colette_icon.gif greg_icon.gif

Scene Title Association
Synopsis During a therapy session with Colette, Greg makes an unexpected discovery.
Date July 7, 2018

A streak of fire rips through the cold night air, a burning lance that smashes down in the distance before blossoming into an incendiary cloud that sheds a fiery light in the darkness. The shockwave shatters windows, the roar drowns out screams, mutes gunfire into a concussive reverberation felt in the chest more than heard. Black smoke swallows the fire, city lights go out one block at a time until everything is cast in darkness. Now, only the glittering streaks of tracer fire lights up the heavens, until another streaking line of fire plummets from the heavens and impacts the city, sending a new plume of fire and death rising higher into the starless void.

Boulder, Colorado

9:18 pm

January 13, 2014

"Go, go! Go!" Heavy machine gun fire demolishes a low, crumbling brick wall. Screaming over the roar of gunfire at her back, Colette Demsky charges thorugh an uneven field of rubble littered with shattered bricks and splintered wood. A handful of young men and women, armed with salvaged body armor and assault rifles hurry ahead of her, ducking and flinching at each bullet impact that strikes around them. One of the young men at her side is struck in the middle of the back, a sudden eruption of blood blasting out of his chest as the fifty-caliber round tears him open. Colette shrieks, blood spattered on her cheek, and turns while taking a knee.

"Don't stop running!" Colette screams as she moves a hand off of her rifle, clenching her fists and concentrating the ambient firelight, turning the perimeter around her into suffocating darkness. The machine gun fire continues unabated from across the street. "Do not turn around!" She screams, before opening her hand and throwing her palm forward. An explosion of light bursts in the air at the fleeing militia's back, like a silent firework that soon turns into a stuttering strobe, alternating between blinding white light and cloying blackness. The gunfire becomes more wild, wider, less concentrated. The militia soldiers — children, mostly — disappear into the night away from the rocket strikes and gunfire.

Sweeping the back of her hand under her nose to clear away a line of blood, Colette rises back up to her feet and starts to backpedal as the flickering ends. As she turns, she hears a whining sound over the tinnitus ringing in her ears. Her nondirectional vision focuses like a spotlight on the sound, sees a pair of red eyes gleaming in the dark, clawed feet scraping over brick, hissing hydraulics spewing fluid from a broken line — a Gen1 Hunter. "Fuck," Colette whispers, then notices it turn in the direction of the militia. Panic jumps up through her spine. "Fuck!" Colette shouts, the only thing she could think of shouting to distract it, and the Hunter jerks its head in her direction.

In a second it's scrambling down the rubble pile, bounding in jerky feline strides across the broken rocks. Its skull-like visage gleams in the dark, red eyes burning bright. Colette levels her rifle, but isn't fast enough as the Hunter pounces and digs its claws into her shoulders, throwing her down onto the broken field of shattered bricks and wood. A yelp escapes her, rifle clattering out of reach, Hunter jaws opening and syringe snapping out. Colette screams, reaching a hand up into its exposed chest cavity to try and force it off of herself, but it's too heavy. She struggles, tearing partly away only to get the syringe of adynomine jabbed into her chest. She can feel the chemical burn in her veins. "No, no, no!"

Colette struggles under the mechanical weight, unsheathes a knife from her side and brings it up inside the machine, cutting through a bundle of exposed hydraulic cables. Brown-red fluid sprays across her legs, hydraulics slack in its hind legs, and Colette jams the knife repeatedly into an opening already torn in its side by gunfire from who knows how long ago. The Hunter lunges down, jaws snapping beside her head and eliciting a scream. Finally, she wriggles out from under the machine, blood soaking into the shoulders and chest of her clothes. A pistol is retrieved from her hip holster, raised and fired five times into the Hunter's brow, shattering one red lens eye. It's the last five rounds, and Colette hurls it aside.

The Hunter lets loose with a grinding steel-on-steel scream and then leaps back for the attack.

Farkas Psychiatric

Red Hook, NYC Safe Zone

July 8th, 2018

6:15 pm

"…then Lucille just — out of fucking nowhere, just took it out with a shotgun."

Slouched into a low-backed antique green leather chair, Colette Demsky looks across the short space to the white-haired man seated across from her. There's a wall of books in high shelves behind him, partly drawn curtains, the aesthetic of old New York wealth. Red Hook is a far cry from the rest of the Safe Zone, and if Colette squints its easy enough to believe that the war never happened.

"So, Lucille." It's been months since Colette started seeing Greg Farkas as her psychiatrist, months since she began unpacking the experiences of the civil war. "Now you've mentioned her before, she's Wolfhound too?" Greg looks down to a pad of paper in his lap, flipping to the next page and raising one brow over the frames of his glasses as he waits for Colette's confirmation, which comes as a nonverbal nod of recognition.

"You've mentioned her a lot, recently. You're not assigned to the same team, though. Have you always been close?" Greg looks up from his notes, and Colette looks aside and wobbles her head from side to side in an uncertain gesture. When her blind stare finds its way back to Greg, she's reluctant to answer. "I mean, she saved your life. That's a lot of emotional weight to put on a single person. Were you friends prior to your time in Wolfhound?"

Colette wrings her hands together and shakes her head. "No. I mean, I knew of her, but we weren't close. I don't think we really…" then, remembering something, Colette draws her teeth over her bottom lip and looks to the window at her right and the setting sun casting long shadows across the street. "Back… before the war, when the Institute— when I…" she closes her eyes and shakes her head. "Lucille carried me out of that lab in Alaska. I woke up in her arms." She swallows noisily, then looks down to her lap.

"Wow," Greg says softly, making a note in his journal. "So, Lucille's saved you on a lot of occasions then. Now this is… Lucille Ryans?" Greg makes a circle and draws a line connecting something when Colette nods in the affirmative. "Now, you said your niece's father is Benjamin Ryans? Are they related?"

At that, Colette laughs and threads an errant lock of hair behind one ear. "Yeah," has a touch of sarcasm to it. "My uh, family situation is more a pretzel than a tree." Greg raises a hand to dismiss any sense of judgment, then reciprocates Colette's snorted laugh with one of his own.

"Trust me, I know complicated family situations." He says with another mark in his notebook. "So, do you want to talk about the nature of your relationship with Lucille, outside of the professional sphere?" That question has Colette looking up from her lap to Greg, then back to the window and the long shadows creeping across the street outside.

"She's… she's great.' Colette admits with a reluctant smile. "Like, crazy, but— she's nice. She helped get me out of my shell when we were younger. You— there's a kind of like, bond you build with somebody," she explains, making her hands fit together in the pantomime of a puzzle, "when you fight with them, you know? It's… Lucille's great."

Greg makes a soft noise in the back of her throat, looking up to Colette and then down to the paper, making a few small notes. "Is she just a friend?" Greg asks, innocently enough as he references an older note. "I only ask because you've said before that you have a hard time separating platonic and romantic relationships." That question elicits a sharp look from Colette to Greg, brows raised high and a brief flush of color over her cheeks. But the vehement shake of her head that follows also comes with a dismissive wave of one tattooed hand.

"It's not like that," Colette protests. "that was— when I was younger I had a hard time— Lucille's a good friend," she reiterates. Greg nods, slowly, and offers Colette an affirming smile as he lays his pen down on the notebook.

"I didn't mean to accuse, I just… she seems important to you, and I wanted to make sure I understand everything clearly. I didn't mean to imply anything untoward." Greg's smile is a bit awkward at that, and he sets his notebook and pen aside after glancing at the clock. "We only have a few minutes left today, but… I'd like for you to work on something for our next session."

Colette bobs her head into a nod, shoulders rising and falling in a steady sigh. "Yeah, yeah ok. Um," she looks out the window, and where once there was just an empty street and encroaching darkness, now stands a silhouette dressed in blue with familiar blonde hair. At the sight of Tamara waiting for her, Colette breathes in and out again with steady relaxation. Blind eyes level on Greg and her confidence swells back.

"I'd like you to come up with a list of people you feel you can trust the most, and write down a couple things about why they make you feel safe and secure." Greg takes up his notepad again, checking something. "We can talk about it next time, but I think there's value in understanding what makes someone a trusted friend, and what makes someone an acquaintance, because we all weigh these interpersonal relationships differently. I think," Greg clicks the end of his pen with his thumb, "you'll find some real, introspective value in that."

Nodding, Colette rises up out of her seat and runs a hand through her hair. "Thanks, Doctor Farkas. I'm… I'm sure I'll have a lot more to talk about next time," comes with an unspoken truth of because work is traumatizing, "so, you might want a new notepad." They both share a laugh at that, and Greg flashes an amused smile to her.

"Oh, don't worry. I've got plenty of these to go around." Greg motions to his small notepad as Colette is making her way to the door. "Have a good night, Colette. I'll see you next month." Colette waves back at Greg as she slips out of the door and into the hall.

Once she's shut the door, Greg quietly picks up his notepad and pen and makes a few more notes, then rises to stand and moves across the hardwood floor toward the window to see what has caught Colette's eye earlier. He approaches beside the blinds on the shady side of the window. Nearby, he can see Colette exiting onto the sidewalk from the front door, then hustling across the quiet street to greet the young blonde that was waiting for her. As they embrace, Greg looks back down to his notepad and flips through to the earlier sessions.

There, he finds a single, circled note: Tamara, blonde, 20s

Greg looks back up to the window, watching the way they interact and closing his notepad. He looks back to his fireplace across the office, cool in the summer months but still with a few ashes from the last time it was lit in the spring.

"You have company coming," she informs him, words casual now, her expression as affable as when they'd begun. The smile Tamara casts is crooked, decidedly wry. "I'll show myself out."

The origami sculpture draws Greg’s attention in sharp focus. His expression drains of color, jaw set and neck muscles working up and down in slow swallow. He's transfixed by the shapes, the stark gray coloration and the sharpness of its angles. When Greg finally draws breath again and snaps his attention away from the origami, she's gone.

Greg bolts up from his desk, chair wheeling a few feet away behind him. He looks around the room, lips parted in soft uncertainty, heart beating firmly in his chest. He raises a hand, feeling the steady beat of his pulse at his neck and jolts when the grandfather clock down the hall chimes on the hour.

Quickly he snatches up the origami dog, and pitches it into the softly crackling fireplace behind his desk. Watching it burn, the fire is reflected in the lenses of Greg’s glasses.

Greg watches the two women walk out of view, and closes the curtains.


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