Body Shop



Scene Title Body Shop
Synopsis Somebody left Ryans with the Humanis First! jailbait whose identity Kincaid accidentally usurped.

Date February 8, 2011

Queens — A Body Shop

Within the dome there is no wind, no real weather. Only cold. So outside the blue walls of the abandoned auto body shop, a banner lays dejected only held on by a few hooks, nothing making it move. Only visible is the word 'o body' and part of a phone number. The world is hazy, dim as smoke filters through the dome and snow falls to rest across the glass like surface.

People that pass outside are unaware of what is about to occur inside.

Within the shop, there is life. While there is no real electricity on, the lines severed when the dome went up, a cole lamp sets on a work tray, filling the garages bay with cold blue light where the morning light doesn't touch.

The light splashes coolly over a form, swinging ever so slightly, like a pendulum n the claws of the earths movement. Head drooped forward, arms and legs bound by tape, the prisoner has started to show signs of waking up.

He'll hear the shuffle of feet, and the movement of rattling wheels. "Wakey wakey, sunshine." The words are flat without any inflection. A hand pats at his cheek and when those eyes open he'll see the shaggy features of Benjamin Ryans. "Time for you and I to have a chat."

By now, the young man opposite Ryans has grown out of his appropriately handsome stubble and gone to a bristly procupine scrag. He jostles awake. If he hadn't forgotten to drink anything before going after Belinda with the negation smoke canister and his pistol, he'dve soiled his pants by now. As it is, he merely smells of sweat and can smell nothing but grime and stale air. His neck aches because it's been hours since he'd moved it. His head pounds because this asshole came over and bashed his temple in.


Not a bad-looking kid, though his nose is as crooked as his fingers. He used to play football, probably. His boots kick a crazed skitter of heels across the floor an instant and he grunts something that sounds like a curse with the end melted off. "Fuck you!" sounds hoarse. There's a fighting rattle of his body against tape. "Where the fuck? Who the fuck are you?"

"I think a better question is. Who are you?" Ryans asks awfully calmly, watching the thrashing of the younger man with an air of disinterest. "And after that…" He bends down to pick up a card battery and sets it heavily on a table not too far from his… well… victim. "You are going to tell me where Humanis First operates out of in this area."

He doesn't look at the kid, only picks up a pair of jumper cables, giving the alligator clips a testing click. Benjamin glances over his shoulder then, brows lifts just a little, questioning.


"I'm not going to tell you shit! Fucking gene-cancer freaks— you can suck my sack and choke on it, but even that isn't going to fix you. Fucking asshole." He hurls himself against the tape. Pointlessly again, except to make the adhesive bands pucker, stretch, and cut faintly into the winter-paled skin underneath it. His eyes bulge and the veins stand out in his neck. It's the kind of rage that comes of suppressed fear. He doesn't even look at the car battery. Not even once. He must be working on that.

It's loud, what he winds up scratching and clattering on his hook. The links of it squealing once as he pendulums a whole inch, before threatening to flail a proper kick. A man of a less even temperament than Ryans might be genuinely concerned the kid could rip his way out of the tape. "What the fuck did you do with the girl? Where the fuck is she?"

There is a deep scoff of laughter. "Gene-cancer freaks. That's not one I've heard." Moving towards the youth, his hand grips the kids arm hard, stilling the swing of his body. Face back to unreadable, he studies the man's face, watching for those tell tale facial movements that give away what we most want to hide. "Pains me to tell you, kid, but I'm not evolved." A hint of a smile tugs at the corners of hos mouth.

"As for the girl."

He's quiet for a moment, fingers loosening a grip that will leave bruises, black and blue later. "She's dead." Disgust fills his voice, even if it may very well be a lie. He doesn't know what is up with the girl at all… for all he knows she is dead, since Kincaid shot her.

"But…" He picks up clips and moves to attach one to the chain above the kid, metal teeth to shiny link of chain. "That's not what we are here about, sport." The other clip is literally… shoved down the front of the guys pants, a quick movement on Ryans part, as he has no desire to linger there. Lucky for this guy, the other end isn't attached to the battery yet, but he can feel cold metal where he probably doesn't want it. "I want to know where the base of operations are. They have a friend of mine."

His movements are slow, with a precision that comes from years doing things like this. "I'm hoping you won't force me to do something I don't want." Ryans glances at the boy and adds the first clip to one of the posts, then holds the other up. "So… just how loyal are you to these people?" A single brow arches upward.


There's a low squirt of now-rancid breath from between the boy's teeth. His arms hurt. His arms hurt, and Ryans hadn't done anything except for squeeze them. He blinks almost audibly, and his eyes finally cut toward the battery on the side. Another fastidious clatter against the chain that has him aloft, and then he droops slightly, realizing that the duct tape isn't stretching nearly enough. Just enough to make him think he could conceivably wring enough wiggle room to wiggle out of this. For three minutes.

By the fourth, there's a sheen of clammy sweat on the back of his neck and it occurs to him that there's a subtle wrongness to the way that Ryans moves. A familiar wrongness. The army tattoo Ryans had seen peeking out of his shirt sleeve, and his performance behind the cedar tree had been enough for Ryans to know he can handle himself… and surely recognize someone who can do the same.

There's a twisting silence, for a moment. "I don't know," he finally admits, coarsely. "I was just a fucking candidate. Aa. A fuckin a fuckin' recruit. Rookie. They didn't tell me anything yet. Apparently carrying a brother out of a ditch for two hundred yards in a hundred and ten fucking degrees isn't enough to earn you a distinction by itself." Bitterness in his tone, some combination of insulted pride and unease. "I don't know what the fuck Ray did to get in so fast. Why're you doing this, man?"

"Because… they took my friend." Ryans states simply, voice flat and gruff. He continues to hold that clip, that one thing that keeps the guy from jerking on the chain uncontrollably. "I want him back." There is a threatening growl to those last words. "I am very well aware of what you and those others are capable of, I don't want them to get the chance."

His hip leans against the table as he continues look over the guy for a moment. "So… tell me." Tone casual, his gaze dropping to the object in his hand. "How does one go about getting recruited? Contacting them." If there is one thing going for Ryans it's that he won't test positive. If need be.

"I imagine you met them somewhere." An alert blue gaze angles back up sharply. "Tell me what you know kid, or you won't be enjoying poking anything female or male, if that's your thing, for some time." Ryans doesn't sound like he joking either, metal teeth clack together for effect.

It fails utterly to calculate for a long few seconds. Twisting and gnashing. He says stuff like, "Your friend will be fine, Jesus," and, "They won't keep him if he isn't useful, after what happened," and then, "Wh— you mean your friend is a—?"

Gene-cancer freak. It's inconceivable. His face goes white, then red, and he stares at Ryans with something strangely akin to incredulous betrayal. Dehydration and a mild concussion slow his deductions and reactions, but never fear; he's arrived at the appropriate station. He knows where he is. In the hands of a paramilitary mutant-lover who put him on a hook and is talking about frying his junk, the seed of America. He closes eyes. Tightens them. Reopens. "I missed our rendezvous. They left me notes— they left me notes.

"But you'll just kill me anyway. You're one of those. Freak-fuckers, or…" There isn't enough saliva in his mouth to spit. It just slimes clotted vapor on his lips. "You're ex-military, aren't you? Or some Jason Bourne nonsense. Fuck, man. What the Hell is wrong with you?"

"Lets just say, I've played both sides of the line." There is a comforting rumble to his voice, for the moment the clip is set gently on the table. "Use too. Use to hunt them for the government. Ever heard of the Company?" Ryans approaches slowly, head tilting just a little. With how the news painted them, he hopes it has some weight to it. He slowly circles behind the man, leaving him where he won't know what will happen next.

"How do I find them? There has to be a way." Ryans is suddenly close behind the young man, not touching, but close. Voice gruff even when soft. "So let's start with where? Where were you suppose to meet them? Did you keep the note?"

The boy in the tape, Alan according to his ID, and probably not really Alan at all, tries to lean away. He is not particularly successful in that endeavor. His eyes slit away. "I'm not a fucking fag, either," he hisses, but there's real fear now. He believes it. Ryans just said the word once— and he believes it. Funny how frightening it is when the melodramatic clandestine paramilitary operation is real. Kincaid must be no less frightened in the hands of Humanis First!. "You can take your fucking line and shove it right up your ass, old man! I was supposed to capture that little ginger bitch, but it's too late. She's dead. They have your friend instead, and they're not gonna be happy." He leers, suddenly. "They'll split his ass in half so hard he'll cry like his momma the night she realized she shat out a—"

deedl — deet — deet—

He freezes. Suddenly. His eyes flit wildly around the empty body shop and round bone of his throat jumps like a desperate fish in too-shallow water. "Help!" he screams, suddenly; idiotically. He recognizes his own ringtone. What he doesn't recognize, though his companion does, is that the tone is too short to signal anything but a text message. Then again, the boy probably hasn't been wearing his phone out for hours trying to get in touch with his family inside this Dome. He probably doesn't even know he's inside a dome. "Help! Help! Don't fucking tell him anything! Nngh!

"Don't fucking try shit!" he seethes, glaring at Ryans. There's another jangle of metal on metal, a squeak of tape. He kicks both feet out and slackens again, gasping. "That my fucking phone. That's mine. And you're shit out of luck anyway. He's probably dead. Hell—" sneering suddenly, manic light behind his eyes, changing tack with the wild abandon of a jammed phonograph. "Your pet freak probably feeding the fucking fishes—"

He shuts his trap with a violent clack of teeth. Closes his eyes.

A different man might have clocked him on the back of the head for that remark, but then Ben didn't back away when Logan offered a kiss. Neither is he into guys either, just able to school himself. A master of his moods.

He ducks past the thrashing young man, ignoring his shouts and screams, in favor of that phone. While he plucks it up, turning to look at the screen. Ryans other hand reaches to pick up the jumper cable clip.

"I think…. Allen/" Ben turns to show the screen, to the kid as the clip lowers towards that other post, but it stops just short. "… that you know a lot more then your saying." The metal of the clip, touches briefly. The shock that zips through the cords, quick and sharp. A quick jolt to show he's not fucking lying.

Protected by plastic, Ryans isn't the one that feels it. His voice is cold and dangerous. "I want answers, or I will kill you, maybe your family too." He does after all know where he lives, wouldn't take much to find his family. "I know you are holding out."

A scream swirls out of him. Wild flux of Alan's chest, belly torquing inward like his organs caved in, out again. Snot and tears already welling, shoulders shuddering up, down, up down inside their sticky confines. "No," he breathes wetly. They don't actually teach you to withstand torture in the US Armed Forces. "N-no. Look, I d-don't — they never took me anywhere. I j-jj-just— I just. I noticed shit. Nnnahgh. I met operatives five fucking times, that's it. But."

He licks his lips and rolls his head back, eyes rifting dizzily across the ceiling, then across the featureless wall. It's almost visible when he thinks about calling for help again. "'V'ry time we met. We met near— waterfront, there was no cars. 'Nd they were packing more heat. I swear to God that's all I know. 'Storia. South—ern edge."

There is stoney silence from the old man, phone still clutched in one hand, Ryans other hand stays hovered over the batteries post. A part of him is sick at himself for what he's doing, he's never enjoyed it. Even if he is Humanis scum, he's still a human being.


He might not have enough time to do this any other way. His gaze gaze drops to the phone again, a soft rumbled "Hmm," is heard. After a moment, he reads, "If you get this bring E to second… FL? In three minutes?" He glances back at the young man. "E? And where is FL?" That jumper cable is suddenly awfully close to that battery again, it doesn't touch, but the threat is clear.

"I d'no." Alan blinks haggardly. "I— God don't do that don't do that don't—" His tongue ropes greasily over his lips. Ten minutes ago, he had been parched, voice like sandpaper, skin cracking around his mouth. Now he's stinking fear-sweat and close to drooling besides.

Anticipation's a powerful weapon. "They called me Echo. I don't… they said there was another fucking 'E.' I don't know. That's the kid Ray. I never met him but they kept talking about him like I had to fucking measure— meas— measure up." Those last two words are all but puked out, disgusted directed inward, directed outward, decompressing and expanding coverage like the salt and moisture and hormones coming off him in eddies. He swallows thickly. "I don't fucking know."

"I don't believe you." Ryans states calmly, the phone is set on the table. It'll be useful later. "The message makes me think you know where." He glances at his hands. "I don't think you really understand how serious this situation is."

Eyes narrow as he tries another tactic, "I reach one and I don't get something useful from you…" His hand gives a little jerk, nothing happens. "Ten… nine… eight…" Benjamin turns his head to watch the kid as each number ring clear through the garage bay.

He's bracing. Of all things. Rasping and hissing, "No, no, no," but it isn't begging and it isn't honest resistance, either. Something that falls in the no-man's-land between clarity and stinging resignation.

The voltage rips through. And he dances like a snake beaten with a snake. Bounce, twist, lashing out with bound feet, a scream discharged into the stale air boxed inside the garage. If anyone is left to hear it, in either of the neighboring buildings, they won't be saying a damn thing about it. Now the flush is just two accents of color high on his cheeks, the rest of him pale as poisoned milk, pupils dilated, rolled almost all the way out to the rims of his irises.

That had hurt. "Nnnnh," he finishes, deliriously. "'S-swffucking b-bastard."

The clip is tossed down in disgust, left to hang, fairly convinced he has what he'll get from Allen… Echo… whoever it is. Ryans stalks over the guy, ignoring spit or whatever else has been expelled from his mouth, fingers grip his face to look closely. "We're done."

There is a finality to those words, hand releasing it's grip with a rough jerk. "If I find out you are holding out on me… if I find out you lied…" Eyes narrow as he moves to find where he put the duct tape.

"You are in my custody. I'll be making some calls, finding a place to stash you." He's already received a text that there a few Ferry within the dome. Doyle would make a wonderful warden. "Once I have my friend safe, then I'll decide what to do with you."

In other words, if he'll let the guy live or die.

Tape retrieved, the distinctive ripping sound reaching the man's ears.

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