Back Against the Wall


danko3_icon.gif magnes_icon.gif

Scene Title Back Against the Wall
Synopsis In the middle of a fire fight in Midtown Manhattan, Magnes forces Danko to swallow a taste of his own medicine.
Date October 22, 2009

Ruins of Midtown

The latest Midtown shootout started about seven minutes ago. A cascade of hollow brass casings and a few sharp cries later, five guns have been cut down to three (and a half if you're willing to count the bearded guy who's had to swap slinging his rifle left handed now that the right is matted thick with blood) and one ox of a man lies face down in the street between muzzle flashes in the fading light of dusk's early onset. Underfoot, ash and decay has been churned and clotted into claggy mud by a relentless rain that's only just beginning to let up some three or four days after it began. Sinkholes filled with filthy water are indistinguishable from harmless puddles that share the same stretch of street and broken glass glitters jagged in what few windows can be discerned in the buildings slumped over cracked sidewalks.

To the north, four rough-looking, creatively tattooed gentlemen in a classical blend of urban camouflage and black leather are holed up on either side of the street. Occasionally one or two will blister a line of fire into the murk after a glimpse of something that might have been movement, but for the most part, a temporary stalemate has them rooted to their ragged posts.

"Just throw the grenade!" one hisses to another, yellow teeth clipped against a muffle of dreary thunder. "We need his whole head," is his crouched companion's logical counter.

To the south, Danko's taken cover in an alley whose nearly complete arched ceiling is formed by the slouch of two apartment buildings into each other. Debris blocks the only exit that isn't likely to get him shot if he runs out of it. He's breathing at a harsh pant, raspy breaths rolling out against runoff at a huffing fog that doesn't slow down once he's scrubbed a sleeve past his nose and tipped a flicker of a glance juuust around the edge of slippery brickwork. Said glance is answered with another burst of gunfire and a spray of damp brick across the adjacent wall. Christ.

"What's the matter, ~Emile~? Pick the wrong hole to slither into?" There's a distinctly Texan twang to the voice that rings out across wet concrete, even if all of his buddies sound like Brooklyn.

"Taken' you alive is an option, y'know. Nothing about the price on your head says it has to be chopped off your shoulders."

Unfortunately, Danko's been stalked, something Magnes has been doing more and more to people these days, made far easier by the rain. He's been watching a good portion of the action from above, a GTA 1 style view. When Danko appears to be heading into the alley, the ex-Pizza Boy decided to slip into those debris and reblock the exit. He's been hiding on the ceiling, in the shadows, and when Danko returns from his glance, he's greeted with a person wearing all black placing a gloved hand on his forehead to stop all movement, the feeling of weight pressing from various directions on to his limbs to practically freeze him in place. "Remember me?" asks the familiarly altered voice.

The .45 gripped hard in Danko's right hand is already on its way up when his muscles lock rigid against invisible restraint. But the angle isn't steep enough to put Magnes at risk, and for an awkward few seconds, the shorter man is left to stare with a breed of paranoid shock that's already flash freezing its way into cold-burning fury.

He's ghoulish in close proximity, colorless eyes sunk deep and bristled burr soaked flat, dirty grey against his soot-stained skull. Teeth slivered into a bare and breath forced down to a wheeze, he doesn't move. Mainly because he can't.

Magnes carefully moves the man deeper into the alley, shifting gravity so the man is stuck against the wall, arms spread crucifix-style. After a while of staring into the man's face, he rips open his shirt down the middle, gravity causing it to lay back as if Danko were on the ground. Of course, he doesn't want the man comfortable, so his perception of gravity promptly reverses, as if he were hanging upside down, despite being perfectly upright. "I'd like to start by saying, I'm a nice guy, I'm a very nice guy, but people like you, hurting innocent humans, death, torture, it drives people like me to do things like this. Of course half of what you're gonna go through tonight is courtesy of the US government, so I hope you have a good time. Anything you wanna say? Confess to? Or maybe you wanna tell me how helpless you feel right now?" He's calm, very calm, because what he's about to do is for millions of people who could have been hurt if this man weren't captured.

Somewhere in all this, Danko finds time to look briefly confused (and even mildly affronted) when the black shirt he's wearing under the usual battered drape of his leather jacket is shredded down the middle. There's a skew at his brows and a terse flare at his nostrils against the encroach of cold air, and underneath, he's about as snake-belly pale as might be expected. Built like a jackrabbit – the kind not worth eating — rangy muscle etched in fine relief in its rawboned knit against a narrow sternum and exposed ribs.

A glance slides sideways to the alley mouth while Magnes talks yields no new information. The guys outside are still waiting for him to poke his head out again, leaving his lifeless eyes to focus back on Magnes in irritable solitude.

"Go to hell."

"You first." Magnes places his hand on Danko's chest, and suddenly he feels incredibly tight squeezing on his forearms, as if one of those blood pressure monitors were pressing them. Then one of his ribs, one on the bottom, begins pressing inward, very gradually, until little hair-fractures start to form, very painful hair fractures, and one by one his other ribs begin to join it. "Every inch of your body, it's all connected by gravity. I can feel your heart beating, your lungs every time you take a breath, your brain, sitting pretty relaxed in your head. I could shut it off, I could collapse a lung, make your heart drop out of your abdomen, make your brain spin inside of your head. It's only gonna get worse. So let's start with telling me all about your headquarters, spies you have in other organizations, the identity of the men who shot up the courthouse, and the person who sniped the woman outside of Old Lucy's, if that even had anything to do with you people. Oh, and I think the first rib is about to break. I don't know a lick about torture, but I've had every bone in my body broken, literally, and I've been afraid out of my mind to the point of pissing my pants. I know what hurts, I know how to make someone afraid."

Danko feels it. There's no lying past the grunt that wrenches reflexively through his teeth at the tick and jag of hairline fractures through the delicate curve of that last slender rib. Fresh scarring lines angry red across that same side, just visible beneath the swing of his jacket when he blinks hard and forces himself to focus back up on Magnes's masked face.

"You know," he starts, and stops, because his voice sounds a little more strained than he might like and he has to swallow down some of the tension wired in around his vocal cords, "there've been studies done on torture, and the kind of information it pans out. Half-truths, lies. Nonsense. Anything to make it stop."

"But this is hurting you, right? You do feel just as helpless as everyone you've kidnapped, tortured or killed? So even if none of your information pans out, something came out of this. Besides, if you're not telling the truth, and the guy in your head says you were lying, I'll just have to bring you back from whatever half dead state you're in and do it all over again. I got the idea because someone did this to a girl I used to date. As evil as the person who did it was, at least I'm doing it for a good cause. Say aaahhhh!" Magnes requests, but doesn't wait for him to comply, the man's bottom jaw is suddenly too heavy to close, and the gloved hand reaches all the way back, for the deepest tooth he can find, and veeeery slowly he pulls it from the gum, making sure the man feels every aching moment of dentistry until the bloody tooth is suddenly held up to the man's eyes.

"That's a minor loss for all the torture you committed." he adds as the jaw's weight gradually returns to normal, and he pockets the tooth. "That's only a fraction of what I've seen people like you do to my friends. So how about you give me information?"

Ribs rising and falling faster against the pressure built up against the tensile, stuttering tweak of another fine crack and adrenaline's heady pump through his haggard system, Danko watches Varlane say what he has to say at an eerie remove. There's something still and tranquil to the steady focus of dilated eyes shining in the dark that disconnects them from the shudder of his breath and the pain netting veins stark across the wiring in his neck. And when his brows finally struggle back into a lift, it's morbid curiosity and enthralled disgust rather than quavery submission that writes out into the lines that etch along with the change in expression.

It doesn't last long.

His jaw pries itself open despite every effort made to twist away, and before he can so much as think about trying to bite down again, there's a gloved hand playing dentist with one of his silver-capped molars. The sound that garbles out of his mouth is most likely a muffled cry of pain. His eyes are shut hard and his breath locks in his chest; the heavy gun still in his grasp finally falls away into a clatter from numb fingers.

Once it's out, he chokes his way into a wet cough against the blood spilling thick down the back of his throat, heart battering strong at the flat of Magnes's palm and eyes still squeezed shut. He doesn't actually say "Aaaughhhh," again, but sure looks like he'd like to, what with bloody drool slick down his chin and his brow tempered down into a furrow he isn't likely to shake any time soon.

"Son of a bitch," is what he says when he finally says something, dialogue hard-pressed to drum up enough breath to be heard once he's forced his eyes open at a labored blink. Upon his return to reality, the first order of business is to hawk a rancid mass of blackish red blood directly into Magnes's obscured mug.

"Your friends are all free. Or dead. You too much of a coward to kill me — " he pants enough for his remaining teeth to show an uneven, glistening patina of ruddy slime, "…or are you here to get your rocks off?"

"I've learned a lot this year. All the times I've gone through an incredible amount of pain, all the times I've wished I was dead." Magnes sounds disgusted now, reaching into his pocket to wipe blood from his mask, then places a hand against his chest again, causing the man's head to turn to the left, away from him, pressed against the wall. "Death would only help you. If you die, I want it to be from shock. But since you enjoy spitting so much, I think I'll introduce you to another kind of physical pain." He hasn't bothered the ribs, he's continued to allow them to slowly crack under their weight, but is otherwise not breaking them yet. Instead, there's a sudden squeeze on his stomach as it just completely collapses in on itself. He doesn't crush it enough to destroy it, it's more the equivalent of getting punched in the gut by a heavyweight boxer from 360 degrees. "And by the way, my girlfriend does that just fine." he says as his demeanor becomes casual again, knowing how unsettled he was when John Logan, Jake, and a few other people made him when they did or spoke of horrible things in a casual demeanor, hoping this unsettles Danko just as much…

Probably fortunate for both of their boots Danko hasn't had much to eat in the last twenty-four hours. He retches in any case, and there's a wet slap of blood and bile all out in a line across the ashen alley floor just in time for something extraordinary to happen.

With a clap like a car door being slammed, Beardy Spice the mercenary appears as a hunched black shape in the alley a little ways down, assault rifle in hand and boots braced wide apart. For half a beat he just stands there and stares at the pair of them: Danko flattened against the wall, Magnes in conrol before him. Then he's gone again with another clipped thunk, leaving only the deep impression of his boots in the damp ash behind.

Even in still trying to drag in air, Emile is inclined to stare after the vacant space. Check please. :(

Magnes grabs Danko's gun from the floor as soon as the man leaves, holding it in his right hand before placing his left on to the man's stomach again. "One of those people chasing you. I don't know why they want you, maybe a bounty on your head? But that's good enough for me, Emile Danko. You won't talk, you're trained to withstand torture, but that's alright, because you know what? You're hurting, and you're going to be hurting for a long time, rotting in your cell." The man gets a quick frisk, being an officer and all, he wants to see if there's any useful information on him. Once done, he places the hand on Danko's chest again. "Good bye, Emile Danko. I'll find your people eventually. And by the way? You only need one good lung." And bam, the left lung collapses.

There's a cell phone buried in his jacket. A knife at his belt. Another gun holstered out of sight at the small of his back. Touching and frisking is all endured with pitbullish annoyance now that fight number one seems to be on the verge of resuming itself, a ropey pull of blood-streaked saliva falling slow off the edge of his clamped jaw. Then, as he's rolling his eyes back into a cold fix on the alley mouth, there's — kind of a problem somewhere in his interior, and his already short breaths bite off into even more of a wheezing struggle. Where distraction was already threatening to move him ~past~ this whole little ordeal, the full of his focus is centered abruptly back upon Magnes's mask, dead grey irises cast round into pure, unmitigated hatred.

The phone is pocketed, the other gun is holstered around his back, and he steals the knife and stuffs that into his belt. "You're the one who chose to hate us. We don't have bad genetics, there's only bad people, but a person like you wouldn't realize something like that. You Humanis First people started it, you fanned the flames, you only have yourself to blame for everything you just went through." He doesn't fly away, he's rather not reveal more abilities than necessary, he simply runs to the debris, knocks enough of it out of the way to squeeze through, then places it back where it was. When he's away from Danko's cave, then he flies.


Unfortunately for Danko, there was an extra bit of pain planned. While the crushing of his ribs has worn off, it's when the crushing pressure of his arms release that he has to go through the teeth grinding pain of blood rushing back into drained arms. It's up to fate if gravity releases Danko from the wall in time to escape the mercenaries…

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