The Beast's Rose


brian_icon.gif colette_icon.gif

Scene Title The Beast's Rose
Synopsis Colette finds more than just what she's looking for in the basement of the Lighthouse.
Date October 19, 2009

The Lighthouse

Sunlight spills down through open windows, and a crisp sea-breeze blows in through them, disrupting curtains and filling the living room of the Lighthouse orphanage with the fresh feeling of mid Autumn. Just after lunch, most of the children have migrated outside, helping out in the gardens surrounding the orphanage and playing out by the shoreline. Thankfully for the sole administrator of the Lighthouse, he's just the person to try and tackle a job of that magnitude by himself.

Coming in from outside, one of five replicants of Brian Fulk intends to grab something to drink, set up his feet, and relax while he miltitasks across half of Staten Island and Manhattan and God knows where else. But it's on the way towards the kitchen where something catches his eye. Clutter on the floor, a lump of metal that glints in the sunlight. At first it might be a toy, something one of the kids dropped and left behind for Brian to step on at four in the morning with his bare feet. But as he makes his way over towards the reflective piece of metal, it's clearly a padlock.

Immediately focus is brought ot the door not far away, one that rests partly ajar, the entrance to the Lighthouse basement that remains off-limits to visitors, unless your name is Flint Deckard, of course. But Flint tends to use a key when he needs to head down there, he doesn't saw the lock off.

Picking up the padlock, it's obviously been cut through. The metal around where the lock was severed is warped and blackened, sooty, like a welding torch was used to slice through it. The door around where the latch folds is blackened and scored, the steel frame marked up a little.

No one comes or goes into the Lighthouse without Brian knowing about it, one of him is always here to keep an eye on things, to see where the kids are, and to watch for people that don't belong. The thought that someone — anyone — could have slipped by him and managed to break into the basement without him knowing seems unlikely. But the last person he remembers seeing come into the Lighthouse, was…


Pursing his lips Brian steps over to the sink. Whether or not it was Colette is temporarily up in the air. Going into a crouch, Brian glances over his shoulder to make sure none of the kids have entered in the glass door behind him. Going to slide the cabinet under the sink to the side, Winters reaches up to tinker with something stuck at the top. Click… Click.

A silver pistol is pulled down and quickly stuff into the front of his pants under his shirt. Some may say keeping a gun hidden under the sink is irresponsible while taking care of dozens of children. Winters says… eh.

The cabinet is slid close before he's stepping over to the basement. Nudging the door open, Winters slowly steps down, tilting his head to listen. His hand rests on his gun as he makes his way into the basement.

There's shuffling downstairs, a click and a clatter, followed by a huff of frustrated breathing. Someone is rooting through his things. Making his way silently down what would otherwise be creaking wooden stairs, Brian sees the basement light on, shining pale on the concrete and hangingmetal racks bolted to the walls. Assault rifles, boxes of ammunition, gun racks mounted with hunting rifles and plastic cases containing the disassembled parts of two military grade sniper rifles are all where they should be.

The infiltrator has moved to the back of the basement, walking backwards towards the gun locker on the far end of the open space, looking up at the ceiling and around at the variety of weaponry available. Colette Nichols looks like she found more than she bargained for here, the collar of her olive-drab jacket folded up at the back of her neck, black jeans showing dirt on the knees from when she was in the garden with the kids just an hour ago. Her boots scuff on the concrete underfoot, bright green eyes staring wide at the guns before she bumps right in to the locker.

Jerking anxiously, she turns around, staring at the closed cabinet. Pale fingers try the latch with a click-clack sound of it being locked. Then, one hand raises to create a whirling disc of colorless light, tiny points of starlight on the edges. It should be familiar to Brian, that same light that led him out to where Teo's body washed up on the beach not far from here months ago. Only pieces and fragments come now, the smell of the surf, Tavisha's face in the light, and Teo face down on the sand.

"Kind of like finding the Beast's rose."

A click sounds out through the relative darkness of the basement as the silver gun is raised up. He needed a gun to storm into the gun basement. Hee. Brian steps forward, holding the gun level with Colette. The light would be familiar, were his name Brian Fulk. As it is, his name is Brian Winters and he hasn't the foggiest recollection of that memory or why this girl he barely knows is in his basement and making handheld flashlights.

"Colette." Winters says icily. "You really shouldn't be down here. I'm going to have to get more locks now, you know. I guess I should thank you for pointing out that anyone with a fucking hacksaw can get into my basement while I'm watching kids on the playground. Fuck Colette." The gun is lowered.

"What the fuck are you doing?"

She's startled as much as anyone with a gun pointed at them and tresspassing should be. The light hovering over her hand flickers away as she jerks around and bumps back up against the cabinet, rattling the metal doors with green eyes wide. Her breath is caught in the back of her throat, mouth open and no words able to really come out. Once the gun is lowered, she still isn't saying anything, save for the expected blurting of, "I— I'm sorry!" Hands flat against the metal cabinet, she's cornered in the basement, and as much as she might like to dart into a mousehole and disappear, she has to come face to face with a side of Brian she didn't even know existed.

"I— I just— I was curious…" She's completely full of shit, and months of training with the Company lets Brian know exactly how many flies are circling it too. "I just— it's always locked, so— so I— " one of the other unlocked cabinets is open, and it looks like the ammo boxes below were rooted through. Nothing's been taken, but it's obvious she's looking for something, and it isn't candy.

"What are you going to do with a gun?" Brian asks quietly, totally ignoring the bullshit that flies out of her mouth not even deeming it worthy of a call-out. Going to sit against one of the tabletops he watches her closely. "You haven't told the other kids what's down here, have you? How did you even know?" Then when he's thinking about it he shrugs answering his own question. "Guy always has a gun when he goes outside, where does he keep them. That's obvious, I just figured all the kids would…" Not notice? Whatever words belong there, they are skipped over.

"Anyway Colette. You have three seconds to get talking. You're not the first person who's broken into my basement." A little finger points over to a refrigeration unit plugged in near the wall. The horizontal kind. A light smile rests on his features. But he's joking… Right?

Green eyes dart to the refrigerator, and then settle back on Brian quickly. "I— I didn't tell— " she shakes her head and swallows awkwardly, back still pressed up against that locker. "I didn't tell anyone, I swear. I just— I looked everywhere else," except beneath the sink, and behind Brian's bed's headboard, and the other well hidden places a gun is stashed. But at least he's pretty sure they're well hidden now. "I— I just thought, I… You know…" biting down on her lower lip, she tenses up and looks back to the stairwell, then to Brian.

"I… I just need one." At least she's willing to be honest when confronted with the truth. "M'sorry I— I didn't— " both of her hands raise up to rake fingers through her dark hair, head tilting down as she breathes out a shuddering sigh. "I'm so sorry, I just… I just need one." With her jaw trembling, the teen looks back up, brows furrowed with a small measure of confidence behind those words, even if it does look like she's about to cry from fright or embarrassment or some combination of the two.

Wiping her eyes with the back of her hoodie's sleeve, she noisily swallows again and breathes out hastily added words. "It's not safe here, and— and my ability sucks at night. I can't— " she's lying again, somewhat. The facts all line up, but the motivation doesn't. If she wanted a gun for a legitimate reason, she might have asked up front. But this— it implies it's something she's ashamed about, or feels guilty about.

And who says Company psychology training isn't worthwhile?

"Who do you want to kill, Colette?" Brian asks quietly, going to bring one jean clad leg up to hug to his chest. Going to set his knee atop his kneecap he tilts his head somewhat at her. One hand goes to pull his shirt up gently, going to tug at the black gripped silver gun and set it against the table he sits on. "I don't know how much you know about me."

"I'm probably not exactly the guy you think I am." He smiles lightly. "Don't worry. All the kids are safe. I'm not a bad guy or anything just a little…" His eyes drift up somewhat as if searching for a word. "Colder in some aspects. While the guy you know is good for asking relationship advice, I'm good for asking killing advice."

"So. Who are we shooting in the face?"

Green eyes stare blankly up at Brian, then settle down onto the concrete in front of herself. When he says relationship advice, she tenses just a little, biting down on her lower lip and remembering just how poorly that inverse went when she tried to help Brian with Kameron. Hopefully a man with this many guns doesn't hold grudges. Staring at Brian, Colette isn't really sure how to answer his question, not at least until she finally peels herself off of the locker she's had her back up to.

Her hands tuck away within the sleeves of her hoodie, lips pursed as she stares down at the ground. He can tell she's trying to come up with a name, something to say, a diversion, but in the end what comes is too sharply stated to be anything but the truth. "Emile Danko."


A smile that says how cute curls up on his lips. "How are you going to find Emile Danko, Colette? Guns have to be pointed at the person you want to kill to kill them. You can't just shoot a homing bullet or something hope it finds the guy's head." Letting his leg drop they hang off the edge, drifting back and forth over the edge of the table. His hands go to rest on his thighs as he tilts his head somewhat.

"Do you know something I don't, Colette? Or did something happen to make you this angry that you just have to steal a gun out of the nearest basement and go around swinging it every which way looking for a particular forehead."

"Don't talk to me like I'm some— " kid. The last word goes unsaid in the shout, because Colette realizes she's taking out her frustrations on the wrong person. "He— he nearly killed a friend of mine! He hung him and burned his church down!" She's crying again, this itme it's not because of Brian. Swallowing loudly, Colette sipes a hand over her eyes, hissing out an unintelligible curse at the emotional response. "M'not dumb, I know exactly where he is!" That, there, could have been said a little less succinctly.

Furrowing her brows, she looks away from Brian, wrapping her arms around herself and rolling her shoulders forward. Jaw trembling, Colette exhales a whimpered growl, looking side-long back to the man she's called a friend for months, less fire and venom in her stare this time. "I know how to find him… I— I gotta— for Joseph, I— I gotta…" her jaw trembles, teeth trying to steady her lower lip, "I have to."

"This is my basement." Brian says levelly. "You don't tell me what to do in my basement." Winters' tone is crisp and clean. Grasping the gun, he brings it up and ejects the magazine. Bringing it out he displays the fact that it is fully loaded. Tapping it against the side of his head twice before popping the clip back in the pistol. Making sure the safety is still on he goes to grip the gun by the barrel before sliding off the table.

"You can have this. You just have to do me, one favor. You let me know when you're going to go do this. That's all I want to know. Just when don't have to tell me any other details, I'll let you go free." Colette doesn't have to know about Peyton.

Big eyes focus on the gun, as if Brian were offering her a mewling kitten on a shiskebab. That stomach-churning stare stays focused on the gun, and then shaky footfalls bring sneakered feet across the floor to clear the distance between the teen and him. Nodding once, eyes wide, she reaches out and takes it awkwardly in one hand, surprised by the gun's weight. They always looked heavier in movies. Just from the way she's holding it, it's obvious to Brian it's the first gun she's ever held before.

Breathing in a difficult breath that is pushed out as a shaky sigh, Colette holds the pistol at her side, eyes unmoving from Brian's. "I'll call," like a child promising to tell dad when she'll be home, "I— I'll call you before I go. I won't— I don't know when." She seems scared, which makes sense given she was just handed a gun to go kill a man. Somehow, it played out in her mind differently, she didn't feel so sick to her stomach when she went over this in her head.

"It'll be soon, now… I just gotta get my bike from Devi." Swallowing dryly, Colette stares up at Brian, then looks down at the gun, staring at the matte black finish, "I…" she only thinks to ask this now. "I don't know how to use one." There's a smile at the notion, an awkward laugh, and she looks back up to Brian with those weary green eyes. "Guess… there's a first time for everything."

Smiling lightly, Brian watches warmly as she takes the gun. Reaching up one hand goes to rest on her shoulder gently, giving a squeeze. Bringing up his other hand, rubbing her back gently for a good moment. Dropping his hands, he folds his arms over his chest giving an approving nod and smile as if saying. 'Go get em tiger'.

"You need a bike?" He has bikes. But… "Good. Just make sure you call me. So I can pray for you." Or something. It's more of an afterthought that anything. Dropping his arms he smirks slightly when she's talking about using the gun. Glancing over to the table he goes to pick up a small revolver to demonstrate.

"Point the hole-y end at the head. And pull the pull-y thing."

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