skies," Taffy whispered as she lowered herself level to the card reader after checking for surveillance. Taking a bobby pin from her hair she twisted a screw out of the casing that held it closed. With it hanging open Taffy started to disconnect and reconnect wires until the reader flashed a green light and the door clicked open. Snapping the reader back into place, Taffy entered the darkened dispensary and quietly shut the door.
"Alright, time for a professional," Taffy said to no one in particular as she closed her eyes. The rush of people flew around her again until Mary came forward and opened her eyes.
"So let's see where that tetradotoxin is?" Mary was one of Echo's most experienced nurse personalities with a strong grasp of pharmacology. Spotting a surveillance camera in the far corner Mary gave way to Taffy. Counting how long it would take until the camera did a full sweep Taffy ran low to get under the camera, reached up quickly and ripped the cables from the back. That'll give me a few minutes to find what I need and get out of here, she thought as she sidled up to a computer and booted it up. Breaking the login code in mere seconds and perusing the inventory logs she found exactly what she was looking for. Memorizing the location, Taffy shut the computer down and wound her way around the stock shelves until she came to the location of the tetradotoxin. Mary, internally, verified it was what she needed. Grabbing the phial, some adrenaline and a hypodermic, Taffy slipped back out the dispensary door and started down the hallway when she heard footsteps behind her. Figuring it to be security, she quickened her pace she turned a corner and slipped into a patient's room to wait out the follower. The footsteps grew closer forcing Taffy to retreat further into the room to avoid detection.
Shielded from the doorway by the room separator curtain Taffy threw a quick glance at the person on the bed behind her. Staring back at her was an older man with a full head of gray hair and sallow skin, a face twisted in fear. His rasps were barely audible.
"Don't worry sir; I'm not going to hurt you. I just need to hang here for a second then I'll leave." Taffy turned her attention back to the doorway and strained to listen for the footsteps. Nothing. "See, I'm leaving now. Thanks for letting me crash a sec." Stepping around the curtain, Taffy stopped at the doorway once more and checked the hallway up and down for people. Satisfied that she was alone again Taffy continued on her way to the exit doors to meet back up with Paul. Suddenly Taffy felt a quick breeze followed by strong hands grasping her upper arms lifting her up. Shit! Redistributing her weight forward to try and break the attacker's grip Taffy stepped onto the perp's instep and bucked her head back to connect with their forehead. Feeling a solid hit, the hands loosened and she started to run free when she heard her name.
"Echo," cried the deep voice.
Halting in her tracks Echo looked back at Paul hunched over on the ground with blood dripping from his nose.
"Oh no, Paul. I'm so sorry I thought you were the security guard. Oh, I'm so sorry. Taffy was scared, she doesn't fight really; more of a guns person. I thought you were waiting for me down the block?" Echo settled at Paul's side and helped him up. Paul cupped his hands to keep the blood from spilling on the floor. Echo reached into the nearest room for a towel and together they made their way out a side entrance.
By the time they made it back to Paul's car the bleeding had stopped. Paul reached up to the bridge of his nose and after a second deemed it unbroken.
"Were you able to get what you needed?" Paul asked.
"Yeah, Mary, the nurse in here with me, said that if this drug is given in small doses it will mock death. From time of injection to time of complete death is around 20 minutes. The way we bring her back is a direct shot of pure adrenaline to the heart before then. So I will have to kill her somewhere around a person who will check for her pulse and administer CPR. Once they find her unresponsive and go for help I give her the shot and we run. " Echo wasn't sure exactly how this was all going to work but Tasha was telling her it would all work out and to leave it to the professionals.
With a sigh Paul said, "Ok. If you say so. But let's try not getting my face in the news. I still need to operate above ground and something tells me Rossum won't pay for this to go away considering we are supposed to just kill her." Leaning back in his seat he turned to face Echo. Her countenance changed depending on who was in charge but she was always present in her eyes. Her beautiful eyes, he thought.
"I know. That's why you will be in the middle of interviewing agents. That's to protect you. Don't worry about me; I'll take care of it." Echo faced forward and winced as a slight dribble of blood started flowing from her nose. Taking the towel Paul had just used she wiped her upper lip and leaned back closing her eyes. "Of course, if I last that long," she amended.