Cut Strings


f_april_icon.gif curt_icon.gif f_doyle_icon.gif veronica_icon.gif

Scene Title Cut Strings
Synopsis Doyle's misdeeds come home to roost, once and for all when April, Veronica, and Curt stop by to collect dues owed.
Date June 18, 2009

A Seedy Hotel in Brooklyn

A carefully folded shirt's set upon the top of an open suitcase's contents; a stack of nice but not too expensive garments folded with a certain amount of fussiness and settled into its confines where it rests atop a half-made hotel bed whose sheets show a vomitously flowery print that goes nicely with the knock-off O'Keefe pictures on the walls. The man who folded them turns away, walking past a heavy trunk stained red and with brass fastenings, its open top revealing the puppets carefully folded up and packed in for safe keeping, until he reaches the cheap table in the dining room and pauses before it.

Eric Doyle's fingers brush over the plane tickets he's purchased, fanning them out a bit and smiling ever so faintly down at them. Several different locations, several different airlines— a smokescreen that he hopes will let him slip through any net that'll be drawn around him. Little does he know. They're gathered up swiftly and tucked into his pocket, and he pauses to peek out the curtains and check the parking lot with a nervous flicker of his eyes, turning back to look over the room, rubbing his chin and lips with one hand as he tries to suppress a stirring anxiousness. He's not home free yet.

Despite having been the victim (more or less), and having done the work which located their target, April isn't in the lead on this operation. Her power in Doyle's puppet-strings would be a major disaster, which is why she ceded point to the real agents. She keeps tabs on the hall, the better to ensure Doyle doesn't do anything slippery — if things go horribly south, or if he somehow manages to bolt, then she'll step in. Otherwise, April's other job is to keep bystanders back where Doyle can't get at them.

Curt stands just to the side of the door outside of the room Doyle is in. He waits there, patiently. He's outside of the range of the peephole and currently carries no gun on his person. Because he'll be closest and that could be disastrous. Instead he holds the flashbang in his hand, the pin pulled, the spoon held down by his fingers literally keeping its fuse held in check. He listens carefully then taps his coms once to signal the countdown. He releases the spoon on the grenade, igniting its 5 second fuse. Two taps to the coms. Three…. His booted foot hits the door with his weight behind it, splintering the jamb and ripping it off its top hinge completely. He pitches the grenade into the hotel room in the same motion and spins back towards the wall knowing exactly what two million candle power light flashes and a 180 decibel explosion can do to the human senses. Also knowing that the grenade has less then 2 seconds left on its fuse means he won't have much time to get out of 'shock radius'. Best not to leave these things to chance.

Until the explosion is over, Veronica is back, just ahead of April and about eleven feet behind Curt — just in case. "So much for low profile," she mutters to April — of course, that wasn't the plan, but usually it's how the Company tries to do things. She rushes to the door, weapon drawn, to get a sightline on Doyle, to see if she can get a good aim on him before he can see or hear again — more importantly, before he can grasp one of their bodies to use as a puppet against the others.

Eric's just crossing the room towards the bathroom when the door goes crashing open, and he spins around— probably the worst thing he could do, as the flashbang goes off right in front of him. "JESUS CHRIST— " He goes stumbling backwards, tripping over the door-jamb and landing on his hefty backside on the bathroom tile, the strobing flash and the roar of sound reaving his senses from him in an instant. Pawing at his face as if he could push it away, he desperately kicks at the bathroom door to close it.

Yeah, Doyle, a thin wooden bathroom door'll save you from the armed field agents! Sure it will!

Curt is through the door before his partner, his shoulder sending what's left of the door to the floor. He's through the room in a low crouching stance that's terribly silent even to people who didn't just witness an explosion. One quick scan leaves him reasonably sure there is no one else in the room before he steps over to the bathroom door. His mind flashes to the building blueprints and he silently motions to Vee. Never saying a word he motions the military sign for 'take the shot' and then taps his own knees, then his chest over one lung. Yup, Vee gets to live the dream and shoot Curt. He also motions her to stay as far away as possible. Doyle is blinded and trapped in a room so small he can't escape Curt's power. Couldn't ask for a better set up then that. He stands in such a way as to make the targets easily seen and hit.

Veronica backs up — but she's backed up only a few feet away into the hallway wall. That won't do. She peers into the room and sees it's at least twenty feet from the bathroom (always in the entry way) to the windows. She nods to Curt and hurries past him, her feet nearly as quiet as his; she doesn't have the years in the jungle he does, but she's also lighter by far. She makes it to the far side of the room and aims at Curt's knee first. She pulls the trigger, then re-aims for his chest.

Just as Eric starts to see at least the vague silhouettes of things around him again, his knee explodes. It's not a quick, sudden explosion, either, but first skin bursts and tears away, tendons and muscles ripping, and then bone shatters with a crunch that'd be audible through the door if it wasn't for the echoes of the flashbang still hanging in the air. He cries out in shock and pain as he pulls away from the door— not far enough— reaching down to clutch at his knee and stem the flow of blood around his fingers. This isn't fair, he thinks, desperately, helpless Not like this…

Curt's scream is more an animal growl as his fist pounds the wall once in pain from the knee shot. Heh. Somewhere in the back of his mind he wonders if Doyle will ever even notice as his knuckle split and his hand bruises even through the pain of the knee. He turns to glare at Vee, his eyes accusingly asking why she's taking her fucking time even as his own knee seems to rebuild itself dramatically. Hey, it still hurts people… Like a lot! Ask Eric, he'll share.

Veronica's second shot hits Curt in the chest even as he turns to glare at her, even as she's wincing at the dual screams of Curt and Doyle as both feel the pain of the bullet wound. She pulls out her HomeSec badge, prepared to deal with any hotel security that comes running to the room, though they'll encounter April in the hall first, of course.

The older man in the bathroom is just starting to catch his breath, one hand clutching his knee as blood streams out between the fingers and the other reaching up to fumble at the edge of the sink in order to pull himself up— and a new rose blossoms upon his chest, through the shirt he's wearing. A rib shatters with a sickening snap inside him, and crimson gurgles up past his lips as he slumps back down, staring at himself with wide, panicky eyes.

Curt feels the bullet pass through his chest, and he grins, turning to spit blood onto the carpet. Good thing about chest wounds is that your brain blocks out the pain for a short while. Which is good. He rarely feels more then a tickle from those. Even as the wound closes and the hole in his lung vanishes, the blood flowing back into it's veins, he grins with pink-stained teeth. He bangs on the bathroom door once with his fist, "They were wrong!" he calls into the room through the cheap door, "Weebles wobble and they do fall down after all." He chuckles at his own joke and pushes himself to his feet as the hole in his chest closes before Vee's eyes.

Around now, civilians will be rushing out into the hall, hurrying out to the lobby, trying to get away from the blast that rocked the hotel. Veronica gives a headshake to Curt. It's just bad form to heckle a dying man. "Another, or is he down?" she says quietly, from where she now leans on the air conditioning unit. "I'll happily shoot you one more time," she offers.

Is he down? It depends on the definition. Doyle's given up on standing, as the blood that spreads down his shirt and pant-leg is pumped out of his body with every spasmic, panicky beat of his heart— an erratic rhythm to be certain, now, every moment feeling like constriction about his chest. He tries to reach up, but his fingers refuse to respond. Numb. A puppet's strings, cut in the dark of a hotel bathroom, without even any eyes to see him die.

"Just wanted," he mutters to nobody, voice raspy, weak as he spits blood to one side, fighting to keep his eyes open, "Just wanted a nor— normal life—"

Darkness falls. Not death, perhaps, not yet, but he's rolling over that final mystery's doorstep now.

Curt just smirks at Veronica, "His lung is filling with blood, collapsed so he can't draw a deep enough breath to scream anymore or speak above a whisper. It's a silent kill shot." he turns to look at the door, "It's not a particularly humane way to die, but it's quick enough." Which is why Curt told her where to put the bullet. Cause he's an ass like that. "Go back out the hall, out of his range. I'll stay and guard him just in case by some miracle he's still breathing. Only person he could hurt then is me." Which is actually hurting Doyle so it's win/win. "I'll let you know when it's finished."

Veronica backs out and helps April do crowd control in the hall. "Just head on down to the lobby. HomeSec," she assures them as they come out of their doorways and peer down the hall to what seems to be the source of the noise.

Ironically, it won't be the bullet wounds or bloodloss that's listed as the cause of death if there's an autopsy ever done on Eric's body. It wasn't Curt's power that killed him, in the end— not directly, anyway. A decade of neglect in prison, and years before that on Level Five, mingled with a laziness and lack of exercise— and love of food— left him with a heart that couldn't deal with shock. One last, shuddering breath gurgles wetly in his throat… and then nothing.

The Puppet Master cut his own strings, in a way. The Company just gave him a push.

Previously in this storyline…

Next in this storyline…

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