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White Coats

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Previous episode: Out of Time Next Episode: Against the World

White Coats is the second episode of season 1 of Codename: Hourglass. It introduces us to an odd group known as the Resurgence and sets the scene for their story.


Catastrophe, Gail, Scarlet, Frostbyte and Arsyn are a group of mutants with special powers. When Catastrophe notices a countdown above Gail's head, she's determined to find out the cause, no matter what.


The scene opens with a woman in the starting position for running. She brushes her long blonde hair out of her face as a scientist gives her a quick briefing.

Scientist: Alright, Number 1, here’s how it’s going to play out.
Woman: Catastrophe.
Scientist: Excuse me?
Woman: You called me Number 1.
Scientist: (Flustered.) Is that not a compliment?
Woman: No, it’s a label. (Pause.) Catastrophe. The name everyone’s been calling me for as long as I can remember.
Scientist: Look, I don’t meant to be disrespectful, but I have a job to do. Now, if you could let me finish, Number...
Catastrophe: (Glares at the scientist.)
Scientist: Catastrophe. Alright, the course will be the same as usual, but we’ll need you to run it a little faster this time.
Catastrophe: Fine. (Pause.) I’m ready whenever.

The scientist presses a button on a remote, causing a door to open slowly. As soon as it is open wide enough, Catastrophe darts through.

Catastrophe runs through the tunnel, avoiding obstacles left and right, as a monologue is given.

Catastrophe: Welcome to my hell. I’m Catastrophe. Put simply, I’m a mutant. If it’s what’s on the inside that counts, then rule me out completely, because who knows what’s inside of me. I’m not the only one though. No, me and four others have been trapped in this hellhole for as long as any of us can remember. When we’re not slitting each other’s throats, we’re a force to be reckoned with.

The camera focuses on two women playing rock-paper-scissors. The one with short amber hair is lying down on the floor, while the girl with long blue hair is sitting cross-legged on the bed.

Catastrophe: Frostbite and Arsyn. Numbers 2 and 3. Frostbite’s the blue one, Arsyn’s orange. They hate each other, if we’re being completely honest. They get on one another’s nerves a lot; sometimes unbeknownst to themselves, most of the time intentionally. Especially in Arsyn’s case. It really doesn’t help that their lifelines are connected. So, if Frostbite gets stabbed, Arsyn’ll feel it too. If Arsyn dies, so does Frostbite. Which is why they rarely physically fight. If it weren’t for that, one of them would be dead by now. I’d place my bets on Frostbite. Arsyn’s powerful, but Frostbite has strategy. She’s a bit of a mother figure to all of us. Calm, collected, kind. Arsyn, on the other hand, is a hotheaded jerk. As if it weren’t enough that their personalities were so opposite, they’ve been given conflicting abilities. You could probably tell by their names, but Frostbite has cyrokinesis and Arsyn has pyrokinesis. Fire and ice. If done well, a great combination. Wish I could say that about these two.

The camera focuses on a red-haired woman staring at the ceiling. She has several scars along her body, most notably on her arms.

Catastrophe: Subject Number 4, Scarlet. She’s... Scarlet’s odd. She keeps to herself most of the time, but seems to appear out of nowhere just to deliver a sarcastic comment. Scarlet seems to always know what we’re thinking, sometimes before we do. She’s constantly suffering from headaches and migraines. Out of nowhere, she’ll start screaming when they get really intense. It’s kinda scary that she’s gotten so used to it. Nobody knows where she got those scars - not even her - but I don’t think any of us want to find out.

The camera focuses on a girl with blonde-orange hair, standing on a stool to look out a very small window.

Catastrophe: That’s Gail. Scientists call her Number 5. Out of the 5 of us, she’s the only one with a, y’know, name name. She’s probably the youngest out of us, but that’s just a guess. Her curiosity is very child-like as is her stubbornness. I keep telling her that curiosity killed the cat, but she never listens. Guess you could call me a bit of a sister to her. I imagine she would have a sharp tongue, if she could speak. Though her curse is arguably the worst out of all ours, she has a personal item: a blanket. None of us know why, Gail probably doesn’t either, but she seems very attached to it.

The camera goes back to Catastrophe running through the tunnel.

Catastrophe: And then there was 1. Number 1, Catastrophe, that’s me. My eyesight’s pretty messed up, hence the eyepiece. It’s practical though; it acts like a mini computer. I can send signals to it to type stuff up, draw something simple; tasks like that. As for my abilities, I’ve got a high IQ. No clue of the exact number, but I’ve been informed that it’s pretty high. I’m also extremely agile, which is why I’m running this course. For a test.

Catastrophe arrives back where she started, just as the door closes. The scientist writes something on her clipboard.

Scientist: Your best time yet. Congratulations, Catastrophe.
Catastrophe: (Panting. Sarcastically.) Yeah. You sure seem pleased.
Scientist: I’m afraid you’re going to have to run it a bit faster this time.

Catastrophe walks into a room with six beds, utterly exhausted. The four shown previously turn their attention towards her. Gail gets down from her stool and sits beside Catastrophe on a bed.

Arsyn: How was it?
Catastrophe: Same old, same old.
Frostbite: What did they make you do?
Catastrophe: Run an obstacle course. They haven’t done much else. Frankly, it’s just tedious. I don’t see what they have to gain from me running around in circles.
Arsyn: Maybe they wanna see you suffer.
Frostbite: Maybe you should just shut up. Are you the one running the tack?
Arsyn: Nah, but Cat said it’s easy.
Catastrophe: I never said that.
Scarlet: You did say it was tedious.
Catastrophe: Well, yeah, but I never said...
Scarlet: Look, you’re like, super smart, right? You can pick up the implication there, can’t you?
Frostbite: Nobody’s gaining anything from this. Let’s all just stop arguing over every detail for once.
Arsyn: Yeah, and do what else for hours on end?
Scarlet: Not be a whiny little...
Arsyn: Whose side are you on!?
Catastrophe: She’s ri...

Gail makes a gesture, indicating for them to be quiet. She listens for a bit, then sighs and falls back onto the bed.

The five sit in silence for a while, until a scientist comes in, carrying a laminated timetable.

Scientist: (Drops timetable on the ground, kicks it over to Scarlet.) Here’s your schedule for the rest of the day.

The scientist leaves, locking the door on her way out. Scarlet picks up the timetable and reads it.

Scarlet: Huh, whaddya know? Gail, looks like you’re up next.
Arsyn: Ready to be cut open?
Frostbite: (Angrily.) Arsyn! Don’t scare her!
Catastrophe: (To Gail.) They’re not gonna cut you up. You’ve done this before, remember?

Gail looks even more unsettled.

Scarlet: They’ve cut her up before. You can see it in her eyes.

Gail remains expressionless as she hugs Catastrophe and Frostbite and heads out the door.

Gail wakes up in a hospital bed. She reaches for her shoulder, then her chest. Realising she is hooked up to a heart monitor, Gail slowly detaches herself. A scientist and an agent walk past the window, causing Gail to stay still so as not to be caught.

Scientist: All I’m saying is that I’d really appreciate it if you kept an eye out for it next time you’re on the field.
Agent: Yeah, not gonna happen.

When she is certain they have passed, Gail gets out of bed. She looks up at the clock. 12:30. Gail walks over to the door and turns the handle slightly. It’s unlocked. She scans the room for a potential weapon and settles on her best bet: a scalpel. Brushing it slightly against the wall as she approaches the door, Gail exits the operating room.

Gail is in the middle of a long corridor. After taking both options into account, she heads left. Down her chosen path is an empty corridor with lots of doors, and a corner after a short distance.

As she walks at her own pace, Gail continues to brush the scalpel against the wall. She stops in front of a door and listens in on a conversation between two agents.

Agent #1: ...But why take the rookies on a rescue mission as their first field assignment? That makes no sense.
Agent #2: Yeah, yeah whatever. You’re missing the big cheese of the story. The kidnapee took out the entire gang...

Gail loses interest and continues down the corridor. She nears the corner and is about to pass, until she sees a scientist walking. Gail quickly hides around the corner, scalpel in hand as though ready to fight. A quick glance around the corner confirms that the scientist has entered a locked room.

Curiousity gets the best of Gail and she crouches by the locked door to eavesdrop, setting her scalpel on the ground as she does so.

Director: ...Thompson. You’re late.
Thompson: Er, yeah, sorry ‘bout that. Got a bit caught up.
Director: Alright, alright. Just sit down and wait your turn to speak.
Thompson: Y-yes, Director Keane.

Footsteps are heard, followed by the brief flicking of papers.

Director Keane: Now, first order of business. The mutants.

Gail cringes at the sound of the word.

Scientist: Ah yes, they’re doing well.
Director Keane: From what I’ve seen, “well” isn’t a word I’d use to describe them.
Scientist: (Nervously.) How so?
Director Keane: There’s lots of conflict within the group.
Scientist: That doesn’t affect their wellbeing.
Director Keane: Physical wellbeing; maybe not. In due time, though, it could. What I’m referring to is their mental wellbeing. How do you think it would affect you to live in a hostile environment 24/7?
Scientist: Well, when you put it like that.
Director Keane: On top of that, their performance in examinations have dropped significantly since the hostility began.
Scientist: Would you be proposing what I think you are?
Director Keane: Depends on what you’re thinking.
Scientist: Would we be merging the groups anytime soon?

Gail is quite clearly shocked by this statement.

Director Keane: (Taken aback.) Merging the groups? Are you... Are you serious!? Do you have any idea what kind of effects that would have? They’re not even aware of each other’s existence! What possible positive outcomes could come about from this...!

A gunshot is fired, the bullet flying right past Gail. She turns to see a guard armed with a gun.

Guard: That one was a warning shot. Now come over with your hands up, without your weapons and there won’t be any more.

Gail stealthily reaches for her scalpel and runs in the opposite direction. The guard cocks his gun and follows suit.

Gail is chased past the room where she woke up, the guard a significant bit behind her. He takes aim and shoots. Gail is hit in the shoulder. She runs through the pain, though eventually needs to stop to catch her breath. The guard is much closer now, but she runs nonetheless.

He takes aim once again, and is successful. Gail is shot in the heart and collapses, lifeless. The guard takes a closer look at the body and covers his mouth in terror.

Guard: (Whispers to himself.) Subject Number 5. Oh God, the Director’s gonna kill me...

Gail wakes up in a hospital bed, sitting up abruptly. She reaches for her shoulder, then her chest, and is shocked to find that she is completely free of bullet holes. She looks at the clock. 12:30. A scientist and agent walk past her window and Gail ducks down under her blanket.

Scientist: All I’m saying is that I’d really appreciate it if you kept an eye out for it next time you’re on the field.
Agent: Yeah, not gonna happen.

Gail is in a complete state of panic and confusion underneath her blanket. She reaches out for the scalpel and holds it with immense force, holding it close to her heart. As Gail hyperventilates underneath the sheets, the screen fades to black.

Gail enters her room shared with her only friends, looking as though she had just seen a ghost. The smiles on her friends’ faces fade when they notice the look on her face and her somber way of moving as she walks to her bed. She sits down, clutching her blanket to her chest. Scarlet nudges Catastrophe.

Scarlet: So, the countdown thing?
Catastrophe: (Snaps back to reality.) O-Oh yeah! Yeah, it’s... (Squints at Gail.) gone.
Scarlet: (Places a hand on Catastrophe’s back. Speaks with sarcastic sympathy.) Cat, you’ve lost your mind.

Frostbite gives the two a stern look, then walks over to Gail. Catastrophe quickly follows suit.

Frostbite: Hey, you okay?

Gail shakes her head.

Catastrophe: Wanna talk about it?

Gail shakes her head, even more forcefully.

Catastrophe: Wanna just sleep?

Gail nods softly, then lies down on Catastrophe’s lap and closes her eyes. Arsyn turns off the light and lies down in her own bed across from Scarlet. The sunlight from the window illuminates the Hourglass logo on the carpet.

Director Keane is in a dark room with a bearded agent. The room is decorated solely by a table between the two and the chairs they sit in. On the table lies a file.

Director Keane: I assume you know why I called you here, Agent Towner.
Agent Towner: Yes, ma’am.
Director Keane: So you know the question I’m going to ask you. Have you managed to locate them yet?
Agent Towner: Er, no. But-
Director Keane: (Quite clearly annoyed.) But what?
Agent Towner: But I’m working on it.
Director Keane: But you’re working on it... Oh, because that makes everything fine, doesn’t it? (Getting increasingly aggressive.) Listen, Agent Towner, I assigned you this mission three years ago. And I’m still waiting for the end result.
Agent Towner: Director, if you’d just-
Director Keane: Agent Towner, I’m sick of waiting. (Slams fists on desk.) I need those mutants back now!
Agent Towner: Director, I can guarantee I’ll have them by-
Director Keane: (Calmer.) Your guarantees mean nothing. (Pause.) You’re dismissed.

Agent Towner leaves. Director Keane leans back in her chair for a few seconds, then follows suit.

The camera focuses on the file, which showcases two photographs; one of a boy and one of a girl.

Subjects A-1 and A-2. Emma and Thomas Reyes.

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