A Few Follow-Up Questions



Scene Title A Few Follow-Up Questions
Synopsis Following his meeting with Nicole, Donald Kenner looks for answers of his own.
Date March 18, 2021

Snow and ice crunches under the tires of a 87 Ford Bronco as it rolls up a long driveway between tall pines.

Coming to a stop, the vehicle idles in the driveway outside of a multi-story home dusted with freshly-falling snow. There are no lights on inside, and the house is far enough away from the city to be swathed in a darkness all its own. Only headlights cut through the gloom and the snow, revealing yellow stripes of Police tape barring the door and windows. As the engine turns off, the headlights go dark as well. For a time, there's silence. Just the distant sound of traffic from a remote overpass and the quiet of winter. Then, the creak of springs as the Bronco's driver's-side door opens, followed by a foot crunching down into the snow. Then a soft click, and the beam of a flashlight sweeping up to the house in the dark.

Searching for answers.

Saginaw Township

March 18th
9:12 pm

Donald Kenner slowly makes his way across the dirt driveway up to the front steps out of the old farmhouse. He trades his flashlight between hands, then retrieves a folding knife from his jacket pocket. Up the front steps and onto the porch, he quickly cuts away the Police tape and tries the door, finding it locked. Sighing, Kenner puts the knife away and presses his hand to the lock. His eyes close, brows furrow, and there's a loud pop and a snap from inside the lock, followed by a trickle of water pouring out of the keyhole. The door swings open into a dark foyer.

As he steps inside, Kenner scans the house with his flashlight. Stairs up to a landing greet him immediately, pictures on the walls. Umbrella stand beside the door, shoes and boots left behind. Nothing had been taken away. He sweeps his light through and open doorway into a spacious living room with an unlit hearth and follows the light in. The hard wood floor is covered by a large throw rug, and as Kenner comes around the couch in the middle of the rug, he sees the dark stain in the fabric. Blood pooled thick. No one had even taken the rug away. Kenner's brows furrow together, eyes track from side to side. He approaches the hearth, looking at the pictures above the mantle. The man in them smiling, but it doesn't reach his eyes. Kenner sighs, breath visible as cold vapor. He turns, looking back to the blood, and walks over to the stain and takes a knee.

Withdrawing his pocket knife again, Kenner sets down his flashlight on the floor and then saws a square out of the cold carpet. Rolling the fabric between his gloved hand, Kenner folds it up and sticks it in a small evidence bag and pockets it with the knife. He worries about the lack of cleanup, of so much of this house remaining as it was after the resident's death last month. Kenner starts to chew at the inside of his cheek, then hears a creak in the floorboard and turns toward the sound, only to be struck in the side of the head and knocked down onto the floor.

Kenner's flashlight falls out of his hand and rolls away, coming to a stop a few feet from him. Eyes blossoming with blind spots, Kenner rolls onto his back, reaching for his holstered gun inside his jacket, only to feel a sudden and intense pain in his chest. Kenner screams, back arching, blood vessels in his cheeks and neck popping to bruise under his skin. Out of the dark, a tall, thin man steps forward, one hand outstretched toward Kenner. "If you move, I'll pop your heart like a grape."


Kenner relaxes, stares up at the younger man emerging into the glow of the flashlight. There's a silent expectance in Kenner's eyes, he's breathing through clenched teeth. Nolan slowly lowers his hand and Kenner can feel his blood pressure lowering, feels his heart rate normalizing. He recognizes the man staring down at him, from Agent Bluthner's house, from work parties at Fort Jay. Confusion and vertigo starts to set in, sending Kenner's mind reeling.

"Who else is here with you?" Nolan asks, looking left and right in the dark. Kenner shakes his head.

"I came alone." He says, squinting at Nolan in the dark, trying to make out more of his features, to make sure it's who he thinks it is. Nolan finishes lowering his hand, then motions for Kenner to get up. Slowly, Kenner rolls onto his side, then climbs up onto his hands and knees, leaving his flashlight on the floor as he stands. "So what now?" Kenner asks, looking from Nolan to the door and back again.

"Why are you out here?" Nolan asks, one brow raised. Kenner shakes his head, looking down at the floor, then back up to Nolan.

"I'm a federal agent, I'm doing my job." Is Kenner's response. Nolan, however, takes issue with it. He tilts his head subtly to the side and Kenner clutches at his chest, gasping for breath as he drops to his knees. "Lead! I'm—following up on a lead." He gasps. "Surveillance. Agent Miller." Kenner says and Nolan eases up, letting him catch his breath. "Jesus."

Nolan takes a step forward, this time not fully lowering his hand. "How did you know Agent Miller had been out here?"

"I've been surveilling her." Kenner says with an exasperated hiss of breath. "My job has been to know where she's going, when, and why." He squints at Nolan. "What the fuck is this?"

Another set of footsteps creak through the room and Kenner tenses, looking toward the sound. The man he sees step into the room is an unfamiliar one, tall and white-haired, round-faced. He wears a heavy pea coat over a crisp gray suit, necktie and all. Kenner looks back at Nolan, trying to piece everything together. Nolan says nothing, but the look of deference he gives the old man makes Kenner's blood run cold.

"Donald," the old man says with a frown. "I'm very sorry to see you wind up here. After everything you've been through, this…" He shakes his head, looking Kenner up and down. "This isn't the way I figured your career would end." Nolan takes a step back, looking from the old man to Kenner, then back again.

"I thought I knew everyone in HR," Kenner says through his teeth. The old man laughs, shaking his head and frowning again.


"You've got a smart mouth on you, Don. You know, I liked you. I really did." The old man says, coming to stop beside Nolan. "My name is Agent Duvall, I work for who you're probably expecting given all of this." Duvall says with a gesture around the house. "Now, I'm fairly certain that you understood this wasn't to be further investigated. I'm fairly certain that you understood the consequences of what would happen if Agent Miller kept digging into this, let alone you. Were we unclear?"

Don's throat works up and down into a swallow. "Crystal."

In that same moment, Kenner cuts his hand with the knife in his jacket pocket and squeezes blood into his glove. When he pulls his hand out of his pocket, the blood in the fabric materializes into the form of small darts that shoot up through the air, perforating the old man's face up his cheek. He lets out a scream, clutching his face and staggering backwards. Don sharply turns his attention to Nolan, lunging forward to tackle the young man forward and straight through the bay window at his back. Kenner and Nolan, tangled in the curtains, crash into the snow outside. The snow begins to vibrate, whatever is melting under the heat of Nolan's back squirming like a pit of snakes. He tries to concentrate to manipulate Kenner's heart, but Don takes his pocket knife and drive it into Nolan's side and—

—Nolan vanishes out from under him in a rush of air as his eyes flare a bright gold.

"Fuck!" Kenner howls as he sees Nolan rematerialize nearby. Reaching for his gun, Kenner is too slow on the draw and feels a wracking pain in his chest. His heart aches, blood vessels scream, and he fumbles the gun, dropping it into the snow. Kenner slouches forward, gasping for breath, pawing at his chest with one hand and trying to reach for the gun with the other.

"This didn't have to happen!" Nolan shouts at Kenner, his hand held out at the older man, fingers curling slowly into a fist. "You could've just followed orders!" The sound of shattering glass inside the house jerks Nolan's head to the side, draws his attention away. Kenner lunges forward and grabs his gun, firing off two rounds that hit Nolan square in the chest. The younger man falls back into the snow, and Kenner feels his heart rate starting to normalize. Gunfire pops inside the house, and Kenner scrambles for his truck. There's a scream, a blood-curdling thing, from inside the house that is worse than any cry of pain Kenner had ever heard before. Reaching the Bronco, Kenner paws with a bloody hand at the door handle, only to feel his heart lurch again. He falls onto his side in the snow, looking over at Nolan who has gotten back up onto his knees, alive.

Kenner tries to keep his grip on his gun, even as his vision tunnels down. His shaky aim angles toward Nolan, and he fires off two shots in the dark, both of which miss before he can no longer squeeze the trigger. The gun falls from Kenner's weakened grip, and his vision starts to blacken as Nolan approaches him through the snow. Right before the bloodied, mangled body of Agent Duvall comes flying out the front door to land in the snow next to Nolan. Kenner's eyes struggle to adjust to the darkness, there's so much of Duvall covered in blood that Kenner can't even tell where his face is anymore.

Nolan spins around, releasing control of Kenner's circulatory system and turns to face the house. Suddenly, Nolan is lifted off of his feet, his right arm snaps like a twig, eliciting a howling scream and he—

—vanishes in a rush of air.

Kenner exhales ragged, choking gasps of breath. Blood drips from his lips onto the snow. Struggling to get up, Kenner picks up his gun and crawls on his hands and knees over to Agent Duvall's body, looking down at him. His head looks like a pummeled heap of hamburger, hollowed out like a Halloween pumpkin, missing—

"Oh no." Kenner whispers, and as he turns his eyes up to the house and spots something emerging from within, he raises his firearm only to have it fly from his hand and vanish into the dark of night. Kenner drops down onto his backside, scrambling away from the tall man dressed in a black pea coat emerging rom the house. "Fuck, fuck, fuck!" Kenner hisses, seeing the salt and pepper gray hair, the beard, the smile of a man he knows of only in reputation.

"Easy, Agent Kenner." The man says with a rich voice that sounds like sandpaper feels. "I just have a few follow-up questions."


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