Catch and Release


eileen_icon.gif raith_icon.gif

Scene Title Catch and Release
Synopsis Raith has a few more questions for Eileen before he turns her loose.
Warning: Semi-explicit content (strong language, suggestive dialogue).
Date May 3, 2009

Undisclosed Location

To say that Eileen Ruskin is having a bad week is perhaps understating the fact of the matter. It almost certainly is, since she's been drugged, dragged off, and imprisoned against her will. The quality of her environment is lacking, being typical of an industrial environment, wherever she is. The floors and walls are covered with grim and grit, it's cold, and it's dark. Worst of all, it's extremely quiet, the sounds of the city inaudible from inside her spacious concrete cell. Being tied by the wrist to a solid iron pipe with a zip-tie pulled too tight isn't helping either, nor is the lack of food. The only good news, maybe, is the fact that she isn't dead yet.

Whatever she's found to occupy her time, she's no longer alone, the sound of footsteps echoing against the walls indicating that her 'host' has returned from wherever he disappeared to. Given that it's Jensen Raith who's tied her up, maybe being alive means Eileen isn't so lucky after all. "Eily, I'm home," he calls out through the gloom before flicking on a flood light that is too close and far too bright to be comfortable. "We need to have a talk. An important, overdue talk." By the time it's been long enough for her eyes to adjust, Raith has already brought over a folding chair and taken a seat in it, expectantly waiting for her to response in some fashion.

Gray eyes flash, lit up by the floodlight’s beam, and a moment later the sound of the zip-tie's plastic grating against the pipe to which it is attached fills Raith's ears. Eileen is a caged animal in a habitat without bars; as the chair's legs scrape along the cement floor, she slowly empties her chest of breath before she pulls in another lung's worth stale warehouse air through her nostrils and holds it, small body bunched like a jungle cat balling its muscles to strike. Blood, some of it fresh, streaks down her arm in varying shades between red and brown, darkest where the fluid has already coagulated and begun to cake, thick and oozing around her wrist.

There are teeth marks in the plastic where the young woman has unsuccessfully tried to chew through the zip-tie in an effort to escape. Lips and gums, too, are raw from the attempt. Her back stiffens, limbs going rigid, but if it's a verbal response that Raith is waiting for, then he'll either have to wait awhile longer in his chair or settle on being disappointed.

Eileen isn't saying anything.

It's waiting that Raith opts for, but not for Eileen to speak. Rather, he waits for a few moments, and then he resumes speaking himself. "You said, in no uncertain terms, that certain individuals I'm trying to find have 'left town.' Well, that's all good and well, and I'll worry about that later," he says, "What I'm more interested in right now is general information. Namely, about Kazimir Volken.

"You were in town when he kicked off. Hell, you were probably involved with that in some capacity. So, what I want to know is, what happened? What, did he just sort of choke and die? Doesn't seem like his style, so instead of spending all day guessing at it, why don't you just tell me?"

"Dead is dead." Eileen's voice is hoarse. Dry. Words taste like cotton in her mouth. "You're not interested in picking up where the old man left off, so stop talking like it matters. Move on, Jensen. Let go."

He can let her go, too — preferably before she dies of thirst.

Narrowing her eyes against the floodlight's glare, she finally turns her head away, unable to withstand its intensity moment longer. Stars swim in an ocean of blinding white as her vision begins to blur around the edges, losing focus. Sweat trickles down her temple, follows the line of her jaw and gathers at the dimpled point of her chin.

Raith's response to Eileen's is not verbal, but is instead a low sloshing sound repeated in regular, even intervals. The source is the bottle of water he has produced from on his person, the cap still sealed. It looks like he doesn't have any intention of killing her; apparently, casual torture is more his style. "Dead is dead, hm?" he asks, "You mean to tell me that New York City's baddest badasses couldn't even stand up to one ancient man, who was backed up by unpredictable, undisciplined mercenaries who largely had nothing to fight for other than a paycheck? Every one of them dead? Even the jumper and the shadow? I hope you'll forgive me for finding that, improbable."

"Improbable, not impossible." Eileen has used up all her anger twisting and thrashing, fighting the zip-tie in Raith's absence — what energy she has left is poured into remaining conscious. Even if it weren't for the sedatives lingering in her system, suppressing the will to consciously summon her ability, she's as helpless as something caught in a snare.

Or near to it. Unless he ventures a little too close to his captive for her liking, Raith is safe from her claws for the time being… if only because he holds the key to her freedom in the form of a boxcutter in his jacket pocket. "Volken killed Zhang. Crushed his skull. de Luca died destroying Eagle Electric not long after. Holden shot Heart and sent Salucci on the run. What more do you want from me?"

Silently, Raith twists open the bottle's cap and, putting the mouth to his lips, takes a short drink from it. Only then does he pay attention to Eileen again. "Tell me where Holden is." It not a request so much as it is a demand. Or an order. "And don't try feeding me a line of bullshit that you don't know where he is, because I know a few things about him. Like, the fact that you were his pretty, pretty princess." The game has changed from twenty questions to hardball. "I also know that for all his professionalism, Holden was still a sentimental, hot-headed sucker. He skips town, doesn't tell you where he's going or how to reach him? Give me a fucking break."

Eileen flinches at Raith's assessment but does not visibly recoil more than that. The hand bound to the pipe flexes, working the kinks from her muscles and the swollen joints of her fingers. "Three days of this. Three days and he hasn't come for me." She glances back over her shoulder in the mercenary's direction, careful to avoid looking directly into the light. "You're right," she rasps, tongue clicking against the front of her teeth, "about Ethan. If he was still in New York, don't you think he'd have kicked down your door by now?"

"If he knew where you were, maybe. And that's a pretty big if, because no matter how many faces he tries on, how many aliases he uses, how many bodies he counts, I'm better at this than he is," Raith replies, "Even then, I'm not suggesting that he's still in New York. What I'm suggesting is that you know where he is, or how to find him. If he was going to tell someone, and sentimental, hot-headed suckers always tell someone, it would be you, because you're the only one that he would trust enough to tell. We must therefore conclude that you know where he is or how to find him.

"I also know that you're thirsty. You're hungry, tired, sore, and probably coming down with something. And I have this delightful bottle of water right here." A bottle of water that he begins to slowly tip to the side, threatening to pour the contents out onto the ground. "You need this, Eileen, and unlike some people, I'll actually give it to you when you tell me how to find him. And I know you'll tell me how to find him for two reasons. One, you need this water, and you need it badly. Your brain isn't working properly right now. You'll start hallucinating soon, and then you'll really be fucked. So, you'll tell me where he is because you want to keep living, and you know that I'll eventually find him anyway. I'm also going to leave you with the means to free yourself, so you'll tell me how to find him, and then you'll go flying out of here, hoping that you'll be able to warn him before I find him, let him know I'm on my way, tell him to get ready for me. And then, when I'm all good and dead, he can come back to this fair city so he can take you away to some place less gloomy, forget this whole mess with Vanguard ever happened. Maybe get a puppy, new jobs, new identities. Fresh start. All that good stuff.

"Or maybe, maybe he really is gone and not coming back, because he never liked you. Food for thought."

Eileen watches the water spill out the neck of the bottle into the floodlight's brilliant stream, but her unwillingness to look any further prevents her from witnessing it splash against the concrete floor underfoot. She can hear it, though, and the sound alone is enough to cause a visible crack in the young woman's stoic exterior. As Raith speaks, the guarded expression on her face undergoes a gradual transformation from something worn and weary, about twenty years too old for the youthful curve of her mouth or the taut skin around her eyes, to a mask of cold, uncompromising fury.

He knows the right buttons to push.

The fingers of her unrestrained hand close into a fist, nails sinking into the soft flesh of her palm with such force that they'd break the surface if they weren't already so worn down. Although no tremors appear along the length of her arm, Raith can almost sense the sheer amount of exertion bleeding out through her pores, forming on her skin as an ily layer of sweat that clings grease-like to her pale face and throat.

The traces of drugs in her system are just that: traces. She isn't entirely complacent. "Come here and say that."

"Oh, and why? Ears not working so well?" Raith asks tauntingly. Despite what common sense would dictate, he does get up from his chair and move closer to Eileen, if only because he's certain it will incense her further. "Sure, I'll come closer and remind you that he never liked you. Probably because of your habit of bouncing between everyone. Kept morale up, I'm sure, but let's face it, look at you. Useless in a fight. Barely able to hold a gun. Uneducated, dim-witted and obnoxious. All traits that make you the perfect candidate for the village bicycle. Too bad for Holden, if you ask me. Maybe exclusive riding privileges would've improved his attitude towards you. Or maybe if you'd just left Volken out of the festivities, that would've been enough."

Dangerously close now, Raith's intent is just as much taunting her with words as well as distance, moving within the threat area to show Eileen just how futile her own threats are.

Uneducated? Check. Dimwitted? Sure. Eileen can be obnoxious too, when the situation calls for it, but a village bicycle is one thing she is not. Her upper lip curls back, exposing a row of pearly teeth tinged pink with blood. There's nothing wrong with her ears, and now that Raith's inside her striking range, her body tenses beneath its sweat-drenched clothes as if reeling up to swing a fist at him.

No blow comes.

Instead, he begins to experience a faint prickling sensation along his jaw, followed by a sharp twinge of pain as a day-old cut opens up on his face and begins to seep blood as hot and fresh as it was when he originally nicked himself while shaving. "Is that what you think I was? Vanguard's whore?"

The pain does not escape Raith's notice. In fact, he is all too aware of it, but he chooses to ignore it. Pain is something that a human would feel, and if there's one thing he needs to seem like at this moment, it's inhuman. "Why else would they have kept you around?" he suggests, "Oh, sure, you're a little rougher now, but back then… it's no wonder they kept you around. Especially Holden, let me tell you, if there was one thing he couldn't wait to sink his cock into, it was you. Can't blame him. Not every day a hot piece of meat just falls into your lap. Some guys have all the luck."

A wet wad of spittle spatters across Raith's face, mingling with the blood and diluting both. Eileen's eyes have hardened to steely flints, and as she leans back, knocking her head against the pipe to which her wrist is affixed, she gives the man a withering look that could curdle sheep's milk. "I never slept with Holden," she hisses in a thin voice, "or Volken, or whoever's name you're thinking about dropping next. I won't sleep with you either, but please— try."

Through it all, Raith is impressed. Eileen's done a fantastic job of standing up to the abuse he's piled on her. She's even replied, if somewhat crudely. "Soon," he assures he, one again drawing a familiar syringe from inside his jacket. But when he moves to jab it into her neck, he alters course in a last second fake out, shoving the needle into her restrained arm instead. "Soon," he says again, the fast-acting sedative taking effect. No simple drowsiness here; this one will knock her out. He's done asking questions. When Eileen finally wakes up, untied, unwatched and, most importantly, some place else, however, she may have a few questions of her own, with Raith absent and unable to answer them. But fear not, little Eily. Raith will be around.

He's always around.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License