griffin_icon.gif rue2_icon.gif

Scene Title Justice
Synopsis It took four long years to find…
Date October 27, 2015

After the fall of Pollepel, Griffin Mihangle got what was promised. While the rest of the country went to war, he and his family retreated to a tiny town in the middle of nowhere, North Dakota. Devils Lake is beautiful, and it’s also out of the way — life has been simple since then. Certainly, the rest of the country has suffered, but most of the folks out here are simple, withdrawn. If you don’t bother them, they won’t bother you.

They bought a large property on the lake. It was a farm, once, before the lake swallowed up half of the fields and the former owner went to find greener pastures. After fencing it off, it has made for a wonderful family home; they even added a guest house overlooking the water, which they have frequently rented out.

Life has been good. Finances are not an issue; he’s worked in construction, and his boss appreciates his ability — which he has admittedly underplayed as focused super strength. He’s watched his son grow into a fine young man. Owain found a therapist out here, and was given a chance to be a normal child in a normal school. He manifested with some kind of metal control about two years ago, and has received help from his father in learning to control it. Little Jori was found to be deaf, but that’s not been any obstacle to the little girl, who is now nearly four years old. She has an amazing personality, and has picked up sign language like the little genius she surely is. His life with his beautiful wife, Nadira, has been amazing.

For once in his long forty years on this planet, Griffin Mihangle is happy. This fact alone is bittersweet to the man, because he knows he doesn’t deserve to be happy like he is. His family deserves this life — he doesn’t.

Devils Lake

North Dakota


The rest of the family is out for the day — they’ve gone out to Grand Forks an hour and a half away to visit the mall, as Owain is in need of a suit for a school dance. It is within the guest cabin that Griffin will be found, in the bedroom overlooking the lake.

“You’re a hard man to track down, Griffin Mihangle.”

Bootfalls on the floorboards signal the arrival of the woman just as much as her voice. He never heard the front door. Not a window. Nothing. Whoever’s come to find him? She’s good.

Which might come as some surprise when he sees it’s February Lancaster. Last he knew, she couldn’t sneak around to save her soul. But her red hair - if it’s still red - has been tucked up into a black knit cap, hidden from sight. Not much he can do about the color of his eyes.

But he’s trying to hide in plain sight, and she’s not trying to hide at all.

Tracking him wasn’t easy. She’s spent years wondering where the man who framed her went. She channeled her anger in the war, but it didn’t help. Every time she looks at her nose in the mirror - which healed well enough, but still doesn’t look to her like her nose - she remembers.

Brian and Veronica had found him. Brian could easily have taken care of the situation. Vee has all the skills to do it quietly. But, instead, they called Rue and they offered her the chance. But there had been rules. Rules she’d agreed to, but nonetheless.

“Do you remember me?”

When she comes into view, his appearance may seem just as startling to her as her presence is to him. The once robust man is gaunt, almost skeletal now, pressed into his armchair like only a dying man can sink into a cushion. A breathing tube is taped to his throat, and even then his breath rattles in his chest.

The collapsed lung he received from Eileen Ruskin was repaired by Heller and company, but it certainly didn’t help matters much when he was diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer earlier this year. All of that smoking he did finally got to him, it seems. Looks like Lady Karma already had it in for the man — happiness will never last for Griffin, and he has resigned himself to that fate.

Green eyes widen slightly as the woman steps in, before hooding once more. He turns slowly, looking the woman up and down ponderously, before a smile parts his chapped lips. “I was beginning to think that the cancer would be the end of me.” A rattling laugh escapes his throat, and he feebly pushes himself up in his seat. “You’re just as lovely as the day I first saw you. I owe you an apology, though I’m certain it will never be enough.”

“Not quite.” Not quite as lovely. Not quite enough.

He’s a pitiful sight. If she had any capacity to pity him anymore for what he did not only to her, but to the entire organization. She lived. She was lucky, even if what he did cost her her reputation. It cost her friends. But it didn’t cost her life. Others lost theirs, and it’s his fault.

Did the money help him sleep at night? Those blue eyes of Rue’s, once sparkling and full of light and love, are flat now. That light was snuffed out the moment he framed her for the awful things he did. She understands that he was likely threatened, blackmailed, but she always knew that was a possibility for her as well. She’d resolved to die for it, rather than turn against her friends. Her people.

“There are people who still think I’m responsible for what happened back then. That Eileen Ruskin betrayed us all. A lot of people still believe that.” There should be so much anger in her tone, fire in her eyes, but instead she just looks dead inside. There’s only the barest trace amounts of venom. Not even enough to cause a stomach ache. “And here you sit, content to take that knowledge to the grave. Must be nice.”

The skeletal telekinetic’s green eyes turn toward the window, overlooking Devils Lake. It’s not a beautiful lake — it’s got no outlet, so it has only grown over time, and it’s eaten the once thriving tourist city that was Devils Lake. The water is brown and sickly-looking right now, with waves crested in dirty foam. A depressing view, really.

“I didn’t deserve the happiness. I should’ve died on Pollepel,” he replies, breath rattling in his chest for a moment, before he suddenly bends over, pulling a tissue to his mouth as he falls into a harsh coughing fit. It lasts a little too long for comfort, and when he pulls away, there is blood on the tissue. This is wadded up and tossed into a basket filled with similar tissues. “I was ready to.”

He turns his gaze toward Rue. Even now, he could unleash those telekinetic arms of his…but the fight is gone from him. He turns his eyes back to the window, sighing softly. “I know that nothing I can say will take any of it back, so…” He leans forward in his seat, bony hands clutching at the arms of the chair he sits in. “I’m yours. Just leave my family be. They had nothing to do with any of this. They aren’t even aware of what I did for them…not because I am ashamed, but because I don’t want them to live with the weight of what I did.”

He closes his eyes. “If you don’t want to let the cancer slowly and painfully steal my breath as it has been for the past nine months, then at least make it look natural.”

Request denied.

Rue doesn’t hear the gunshot right away, she feels it in her chest. The reverberating echo of Wilby, Jensen Raith’s personal hand canon. The gunshot is so loud it vibrates the windows, the round so high caliber that it leaves an inch round crimson entry wound in Griffin’s lower cheek where it enters, and paints his pillow and the wall behind him with a thick spray of blood, brain matter, and bone. It only takes a single shot, one not taken by Rue’s own hand, to end the life of the man who claimed so many on his own.

A tremor of fear runs through Rue’s body reflexively, adrenaline has her jumping, a scream is strangled inside of the back of her throat when she realizes there is someone else in the room. Behind her, a tall man is silhouette by light filtering in through the windows. Wilby held in one hand, at first he looks as though he may be Jensen. But he’s not.

The light reflecting off of horn-rimmed glasses gives it away.


Noah Bennet slowly lowers the gun and strides past Rue, offering her a look before he moves to the beside containing Griffin Mihangle’s cancer-riddled corpse. He picks up one of Griffin's hands in one gloved grip, and lays it on Wilby, enough to get prints, then drops the heavy gun on the floor with a thud. Suicide is believable, but there is no honor in that.

One man who sold the Ferry up the river executes another, and as he turns to look at Rue there’s a judging expression on his face. “I’d been letting him rot inside his own body,” Noah admits with a furrow of his brows.

Apparently Rue forced his hand.

He turns to look at her, and she’s standing there with her own gun pointed at him. Her hands are trembling from the surprise of what just happened and the adrenaline of the moment. “You knew this whole time?” She shouldn’t be surprised, should she? Someone always knows.

“He was my kill,” she seethes through clenched teeth. “You— You can’t just—”

But he did.

There’s no taking back what’s happened. Rue glances only a moment to the now corpse of Griffin Mihangle. “What the fuck!

“I wanted him to suffer,” Noah explains flatly, “but it's over now. You'll thank me when you're my age and he isn't staring back at you in a mirror.” Unconcerned with the gun pointed at him, the forgotten shadow of Hana Gitelman just starts walking back the way he'd come from.

“Police response time is twenty-seven minutes,” if they even have a report of a gunshot. But Noah doesn't add that. “You'd best be gone by then.”

Knowing that Griffin was probably alive always made Rue suffer. If she’d realized he had cancer, she’s not sure it would have been any solace. Seeing him like this? It hadn’t eased her pain or her conscience. It hadn’t made her want him any less dead.

Finally, she puts the safety back on and slides her gun back into its holster under her pale grey blazer. She starts to follow after him. Not because she necessarily wants to chase him down, but because it’s a logical path out.

“I didn’t have my gun out,” she points out to Bennet. “I was going to make him live it out.” Maybe that’s true. It was an option she’d been considering. But she’d also been about two seconds from telling him to spare her, because she wasn’t about to spare him.

But she’s still angry the choice was taken from her. Griffin would probably be too.

Noah stops, turning around and looming as large as the legends had always claimed. “But he knew, that's the problem. He knew his life hung in the balance, he wouldn't have been eaten away by false hope or pointless despair.” Momentarily, it sounds like Noah is mad at Rue, but it passes.

His eyes close, one hand to adjust his glasses. “It's over now. Maybe it should've been this way from the beginning. Either way, he's dead and that's one more off my list.” Looking Rue up and down, Noah’s brows furrow.

“You should go home. It's over…” Though there's the eclipses in Mr. Bennet’s tone that belies his true feelings on the matter. It's never really over.

“We both know that isn’t true.” It won’t be over ever.

That’s not a wisdom she carried inside of her before Wilby’s angry report. In fact, when she walked in here, prepared to shoot the man herself, she had been convinced that once she’d put a bullet into him, somewhere out in the still of nature surrounding the aptly named Devils Lake, that it would be over.

He isn’t that much taller than her, but he does cut the figure the stories all like to paint of him. Though many imply he should have a good few inches more on her than he does. She should probably be intimidated by him. Everything she’s ever heard said that if he wants her dead, it’s over.

So what’s the point in being worried?

“Congratulations. You’ve disabused me of the notion that you’d be any kind of consolation prize.” Rue tips her head to one side. A strand of red hair nudges out from the band of her cap. “Yours is that you get to continue to enjoy the guilt that’s gnawing at your insides like that cancer of his.”

She clips his shoulder with her own as she pushes past him.

Noah doesn't say anything until she's past him. But she can feel Bennet’s shadow looming behind her with all the fractious gravity that the man’s legend affords. He's silent for too long, too, leaving an awkward void behind where her words had hung.

They were true. She knew it, he knew it.

But when she looks back, he's not there.

“Asshole thinks he’s Batman,” Rue mutters before heading back out to walk to her waiting vehicle some miles down the road.

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