The Final Game, Part III


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Scene Title The Final Game, Part III
Synopsis Elisabeth is there when Coren regains consciousness after being bludgeoned with a cast iron skillet. She confirms what he can already sense: Cassidy's no longer in the city. Coren and Liz make what little plans they can, including that they not get drunk until both Cassidy and Felix are found.
Date September 6, 2009

Bellevue Hospital Center

When Coren woke up this morning, he most certainly did not expect to be smashed over the head with a cast iron frying pan. He also didn't expect Azrael to show up and abduct his partner. As he finally comes to, he realizes that's the case. She's gone silent the way she did when she went to New Orleans or when he went to Illinois. There's a faint something, and he looks in intense concentration as he rouses from unconsciousness, as he's trying to feel her. But he can't. There's a glimmer. She's alive at least. "Son of a bitch," he mutters, reaching to his head.

Elisabeth is sitting next to the bed when he wakes, her brow furrowed with worry. "That's sort of mild compared to the epithets I've been thinking," she comments mildly. The taser hit had the unexpected effect of laying her out flat — though whether that's due to the fact that her brain just shut down so as not to have to deal with the memories that pain inflicted she is not sure. But she's been cleared by hospital personnel, and right now, all she can do is … wait. Wait for Coren to wake. Wait for something to turn up. Wait for the techs to follow the electronic trail to find Cassidy.

"What the hell happened?" Coren asks. Because he doesn't know. All he knows is the silence in his head and the emptiness he feels where Cassidy should be present. That and his head is throbbing. "God I could use a fucking drink." He sits up and leans back against the head of the hospital bed, rubbing a hand over the spot that he was nailed. It's only thanks to his ability that his skin didn't break and he didn't get a really bad head wound. At least it's only a mild concussion.

"Azrael," Elisabeth tells him succinctly. "Took over Davies and clocked you, tasered us." She pauses and says quietly, "Took Cassidy. I'm sorry, Coren." She's already prepped for him to attempt to get out of the bed, moving to stand so she can block him from doing it. "You can get out when the doc clears you — don't even think about getting up."

"I figured that," Coren remarks, rubbing at his head again. "What the fuck did he hit me with, a God damned brick?" He only offers a bit of a glare when Liz moves into his way and says he can't get up until the doctors clear him. "She's not in the city anymore, Liz. The fucker took her right out from under us. I should have seen it coming."

"A cast iron skillet," Liz volunteers. "As to that… If I were anywhere near on my game, he wouldn't have gotten close enough to taser anyone. There's enough blame to go around," she says quietly, wearily. "How can you tell she's out of the city versus unconscious?" she asks him. "And bear in mind that you're about to have to answer a LOT of questions, because I've only waited this long — until you were awake — to report that you might be able to locate her."

"She's quiet when she's asleep, but I can still feel her. When she's out of range, she's not there. I can tell she's alive, but that's only if I concentrate," Coren says. He doesn't look thrilled with the idea of questions, however. "Unless she's within the city and conscious, there's no way I can find her." At first it's some sort of excuse he's putting out to try and convince her not to mention it. But once he says it, he pales some, because it sunk in. He can't find her. "Shit."

There's a sad nod when he explains the way the link works. "I was afraid of that," Elisabeth tells him quietly. "That there'd be a range on it. The only thing I can think to do is literally hit the three sides of the city and see if you pick her up any more strongly in any of the outlying areas. And to do that at this point…. we're going to need to explain why you're a human dowsing rod for Cassidy's location, otherwise I doubt they're going to let YOU anywhere near this case until your concussion heals up."

Coren groans. "Yeah, that's just a wonderful idea, providing I'm not immediately put on forced leave. That's what the usually do when your partner's abducted, right?" He rubs his eyes, "That's actually thankfully been covered. Cassidy recently updated her registration and we informed the brass, not that they were happy about it. I don't think we mentioned anything beyond the empathic communication, mind you, but an oversight. This situation is seriously fucked up."

"I don't know what they do when your partner's abducted… I don't have one, remember?" Elisabeth's voice is tight, though — because the next best thing she does have to one would be either Felix Ivanov or Cassidy O'Shea. And … oh yeah! Both of them are now in the hands of madmen, as if it's not bad enough that Liz herself is barely recovering from her own ordeal. If there's anyone who should not be on this case, Coren is looking at her. "So do you have any bright ideas?" Because it sounds like he's dissing hers. And it's all she's got.

"I'm sorry, Liz, that wasn't the right thing to say," Coren says. "I just wasn't prepared for this. I mean, part of me knew he'd do this, but I refused to listen to that part of me. We should have been off this case once it turned personal. We should have reported everything…." Not that any of that would have helped. He lets out a sigh. "This …. You're right. It's about the only thing we can try. I just hope she's still near enough to be able to tell what direction we should be going."

Elisabeth shakes her head a bit and says quietly, "Don't apologize. Look… " She pauses. "I don't know what else to do, Coren. Ivanov's in Humanis hands, Cassidy's in Azrael's, I'm a fucking lunatic basket case right now — though I'm holding on by the fingernails. And I just plain don't know what to do."

"Getting drunk sounds like a good idea," Coren suggests. It's meant to be funny, but it's just plain sad. "What the Hell else are we going to do? Gonna be a mountainload of paperwork on top of whatever other shit rolls our way after this…. The fact that Cassidy…." is gone and might not come back? No, he's not going to go there. "We're going to get them both back, first. The paperwork can wait." He almost moves to get out of the bed but stops himself, "And get a damned doctor in here, because I want to get the hell out of the place. Seen enough hospitals to last myself a lifetime already, not going to bloody well sit around moping in one."

Elisabeth nods slightly and moves toward the door to stick her head out and tell the uniform assigned to watch the door that we need the doctor in here. When she comes back, she tells Coren quietly, "If I find you drunk at any time before we recover her?" She leaves it there, because the very cold expression on her face should tell him that she's neither joking nor in the mood for such. She will hurt him if he blows any chance to get Cassidy back by being drunk. "Soon as the doc clears you, I'll drive."

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