Neca eos omnes


danko3_icon.gif joseph_icon.gif

Scene Title Neca eos omnes
Synopsis Things fail to go according to plan on Joseph's final Danko dosing visit before the trial.
Date November 10, 2009

Grand Central Terminal: Holding Cell

Brick wall makes a solid square of this room, and though it's wide, its low ceiling and hard edges give it a claustrophobic feeling. The ceiling and floor are both a sickly grey cement, and fluorescent light burns brightly from a caged light bulb in the center of the room. A cot has been pulled in, its metal frame squatting low to the ground, and remains the only semi-permanent feature of this stark space. A thick iron door is the only way out, once painted a neutral teal and now stained with rust, paint flaking to reveal blanker grey.

The air is always chilled, and there's the sound of running water somewhere beyond. Occasionally, foot steps will echo above or from a distance away. It's impossible to keep track of time, here, without clocks and without access to sunlight, sleeping and waking dictated by the flick of a switch. This place should, by rights, be only very temporary. If it's not, then its purpose is clear - imprisonment.

It's an odd hour of day, or it is for the rest of the world. The timeless power drain of constant light has no bearing on this, and neither does Danko, and Joseph is starting to sink into the strange, arbitrary pattern that dictates when Danko sleeps, eats, pisses, and when he gets dosed with morphine. It's around that last one that the door is opening and shutting, revealing that vague darkness beyond Joseph who is much more material and distinct as he steps inside the brightly lit cell.

Room. Thing. Whatever this place is. It won't be for much longer. Speculative black eyes dart on over towards where Danko sleeps, brow furrowing a little at the sight. He considers clearing his throat to announce his presence, but suspects it won't help. Ultimately, he simply reaches back a hand to make sure the door is shut, though not locked, and moves closer.

The cot is low enough that a chair would be inappropriate anyway, the room bare of everything save for that squat metal frame, thin mattress, and the man resting upon it. Medical supplies have long since been removed. Stopping at the end of Danko's bed, Joseph turns the small capped needle around and around in his fingers. He also has with him some water, a small bottle worth gripped in one hand. Denim is drawn bulkily over a grey sweater, his jeans of a lighter tone than his jacket, shoes brown and scuffed, and they're too old to creak when he gathers up his resolve and moves around to the side of the cot.

He crouches down just beside where Danko's pale arm lies, and, trusting that he'll rouse soon regardless, whether from needle stab or the touch of Joseph's steady hand just prior, the pastor uncaps the needle with a kind of numb thoughtlessness.

The cell off Track 61 may as well be a morgue and the captive terrorist laid out within its walls a corpse for all the difference Joseph's entrance makes. Emile Danko is sleeping, as he has been more often than not when the door opens lately: pallid and still between slow breaths that stir only lightly at sore ribs and clean bandages.

The overall ill cast that comprises his cadaverous countenance resolves itself into sharper detail as Joseph draws close enough to sit. Sunken, shadowed eye sockets. Arched structure molded subtle into skull bone under the colorless fuzz of his close-kempt burr. Greyed out brows and the gradual return of stubble's ghostly film around the line of his neck and jaw. Maybe Eileen'll be by again in time to shape him up before the big day.

Seemingly irrelevant to all of this, the flat-packed mattress shifts somewhat under the addition of Sumter's weight, and there's a single muffled pat of liquid against concrete. Barely audible. Wouldn't be registered at all if there was any sound to compete with it, but as things are, the air unit's off and there's no one in here interested in making small talk.

It hadn't really been Danko's strength and health and physical threat that had been the reason for Joseph to fear him, but all the same, there is something distinct about how different he looks like this. As if everything he had done was some horrible mistake, detached from the grey man lying limp and chained. This is all ridiculous. Which changes nothing, either, but it does make Joseph pause, studying the man's face with the miniscule point of the needle poking only air for a moment as he holds it.

Then there's that singular sound of liquid, distinct from the distant, occasional sounds of water leaking somewhere in the tunnels, above or below or around. Hesitation, before plastic sheathes the silver tip of the morphine doseage with quick fingers. Metal squeaks as Joseph levers himself off enough to crouch, a hand against the frame as he ducks to inspect, a sense of obligation to inspect strange interruptions in what has been a daily routine for something like a week— more?— who knows.

…Pat. A fifth drop joins the first four scattered piecemeal over clean concrete at the cot's far side, black in the shadows that crowd in under the slack of Danko's right hand. It isn't 'til the sixth runs itself out in an uneven start for the end of the splayed ring finger that the source becomes readily, terribly apparent.

The hand moves. Unfortunately, so does everything behind it, and all at once in a fluid, fer-de-lance strike of stringy muscle and haggard bone, Danko's clenched that same bloody hand into Joseph's hair in an aim to rack his fool head hard against the cot's metal skeleton.

He uncoils himself up off the mattress in the same violent twist of motion, left wrist caught hard enough by the lock of the remaining cuff that he's rocked back half a step short from wherever he thought he was headed next. Options thusly limited, he recalibrates for about half a second while he calculates for Joseph's reaction, right hand laid open to pinkish white bone across its flank.


…is about all the thought process Joseph can get out before his skull is bounced off metal, bright white light filtering into his vision with far less shadow and more invasiveness than the stagnant illumination in its cage up above. Dazed, he scrabbles, all instinct and nails and irrational fear, hands trying to find holds on cold concrete to propel himself away. Not even towards the door. Just away. Inaudible, the needle tiks against the ground at a bounce, rolling and skittering away.

It's going to take longer for his heart to stop pounding than it does his for his vision to clear. A shock of red is already smeared high on his forehead, gathering at the corner of an eyebrow and streaking with the back of his hand. Head wounds bleed worse than they are.

A panicky look is dragged reluctant to Danko, and Joseph knows almost tangible relief to see that shimmering metal chain still attached to the loop around the man's skinny left wrist.

…o, was the last bit of his synapse firing, as he slowly gets back his wits. "Where're you gonna go?" The sleeve of his jacket is again pressed to that bruised gash, pulled away; dark crimson into faded blue. Joseph is still on the ground, legs folded beneath him. "Even if you weren't chained up like an animal."

In socked feet, war torn, dirty and bound to a goddamn bed, Danko looks even more infirm now than he did two minutes earlier. The fact that he's angry doesn't help his case much. There's something dishearteningly futile about being furious when you're chained up like a rabid dog, and the impotent jerk he gives at his remaining restraint isn't likely to free anything more substantial than a few more red blood cells.

Metal jounces and clatters against metal. And he does bleed with what little he has left to lose, but the jig's up and he doesn't have the time it took him to work his right hand into a raw, ragged-fleshed mess.

Hatred's sheened dull across eyes the color of dirty snow when his glare rips finally rips itself off the remaining cuff to refocus on Joseph. For the first time in what feels like a longer time than it's been, he has the superior vantage point between them. It should probably come as no surprise that he visibly slows himself down enough to savor it.

"Where are you going to go, Pastor?"

It's not too unfamiliar, in that Joseph was seated a lot of the time back way when. Still, it's marked, Danko looming for all the fact he's bleeding from a savaged hand and chained to the cot, arm dragged in a chord of muscle and bone towards the stubborn metal frame that keeps him. "God only knows," is muttered, black eyes wide and focused before Joseph works on getting to his feet. He glances towards the floor for the dropped needle, and a half a second's glance doesn't reveal it to him immediately, so he only stands with one hand— not out, but lifted, fingers splayed star-like and placating.

As if Danko really were like the chained up wild animal he mentioned. Dogs that go mad with boredom start with the self-harm, teeth grinding to bloody on concrete walls. "Way I see is," Joseph says, quietly, "you got two options. You die in a coupla days, or you get turned over to the police tomorrow. You're not going anywhere before then, hear me?"

A second or two passes wherein Danko could opt to tag along after the shift in conversation Joseph proposes in turn. He just doesn't.

"Not back to church. Not after this."

He'd rather stick with his own, blood drizzled out in a sharper spurt after a reflexive curl at exposed tendon and muscle run red through his fingers, like something out of a high school anatomy diagram. Meanwhile, for all that the angle of his regard is forced to tip back by the progress Sumter makes up onto his feet, nothing else does. He stays right where he is and has been, weight balanced on his left leg to spare the right and whatever stitches remain tracked up under his fatigue pants.

"You gonna inject people who fall asleep in bible study with methamphetamine?"

He hadn't said anything, not a thing, until this point, which is almost unfair. Sudden guilt knifes at Joseph enough for it to show on his face, momentarily stricken when that particular habit is laid bare and ugly. He doesn't even stammer around a response, mute for a moment and blinking in pale light across at Danko, before he distractedly wipes at his cheek, making more of a mess of blood than clearing it, as is characteristic of the stuff. Defiance has him pulling in a breath, letting it out in a harsh sigh.

"You needed water." The bottle of said sustenance has rolled up to the wall, abandoned in the scuffle and glittering beneath the light. "I don't trust you sober with your hands free." Joseph turns his his sleeve to show the splotch of dark red collected from his forehead. Case in point.

There's an edge of anger, rather than weary frustration, that makes his words sharp as he impulsively continues with, "And you don't get to tell me about church. Now sit down." He points, and roams his gaze over the cement ground for the darting minnow of the syringe on its stagnant pond surface.

"You've even got a little story worked out for yourself." That's cute, says a lift and cant of Danko's brows, grey as the soot and ash mix smudged oily across the dome of his skull. "Can't let your fellow man die of dehydration, no matter how soulless. It's under the cot." Two thoughts that shouldn't be related but hinge on each other inevitably all the same, while Emile shifts his weight and tips his head and does just about everything he can do short of sitting down.

A quiet, "I don't think so," is succinct confirmation of lazy refusal in the place of, say, temporary selective deafness. He'll sit down when he feels like it, or when Joseph comes over here and makes him.

Instinct betrays him with a darting glance to where the cot casts its shadow directly beneath itself, where, if Emile isn't lying, he let loose the syringe. The older man will get the satisfaction, if he so chooses, of Joseph not approaching, mouth going into a line of calculating annoyance. "Then you can stand there and bleed," he says, too shaken with inner, bottled down anger to really be communicated in the lofty disgust he'd been going for.

Breathe in, breathe out. Joseph tracks his attention towards the other side of the bed, as if perhaps measuring out if Danko could reach him that far. A few steps carry him around, to see if the needle rolled somewhere in easy reach. He talks again, in a quieter mutter. "If you think you deserve better, it wouldn't kill you to behave. Come tomorrow, it might even save your life. Morphine's the least that could happen to you.

"It don't bother you none, right?" Laying the country on a little thick to accompany the sarcasm.

"I've lived a good life, and I'm not ashamed of anything I've done. Orders are orders, a threat's a threat."

Satisfaction is a subtle thing in the crow's feet cinched in around Danko's squint, synonymous with quiet personal pleasure in the way he follows the wide berth Joseph gives his cot's opposite side. There, the syringe is indeed within easy reach, hardly under the cot at all.

Temporarily left to his own devices, Danko scuffs the less bloody side of his wrist idly up under the base of his nose and sniffs. "God will judge me, if you still believe there is one." The pacing of his speech is deliberately slow — hooked and baited while he eyes the empty wall ahead, still and steady. "With any luck he'll be more objective than the lot of you."

The needle is snatched up, and Joseph doesn't bother with finding the cap. The cast out of his stare is baleful and flat and, leaving that loose cuff dangling, and it's then that he's almost ready to walk away and tend to the streaking blood he's painted with. Instead, he considers the other man for a moment. Standing around the end of the cot, Danko can't get him from here, which is something Joseph corrects with a few steps within range, needle gripped onto tightly.

"I believe," Joseph states, simply, with a nod. "Maybe you made me forget for a while, while you had me. Maybe after, too, just for a time. Not now. I don't expect you to feel shame. I don't expect you to understand. Animals don't."

There's an energy behind his words, as if anticipating retaliation and looking forward to responding, renewed strength ever since he got off the Refrain coiling beneath his jacket, gaze hard. Subtle body language cues that are easily read, as much as deeper hurts and regretful anger are just as plain.

"Now that the tables have turned," observed at an audible murmur when he turns to face Joseph's approach, Danko looks him over, chill eyes finding time to linger at all the wrong places in all the wrong ways. By the time they can be bothered to lift the long ways back up to Joseph's face, there's an upturn at the corner of his mouth and he's untouchable again, here enough only for cold hands and careful caress to be conveyed at even, encroaching eye contact while he steels himself out with a long drawn breath.

"I've heard of fairweather fans, but pastors — "

The mangled drape of his right hand has succeeded in soaking bloody runoff partway through the side of his pant leg and he glances down after it as if only distantly aware of the cause, wrist flicked to scatter the worst of what's coagulated across the cell like warm jelly. A few dabs of poorly connected flesh plop wetly after it. He clears his throat. Spits.


"If you wanna hit me, you better take your shot now, while it looks like I might've been able to fight back."

Withholding argument is about as difficult as withholding a thrown blow. Joseph's eyes track appraisingly over Danko, from the blood tracking from his ruined hand to the subtle shape of bandages beneath his shirt, to the centre of his chest as if he could possibly see if anything beating resided in there, then up (if not far up) to sooty grey eyes. If the longing of taking Danko up on that offer is plain, it's more in his body language than his expression, which is neutral and very tired.

He steps back, rocking a little on his heel as if drunk, although inebriated is something he's not. Not by chemical, anyway, but he is angry enough to not be able to see straight. Perhaps not even at Emile. "Because God delivered you to me," he says, almost a mutter, in reply to the notion of turned tables.

Which isn't exactly the same thing. He wipes his sleeve again high up his cheek bone, smearing blood away as he turns his back and makes a numb footed escape for the exit, leaving Danko standing and bleeding as proposed. His fingers fumble with the door catch.

"Harlow delivered me to you."

The correction is made without enough energy for it to matter, and Danko fulfills his side of the script sheerly by standing there and bleeding. As silently promised.

"Hard to find reliable help when you're a terrorist," is remarked hoarsely off-hand while Joseph's snubbed by the door, attitude trending towards indifferent while his eyes track mildly after the mess he's made of the floor. "I'll make an example of her, if I get the chance. And I can promise you, it won't happen again."

The door is wrenched open with an impatient jerk, palm laying flat against it to catch it once it swings. "None o' this will happen again," is muttered to rusted metal and shadow. Danko would have to try to catch the words themselves, but Joseph isn't repeating them as he swings the door open fully. There's no remark, now, tossed over his shoulder or hissed venomous into the room. He leaves as quietly as he came, with a syringe dressed up with no place to go, and the door snaps hastily shut behind him.

There aren't foot steps heralding his walk away for several minutes, though Danko won't be able to detect the sound of Joseph's back coming to rest against the aged surface of his door, nor really hear it slide as he goes to sit without groping for the outdoor light.

Terse dislike falls across Danko's face like a leaden veil the second the door's clicked itself closed after Joseph's turned back. Left really with only the option of standing where he is or returning to the god-forsaken cot he's wasted through the last several days in, he eyes the door for some two or three minutes — measuring out the likelihood of disruption before he sets to stretching himself slowly out. One set of sore muscles at a time.

Whatever time he has left before someone big and callous enough to force him back down into bed is spent looking for something to pick at the remaining cuff with, likely to no avail.

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License