Just Be...


bao-wei_icon.gif brian2_icon.gif chang_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif ezra_icon.gif felix_icon.gif katherine_icon.gif liu_icon.gif myron_icon.gif song_icon.gif tyler_icon.gif veronica_icon.gif

Also Featuring

claremont_icon.gif goodman_icon.gif the_haitian_icon.gif

Scene Title Just Be…
Synopsis The hunt for Tyler Case comes to a messy close.
Date March 16, 2009

Canal Street Market

The brain is a marvelous thing.

Golden rays of sunlight cut sharp shadows across the streets of Chinatown. Long and dark lines of deep black cast against that yellow-gold glow, reflecting off of the windshields of parked cars and the gleaming glass facades of distant skyscrapers. Even the sky itself looks like it's wrought of brass, bronze and copper. But the lower one looks, the deeper down along the creaking and old skeletons of brick tenement buildings and concrete blocks the less that vibrant color shows, and the deeper those shadows become.

A mass of tissue in our bodies that is solely responsible for our capability to recall who and what we are…

Sunlight reflects brightly off of the windshield of a beat up old Cadillac rolling through the streets of Chinatown, inside the clunking old frame, the low background noise of a news radio broadcast covering the 36 that has been plastered all over the media since the gruesome and tragic discovery. Behind the wheel, Detective Richard Myron rolls his shoulders and breathes out a heavy sigh, looking up at the red traffic light in front of him.

Memories contained in the mind define who we are, but reminding us of where we've been, who we know, and what they think we are. But what would we be without those memories?

"So, third time's a charm, right?" Leaning his forearms on the steering wheel, Myron looks to the officer riding shotgun in his car, her hair cast to shades of amber in the deep and fiery hues of the setting sun. Elisabeth Harrison has been forced to see too many things in the past few weeks, forced to bare witness to so much tragedy and so much violence. Eventually, that much cruelty has to catch up to someone. "I figure we catch this antique shop owner as he's closin' up, now that we got ourselves a warrant to search his place. I already called Ivanov, he'll probably meet us there, if he's as fast as the kids down at the precinct say he is."

Some scientists say that if the soul exists, it exists within the brain as a representation of our collective memories. Does that mean that a person without memories, is a person without a soul?

The light turns green, and with a shuddering convulsion Myron's car moves forward again, slowly diverting into another lane closer to the sidewalk before pulling up alongside an old brick-faced building with a worn-down black marquee sign above its doors. Jittetsu Arms is written in a caligraphed font, with some Japanese script below it. Myron leans forward as he puts the car in park, looking to Elisabeth, then past her out the passenger side window to the curb, "this is the place."

And if so, does that even make them human any longer?

Elisabeth is looking out the window — it's been a tough, ugly couple of days. The drive, even in Myron's ugly vehicle, is a moment of peace in an otherwise strained existence. "He is," is her reply to Myron's chatter. She's been far less chatty today than normal, not bothering him with a ton of questions to learn to be a better detective.

Ivanov is indeed as fast as he's supposed to be. He's taken his own car, an ancient black BMW sedan, rather than show up in a very shiny, very new, and obviously very governmental Bucar. It's parked along the curb, And Felix is standing outside in his black overcoat, looking extremely dour, and smoking one of those faggy black cigarettes he'd promised Lee he'd given up. Well, the nicotine patch failed, so what's a man to do?

Once the pair appear, he wanders up even before they can get out. "I've been here before," he says, with neither greeting nor preamble. "This is where I cut off Kazimir Volken's head. For all the good it did me."

When the car stops, she pushes the door open as Felix approaches and gives him the 'tsk tsk' expression with that cigarette hanging out of his mouth. She's startled by the information, though. "Really?" She frowns at him. "Myron seems to know this guy, and he's got the warrant," she says, jerking her thumb toward the man she rode with.

Earlier today Ezra Grimes was in graveyard. Now he's close — as close as he's going to get — to tying off this case. Ezra Grimes doesn't even know about the 36. He doesn't pay attention to the news.

One puzzle at a time.

Myron's phone rings; it's from Kaydence Damaris, and that's because Ezra has "borrowed" her phone as he drives through the city. "C'mon, c'mon," he mutters, flicking a half-spent cigarette out the window. He's heading for Jittetsu Arms. That's where Myron was off to, with his shiny new warrant. His car — a beat up El Camino — is coming down the street now.

"Volken? That god damned ghost story going around?" Myron's brows furrow together as he slams the driver's side door shut and slips his fedora on. "I swear t'god if Claremont isn't in this time…" Moving past Felix and Elisabeth, the rotund detective makes his way up to the front door of the shop, halting only when his pocket begins to vibrate and ring loudly with a very tinny and digitized version of moonlight serenade.Hastily reaching into his pocket as he opens the front door and walks in, Myron glances down to the number and raises one brow, flipping the phone open. "Where are you, Damaris?" Ever the tactful one Myron is.

On the phone, Myron walks into Jittetsu, a cluttered and dusty antiques shop that clearly deals in a wide variety of exotic arms, specifically oriental swords ranging from Chinese tai-chi swords to katana, even old suits of lacquered samurai armor rest on mannequins at the far back, behind rows and rows of wooden shelving displaying a variety of weapons from different classical periods.

The sunlight from outside filters in through narrow slatted beams between the partially closed blinds. Far acros the wood-floored shop, a tall counter with an old punch-button cash register sits, and behind it hangs a white tapestry bearing some sort of wavy black character that looks like part of a helix. No one seems to be tending the front room, and while Myron can't hear the sounds of voices coming from the door behind the counter, Elisabeth and Felix pick up the muffled tones of distant but raised voices.

Felix paces after him, having pinched out the cigarette and vanished it away in a pocket. "Ghost story? He was very real, I promise," he says, more quietly. Liz gets the tip of a nonexistent hat as a greeting - Fel's hair is growing out, slowly, over the scars Deckard gave him. It doesn't yet hide the stitches. "Let's hope this doesn't end with another informant executed," His tone is flat.

"I'm like twenty seconds around, Myron, and I always thought you looked handsome in that combover," Ezra says, over the phone, in a sharp falsetto. His eyes dart left and right for a parking spot — fuck it. He's got a magic piece of paper that says 'I'm a cop, don't tow me'. It goes in the window and he leaves his rusty El Camino double parked. "Listen, Myron. I think I've got the Case Case worked out. Just a couple little pieces that need falling into place — point is, Case is innocent. Sixty-six percent sure of it, anyways, but I need to pull some favours and we need to find him fast."

"I don't have any favors to pull, so that's where *you* come in, my handsome, grizzled Teddy Bear of a detective, you. You're going into Jittetsu, right?" On the phone, the sounds of doors closing — traffic, just outside — is audible. Ezra's a step or so behind heading into the joint.

With a frown, Elisabeth steps into the shop and immediately puts her hand up to stop Felix, gesturing toward the door behind the counter. She gets that expression on her face that the agent should recognize as the 'tuning out' one by now — she's not listening to anything nearby, not Myron and not anything Felix says either. Her attention is focused on what's being said in the back room. She can hear the conversation itself plain as day. Elisabeth heads in that direction while Myron deals with their backup, hissing to both of them. "Case and Claremont in the back room, Chinese guy yelling at 'em! Get backup around the back!" She's pulling her firearm from its holster as she moves.

Myon moves with the quickness of cold molasses when Elisabeth shouts out and the old detective ducks behind a rack of weapons, withdrawing a snub-nosed revolved from the inside of his jacket, phone still pressed up to his ear. "Grimes you lucky son of a bitch, get your ass around back, we've got Case cornered but I think some of Chang's men might be in here. If he is innocent, it ain't going to do him no good if he's dead." The phone flips shut with a loud click and Myron quickly tucks it into his pocket, looking to Elisabeth as she storms across the room to the back door.

"Jesus Christ she's— Ivanov, can you cover her? I'm gonna' go around back and meet up with Grimes, he's not far from here." That, and avoid any direct firefights, being both overweight and old. Myron slips away from the rack of weapons, and just as he starts to make his way for the front exit, the back door swings open from a swift kick, a bald man in a leather jacket stepping out with a machine-pistol in one hand.

The Triad skids to a stop upon seeing Elisabeth, and just squeezes the trigger, opening fire with a wild spray of bullets and bright muzzle flash.

That's enough of that, thanks. Felix explodes into motion, having both shed his coat and pulled his gun. He's holding it by the muzzle, though, reversed, all the better to pistolwhip Elisabeth's would-be assailant straight into Dreamland… and then pass on through, right to the back, feet still drumming that machinegun cadence.

She was moving in low, keeping the counter between her and the door, doing all the right things about approaching the door….. but Elisabeth was *not* expecting that door to damn well *fly open* in her face like that. She has time to think, OH SHIT!! before the machine pistol is spraying bullets damn near everywhere in her vicinity.

Felix's superspeed saves her from taking a number of bullets, but her vest takes two and one manages to clip her in the side just below the edge of the bottom of the vest, straight through the meat though managing by some miraculous quirk of Fate to miss her major organs. Bullets to the chest even with a vest, though, feel like getting kicked by a mule and this is at point-blank range, so she flies backward into the counter and slides to the floor, stunned and bleeding pretty profusely. Later, there's going to be a shit-ton of swearing over missing out on this chase!

"You've got what? Who? How? No kidding," Ezra says, and reaches for the firearm tucked under his jacket. Unlike Myron, Ezra is in the Summer of his Youth, and when he takes off sprinting into the alleyway he really *moves*. "Nobody shoot any guns! Okay? Seriously! Nobody making with the shooting of — " Ezra hears bullets. "For the love of!" Click. Ezra bolts into the alleyway, pausing only briefly in that dreaded heartbeat of a moment…

…Coming down against the wall, head low, close, but not too close — getting near a wall doesn't provide cover, it just channels ricochets at you— deep breath before coming around the bend, into who knows what, gun goes first—

Christ, he thinks.

I need a cigarette.

"Cào ni zu zong shíba-dài!" The litany of curses spewing forth from the Triad's lips as he is coldcocked by Felix grow all the more intense as he collapses to the ground, clutching the back of his head. Remarkably, he's managed to retain consciousness despite the split in his balding scalp and the bloow flowing from where his own machine pistol struck him in the back of the skull. Blearily, he rises up to one knee, pulling out a folding knife with his left hand, "Die in hell, gouzaizi."

Pinned between one bleeding and dazed Triad with a knife who crouches precariously close to Elisabeth's bleeding body and the open doorway, Felix can see beyond it into a spacious back room in the shop that looks fit for smithing and repairs to the weapons this shop sells. Long tables lined with hammers, pliers and tongs would normally seem mundane, save for the macabre use they have now. Bound to a chair in front of one of the tables, an old and balding man with a cloth gag in his mouth is none other than Mr. Claremont, the proprieter of Jittetsu whom Felix had an encounter with on the night he fought Volken here. Standing beside Claremont with a pair of iron tongs holding a glowing hot piece of steel, a member of the Triads in a business suit turns to look at Ivanov in disbelief. Nearby, Felix spots Tyler Case, sprawled out on one of the tables, where two men hold him down as he struggles. Apparently the scalding hot piece of glowing iron is for him.

Most notably however, is the wrinkled and gaunt form standing at the back of the room in an ink black suit, watching the proceedings.

The leader of the Flying Dragons, Chang Ye

Canal Street Market, Alleyway Behind Jittetsu Arms

Situated between the Golden Luck Dragon Restaurant and Jittetsu Arms, this narrow alleyway riddled with trash cans, stray cats and waterlogged newspapers stuck to clumbs up icy snow that refuses to melt is a dirty and scabbarous vein that twists crookedly through Chinatown's heart. Parked to block the alley off from the street, a white and unmarked van belonging to the Company is fit for the decidedly dirty tasks of a bag and tag procedure. With the information gleaned from the Triad member they captured, Agents Winters and Sawyer, along with backup provided by Agent Marks prepare to converge on Jittetsu Arms, just in time to hear gunshots.

Oh, that didn't work, huh? Felix punctuates the blow from the pistol with a brutal super fast kick to the head. "When I put you down, best to stay that way." The room is a momentary tableau, like a room in a museum, when he's moving at that speed. There are too many people to knock out before his spate of power fades, so he reverts to real time - reversing his grip on his pistol so it's no longer a bludgeon. He can play Grammaton Cleric more some other time. He also has his badge out. "Freeze, FBI!" Maybe that'll give them a second or two worth of pause. And then he adds, "Officer down. Myron, call it in."

"All set for a quiet day at-"


"All set for an action packed day at Jittestu-Jisettu-whatever this place is." Brian says, eyebrows arching high. His hand dives back to the back of his pants. Looking over his shoulder at the car he gives a little frown. "I have more guns and clothes in the car. I can bring us back up." Winters reports hurriedly. "If you two take point." He motions with his head down the alley. "I can be there in just a second with.." His eyes tilt back trying to recall how many guns he brought. "Three more."

Taking a step back, the agent, (top button of his white shirt undone, with no tie, of course) looks to Veronica as if for permission. "Or should we just run in?" He asks. It's all up to her, he wets his lips while waiting for her answer, his hand practically twitching at his side near his firearm.

Veronica's already reaching for her gun as she hears the staccato song of gunfire. "Back up is good," she murmurs, glancing at Katherine with arched brows for her opinion. Then the reminder: "Case is our goal; take down any Triad scum we see. Tranq Case if you get a clear shot so he can't screw with our brains, and make sure we get him out in one piece."

With that, she's out of the car, closing it with a very dull thud, gun held low in her hand, as she begins to assess the alleyway and the rear entrance of the antique shop.

Shots fired and Kat already has her weapon in hand as she waits for instructions from Sawyer. As she exits the car, her jacket is disregarded and tosses back inside. She wears a black t-shirt tucked into her slacks as she nods her understanding of the situation to Veronica. She uses both hands to hold her gun at the ready and waiting on the say so to go in. Shots obviously mean 'let's hurry in there before everyone dies so we can get a few shots in as well' to her.

She's already wound a little tight from the incident over the weekend, followed by having a shot of whatever she had on hand that was strongest to drink for each teen that died. Okay, she may have lost count around 18, but still. She followed that with an 18 hour sleep fest and when she woke up, she gets a call from Agent Sawyer requesting backup. Which let her to this point right here. "Ready when you are.." she notes to Sawyer, as Winters heads back to the car.

As the three Company agents round the alley and approach the large double-doors that open up to the alley from Jitettsu Arms, the door to the Gold Luck Dragon Restaurant opens with a creak, followed by a pair of stiletto heels and a black vinyl dress — at least that's what Winters catches first. The rest of the woman is equally dark and shiny, save for the ghostly pale and powdered quality of her complexion. Long hair hangs down her back, eyes with thick, dark lashes halfway lidded to stare with mild confusion at the three people in the alley, then to the van. "«Oh look, puppies.»" The sound of Mandarin rolls off of the short and rail-thin woman's tongue like silk, and the answer comes from an only slightly taller but far more wiry man exiting the restaurant behind her.

"«Looks like a cleaning van,»" the dark-haired young man notes, eyes flitting around Veronica, Winters and Katherine, "«Peculiar.»" His tone of voice is soft, conversational and almost mocking. One hand raises, and the smirking young Triad prince causes the melted snow collected in dirty puddles in the alley to ripple and swell, droplets rising up off of the ground to hang motionless in the air. "«Gunshots and strangers… I do say, dear sister, this seems like a good day for Father.»"

The dark haired woman tilts her head to the side, and as she speaks the air in front of her mouth turns to little more than a cold, misty fog that rolls out between pouty lips, "«Can we play with them?»" She asks mostly in rhetoric, her brother's watery projectiles already turning to bullets of ice that float in the air while frost cracks up the walls of the alley and a bitter, arctic wind blows down from her direction.

But it's the larger, wider, and older frame coming out from the restaurant door that may boot a boot on their fun. Winters and Veronica recognize the man with the physique of a bullfrog as he steps into the alley towards the sounds of gunfire.

Cong Bao-Wei.

"«No.»" Fun, booted. His voice is far from the croak expected, instead grating and decisive in its volume. Bao-Wei steps out of the exit behind Song and Liu Ye, the crisp, dark gray suit hanging on his frame buttoned at the front, and his hair pulled back into a slick, small ponytail. The stark contrast of that white streak through his hair against the other black threads helps to bring his face into focus.

"«Restrain yourself, Song. Until my business with two of them has wrapped. Let them play secret agent. After that, you may do with them as you please, should you be able. I promise.»" The older man brings himself to a stop only when he reaches the girl's other side, where he remains, arms folding in silence behind his back.

Ezra comes around the back, sprinting. Clear. Good. He hasn't been perforated yet. That's helpful. Time to go through the door— Ezra tenses and kicks the back door in — in clear sight, and vice versa, of the Company agents.

I wonder who those attractive white people in suits piling out of that van? Nevermind them or the gawkers piling out of the Chinese Restaurant to get a good look. Other things to worry about, like kicking in this door.

…and bounces off ineffectively. "Oh, are you kidding me?!" One more shot. This time, the door swings open and Ezra bursts. "NYPD! In addition to the FBI! You're double-boned! FREEZ—" Holy hell in a handbasket, is that Chang Ye?

Okay, Ivanov's over there, he's over here, everyone else is in the middle, and Ivanov is a super ninja. Lots of things could be worse. The bad guys are between two guns. Of course, that means Felix and Ezra will be shooting each other. Still, it could be much worse. Ezra's left hand slips into his pocket and comes up with a crumpled up little evidence-looking bag.

There's a conspicuous steel smelting furnace across the room that Chang and his boys used to heat up that poker.

"Hey— uh." Shit. Talk fast, do something, or everyone is going to shoot everyone and that is bad. "Hey— Shang Tsung. I've got something you lost — /and/ I bet that furnace'll liquefy gold. You wanna find out what those things have to do with each other," he says, pointing his gun with his left hand, the little baggie in his right, poised to throw.

I'm about to get shot, he thinks. I *really* need a cigarette.

And, he adds, in his internal dialogue, I hope those handsome people in the back alley behind me aren't handsome people with guns. "I played point guard in high school, y'know," he adds. Please don't be able to tell I'm bluffing. Oh god.

Super ninja. That's kind of flattering, really. The look Felix gives Ezra is shocked, to say the least. Happily, he's got a bit of an advantage when it comes to that. He's a blur, again - but when he resolves back in the real world, panting and flushed, the Triad trigger who had the gun no longer does and is crumpling over a staved-in knee, and the iron is no longer over Tyler's mouth. Keep talking, Ezra, you make a stellar distraction.

"Doctor Cong." Winters greets softly.

His gun slides up and out as he takes a step forward. "You'll kindly keep you and yours out of this." Brian informs rather than asks. The young man starts to move past the trio of Flying Dragon leadership. Though there is a reason he is so casual about Bao-Wei and his cohorts. His gaze flicks over his shoulder to Katherine and Veronica to ensure they are following. Moving to the door, he acts like the three triads weren't even there.

His reason for this nonchalant attitude is the three agents moving forward in the alleyway. The other three agents. All identical, and dressed in a hurry. The three are armed, and all wearing kevlar under their jackets. Two hold the standard issue weapons, though the middle duplicate holds a shotgun. All three weapons are directed at the three Triads, though not totally aimed at them. It is just a suggestion not to get involved.

Glancing at Winters (and the wonder triplets) to be sure she's covered, Veronica follows Ezra to the doorway of the room, though at less a haphazard skid. There, she aims her revolver at Chang and the tranquilizer gun at Case, thus leaving the other thugs to the NYPD and perhaps to Winters and Katherine.

"Homeland Security. Everybody freeze," she calls out, in what she hopes is an authoritative voice.

With the Brians covering down, Kat is in the room right after Veronica. Her weapon is ready to fire, just in case some goon gets cocky. She glances at the already b usted open doorway, knowing that Sawyer didn't bust it down and grumbles and being last to the party.

As soon as Veronica yells 'freeze' Kat has her weapon already trained on Chang as well, as he is the apparent threat here.

"I'd listen to her. One of us is not in a very good mood tonight, so take your pick." She takes a moment to flicker her eyes from Chang to other parts of the room to get a good situational awareness on what's been going on in this room. She spots Liz down over there and a momentary look of concern flashes across her face. Merely a lapse before she is back to business.

Liu crooks a smile up when his eyes meet with those of his father, one hand raising to wave at the old man as the little beads of ice drop to the ground in quiet crackling noises when he stops focusing on his power. Song looks up to Liu, lips crooked as she folds her arms, "«Looks like you might yet get your wish, brother.» For the moment, the two young children of Chang Ye watch interestedly as various government agencies move in on their father and the man in charge of the Flying Dragons.

"«Uncle,»" Liu states to Bao in a lilting Mandarin, "«perhaps we should do as the nice men in suits say, and sit down for dinner?»" There's a crooked quality to both his words and his smile as he looks over to the well-dressed doctor. Though for all of Liu's smug rapport with Bao, there is no sign of humor on the long and wrinkled face of Chang Ye as he watches Ezra and Felix.

"Ever the bane of my life, Mister Case." Chang Ye says in a rough and ragged voice, raising his hands slowly as he looks to Felix, then over his shoulder at Ezra and the woman behind him. "You have me at a marked disadvantage, officers." His focus shifts to Liu and Song, not lifting a finger to help their father, and that the authorities have not moved on them. Betrayal in the trust of blood, this is exactly how Chang imagined it ending.

His eyes move to the bag Ezra is holding, one dark brow rising, "That looks awfully heavy," he states, moments before all of the fingers on Ezra's hand snap and bend at awkward angles, finger bones shattering as though they were slammed in a heavy door. The pain that sends Ezra staggering back seemed to come from nowhere, "Oh my," Chang notes, just a moment before three of Veronica's ribs crack inside of her chest and the bones of her forearms begin to flex and warp beneath her skin in an agonizing fashion, sending her guns clattering to the ground.

"Is something amiss?" His tone far too casual, Chang's back is to Felix when Ivanov's knees both buckle, the bones in his legs becoming porous and brittle, unable to support the speedster's weight as his shins crack with tiny hairline fractures. "You all seem to be in bad health, perhaps this would be better attempted another day?" Katherine's joints lock up, her knuckles bulging to twice their normal size as they swell and ache with a dull pain, sending horrible waves of agony through her body. Soon her elbows lock up, her hips ache and her knees swell as additional bone mass is added to her frame through some unseen force.

While Chang's bodyguards are distracted, there is a groan of half-consciousness from the table in the room, as Tyler Case begins to rouse from unconsciousness, eyes blearily opening as he spots the men around him, mouth hanging open, "Oh god," he whispers out, eyes darting over to where Claremont is bound to the chair. The old man bites at his cloth gag, struggling against the ropes that hold him in place.

While Song and Liu watch the bones of those around Chang fracture, bend and become brittle, they both take a step back towards Bao-Wei, "«Uncle…»" Liu murmurs, his breathing becoming hastened with fear, moisture accumulating in the air around him, "«Uncle, I think we should… go…»"

The Triplets are regarded by Bao-Wei with a passing fancy, eyes drawing over their details in their quiet ticks. He watches the others move inside, standing as still as a stone lion beside his doorway, hands folded back. As the room ahead begins to resound with Chang Ye's voice and the echoes of bones being not as they should, the only response from Doctor Cong is the almost contented gaze with which he watches through the open door.

"«Go? Why? Dinner and a show is a lovely idea.»" Voice remaining quite flat amidst what will likely be yells of pain, Bao-Wei lifts a hand to his front pocket, drawing out a kerchief and wiping the gathering droplets emanating off of Liu from his own forehead.

Ezra watches his fingers come apart. He sort of stares at them for a second, as though looking a museum piece. An empty plastic baggie falls out and floats to the ground. Damn, he says, somewhere in the back of his mind. It was a good bluff, but who carries evidence around in their pocket just in case they meet a crimelord?

Where was I? Oh, right. All my fingers are broken.

"Ergh-EAAAARRRRRRGH!" Ezra howls and staggers backwards, his back hitting the door — which opens inwards, at least since he kicked it in — and slumps back against it. Stay conscious, stay conscious, stay conscious. Don't pass out. Don't pass out from your broken—

The last gear in the big clock in Ezra's brain clicks into place. No shit.

His head's swimming; he can't get a shot, and even if he could get his gun up he'd probably shoot Myron or something. But he can yell: "Tyler— You— You're innocent and I can prove it— But only if you somehow prevent my horrible death, okay?!"

Felix knows many words in Russian. Apparently, all of them are obscene. He crumples with all the grace of a felled tree, yelling in pain like a whipped dog. And still trying to fire on Chang Ye. Whatever that twisted power, it's a good justification for violence. Until Chang snaps his spine like a bundle of twigs and sends him to whatever afterlife is reserved for corrupt police. How long will his hands last?

Veronica down. Katherine down. These other random guys down. His eyes go foggy for a moment. "If you ever go after her again, I'll kill your whole family. Then I'll come after you." Fuck. Not now. He can't be having these now. Brian looks like he might be sick, a whole assload of memories assaulting him. But Veronica is down. His brows narrow as he enters the building. Two of his duplicates following him. The fourth and final watches Bao-Wei and company, shotgun raised slowly.

Stalking into the building, Brian's eyes are set. Too much happening too many memories it's hard to focus. Even with his training everything's getting blurry. There's Veronica. Veronica. She's in pain. His gaze circles the room as if in slow motion. And all his actions blur together, he's not even sure what he's doing while it hapens.


Brian blinks. Blood is flying everywhere. Who's blood is it? Who's dying? Who's doing the killing? Slowly his eyes come into focus. The lead Brian looks around the room. Bullets embedding themselves into Chang's men. And then…


Brian's lips quiver as he realizes his finger just pulled the trigger then watches almost in a confused manner as the bullet penetrates Chang's skull. And then his body lifelessy slumps to the ground. Brian stares for a moment before finally adding in a monotone.


Well, if she was having a bad day, this has only made it worse. Lucky for Chang, Katherine barely pulled trigger before her joints were locked up and swelling. She can see the trigger pulling towards her, then stops. Useless. The pain is excruciating and she screams.

Her elbows and knees go next, her weapon still aimed at Chang, and so close to firing. So close, just doesn't count, now does it? Close does not cause a bullet to leave the chamber and hit its target. No, close lets the bullet remain where it is. Useless. When her ankles lock, she remains frozen in place except for the sound coming from her mouth.

The pain finally overtakes her and soon her scream fall to the silence as she blackouts out, still standing. Useless. So useless, she even missed Brian's flip out and save, along with Veronica's tranquing of Case. That's more than useless, /that/ is just wrong.

Blood pools out beneath Chang Ye's motionless body, his eyes vacant and glassy where they stare up at the ceiling. The shouting, the screaming and the carnage being inflicted rouses Tyler from his half-waking state, hinging on Ezra's call out to him. The other Triad members in the room just lurch and wriggle on the floor, some groaning in pain and still alive, others lifeless from the barrage of bullets. Tyler groans and breathes one heavy breath, rolling off of the table to drop down beside it on the floor, scrambling over to Claremont, beginning to unbind the man's hands, followed by his gag.

A wheezy gasp for breath as those broken ribs press inward on her lungs is followed by a husky cry of pain as her hands, wrists, arms seem to warp before Veronica's very eyes.

But then Brian is there and his replicates and there is a shower of blood and the sound of bullets meeting flesh and she sinks to her knees with pain, trying to breathe shallowly so as not to expand her lungs. She finds her hands stop their strange warping, and she bends quickly to scoop up her guns. She trains the tranq-gun on Case, and whispers, "Sorry, for all our sake, it's just a nap…" as she shoots.

" —god damnit Ty, get the hell out of here!" Claremont spits out the moment his gag is off, sloughing off the ropes as he staggers to his feet, slipping in the blood spreading out from Chang Ye's motionless body, only to spot Veronica rising up with her gun. There's no way for Claremont to know what kind of gun it is, but the old man's burly frame moves in between Tyler and Veronica, taking the tranq dart to the chest before falling backwards, "Jesus Christ" he groans out, clutching at the dart, his eyes lidding heavily

Tyler moves quick when Claremont falls hurrying across the room in the aftermath of the chaos in a sprint— not for the door, but for Ezra Grimes. Tyler crouches and rests a hand on Ezra's shoulder. "It— it'll be okay— " Tyler hisses out, looking up to Agent Winters and then over to Veronica, warily, "I— I surrender!" He shouts out to Veronica as he watches her gun more than her, "F-Fuck don't shoot!"

Tense, his eyes quickly flick down to Ezra, "You— you promise? I— I don't want to go to jail," he whimpers out, brows knitting together as his hand comes to rest on Ezra's shoulder.

"I promise, you— you'll live, as long as— just— just get me out of here." There's a crackling, red-static glow sparks to life around his fingers, and soon the pain in his hands begins to numb as his fingers bend back into place, broken bone knitting together, flesh welding shut, blood slurping back into the open cuts, and after just a few moments, it's like Ezra Grimes was never harmed at all.

Tyler looks down at the man with a pleading smile, "That's yours now," he whispers to Ezra, squeezing his shoulder as the sparking red glow fades. "Now— now I— don't let me get locked up…"

In the alleyway, Liu swallows tensely, looking down the barrel of Brian's shoutgun even as Song tilts her head to the side. She looks into the room, seeing her father laying dead on the floor, and for the first time in her life she shows restraint. Tonight isn't about vengeance, it isn't about blood, or fun. Tonight is about the changing of dynasties, and her brother is now fit to ascend to his father's position. Resting a cold hand on Bao-Wei's shoulder, she turns to her uncle, leaning in to whisper in his ear, "«We must protect brother, and find safe haven… You are more important than ever now, Uncle.»"

The thing that breaks Bao-Wei from his trance, is that cold touch, and the whispering female voice in his ear- that deranged version of a shoulder angel and devil rolled all into one. His balanced gaze is drawn away only after a slow, lasting shut of his eyes. There is little time for mourning when you are technically still on the battlefield- the Doctor can tell what is left of his brittle old heart to wait until another time.

Go. I will be on your heels.»" The large man turns to both children of his recently deceased 'brother', one arm taking Liu roughly by the elbow and the other hovering in the air behind Song, herding her away.

The moment for Liu, is reminiscent of those numerous days when the young man had forgotten to be respectful in his youth- and Bao-Wei took it upon himself to shake the sass right out of him. It is not much different now, save that the roughness is also a push in the right direction. Back into the door leading to the restaurant.

Ezra has a few seconds to regard his hand. There's some blood on it, from the compound fractures, but, hey. Cool. His words echo his thoughts: He looks at his hand, and sort of goes, "Huh." He stares at it for a few more seconds. This'll sink in soon. But most of all, he looks at Tyler. The two men make eye contact, and Ezra surprises himself: "Yeah. I promise." Ezra's gonna keep you out of jail. He just isn't going to be able to take the direct route. Think, Ezra. Think. How are you going to get out of this one?

There's a little click-click-clicking of handcuffs locking. "Tyler Case, you're under arrest on charges of murder in the first degree," he says, taking time to arrest him. "Oh— " he says, climbing up off the floor, fingers oozing blood. He's looking at the tranquilizer dart in Claremont. " — were you guys looking to snag him?" he says, to Veronica. "Well, darn. Now that I've put him in custody there's all kinds of paperwork that needs to get filled out to transfer him to a higher jurisdiction. Shit. I really fucked up, this'll take hours at least. In the meantime, we've got men down — you're the only officers in the area who can chase down fat guy and the other witnesses."

Felix is half-curled on the floor. One'd think he'd be ecstatic to have HomeSec come to the rescue as cavalry, but he's all but foaming with anger. There are bodies everywhere, and there's a lot of blood on that very nice suit, courtesy of Brian. "God-fucking-dammit, one of you yahoos help me up, please?" It's so undignified to have to drag yourself over that filthy floor by your arms and elbows, like a half-severed zombie. He's also a horrible shade of grayish-white from the pain.

Brian's gun slowly lowers as he takes a few breaths before glancing over to Ezra. He wets his lips, killing again. The sensation that should freak him out, that should make him terrified, the sensation that should make him crumble does none of these. It empowers him. "Good work, officer." Brian says softly and casually, eyeing the man up and down. Then he glances down at Felix. "You should help him." He says to Ezra. "And while you're at it you should take a look at the Linderman Act."

His badge is cooly produced and flicked out, Homeland Security. "Now. You're in the way." Taking a few steps forward, his two duplicates spreading out behind him. One goes to bend slowly to help Veronica to her feet, whispering softly to her. "Are you alright?" The other takes up position by Katherine, to take her out when she's ready. Felix goes mostly ignored.

Outside, the fourth Brian watches the three closely. Until they make their retreat, he makes no move to pursue. Just gives a little nod to Bao-Wei. Deal is off. Turning, the shotgun wielding replicate makes his move into the building, stepping up behind the first Brian speaking with Ezra.

"I'm afraid I'm not familiar — listen, I'm just following procedure," he says, "Call Captain Harvard — he's SCOUT cap — and have him advise us how to proceed. Here, you can use my radio. In the mean time, are you guys really going to let those witnesses run for it? With your… weird… xeroxed person thing that you're doing," Ezra says, and tugs at Tyler to start moving him up to the front before the way gets blocked. His heart races, just a little bit. Get into the doorway, Tyler. Right in front of Ezra. Go on, get into a clear space. Who knows how much time they've got? It's probably measured in the seconds.

"And again… I apologize, it'll only pinch a bit," says Veronica, as she lifts her gun hand again and shoots at Case with the tranquilizer gun without any warning. To Ezra, she shrugs apologetically. "It's just a precaution. If he gets upset… he might do more damage, and we're not about to risk that," she says to Ezra, ignoring for the moment Brian's solicitous questions regarding her health. "We don't need to fill out paperwork. You better go chase down your witnesses, though, if you're worried about them."
Tyler's expression shifts considerably when he sees Brian flip out the badge, but his eyes divert back to Ezra, "You— promised. Just— just remember you— " Thunk. The dart drives into the side of Tyler's neck, sending him crumpling to the floor and into unconsciousness before he even hits it

Despite all of the chaos, and all of the carnage, he somehow managed to remain in control of his ability through the entire debacle, and yet still he is treated like an animal. For a moment, he looked like he might have considered running, or maybe pushing Ezra into the dart shot, but maybe finally… he was tired of running. But what was he doing here? Why was he hiding out with Claremont?

As Liu and Song quietly slip into the restaurant and move out of sight, Liu leaves behind a parting gift for his older and wiser benefactor, as the moisture in the air grows more dense, creating a thick London fog thorugh the alley, billowing in through the doorway, dense enough and widely dispersed enough to make it difficult to tell just where the good doctor is..

Storming in through the front door, a half dozen NYPD officers with guns drawn preceed the return of Richard Myron. The faint sound of sirens outside now only heard that the ringing in most everyone's ears from the gunshots has died down. Myron waves a hand at the officers, motioning for them to lower their guns. Two paramedics in the front office are crouched down by Elizabeth, treating her wounds, while another officer shouts back, "Men down in here! Call another ambulance!" He crouches beside Felix, a crooked smirk on his lips. "Agent Ivanov, you sure do leave a wake of destruction behind you wherever you go…" He looks around the room, then up to Myron, following the detective with his eyes to see him stop over Chang Ye's prone form.

"Looks like somebody took out the trash," Myron murmirs, an unlit cigarette bouncing up and down between his lips. His eyes divert to the bullet holes in the walls, then down to Felix with one brow arches, "You really are a human hurricane, aren't you Ivanov?" Myron's brows furrow together, looking down at the crumpled agent, then back to the other room, "Hurry with those damned ambulances!"

The officers, able to see the Homeland Security badge flashed, nod to Agent Winters, looking over to Detective Grimes and Tyler Case's unconscious form. "Grimes," Myron breathes out, plucking the unlit cigarette from his lips to tuck behind one ear. "Winters is right, don't…" he looks anxious, "don't push this one. I don't want Parkman raining down on my head over this." It's clear that while Ezra feels that sense of protectiveness, that sense of debt to case, Myron is — and always will be — the straight-laced one, often times to a fault. "You really gotta take this kid in?" He says to Winters, casting gray eyes over the Agent. Perhaps, at least, he has compassion. "It'd do a whole hell of a lot of good for the NYPD to be able to take the credit for this one, y'know?" There's a weak smile afforded to Ezra, but Myron's tired eyes remain mostly locked on Winters. "

"I didn't fucking kill any of them," Felix says, jaw clenched so tight it threatens to pop a filling right out. "Help me up. That son of a bitch broke my legs. The Doublemint Twins over there came in guns a-blazin' and slaughtered all of Chang's men, including Chang himself." The fact that this more or less saved his life somehow doesn't seem to warrant his gratitude. Eileen is right. He's so abrasive. "This is our fucking case," he hisses, anger making him heedless of how ridiculous it is to rant when you're still draped along the hardwood flooring like a tigerskin rug. "And our suspect. IF they take him, Myron, we'll never see him again.

The fog in the alley is more than suitable to hide even Bao-Wei, who instead of going back in the restaurant, heads as a faint shadow down the alley, away from both buildings and down another cramped Chinatown by-way, proceeding to wind himself away. The only hint of the retreating doctor in the dense fog, if anyone were to attempt to find him- is the dull blue will-o-wisp made by a cellphone screen as it is unhinged from a suit pocket.

"You're in over your head here." Brian says, tilting his head at Myron's entry and his ensuing linguistic barrage, his lips curl back slightly. He looks down at Felix, arching a brow. "Ivanov?" A light hum escapes Brian lips. "Felix, Ivanov." He rattles off as if the name means something to him. "You are in our investigation, Agent Ivanov. Thank you for the help and all the good you did here." Brian says, with little to no venom in his words, but the sarcasm is implied. His gaze follows Ezra out the door before he looks to Myron. "You have a crack team here, Ace. You can take credit for taking down the triads, whatever you want. Case comes with us. End of discussion." Brian glances over to Veronica.

"I got him."

One of the replicates goes to scoop up Katherine gingerly in his arms, stepping over to fall in line with his replicates Before the lead gives a polite nod to Myron and Felix. "Have a wonderful day."

"You guys need to get your stories straight. One of you is promising him he'll walk free, and that he's proven innocent, yet another is worried about taking credit for the arrest…" Veronica says with a disapproving shake of her head. "We're not the bad guys here. This is a dangerous man, and we're going to try to get him help, I assure you." She grabs one of the replicates and nods him to the unconscious body of Case so that he can pick him up and drag him out. "Thank you all for your assistance, and I certainly hope Elisabeth is all right." This last is said sincerely, a worried look at the paramedics coming in to assist the woman. Katherine's already being brought to the van, with the assurance to the medics that they will get her medical attention. Veronica follows on the heels of the replicate lugging Case.

Outside, Ezra stomps across the street and into his car. Son of a bitch. Homeland Security, his bony white ass. Shutting the door to his car, he sits and stews for a few seconds before he picks up his phone and dials a number. Ring, ring. Ring. Ring.

"Your brother just *can't* catch a fucking break."

Myron looks over to Winters, licking his lips, then looks back down to Felix as the officer beside him helps him to his feet. Coldly, Myron turns to look down at Chang, a pleased smile crossing his lips. When he looks up to Winters again, at the confirmation that this multiplicity of Homeland Security was responsible for Chang's death, he merely passes him a wordless smile. To Richard Myron, he got more than he could have ever wanted from this — Case is off the streets, and Chang Ye is out of his jurisdiction, permanently. For Richard Myron this is a job well done. The casualties are another issue entirely.

Watching one of the twinned forms of Agent Winters pick up and drag Tyler Case out of the building. All the while, Myron has his back to the door they're dragging him out of, head hung, and he removes his hat, turning to look over at Claremont for a moment, head tilting to the side when he notices a wad of cash stuffed in the front of his jacket.

Each and every one of us are defined by our memories.

Myron moves over to Claremont's unconscious form, crouching down to pull the thick stack of hundred dollar bills out, one gray brow rising slowly as he looks at it. The detective's mouth presses together in a thin line, and he looks back up to where Winters had dragged case. Suddenly, somehow, things from Myron's perspective start piecing together in a way he doesn't like.

It defines our experiences, but in the end, if we were to lose our sense of self it is perhaps not our memories that give us our souls, make us who we are, what we are…

Myron lays the money back in the pocket and rises up to stand slowly, looking around for Ezra. Not finding him in eyeshot, he pulls out his phone, dialing one Damaris, K out of his phone book, knowing full well which detective will pick it up. "Voicemail, goddamnit…"

Primatech Research, Level-5

Standing outside of one of the fluorescent lit cells in the deepest, darkest level of Primatech Research, a tall and gaunt man with skin as dark as his surroundings and eyes to match watches in silence, looking to a young man bound to a table in the room with straps across his chest and a sedative IV in his arm.

Our souls are made up of what others remember of us, in their perceptions of who we are and what we do…

Beside Tyler Case's , another figure in a dark suit with a shaved head reaches out to lay a hand on his forehead, eyes closing as the fluorescent light reflects off of a charm hanging around his neck, one that matches the symbol on the banner in Jittetsu Arms. "Hollow him out." The man outside of the room says over the speakers, "Leave nothing behind, I want him empty."

Calvary Cemetery, Queens

Our souls are not in ourselves, but in every person we touch…

Kneeling by a headstone, a woman with wavy chestnut hair cradles a cell phone by her ear, covering her mouth with one hand, tears streaming down her cheeks. Her eyes wrench shut, and she hunches forward, fingers curling tightly around the cell phone as the last bits of light sink down behind the western horizon between the jagged and broken skyline of Midtown across the East River.

Chinatown, Canal Street Market — Outside of Jittetsu Arms

Sitting in his car, cell phone pressed to his ear, Ezra Grimes speaks heatedly and emotionally into the phone, even as blue lights flash outside and ambulances pull up to the front of Jittetsu Arms.

We are remembered by what we leave behind with others…

His eyes focus down on the dried blood on his knuckles, where the cuts on his hands once were. Fingers flex over the streering wheel, and Ezra Grimes looks up to his muted reflection in the windshield, Tyler's words to him ringing in his ears over the sobbing on the phone, this is yours now.

And in that small way, we live on forever, as souls are wont to do.

March 16th: Memento Mori

Previously in this storyline…
Memento Mori

Next in this storyline…
Be Alive

March 16th: Be Alive
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