bolivar_icon.gif katherine_icon.gif kayla_icon.gif minea_icon.gif

Scene Title Shouldn'tve
Synopsis Bolivar shouldn't have been walking his dogs in a public park where any random person with a grudge can shoot at the childkiller. Kayla shouldn't have been walking on the same trail. She shouldn't have absorbed his injuries. Not to mention, she really shouldn't have done so with two Company agents also on the scene.
Date March 26, 2009

A Path in Central Park


except at around sundown on a cloudy early-spring day

Evening finds Kayla once again in Central Park. She's been here a lot of late, and at several different hours of the day; morning, noon, night. It's a good place to walk and almost be alone, the way one never is in the city proper. And she doesn't have much to do other than walk and be alone.

Dressed in her usual layers of drab clothing, Kayla strolls idly down a dirt trail, in no hurry because she has nowhere to go. Spindly alders and swathes of grass cover the slope to either side, the trees bare and skeletal under winter's lingering influence. Spring isn't quite here yet. It's nearing sunset, although one wouldn't really know it to look up at the overcast sky; there's no glimpse of sunlight, not more than a vaguely directional glow which is dimming bit by infinitesimal but inevitable bit.

Kayla isn't alone, of course. It's New York City, Manhattan Island, Central fucking Park: Kayla can't be alone. Still, the miniscule complaints of scabbed knees, minor sprains and papercuts are fleeting on her preternatural radar, negligible, compared to the sudden onset of a now-familiar ache, coming on like thunder, rolling, rumbling, thickening the pulse in her inner-ear with old nausea and a shriek of protest bumping the dirt with every stride her foot drops onto its ridiculously frilly, pastoral purple-and-blue dapple.

Bolivar is coming. It's only a few minutes before he's here, a short shape broadened out by the flare of his khaki-colored trenchcoat, and massed further by the two dogs trotting by his heels.

The burned man shouldn't be out, probably. There are people in this city who hate him: more, even, than usual. Couldn't breathe inside, though, in a way that had nothing to do with the residual stink of marijuana herbal in the air or the weight of the spaniel who broke rank and file and normal cop dog protocol in order to crawl up on the bed and sleep in a lacey-furred coil on his chest. He's breathing harsh in the cold, refraining, belligerently, from watching the pedestrians who pass him by.

Well. That certainly sets a new low for the day. Kayla pauses beside a slender tree, its bent trunk curving almost directly away from the path. It has the virtue of being closest, and right now that's important; the young woman leans against it, jaw tightening against the pervasive ache, the taloned pain that sinks into her bones and makes itself almost at home. Almost — the ebb and flow of it suggests motion, and she isn't moving. It isn't hers.

She stands there, though; lifts her head once some semblance of adaptation has been achieved, during which the all-too-familiar police officer has come ever nearer. Him and his two little dogs. They're used to Kayla's scowl by now, surely. "Of all the…" Paths in the park, places to be, people to run into. "The fuck are you doing here?"

Gratitude, good manners, and Kayla don't live on the same planet. Nice to see you, too.

"I'm taking a fucking walk," the cop responds, instantly, grating to a halt with an audible shuffle of injured leg and whole. Cold-packed dirt rucks up underneath the gnawing edges of his shoes and scatters into Lou's paws.

The old patrol dog doesn't dignify the flurry by so much as sniffing at it, her attention focused instead on the woman whom she remembers fondly. A querulous whimper of salutation emerges out of the shepherd's throat, long ears tipping forward in a staid sort of optimism, distinctly at odds with Logan Rose's frenetic bouncing. The smaller dog by far, she nevertheless also fails to acknowledge the animosity that Kayla radiates toward her master.

Everyone does that.

"I'm walking my fucking dogs," Bolivar clarifies, with a jingle of leads to illustrate them. His brow is blacked out by a hostile knit, the medium hue of his eyes showing uncharacteristically dark for it. "At least you took the money." Line of sight is definitively linear and his attention steadfast. Unaccustomed to kindness, he wouldn't be one to forget or ignore that which Kayla had shown his prized pooch.

Unfortunate, then, that he doesn't see the circling trot of another pedestrian slowing out of the direction from which he had come. Some guy. No one either human knows, nor that the dogs recognize, though Rose does spare him a glance.

In the early evening there is still enough warmth to keep the chill off, but there is still that tender touch of cool to fight off perspiration. Katherine has taken up jogging on a regular basis, even more so after that failed attempt with Harrison during the weekend. She has invited Minea Dahl to go with her today, considering they are being considered for partnership and they've been asked to give it a shot. Which is nice considering they don't necessarily have to ask opinions on the matter.

They are running down the path and heading around a corner. "Be thankful you weren't around that riot on Tuesday. That was some crazy stuff down there. Though I do have a few leads we can follow up in the morning, if you want. Nothing concrete, but I sent out a few feelers and got a couple of hits back. We might be able to bag a few before the end of the week," Katherine notes to her running partner as they continue on their way down the path.

"Can do that. I think I saw one, at an art gallery event. Toothpick… from across the room. He's gone into Staten Island. But I have his hotel and his name." Minea's in jogging pants, shirt, hooded sweater, runners gear and keeping pace with Katherine. "Give me a break from training, and see if we fit." Her hairs back in a headband, and up in a ponytail. "Will we be using my car or yours?"

At least she took the money. The woman's scowl deepens — well, it does so after she looked sidelong at the shepherd's greeting. Kayla doesn't unbend enough to return it, but there was some acknowledgment, at least. "You think I was about to give you an excuse to come back?" You can think again, as her caustic tone conveys. And yet here he is. She folds her arms, hiding the way they hug against her chest; fails at smoothing the lines which pinch her expression. He gets to use painkillers. "Couldn't you walk somewhere else?" As if this particular bit of path belonged to her. It doesn't. She hurts.

With all of her attention focused on first remaining upright and second berating Bolivar, none of the newer arrivals register for much on Kayla's awareness.

"What!" Bolivar says, first, intelligent. Then, "You're like a child. An insane Mongol child.

"It's amazing you aren't facedown in a ditch drooling somewhere, and I kind of wish you were. Public fucking property, senorita. Whatever." These gems of wit come for free, apparently. Bolivar does not demand payment before he twists on a boot-heel— more sharply than he probably should have, really, because that hurts.

Not as much as the gunshot wound that blossoms through his left lung the next instant. It's like watching a flower blossom on time-lapse film, fast-forward, cinematographic, scarlet ripping out of the white of his shirt and the khaki of his coat. The second shot hits home about two inches to its right.

The halfbreed isn't a large man by the standards of BMI or American averages. The force of the round is enough to tip him forward, his legs folding underneath him before he even has time to direct a surprised glance downward at the new hole lanced clear through the husk of his torso. He crashes down across Logan Rose's back, eliciting a squeal of pain and surprise.

Nina is all teeth. Screaming the way dogs do, bark-bark, white teeth flashing dirk-length in the darkness; she's straining against her leash, trapped though it is underneath her master's bloody body. A Glock 9 swings muzzle-up and the shooter turns on a swift heel, starts to run.

Turning towards Minea, "I guess it depends on how carsick you get." she offers a mischievous grin, then hears gunshots. "What the f—" Katherine stops suddenly, reaching out to place an hand in the crook of Minea's elbow. "That doesn't sound good." She unzips her windbreaker, her holster underneath. Just - in - case. She glances at Minea. They normally don't get involved in 'ordinary affairs' but here they are and they should at least be prepared to defend themselves if necessary. There's no telling just what is going on, whether someone specific is a target or someone is out on a shooting spree. Katherine ducks behind a tree and then moves from one tree to the next, trying to keep the tree between her and the direction the shots sounded from.

Minea hears the gunshots as well and instinct has her grabbing the one at her waist, and the blackberry at the other side. 911 is dialed, quickly, the digital equipment brought up to her ear. "Two gunshots fired, this is HomeSec Agent Dahl, I have another agent with me. Send a bus and backup." Their rough locations are fired off before she thumbs it back off and is following Kat.

That. That was unexpected. The gloves on her hands are the only reason Kayla's clenched fingers don't have tree bark under their nails; the bullets fly by to pierce the leaves of shrubbery and eventually ground somewhere downslope. She'd scream for him, but her breath seems frozen; her muscles, too, scrunched up in a defensive posture which is meaningless for all the good it does. Protects against nothing, can't change the way it hurts.

There's two holes in his lung, not to mention all the tissues in front and back. Kayla slides down the tree trunk to land ungraciously on the ground, knees beneath her and hands pressed against damp, leaf-strewn earth. She tries to remember to breathe, hauls herself up enough to cross the distance to Bolivar, sinking down again beside the wounded cop and his dogs.

The dogs are fine. She doesn't even notice them anymore.

It does hurt, but less and less as panic and endorphins displace the ordinary agony of surprised flesh. Bolivar tastes copper, breathes liquid, hacks and scrabbles and groans like— precisely what he is: a dying man.


In some ridiculous automated grasp at old priorities, he rolls over, onto his shoulder, flops onto the stretch of leashes, pinning them underneath himself. Nina Lou finds herself effectively trapped, though she screams anyway, filled with red liquid rage that has little to do with the hundreds of hours of patrol training and experience inculcated into her mind. She's smelled enough death to recognize the scent, and chased enough culprits to know that this one's getting away.

Gone, now, actually, but the reek of firearm discharge still stinks in the air. Her hackles seize ragged. She bounces, jars, against the end of her leash, begging let me at him, let me at him, but Bolivar's lost enough dogs for a lifetime and he isn't going to make that his final act. He stares at branches and Logan Rose stares at him.

Careless Kat, as she should be known, moves forward. She doesn't hear any further shots fired, but she's not really concerned about all that. She hasn't yet pulled out her weapon, as she moves from one tree to the next, getting closer. She finally sees two figures on the grounds. "Looks like two down.." She notices the dogs but she's not much of a dog person, so they go unremarked about. "We're going to need an ambulance." From where she stands, looks like two have been shot, but she can't see if the actual threat is gone just yet. She moves closer.

"Bus's are already coming," Minea answers, her gun pointed towards the ground as she moves, safety off, ready to lift if any suspect is near. But they're gone, either that or one of the people there is the shooter. Wouldn't be stranger. "Sir, Ma'am. Are you injured? Help is on the way."

"It'll be okay," Kayla murmurs. Softly, quietly; a tone of voice most who know her now would say she's incapable of. Reassurance; to Logan Rose, Nina Lou, Bolivar, herself… does it matter, in the end? The gloves are peeled off her hands, discarded without thought; they lie on the ground like two more fallen leaves, crumpled into peculiar forms. She slides her fingers across Bolivar's hair until skin touches skin, fingertips fixed against the surface of his temples.

'Little' becomes 'none'; the pain vanishes. It might mean he's truly dead. First the stabbing talons in his torso; then the ones painkillers habitually blunt; last the deeper aches, the all but forgotten ones made commonplace by their tenacity. Surely nothing else would make them go away.

Clear gray eyes look down at blue. She doesn't hear Minea speak.

There's blood on her lips, a smear of red froth gradually becoming more prominent, each successive breath becoming more of a struggle.

Of death, Bolivar had expected to find either pain or the absence of anything. He is an atheist. It stacks that way. This is wrong for either scenario.

No pain, granted, but — sensation, still, not muddied by the aches and chemically hamstrung pains have been his constant companion of the past two years. The dirt is grainy underneath his head, and Kayla's fingers cool on top of his face. A woman's voice is piercing the air, asking questions that he is incapable of answering. The trees are waving at him. Hello, hello, not good-bye, good-bye.

Bolivar's shirt is still wet. Dark. Perforated.

He attempts speech, but there is still blood spent in his mouth, diluted to watercolor density by saliva. Gets in the way.

Flops sticky against his tongue, smacks into the walls of his mouth as he tries to point out to her that Kayla shares his affliction; that she should lie down, because paramedics will be coming. Gunshots in Central Park won't go unnoticed. Nina has gone quiet. Nina, Nina. Instinctively, his hands grasp on reflex, finds furry hide. He relaxes, tenses again, spasming like a fish. She's fucking bleeding.


The problem here is that Katherine is pretty good a putting two and two together and coming up with four. Or some variation thereforth. As she approaches, rushing in now that it appears the shooters have gone, she drops down quickly onto her knees next to the two. She only notices the blood on Kayla's lip and assumes perhaps a fall to the ground causes it and focuses her attention where there is the most blood and that is on the man. "Sir.. "

There is already so much blood, that Kat is not even sure she can contain it. "Where's the fucking bus?" she cries out. Not necessarily at Minea but towards her. It's an emotional outburst, and one she's been having more of lately as she finds profanity unprofessional and rarely uses it. She reaches over and finds one of the holes in his shirt and rips it away from his chest as she tries to find where the blood is coming from. What she finds is — nothing. Surely this would be there the wound is — the center of the blood splotch on his shirt. "What the..?"

Fuck. What she wouldn't give for her medical kit right now. The one that can keep a horse alive. Or at least a federal agent. Kat's taking care of Bolivar on the ground, so Minea gives the two dogs a wide berth so she can come to Kayla's side. "Ma'am, have you been hit?" She can't see any bulletholes on the woman's sweater, but the blood on her lips is decidedly not from Bolivar as it's coming out, and not going in. The gun is tucked away, as she comes to kneel, "Ma'am?"

Nothing on Bolivar except old, lost blood; the fading light isn't fading fast enough to hide the stain beginning to seep through to Kayla's outermost garments, now that what's immediately beneath has become sodden with scarlet liquid. She tries to stay put out of some misplaced pride; some residual need to show no weakness, give nothing away. It's too late, of course; she's already given everything away.

Everything. She can't even focus enough for self-recrimination. Kayla coughs, once, twice; breaths aspirated through too much liquid, wet and heavy. Her eyelids slide closed, not unlike the way she begins to slide towards the ground, skewing sideways.

'Shouldn'tve.' Some remote part of Bolivar's brain had figured out what was going on long before he had any idea what was happening. Kayla shouldn'tve done that. Been here. Spoken to him — one of Manhattan's most hated, now, after all.

Shouldn'tve touched him, sure as fuck shouldn'tve taken his pain and injury away, shouldn't have jammed herself and her grubby little Evolved paws between himself and the consequences of murdering a child. He reaches out past the swing of Katherine's hair, a moment too late. She sloughs inches out of grasp even as the dog leashes wedged under his shoulder snare his hand to a jangling halt.

"Fucking get off me!" He shouts it in the HomeSec agent's face, ingratitude and fury, startlingly articulate if only at the cost of a mess. Red flecks out of his mouth and he scrabbles upright, onto his hip, finding his feet in a frenetic tangle of dirt, dogs, beaten cloth. His hand is still scarred when he sees it, seizing at Kat's arm. "Has anyone called the fucking cops?"

There's a moment of clarity that passes over Katherine as she glances from the fallen cop to the the woman as she mutters under her breath. When Bolivar verbally pushes her away, that's when she sees the blood slowly forming on Kayla. "It's her." She jerks her arm away from Bolivar. "They are already coming. Either lie back or get out of the way." she tells him as she doesn't bother to introduce herself or her partner. All attention suddenly shifts to the evo as she scrambles over to help her down onto her back.

It's this very moment that she needs something. Something to wrap around the healer in order to stop the blood from coming from her. Her windbreaker. She jerks it off, exposing her holster and weapons before lying it on the ground and her hands move to it. It starts to tranform into a long piece of rayon with a cotton lining still intact. She turns to Minea. "We need to get this around her and I can shrink it down enough that it should do something to help at least slow the blood flow." It's all she has and she grasps for the only lifeline she has at the moment.

"Fuck." Minea's sweater is coming off, too. Shots to the chest. Nasty. From what she saw as the woman was tilting, it was through and through. "Tilt her." Not that the brunette isn't already doing that, her sweater folded hastily and shoved beneath the healer, to stem and soak up any blood coming out. "Wrap it around. pressure. Sir, ambulances are coming." In fact, their whines can be heard already. "My name is Agent Dahl. What's yours, and what is hers? Do you know if there's anything wrong with her beyond the obvious?"

Having righted himself onto his feet, Bolivar is unpleasantly surprised to discover that the world, on the other hand, has not resumed its normal physics, mechanics, and policy of shitting on his day in recognizable and mundane terms. He releases Kat, of course. No point touching that.

Kayla's down. "Kayla Reid," Bolivar wheezes. Wheezes to a stop, right after that. His jaws saw out a clammy glob of congealed blood and spit, and he chucks it out into the grass with a grunt. Halfway into doubled over, he stares at Minea's hands splayed out across the injured woman's torso. Minea's hands look very small and white, flimsy starfish reliefs against the cold wet dark of blood rising out.

"'M— fuck." He hammers a fist into his lungs, reminds the biochemical thunder in his ears that it doesn't exist. There is unexpected strength in that fist. "I'm Off—icer Bolivar Rodriguez-Smith. She needs a healer," he announces, by way of the obvious. "There's a girl who works at Old Lucy's, she c-could help."

A look passes between Kat and Minea. The cop is going to be trouble. She nods towards Boliver, then glances at the agent's tranq. If she has to, that is. The wrap is placed around Kayla and Kat places her hands on it and shrinks it down, closing all the minute holes and forming a tight seal around her torso. It will do a little but keep the bloodloss as a minimum until they get back to see a healer. If they hurry, it will be fine. Paramedics are already pulling the gurney out and bringing it over. Specific instructions are given to the medics as they load the woman into the ambulance. "Dahl, I'm going with her. Stick around in case there are questions. Deal with them as you see fit." She offers the suggestion before the doors are closed with the two inside.

"Understood. Godspeed." The brunette offers, her clean non bloody hand is put to her mouth, two fingers used to give a shrill whistle to the second ambulance. "Over here. Officer Bolivar. Needs to be looked over. Get your crime scene folks here. There's two bullets it looks like, somewhere." Minea glances to Bolivar and his dogs. "I remember you, Nite Owl. Nina Lou." A gesture to the appropriate dog. "Anything special they'll need to know about Kayla? There anyone we can contact about her? Can you calm your girls down? I don't want them to mistake someone on our side for a bad guy."

Nite Owl. Leah Deckard. Minea Dahl. Art Consultant. Bolivar hadn't read her card too closely, but like most cops, he has a good memory for faces. As such, there is no real point in him staring at Kayla's gaunt, white one, as she's lifted up onto a stretcher and its wheels and bars click and lock, lifting her further above the dirt.

"Lou, Rose." Monosyllables that come across like commands: the dogs subside almost instantly, tottering back to reticence at their master's side. He lifts his eyes at Dahl, skits them sideways to catch Katherine as she vanishes into the vehicle with their patient. His tongue smears red across his lip.

"No family, no friends, no record.

"But she saved my life," he adds, irrelevantly. The first medic who comes at him is waylaid with a show of teeth, a guttural word spat in Spanish. He raises his voice over the oncoming flood of questions. He has paperwork to fill out, a statement to make, here or the hospital, it doesn't matter. Officer Rodriguez-Smith knows protocol.

That's going to be more his own bane than the Company's, when all this is over. "I want t'— know which fucking hospital she's going to as soon as you do. Evening, Agents."

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