The Final Game, Part II


cassidy2_icon.gif coren2_icon.gif elisabeth_icon.gif

NPCs and Villainy by


Scene Title The Final Game, Part II
Synopsis Azrael, prompted by Mortimer's taunt, goes on a killing spree in an apartment building in Brooklyn. Cassidy, Coren, and Elisabeth arrive on scene to the realization that there is simply no way they're keeping this one out of the press.
Date September 6, 2009

Chester Arms Apartments - Brooklyn

He arrived at four, but the screaming didn't begin until after four thirty. When that happened, it became a bloodbath.

Chester Arms Apartments, Brooklyn. September 6, 2009.

There were no sounds when he took the first three. They were single. With no witnesses, he could take his time. Once he got to the fourth apartment, things got interesting. A couple. He took the man first and discovered what a scream-queen his wife was. The scream put the whole floor on edge, but it wasn't until the sixth apartment that people started to peek out of their apartments. Then they were next.

Once the body count hit ten, panic was high enough that people fled. Bodies filled the elevators, stairwells, and fire escapes until they had completely emptied onto the street, not a single living soul still remaining in the six-story apartment building. Whispers, rumours, gossip, horror stories — they all passed between the tenants like wildfire. Wild accusations about knife-wielders and gun-toters (despite the fact that no gun was ever fired). Then one person said 'evolved,' and all rational conversation went to hell. Of course, that one person was right.

Before detectives Harrison, O'Shea, and Shelby arrived, the entire top floor of the apartment building had been closed off. The extent of the massacre has left blood even in the hallway. Thankfully, civilians aren't quite as stupid as Azrael had hoped, and most of them fled to a point that he was unwilling to follow.

The blood in the hallway is highlighted by bloody writing along the wallpaper in between two doors:

You were right, Morty. This was fun.

"I.. am going to shoot him…" Cassidy says with an almost growl to her voice. "I will fucking shoot the bastard." Needless to say, she's not talking about Azrael. Hands encased in latex gloves, shake a bit in fury, of course… Detective O'Shea has been in a bit of a pissy mood since the other morning. Not only does she have creepy serial killers feeling her up using her partner's body.. now she's has psycho stalker ex-boyfriend taunting the killer. This is all over.. I need a long vacation.

With a grimace, Elisabeth murmurs softly, "I told you." She's been doing better this weekend, not as jumpy, not as pale and drawn. But this? This is … beyond anything she ever imagined. "What the fuck… are they trying to outdo one another now?" Because she did tell Cassidy about the situation at the station yesterday. "Because that's going to get ugly real fast. We are in so far over our heads on this."

And then there's Detective Shelby. The guilt and shame just rolls off him in waves, as does anger. No, this didn't cross over the line nearly as much as what Azrael did the other morning. "There is no bloody way we're keeping this out of the press," he says, verbalizing their collective fears. They were doing so good, too. He doesn't verbalize his contempt for Mortimer, though Cassidy likely knows he's really blaming him right now. His vinyl-gloved hands open the door at the end of the hall. Sometime tells him it's the first room, and he actually stumbles a bit when he sees it. Red is visible from the hallway. "Jesus, Mary, and Joseph."

A handless body lies at the bottom of a wall. One was cut off quite clean, but the other — well, when one can no longer hold onto the cutting implement, things can get a little messy. Above the body is more writing on the wall. From how rust-coloured the blood has gone, it looks to have been the first message.

Look Ricky, no hands! HAHAHA.
Oh Harrison, if you only knew…

The last two points of the ellipsis trail down. They were made with the stumps.

"I know.. and I get to live with this on my head." The words are bitter, but true. "If only….." The words trail off as she hears Coren, a glance to the blond detective and she says, "You… better go take a look. That one is for you." There is a look in her eyes that suggests that Liz should do so. Cassidy doesn't have to look.. she sees a flash of what he saw. Instead Cassidy moves to the next room, "We are so far over our damn heads…" she murmurs in agreement to Liz. How do they stop someone capable of doing this?

Stepping carefully so as not to smear anything that might be of use to the forensics techs, Elisabeth has her eyes on the floor when she's not taking in the big picture. Keep it out of the press? Fuck no. There is no keeping this out of the press. There is no keeping it on the down-low that we've got a serial killer out there who can fucking POSSESS people. The commissioner is going to shit bricks. "You get to call 1PP and tell her ladyship about this," she mutters to Coren. "You're the superior on the case." Oh hell yes, she's handing this off….

And then she gets a look at the wall and her expression is flabbergasted. "What the…." In response to Coren's exclamation, she actually crosses herself absently — behavior ingrained in her for most of her early life and almost never seen in an American adult. Her face pales and she whispers between the three of them, "Ricky? What the fuck… Richard?" She looks between them, puzzled. "Why is he taunting Richard?"

"I'd be honoured," Coren says with such deadpan sarcasm it's not funny. Well, it certainly is not funny at all, so why should his sarcasm be? It's not lost on him the fact that Cassidy is keeping her distance from him, and that only furthers his feeling of guilt. And then Liz has to go and ask that question. He only has some vague idea based on the horrifying memories from Cassidy. Well, more than a vague idea based on what the bastard side while riding his body. If I get to talk to the commissioner, you get to drop the bomb on her. "Not entirely sure you want to know, but you're going to find out anyway." He brushes Cassidy aside from the door she was about to enter and opens it. Empty. He moves back into the main hall. He does not want to be a part of that conversation.

There is a heavy sigh from Cassidy as she's brushed aside by Coren. Seems this news is being left to her to give. So the red-headed detective moves to stand next to the blonde and eyes the dried blood on the wall beyond them. Her voice is soft so that it doesn't carry beyond them, "When he… possessed Coren… Azrael mentioned talking to Richard through his possessed… lover." Those words come from Cassidy reluctantly, O'Shea gives her a look of understanding. "He went to talk to him cause Richard had set 'Morty' on his trail."

Instinctively when Coren gets that expression on his face, Elisabeth puts a silence bubble around the three of them, though Coren walks out of it and therefore doesn't hear with his ears what Cassidy tells Elisabeth. The blonde stiffens visibly. "He … said what?" And she pauses, her brow furrowing. She's not freaking out about the possession… yet. She pulls her phone out and sends a brief text.

No, Coren doesn't hear it with his ears. Instead he goes to check the next apartment. No writing in this, the second apartment with a dead body in it, also old. Probably the second victim. Coren turns out of the apartment with a distinctly sickened look on his face. It seems Azrael got creative with that one. It actually takes a moment of leaning against the wall to recover from that sight and once he does he hesitates in front of the door to the next apartment.

"Azrael possessed you and held a conversation with Richard." Cassidy goes for blunt this time, her tone a touch cranky, but not that the other woman, "Seems all of us have been.. touched by the fucker in one way or another." She gives Liz an apologetic look, "He said he put you right back to bed, so you must have been asleee… Oh god." A hand covers Cassidy's mouth, her eyes squeezing shut as if she can block out the sight of what Coren just saw. Leaning against the door jam herself, Cassidy takes a few slow breaths trying not to think about the metallic tang to the air, "I am so fucking going to give Mortimer a piece of my god damn mind." Swallowing back bile, Cassidy continues, "..anyhow, sounds like you were asleep."

After several moments of fast and furious texting, Elisabeth looks up at Cassidy, letting Coren hear it through his partner's ears. "Oh fucking perfect." She sounds as far from pleased as Cassidy's ever heard. "And you fucking idiots kept that information from me? Are all of you fucking insane??"

She shakes her head and says, "He didn't sic your stalker on Azrael, apparently he did that himself. But 'Rick' does in fact have some useful information on this matter. The motherfucker claims to be bodyless. Which means two things, Cass — he probably has in fact been living in Megan Manning all these years, living a LIFE in her body, and he's probably doing it now to Jessy Delany *except* when he leaps from them to come fuck around with one of us. And according to a source that I tapped early in this case, a power negator might actually be able to trap his ass so we can eliminate him as a threat." She smiles and it's a wholly unpleasant smile. "Wanna see if Morty wants to volunteer to get shot to test out the theory? Cuz it'll save your life and he loves you more than anything in the whole wide world, right?" Whether she's actually serious or not… that's anyone's guess.

There's a snort that comes from Coren. Part of him is very much amused by the plan, and if he weren't feeling nauseous, he might actually chuckle a bit. Of course, then there's the part of him that wouldn't even sacrifice a dying man to get rid of him. Logistically, however, they really haven't a choice. "He'd work," is his remark as he opens the next apartment. This time he very nearly vomits and turns away the instant he spots the writing. He didn't spot the body — that wasn't what made his stomach do one of those horribly funky flips it does when something you worried was about to happen does.

I'm coming for you, Cassidy.

"You haven't exactly been in a condition where I'd want to fuck you up anymore." Cassidy's expression is schooled to show nothing.. Quite a feat for a woman who spends her time surrounded by strong emotions. Her own emotions at the moment are a chaotic storm. "Last thing I wanted was to throw more stress on you… You had enough shit to deal with.. and if 'Ricky' saw fit not to tell you.. then by damn I also thought so too." She turns away from Liz and reluctantly nods, her voice a touch cold with her anger, "Well.. I imagine he would.. But I'm going to be the one to ask.. I want nothing to do with….."

Cold fear hits her like a ton of bricks and she hurries over to the apartment where Coren stands. She brushes him aside this time and he won't be able to stop her, she has to see it herself. "Oh shit…" She whispers looking at the bloody writing. "Oh god…" She backs up where she can grip Coren's arm, "Please tell me he's joking."

Shaking her head in anger at the whole damn lot of people trying to cover for her and keeping her from doing her job in the meantime…. when key information got lost in translation… Elisabeth follows Cassidy. She's not angry so much as frustrated — in part because they were probably right. She was in no shape to handle it. May still not be in much shape to handle this, though she's doing better. Her anxiety levels are lower but not gone. And as she crowds into the doorway behind Coren and Cassidy, the silence bubble drops and her breath hisses out from her. "Just fucking wonderful," she sighs quietly. "In all these years, no one has still made any connection that will tell us how to stop this guy or why he's got such a hard-on for Coren." She pauses. "If he takes Cassidy again, it's time we stop covering it up and report it up the chain of command, guys," she says quietly. "We do not have the skill set to deal with this… but DHS and the feds may. Kidnapping's a federal crime anyway, and I'm just about at the end of my rope here."

"Nobody has the skill set for this son of bitch," Coren says, grabbing Cassidy and holding her tightly in his arms. "You remember I chased this fucker around the country with the FBI Behavioral Analysis Unit. That was not fun. It's obvious parts of my original profile were right. Highly intelligent, obsessive… but beyond that, I've got nothing. If he hasn't got a body, there's nothing we can look for beyond whatever body we think he might have. Victimology says he goes after young blondes and anyone who gets in his way; also doesn't help us because he's just gone and killed a bunch of people who don't match his type. This move right here, this response to provocation, makes absolutely no fucking sense to me. I have no idea what type of killer this is beyond the most general categorization of seriously twisted fuck."

"Well… This is good then right?" Cassidy asks, slowly pulling away from Coren, she can't let herself look weak right now. Not to mentions the 'what ifs' running through her head. Who knows where the freak is…. "He's starting to break out of his usual? Meaning he could start making mistakes… He did have to move up his 'time table.' " She glances between both, brows lifted as if looking for a response. "He's going to get sloppy." Of course, at this point she's grasping for straws.

In point of fact, Cassidy is right. Elisabeth says quietly, "I don't know what to do with this, Coren. If he were a normal serial killer, Cassidy would go immediately into protective custody. Standard procedure." She looks at the other two. "It wouldn't do us a goddamn bit of good in this case. He has now managed to take over every damn one of us at some point. His timetable indicates that he has an endgame in mind, but… do we dare even think about letting that play out? And if not, how the fuck do we stop him?"

Coren lets Cassidy slip away, though not without a sad look upon his face. End games and timetables. "Eleven days," Coren says. "Eleven days from yesterday is the sixteenth. The seventeenth." His expression turns from thoughtful to that distinctive look that only goes with two words. "Oh shit. September seventeenth." Which they all know is bad. That's the day Megan Manning disappeared until she showed up in that dorm room.

Officer Davies approaches at a bit of a jog from the stairwell. "Detectives," the young man calls out. "There's something I think you should see." He holds out three small boxes as he approaches. They're all wrapped with ribbons, like little gift boxes. "We found them one floor down." So why is he bringing them here? "They have your names on them."

"If we don't let it play out…." Cassidy starts softly, dread weighing down her stomach as she says the words, "..He might do more of this. Mass kills like this." She glances between them both and starts to say something to Coren, when the man jogs up to them. Her eyes drop to the boxes and she frowns a bit, reaching out to take the one with her name so clearly marked in a familiar writing. "Thank you, Davies." her words cautious and careful, her expression nervous.

Not just Cassidy's own nerves, but Liz's too. The blonde's anxious eyes take in Davies's approach and she reaches for the box reluctantly. "The techs already checked 'em?" she asks the officer. Because they should have before these were ever brought to the three cops. At this point, they're evidence. "You do realize that the Commissioner's going to have an all-out cow, right?" she comments, as if avoiding opening the thing. But assuming Davies says the boxes have been checked, she goes ahead and looks inside it.

"They wouldn't have let me bring them to you if they hadn't," Davies says, cocking a bit of a grin. Fresh from the academy, that one. He slowly wanders into the apartment they're gathered in the doorway of, hand at his side at his taser. Apparently they are not the only ones on edge. "Whoa, that's…" The voice trails off as the officer makes his way directly to the kitchen sink where he promptly vomits. He found the body.

The box Cassidy opens is really quite creepy. It's also cold to the touch, which is clearly because of the ice the three fingers rest in. Fingers that were missing off a certain superintendent from the weekend before. The box Elisabeth opens is far more tame. A set of keys with a little three-letter key chain: CJS. Coren's car keys.

"Now what's this shit?" Coren asks, taking the box with his name on it. Then he opens it, revealing a small slip of paper. He actually lets the box fall to the ground as he pulls the paper from its confines, slowly unfolding it not once, not twice, but thrice until he sees an almost entirely empty page. He has to squint to read the incredibly small script written on it, and ends up walking into the kitchen and turning the lights up full for better lighting.

He's not a cop.

From around the corner in the kitchen comes a rather loud clang and then the crash of a body hitting the ground, the slip of paper sliding across the floor back into the doorway. "Jesus," the cadet yells, "Son of a bitch came at me." He drops the skillet at the feet of the two female detectives and his frightened expression goes deadpan, taser brought up to Elisabeth's side, where it's promptly used.

She has his car keys? What the fuck?? Elisabeth looks up and blinks and stares at the fingers Cassidy's box contains, and then the clang makes her jump. She's better… but not well, not really. Because her anxiety levels and blood pressure both skyrocket and there's a gun in her hand before she remembers pulling it. She heads for the kitchen doorway expecting to see …. well, probably Azrael wearing someone's body confronting the young Officer Davies. But no. At the last split second, she realizes that the cop is Azrael, but she's too close to him and her shot buries itself in the wall behind him even as the taser takes her down. Oh that paperwork involved in that…

Cassidy's whole body goes still as she slowly takes the lid off the box. As soon as she sees the contents she closes it again, and glances at Coren. He can hear some choice names for the man circulating through her head. She watches him go into the kitchen, turning towards Liz she opens her mouth to say something when she hears the clang. "Coren!" She cries out as the link between them goes silent. She doesn't think of the fact she should draw her weapon, all she can think of for the moment it the fact Coren is silent. But then she is hit with Liz's emotions, mixing with her own…. and the red-head freezes… She can't think as the other woman goes down. She can only stare at the crumpled form before slowly looking up at Azrael.

All she can do is beg, "Don't kill them… please."

The gunshot that rings out from Elisabeth's service piece complicates things, but a grin only twists his lips as Cassidy speaks to him, Liz's body crumpling to the ground. "What made you think I'd kill them? No. Well, Elisabeth I suppose is expendable, but no…. it wouldn't be that much fun what I'm going to do to you if Coren were dead. He has to see how much a person can change. Only then will he understand all of this." He brings the taser forward and juts it into Cassidy's side, doing the same thing to her as he did to Liz.

"Medic!" the uniform calls down the hall before pulling his radio. "This is Davies on floor six, we have three officers down. Repeat, officers down. Need EMS, now."

Unless otherwise stated, the content of this page is licensed under Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 License