danko3_icon.gif eileen_icon.gif

Scene Title Plied
Synopsis Immediately after her confrontation with Joseph outside the holding cell, Eileen checks in on Danko and fulfills her duty as a physician much as she might like to do otherwise.
Date November 4, 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.

Emile Danko (formerly Sergeant, Agent, and Mister, now Mud) is both in bed and in handcuffs. Under different circumstances he might find cause not to object, but in the here and now, truth be told he's getting cramps in places that shouldn't cramp. If anything, frog marches to the bathroom and back have only magnified the static nature of his constant discomfort, and the last time he managed to catch a glimpse of someone's watch was well over 48 hours ago.

The drug induced hazes he occasionally eases into are nice, if you're into that kind of thing. He isn't, really, and the absence of memory to account for said spans has worn tell-tale lines into the ash and grit that's still smudged around the hollows of his face.

Whether or not he's lucid now is hard to tell. The cement grey of his eyes is fogged out've focus and he's breathing slow, jaw frosted with colorless stubble that does not become him. Somewhere, someone in the compound probably lost a few bucks on the fact that he managed to grow any at all.

The sound of footsteps striking the pavement of Danko's cell aren't quite as vulgar or lurid as the clamor of a war drum, but they are loud in comparison to the hiss of the ex-marine's breathing and the occasional rumble of the freight elevator outside that heralds visitors. Tonight, it's the pale woman with the gaunt face and pallid eyes that shine flat like glass. The last time she was here, it was shortly after his capture and only to attend to his severest of hurts.

A creaking mattress changes the distribution of weight on the bed as Eileen sinks down beside him and wedges her nails under the snaps that fasten the medical kit she holds in her lap. Cigarette smoke, damp skin, hair and the faintest traces of rose-scented perfume waft off her sodden clothes, overpowering the mildew stench that otherwise pervades his new home. There's a basin of hot water between her feet, too, and steam rising up from it in a silvery mist reminiscent of fog.

She doesn't say anything. Not yet.

"Morning," guessed without enough feeling to suggest he cares overmuch about how hot or cold he is on the approximate hour, he's about as excited about her arrival as a factory worker is about the arrival of the bus he takes to work every day. There's a tired roll to his eyes in their too-deep sockets when they blink hard enough to clear out cobwebs that might well be literal at this rate. He breathes deep as he can. Doesn't extend to her the respect of more attention than that initial greeting and a wary glance on that held breath's way out into a sigh.

A second shift lifts and arcs at his spine. Not nearly enough for it to pop, but enough to remind blood that it should be going places and doing things.

The kit pops open with a dull rattle, and it isn't a spool of thread or even a needle that Eileen takes out first. His stitches will be seen to and changed eventually — first, though, there's the matter of the sweat and grime caked to his skin as well as whatever might be festering in his wounds. She twists the cap off an unmarked bottle that glimmers orange in the cell's diluted half-light and shakes out two small capsules into the palm of her hand. "It would feel like morning to you, wouldn't it?" she asks without looking at him as she replaces the bottle's cap.

"Ertapenem. Antibiotics. The last thing we want is you necrotizing in your own filth." There's no water to wash the pills down with unless you count what's in the basin, and Eileen does not hesitate or make any extra effort to be gentle when she seizes Danko's chin in her free hand, angles it upward and squeezes fingers at the corners of his mouth to part his lips. "If you bite me," she warns, "I'll pull out your teeth one at a time with a pair of Pastor Sumter's carpentry pliers. Do we understand one another?"

Force begets force, albeit in scope limited by a vigilant pair of handcuffs and asskicking layered upon asskicking. Instinct or impulse bares his teeth and twists his jaw in her grasp. There is no biting, but the hanger doors don't seem all that intent opening up on their own and the breath that hisses out ragged between them is nothing short of putrid. Crocodile tension mounts in knotted shoulders, building on its way to a roll. His brow furrows. His battered lungs hitch under the strain in a creaking cage of fractured ribs.

On the bright side, his pale eyes are remarkably polished in their flawless — slightly feverish — focus on her own, irises glistening in hagfish slick. He knows where he is, and he damn sure knows she's there with her hands on him trying to cram pills down his throat like he's some kind of fucking house cat. And she didn't even try to ply him with a piece of cheese first. >:/

Depending on who you ask, patient may or may not be a good word to describe Eileen. Tonight, however, she isn't feeling particularly gracious — not after her terse conversation with Joseph outside the cell's door only a few minutes ago — so it's no surprise to her when her grip on his face involuntarily tightens and nails bite into the rough skin of his jaw. "Are you really so proud that you're going to refuse our medicine too?" she asks thickly and in a low murmur. "I treated a man with gangrene once. He was one of my people, and I do mean mine. Vanguard, not the Ferry. Pureblooded as you."

The hand not holding the pills releases his face and drifts down, following the lean line of his body from neck through chest, all the way to the gaping wound in his left side held together with a series of fat stitches crusted over with dried blood. "I've stood next to latrines that smelled better than he did," she continues. "The pain was so bad, I couldn't even lay my hands on him without making him whimper like dog." Though it isn't whimpering that she's trying to coax from Danko as she abruptly hooks her thumb into the wound through the fabric of his shirt and applies just enough pressure to issue forth a fresh trickle of blood.

She's going to make him open his mouth, one way or another.

If Danko's the type to miss human touch after a while, odds are pretty good this wasn't the intermission from isolation he was hoping for. He only has so many seconds to celebrate having won back jurisdiction over his ghoulish face before her thumb's in his side like a pick and he's reduced to a slow, miserable writhe. Not even to escape, but to disseminate somehow, crocodilian threat to a headless serpent coiling aimlessly back over itself.

He's oddly quiet, with his dirty face downturned to his chest and jaw wired shut all the way up until he finally gasps, rank breath caught somewhere in the suffocating middle ground between inhale and ex.

That fraction of an inch, that slightest opening is all that Eileen needs to force the pills into Danko's mouth, mindful but not immune to the teeth her fingertips press up against. If she takes any pleasure in his squirming, it's hidden behind the indifferent mask she wears on her face and the catlike set of her eyes in her narrow skull. "Your blood isn't going to stay pure for very much longer if you value your dignity more than you do your life," she says, letting up on his side. "The infection will spread into your veins, flush all the way to your heart and rot your body from the inside out. You'll bloat like a dead animal left to the desert sun. Your abscesses will fill with pus, but the only thing you'll leak is your own piss when you start losing control of your urethral sphincter."

She wipes off her hand on the leg of her pants. "Sepsis sets in. Your organs start failing one at a time. The vital ones first, if you're lucky. If you're not, it could take days instead of hours. Maybe even up to a week, and I'll be sitting here the whole time. Watching you die for Salvatore Bianco."

"As chance would have it…I've seen people die before," suffered out at whisper once he's choked her pills down the dry catch of his throat, Danko lifts a hand as if to press it over his broken side, but there's no reaching that far. The instinctive effort is only as good as the unconscious, mimed for relief it comes off as, bruised wrist keeping the chain out at full extension. "Your people. Your friends," elaboration comes almost as an afterthought, the determination to aggravate stronger than whatever breath there is available to aggravate with. "Watched 'em go soft. Fall apart into their own filth, like wet pieces of bread, mumbling to their dead mothers and lovers. No one to save them."

"We nearly had to string up Ivanov's corpse. You can imagine what an inconvenience that would've been."

"Not to me," Eileen says, bending at the middle as she leans down and picks up the basin of steaming water in her hands. "If he'd been dead when you hanged him, I wouldn't have needed to cut him loose." From the basin, she removes a damp cloth and something that glitters like sheet lightning when caught in the cell's florescent glow. It's a razor.

Practiced hands wipe the film from his chin, jaw and the edge of his mouth with the cloth's corner, radiating heat and the bitter tang of cheap soap. "You should know that we're granting you the opportunity to defend yourself before a council as soon as you're fit enough to be on your feet. Whether we turn you over to the authorities or burn your body in an oil drum down at the boat graveyard will be decided by those Humanis First left behind."

Nose rankled against each rough pass of worn cloth and cheap soap, Danko doesn't actually flinch until she hits on the section of jaw socket where Magnes was kind enough to rend out one of his molars a week ago. Two weeks ago? He doesn't twist his head around though, the strength of his initial resistance worn down into the tensile pull of muscle along his spine and in his middle keeping him up at a half-sit. Just enough for him to look her in the face while she does her part.

"Civilized of you," is all he'll warrant the promise of such ~opportunities~, but it's the way his brows twist into blackly amused condescension that tells the full story.

"Sumter calls it dishonest, unfair. He's right." Eileen floats the cloth in the basin, freeing the hand that doesn't clutch the razor so she can take Danko by the chin once more. She's done this for Ethan on occasion, too. Shaving. The only difference is that he has complete freedom of movement when she takes the blade to his skin and smoothly slivers off the stubble. "The odds are stacked in favour of the dead. We pin their faces to our walls and mark their graves with fresh-cut flowers so we don't forget. Calendulas for our grief, irises and poppies to mourn lost friendships and celebrate belief in eternal life."

She dips the razor in the water, rinsing the blade of its of hoary gray residue. "They'll put you on display just the same, but it doesn't have to be that way. Civilized. I could do you here, now. Spare you the spectacle, the screaming and wailing and gnashing of teeth. What do you think?"

Danko doesn't like having her hands on him.

Disgust is ringed in distinct around pupils shuttered and constricted black — devoid of doubt. Or fear, for that matter. There's nothing to see behind his eyes. Nothing deeper than enmity mirrored at the flawless surface, quicksilver smudged only by the broken lines of Eileen's reflection pitted back at her. Razor and all.

Still, the shuddering, uneven break to his breathing has slowed into something steady and resigned. He endures each pass of the razor with less attention than the spared the cloth. Even goes so far as to manage a slant at his brows to match the upturn at the corner of his mouth when she makes her offer and he tilts his chin back, thin corded muscle and loose skin bared damp at his throat.

The razor glides across his skin again, this time against the grain instead of with it. There's a package of styptic powder in the medical kit for cuts, but the only thing shimmering on the blade when it comes away is excess water. If it's any consolation to Danko — and it probably isn't — Eileen doesn't like having her hands on him either. He's called her bluff, whether intentionally or not, and that's a notch for him. Not that she's keeping track. The scoring system in this conflict between his association and hers is too complicated for that.

"You deserve nothing less than quick death," she says eventually and upon completion of her task, the skin of his neck, jaw and chin bare and pale, almost translucent in its sallow state. "But not today."

"S'the matter, sweetheart?" issued after the razor's harmless retreat with just a touch of sickly ophidian hiss winding cold after the s, "Afraid of what the others'll think? So far it sounds like most of them are already on your side." His eyes ply cool across her face and his toes curl in grey socks, near languid at the end of a careful stretch past the place she's settled in on his scanty cot.

"Or are you just not quite as cozy with death as you make yourself out to be."

There is some truth in that accusation. Death is something that Eileen will never be completely comfortable around, especially when she's the one delivering it, but there's something about the way she snaps the razor shut that suggests apprehension is not the reason for her apparent cowardice. "After everything you've taken from these people," she says, rising from the bed with both the basin and the medical kit, "I can't deny them the chance to face you for it. They'll have lots of questions.

"I suggest you start thinking about the answers."

"I'll do that," replied too easily and too offhand to bode well for much of anything, Danko twists his neck enough to scrub soapy residue off at his own shoulder. Cadaverous pallor changed little since he's been here, save maybe for the worst, lucidity does more for him than it should. There's life in his eyes and vitality in the compect set of his shoulders while he utilizes the latter to lay himself back down flat and focuses the former after the sizzle and buzz of the cell's single lamp.

Dirty water sloshes against the sides of the basin as Eileen crosses to the cell's door, medical kit tucked under her arm, and closes fingers around the handle. She does not look back over her shoulder at Danko on her way out, gaze set straight ahead and lean shoulders squared. "I'll be back in a few minutes with some clean water and a change of bandages," she tells him. "If there's anything else you need, put in a request with Sumter while I'm gone and we'll see what we can do."

"Wouldn't say no to a shower," lilted off without much hope of a positive answer there, Emile tips a look down at the back of one of his grimy hands as if only just remembering that he's a wreck. Otherwise, past that and look and brows lifted after it, he's quiet.

Danko's tacit answer comes in the form of the door grinding shut on its hinges, followed by Eileen's retreating footsteps and a lengthy span of silence that ends with an abrupt clatter. Someone outside has thrown something — the metal basin perhaps, cast violently against a wall with enough force to send vibrations ricocheting throughout the platform.

He's alone again. That's positive, at least.

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