danko_icon.gif tracy_icon.gif

Scene Title Temperature
Synopsis Danko drops by Dorchester Towers to collect Tracy's soul but she gave at the office. :(
Date October 5, 2009

Dorchester Towers: Tracy's Apartment

Night has fallen on the fair New York City.

Just moments before curfew, Tracy Strauss makes her way past the doorman, giving him no nod or recognition whatsoever as she steps inside of the building. Her lack of recognition, or even politeness, may be due to the fact that hse has a cell phone attached to hear ear. "Yes, I heard you. Thursday works fine for me, just push the meeting with the General back another day. No, he won't mind, he usually golfs on Thursdays…."

Since registering as an Evolved (and offering a Press Release to make it public) Tracy has gotten love letters and hate letters and everything in between. She pays little attention to any of it, and instead makes her way quickly and quietly to the elevator, where she rides up to her floor, and soon to her room. Unlocking the door and pressing her shoulder to it, she steps inside, finally hanging up the phone. It's only a step or two into the threshold before she removes those painful high heels, and stalks straight for the bedroom. Jacket comes off. Hair comes down. Music goes on. Wine is poured. Bubble bath is drawn while she does the rest, preparing for a nice night to herself. So she thinks.

Ever feel like you're being watched? There's a presence to unlit rooms and static air. Like empty space isn't actually all that empty and shadows are more than shadows. More often than not, a set of open blinds or a glimpse of motion reflected across a television screen is to blame, but tonight there's a little extra oomph to the chill that prickles delicate at the back of Tracy's neck. Maybe human sensory perception is occasionally better attuned to fine disturbances in air flow than people tend to give their own instincts credit for.

In any case, tonight they are correct. There's something slightly off here, in the comfort and privacy of Chateau Strauss, though nothing has been moved or even touch. The curtains are still and papers all rest precisely where she last left them. And yet.

It would be impossible not to notice these changes, subtle as they are. But such nights occur for even the most sensible of single women living alone. That sense of 'why did I never buy that dog mother kept telling me to buy?' or 'Shush, brain, I have a security system' So, Tracy, while she does take a moment to peer around the room, continues with her nightly ritual.

And what a ritual it is. This ritual involves Tracy removing her top and skirt, stripping down to her black unmentionables and pulling on a loose silk robe that falls to the mid-thigh. That done, she steps into the bathroom and reaches out to test hte temperature of the water. Finding it appropriate, and of the correct level of bubbling, she turns it off, and returns to the bedroom in order to find a hair clip.

What does a security system know of loose cannons? Not enough, apparently. A lone gunman in all black is poised at the cracked threshold of an as of yet unexplored closet door, leather jacket beaten about the shoulders, slacks trim. No fatigues today. No mask. Light cuts across his sunken face at a vertical sliver some one or two millimeters wide, catching cold in one death grey eye as she passes back from the bathroom into the bedroom and he shifts slightly forward, ready to make his move…

Only to hesitate, once he actually gets a decent look at her. Nearly naked already, jeez. His brows hood and his gaze diverts briefly downward after the chained shake of a silver watch, which he considers for longer than he considers her before he tucks it away and resolves to wait just a little longer.

In the half-light of the room, Tracy finds her clip. She pins it into her hair, pulling it up and away so she may enjoy her bath without endagering her golden strands. She seems about ready to turn, about ready to head back to the bathroom when her cell phone - poised on her bed - goes off again. Sighing, tying the waist of her robe more tightly around her, Director Strauss makes her way to the bed and lifts the phone to her ear.

"Yes? No, I don't want Fox covering anything. Have you seen their anchors? Please, we can't even trust Brit Hume to say something respectable these days. Schedule it with David Gregory. He's no Tim Russert but he'll do. Alright." She hangs up the phone, tossing it back on the bed and turning for the bathroom once more.

Danko exhales when the phone rings once she's found the clip, lifeless eyes rolled aside at the dimness and organized clutter he's sharing the closet with. Maybe now she won't get blood in her hair.

In any case, his patience is wearing thin and the turn of his torso in keeping lined up with the door has started to make his side ache. Once she turns for the bathroom for the second or third time, he resolves to make his move, lead shoulder pushing soundlessly outward to admit him entry into the apartment proper.

Black semi-automatic ready ahead and closet left open behind, he waits until she's out've sight to pad his way boot tread over boot tread into the bedroom after her, already seconds away from closing in on the open bathroom.

It is from that open bathroom that the only light in the bedroom pours from. Tracy's back is to the door as she folds a towel on the toilet seat, the reflection in the mirror showing her not paying much attention to anything around her whatsoever.

Or is she?

The discomfort in the apartment has started to wear on her, and she glances up into the reflection. This is enough to catch a shadow - real or imaginary - from the room she just came from. "Hello?" She asks, turning and stepping back into the dark of the bedroom, looking around. She's sure she saw something, but did she?

In the dark of the bedroom, some four feet away and standing parallel to the wall that plays host to the open bathroom door, as Tracy's eyes adjust, a skull resolves itself from the shadows in shades of grey. Hollow-pitted eye sockets show no white, and the rigid aim of Danko's .45 blends seamlessly into the black brace of worn leather backing it. Beats pass, more rapid for him than her with adrenaline roaring hoarse in his ears and he doesn't so much as twitch. Save maybe for the corner of his mouth to lift into the slightest slant of a smirk.

Tracy, on the other hand, does move. A step or two brings her out of the bathroom. She's quite used to midnight visitors. Even break-ins, but the gun is anotehr story altogether. Her voice is calm, monotone, and very deadly in it's own way.

"What are you doing here?" she asks of the stranger, tugging her robe tighter around her thin form. "Get the hell out of my house."

"Waste management," says Danko, who brushes a thumb fluid back across the hammer with a staccato clk-click in place of punctuation. "Given that you were kind enough to register yourself publicly," his brows cant up as his attention takes a brief but ~distinctly~ deprecating dip down towards the sudden effort she's making to cover herself, "I figured I'd start with you."

Hardly a breath after he's looked up again, he manages something akin to ironic, mocking apology in the particular dip one brow takes against the other. And pulls the trigger.

Boom Tracy Strauss never imagined that in her safe life as a Communications director, she'd ever feel the white - hot piercing of a bullet. But she does, and she cries out. Luckily, she was already moving backward at teh click of the hammer, turning to run. She's almost through the bathroom door and around the corner into the smaller room when the shot hits her. Fight or flight helps her move, and while the mirror is splattered with shiny red droplettes of blood, she manages to kick the bathroom door close, slamming the lock on it and moving away from the less-solid wood. However, leave it to Tracy to have had the bathroom redone with a nice half-tile walling, giving her a good crouching position as she bleeds beside the door, slightly safer there from the shots. "Get the hell out of my house!" She shouts again, the sound muffled through the walls between rooms.

A second shot drills off a section of the frame just after the turn of her shoulder, and she's in, door closed, lock turned. Two more shots blitz almost immediately through the closed door after her, one high and one low — the blood-spattered mirror cracks and shatters down into the sink; elegant tile splits into a ricochet that eventually buries itself in the opposite wall.

"Even when you died, the press still hounded you." His voice is flat. Tuneless. Warm smoke and cold slate scraping over slate. In the apartment upstairs, heavy footsteps thud-thud-thud helter skelter away from muffled gunfire, probably in search of their own cell phones while Danko navigates his way carefully over spilled blood to Tracy's own obnoxious ringer. It's flipped open, blandly examined, and tucked into a jacket pocket without a second glance so that he can crouch instead to squint at the mess she's made. “All the papers had to say,” bare fingertips touch carefully at globs of red gleaming too bright over carpet, negotiating soft fatty tissue away from darker stuff before he rubs the back of his wrist across his nose and his eyes filter flatly elsewhere in search of more. Probably not a kill shot.

"…Was that Marilyn was found in the nude."

Tracy remains crouched, hands over her head to protect herself from shattered glass, wall, and tile in case he fires more shots. Blood is drip-drip-dripping from her wound, staining her silk robe and her unmentionables beneath. She knows what she needs him to do. He just has to do it now. "Actually, what the papers are going to say is that Tracy Strauss was attacked by a Humanis First terrorist bent on overthrowing democracy. Your group will be in the same league as Al Qaeda, can you imagine how well that will go over with anyone outside of your fanatic base? Forget about operating in this town ever again," She explains to him, all the while listening through the door. She moves quickly, removing the tie from ehr waist and wrapping it around her wound, hoping to slow the blood loss. She has a plan. She just needs him to work with it a bit. "Beyond being evolved, I work magic with the media and if I want to destroy any credibility of mission that your people have? All I have to do is appear on CNN for 20 minutes in a cast and I promise you that you won't find a friendly face anywhere."

Through the door there's the vague swish of slacks sleek against slacks when he paces 'round the bedside to squint out the window there after the dim sound of distant sirens. Spent casings roll and teeter untouched between and beneath the passage of his boots, no effort made to pick up after himself. No mask. No cleanup. He's either getting messy, or he's stopped caring.

"I'm not in this to change minds. I'm not even here to change the future."

The dead fall of his boots treads close again, and for a quiet moment he stands and considers the door. Two months ago kicking through wouldn't be a problem. Now, when he even lifts one foot experimentally, he can't get past some twenty or thirty inches before pain starts to leach up through his side again. Fuck.

Nose rankled in a show of frustration that's invisible, and gun fired once more through splintery wood in the direction of her voice in one that's pretty readily tangible, he resumes pacing. Irritated. "I'm not a diplomat, or a politician, or a prophet. I kill people. Today I'm here to kill you."

These shots, at least, do not cause Tracy to make a sound. Nope, she just ducks lower, and covers her head. Tile splinters. Mirror shatters. Plaster crumbles. "You're doing a wonderful job of it too. I have to admit I didn't think a bathroom door would offer this much protection. Hard to believe that people feel the need for panic rooms," Okay, so there's bite in her words. She's pissed, and making him angry will probably make him make a mistake. Or make him barge through the door. Which is exactly what she wants him to do.

'Shut up,' Danko does not actually say so much as it's conveyed in a sullen look sideways at the door in question. Gun at his side and sirens getting closer, there's only so much time to make a decision. He's already popped stitches some three or four times. But she's right there.

In the end, the decision he makes is a sensible one, so far as the decisions coolly removed murderers make can be.

Rather than hit the door full steam, he fishes idly around in his coat. Past the pocket watch, his grip finds purchase on a smallish canister and a roll of black cording. "Well, " the can is popped open and set carefully down outside of the bathroom door; the cording is unwound, one end inserted so that the other can be walked backwards a ways, towards the bedroom entrance. It's all a very automatic and mechanical process, tension and anger bled out into the numb work of his fingers around what can only be a fuse. That'd explain why he reaches for a lighter once he's dropped the far end at his feet. A few quick fhlicks and a stiff crouch later, the end spasms into a knot of blinding white sparks that race way too fast for the canister on Strauss's end. "There's always tomorrow."

BOOM. Except, it isn't the boom you'd expect, really, from…say. A pipe bomb. Compression isn't a factor here so much as the initial thermite reaction is an intense one. The seething hiss that follows Danko into the living area and out through the front door is what she should be worried about. Also, what she can feel through the wall without actively seeing it just yet: molten metal frothing and slashing violently out in every direction, eating through walls, the bed — the floor — and sending every goddamn thing it touches in flames along the way.

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