The Fire Inside, Part II



Scene Title The Fire Inside, Part II
Synopsis Shedda Dinu reaches across the country to ensnare a scientist pardoned for her dangerous research.
Date May 6, 2019

Rain falls in a heavy sheet, creating puddles of mud and weeds. Unexpected spring showers, what could be done?

Abandoned cars litter the outskirts of the quiet city. Not many places in the war were left untouched by the Second American Civil War and New London, Connecticut was no different. Blown out sections of buildings greeted Ignacio Rodriguez and his partner upon their arrival. Bricks and bullets still litter the ground. Either there was a gunfight here recently or it's remnants of a battle during the war regardless there's nobody to be found today.

A street light flickers on and off, a generator on the fritz to blame.

Outskirts of New London, Connecticut

Miranda Railey was a SLC-Expressive doctor born in Berkeley, California. Previously married with a son, her husband perished during a fatal car accident. For her part, the widow worked for the side of the Administration during the war. Biological weaponry was her speciality, top of her class in Microbiology at Harvard, the best job offers when she graduated. All of these things were in official records the man known as "Nacho" dug up. Even her pardon which was granted due to her testimony against the Mitchell Administration and pieces of documents that were clearly redacted.

She was a loyalist, she was everything Shedda Dinu stood against. What Ignacio hated but, they wanted her alive. This was his moment to truly prove himself.

Nothing in the file the man had accumulated through his extensive list of contacts said anything about her current whereabouts but the rumour mill said Miranda had holed up by herself in Connecticut. Trying to forget the things she had done. One Spanish woman, an old stall owner at Red Hook Market use to send her homemade care packages for the former doctor to receive here in New London but had fallen out of contact the last few months.

There was talk of a cabin facing the water, a red boat docked nearby.

The rain begins to die down as Ignacio comes upon this cabin, chipped brown paint but otherwise it was intact. It was sturdy. An orange light emits from the windows with curtains pulled almost completely closed just a crack visible. His foot lands in a puddle, he'll have to be more quiet than that if he wants to succeed. A deep blue Jeep sits parked right in front of the cabin door. An axe is embedded in a log of wood, piles of chopped wood off to the right on the way to the water.

Smoke gently rises from the chimney, she must be having a fire. It was the type of day to do that. Maybe when it started to rain she stopped chopping the wood outside, started a fire and hoped to enjoy a relaxing evening. It was unfortunate that Ignacio was here to ruin any sort of peace this woman may be seeking.

But to make progress on the Dinu agenda, Miranda was a necessary piece.

It isn’t that no one trusted Ignacio, but he isn’t actually alone in front of the cabin. Ignoring the rain as it runs rivets down his face, an adult male stands in black with his arms folded in front of him. Ignacio had met him, at least in passing, though they had never exchanged names. Considering their organization, they probably didn’t expect to all the time.

At least not yet. Even then, speaks against the soft rain, “I’m only here to back you up. You choose how to do this. I’m just here if anything goes wrong.”

There were too many unknown variables, and no one liked those. Especially when a blood traitor was involved.

Nacho is at a little bit of a disadvantage when compared to most of his comrades-in-arms. Namely, that while he may be ‘evolved,’ he has not manifested his abilities. Yet? He still does hope that it’s ‘yet’ and not ‘because he’s a dud,’ but hey. At the moment, he can only call on his wits and, apparently, this other dude who was sent to help him, probably because most people in the higher-up organization assume that he’s barely more than useless.

Or maybe he’s projecting.

In any case, he looks over at the man with a little wry smile, and shrugs the backpack off his shoulder that he’s been carrying. He unzips it and pulls out what is probably meant to look like one of those care packages that haven’t been seen in a while. “Special brownie recipe,” he remarks, tapping the package. “Might have to wait a bit for it to work. But no one can resist brownies, right? Then once she falls asleep we go in. She shouldn’t wake up until it’s too late.”

He gestures for the other man to stay out of sight for now, before he takes a deep breath and goes up to knock on the door.

A dog barks in response to the knocking. Little droplets of water drip off from the porch. The door opens fast to reveal a woman of average height and blonde hair with a gray streak in it. Middle aged, she's pretty. Her blue eyes are squinted outside up at Nacho and the package he holds. The face that has been staring up at Nacho from the file since he and his partner began their drive up this way.

Miranda Railey.

The sounds of barking are louder now with the door open. Miranda also has a gun, pointing it up and at Nacho's face, the safety clicks off. "Who the fuck are you?" This won't be the last time Ignacio will stare down the black barrel of a handgun in his efforts to effect change.

She doesn't waver while aiming the firearm and a large German Shepherd races forward barking and peering through her legs at the visitors. They don't get them often. Miranda's silver watch shines in the light from the living room as she tightens her grip.

The man standing behind the delivery person doesn’t move from where he is mostly out of sight, hidden by the rain and folliage around the house. Enough that he can see, but not enough that he will easily be seen. It helped he’s in all black, too. Even when the pistol comes out he doesn’t appear to be alarmed. No, this wasn’t the first time someone had drawn a weapon around him, either. Nor would it be the last. The dog is regarded for a moment, and then he makes a motion with his hands, almost as if he were snapping his fingers, or rubbing them together really. It doesn’t produce much of a sound, especially with the rain all around.

Not that the humans can hear, at least.

But the dog would. An annoying pitched sound that starts to rise up and up and up.

Nacho tries not to be intimidated by the gun stuck in his face. Shocking no one, it does not work. He flinches back a little bit, turning away as though that’s going to save him from a bunch of shot to the head.

Spoiler alert: it won’t.

In any case, though, he holds up the package in an offering of peace and not getting his head blown off. “La señora Fuentes sent this for you,” he says, though other than that he holds very still so as not to spook her further. “Don’t shoot the messenger. I know her cooking’s gone downhill a little bit lately but it’s not that bad, I promise.” He smiles a little bit like he’s trying for a joke, and hey, maybe it’ll even land!

The sound rises in pitch and the canine quickly begins to whine, putting its nose to the ground and licking Miranda's leg before dashing further into the cabin with a scrabble of paws on the wood. "Lex!" The scientist calls behind her while shaking her head. The package is eyed and so is Nacho before Miranda sighs and lowers her gun. "Scared the shit out of me." Opening the door fully to allow the young man inside the blonde takes a quick look around missing the man in black outside entirely.

Before she shuts the front door she leans back and flicks a switch inside. The porch light flashing on as she closes the door firmly without taking another glance behind her.

Inside is a modest place, a hallway leads to whatever back bedroom this place has. The place is well kept, well maintained. Miranda must be pretty handy. Or got really lucky with not having to totally keep up with the repairs herself because this place is in such good shape, Lex curled up in a space in front of the fireplace that crackles pleasantly. Miranda puts her gun on the counter that she leans upon, eyeing Nacho up and down.

"How are things going back in the Safe Zone?" A kettle in the corner on the stove is boiling not yet howling with steam that the water is done.

As his co-worker enters the building, the other man stays hidden in the bushes but stops making the pitched sound with his fingers as well. Green eyes rest on the house, as he moves slowly to where he can see into a window, and he watches out for any other interference. He trusts the decision to send Ignacio on this particular mission, but he knows there are other factors that could interfere— and that’s why he was here.

But for now, he would wait and watch and listen to the rain.

“Sorry, Señora,” Nacho says with a grin that’s more wry this time, as though he’s feeling a little guilty for scaring her, and in a very Last House on the Left moment, when she opens the door to admit him, he goes inside without hesitation. Hopefully the guy outside will come after him if he’s in there too long.

He looks around, in the kind of absent way that people do when they’ve never been in a place before, before he sets the package on the counter. “All right,” he says with a shrug. “Same old same old, you know how it is. People trying to rebuild shit, other people trying to fuck up more shit. It’s like some weird game of Capture the End of Days.” He looks around again, before he looks back to her. “But hey. We’re all just doing our thing. I’d say it must get lonely up here but I feel like your dog is way better company than a lot of people I know.”

"Oh he is." Miranda echoes the sentiment about her dog who has now stopped whining but was staring intently at the door leading to the outside. She laughs as she runs a hand along the counter absently head tilted to the side. "Capture the End of Days, that's a good one. You should make some money off of that."

"It's why I left there. To get away from all that chaos. Quiet life out here?" And to get away from people who knew her true past. As she looks over at the package and opens it with a smile, "It's the only way to live, now what do you we have here?" The scientist looks at the gift.

The kettle begins to steam lightly still not a howl. Nacho notices on the table that there are two cups placed on the kitchen table.

“Don’t think I haven’t tried,” Nacho says with an easy grin. “I’m gonna trademark it.” Do they still have trademarks nowadays? Well, whatever, they probably do. Surely Raytech has some.”

His eyes catch on the second cup then, and though his expression doesn’t change, he does sigh inwardly. Why does everything have to be so complicated? What he says, though, is, “Couple magazines, some of the brownies she makes. Gum, that kind of stuff. Says she’s sorry she hasn’t sent one in a while but she’s been busy. She’s doing okay, though.”

His eyes move briefly toward the other cup, before he remarks, “But you’ve got company, so I’ll get out of your hair.”

Miranda stiffens and her eyes trail to the cup and that faux smile and easyish demeanor drops like a filthy shroud her mouth thinning into a tight line.

Outside, Nacho's partner can hear the rain as he watches through the window, the noticeable shift in Miranda's body language as she leans back against the counter again, where the gun is. The other man also hears something else. Footsteps pounding towards him and as the Shedda operative turns his head he catches the sight of a man with a scruffy face and chin length dirty blonde hair wielding a shotgun and aiming for the trespasser on his land.

There were no mentions of Miranda having a boyfriend.

The boyfriend's shot goes wild and shatters the window making Miranda shriek throwing up her hands and as she does so her whole body ripples and fades completely from sight. As does the gun. Lex the dog howls and barks at the door, spittle flying as teeth flash. Glass sprinkles the floor after flying out at the pair, mostly harmless but Nacho does catch a tiny graze on his cheek, the droplet of blood welling up instantly and beginning to trail down to his chin.

Footsteps can be heard thundering away from Nacho and the door leading to the back end of the cabin slams open from an invisible force.


Nacho ducks, but not enough to miss that shard of glass that slashes across his cheek. His hand comes up quickly to cover it and assess the damage, and it comes away bloody — obviously.

“Nunca está nada fácil jamás,” he growls under his breath as he takes off after the woman who is now invisible. He follows the footsteps, trying to find a balance between quickly and quietly so that he can continue to hear where she’s going, since he can’t see her. He reaches the door and blows through it, looking around very briefly once he’s out to assess things.

Well. That didn’t go as hoped. There had been reasons that the group thought this one might be too difficult for one operative, but even then, the man out in the bushes had not expected this. Stepping out into the rain, he turns toward where the door flew open and he raises his hands and slams them together in a clap that rings like thunder, sending concussive waves out in the direction of the door. The sound rips through the rain, blowing it like a gust of wind, sending it vertical for a moment.

The scruffy man aims another shot that hits the ground behind the back up Shedda operative. He clearly wasn't the best shot. Knowing that the man starts to charge forward towards Nacho's friend as the concussive waves shriek through the air and slams into the door blowing it right off its hinges with a loud crack and bang. Wood splintering and the frame of the cabin itself shaking for a moment, dust shaking from the ceiling down.

Nacho bursts through the door at the same moment as the front door is blown away to see a small hall and a bedroom off to the side. The door is open and inside sits a TV and modest bed and dresser. On the TV sits the surveillance image of the cameras that were placed around the vicinity of the cabin. They were made before they got to the door. Perhaps Miranda was curious? Or maybe her boyfriend was out for something and saw the two men outside. It's anyone's guess but at the back of that little hall is another door. Presumably one that leads outside.

As the noise outside begins to die down in the back of the cabin Nacho listens intently, the door was still closed.

From the side of Nacho he feels a shove into his side, not a bullet but hands. A female grunt can be heard and what has to be Miranda can be heard thundering down the hall and slamming through the door busting it open to reveal the backyard.

The backlights click on due to movement and Nacho sees something glistening… water puddles. The invisible woman in her panic doesn't notice the trail she's leaving, the impressions of her feet or the splash of water that's all visible to the naked eye.

“Anda a la puta que te parió,” Nacho gets out as he gets shoved to the side by the invisible woman. It didn’t hurt anything but his pride, but still. It’s the principle of the thing. He watches, though, and when he sees those little splashes, a grin starts on his face that’s really more like the baring of teeth than a smile.

He takes off after her, reaching into his pocket for the contingency plan — a syringe with a cap on it that he removes and tosses aside in one quick motion as he goes. It’s a little bit of a chase before he takes a chance and just leaps, reaching out to hopefully grab whatever he can and stick the needle in to send her off to sleep.

Again, hopefully.

As Nacho's body flies through the air he hears a scream coming from his intended spot, the impression of Miranda's shoes seen in the bright searchlight that has click on. "Nol!" Comes a strangled shout as the two collide, Nacho's limb tangled up with hers as his needle finds flesh and the blonde appears again like a heat mirage shimmering into existence, a shocked expression on her face. "I…" Blue eyes wide as she tries to push against Nacho's face, anger crosses her on her face but then it sags as the drug begins to take effect.

Her limbs go limp as she sags into the young woman's arms. "Please…" she whispers softly before she's out.

Behind Nacho the sound of a ruckus can be heard. A piercing sound whines through the air as well as more shotgun blasts. Lights flicker inside the cabin as the commotion ends as soon as it starts it seems like, confrontations went that way often. The sounds of feet making their way slowly towards the backdoor can be heard the floorboards of the place echoing to the outside.

The door creaks open and the familiar face of the man that rode with him all the way here can be seen, blood trailing down the side of his face. Rubbing his chin hairs with a slight uptick of a eyebrow. "Her boyfriend won't be a problem." Not anymore. The man staggers down the steps and starts to make his way over the Nacho, "Let's move, you okay?"

Nacho stumbles a little bit when she goes completely limp, and his mouth twists a little bit at the last word, though the reason for it isn’t immediately apparent. And after all, she’s unconscious, so what does she care?

He looks up when the other man comes out, and there’s a little pallor to his face that isn’t usually there, but it’s difficult to tell, really. He just nods, and says, “Yeah.” It’s a little short, but then, they’re in a hurry. “Help me with her, would you?” he asks, shifting the woman to start to try and carry/drag her to their vehicle. “The sooner we get the fuck out of here, the better.”

The man nods his head, "You did good," he hadn't seen what Nacho had done but the syringe is noted. His beard masks his lips but they are surely pressed into a tight line, he didn't totally enjoy the brutality of it all. Necessary evils. That's what all of Shedda Dinu told themselves in order to get the work done. This was all justice.

Crouching he looks over towards the young man, "You take the legs."

Up the two men carry the doctor, around the side of the cabin. The bearded man doesn't look through the windows but Nacho can see the "boyfriend" laying in a heap on the floor, blood dripping from his ears. That German Shepherd is there, licking at his face. His eyes are closed.

This was all for justice. The greater good.

Hours later

The car had been silent for most of the drive, nothing exciting along the way. Nacho's companion at the wheel and steering the vehicle in the direction of the coordinates they were given for the hand off.

Miranda Railey lays sleeping in the backseat, hands zipped tied in front of her.

It's almost dawn, they were on schedule for the meet. Now that they have done the deed and it's sinking in. "I know things like that can be rough. Even if someone is a traitor." Blood traitor, one of the worst crimes in a group like Shedda. "I use to think that the ends didn't justify the means." It sounds like that was a long time ago for the man. "…but when you lose people. Things change." His grip tightens on the steering wheel.

They continue to drive another hour in silence until the bearded man pulls the car over to relieve himself. As he slides out the car and walks not far there's a rustling behind Nacho.

"Please!" Its Miranda, how long she's been awake is anyone's guess. The blonde's woman's face can be seen in the rear view, she's shaking. "I didn't betray our kind on purpose," she's speaking fast, she knows she doesn't have much time. There's a look down at her wristwatch, it was a gift from her man. "They took my son. They took my son!" That wasn't in the reports.

"Please I would never have done it, never would have dreamed of it. Please. I was protecting my son!//" Her voice rises in pitch and her eyes widen. "I was protecting my so-"

The driver side door opens before Nacho can say a word. The bearded man slides in, looking back at Miranda as she falls silent. Her son. The words seem to have an effect on the older man but he says nothing, instead he starts the car and drives forward.

Miranda doesn't plea anymore. Just sits in the back, tears rolling down her face.

The two men watch later as they reach the drop off point. A white van with a group of men Ghost Shadows stands waiting. The man can be seen dragging Miranda forward who begins to scream now, it's her only chance but nobody, no one comes to help her.

Nacho's partner hands her over and turns away without another word. His face a mask of pain as he hurries off as the men speak among themselves and one plunges a syringe into the doctor's neck. "Please…" she trails off in their arm, eyes on Nacho whose sitting in the car. "My… son.."

The car door opens again and slams shut as the tall man sighs and places his hands against the steering wheel. His blue eyes are filled with pain as he sits there a moment not saying a word as the white van drives off taking the doctor to wherever she is being taken. "Names Gerard."


His tone is empty and he doesn't look at the younger man. There must be some shame in those eyes. Maybe he wants to talk about it.

The engine sputters to life as he throws the car in gear. Perhaps, not tonight. "Let's go." And the dark vehicle pulls off lurching down the unfinished road. Back towards home, where Gerard and Nacho can ponder.

The deeds that justify the end.

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