Top Secret Hospital

October 30, 2014: Booster and Meggan encounter the Winter Soldier on his way to a Cold War-era weapons cache hidden beneath the set of Secret Hospital;

New York City, the set of Secret Hospital

A soundstage full of scenery suitable for chewing.



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Mood Music:

Generally, after about 6pm, the shooting has wrapped up for 'Secret Hospital'. The soundstages are not abandoned, as there are crews who clean up and fix the sets after a day of taping, but the cameras are off. It is a good time for visitors to visit, which is why Michael Jon Carter suggested that Meggan show up at about 6:15pm. Although they had met only a few times previously, it was clear that she was very interested in the program.

As his own scenes were finished much earlier in the day, Michael is in his regular street clothes rather than Colwyn Graden appropriate garments. He is holding his script for the next day's shooting when he meets up with Meggan, slipping it into a messanger bag for his later perusal. "I'm glad you could make it, Meggan. What would you like to see, first?"

Meggan was very interested in this program in the same way that Lenin was rather poorly disposed towards the Romanovs. She had put on a cute little black cocktail dress for the occasion, which looks faintly absurd. Looking at her, there'd be no sign she was wading through a half-destroyed building so recently.

She's biting her lip as she approaches Michael, Booster, the man who would be Colwyn. "Oh gosh oh golly oh wow," she says to herself, before sucking in a breath. "Umm! Oh my goodness. How about… the solarium, the one where Stacy told Dr. Malachi about his leukemia?"

If he cared enough, the Winter Soldier could probably wrangle a few reblogs with the sweet, sweet Secret Hospital spoilers he picked up over his last few hours of hiding in the rafters above the soundstage. He wormed his way into the building near the top upon finding it, instead of the hat shop he'd remembered being at this address; the only silver lining is that the weapons cache he's looking for was stored below ground level. Everything else about the property may have changed, but it, at least, might still be there.

If only he could get a few minutes alone in the building to check…

He was all set to drop down and begin searching once shooting began to wrap… but one of the actors decided to stay. And stay. And call somebody. And keep staying. If he didn't have plans for those weapons, waiting them out might be an option, but since it isn't, he decides to execute the hastily thrown together Plan C: surrepitously working his way from the rafters to the wardrobe department so that he can find a disguise for himself.

Eventually, he leaves there to wander towards Michael and Meggan in an ensemble composed of bits and pieces from extras, recurring characters, and features alike— anything he could find that fit him. On the way, he spots a coil of wire left behind by a careless crew member, scoops it up, and throws it onto his shoulder, and when he's close enough to the pair, he greets them with a wave and a sheepish, "Good evening; figured I'd be about the only one left around, by now."

Michael rubs his chin. "I think that's…" He turns and beckons to Meggan, to follow. The soundstage itself is a fairly big room with a high ceiling. Within it, and away from the actual walls, are smaller rooms. Some are linked up with adjacent rooms and hallways as you would expect, and some stand alone. It kind of looks like someone eviscerated a real building, and the insides slipped out to wherever it was convenient. Some of them have a small, false outdoors area, as is the case with the solarium set.

While they approach the 'solarium', the apparent crew member walks up. Michael says, "Oh… hi. I was just giving a little tour to a friend," He gestures to Meggan. "Meggan. Sorry, I don't think we've met, yet…" Turning back, Michael extends his hand to the disguised Winter Soldier. "I hope we didn't get in your way, I know you guys have to repair stuff before shooting starts again."

Meggan traipses after Michael. Traipse is a correct term, perhaps; she's gawking, looking around with wide eyes. "Oh - oh it's so much like a stage when I see it like this!" After a moment, Meggan laughs nervously. "I'm sorry, that sounds terribly daffy of me, doesn't it? I just mean it's so funny to see how they look from these different directions."

And then, crew. "Hi! Hello," Meggan greets the crew member. She actually approaches him, reaching up to clasp at the Winter Soldier's hands if he isn't careful. "I want to thank you so much for your hard work - I am a HUGE fan of the show, and I know it's really difficult. I hope you have a great time working on it, and — " Then she looks at Michael. "Oh! Do you remember the story of how they found the actor for Killer BOB in Twin Peaks?"

The Winter Crew Member doesn't have any problems with shaking Booster's hand - albeit a little stiffly - but Meggan grabbing for him once he lets go takes him by surprise. So much so that he yanks both hands up beside his head and begins to take a step back from the enthusiastic woman before remembering that he's supposed to be a crew member, and furthermore that she's probably not trying to attack him.

"Hey, there," he exhales after planting his foot, swallowing, and trying to shake Meggan's hand(or hands?!) with his right. "Sorry. Long day. Ready to get home, you know?" Once the apology's out, her looks to Booster and says, "You're fine; I'm just poking around. Trying to remember where everything goes; I only just came aboard."

Judging from the way he looks between the two at the mention of 'Killer BOB', it is likely that the Winter Soldier has never seen Twin Peaks.

"The actor was part of the crew, wasn't he?" Michael hazards, in answer to Meggan's question. "I think you know way more television lore than I do, I can't compete with that." He winks at Meggan, and then looks faintly curious at how the crew man reacts to the woman's enthusiasm. However, it's not that odd; some people really do not like sudden movements, or being touched. "It's okay, dude. I've found there's usually a person or two here after everything wraps, getting some extra work done, finding lost stuff, and so on. The security people only get irritated if we stay past eight o'clock, I've noticed."

Meggan looks guilty suddenly and profoundly. "Oh, I - I'm so sorry, I hadn't realized! I've been doing very little all day, I suppose that sounds very sluggish of me." Her hands fold behind her back. "Please, I apologize, do forgive me-"

She relaxes when Michael speaks up. "Yes! That's right. He was in the shot by accident and David used him because he did look a bit spooky." She rocks back on her heels, and then asks bubblishly, "Do you have a lot of after-hours tours, Michael - is that what you prefer by the way? I mean, name-wise." She also looks at Winter Crewtron, because he might want to introduce himself too.

"Is that so?" The Soldier arches his brow as he shifts the loop of wire on his shoulder and makes a note of that time. "That's good to know; this is my first time having to stay late, but I'm sure that it won't be the last." Once it's set and he's taken to keeping his arm bent up to leave a hand on it, he says to Meggan, "I will have to keep that in mind, too— as a precaution; I don't think that I would film very well, unfortunately." After putting on a smile for her, he adds, "It's good to meet you both, my name is Steve. Steve Mera."

"Personally? No, I don't give many tours, but this is usually when they happen… if one of the other actors, or a director or whoever wants to show someone around," Michael explains, to Meggan. "They usually don't like visitors on the set when they're taping, because they like to minimize having to do extra takes…" He points at the various mini-sets. "And sometimes they do more than one scene at a time, which can be tricky. They don't want too much sound contamination, otherwise you have to re-dub the dialog." Idly, he toys with the gold L* ring on his finger. "It's nice to meet you, Steve. And Michael's fine, Meggan. Or Booster, I don't have a secret identity so it's all the same to me."
"Oh right I keep forgetting," Meggan says. "They seem like they must be such a bother." By now the Soldier may have noticed Meggan's mutant pointy ears.

Rocking back on her heels again, she asks him, "Did you have to study to become a crew member like this…? If you don't mind me asking." 'Steve's' worry that he's been made may be muted when she asks Michael, "Oh, do you all have private dressing rooms?"

"'Booster'…?" The Winter Soldier's eyes briefly move between Meggan and Michael after he ask that question; he's ostensibly searching for an explanation from one of them, but really, he's mostly just trying to sneak more peeks at the former's rather unusual ears. It's sort of difficult to guess at what they might signify on their own: enhanced hearing? Telepathy? A unicorn steed tied up somewhere outside? His expression is contemplative by the time he's asked about his educational background, and he focuses on Meggan so that he can somewhat tentatively reply, "No, I— most certainly did not."

Once that's out he turns his attention to Michael again— and then he remembers the billboard he passed on his way to the soundstage. The one with the fit, blonde guy in the likely bulletproof golden suit. "Oh— ''Booster'', yes. Of course," he quickly says, trying to maintain a pleasantly conversational tone as his brow furrows.

"'Booster' was my nickname, kind of accidentally became part of my codename." Michael shrugs a little over this, as if it were no big deal. It actually was kind of a big deal to him at the time, but he tries not to dwell on such things. He then answers Meggan, "Extras share dressing rooms, you get your own when you become a regular. So… I do have my own, now. It's small but at least its my own. I'm not going to complain." Turning back to the Winter Soldier, he says, "I'm sorry if we're keeping you from getting your work done…"

"I'd really be curious," Meggan says to Booster, pleasantly. "Though you know, how WOULD you get a name like that? I think I wasn't around when you got started, I think I was in another dimension or something like that…" Should she really be saying this stuff? Well, she did, and that's the bottom line.

She gives the mysterious man another look. "Oh — yes, of course, I suppose this must be very vexing." (She learned that word two weeks ago.) "Thanks for talking to us -" And then back to Booster, who she asks, "How did they make the sets all yucky and pulsing for the horror-show bit last week, with Malachi's nightmare? I mean I could tell some of it must have been lights, but was it done digitally? It looked terribly real!"

"Oh, it's alright," the Winter Tech replies with a dismissive wave. "If I hadn't run into you, I'm sure that it would have only been a matter of time before I ran afoul of security. Plus, you are the first actor I've gotten to have a conversation with. Or super hero, for that matter, at least that I know of— although, I have to admit that I am still not quite sure what it is that you do." The bare frown that accompanies this revelation quickly fades when he glances towards Meggan and tacks on, "And you are definitely my first— alien. I hope that you're finding this dimension nicer than the one you came from…?"

"Most of that was real stuff. They prefer doing things 'live' when possible, because it means having to do less CGI. Saves time and money," Michael explains, to Meggan. "With daytime dramas, there's a fast turn-around. So I'm not really sure how they did it all, set dressers and special effects guys rig things up and it can get kind of unsettling." Looking to 'Steve', Michael says, "When I'm not at my day job…" he gestures vaguely at the surrounding sets, "I fly around and help people who need help. That's really what it boils down to." When 'Steve' refers to Meggan as an alien, he looks curious. Is she an alien? He'd never bothered to ask.

"Oh," Meggan says.

She takes in a deep breath, and then does her best smile, while giving off a sudden sense of assurance. It's strong enough that Winter Technician, at least, may feel it as some kind of /thing/ — it might just seem like poise to Booster. "I'm a mutant, actually— but I appreciate the thought very much! I'm also from England but I suppose you could have told THAT, and that's practically another dimension, believe me!"

"Ah— "

The Winter Stevdier pauses as it occurs to him how well his recon/retrival mission is going, given all the unforseen curveballs; he didn't come here planning to chat up some strangers on the way to his basement cache, but at least it's going relatively painlessly. He doesn't smile or anything, but his newfound assurance ignites sparks of pride and causes him to stand a little straighter.

"— that's very noble of you," he concludes with a solemn nod for Booster. "I've wondered, sometimes, what it'd be like to fly; it seems very convenient." The question of what Booster can do instead of what he— does will have to remain; the Soldier doesn't dwell very long on his failure to specify, though. Instead, he turns his head to Meggan to remark, "My mistake; I guess you're just very well travelled, then."

"Oh, right." Michael sounds as if he is recalling something, when Meggan explains just what she is. "I sometimes forget about how some people get weird about mutants in this era. I don't understand it, but I have to remind myself sometimes." He looks thoughtful, rubbing his chin lightly. "Flying is useful, that's for sure. I mean it's very practical… fun, too. Mostly it means I can be somewhere really fast if there's an emergency, even if the emergency is in another city."
Meggan seems relieved. The genetic reveal can be tense but it is important (or so she has resolved) to not hide who you really, truly are.

She looks hopeful at Booster's words. Some things are just tragic.

"It really does cut down on commuting costs," Meggan says. "I actually live up state a little bit." She smiles at Winter's remark: "I'll take you sometime if you like! I mean it's the least I can do, though I'm not /terribly/ fast compared to some."

"Oh, sure." The Winter Soldier meets Meggan's invitation with nod and a fleeting smile. "Sometime; I wouldn't want to trouble you, of course." The m-word doesn't really faze him; it adds a little bit of definition to her obvious uniqueness, but that's about it. "Perhaps I could visit sometime, when you're free." With that, he takes a step back from the pair, begins to say, "I shoul— " before he pauses to peer curiously towards Booster. 'Era'?

Maybe that's just the way he speaks; actors are supposed to be eccentric, after all.

"Well, I'm sure we'll all learn some day," he non-committally says to the hero. "Hopefully. Anyway, I ought to go. To put this away." He takes another step back from the pair, then tacks on, "It was very pleasant to meet you both."

"Nice to met you too, Steve. See you around," Michael nods to the disguised Soldier, smiling brightly. He looks to Meggan, then, saying, "We still have plenty of time to walk through the sets, then if you want to see the green rooms and pitch rooms and stuff…" He waves a hand vaguely at the far end of the soundstage. "I can probably get you a used script to take with you if you like that kind of thing."

Meggan smiles at the mystery man, and then marches after Booster.

"Oh— Can you autograph it??"

Winter Steve turns away after a final wave towards the pair, then jogs off to search for basement access. There was a sizable locker in the hat shop's basement that was just big enough for the locked case his then-superiors saw fit to stash his emergency RPG in. All he has to do is find the basement, grab the case, and move on.


The Winter Soldier slowly frowns as he stares into an empty locker with the long-gone hat shop's name spray-painted across its door.

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