Exit Wound


dantes_icon.gif hana_icon.gif teo_icon.gif

Scene Title Exit Wound
Synopsis Hana and Teo take Dantes around to the back of the chemical shed and shoot him in the head. let Dantes go.
Date December 10, 2008

The Ferrymen Safehouse Deckard Is At

Supper-time means lunch. Dinner-time then masses rain high in the sky and sends Teo clattering down the steps into the basement of the selfsame safehouse that their half-identified FBI-speedster-spy managed to track them to, where 'them' centers on Flint Deckard but includes the rueful Phoenix operative.

In the smaller hours of the day, Hana had received a summary via text. Between then and now, Dantes had remained profoundly unconscious, cuffed to a table in a gray-walled room that has little besides that and a drain on the floor. The bullet hole in his shoulder is plugged with gauze and the insides of his elbows are dotted with scabs where syringes of Penicillin were applied at the regular intervals.

There's an enormous med kit hanging off Teo's fingers as he stares blankly down at the Fed's face.

It's like being deep under water - consciousness is only a shimmer of light far above, beyond the shifting surface. But Dantes comes up slowly, blinking at the ceiling. Removing his shirt revealed a partially healed but still quite new bullet wound in his arm, as well as a matched of long healed ones on the other side of his chest. Not to mention the patchwork of bruises along that side where he got so well acquainted with that Saturn. Someone's been to the wars, clearly. He rolls his head from one side to the other, and attempts to sit up. Teo gets an equally blank stare, and neither greeting nor question.

The mirror is broken when Teo's expression reverts to a frown. It isn't impossible to sit up, but difficult; the table's bolted down and the corners his wrists are bound to are at a span and too smooth to offer a lot of traction to a man whose blood loss has been supplanted with pain-killers. It's possible the Sicilian ought to be warier.

Move back. Out of flailing foot range. Instead, he remains where he is, watching the older man shuffle into an upright position that most medical practitioners probably would not advise. When Dantes fails to immediately pass out again, he expels a little sigh and cedes the stranger a few inches of space. Locates his telephone and, with a few deft if reluctant keystrokes, informs Hana that anon is awake. The next moment, the phone clacks shut.

It is difficult. It hurts like a bitch. But somehow it's important. That you keep what dignity you can until it's taken from you. He's pale and tight-lipped, bones stark under the skin. His hair's cropped too close to wave or fall in his eyes, happily, though longer than Al's coppertop nap. The dark eyes roam, taking in the rather grim environs, then look expectantly back to Teo. I'm alive. I'm whole. What now? He doesn't look particularly afraid, not yet, almost more curious.

Now — Teo gets to see whether or not the Internet wants to kill him for indirectly dumping Feds on the Ferry's gangplank. He isn't about to tell that to the bogey in question, though. Instead, he drops into a crouch and sits the medkit on the floor with a scrape of weighty plastic on flat concrete floor. Flipping the catches, he pushes the lid up and peers into its contents after the fashion of somebody who isn't really sure what to do with most of the objects found therein and isn't touching because he isn't sterilized. "Are you going to tell me your name or what?" he asks, finally. His voice registers on the rough rasp of strep.

"I am Edward Dantes," the dark-haired man says, patiently. The last name is pronounced like the poet of the Inferno's - that S is apparently silent. "You don't look like Virgil," he adds, innocently, unable to resist smiling at his own little joke. It's a thin one, however, the harbinger of gallows humor. "Where am I?"

Hana has arrived.

"Somewhere you shouldn't be," chimes in a feminine voice from the stairwell. There is, fortunately for Teo, a complete lack of censure in the words. That doesn't mean they're friendly; the clipped, cool tone is anything but. Hana descends the stairwell, takes one look at how the Sicilian's handling the medkit, and frowns. "Exactly what are you trying to do with that?" Whatever it is, he's clearly doing it very wrongly. At least in her opinion.

For whatever reason, the way that Hana proportioned her criticism makes Teo look up with a fleeting intimation of a smile. It's better that she's here and not about to kill him. Somehow reduces the gross total of clusterfucks into somewhat more manageable parameters, if only because he's given to believe his chances of survival increase proportionally. "Nothing," he promises, shutting the box. "Someone asked me to bring it for the bullet." He rises to his feet, snow boots scuffing audibly as he obligingly puts distance between his innately destructive self and the innocent medkit. When his attention shifts back to Dantes, his expression fades back to neutral. "What the fuck were you doing?" he asks.

There's really no good response to that. The truth is deadly, and all of the remotely plausible lies almost equally so. "I can't say," is what Ed finally comes up with, expression mild and apologetic. "Who are you?" he asks, in turn. "More specifically - what is this place?"

There's a good chance, from the darkly hooded glance Hana gives Dantes, that not saying might also be lethal. For him. Stepping around to his side, without any apparent concern for the whole 'in striking range' matter, she gives the bandaging a brief but intense scrutiny. "When was this last changed?" Hana asks of Teo. Ed, when he speaks up again, is given a sidelong glance and a thin smile. "Kiryat Luza," the Israeli woman replies, as helpful as Dantes.

It takes Teo a moment to count the hours between now and his last phonecall to Tania. "Four hours," he answers. He seems about as inclined to answer the older man's questions as Hana is, and steps up to the other side of the table to apply his own stare of scrutiny to the bandage. The medkit has more. He can get it. "We were told you're part of the Federal Bureau of Investigation," he tells Dantes, at length. "But you have no weapon, no badge. Didn't even find your Dantes ID on you. Pretty weird circumstances for some asshole stalker to wind up in." As if he's had personal experience. "Would they claim you if we gave them a call?"

"I am not with the FBI," Dantes says, with a shake of his head. And is not more forthcoming, because even the false veneer is a death sentence. He glances at his bandages, rather curiously. A well done job, considering. Here's hoping it's not ultimately ironic.

Hana straightens, apparently deeming four hours recent enough, and steps back. "That's unfortunate," the woman remarks, as she looks down at Dantes. "It leaves us right back where we started." The FBI agent identity, her statement implies, would be a better alternative. Moving over to stand near Teo, she faces the Sicilian obliquely. Her head tips towards the stairwell, but the gesture is slightly more of an offer than a directive. Just barely so. Translation: unless you have anything further to say to him… I suggest a private conference.

He does. One last possibility to broach, passed to Teo by the verbal sleeve-tug from a friendship he's somehow managed to mix up with business. It can wait, though; it's not something he feels like mentioning just yet, the fact that he's helped air and iron out some Federal agency's dirty laundry and seems destined forever to do them favors. His brow is dark with thought for a long moment, before the motion of Hana's head grabs his attention as easily as if she had seized him with a hand. He gives her the acknowledgment of a thoughtful frown, and he turns toward the doorway.

Their captive looks faintly apologetic, like a bureaucrat who really -has- lost the relevant paperwork. He's still blinking at Hana like he's sure an explanation and apology will be forthcoming, though he's begun to shiver a little in the room's chill, and shift on the surface of the table, as much as the bonds permit.

Outside of the room, where Dantes can't hear the quiet conversation, Hana stops and looks over at Teo. "Edward Dantes doesn't exist," she remarks. "The identity's there, but there's no record trail to go with it. Undercover would be the obvious guess — maybe NYPD. Maybe he is FBI." The woman pauses, giving the Sicilian a chance to weigh in, though her expression suggests she's come to her own conclusion already.

Outside of the room, Teo manages to fight down the urge to glance over his shoulder and make sure they are out of earshot despite that his logical brain already knows that. His eyes darken with thought and his mouth finds a line as hard. Releases with a sigh. "You remember that Fed wreck the other week?" he asks. "Christian Powell needed our help to fake some guy's death?

"I think that might be him." He jerks his head in the direction of the doorway. "I called Christian today, told him I was being followed by the FBI. I didn't mention Flint. Powell said his boy has been out of touch for a couple days and is wearing a few face." A beat's pause. "Would regular protocol be 'kill him?'" he asks, shifting weight from one foot to the other.

"I remember," Hana affirms. Her lips pull back in a thin smile at Teo's query, reflecting a dark, wry flavor of amusement. "In some situations. I don't think they apply here." Probably a relief to Teo, that statement. She does glance back at the stairwell, into the basement where Dantes is being kept — not so much to see, but simply because he's the subject of her current thoughts. "At worst, he's compromised this safehouse, you, and my appearance." A pause; a sidelong, measuring glance is given to Teo. Provided he didn't let anything slip, that is.

"I have a different suggestion." Hana tucks her hands into her pockets; the unconscious action implies an element of relaxation. Pocketed hands can't immediately reach for a weapon. "Take him to the hospital, or have Tania do it. Don't talk to him any more than you have to; he doesn't need to know anything. Not even about Powell; especially not that. Then ask your recruit if he's comfortable staying somewhere 'Dantes' knows about. If not? We move him and abandon the house. It won't be either the first or last we lose."

Whenever Teo isn't experiencing existential anguish about the shortcomings of human communication, he hates telling anybody about anything. He doesn't think he's let anything slip. Tried not to. Asking lots of questions with swear words in them tends to help. Shooting a guy tends to displace conversation, also.

This, of all of Hana's remarks, is the only one that he has any vague overall understanding of. "You don't care who he is?" he asks in the end, something like surprise a new note to the rasp of his damaged voice. It's easy to tell where his head goes, methodically, A to B, hastening past C to quibble the logistics of D. "Will you move everybody else out?"

Hana's eyes narrow slightly. "It's not so much that I don't care," she replies after a moment, "but that, if he's going to make trouble for us, he's not actually in a position to do much. The longer he stays here, the more he can pick up. And I can keep tabs on him, at least to an extent." At Teo's second query, she turns to look towards the rest of the building. "From here? I'll suggest Tania… expedite… the ones who're ready to move on. We'll have to minimize traffic."

Teo had met them in passing. Families. Nearly caught lice again, from the father of twins who just moved out of the Bronx. It's been awhile since his job description circumscribed working at close quarters with the Ferry's passengers, but he remembers something of what it's like, and doesn't mind being reminded until there comes the asphyxiating terror he just really fucked a bunch of refugees over.

His cheek twitches unhappily, but he foregoes ruminating on it aloud. "Okay," he croaks, an amicable bullfrog. "I think I'll take that suggestion, signora. Have a notion, though. Do you have access to HomeSec's Registry of the Evolved?" He hooks a hand around the back of his neck and glances back, the stoop of his big lumbering boy-shoulders going unconsciously furtive as he does.

A single brow arches at Teo's query. "Of course," Hana replies. What point in technopathy if not to access that particular database? Without vocal declaration of his thoughts, the woman isn't in any position to address them — which isn't a bad thing. "Why do you ask?"

"Curious to know if Felix Ivanov is— was," Teo makes wry deference to the man's untimely 'death,' "a speedster."

Hana blinks — perhaps surprised by the question, or maybe from the transient redirection of her own attention. "Yes." And then her eyes narrow, focused in the distance as she follows the immediate next thought to the conclusion it takes a technopath to draw. "It also happens that Dantes' records, such as they are, were created around the same time as Ivanov's death."

"I don't know if it would reassure me or not, if I actually met a Fed who could actually…" Teo elevates his hands in the air and tries to define the verbs of some uninvented language, waves the notion away. "I mean, I don't want to go to jail. So it's fucking sweet they aren't putting me there.

"But they're supposed to be safeguarding the nation fro—" he cuts himself off after a moment, realizing that his reproval is pointless, impractical, a waste of breath and time. The square of his shoulders falls slightly with a breath, the fragment of a grin. "Okay. I'll set it up. You have anything else for him?" Or me? is the unspoken query.

Hana looks at Teo, first with some confusion that gradually becomes more along the lines of impatience as he speaks in fragments. You have a point, yes? No? At least you realized it and stopped talking on your own. Consent; this she can respond to, and the woman inclines her head to acknowledge his agreement. "I don't believe so. I know how to reach you if that changes." And vice versa. So far as Hana is concerned, that concludes that.

No. No point: Teo's tired of their messes getting near him. Shower and a cigarette are practical responses to that sentiment; whining at Hana isn't, and he's aware of that. He bobs his head once, confirmation. "I'm sorry about this. I tried to be careful," he adds, concisely and without ceremony.

Equally without ceremony, Hana simply shrugs one shoulder. "Try harder." No condolences from her, no figurative pats on the head, no 'well, you get an A for effort!' platitudes. But because he didn't whine, he doesn't get his head snapped off, either. Nonetheless, the woman offers nothing more before setting off down the hall.

"Okay," Teo answers. It's more than he was expecting, honestly. He wouldn't have spoken those words to a woman like Hana expecting comfort, and he wouldn't have based them on real remorse if he wasn't well-aware of the stakes that they play with. He's vaguely aware that he could have left the apology tacit.

At the forefront of his mind, however, is what must immediately be done so he goes to do it, looking at her back only long enough to wonder if there were other topics he should have broached. Different time, place. He turns back to the room and raises five fingers in a lazy wave. "You still alive there, Dantes?"

Hana has left.

"Yes," says the Fed, or whatever it might be, easily enough. Teo hasn't pulled a weapon, so this is a hopeful sign. He's still chained to the table, but doesn't really seem to have struggled.

"Wanna go to the hospital?" Teo stops at the end of the table opposite the one Dante's perched his butt on and stares across its length at the older man with a hint of searching on his face. No depth to the look, though. He's wondering what that meant, how it was done: a new face. Deckard had refused it, and Deckard isn't a vain man; if Dantes' adjustments aren't wildly divergent from the original material, he probably had the right to be. Teo suspects this means something. Doesn't know what.

"I don't know that I need one, but if you mean a civilian one, I'd hardly say no," Dantes returns, that veneer of politeness still in effect. No threatening, no pleading, no discussion. All business. And well, Sonny's an artist as well as a scientist - Fel was an odd-looking one to begin with, and now he's got the sculpted lines of a model.

Vanity. Identity. Practicality. It means something. Teo wonders, for a moment, what he would do to hide before he summarily stops thinking about it. Deckard wouldn't appreciate the question, anyway. No one fucking changes my face. They left it at that. "You don't need one for that?" he asks, nodding his head at the hole in Dantes' shoulder, eyebrows hooking high.

Ed looks down at it, almost negligently. "Not necessarily. It's been treated, I don't know that I need anything more drastic," he says, tone cool. Odd how much of one's identity is not so much the face, as the mannerisms, the expressions, the movement. Sonny may have made him beautiful, but even the doc can't grant that mobility of expression that makes for grace. He wears this body like a suit, the face like a mask, but that was true for the original - the sense of a detached observer.

Probably, that would have been the dead giveaway if Teo had known the man before. Unfortunately, all he has on Felix Ivanov is a lot of hearsay. Christian thinks he's something of a God, Abby thought he was her savior, and the man himself apparently likes to think of himself as an artificial statue, malleable, apart. However, the Sicilian has become acquainted with evidence that the man is none of those things.

Seen him scared, run, bleed, fuck up in an astoundingly gymnastic fashion. "You need stitches," he says, turning back to the door. "You'll be at a hospital in an hour. Find you a blanket before then. Don't fuck around with us, and you'll be fine. Ciao." He raises a hand, sidelong wave. Enjoy your exit wound.

December 10th: Strictly Business
December 10th: Now You See Me
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