A Point Made



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Scene Title A Point Made
Synopsis Kazimir travels to Sweden to get to the root of his banking problem and reunited with a mysterious member of Vanguard.
Date November 4, 2008

Sveriges Riksbank, Stockholme, Sweden

Marble floors reflect lights flickering overhead. Not from flame guttering in wind, but electricity dimming and brightening from surges of power. Across the black marble floor, some of the lights are colored deep crimson, being reflected in a ever thickening pool of deep red blood. Screams fill the air, pained and horrible screams, and then the sound of twisting flesh, and snapping bone. It sounds like a butcher working at a shank of ham, but this isn't a piece of deli meat.

This is someone's arm.

"I trusted you Tristan." The rough, gravley voice has an almost wet quality to it, mixing with the shriek of agony as tendons snap and muscles recoil like a taut rubber band, sliding beneath bloodied flesh in an excruciating manner. "I trusted you and your competence with a certain level of importance." Blood runs down from an open wound, sliding along gleaming and tapering steel that abruptly ends at a jagged end. It is this squared end of a broken rapier blade that is scraping back and forth across exposed and blood-reddened bone.

Kazimir Volken's voice can barely be heard over the sound of the howling pain. "Three billion dollars across seventeen accounts, Tristan." Leaning close, Kazimir looms over the prone body of a middle-aged businessman in a blood-stained suit. One of his sleeves has been shredded, and Kazimir Volken kneels at his side, having slided his forearm open, playing with the cords of his sinew like the strings of a bass guitar, his broken sword-cane his pick.

"Do you have any idea how long it took me to build up those funds? How much investing, how much managing, how much stealing?" Tristan's voice cracks and wavers, the pain in his throat uncomparable to the agony experienced by a broken balde scraping across exposed bone which was once covered by muscle. "I entrusted my liveleyhood to you, Tristan, and in return I made you filthy rich." Wringing one gloved hand around Tristan's wrist, Kazimir holds the arm up and wedges the broken end of the sword into Tristan's elbow, lodging it into the joint and twisting the blade sideways, trying to work the arm apart.

"Sixty-two years, Tristan. Sixty-two years." The sword plunges thorugh the joint, seperating part of the forearm from the bicep with a blood curdeling cry. Tristan would have passed out from the pain, should have passed out from the blood loss. But something prevents this, something keeps an otherwise dying man from death's door.

Her name is Yvette.

Standing behind Kazimir, the young woman looks something like an observing angel to his practicing devil. A young woman in her early twenties, she's possessed of straight platinum-blonde hair that frames either side of her face and her brows with long bangs. A shock of white is pinned back across the top of her head, and pinkish-red eyes stare down at the bleeding man at her feet. The lower half of Yvette's face is covered by a black scarf pulled tight around her mouth, and the skin there is blackened and gray, with deep blue-purple veins disfiguring the skin just beneath her nose. The remainder of her mouth must be far more horrifying.

The young woman's ankle-length white jacket is spotted with blood at the bottom, and her hip-hugging leather pants have a single scrape down them from when Tristan tried to fight back. But it's the young woman's hands, held out in front of herself, bandaged palms facing down towards the banker, that is her most important feature. A soft, yellow-white light radiates out from her palms, bathing Tristan in that glow, and all of the electrical devices around her are flickering and sparking.

"Take his pain." Kazimir's words are an order, and Yvette's eyes slowly flutter shut, her bandaged fingers curling against her palms as spots of blood begin seeping thorugh the white cloth. She winces, her brows tensing as a muffled grunt of pain comes from her, and suddenly Tristan's screaming ceases. Yvette buckles one leg, taking a knee, and her expression is one of intense concentration, and equal discomfort.

"W-what — K-Kazimir — " Green eyes peer up at teh gray-haired man kneeling over him, "Lord Volken, please, I — I don't know what happened, I told you!" With the pain gone, there is a strange numbness that suffuses Tristan's body. He can see the gory wound of his arm flayed out before him, but Kazimir would never leave him like this, right?

"How did it happen. Explain." The broken sword, still lodged in Tristan's elbow is kept motionless, something Yvette is likely thankful for. Tristan breathes out a few puffing breaths and lays his head down against his own blood and the marble floor. "When the funds disappeared, was there anything strange?"

"Nothing." Tristan exhales a heavy breath, swallowing repeatedly. His eyes keep flicking over to his arm, then wrench shut in terror of what will happen when he gives his full answer. "I was in the accounts, managing transfer of your primary account to your satellite accounts, a-and, and the money — the accounts just vanished. T-the screen flickered once, like a power surge, and — p-power surges don't erase everything. Everything. It's like it never existed. Ever."

Kazimir's blue eyes wander down to the floor. His grayed brows furrow together as he mulls over those points of information. Then, slowly, his eyes focus back up on Tristan with a level certainty. "Then it was you who failed me, Tristan." The banker's eyes grow wide and fearful the moment he hears Kazimir's proclimation, and before he can even voice his disagreement, Kazimir continues with sharper words. "You promised me absolute security. I don't care what excuse of unpreparedness you have, Tristan. You have made me look like a fool." He eyes Yvette, watching the young woman for a few moments as Tristan gasps repeatedly.

"P-please." He begs, "Herr Volken, do not kill me." Kazimir's icy stare falls back upon the banker, head slowly tilting to one side as he regards the man's words with disbelief and confusion, as if they very idea was unpalatable.

"No, Tristan." Kazimir shakes his head, letting his eyes fall partway shut, "I'm not going to kill you." He looks to Yvette, "Give it back to him. All of it." The moment those words are spoken, the young russian exhales a muffled whimper and opens her eyes as a faint yellowish light suffuses Tristan's body, and all of the pain he should be experiencing comes rushing back at once. The man wrenches and twists, rolling onto his side even as Kazimir keeps his broken sword-cane rigid and still. The blade twists inside of the moving arm, and severs cartilidge, sinew and muscle, splitting Tristan's forearm off from his bicep in a spray of blood and viscera. Kazimir rises to his feet, shaking off the blood from the broken sword, sliding it into his cane sheath with a click.

The screams are a symphony that Yvette is very familiar with. As the young woman rises up silent and ghost-like to stand beside Kazimir, her reddish eyes lift up to him with an expressionless stare. The two remain silent for a time, and finally Kazimir turns to begin walking out from the bank office. He halts a few paces awa, and then turns to look back ove rhis shoulder to the girl, as if she said something.

"No." He answers words unheard. "I…" His eyes wander from her; hesitation, apprehension, worry. "Return to Prague. Elias will be picking me up shortly." He considers something, looking down to his cane, and then back to her. He tosses the broken weapon thorugh the air gently, and she catches it in one bloodied hand, regarding the steel wolf's head curiously.

She looks back to Kazimir, and he nods. "Take it to Grigori in Prague, have him make the necessary repairs. I'll return in a week's time to recover it." There's another pause, this one longer than the last. "You don't want to come to New York, Yvette." She tilts her head to the side, like a broken marionette with a loose string. "Because it's best for you to be here."

Kazimir turns away, rolling one shoulder to work out his discomfort. All the while during this conversation, Tristan screams and writhes around on the floor, staring at the bloodied stump of his arm as consciousness begins to slip from him. "I'll return for you," his head lowers slightly, "In one way or another."

She doesn't make any move to follow her master, watching silently as he makes his way to the double doors across the room. Upon opening the barred doors, a swarm of security team that had been waiting just outside opens fire. Bullets ring through the air, punching through Kazimir and shattering stone around Yvette. A moment later, the hallway goes black in a hissing eruption of serpentine shadows and umbral fog.

The screams only last for a moment.

Then they have no voices to scream with.

Just like Yvette.

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