danko_icon.gif wendy_icon.gif

Scene Title Insomnia
Synopsis Wendy Hunter is trapped in Midtown with a wanted terrorist who hasn't slept in days and the only way for things to go is further downhill.
Date October 21, 2009

Ruins of Midtown

It's been a hard month for Emile Danko, and the last couple've weeks have been even harder. Shooting his own men in his sleep. Nearly shooting himself. Narrow escapes, more stimulant jolts to stay awake than he probably cares to count. Now here he is in the cold heart of Midtown with a prisoner he doesn't want and isn't his. And it's raining. It's been raining. For hours now, in fact — long before the sun set and likely long after, with not even the barest smudge of a moon to light the desolated landscape snarled in around them on every side.

They're on the ground level of something. It's hard to see from down here, even in grey daylight, and impossible now. Once upon a time it might have been a drug store, or even the lobby of a skyscraper. Now it's nothing more than a twenty foot overhang of slagged glass and metal sturdy enough to keep off the rain at one edge of a sunken space that's nothing but black beyond the muted reach of a fair-sized fire. The ground underfoot is all ash and damp drywall, light and soft enough to sleep on, if increasingly moist against pooled water's gradual encroach. Runoff drapes off the overhang in murky sheets; the wind whistles and howls through architectural skeletons that burn bone white against occasional strobe flashes of lightning.

All in all, it's not a pleasant place to be. On one side of the fire, Danko sits with his back rested against an overturned and half-melted office chair, black fatigues and fuzzybald skull smudges and smeared grey with ash. The assault rifle set across his bent knee isn't much better.

On the other side and too far to take much comfort from what little warmth the fire has to offer, Wendy Hunter has her wrists bound stiff behind her back, and then to a thick iron strut in turn. Little room to move. Less to relax.

The refrain had killed off a chunk of the withdrawal, but it was back again, creeping through her body and cramping muscles, roiling through her stomach and in tandem with the fever and the sheer wetness of the weather, was responsible for the beads of sweat on her forehead. Since being brought here, Wendy's remained quiet when she wasn't being asked anything, if she was asked anything. She was certain she was good as dead from the pain and heat that had crept from ear to jaw and was killing her hearing on the left side of her head. If that didn't kill her, the man staring at her from across the far off fire was sure as hell going to.

She misses Helena too. Misses the warmth no matter how little, that the atmokinetic had managed to keep around them. Dirty disheveled brunette watches humanis first cell leader. Jsut barely. You don't look a feral rabid animal or a dangerous animal in the eyes.

For as long as they've both been out here, Wendy hasn't seen Danko sleep. He's come and gone for hours at a time on the rumble and shudder of his stolen bike, but never once has he closed his eyes for longer than a few seconds, and the slow constriction of exhaustion around his haggard brain is taking its toll. Silvery irises stand out bright against the darker pitch of wide pupils and sunken hollows under his greyed out brow. There's something decidedly unhinged to the way he's eyeing her now, mechanical, irrational distrust and paranoia marking her every move. All the way down to the most subtle of adjustments in the line of her stare.


Bill scared her. Bill has nothing on Danko. Just that one word instills panic and alarm. A tightening up of her body and making it as small a target, as small a threat as she can possibly make herself as she drops her gaze from him, to the gun then further to his feet. Aaron would be surprised how submissive Wendy can be. With the right incentive.

She doesn't say anything in return. What could she say? Wendy just huddles and prays he doesn't outright shoot her. She doesn't know what's happened where she used to be.

Driving rain spits at the fire and paints drops thick across otherwise dry ash under their temporary shelter on the cutting edge of a gust with more resolve than those before it. A few harsh breaths later, rifle stock used like a crutch, Danko's on his feet. Whether from disorientation or sheer lack of energy, he has trouble with getting his boots to find purchase in the soft film of spongy decay that constitutes a floor in this shithole of a camp, and it takes a few steps for his approach to straighten out into something more deliberate than awkwardly uneven. Deep tracks mark the stagger of his progress up until he reaches her side and the cold nose of his rifle shivers in through greasy hair, over her good ear and against her temple from behind. The raised sight grazes coarse against the tender skin there while he studies her, ruined ear to ear and the submissive curl of her shoulders away from his approach, like paper blacking away from an open flame.

"You tired of sleeping out here, Hunter?

“Want me to get it over with now, with no one around to see you cower?"

Oh god. Please no, not here. Not where no one can find her. " s..sir" It comes out cracked, broken, voice starting to go onto the side of 'lost' thanks to the weather, and other circumstances. "I'd, I'd like v..v..very much to l… Mr. Danko" She knows his name at least. She cringes away from the rifle held to her head, eyes screwed tight.

"No 'mister,'" corrected at quiet length and with an anemic waver, the former marine is speechless long enough that he might well have been further unsettled by the fact that such an amendment is necessary at all.

"Just Danko."

A rankle at his nose sees the rifle nudged in forcefully enough to turn her head with the point, which probably isn't quite enough to mentally erase the sensation of a shiver quivering through the gun's solid length first.

"You're only gonna live long enough for me to find out if there's someone else who wants to hammer nails through your hide to get what they need. No one's coming for you. You're a worthless bitch even among your own feeble kind."

Wendy's head moves in response to the rifle, fingers digging into the drywall beneath and behind her as she tries to grab onto something. But moisture has long been the enemy of gypsum rock and she only succeeds in making a mushy pile between her hands. "Danko" echoed, showing that yes, she's a smart Evo, she can say his name as he prefers it to be spoken.

That no ones coming for her is a lie though. She's sure that her parents are raising hell and that the cops are looking for her since she called in the whole thing going down and Helena being kidnapped. "Someone w..w..wants me. I'm not w..w..worthless"

"You would serve as a dog before you let yourself die. Sit and heel. Beg." A rasping chuckle crumbles into a cough past a flash of white teeth at Wendy's back, and the nose of the rifle is replaced with a loose, cracking swing of the stock sharp to the side of her face. A pair of steadying blasts of foggy breath later, through the ring of tinnitus shrieking harsh in her ear, the sift and tumble of clumpy ash falling away from his footsteps marks Emile's retreat. Back to the far side of the fire.

"Maybe you'll get your wish."

She wasn't expecting that. Who hits a person when they're down. Danko obviously does and now her right side of her face matches in intensity, the other side. There's nothing in her stomach to throw up, thank god, because if there was, there would be. She's told Helena she'd co-operate so long as it kept her alive and she would. For now, Wendy's body rocks with the blow, injured hand pulling unintentionally against it's anchor and she cries out, tearing up as much as she frankly, possibly can. Giving him the satisfaction if he was looking for a reaction from her.

All the way back to the battered chair he's been using as a support, Danko drops himself back down into an uncoordinated sit, too eager to get off his feet again to bother with a show of strength when her head's smarting anyway. Muscle twitch by twitch, he draws himself up into the same position he was seated in before, rifle and all. Only this time, the fish-belly pallor of his eyes is turned out to the pummel of ceaseless rain against churning ash.

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