Lark of My Heart



Also featuring:

barney_icon.gif des2_icon.gif jared_icon.gif kaylee2_icon.gif

remi_icon.gif ray_icon.gif sera_icon.gif

Scene Title Lark of my Heart
Synopsis While visiting Gabriel in Maine, Eve's dreams beckon her back to New York and other people she cares about.
Date March 16, 2018

Raytech NYCSZ Branch Office: Lobby

A wash of natural light spills down from the windows overhead to illuminate the expanse of the Raytech building’s lobby and its white flooring, assisted by softly luminous light strips that line the top and bottom edges of dark grey walls during the evening hours when the sun isn’t up to provide it. The first thing visitors to the building see once they’ve come through doors of bulletproof glass is the front desk, with open space to either side of it and the vertical Raytech logo on the wall behind, backlit for a striking effect in red and white.

Along the walls of the lobby are framed newspaper stories about the company - announcements of the opening of their main factory in Detroit and of this very building in the New York Safe Zone, stories covering the technological breakthroughs and advances by the company’s innovators, and mentions of the company’s infrastructure restoration work in contract with the government. Tall potted plants are placed between the framed pictures, keeping the lobby from feeling overly sterile and unnatural.

Someone is screaming.

It sounds like it’s coming from the end of a long, narrow corridor that is simultaneously very far away and yet right in front of her because Eve is standing in the middle of the lobby of Raytech Industries. She can feel the cold marble floor under her bare feet and the warmth of somebody else’s blood gathering in between her toes. Smoke wafts in from the space where the bulletproof windows used to be, the remains of the glass twinkling on the ground among charred pieces of grenade shrapnel.

In the distance, she hears the rising wail of a klaxon siren, Raytech’s alarm system building volume and pressure in her ears— or—

Lark of my heart - dance in the dark and say you love me

Lark of my heart - right from the start and say you love me

It's the radio.

It sputters and pops beneath the din, guttering in and out and the machine struggles to pick up a high, crooning voice accompanied by what she thinks might the more solemn lines of a cello and a viola. Percussive beats flutter beneath the song's lyrics, or maybe that's just the sound of Eve's pulse drumming in her skull. Overheard, the lobby's lights sputter, showering the scene with bright white sparks that go out before they hit the ground, or bounce off nearby surfaces like the front desk where the body of Sera Lang slumps forward, still in her seat. A phone receiver, cord wrapped around the length of her long, bare arm, dangles into space and continues to swing like a pendulum. The receptionist's other hand is stretched above her head, the tips of her fingers limp on the desk's panic button.

The lights judder again and Sera's body flickers once.

Disappears in the space between blinking.

Lark of my heart - take back the night and say you want me

Lark of my heart - turn up the light and say we can be

The same, same, same, same…

As Eve moves toward the front desk where Sera's body used to be, she steps over two others: Barney Sorenson's blood mingles with the bright orange shock of his beard and hair, making it difficult for her to pick them apart or determine the extent of his injuries. He lies face down in a pool, cheek flat on the floor, his blue eyes gone glassy and fixed on an indeterminate point in the distance. Beneath him, Remi Davignon-Mortlock is still. If it wasn't for the entry wounds that appear to have punched straight through Sorenson's back and shot straight into her, Eve might mistake the peaceful expression on her face — eyes closed and dark lashes at rest — for dreaming.

Even in death, Sorenson's arm cradles Remi's body against his much larger one, as if still trying to shield her from the barrage of bullets that felled both of them.

I can see it in your eyes, can smell it in your lies

You know I want you

And I can hear it in your sighs, I can feel it in your lines

You know I want you

Hello, hello, hello, hello

Spent casings tinkle. Eve's attention finally turns toward the elevator where two women are huddled together. Desdemona Desjardins is the source of the screams. One blue eye wide with panic states past Eve through the shattered lens of her oversized spectacles at three figures dressed in black stride purposefully toward her and Kaylee Ray-Sumter, whose hand smashes the elevator's call button over and over.

Neither woman is armed, and why would they be?

This is supposed to be the Safe Zone.

I can see it in your face, on every marble place

You know I want you

And I can feel it in your grace, in every golden trace

You know I want you

"Stop!" Des shouts, holding out both her hands. Her voice crackles, raw with emotion. Tears streak down her cheeks and gleam under the spasm of the lobby's intermittent lights. A fixture comes loose from the ceiling, swings in a wide arc, but does not fully detach or go crashing to the floor. "Whatever you want— we can help you. We can help you. Please. I'm—"

She doesn't get any further than that. One of the figures raises their rifle and there's a bright flash, a clap like thunder, and Des crumples against the elevator's doors beside Kaylee. Her knees go out from under her and she drops to the floor, a marionette with its strings cut in one swift strike.

What can I do? Oh boy, your mood creates the weather

What can I do? Oh, how I miss the sound of thunder

What can I do? Roll down around and lift your finger

What can I do? Give me your hand, it’s now or never

Today, today, today, today

Kaylee's breath hitches in her throat as she darts a glance down at Des' body slouched on the floor. As the figures edge closer, a boot crunches over Des' fallen glasses, obliterating the frames and what remains of the lenses inside. All three figures wear knit balaclavas to protect their faces and leather gloves to provide a barrier between their fingers and any prints they might leave behind. Two carry rifles. The third wields a smaller weapon: a plain handgun, which they point at the telepath as she puts her back against the elevator's doors and tries to shield her head and face.

They aren't military, or if they are, they aren't in uniform; Eve can see that their clothes are a combination of leather and wool and other durable materials sourced from different places, none of which look particularly official. Or professional. They should be robbing a bank, not at the helm of a massacre.

"Why are you doing this!" Kaylee demands through her tears, although her voice takes on the steelier edge of someone who knows they're about to die, regardless. "This isn't you."

There's a fractional narrowing of the leader's eyes behind their balaclava but their aim does not waver. "Read my mind," they suggest. Kaylee hurls herself at the figure with a snarl and a gloved finger contracts around the pistol's trigger. As if in slow motion, Eve sees the bullet pass through Kaylee's left eye and pass out the back of her skull in a roostertail of blood, bone, and brain matter that spatters the elevator doors at her back.

Her body joins Des, Barney, and Remi on the floor.

Ding, goes the elevator.

The doors open.

I can see it in your eyes, can smell it in your lies

You know I want you

And I can hear it in your sighs, I can feel it in your lines

Richard Ray instinctively takes a step backwards as Des and Kaylee spill into the elevator at his feet. Behind him, Jared Harrison holds his briefcase like a shield and stifles a choked shout in the back of his throat. Unlike his unfortunate employees massacred lobby, Richard comes prepared; he fires off two quick shots from his own pistol that strike one of the assailants with a rifle and send them staggering backwards into Sera's unoccupied chair, which they reach for and tip on the way down.

The leader does not so much as glance in that direction. "I'm sorry, Richard," they say instead as their remaining companion bullrushes the men in the elevator, slamming Richard into the back mirror with enough force to crack it down the middle. "This wasn't your fault."

Richard's attacker pins him between his chest and the wall of the elevator, rifle gripped at both ends, which they use to crush his windpipe. The leader watches as his thrash out from under him, his feet kicking wildly at his attacker's legs. His pistol drops from his fingers, growing slack, and there’s a moment where Harrison looks like he might stoop and grab for it.

The leader blocks his path.

Harrison can only watch as Richard’s attacker presses the life out of him. His struggles wind down in intensity, little by little, until the only energy he has left is a twitch in his ankle. Satisfied, the leader makes a motion with their hand and the Richard’s attacker— Richard’s assassin discards him beside Kaylee and Des.

The elevator begin to grind slowly closed, then bumps open again when the doors bump against the bodies clogging the path. Richard’s assassin shoves them aside with their boot.

“Thank you, Edwin,” murmurs the leader.

You know I want you

I know, I know, I know, I know

I can see it in your face, on every marble place

You know I want you

And I can feel it in your grace, in every golden trace

You know I want you

Eve, still standing in the lobby, watches as the leader, their back to the prophet, pulls off their balaclava, and maybe she might be able to see their identity reflected in the elevator’s mirror if it wasn’t broken.

“Hello, Mr. Harrison,” the leader says. “Let’s talk.”

Ding, goes the elevator.




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