Names That Can Kill


cardinal_icon.gif harmony_icon.gif keira_icon.gif

Scene Title Names That Can Kill
Synopsis A basement, a hood, and threats guided by telepathic probing uncover a list of names… that some people would kill to know. Or to bury.
Date February 22, 2011

A Basement Somewhere


The steady beat of a leaky faucet is the first thing that works its way through Keira's consciousness as she begins to pull herself out of her drugged slumber. The sound seems too loud, the echos lingering longer than they should, her skin tingling with little pin-pricks every time a shift of her body draws her clothes' fabric over it. A tug of a hand finds rope binding her by the wrists to a chair. Feet, the same. Eyes can open, but see nothing but the coarse blackness of a hood draped over her head.

The sound of footsteps soon insinuates into her hearing, and a voice speaks - hollow, electrical, masked by some cheap device. The subtle buzzing to it aggravates her headache. "Oh, good," he says, "You're awake."

A groan is what first marks Keira's ascent into the world of consciousness. She tugs at her bonds a few times, shifts her head within the black bag that covers her face. It's rather claustrophobic, really, this situation. Not like she didn't expect something like this, with the lifestyle she leads. Martial law. They don't like the gun and drug runners.

Still, a voice changer? That's kind of silly. Why would someone use a voice changer? Unless she knows the person.

She turns her face toward the sound of the voice, not offering an answer. Though she's worried. What if they took her brother, too? He hasn't done anything wrong. He's a good guy who stays out of trouble.

As a silent party to this little scene to Saw, Harmony hangs back in the darkness while letting herself relax, which means she doesn't have to expend the effort to hold the telepathy at bay. She enjoys the times that she is made to use it on some level, as the stress of choking it back doesn't exist. Thankfully, there are only two minds in her area, one of which she keeps contact with, letting her voice reach him, while the other she keeps one way, becoming a listener. She's playing the part of a mind creeper at the moment, probably seeking the dirty little secrets in people's heads.

This is totally a scene from a slasher movie. Are you gonna poke her with stuff? She asks Cardinal.

I'm not going to need to, Cardinal 'thinks' back at her grimly, Not with anything but words. Not with you here.

"Keira Fionn," he recites into the voice changer, moving with a slow step to circle her, forcing her to try and focus on where he is as he moves around her at an uneven pace - fast, then slow. "Tell me. Do you enjoy murdering children?"

Keira's head follows the sound of the voice, frowning beneath the hood. "Fuck you. I ain't never touched no kids, so you can jus' kiss my ass." Kids? What the hell does he mean by murdering children? I never killed any kids. Keira lowers her head down toward the ground, refusing to play the game of follow-the-leader. "I'd never hurt a fuckin' kid." What the fuck. Do I know this asshole?

I know this is probably not the time but.. I ain't never touched no kids? I have heard of a double negative, but what about a triple negative? Does that make it all correct? Harmony shakes her head, quite offended by Keira's butchering of the English language. She isn't a Nazi about it, as she tends to use slang herself, but that was just.. bad. She is claiming that she never killed any children. You might need to be a bit more specific. I'll stick to the surface thoughts for now, I'll actually probe if she resists too much. And if you need me to give her a little 'push', let me know.

"October, two-thousand eight. A Humanis First cell marches into the public library in Brooklyn. They separate out the registered Evolved from the rest of the crowd, hold them hostage and begin executing them. Innocent people, teenagers a lot of them, just studying or reading. Another cell did the same thing in the same place, nine months later," Cardinal recites, the electric buzz of his voice unable to keep the edge out of his tone, "July two-thousand nine. The wife of Mayor Bianco is attacked by a ''grenade'' while in her car. Humanis takes credit for this, saying it was because of his pro-evolved policies."

There's a pause, "Let's skip to one of the more salient reports. June two-thousand nine. I was there for this one. It was a nice summer day. Warm, but not hot. They had tents set up for voluntary Evolved testing. A woman came out of one of the tents with her kids, crying from relief that the tests were negative. To reward them for being such good girls, she went over to an ice cream stand that'd been set up nearby. The man wasn't only selling ice cream, though. You're a gun-runner, Keira."

A lean in behind her, beside the side of her head, the electronic scratch more annoying still. "…have you ever seen what a nail bomb does to a child at close range? I did. Then to celebrate, they dropped a Humanis First banner down the front of a building nearby." He draws back slowly, "So how is Walsh doing these days, Keira?"

The woman tenses against her bonds, sneering toward the sound of the voice. "Fuck. You." She snaps the words out from beneath the hood. "I'm not Humanis fuckin' First. I sell drugs. I sell guns. I don't give a shit what people do with them, I fuckin' take my money and walk th'fuck away." How the fuck does this motherfucker know about me and fuckin' Walsh? Nobody knows about him. Unless…

She sneers beneath the hood. "Hell if I fuckin' know. That motherfucker took off, he can go fuck himself. Humanis First is bullshit." At least part of her genuinely agrees with this statement. Fuck…oh fuck, how the fuck does he know. What the fuck do I do? They're going to fucking kill me… The woman remains tense against her bonds, as if pulling against them long enough will cause them to eventually break.

Why the fuck did I ever join up with this racist shit? If these motherfuckers don't kill me, they will. They seems to imply 'Humanis First'.

Oh my GOD. If she says fuck one more time… Harmony rubs a one hand down her face, pushing her fingers against her temples. It is mostly self inflicted stress really, brought on by her irritation for Keira's.. vocabulary. She's lying of course. She knows about Humanis First, someone called Walsh. She is starting to sweat it seems. According to her, no one is supposed to know about Walsh, though it seems implied that there might be one or two who do. Close people or something. I'm not sure. Not that it matters either, but she is worried about either them killing her, or the other side killing her.

"December twenty-fifth. Your little friends capture a man, drug him, strap a suicide bomb to him and shove him into a restaurant," Cardinal continues the litany of sins, moving to circle her slowly again, "Their target? A children's book author because they happened to be about Evolved. Your involvement in that incident is enough to put you behind bars for life. If they choose to connect you to the rest of Humanis's crimes.. well. Ever heard of Death Row?"

There's a pause, "You should cooperate."

Shit. Shit shit shit. How do they know all about this stuff? "I didn't have anything t'do with that shit on Christmas. I was with my home-boys, exchangin' gifts of Christmas Bonuses." This one isn't a lie. Asshole, I had nothing to do with what Walsh did. That was Walsh's baby. He told me to stay the fuck away from that fuckin' party, and I did. I didn't even know what he was doing.

"I am cooperatin'. I'm tellin' you that I have nothin' to do with that shit." She shakes her head under the hood. I don't want to have any thing to do with them. Shit…this motherfucker's gonna kill me, or fuckin' Humanis First is gonna kill me for havin' an Evo brother. Or they'll fuckin' kill him. She sneers. "If you're gonna kill me, just get it th'fuck over with. I ain't gonna talk, 'cause I got nothin' to talk about."

A pause. "Just…don't hurt my brother. He's got nothin' t'do with this shit." She searches the room, even though she can't see anything through the thick black fabric. Do they have Graeme? Oh shit, please tell me they don't have him. He doesn't need this shit…doesn't deserve this.

Hm. She is worried about the brother she mentioned. Maybe you could use that as a bit of leverage. His name is apparently Graeme. She is really sweating bullets of him. Harmony peers at the hooded girl, and she wonders to herself is it is bad that she really doesn't feel sorry for the woman or her brother about now. She is snatched up and trussed like a serial killer victim and Harmony doesn't seem to mind it at all. Seems she is bothered that HF will kill her because her brother is Evolved. That's pretty interesting. Maybe you should have snagged him too?

There's a moment's silence as Cardinal absorbs what Harmony's just told him, his head shaking slowly from side to side. "Graeme? Well, that depends very much on how well you cooperate… interesting that an associate of Humanis First has a brother that's evolved. Must be quite the conflict, there."

There's a moment's pause, "Why don't you tell us what we want to know, Keira?"

The chair creaks slightly as Keira suddenly struggles against her bonds, leaning toward the sound of the voice as if she really wants to wrap her hands around its anonymous neck. "Fuck you! Don't touch Graeme, he doesn't have anything to fuckin' do with this! He's fuckin' innocent and he deserves to stay that way! Let him go, take your shit out on me instead!" She all but shrieks this out, struggling against the rope that ties her to the chair, keeps her immobile.

Inwardly, she's freaking out. Oh god, oh god, what the fuck am I doing here?! Why the fuck did they take Graeme, he doesn't have anything to do with me! She lets out a rather bestial scream toward Cardinal, struggling for a moment longer, though it's futile and she knows it. "Let him go and I'll fuckin' talk. I'll tell you fuckin' everything, just don't fuckin' hurt him!"

"Then tell me everything." A flat statement from Cardinal as he stops in front of her, one foot lifting up and slamming down against the chair between her legs where they're spread and tied, leaning forward slightly. His voice distorted by the voice changer. "I want names. I want locations. Who do you know in Humanis First? Who are Walsh's co-conspirators? Where do they meet? What are they planning? Talk."

Keira flinches as the foot comes down between her legs, her struggles coming to a halt. She falls quiet, frowning. "They'll kill me." She whispers this. But that's better than Graeme getting pulled in to this shit. A deep breath. "I don't even know how I got into this shit. I was just a fuckin' gun runner…just sold drugs and guns. Then I inherited a position. Got t'know Walsh. He treated me like a daughter."

She falls quiet for a moment. "I mean, I'm kinda freaked out by Evolved, but I never hurt any of 'em. I've dated 'em b'fore. But…I somehow got pulled in. I didn't even know what it was up until it was too late, and I was already in."

A pause, then, she closes her eyes. "Gregory Armond." A pause. "Samuel Irons." Her head hangs lower. "Georgia Mayes…and Sylvia Lockheart. That's all I know." She pauses again, then turns her face up toward the sound of the voice. "Y'might as well kill me now. They find out I told you, I'm already dead."
Ah, names! I'm pretty sure she is telling the truth. She is deeply worried about her brother. Which, I guess I can understand. I'd be terrified if I were in the same position with Nate. However, even that doesn't make her feel any remorse about Keira's situation. She didn't seem to mind that Jason was Evolved when she went and blew up that place with him. Honestly, she might have an Evolved fetish or something, she was hanging all over Jason that night, and she did date you, so.. issues? I think so. She rather likes sitting back and peeking into people's heads. Learning their dirty little secrets. Do you know these people she is naming?

Mayes. Lockheart. Harmony can feel the sudden surge of elation in Cardinal as those names are spoken. Yes… yes I do…

"Dangerous names." A pause. "Do you have proof?"

"No. No proof. But I was there. I was at Mayor Lockheart's house. I went in to this room with them, and they all discussed business. Walsh and all of them. That's all I have." She sounds…almost broken. "I don't know how I got into this…I never wanted to hurt anyone. I still haven't killed an Evolved, just because they're Evolved. I don't think I could do that. I'm sorry, I'm sorry…I don't know what to do. If they find out I told you, I'm as good as dead…they're gonna fuckin' kill me, and all it'll be is another criminal gettin' snuffed out by the martial law…"

"At the Mayor's house." There's a few long moments of silence, and then the interrogator asks, "…when was this? Exactly? Do you have a date?"
The MAYOR? Oh man, that's pretty fucked up. I hate politicians. You know, this is like one of those high school shows you see? You know where you see the people get picked on by some popular kid? They say something degrading and you're sitting there thinking… If that was me, I'd just haul off and punch the bitch in the face. She wouldn't say that shit to me. Harmony frowns, giving her head a shake, That's how I feel right now. About this situation. I wanna just go and punch someone in the face, because they are wrong and they shouldn't be allowed to get away with it. I don't care how popular or high standing they are.

"It was…around Christmas. Couple days before. Night before Christmas eve, I think. Walsh had me get dressed up nice. I…I didn't say much of anything, just listened. Mayes and Lockheart, they gave a pep talk. Said that things were good. Talked about finding some council or somethin'. Talked about that bombing on Christmas, told us all not t'go. They toasted. That's— that's all I know."

She sniffles beneath the hood. "I didn't even know what it was until it was too late. I'm sorry, I…I got in over my head, and I didn't know how to get out."

Mayes is even more powerful than Lockheart. This may be exactly the break we needed… Cardinal looks at the hooded woman for a moment, and then he speaks through the voice-changer again, "…nobody's going to kill you, Ms. Fionn. You're going to be going home, to your shitty little life, and you're going to keep your ears and eyes open. You will be contacted, periodically, to see if you've learned anything that can be used to stop these terrorists. And if you decide to tell them about our little meeting…"

Wry, "Well, I'd be interested to see how you'd explain Graeme to them."

"I won't tell…I won't tell." She isn't lying about that. She's scared of what will happen if she does tell them. "Just don't hurt Graeme…he doesn't deserve any of this. I never wanted him t'get involved with this…he's a good guy." She lowers her head. "Just don't hurt him…" She mutters this, shaking her head slowly and hunching in her seat.

Alright, so what do we do about her brother? You know, when she goes back to him, she'll ask about his kidnapping experience. If there isn't something to cover that up, stuff will start to look funny. Harmony makes a point, chewing on the inside of her jaw a little while she peers, pondering this situation. Any ideas?

"Don't worry. Your brother won't remember a thing… we'll make sure he remembers something else entirely," Cardinal states. Talk into her head or something so she knows we have a telepath. A step over, and he reaches to drag her shirt sleeve up, the fabric of his glove felt as he brings a needle up to her arm. "Time to go back to sleep, Miss Fionn." Steel enters flesh—sliding into a vein, followed by whatever sedative is in the syringe.

Don't worry, we'll take GOOD care of your brother. No harm will come to him, just as long as you play nice. Harmony speaks to the captive, in that ethereal telepatic manner. She steps over to where Cardinal reaches to poke her in the neck with the needle and shifts up onto her toes to peek over his shoulder. He's poking her with things. Ooh, is that adavan? Please tell me you have some more of that. I haven't been sleeping well as of late, and I could totally use a tranq.

"No! Don't— don't hurt him! Please…he's a good guy!" She flinches as she feels the glove against her flesh, pulling up her sleeve. "No!" She struggles against his hand, even if she can't do anything to stop the needle as it slides into her vein. As Harmony speaks into her head, she goes shock still. "Don't…don't hurt him…don't do anything…to…him…" The sedative is quick to take effect, and it's not long until the tattooed woman slumps forward, held up only by her bonds.

The world sinks into darkness, a deep and troubled sleep…

…and when she awakens, she'll be in her car, parked in the parking lot of an abandoned gas station near the edge of Midtown. As if she'd parked her car there and just fell asleep, as if everything was merely a bad dream.

But the nightmare was as real as her choices have been.

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