It's Going To Get Weird


lemay_icon.gif magnes2_icon.gif pete_icon.gif

Scene Title It's Going to Get Weird
Synopsis You have no idea.
Date November 7, 2011


A car door slams at the mouth of an alley.

Steam rises up from a sewer grate, turning into jaundiced mist in the amber glow of an old streetlight. The sidewalk and streets are damp from earlier rain, making every light reflect bright off of dark surfaces. The black sedan parked at the end of the street keeps its engine idiling, even as the back passenger's side door opens. Rolling up the cuff of his sleeve, Pete Varlane checks his wristwatch: 9:22pm. A glowing blue pip on the watch face's outer ring moves from the 1:00 to the 12:00 position. He hisses under his breath, and hustles as fast as his broad build will allow into the alley mouth.

"Stop!" Pete reaches into his jacket, withdrawing an old Smith & Wesson revolver from an underarm holster. "Jesus Christ on a fucking bicycle stop!" He's already panting, red faced, and sweaty. When he reaches the mouth of the alley, he can hear the soft clang of sneakers on a catwalk. Fifteen feet up, there's a figure in a hooded sweater perched on the fire escape stairs. Pete exhales a ragged, tired exhalation and rolls his eyes. "Oh for the love of God," he exhales under hi sbreath, and in that same moment the figure bounds off of the stairs to the fire escape on the adjacent building, then zig-zags up to higher and higher levels.

"Roof, roof!" Pete calls out into his wristwatch. "Do it!"

«I have him, are you sure?» Crackles out of Pete's watch.

"For fuck's sake do it before we lose him you dipshit!" Pete sscreams at his wrist, face getting even redder, gun waving around in the air wildly. A moment later there's a loud crack that echoes through the air, followed by a muffled whimper. Then, falling out of the air like a leaf that had been plucked from a tree branch, the hooded figure drifts and flutters to the ground. He lands with a soft plap in a puddle of stagnant rain water.

"This is Papa Bear, we've got him!" Pete hustles over to the fallen figure, who is writhing on the ground clutching his chest. Skidding to a stop, Pete points his gun down at the hooded figure and cocks one brow. There's a twitch of something in his expression as he hears a rumbling engine catching up at the mouth of the alley. A large, white van comes to park in front of his car, blocking the exit entirely.

On the ground, the darkly-dressed figure gurgles and wheezes, clutching a point on his chest where blood bubbles up from a punctured lung. Pete's expression sags, frowning. He puts away the gun and takes a knee beside the fallen figure. "Christ, why the hell did you do this?" Tugging the hood back, Pete looks down at Magnes with pursed lips and a slow shake of his head. "You should've just stayed put." Pete brushes a hand over Magnes' forehead, watching frothing blood gurgle up from his mouth. At the mouth of the alley, there's a hydraulic hissing sound, followed by the silhouettes of white-clad Institute retrievers moving into view.

Magnes tries to talk, but all he can do is gurgle up more blood. Pete smiles, then frowns, then swallows back something more emotional as he brushes his hand across his son's cheek. "We'll get this right eventually," he says with an awkward smile, as if everything is going to be ok. Then, he pulls out his revolver and places it against Magnes' head, and pulls the trigger. The explosive sound of the gunshot rings out through the alley, carries up into the sky, and can be heard for blocks.

Pete stands up, holstering his gun again and waving the retrievers over. "Crack him open," Pete explains, taking off his suit jacket and handing it to the other retriever. One of the white-clad figures takes a knee beside Magnes, withdrawing a surgical saw from a hoop on his belt. Leaning in, he activates the tool and begins sawing through the side of Magnes head. Blood sprays against the visor of the retriever's gas mask. As this gruesome process goes on, Pete looks back at the retriever holding his coat while he rolls up his sleeves.

"So, are you free later?" Pete asks aside to the masked retriever. "Because the divorce is finalized, and… you know," Pete's head bobbles from left to right, one brow raised. "Don't answer now," he notes, wagging a finger in the air. "I've got some work to do. Maybe— give me a call? I've got a flight to catch tonight but I've got an hour or two to spare." The retriever says nothing, though takes a half step back and looks away, gesturing with one hand around their visor as if they couldn't hear anything through the gas mask.

Pete shrugs, "your loss," and lowers himself back down on one knee beside Magnes' corpse. The side of his skull has been cut away in a four inch wide square of blood and brain. Pete slides two fingers into the gray matter with a squelching sound, looking up and to the side, like he was fishing in a pocket for some keys. After a moment he makes a soft aha sound and withdraws a chunk of brain matter. "Ok, step back. This gets weird," Pete explains as he squeezes the chunk of Magnes' brain in one hand.

Out on the street, away from what's happening with the Varlanes, someone else has exited Pete's car. Standing beside the open door, Howard LeMay holds a cell phone to one ear and a cigarette hanging out of the corner of his mouth. "No he's… taking care of it now. We've already taken the boy down, now we just need to make sure the research isn't lost. I'm — no, I'm sure. Look, Pete will be out there by noon or so, local time. You can ask him about it."

Howard paces away from the open door as screams erupt from the alley. Confused, howling screams of anguish and pain. He flicks a look in that direction, then plucks the cigarette from his lips. "No, that's— " Howard holds the phone out in the direction of the horrifying, anguished cries, then brings it back to his ear. "Pete being Pete. Look we've got a lot of balls in the air right now, I don't know if— I don't frankly care what Simon told you."

"Fuck," Howard exhales as the screaming continues, walking further away from the car. "Look, Erica. Just— keep your shit together until Pete gets there. Things are fine, and let me worry about the Director. Simon's shared his concerns with me, and I think— " he rolls his eyes again. "It'll be fine. I'm going to try and talk to the President after the memorial tomorrow. We'll figure everything out from there. This new relocation policy won't affect our day-to-day operations, he's assured me."

Then, after sucking in a lungfull of smoke from his cigarette, LeMay adds, "He wants to tour our new holding facility." The grimace LeMay offers matches the tone of the voice on the other end. "Yeah, I'm not really sold either. So," his eyes flick to the alley, where Pete is exiting with a blood and gore covered, nearly naked Magnes Varlane draped in one of Pete's suit jackets. "Ok, I gotta go. Pete's done being Zeus. I'll catch you later, Erica." LeMay flicks his cigarette into a puddle with a hiss and closes his phone, tucking it into a jacket pocket.

"Howard!' Pete shouts, waving LeMay over. "Be useful and get my boy some underpants!"

LeMay's brow twitches.

I hate him so much.

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