Daidō Shōi, Part III


donovan_icon.gif hiro2_icon.gif unknown6_icon.gif

Scene Title Daidō Shōi, Part III
Synopsis When an assassin prepares to claim the life of Marcus Donovan an unexpected time traveler emerges to offer an alternative…
Date March 2, 2010

Upper West Side

From fifteen floors up, New York City's upper west side looks decidedly serene after curfew has settled in. Major arteries thorugh the city are lit not by the glow of tail lights and traffic jams, but by the jaundiced glow of old street lamps reflected by the freshly fallen snow crusted over with glittering ice. Lights in skyscrapers shine distant in the clear and cold night air, and at the ledge of the Prudential Bank and Trust's rooftop, the city never looked so quiet.

Fourteen stories below, a parking lot on the street adjacent serves Dorchester Towers, a highrise residential building owned — like much of this city — by the Linderman Group. It's not so much Daniel Linderman's assets in this building that makes it a target tonight, but the black sedan rolling up to a stop in that parking lot. What should be tiny specks of a valet approaching the car and the emergence of the bald driver emerging from the car are enlarged greatly by the optical lens of a rifle scope.

Viewed beneath the mil-dot reticles of the scope, Marcus Donovan's motions are as tired as they are predictable. Every night at the same hour, in the same car, to the same building; routine can be a wonderful thing for some people, affording them structure and order, but it also makes predicting their movements easy.

Still donned in his sunglasses even in the dark of night, light glinting off the lenses and the keyring he tosses the valet. From fourteen stories up, everything can be seen approaching at a great distance. Fourteen stories provides perspective, makes the horizon look longer away, makes spotting everything coming up so much easier.

In a way it's like being able to see the future. From here, a sniper can see further than a man down on the street; does it make him prescient? No, it simply means he has a higher perspective. Then what does that say of those higher up, people who look further, and can see longer down the line.

Would they pull the trigger?

This has been a long time coming, there was a bullet with Donovan's name on it for weeks. He's dressed in dark colors, face obscured by a winter mask to protect from the elements. He got here hours ago, recessed within a room that was used for storage. A classic set up, laid upon a desk in a prone position, he watched the street for hours, even knowing that Donovan is a man of habits, a man of schedules. Everything had to be accounted for, watched, observed, timing is everything.

He hasn't really fired a sniper rifle in a long time before practicing for this shot. But the hardware that is held in his hands makes up for his rustiness. It's a beautiful gun, American made, and was able to help him get into form in a way that simple rifles of the past would not.

He tenses when he sees the car, it's almost an instinctual move, adrenaline beginning to pour into his system even as he attempts to calm himself down. He's waited for this moment and he is ready. The rifle tilts slightly to put the bald man in the recticle, centering on him. Shooting downward is comparatively easy than shooting vertically, his adjustments for gravity are so much less severe. A finger slides across the trigger and he waits for the perfect moment, just the perfect shot to end one former political hopeful's life.

Through the scope, the sniper can see Donovan's valet snatch the keys and move in to the open driver's seat of the car. Marcus turns, watching the man step inside and close the door, lips crooked into a smile and one hand raised in a wave, fingers waggling from side to side as his bald head crooks to an angle. When he moves to turn and head for the front door, Donovan pauses, reaches inside of his jacket and produces a cell phone. Flipping it open, he casually paces back and forth with it up against his ear, one brow raised and thumb brushing over the back of the device.

The valet driven car pulls away and heads for the parking spaces out back, while Donovan seems content to handle the phone call. The angle, the opening, everything is ready and as perfect as it can get. From fourteen stories up, not even X-Ray vision could have predicted this angle of attack on this bitterly cold and clear night.

As the sniper's finger curls down against the trigger, Donovan stops moving. It's peculiar in its appearance, because his mouth hangs open like a fish caught on a hook. Something seems decidedly wrong about it, and haunting to the man behind that scope.

"Jigou Jitoku." Much as the voice behind the sniper is a horrifyingly familiar one. Donovan hasn't halted in movement, he hasn't paused to yawn, time has ground down to a singular moment and been frozen in place. The source of it, naturally, is the one man brazen enough to make this approach with such a tired proverb.

You reap what you sow.

Standing behind the sniper, one hand on his shoulder, Hiro Nakamura looks like a tired and weary specter of the man he was just a year ago. The black leather vest he wears is scuffed and worn, dark clothing making him seem to have matching attire to the sniper, though the disapproving expression on his age-creased face and furrowed brows seems all too bitterly familiar. What stands out, and what makes no sense is the Kensei sword sheathed upon his back, the very blade that currently resides on a mantle in the abode of Adam Monroe where it belongs.

The man slides his finger from around the trigger of the rifle. He lets out a sigh of annoyance, but it's the sort of sigh that one gives when your lunchmeat has gone bad and you really wanted a sandwich. Slipping out of his position, he sits up, leaving the rifle where it is for the moment, "Now's not really a good time." he says, "Perhaps you'd care to make an appointment for a later time."

"Only now, and not later." Hiro's voice is clipped and succinct, straight to the point as he tucks gloved hands into the pockets of his vest in an unusually relaxed posture. "I am not here for him, or directly for you. I'm here to deliver something and be done." How did he know to be here, at this day, at this time? Hiro withdraws a hand from his vest, removing a newspaper clipping wrinkled and creased. He holds it out, offering it in that gloved hand silently.

Even from this distance, the masked sniper can see the black and white photograph of a sallow-faced man with darkly sunken eyes and a mostly bald head with little more than short fuzz for hair. "His name is Emile Danko, ex-marine, murderer. You need to find him and be certain that he does not, under any circumstances, die. You are living on a borrowed span of time, despite what you may think. Your decision here, today, seals that and puts you on a collision course that you cannot avoid."

In this windless moment of stilled time, the air seems less cold, and yet still there's a bitter chill accompanied with the man in the photograph. "See beyond your own motivations for once in your life, as I am forced to. It pains me to admit that you are the only one I can trust to have the moral capacity to allow a murderer to live."

Hiro's brows furrow. "Emile may not see the irony in my choice of saviors."

Behind the mask, a brow is arched. "You want me to protect the former leader of Humanis First? That seems…" he pauses thoughtfully, "Yes, I suppose ironic is the right word." he looks up, "Isn't that interesting, irony actually works in this case. How ironic." quiet for a moment, he takes the paper article, "So…why does Emile Danko have to live? I assume this is a butterfly effect thing? Step on a Danko, tsunami in Japan?"

"Something like that." Hiro notes with little amusement, his hand lowering after the photograph is handed over. On the back, an address is hastily screawled in pen across the text of whatever article was on the opposite side. "His current residence, but I would not recommend simply walking in. This benefits you and I in ways that are not simply short term, and not matters of honor or— more personal." That much is stated thorugh his teeth, and Hiro looks towards the edge of the building, dark eyes narrowed. When he looks back to the sniper, his head quirks to the side.

"There is a storm coming that you do not weather, that none of us do. For once, I need you to be the person you were… and not the man you were made into. I am tired of fighting, and I am tired of holding bitter poison in my heart. Surely even you must feel that growing stale by now?"

Looking down to the rooftop, Hiro regards the frosted stone before looking back up slowly. "As I have my devils I have chosen to abide for the longer perspective, perhaps you too could look out over the high vantage point here and reconsider. That trigger is more than just an important decision, it is a defining one."

The sniper seems to really consider the matter as he glances over the newspaper clipping. He cocks his head from side to side as if going over a list in his head. Choices and consequences, always concerned with one and not the other. "So." he says, "Perhaps I don't do this, perhaps I let that man go home and go about his daily life with tea and hookers, or whatever he does in his spare time. Does Linderman get what's coming to him?"

Dark eyes look out towards the rooftop in silence. He considers the question, brows furrowed, and looks back to the masked man he's confronted in this crux moment. "Jigou Jitoku." Hiro reiterates, the same simple proverb that he had spoken on his arrival with such certainty. To that somewhat cryptic answer, Hiro neither nods nor shakes his head, only implies what the words themselves could mean; that what any one man gets is the outcome of their own actions.

"Ask Richard Cardinal…" Hiro offers with dry simplicity, "…if you can find him." Which implies with some bitter cynicism that Hiro himself has been rather unable to. Stepping back and away, the dark-haired time traveler bows his head slowly to the sniper perched on that cold rooftop, and when he rises offers no farewell, just the rush and roar of teleportation, and the sudden surge of city noise coming back to the world like a popped balloon.

The man lets out a sigh, "Always such a drama queen." He glances back out the window, if he was to take the shot, he would have to do it now. He slips down a moment, thoughtfully and looks out the reticule slowly, swinging it onto Donovan again. It seems like such a waste if he were to simply walk away now. He turns the rifle slowly and pulls the trigger, sending a bullet that could have easily sailed into Donovan into the ground next to him, not even having the good graces to hit the mirror. He lets out a sigh and slips off the desk, dismantling the rifle quickly.

Donovan gets to live today, but at least he knows that he wasn't supposed to.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License