Last Wail In The Coffin


elliot_icon.gif eve_icon.gif wright_icon.gif

Scene Title Last Wail in the Coffin
Synopsis Wright collides with Eve and is brought to view a painting which holds clues to Elliot's past.
Date December 15, 2011

The 0bservation Room

Wright is sitting alone in police interrogation Room 0.1. She is Elliot. Handcuffed to the table, she knows Wright is standing on the other side of the room’s two-way mirror. Watching. Waiting for the confession. Writing in fog on the glass words she can’t read.

The door is locked from top to bottom: chain slide locks, latches, padlocks, deadbolts, knob locks, strips of tamper-evident tape. The lock he makes by touching the door knob, then letting go; by touching the door knob, then letting go; by touching the door knob, then letting go. The lock he makes by turning all the stove burners to 0ff even though he can see that they’re already off. The lock he makes by turning on the closet light before he opens the closet door. The lock he makes by interrupting his eyeline with the brim of his hat when he rides the bus and someone is sitting next to him.

What can she tell the police that will let him be uncuffed and released, without giving them what they really want? She knows he’s running out of time. The police aren’t going to believe she doesn’t know what they’re asking for.

The policeman sitting between her and the mirror is angry. There are pictures splayed out across the desk, pictures of the faces of people but she can’t see what they look like. “Where am I?” the officer demands, slamming his fists on the table, causing photos to slide off of the table in enormous waves.

Her hands are sweating. It’s freezing in here. She can’t tell the officer what he wants to know or Elliot will spend the rest of his life in jail. She looks around the room, trying to describe it so she can tell the cop. “Did you look in the shed?” she asks.

The officer slams his fists against the table again, sending sheets of photos to the ground like falling rain. They’re up to her ankles now and the water is freezing. “0f course I looked there!” the officer shouts, his face red, “I’ve looked there twice!” It’s her father, Captain Tracy, but he has the moustache her mother insisted he shave off.

This isn’t good. “Did you look on the playground?” She asks, verging on panic.

The officer just screams in her face with his hands on the table. Screams and screams. Huge breaths and screams. He finally sweeps all of the photos from the table to the floor like a hurricane, now lapping at the table's edges and so cold she might go into shock.

“I can’t think of anywhere else to look,” she is crying, hyperventilating. She looks to Wright on the other side of the mirror, wishing she would just smash it open and take her out of here.

The officer takes out a revolver, saying, “I’m going to count down from three. If you don’t tell me what I want to know I’m going to kill your friend in the other room.” He stands and wades through waist-deep photos. How can he stand the cold? He holds the firearm against the glass. Right where Wright stands on the other side.

She pulls frantically against the cuffs, wailing, being unable to scream. Thinking of anything she can say to make the man stop.

“Three,” the officer says, looking over his shoulder at her. She screams as loud as she can and only the faintest whimper escapes.

“Two!” the officer says. The red light on the security camera turns green. Turn yellow. Turns red. She looks to the camera pleadingly.

“0ne!” the officer says, and pulls back the hammer on the revolver with a click of horrifying finality. She’s wailing with the crushing weight of the icy water on her chest, up to her neck. If he shoots, the water will go in there and Wright will drown too.


Pollepel Island, Bannerman's Castle, Infirmary

Wright wakes beside Elliot, hyperventilating. Somebody’s in the room, somebody is touching her arm. The panic is already subsiding as she feels the reality of the room and the dream begins to silently slip away. The door guard withdraws his hand from her shoulder, his partner is looking back into the room at them.

“I think you were having a nightmare,” the guard says

Wright nods, letting out a low “Fuck.”. As the guard leaves, Wright croaks out a “Thank you”. She takes a deep, calming breath and rubs her sleepy face. Looks over to Elliot and sees that she’s dislodged his blanket while she turned about in her sleep. She pulls herself to her knees and adjusts it, taking time to tuck it in under his feet. His breathing is calm, his eyes motionless. “Sorry,” she whispers.

Not doing any good in here, she thinks, standing and walking for the exit. The guard raises her rifle from where she’d leaned it against the wall. She takes it with a nod and another soft thanks.

She nods to the other guard and slings the rifle over her shoulder, turning down the hall. Colliding with another early morning skulker.

"Rabbits, demonic soulless creatures. Rabbits." The voice belongs to a woman in a dark dress that flails out around her as she hustles down the hall, "Don't get trapped in your box, don't get trapped where the souls-" Eve Mas collides with Wright as she exits the room, midnight hair flying as Eve goes flying into the nearest wall with, "Ooof."

The seer closes her eyes and holds her head, "I beg your pardon?!" Directed towards the militant woman, "Wrong." Eyes snap open to reveal light gray eyes as she offers an answer to a question unasked.

There appears to be more she's about to say before her gaze seems to pull Wright's face into focus and she pauses. "Ah." They haven't met but it was hard to have never heard of her or just in general cackling down the halls. There was whispers that she was more than an "old kook" or former founding member of PARIAH, some kind of seer.

Wright flinches, trying and failing to react to the collision in a way that keeps Eve from bouncing into the wall. “Fuck,” she says quietly, “Sorry.” She holds her hands out in case the other woman tries to to complete the process of falling over. When she’s confident the woman is steady she readjusts the sling of her jostled rifle with one hand.

When Eve delivers comments, seemingly addressed to her, Wright’s face scrunches up in confusion. “It’s Wright, actually.” The joke comes naturally but isn’t backed by any humor. The weight that has been hounding her for days may have lifted after her talk with Megan, but Wright is still exhausted. Still reeling from the nightmare that is already too blurry to fully comprehend. “I don’t think we’ve met.”

"We sure haven't but I've seen you," ?? A wink and then Eve begins her slow circle around the other woman, looking her up and down, the tail of her dress dragging on the floor around her.

"Strong arms. Strong head. Sturdy. A guardian, am I close?" Her impish smile shines bright and she stops and leans against the door that Wright had just exited. "I'm Eve!" The greeting is pleasant and she wiggles her fingers in hello.

"You look as if you've seen an evil spirit lurking the halls," Eve leans in closer and lowers her tone to a whisper, "I've told Bird and the Council, careful of the stones we upturn in our seeking of refuge. You never know what can be unearthed. Come now! We're late," The curious older woman motions with her hand and begins to walk down the hall where she came from.

Wright lets Eve's ramble wash over her. She's anxious about waking up the people sleeping in the triage room, and opens her mouth as if to ask Eve to be mindful of that. But when Eve starts to whisper it only seems to unnerve Wright more, and she moves to follow the other tall woman down the hallway if only to bring the noise away with her.

"I guess?" she says with uncertainty. "I can do a fuck-ton of pushups if that's what you mean. Fucking military school was a bastard." She pauses to look back to the door guards for any inkling of whether or not it's a good idea to follow the woman that everyone is at least vaguely unsettled by, but they're staring as away from the commotion as they can get away with.

"You've seen me around?" She asks, still trying to sort out what's been said. "Wait, late for what?"

"Of course I have silly! I see a lot! Maybe all, it's just so jumbled. Symbols, conversations with the dead, metaphors." Eve waves her hands in the air as she moves, the motion reminds of swatting away a buzzard or something. "But I'd never forget faces like yours!" As to what they're late for.

"Why a very important date, silly!" Rolling her eyes as if it's obvious but ending with a wink at the tall woman before they exit to a courtyard. A trio of teens, twin sisters and their best friend, maybe preteens, girls. Run around the space. Well, the duo is running around giggling and chasing each other. The third, another twin stands off to the side with a fearful expression on her face. "Come on Celeste!" The girl's twin calls out and waves her arms frantically to which Celeste shakes her head slowly and holds up her hands as if warding off evil. "N-no. I-I-" Celeste stutters before the girl's friend, a young girl with darker skin and a wild nest of platinum dyed blonde hair smiles and touches the more lively twin's arm, "Come on Marigold! Celeste will join us someday!"

"Fine Poppy but you're just hoping to win!" The girls continue their game while Eve and Wright pass by.

Gray eyes pass over Celeste and Eve grins at the girl before moving on to the next stone hallway. "Children are so interesting, there are infinite roads to adulthood. Which will they take?" It sounds like the choices people make, their journeys, thoroughly interest the seer. As she speaks a bespectacled man runs through the halls with worry on his face, "Celeste? Marigold?!"

“I only have the one paycheck,” Wright says, pointing at her face with a playfully conceited grin she doesn’t really feel. Okay, she thinks, she’s definitely as weird as everybody says. “No time to say hello, goodbye, I’m late I’m late I’m late?” She asks by way of finishing a quote. Zips her coat closed and digs her hands into her pockets.

As they pass the children, Wright gives them a smile they mostly miss. The unenthusiastic girl gets a friendly nod. Let the shy ones feel seen.

“I feel the roads aren’t as infinite as it seems. Courtyard,” she says, hooking a thumb over her shoulder to direct the anxious father to his girls before continuing. “We’re all products of circumstances beyond our control. Genetics, home environment, education opportunities.”

“Though,” she allows, “Who can say anything for sure in a world of prophecy.”

"Of course you do dearie," There there. The father is absolutely relieved to be pointed in the right direction and he makes off towards his girls while the pair continue their very casual stroll for being late to whatever "date" Eve had in mind.

"There lies the ultimate mystery. Is it as limited a path or limitless?” She snickers and stops at an intersection of pathways.

Reaching up near the wall on the left, a torch holder also holds… a joint "I told you I'd see you again." Eve says sweetly to the rolled up cannabis before she produces a lighter and proceeds to light up and continuing their walk with smoke trailing behind them. "Are the whispers from the River, are the echoes iron clad or as flighty as a bird being blown apart by a hurricane? Butterflies. Ripples. Mm." She's seemed to answer her own question.

Wright doesn’t know how to respond to Eve’s rambling, and grows slowly learier of where she’s being led, and to what end. Never let them take you to a secondary location. But, she does have an assault rifle, which seems like it would hold out over Eve’s mysterious ability. She proceeds, trying to bob around the puffs of smoke instead of walking through them. Thinks, Lady, we are under SIEGE. But also, Fuck I would kill for half a bottle of bad whiskey for breakfast right now.

“I’ve always been kind of stuck in the past,” she says, covertly checking corners as they proceed through the castle. “Well, history. Military history, anyway. Super useful life skill. I haven’t thought much about the future at the existential level. Elliot always tried to debate time travel ethics with me. He’d set some theoretical rules for a time travel scenario and then just get way, way too deep in the weeds. Like, if you’d been married for ten years and then got thrown 11 years back in time to before you met your spouse, would it be immoral to pursue a relationship with said future/past spouse? You’d have 10 years of intimate knowledge about things they hadn’t talked to you about yet. Trauma venting, guilty secrets and shit. You’d have a huge power gap there. Also there might be two of you and you’d have to knife-fight to the death or whatever.”

“I always told him it didn’t matter because time travel is impossible, but holy fuck, it’s not actually.”

"I never thought that past was important, head too far into the River, neck so long like a snake in the seas."

Wright's answers has Eve grinning and tilting her head. "Why fight to the death? Why not just work together? Get high together? That's a once in a lifetime chance!" She considers, "So is stabbing yourself to death." Hm.

"Hiro never talked about his travels much, not to me! I think we seers scare the time fairies. They just bam, needle in the middle of the timeline. Hello, I've arrived, you're welcome. Or! I'm sorry." Time travel is so messy. "I've always dreamed on going on a wild time adventure but alas, my feet remain firmly planted on this goddess forsaken ground. Wouldn't it be fun to witness the Mona Lisa being created? Or Bach?" A true lover of the arts. There had to be balance to all the chaos and destruction that Eve left in her wake.

"And here we are!" Throwing herself at the door and turning to eye Wright. "You are here to bear witness." Her tone changes to something quite grave and dramatic. "Do you understand?"

Before the other woman can even answer Eve is throwing the door wide open and jumping into what appears to be her quarters. For one, it reeks of paint and weed. Blotches of color dot the floor and the walls. A simple bedroll in the corner, there wasn't space in the castle but nobody wanted to bunk with Eve. A guitar leans against the wall, an unfinished painting on the easel. Just two eyes beginning to be formed. The prize in the room were the finished paintings. Stacked and hung around the room.

There is one that has a shroud cast over it.

"Welcome to the Oracle's Den, come come." That devilish grin wide on her lips.

Wright stands back in mild alarm as Eve’s demeanor switches to serious. When the door is opened she merely says, “Huh. I’m not sure what I was expecting.”

She takes a tentative step into the room. Shuffles nervously. Can’t shake the feeling of being watched. Her eyes move from painting to painting, understanding none of them. Mildly unnerved by the floating eyes on the easel. More unnerved by the ominous, obscured painting. The amount of canvas, paint, and mess actually seems impressive. “Did you rob a Ben Franklin?”

One painting depicts a man with a scar down his face but there are two of him, flying at each other in midair.

The one right beneath it consists of a man on fire on his knees, slowly being blown away into ash. Before the man stands what appears to be an all encompassing shadow, a cane with a wolf's head gleams within the shadow.

Another displays something that might make a seed of dread grow in Wright: Two people stand side by side, staring ahead with determined expressions on their faces. The strange thing is that the two seem to overlap as if they are one person.

"Mmmm, The Connected. Two souls intertwined at the very core, partners in everything. What a fascinating dream to have. It felt like, everything. Is that what you feel? Everything?" Eve slowly spins around to smile towards Wright, the back of her feet catch the ends of the sheet covering the painting, "I thought your face looked familiar, you can't forget those eyes." A crack of laughter as Eve bows and the movement snatches the sheet from the painting like it was planned. "You know, you really"

It's a small unframed oil canvas painting. The edges of the canvas are frayed and unraveling and it looks at least a decade old or more, kept in poor condition. The painting itself is a bleak one, primarily shades of black and blue depicting an ACTS containment unit at a slightly overhead angle. A glass window on the top of the containment unit is lit with blue light, revealing Elliot's face. But there are seven other ACTS arranged in a circle, like demarcations on a clock, with Elliot at the 6-o-clock point. All the other windows are dark. Standing in the middle of the ring of containment units is a short, wiry old man in a lab coat who is lit only by the light coming from Elliot's ACTS. She may not recognize the man in the painting, but Eve does.

It's Elijah Carpenter.

"Should stay out of those coffins," her off kilter smile twitches at the edges.

I—“I don’t,” Wright swallows; looks at the age of the painting, sees Elliot's unmistakable features. Seven others; two people overlapped. There are pictures splayed out across the desk, pictures of the faces of people but she can’t see what they look like. “I don’t understand.”

I thought—She looks at the painting of two people transposed, faces unidentifiable, and dismisses it to focus on the other. There’s the white-hot sensation of grief in the bridge of her nose, tears enough to form a film across her eyes without falling. “Is this what happened in the Ark?” She asks, her voice cracking. She swallows again, clears her throat. “Is this what happened to him?”

I thought you—”What do you gain by showing me this now?” She staggers back a step, leans back against the door frame with fists clenched, unclenched, clenched. “You knew? You knew and you could have saved him?”

I thought you looked—Shakes her head, ears pop, blinks at the confusion, the sound of the silvery clatter of surgical instruments against a steel tray in triage. The cough of a sick child finally coming around. Head snaps up, accusing, lashing out.

I thought you looked familiar—“Who the fuck are you talking to?” A whisper as sharp as a knife.

"But you do understand fair lady," Eve tilts her head and studies Wright's reaction. There was something about people and how to acted around Eve's prophecies. Even the most stoic can be unnerved.

Eve nods her head along and looks from Wright to the two paintings that seem connected to she and Elliot. "How could I warn strangers I didn't know of the Ark? Hm? When I was there and had my memories erased? When my paintings-" Her hand goes to her chest, "Were stolen from me?" She barks out in laughter and leans against the wall, oh Wright you're so funny.

"Don't be afraid, child." How she came to know they both were on the island remains a mystery. Maybe she saw them randomly one afternoon, maybe she had another vision pointing her in the direction of Elliot's room today.

"You." Eve replies back with a confused expression on her face. "And," A small smile, "You." Pointing her finger at Wright's chest and swaying in place.

"You have learned something that you did not know before, yes? Is it not reason enough, if the prophecy has passed." Eve stops herself and looks towards the lone window in the room, moonlight filtering through.

"The man that stands before your Connected, Doc. Elijah Carpenter… a messy science fairy. Something in the head, something he can move." Eve squints at Wright.

Wright can’t think of how to respond. She studies the paint-splotched floor and runs dirty hands through her short hair, displacing a knit hat. She spins the hat in her hands and drags it back down over her head. Shivers angrily, but composes herself. He’s going to wake up.

She stares at the painting in silence, breathing calmly, steadily. Looks to Eve and studies her carefully. Trying to think of a question simple enough for Eve’s answer to make any kind of sense. You and you. She’s out of her mind. “Do you know what happened to the doctor?” she asks, pointing to Elijah Carpenter, “Or what he was doing to Elliot?”

The other woman stops what she's doing and looks in the corner of the room. Reliving something with a twitch at the corner of her mouth. "I can't say what he was doing, science fairies, their motivations elude me."

A heavy pause before she giggles and claps her hands to her mouth as if she's done something very naughty. "He came out of nowhere, helpless. No threat, but I remembered." Eve's teeth are bared and she slowly turns her head towards Wright. "Head in the jar, head in the jar. Don't you wonder what's in the head in the jar?" She gasps and leaps onto a nearby chair, balancing as she stays in a crouch, midnight hair falling over her face.

"I saw it. My gun lifted, I fluttered the roost, pulled the trigger. BANG." She mimics a gun firing with one hand and an eye closed.

"No more Doc."

Wright crosses her arms and regards Eve carefully. She seems impressed when Eve admits to shooting the doctor, can’t imagine she herself wouldn’t have jumped at the chance. “I respect that,” she says with a slow nod. She straightens up a bit, repositions the sling of her rifle before stuffing her hands deep in her jacket pockets.

“Did he stay dead?” she asks. “Weirder shit has happened this year.” They stand now in a castle full of superhumans. The Bomb was a person. Fucking time travel.

"There were no tricks up his sleeve or immortal blood to my knowledge! His corpse probably a mash of nothing in the crater." Eve waves her hand and leans against the wall. "There is power in seeking out the history, what has made you, you."

"The point was clarity. Windex for the dirty glass. For you both. What you do with it…" Pale hands spread and Eve smiles. "But one less boogeyman knocking on your door." Wright's being impressed is thanks enough for the seer.

Unmarked lips pull from the joint and she blows the smoke out the window. "Listening to the echoes of the future doesn't always mean you arrive in time, but it is always. A trip." Eve snickers.

Wright unslings her rifle and slides casually to the floor. She crosses her legs and leans back against the doorframe and sets the rifle beside her. She nods. “That’s fair,” she says. “Thanks for the inadvertent revenge. I’ve still only heard bits and pieces of what happened down there but I guess I’m glad I got to shoot as many of them as I did.” If having taken lives weighs on her at all, she doesn’t show it.

She digs in her coat for a moment, and peeks into the hall briefly before withdrawing two granola bars, the paint stripped from the foil wrapper from being repeatedly crushed. She tosses one to Eve, more granola than bar at this point.

“I’ve never been the investigative type,” she says as she tears open the wrapper and pours some loose granola into her hand. “That was always Elliot’s gig. And he never did any digging on us. We figure whoever our families were can all eat shit.”

She takes a moment to eat contentedly before continuing, “Who knows though, maybe if we make it off the island we’ll slip back over to Merrimac and raid the town hall. Pay whoever a visit and get some revenge of our own.” She chuckles. Not guns revenge.

"It was just an ending, and also a beginning." Eve speaks on the nature of the events that transpired at the Ark. "Nothing new, same old shit." The 'T' especially sharp. "Man tries to play god and the rest of the world suffers the consequences." She's seen it enough at this rate, "But the funny thing is… death can be elusive. Like a wood sprite fluttering through the trees, the sunlight glaring in your eye as you try to find it."

She catches the bar and mmmms as she promptly tears into it and tosses the joint into a ashtray of some kind by the window. Her eyes catch the pale hands and she chews slowly. Had Adam really brought her back to life? Why would he do this? What did he want? It might have been okay for all of this to be over, but surely then, she had a purpose.

"But sticking your nose to the ground and turning up clues is the fun part my girl!" A light cackle and Eve crosses an arm around her middle. "Speaking of which!" Eve looks over at the wall which holds a map of the world, various markings all over.

"I have some revenge of my own- well is it revenge?" Eve asks herself and shrugs her shoulders, "Something like it." Eve would never tell someone not to seek revenge, everyone was entitled to their action. There were debts that had to be paid in blood.

The thought strikes Eve that she may owe Adam for his blood and it chills her.

"You care for him, your Connected." It's not a question but a clear statement, mischief in those gray eyes.

“Good luck on your World Tour of Comeuppance,” she says, “As Elliot likes to say, ‘Revenge is a dish best served repeatedly’.”

“And if by ‘connected’ you mean ‘dangerously codependent’, then yes.” Wright laughs to herself. Whatever the status of her relationship with Elliot, she certainly isn’t embarrassed by it. She takes a minute to finish off her granola and crinkles up the wrapper, stuffing it into her pocket.

“We’re the closest thing we have to family. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without him at this point. I help him out of his shell and he keeps me from being too fist-fighty.” She shrugs as though she’s remembering something. “I mean, we’re both doing better now. He’s got enough of a handle on things to take infiltration assignments, which is really huge for him. I punch way fewer people.”

“But yeah,” she says in a roundabout answer to Eve’s question. “We’ve got each other’s backs. We’d kill for each other. I mean, already have, so I guess he owes me one.”

"Then protect him,"

Eve puffs from the joint and slowly exhales the smoke, watching the ends of the mass curl and flint out the window pulled by a strong breeze. "Bonds like yours are once in a lifetime," Leaning her arm out of the window to lightly ash outside, watching the debris trickle to the ground below outside.

"And for Goddess sake," Walking over to the door to pull it open and tilt her head at Wright with an entirely too wide grin.

"Avoid the coffins."

Back to worrisome, then, Wright thinks. She stands from the floor as Eve approaches, and picks up her rifle to sling it over her shoulder when she reopens the door. “I will, and yeah. Not being in a coffin is pretty high on my priority list,” she says, “Generally speaking.”

She checks her watch and looks back up to Eve before continuing. “Thanks, I guess. This has been really fucking weird, but it’s nice to meet you. Take care of yourself.” With a nod, she heads through the doorway into the hall.

"Very nice to meet you! We'll see each other again, don't you worry. And mind your steps! Don't wanna fall in a ditch!" Eve cackles one more time and winks.

Wright leaves to maneuver the hallways in silence, pouring over the events of the last few hours. Newfound hope followed by a nightmare she can barely remember but for the terror that accompanied someone counting down to zero. Old paintings of future-knowledge received much too late to help beyond providing some manner of closure.

She stops by the barracks and changes quickly before pulling Elliot’s ancient, coverless book from a ziplock in her duffle. She runs her fingertips over the paper; once coarse, now smooth from years of repeated handling. A strip of duct tape supports the spine, nudged away at the edges to leave small spots of still tacky adhesive. Other than his hat, lost now, this is the only comfort item he has left.

She stows it in her jacket pocket delicately before heading back to the ward to follow through on Megan’s suggestion that she read to him. She hands off her rifle to the same quard and nods to both of them. Their rotations will be wrapping up soon, and Wright’s will soon begin.

Elliot has been propped up against the wall, his eyes are open but remain vacant. He doesn’t show any indication of knowing she is in the room, but she sits facing him on crossed legs. Ready to scan his features for any of the hints Megan said showed signs of his eventual reemergence from catatonia.

She smiles at him deeply anyway, infusing him with as much love and joy as she can, hoping it will reach him. She gives his hand a squeeze and then places his hands in his lap, flipping through the first few pages of the book to the epigraph before lowering her hands to his so he can feel the texture of the paper and tape. With another smile she begins reading to him quietly in a room only starting to fill with the sounds of waking patients.

"Into this wild abyss,
The womb of nature and perhaps her grave,
Of neither sea, nor shore, nor air, nor fire,
But all these in their pregnant causes mixed
Confusedly, and which thus must ever fight,
Unless the almighty maker them ordain
His dark materials to create more worlds,
Into this wild abyss the wary fiend
Stood on the brink of hell and look a while,
Pondering his voyage…"

She turns the page.

“Part one, Oxford. The Decanter of Tokay.”

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