Matthew 21:22


amato_icon.gif kaydence_icon.gif

Scene Title Matthew 21:22
Synopsis What starts out feeling a bit like Sunday School, Revisited, turns into something far more sinister.
Date October 9, 2008


It is amazing how far a story can take one in the remains of the Land of Opportunity.

When Kaydence Damaris comes to, it is to the sound of metal clinking against metal in perhaps comforting, domestic fashion. The smells around her are decidedly less appealing.

It may be difficult to pin down any one odor in the hodgepodge of filth, rust, and decay, but its obvious from the temperature that this place lacks any heating and is open to the outside air. As she has been for nearly a day now, the detective is bound, her face obscured by a black bag over her head. At least she's sitting up this time, and rather than be bound together, her wrists and ankles are secured to whatever she is seated upon.

After a moment, the clinking of metal stops, punctuated by one final, slightly louder one.

Though startled when consciousness returns to her, Kaydence Lee is able to keep her breathing slow and even as it was while she was asleep. It doesn't take much effort to recall the practiced tactic employed during her time on Vice. She listens intently to the sounds around her. Her blood freezes when the clinking stops. She opens her eyes just the barest crack to check if the hood still obstructs her vision. When she sees it does, she slides her eyes shut again.

Kaydence's keeper is watching her closely, trying to pick up on any signs that she may be awake. This isn't his usual business, but he isn't sinking yet. As it is, bordem settles a bit earlier than he had planned. Still sore from the ministrations he took part in before moving Kaydence here, Amato remains seated on a somewhat intact chair off to one side and out of side of the blind detective.

"Do not plan evil against your neighbor," he recites methodically in that same smooth Spanish accent he used over the phone with the station, "who dwells trustingly beside you."

Beneath the good, Kay's eyes open wide in a reflexive attempt to try and see the source of the voice. Her lips part as she struggles to keep her breath from becoming an audible gasp. While she's able to keep the audible cues at bay, her muscles tense slowly. Her eyes shut again, tighter this time. God help me.

Try as she might, as focused as Amato is, that tensing doesn't go unnoticed. He smiles, but when he speaks again there is no trace of it. Only the accented voice as it continues it's somewhat dramatic recitation. "Many are the plans in the mind of a man, but it is the purpose of the Lord that will stand."

He glances at the stack of items balanced on the crumbling tile wall - badge, gun, anything and everything Kaydence had on her person aside from her clothing when she went into room 302 of Briarwood Terrace. "Kaydence Damaris," he begins again. "Do you know these words?"

"Kaydence Lee," she corrects gently. It's the only thing her brain is able to process. In the space of time it takes her to draw in a slow, deep breath, she's formulated another response. "P- Proverbs." Proverbs, not Psalms. Both P-words, Kay. Even if one's silent.

"Very good, my child," is Amato's answer, and this time the smile is evident in his voice, but only slightly so. "As is this." He clears his throat before he speaks again. "The plans of the diligent lead surely to abundance, but everyone who is hasty comes only to poverty." After another pause, that slight smile is back. "Why would these words matter to you, madam?"

"They're… just words." Kay pauses, and then corrects herself. "They mean different things to different people. Matter in different ways. I'm not sure what you're asking of me… Where am I?"

The crunch of footsteps breaks the heavy air. Glass. Paper. Plaster. So many more things brushed and battered underfoot in the few strides to takes Amato to get behind where Kaydence is seated. He grabs the back of her chair then, slowly curling one gloved finger after another around the frame of the chair without touching her. "That is precisely what you have been asked, my child. What do they mean to you?"

Kay trembles as she listens to Amato's slow circle around her. "It's another way of saying 'good things come to those who wait.' But it's more than that. Good things come to those who work for them, but are patient." Please, God, let that be the right answer.

"That is an adequate interpretation." Amato peers down one of Kaydence's arms, squinting slightly, and it is at least a minute before he speaks again. "Let's try another, and aim for a more… personal aplication, shall we?" Amato straightens, pushing slightly against the chair which rolls forward the tiniest bit, making the rubble beneath it cry out appropriately.

"And now I say unto you, Refrain from these men, and let them alone: for if this counsel or this work be of men, it will come to nought: But if it be of God, ye cannot overthrow it; lest haply ye be found even to fight against God."

"The only way to act is to act in the name of God. I do what I feel is right in the eyes of God. When I was younger, a man attacked me. God brought me a saviour." She married him. "God put me through that ordeal so that I would know the suffering. So that I would work to prevent that suffering from being brought upon others. So that I would bring the wicked to justice." Her voice stays steady and even, but Kay's beginning to panic. She doesn't know where all of this is leading. And she doesn't like being this far out of her element. This far out of control.

There is silence, then the tsking sound of a parent or teacher who is gently pointing out a wrong answer. "In this case, it is context that will save you. Judas of Galilee said those words of the disciples of Christ after the Lord was crucified and rose from the dead to save mankind." The smile returns, and Amato pulls the chair back toward him as he leans his face closer to the side of Kaydence's head. "Do you know why he said it?"

"I'm not certain," Kay admits quietly. "I believe because he meant that they should see the lasting impact of Christ's life and his love." Never would the woman speak this way. While she went through all the motions in the church, she would never consider herself deeply religious. She doesn't make it a habit to study the Bible. Does she believe? Oh, yes. But not so much to talk like this. She's only hoping she can find the right words. …Maybe God will bestow them upon her.

Rather than point out the flaws in the detective's summary, Amato merely corrects it. "The high priests of the day wanted to pass judgment on the disciples for teaching in the temple - for doing the Work. So many others had claimed to be the messiah, and their followers caused unrest. And they, because they were false, they were subdued and silenced by their fellow men."

"But Judas of Galilee told the priests that if the Lord's disciples, the apostles, were like any of the men they had seen before - if they were in fact false and the Lord Christ was not the true messiah sent by the Almighty God - their work would have no effect." Amato straightens again and closes his eyes. "But if their work was the work of the Lord and the Lord's will, then they could not be stopped, and any attempt to stop them would be as if fighting The Almighty Himself."

"Where am I?" Kaydence Lee asks desperately. She's had enough of this discussion. She needs answers, not more questions. "What do you want from me?"

"It is not what I want," Amato says gravely, and with a slight shake, his removes his hands from Kaydence's chair. There is the soft sound of moving cloth, and soon that Spanish voice is masking it. "It is what God requires of you."

Emphasizing the last word and therein the command, Amato brings his long-fingered hands down to grip Kaydence's bare arms at the shoulder.

Kay jumps under the touch on her arms. "God speaks to you?" She bites her lip, though he can't see it beneath the hood. "What does He ask of me?"

Sin is so subjective. A small girl with mousy brown hair stares longingly at a hair ribbon of purple satin. She looks left, and then right, before reaching out to take the ribbon in her small hands, tucking it inside of her grey winter coat. As a blonde, younger, Kay is positively synonymous with Jezebel. She watches her own reflection in a mirror as the table she leans over, and the man behind her hips, rock in a fast rhythm, misery in her eyes. This man is not her husband. Now those eyes look down at shaking hands, then back up at a white-haired man with a kind smile that doesn't reach his eyes as he passes her a strap of cash. A backpack falls over the side of a bridge and disappears into murky brown waters with a splash. Just another piece of trash in the river. In an interrogation room, throwing a cup of coffee into the face of a suspect - an obvious pimp. That same man in an alley, being kicked over and over again. Stomped on by a pair of high heels. Striding past the man with white hair again, into the hospital room occupied by Matt Parkman.

There might have been more, but Amato releases his grip. Kaydence is far from the worst he's ever seen, but hers is definitely not the purist of souls. Still, the flashes he gets are intense enough for him to not want to pull more from the prone woman. When he moves his hands away and takes in a deep breath, apparently having held it this entire time, Amato silently puts his gloves back on.

"God speaks to any who care to listen," he says after a moment, satisfied that this woman is not an Evolved and therefore only has the uses he had previously imagined. "But all of God's words are in line with His will." Keeping behind Kaydence, Amato grabs a hold of the bag on her head and pulls before he takes a step back, out of her line of sight should she try to look up at him.

Wherever they are, it has long since been neglected. The layout and what remains of the furniture, mostly rusty frames and a few synthetic chairs in the 70s style, mark this as a hospital, but the light-colored paint and tile is peeling and chipping away from the rotting walls. The floor is covered with debris. It's not the place one would want to fall without being completely sure they were up to date on all of their shots. Directly in front of Kaydence on the pale tile wall blare words in bright red. The paint has dripped, giving the cryptic script an even more disturbing tone. I TASTE LIKE THE DREAMS OF MAD CHILDREN, it proclaims. To her right, more words in the same style, backed by the dying light of a window far beyond it, bleed on what remains of a plaster divider. IF YOU BURNT MY WINGS HOW CAN I FLY.



Kaydence Lee blinks against the light. Dim as it is, it's still more than was able to infiltrate the hood over her eyes. Soon enough, she's taking in her surroundings. Even though Amato isn't looking at her face, he's cued that she's taken it all in when she starts struggling.

But Amato is confident that the bonds that hold Kaydence to the wheelchair, even as old as it is, will hold her tight despite her wriggling. He only smiles, unseen.

"Ask, and ye shall receive."

Even steel can bend under the right pressure. Nerves of steel are similar in that way. The woman's chest heaves as the bubbling panic threatens to drown her.

Outside, the crumbling husk of the building once devoted to healing is surrounded by a fence, the woods. Shrill and terrified, a scream tears through the quiet and the still of it all, sending birds to flight.

October 9th: Two of a Kind

Previously in this storyline…
Guilt and Innocence

Next in this storyline…

October 10th: Antivirus
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