A Friend Of Your Father


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Scene Title A Friend Of Your Father
Synopsis Colette Nichols is introduced to an unusual member of the Remnant who just so happens to know her…
Date April 13, 2010

Old Dispensary

In the hours just following dawn the peeling paint and scuffed wood floors of the dispensary that hangs off of Staten Island's southern coast like a broken tooth visible behind a split lip. Light only infiltrates select portions of the dispensary's cold and empty halls, filtered through thick sheets of plastic that flex like lungs, doing their best to keep the meager heat in and the cold out. It's still chilly enough inside the darkened building for breath to be visible, and it's that chill that has one wayward teen unable to sleep and wandering the near lightless halls on her own.

The thermal blanket wrapped around Colette Nichols' shoulder is thin but deceptively warm, though it does little to keep that feeling of chill from sinking into her scalp and through her messy, ink-black hair. Dragging the trail of the charcoal gray blanket behind her on the hardwood floor, her boots scuff quietly with each step, passing by the noisily flexing plastic that whistles with a gap that has air escaping from it. Hearing that noise, Colette turns her eyes down to a spot where plastic is pulled away from the window frame and a staple hands loose.

Shuffling over, her arms shift beneath the cover of the blanket, one hand coming out to produce a key chain LED light. Brows furrowing, she holds the light up towards the plastic and depresses the rubber switch with her thumb, creating a flood of colorless light against the plastic. Colette's pupils narrow to pinpoints, not in reaction to the light but something else. The LED's illumination is narrowed down to a thinner band and then seems to disappear entirely. Only in the exhalation of her breath is it visible as a blue beam of light that pops repeatedly in quick bursts, creating an acrid puff of smoke from the plastic where the laser light melts it against the wooden frame.

The whistling stops and the plastic is sealed by the heat against the wood, and Colette's lips crook up into a smile as she turns off the LED and tucks her hands back inside of the blanket, her pupils finally dilating back to normal. When she turns to continue heading down the hall, her breath is stolen from her in a soundless gasp that tightens up in her throat when she spots someone standing in the doorway at the end of the hall.

Tall, pale, dressed solely in black with a wool greatcoat that comes down to mid calf. A mop of curly red hair rests atop his head and wrinkled brows are furrowed in his inspection of the young teen. One leather-clad hand grips tighter around the strap of a duffelbag slung over his shoulder and the other gloved hand grips a briefcase tightly. "'Ey there darlin', didn't mean t'scare ya…" The Irish accent is as clear as day, echoing softly down the empty corridor.

"Who— " Colette's throat tightens when she tries to talk, half from the cold and half from fear. There's something familiar about this Irishman, but she can't quite place her finger on it. Taking a few steps into the hall, the Irishman arches one fiery red brow and cracks an amused smile as his eyes flick up and down Colette's blanket swaddled form.

"Easy, I ain't gon' hurt'cha. You're Demsky's lil' girl ain'tcha? I'd recognize them green eyes anywhere, you know e' keeps a big ol' picture a'you on 'is desk at work?" Tilting his head to the side, the Irishman comes up to Colette's still form, setting down the briefcase on the floor so he can offer her out a gloved hand, smiling affably. "Name's Danny Walsh," the Irishman states with a toothy smile, "I used'ta work SCOUT with your ol' man back when that department was open, now'm jus' a detective." He glances down to the briefcase, then back up to Colette, "Among other thin's."

Puzzled in her stillness, Colette looks down to the briefcase quickly, then back up to Danny's offered hand. A jingle of her key ring comes from inside the blanket as she shifts which hand holds onto it, then reaches out to take the offered hand, even while her brows are creased and she's giving the detective a crooked stare. "I'm— uh— Colette, but— I guess you already know that." There's an awkward smile, and Colette glances left and right around herself, then back up to Danny. "Um, are— you're— not here to arrest me or nothin', right?"

The laugh Danny gives after the handshake is a dry one, head shaking and eyes rolling. "No' quite, lass." Releasing Colette's hand he picks up the briefcase again and offers her a look over his shoulder. "I don' think yer da' would be very happy t'know tha' you'n I are apparently both members o'this lil' unit a'thugs and killers, yeah?" He jerks his head towards the hall back from the direction Colette had come from. "C'mon, I've go'ta make this this here delivery for ol' Jensen. Walk and talk, yeah?"

Already beginning to walk, Danny starts to put some distance between he and Colette as the teen turns, following him with a baffled expression before her booted feet hurry quickly to catch up and walk at his side. "I'm— I'm not actually a member of uh— this stuff?" There's a crack of a smile as Colette glances down the hall, then back up to Detective Walsh. "I'm just like, a friend and stuff. I got kind've roughed up the other night, so Raith and his doctor buddy helped me out."

Danny laughs a bitter laugh and looks askance to Colette. "Oh boy don' I know somethin' about gettin' roughed up in these people's company, let me tell you." There's a waggle of his brows as Danny and Colette emerge out from the hall into the dining room, and the detective is making a clear path to the thick and old kitchen table, darkened in spots with stains from Eileen's blood just a few days ago. "Me an' your friends 'ere didn't always see eye to eye, y'see? I had a job previous t'this one tha' paid pretty well but— you know— 'ad it's up an' downs." Laying the briefcase up onto the table, Danny pushes it aside to make room to lay the massive duffel bag out with a heavy clatter on the thick wood top.

"What'd you do before you worked with Raith?" Colette asks nosily, sneaking around behind Danny to peer over at the briefcase and bag, then back up to the Irishman. "UPS deliveryman?" There's a toothy grin from the teen as she turns her back to the table and rests herself up against it, arms folded across her chest beneath the dark fabric of her blanket.

"Oh, public relations…" Danny admits with a furrow of his brows, unzipping the duffel bag as he casts a side-long look to Colette. "I was a people person, y'know? Worked under some big management, mostly in, ah… importin' an' exportin' but sometimes I 'ad t'get me hands dirty." Pushing open the sides of the bag, Danny withdraws a huge piece of blackened artillery from the duffelbag; a M1919 Browning machine gun and a folded tripod. Colette's green eyes go saucer wide when she sees the massive firearm laid out and hears the clattering clink of its belted ammunition coming out next in heaps.

"Pretty much th' same thin' I do for Jensen 'an 'is buddies, y'know? Just mindin' me own business an' delivering hardware when requested." The duffel bag is zipped back up and the Irishman pushes it aside, flipping open the latches to reveal a molded foam interior containing a matee black Walther MP 9x19 parabellum submachine gun. Blue eyes angle over to Colette, and the corner of Danny's lips creeps up into a smirk. "Special order from Jensen, wanted a light calibur automatic firearm for 'is little bird Eileen. This one's a nice special issue with a gas vent recoil suppressor, noisy lil' cricket but a blind goose could hit the wings off'a fly with it."

"Woah," Colette breathes out, lifting one hand to reach towards the case, fingers curling against her palm before she withdraws her hand and glances up to the Irishman. "How— where'd you get stuff like that? Isn't that like, stuff the army uses?" Both of the young girl's dark brows come up, green eyes darting from side to side as she searches Danny's before looking back down to the case.

Detective Walsh shrugs his shoulders and makes a gruff sound in the back of his throat. "Not the US Army, an' not in a long time. This 'ere Walther ain't been used by the military since before you were prolly' born, kiddo. But s'still a fine piece o'hardware any day'a the week. I get most've my stuff from foreign countries that bought up our arms decades ago an' are upgradin' t'newer an' more 'spensive hardware 'cause they think it makes them legitimate." Cracking a smile, Danny turns around from the case, looking Colette up and down. "You ever fired a gun, lass?"

Green eyes meet blue, and Colette's mind flashes back to the sensation of the faux-wood grip of her pistol slicked by rain in both her hands when she stared down the iron sights at Danko. It's a strange crossings of paths here, for Colette and the Irishman to both have memories of Emile — admittedly both of vastly different context. The muscle memory of how the gun vibrated in her hand when she killed one of Bella's security team is more palpable though, as is the wave of nausea that comes over her when she remember that she's killed someone.

"Not— much." Colette notes anxiously, glancing from Danny to gun and back again. "R— Raith's given me a few pointers, but um, not— not a whole lot." Danny returns her stare, but doesn't break it when she does. There's just a nod of his head as he reaches over to close the lid of the briefcase with a click, then snap the latches shut.

"You shoul' learn." He admits quietly, "There's a lot've people out there who all the fancy light trick in'na world ain't goin' t'make a hell of a difference to. A bullet's a pretty universal backup, an' every nation on the face of God's green earth speaks th' language of ammunition an' artillery. It's as close t'universal currency as ever there was. You got a piece've yer own?"

At the question, Colette nods her head once, glancing up to Danny before stepping past him and towards one of the kitchen chairs. Pulling it back with a scuff, she reveals an olive drab courier bag, unclasping the straps and lifting up the front flap. Text books and notepads are pulled aside, and a simple 9mm Beretta is withdrawn by the barrel, laid down on the table with a look of her green eyes up to Danny. The Irishman makes a move for the gun, then looks up at Colette before completing the motion, a wordless question of permission. When she nods, he's careful to slowly lift it up, check the safety, ppop out the clip and slap it back in, pull back the slide and snap it back into place.

"S'probably a good choice for a girl your size. Anythin' bigger's just a waste of time. See the first rule of firearms is, bigger ain't necessarily better." Blue eyes dart down to the belt fed gun on the table, "Well unless yer expectin' to have t'fight vehicles." There's a rough laugh from Danny at that point, and he turns the gun around and offers it out grip-first towards Colette. Biting down on her lower lip pensively, she takes the gun back from detective Walsh and tucks it into her bag again.

Nodding his head once, Danny crosses his arms and looks towards the hall, then back to Colette. "Basic rule is this: If you've got a gun pointed at someone, nine outta' ten times you ain't goin' t'need t'pull the trigger unless y'want or need to. Most people'll back down when starin' down the barrel of a gun've any size, cause no matter 'ow tough a bastard y'are, gettin' shot pretty much puts y'down fer the count. Now some people go by the motto a'needin the biggest gun in the drawer for when y'absolutely, positively must kill every last motherfucker in'na room… but tha' ain't practical most've the time."

Motioning to Colette's courier bag, Danny nods his head once. "Tha' lil gun'll put most anybody on their ass, provided you know how t'fire it, an' don't hesitate when y'need to. Y'ever fired at a live person a'fore?" As he asks the question and notices Colette's hesitance, Danny cracks a somewhat awkward smile. "M'not goin' t'tell yer dad, don' worry."

"Twice…" Colette quietly replies, eyes down at her feet. Danny's brows shift upwards as he considers the answer.

"Twice?" There's a nod of the Irishman's head, considerable surprise in that. "Twice's two times more'n a girl your age should 'ave t'do, but th' world's a fucked up place ain't it? You fire either've those times?"

"Once," is Colette's nervous response.

"Second time, yeah?" Danny's question is answered by a nod, and the Irishman closes his eyes and reciprocates with a nod of his own. "That about makes sense, first time's always 'ard. S'not what y'want t'hear, but it does get easier. The more you draw tha' gun've yours an' pullt he trigger the more y'lose of yer humanity." Such as it is. "Every single bullet strips jus' a little bit away from ya, makes y'hesitate less, until after you've fired enough bullets an' taken enough lives there ain't no hesitatin' anymore. Then…" Danny looks up to Colette, waiting to meet her stare before continuing, "then y'got yerself a dilemma…"

Dark brows furrowed, Colette stares up at Danny in the silence, watching him nervously as the topic of conversation keeps hitting home. She doesn't need to ask for him to continue, he can see that by now he's got her sitting on the edge of her metaphorical seat. "You either become th' kinda' person tha' goes beyon' not hesitain' an' it becomes reflexive, where a bullet becomes yer answer fer everythin' and you start down tha' slippery slope to becomin' a danger t'everyone 'round you…" that much makes Colette's heart rise up into her throat, "…or y'realize what's happenin' to ya, an' y'just barely grab yerself on th' edge of tha' precipice an' manage to keep holdin' on from becomin' a monster."

"Word t'the wise, miss Demsky…" Danny tilts his head to the side, watching the teen intently. "Jensen Raith fell off'a tha' edge a long, long time ago methinks. Best watch'er self aroun' him. Seen enough people fall like tha' in my time t'know it when a'look in their eyes. Don' make an enemy of him… but don' ever think e's yer friend either."

"You're wrong," Colette firmly stares back, dark brows creased together and nose wrinkled in her defiance, "Raith's not like that, he's not a murderer, he's a good guy and he saved— " Danny lifts up one gloved hand, making a shushing motion to Colette followed by a much sharper expression.

"No," Danny emphatically states, "trust me darlin', if'n there's one thin' I know it's how t'recognize someone who'd shoot you dead if'n you get between them an' what they want." Glancing down to the table, the Irishman's brows furrow and his hand lowers, both of them moving into his pockets as he backs away from the table and gives Colette one last look up and down. "It takes one t'know one."

Colette has no response for that, and Danny has no more words for her after how awkwardly the conversation ended. The two share a silent stare between one another, each with enough to think about now that goodbyes or further questions or allegations can come at a later date. Watching detective Walsh turn his back to her, Colette just pulls the blanket around herself just a little tighter, brows creasing and head dipping down as her green eyes shift to the side, considering the firearms laid out on the dinner table, listening to the sound of Danny's retreating footsteps in the cold, near lightless halls of the dispensary.

She'll head home today.

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