The Devil's Due, Part IV



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Scene Title The Devil's Due, Part IV
Synopsis A long drive in terrible weather takes Kain Zarek and Manny up to Yonkers New York, where Kain is haunted by one of the many ghosts of his past.
Date December 19, 2008

Just outside of Yonkers, New York

The skies overhead have darkened, and the road ahead is nothing but a pale sheet of white spreading out as far as the eye can see, with no distinction between highway and roadside any longer. Far beyond the headlights of the car, where telephone poles bedecked with snow-trimmed power-lines sprout up from the ground, blue lights flicker and flash. The strobe of sapphire on white amidst a sea of black is hypnotic, haunting and otherworldly.

It's a fitting end for all this.

Slipping tires follow the tracks of other vehicles, crawling at low speeds thorugh the building snow. The car's front bumper scrapes the top off of a low mound of snow, pulling alongside the snow-drifted and abandoned stretch of highway just outside of Yonkers.

"Stay in the car." There's no measure of plesantries in Kain Zarek's voice as he swings the door open, letting a gust of cold breeze and snow flurry into the vehicle as he draws his black scarf close around his face, slamming the door shut. From the passenger's seat, Manny peers out through the windshield, watching the cold wind play at Kain's long winter jacket, the way the snow clings to his sandy blonde hair, and the way every single snowflake seems to weigh him down as if it were made of lead. He reaches down into the pocket of his own jacket, retrieving a cell phone while watching Kain's departure, pressing "1" on the speed dial before bringing it to his ear.

"Hey, it's me." His eyes track across the windshield, peering at his own reflection for a moment, then focusing beyond it to Kain's retreating form approaching the blue lights out deeper in the expanse of snow. "We're here."

Snow crunches under kains boots as he braves the knee-deep snow, arms pulled close to himself and chin tucked down beneath the warm wool of his scarf, eyes narrowed to keep the freezing wind and cold snow from blinding him when the gusts pick up. Walking beneath the power lines, Kain followes the slowly vanishing trail of tire tracks going out to an empty expanse of field beyond the power lines, where half a dozen police cruisers, a police pickup truck, and an orange van with an electric company logo on the side are parked.

Police officers stand in close circles, some people further out lead dogs out into the snow, further and further into where the blizzard continues to bury secrets best kept. Kain approaches one of the officers in the group, waving a leather-gloved hand to catch his attention, and the man steps over with a duck of his head and a nervous stare behind himself.

"Zarek?" The officer gives a nod to the men behind him, and breaks away entirely, moving to approach Kain. "I didn't think — " His gloved hands adjust the high collar of his own coat, trying to keep the cold out, for unlike Kain he's lacking a scarf to keep his neck warm.

"Ah've gotta check this for m'self." Kain moves in close, keeping his voice down, "How'd…" He looks around at all of the cars, and the other officers, "What'd they find?" There's a pleading, anxious and frightened tone to Kain's voice, and his blue eyes scan out to the other officers again, and the men coming back with the dogs from out in the snow-covered field. "Brent, what'd they find?"

"Line worker was out doing maintenance," The cop Kain addressed, Brent Silver, shakes his head with his eyes closed partway. "Bones," Kain's heart lurches in his chest when he hears those words, "He found bones, scattered out in the field beyond the poles before the snow started. I — There's no telling how long they've been out there, this isn't exactly a high-traffic area."

Kain closes his eyes, one hand coming up to his face to exhale a slow and weary breath through his nose, fingers pinching there anxiously, "They called in for the pickup yet?" Detective Silver shakes his head, and Kain gives a somewhat relieved nod, resting a hand on Silver's shoulder as he begins to move around him. "Tell'm you did. Make it work, Silver, or it's all our asses."

Brent lets out a ragged sound, looking back to Kain accusingly as turns sharply to follow the man, "Zarek." It's a sharp whisper, frustration he doesn't want any of his co-workers to know about. "What do you mean, who's — " He doesn't bother explaining the rest, the piercing stare of hazel eyes is enough for Kain to understand the rest of the question.

Kain's eyes stay fixed on Silver, watching him intently, with a long and knowing stare. It's enough to wither Silver in his place, causing the color to drain from the detective's face as he lurches away from Kain, his stomach tying in knots. "Some people keep skeletons in their closets," Kain muses in a low tone, "Yours and mine, Silver?" His head sharply tilts to one side, "They ain't in no closets."

Detective Silver says nothing in response, he just watches with a sickening feeling growing in the pit of his stomach as his past finally starts catching up to him. Is this where his life has gone? Kain turns away, the same feeling has been building up inside of him since he received the call, and he approaches the other officers in the group, motioning with his head to the field.

"Sorry t'burst yer bubble, boys," Kain reaches inside of his jacket, quickly removing a black folio and flashing a badge, "This might be a part of one'a mah own investigations. Kain Zarek." The badge reads FBI in large blue print, but he doesn't bother reiterating that part. One of the officers steps in, looking at the badge, then up to Kain.

"Detective Silver said you weren't coming in." The officer's words elicit a stare from Kain, silent and expectant, "Right," The cop sighs out a steaming breath, snow gathering on the brim of his hat, "Come on, out this way." The other officers shuffle in place, scrutinizing Kain as he moves between them, keeping the scarf up over his mouth as he moves to try and stop that feeling that his nose just might freeze off of his face.

"A line worker was out here before the storm started, says he found some bones in the field out here…" The officer reiterates Silver's story, following in the tracks the K9 officers were walking in, to an area surrounded by flood lights and a makeshift tent that's been erected to try and keep the snow off of the crime scene. "Response time on our part to get out here was slowed because of the storm and the Preisdent-Elect's trip. But if he hadn't given us the call, there's no way in blue heaven wed have found these remains until spring… if at all."

Every word causes Kain pain, and his eyes aren't so much on the path ahead of him s they are searching for landmarks, something to gain his bearing as to where exactly he is. A lot of upstate New York looks exactly the same, and the rural areas outside of Yonkers, espescially at night and in the snow are all the worse for it. By the time they've reached the tent, Kain still isn't sure, and that's the worst part.

Not knowing.

"Here it is." It, not even identifiable as male or female. Kain stops at the edge of the tent, waiting before coming in, as if settling himself under that canopy would commit him to something he's so wary of. But his eyes show him what he feet won't let him get close to, an area that has been cleared of snow, and charred skeletal remains strwen about the ground.

Corpses all look alike to Kain, after enough time.

The frost covering the skill and some of the snow not quite able to be swept away from the remainder of the bones makes it hard to tell how long it's been out in the cold. Years, weeks, months? There's really no way to say. Kain finally steps in, watching as the officer shakes his head grimly and makes a few steps back. Kain slowly swaggers in, walking over to crouch down beside the skeletal remains.

His hand reaches out, as if he were going to brush his fingers over the skull, but his jaw tenses and his eyes wrench shut, head tilting to the side and away as a sharp breath is sucked up into his nose. Fingers curl closed against his palm, and he bites down on his lower lip to prevent himself from spitting our a guttural curse.

"Something wrong?" The officer can see it painted on Kain's face, he'd expect a fed to react better to seeing a body. Kain doesn't reward him with a response, not just yet anyway. He simply looks down at the bones, looking for osmething, anything. His gloved fingers brush one bone aside, the yellow plastic card with a number 2 next to it indicating that they've already photographed the body, so it's safe enough for him to disturb it.

He rummages around in the skeletal remains, fishing for something, until he finds a hand. Kain swallows, disgusted and terrified as his fingers fish around in the cold first for the fingerbones, looking for something — anything. He doesn't find what he's looking for, and his head lowers, hands clutching closed with a creak of his gloves. "Anyone taken anything from here yet?" Blue eyes shoot up to the officer.

"N-no," Kain's emotional expression throws him off guard, and the officer's response is in return staggered and halting. "The — No, nobody's touched it yet, just tried to melt off some of the snow and get photos, what — "

"There's a truck coming to pick these up." Kain swallows hard, looking down at the skull again with a weary expression. "This is a Federal case now, Silver will take care of the rest." As Kain moves to stand, his knees feel weak, exhaustion sinking into his bones as he breathes in deep and then exhales a slow and calming breath. It doesn't clam him, nothing will right now.

"Yes, sir." The officer looks down at the bones, nervously, then back up to Kain. The man looks as though he'd seen a ghost, but he can't — he won't — comment on it to him. He wants to keep his job.

Kain says nothing as he turns out from the tent, one hand covering his face as his shoulders slouch from the weight of just one snowflake. He stares out over the white fields, the studded telephone poles trailing off into the distance, heavy branches of pine trees slouching like Kain from the weight of the storm's precipitation. He does look like he's seen a ghost.

A ghost of his past.

He's just not sure which one.

December 19th: Exile

Previously in this storyline…
The Devil's Due, Part III

Next in this storyline…
The Devil's Due, Part V

December 19th: Trusting the Untrustable
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