They've let her nod off again. The thankful part is that the wrist straps and ankle shackles don't hurt as much when she's asleep. And exhaustion is the best tranquilizer. For a few days, she's heard some pained screams coming from somewhere else in the same area; perhaps another poor soul being tortured, beaten, or otherwise held in the clutches of these sadistic people. All that's faded away, though, in the blissful ignorance of the blackness. When she next wakes, she finds herself on a cold metal table, like those that would normally be found in the morgue. It's chillingly cold in here. Maybe she's dead? Maybe not. Either way, Kennedy finds herself unrestrained. Unsupervised, too. The room is empty. It really does look like a morgue in here. The closest objects are those befitting of a surgeon's table. A scalpel, some forceps, a chest cavity brace...
She must have been tired, not to notice the move in her sleep. When she wakes up, she takes stock of a few things. Herself, for one. For wounds and the like. Then the room itself. When she notices she's along and no longer strapped down, she hops right up and grabs that scalpel. She glances around for possible cameras before she starts trying to find an exit. Perhaps it's a trap, maybe they're messing with her, but so long as the opportunity is there, she's going to take it.
All her wounds are still there, maybe a few that she didn't realize she had. But maybe it's by her sheer force of will that she's able to ignore the dull pain that indicates her sore wrists and ankles, her arms aching from having been strained up for so long. Oh yeah, and she's still topless, but her sweatpants exist. It's her luck that the door of the room she's in isn't locked, and there aren't any cameras that she can see here. The door out leads into a white-ish hallway with a concrete ceiling. The floors are probably linoleum or something, but also a grey-flecked white in color. Sterile. Cold. There are doors leading up and down the hall, and a door at either end. The hall itself is also quiet. With a closer look, she can see there are cameras over the end doors, watching their entry and exit routes.
Topless doesn't seem to be an issue at this point. She'll worry about decency when she's someplace decent again. She peeks her head out, spotting those cameras, she slips back in and grabs the forceps to slide into her waistband, then she picks up the tray. Tactics certainly aren't the woman's strong point, but getting rid of the cameras seems to be a good plan. Heading back to the hallway, she flips the tray over to use the feet to break the cameras with. Smashysmashy.
It requires a little bit of reach, but the extra length of the tray is enough to do so. The cameras don't exactly break too much, on the outside, but their delicate lenses are weak enough to get rattled off their calibrated state. The doors look like they're also standard prison issue. So far, nobody's heard her smash up those cameras too. They get bent away and messed up enough to give her a clear path, however.
Kennedy may smash them up a little more than necessary, but then she's got some anger issues just now. And then she picks one of the doors at random to try to open, peeking around to get stock of where she is at the moment.
The door she peeks out of leads down the hall to yet another door to some unknown destination. On the other side of the hallway, that end door leads into a more open area where she spots a sign declaring the area to be a 'Blue Zone'. Whatever that means! The kin has a choice. Just how much time she's got, though, who knows? Maybe they'll notice the cameras smashed up soon. But so far, there's no alarm sounding, no deafening claxon rings.
Of course, there is such thing as a silent alarm. Who knows what kind of security they have set up. Being a Walker, and married to a paranoid man, she knows enough to know the possibilities are far and wide beyond what the movies would have us believe. Slipping out, she stays near one of the walls as she heads toward that open area, tray still in hand and ready to be swung against the next person she sees, no doubt.
As she steps out and along the wall, she'll notice the wall curves somewhat. The area is silent, and her bare footsteps make barely a sound. It takes a little while to cross the area, but there's no one about. The next door she comes across is painted blue, though, and through the small window (like the one from her cell) she can see a light blue colored hallway. Blue. A soothing color, perhaps? She spots through that window a figure of a guard. Nobody she's came to see previously in her days spent imprisoned. But, he's dressed in the same uniforms as the Spiral from before and the other perverse minded security.
Kennedy is as careful as she can be, but seeing that uniform makes her snarl a bit. Luckily, there's a door between them. But! Not for long. She waits until he isn't exactly looking at the door before she charges through to swing that tray at his head. She wasn't kidding about being a violent captive.
The guard's whistling to himself and doesn't notice the impending captive coming until it's too late. He yells out in surprise as she swings the door open, and the sound cuts off as the tray smacks him full on in the head. He stumbles back, but it's hardly anything to knock the guy out completely with. She's got a second or two, though, to get him again.
Taking that second, Kennedy presses the metal stand of the tray against his throat and him against the wall, and none too gently. "You have about five seconds to tell me how to get out of here." There's a slight pause before she adds, "And where my wedding rings are." he scalpel is still in her hand, pressed against the metal of the stand, but visible. And if he were to look, it isn't like she's hiding the forceps, either. "Five..."
The guard recovers long enough that he gets pinned against the wall. Oh if only there was backup! The guard looks momentarily defiant, however. "You crazy bitch. You think you're going to get out of this alive?" he grits out from around the tray pressed against his throat.
Those words actually make Kennedy laugh for a moment, low in her throat, "You know, at this point, I'm not sure. But you know, you shouldn't be too sure, either." There really isn't much warning before she loosens her grip enough to jab that scalpel at the man's eye. Her other hand seems to be trying to use the tray to keep him back against the wall still.
With a gurgle, the guard dies via scalpel through the brain. It's not a very pretty sight, bleeding into one's grey matter. He goes slack against that wall and gets heavier to hold up via the tray. Well! That was easy. Look, a whole uniform. And utility belt with a gun...
Kennedy lets his body fall to the ground, eyeing it coldly. "One." There isn't much time taken to celebrate, though, as Kennedy starts peeling off that uniform and all the little goodies. It may not fit well, but at least she won't be topless anymore. She cleans the scalpel off on the man's undershirt, then tucks it into the utility belt, too. You never know. And then, she moves on, leaving the guard there to bleed against the blue walls.
Moving on. The guard lays against the wall bleeding into a little pool. So there's a little blood on her nice slightly-larger uniformed shirt. It takes her only a short while to come to the door that the guard had come through, and her freshly acquired keycard comes into play. It's only a short while before she's out into a different hallway of the same light blue color. So far so good. She'll notice once she makes her way down that hall, that there's another camera watching the entry/exit that leads to where she'd come from. No hiding from that one, this time. But just beyond that camera is a door for the stairs. Hm! And right next to that, also watched by that camera, are a set of elevators that require the keycard to access.
Given that it's too late to hide, Kennedy tries not to react to that camera, only a momentary hitch in her step. She chooses the stairs over the elevators, perhaps not relishing the idea of shutting herself up into a little box just now. She takes to the stairs at a run, climbing upward two at a time. Perhaps getting to the roof would be helpful.
The stairs clang and clatter as she runs up them, the sound made louder by the empty well. She has not far to go, only three flights, but her legs don't like her at all for the sudden bursts of muscle movement. There's cramping in those strained muscles, but nothing she can't bite her cheek on and try to ignore. When she gets to the top, the door simply says: EXIT. There's no lock, no camera, and nobody around to stop her escape. Supposedly, if that's where the 'EXIT' leads.
Kennedy's not giving up now just for a little thing like cramps and pain. No, she just grits her teeth and keeps on, pushing right through the exit door when she gets to it. Her fingers pull out the gun, just in case, flicking the safety off to have it at the ready.
When she shoves the door open, it's into bright, exposing daylight. Nevermind the fluorescent, artificial lighting from below. No, this is pure, warm sunlight greeting her face along with the smell of fresh, crisp Colorado air. Her gun's pointed to the outdoors. She also gets to see some more concrete, and a plethora of cars to choose from neatly parked along in lined up spaces. A parking garage; next to a silver SUV that looks exactly like the one she'd been faced with on the day of her kidnapping, is - if she can believe it - her black BMW. The glass on the driver's side window is still shattered, though. Dang.
Wincing at that light, it takes Kennedy a few moments to adjust and to... accept that she made it out. Well, almost. She turns to slam the door to the stairs shut, as if to hold back imagined pursuers. Then she searches through the guard's pockets and belt until she pulls out his cell phone. Ahahahaa. She starts for her car, dialing out David's number first. It hits her, though, that this has all been too easy, which makes her stop heading for Black Beauty and instead, seems to be planning to leave the garage on foot. But not without swinging the butt of her gun into that SUV's lights. And using the scalpel to slash the tires.
The lights smash with an extremely satisfying crunch of shattering plasti-glass. The tires fizz out, going flat slowly but surely. Though she's well on her way out, the phone she has in her hand bleeps with a Not In Range notification. There's also a small hitch in her escape at this point... the door she came out of starts to open again, and the first thing that /she/ sees is the barrel of a MAC-10 gun. Someone's coming out, and they are Undoubtedly Armed.
"Damnit," Kennedy says into the phone, although she keeps trying to call anyway. When that door opens, she whips back around to see that gun and all but dives behind that SUV and ducks down, watching for feet under the car. Her gun is turned around this time, ready to use it to actually fire.
Maaaybe she should be extra cautious. Because the man that comes out with that Mac-10 in hand is followed by three more in suits, also armed with some heavy duty firepower in their semi-automatic weaponry. It definitely would outdo her one gun in a firefight. After they have a look around, the lead man directs two to split off and go take a pincer position while he and a backup step cautiously towards the parked cars. Their shoes can be seen moving, checking the cars one by one. They're a row away, but this really isn't going to be an easy getaway.
Well shit. Kennedy watches those feet for a few moments, letting them get some distance from her position before she starts to move. She starts slow and low, trying to move without being noticed by those men as they search the cars, and heads for the nearest bit of cover that /isn't/ a car. Still trying that call, too.
As Kennedy moves along, she slowly gets on from car to car, steadily going until she reaches a support wall that she can duck behind. The call still doesn't get through. She can see that the phone is 'still out of range'. "Maybe she ain't here," comes one of the quiet voices of the men moving closer. They've reached the silver SUV and Black Beauty. Nothing. The men meet up in the middle, and then the leader frowns at them. "She can't have gotten far. Not without taking anything. Call the front. See where they got that GPS tracking on her."
Those words get a jolt out of her and Kennedy eyes the phone a bit, then sets it down there and leaves it, as if it might be the tracker. She also pulls off the keycard and the guard's badge and anything else that seems electronic. She looks around for the next bit of cover, edging herself closer to the edge of the garage and trying to keep out of sight as she does.
The men move off, but they keep their guns out just in case. One of them calls the front, and she can hear him speaking to the person on the other side of the line to confirm the GPS tracking signal. As she edges away, she's got to duck from car to car, and as she gets further towards the edge of the garage, towards freedom, the cars and cover likewise seem to get less and less. "Yeah. Okay. Got it." The caller flips his phone closed. "They said the signal's coming from inside this area." The leader grunts an annoyance and orders, "Alright then. Spread out and go through this floor. Take the cars three by three. And make sure to check underneath. Go." She's going to have to move faster if she's going to get to that cover.
Alright. That's it. Kennedy abandons caution at that point and sprints toward the edge of the garage. She runs sort of zigzagged to make it difficult to get a lock on her, but she doesn't stop until she can get to the outer wall and jump right over the edge.
Alas, the abandonment of stealth also heralds the abandonment of cover. "Hey!" calls out one of the guys as he spots her. The pistol is brought to bear, but her irregular running and ducking cause the bullets fired to miss and clang in ricochets off the cars she passes by. Woo! Adrenaline rush! At least she knows they're not adverse to firing upon her... There, the outer wall is just there! A bullet grazes her arm as she gets to it - ouch. But nothing else seems to catch her, though there are several close calls. Booted footsteps pound pavement; they're chasing.
It is quite the rush, these brushes with death. Kennedy hisses at the graze to her arm, but all the same, she's going over that wall. She's going over with a flash of a middle finger for those men chasing her. And once she hits pavement on the other side, she picks up her run again, trying to get herself on toward any sort of gathering of people. There is a looks around to see where she is, though. If it's even still Crystal Springs.
Not a surprise, maybe, but it /is/ Crystal Springs. She's somewhere in one of those downtown parking garages, near to where she can catch a bus or the like and head back home. To Grey Inc. The men stop firing when she gets over the wall, needing to focus on pursuit more than pinning her with a bullet. People out on the street appear to be alarmed by the sound of gunfire, but the smart ones have ducked behind cover or gotten out of the way. She's able to spot people aplenty, though, and fortunately for her - so do the men. And they give chase, but they're trying to be discreet about it.
Kennedy is not being so discreet, running down the sidewalk at a full sprint. Her focus is more on getting away and getting home than on keeping up appearances. She could stop for a bus or a cab, but stopping doesn't actually seem to be in her plans just yet. So it is that she just simply runs in the direction of Grey Inc, keeping herself as viewable by the public as possible. No shortcuts or alleys, but lots of crowds.
It's only a matter of time before she outpaces the more quietly moving men. The kin passes through a bunch of people on the streets though, and she outdistances two fairly well. There's two left, the leader and his backup, who seem to want to doggedly pursue. Then the backup disappears into an alley, maybe a shortcut, who knows. Just her and the leader. People she bumps into give utterances of annoyance, but plenty seem to do a double-take. And finally, she gets into a good stretch where she seems to also have lost the leader through a thick crowd. It's good to know your city, that's for sure.
When it looks like she's lost them, Kennedy slows to keep pace with that crowd. And to change how she looks. Her shirt is buttoned on the bottom and tied up under her chest, then she uses that scalpel to cut her pants into shorts, counting on the cover of the crowd to hide what she's doing. She cuts a strip out of those pant legs to tie her hair up, and she ditches the belt and left over fabric in some unsuspecting person's shopping bags. And /then/ she steps toward the street to hail a cab.
Shorts in the winter? Only in Colorado. Well, the cab pulls up pretty darn fast regardless of what she's wearing, and the driver asks her for her destination. If she looks carefully into the mirrors, she can spot the guy who took the alley popping out and looking around for her.
"Bridgetown. Grey Inc. And step on it, huh?" Kennedy slides into the backseat and slinks down out of sight of the windows as best she can. "You have a cell on you, by chance? I really have to make a call and I dropped mine somewhere..."
The driver eyes Kennedy through the rear view mirror, adjusting it Just So. "Got it," he says, pulling out and driving off. They leave her pursuers behind. "And unfortunately, no miss, I can't be lending my phone out to just anybody. Hope you understand." He's a decently speedy driver, a typical taxi guy. Those honest Joes. They get through the workday traffic fairly well, too, and soon enough she can see the building of Grey Inc. rising up in the near distance, characteristic tree poking off the top of that building. Almost Home. Almost There.
"Yeah, I understand. Thanks anyway," Kennedy says, letting out a sigh. She stays down as they drive around, but the sight of that oak makes her sit up. And there may even be tears threatening in those eyes, but she's managing to keep them back. She puts her hand on the window, looking at that building like a man on a deserted island might look at a passing ship. "Stop anywhere around here. I can get there."
The driver pulls up on the sidewalk a block from the building. He turns, reciting the fare for her. It's the first time he's actually looked at her face this time, and maybe it's something about her features. He gives her quite a funny look. Maybe a recognizing look?
Kennedy pulls out the guard's wallet, pulling out whatever cash he's got in there and passing it forward. "Thanks a lot." Sliding out of the car, she closes the door behind her and takes off for the building. There is a little paranoid looking around, but for the most part she's focused on getting inside.
The taxi takes off after she's paid, and she gets on inside. Seems like she's finally in. Finally. FINALLY.
Whoo! and from the front door, Kennedy runs for the elevators to hit the button. But it ends up taking too long and she takes to the stairs again to climb up toward the living quarters.
The living quarters is a mess. Things strewn everywhere, files and papers, phone numbers. Coffee pot is on the table of course, empty. And beside it, a bottle of that Touched, Awakened Whiskey left from New Years. And then there's Nicholas. Slumped over on the couch, pale and unshaven, tears still leaking from under his eyelids, appears to be asleep. But not happily so, as his brows are drawn and knit, jaw set, limbs twitching. And he's breathing a little fast. Ah--one of /those/ dreams.
When she sees him, Kennedy slides onto the couch next to him, her arms wrapping around him, just holding him for a long moment, crying just a little into his shoulder. But after a bit of catharsis, she gives him a shake. "Nick?" Trying to wake him up out of that dream. "Nick, it's me..."
Nicholas's breathing doesn't change. His limbs don't stop twitching. The shake gets no response, nor does her voice, her words. He's way under, it seems.
"This isn't how I wanted to say hello," Kennedy remarks as she nuzzles into his cheek, "But I hope you don't mind." Her hand runs through his hair, the woman taking a moment to just enjoy him being there before she focuses and slips into his dreams, her arms still wrapped around him.
It's a /fight/ to get into that dream. Like sliding through a thick, oily sludge--as though she weren't feeling gross enough already. But she makes it, and then -- she's right back where she started. Bound up against that table, there's a strap on each wrist, each ankle. There's a needle being jabbed into her neck, by none other than her twisted lover. He leers crookedly at her, intense, fiery eyes on her as a hand slides over her cheek and down her neck, his face twisted by that scar. "Hello, lover," he practically purrs. Cold blasts into her veins as he squirts that needle's contents in, and shortly after there's burning, aching, fiery pain that convulses her trapezius, the muscle along her neck and shoulders.
That's... not good. She notices the similarities to her recent captivity, but there isn't really time to think about it with that needle poking into her skin. "Nick!" she calls out in a bit of shock as that cold runs through her. And then, she tenses up and lets out a cry for that pain and convulsing. Her eyes close, and she mutters out a reminder to herself that it's just a dream. Just a dream.
Nicholas--or that version of Nicholas, anyways--grins twistedly at her. "Ahh, Kenny. I've missed you. See what happened while you were gone?" It's true...the dream is off-kilter, nauseating. Broken. But still so frighteningly real. A hand, once familiar and loving, runs over her bared chest in a cold, calculating way. "You should have been there. You should have saved me." Then his expression twists into a vengeful snarl, cold fury in his eyes. "But you /didn't/."
"Nick..." Kennedy says, those tears falling from her eyes now, at his accusation. "I would have. I tried to get home..." It seems to be hard for her to really focus, that wrongness messing with her senses. "God, Nick. You know I would have tried, if I was there."
Nicholas wraps his hand around her throat, squeezing tight, cutting her off from oxygen and blood flow. All the coldness pools under his hand. "Maybe you would. Maybe you wouldn't. But I can't trust you, Parker." He squeezes tighter, shoving her against the board. "I can't /trust you/!" Then that anger flicks off, his eye looking to the side at something she doesn't see, but she /can/ see the muscles in his face, just barely twitching around his nose and mouth. Then he looks back, and lets her throat go. He retreats to across the room, where a tray of medical supplies sits. Medical supplies, that is, and his dagger: He Who Wields This is Lord of Metal and Glass.
Kennedy gasps as his hand closes around her throat, and she tries to shake her head, both to deny what he's saying and to try to loosen his grip. But, with her hands tied, there's really not much she can do beside wait and hope. Her eyes try to follow where he looks, but she gets distracted when he lets her go. She takes in a great gasp of air, panting a bit before she looks at him. "You know they took me, Nick. I didn't run away from you or abandon you, they took me."
Nicholas lets out a sharp bark of a laugh. "Did I not just say I don't trust you, Parker?" he asks, picking up that blade and caressing it along his fingertips. It barely touches the skin, yet draws blood, and he walks back over and runs those same fingertips over her lips, trickling his blood in. The flat of the blade is run over her skin, his intense stare on her. "You sold me to the devil," he hisses. "Down the fucking river, Parker. How could you let them? /How/ could you /let them/!" That blade turns, sharp against her collarbone as he pricks the skin. "I'm going to have fun with this," he purrs lowly, drawing that dagger across the bone, trickle of blood running down.
"I would NEVER do that!" Kennedy yells at him, as if the higher volume would get it through to him. "God, Nick. I love you, I would never do that. You know me. I don't know who twisted you this way, but it wasn't me. Nick, I wouldn't!" She babbles right through him rubbing that blood on her lips, but when his blade cuts through her, her words turn into a scream. "NO! Nick, don't do this!" Oh, but he already is. "This can't be real..." Her head shakes, but that thought serves as the reminder. Oh, right. Dream. She looks up at him, tears and blood staining her face as she flexes her control over dreams, just testing a bit, to heal up his fingertips.
"But you /did/," Nicholas smiles, saying it almost too sweetly. The flat runs up her neck, before his hand suddenly draws away and he suddenly backhands her, knife in hand, across the face. Her flesh slashes open, bleeding. "Love? You call that /love/! Abandoning me, leaving me to /them/, letting them twist me! That's NOT LOVE! You told them where I was, didn't you! You sold me out!" Even as his fingertips heal, the knife is drawn down her arm, deep and to the bone, as his healing hand grabs her around the jaw and forces her to look at him. "I know now. I know you never loved me."
Not real. Doesn't hurt... Kennedy's flesh heals up even as he makes that slash, and she shakes her head at him. "I would die first. Nick. I didn't tell them. You're my husband, this sept is my home, /I/ have /loyalty/. So don't blame you switching sides on me." When he grabs her jaw she does look at him, defiance coming over her face. "You're wrong. I've loved you with my whole self, Nick. I love you /now/." But, as he holds her close, she tries bending the dream to undo her restraints.
Nicholas's face lights up in a fury at that accusation, seething rage coming over him as he rips his knife from her arm only to stab it into her belly. Then an almost soothed smile comes over his face and he turns that contented cat look to her even as he twists the knife. "Ahh...yes, much better. Shut your mouth, Parker. You're so much prettier when you don't speak." That blade butts up against her spinal column, ticking into the bone as he wriggles and twists that blade. Then he yanks it out and holds it against her neck, staring at her. "Now, /I/ loved you. /I/ thought you were going to be there when they came. Weren't you going to be my shield, Parker? I can't even recall now." Those restraints spring free right then, as she exercises her mind over them.
Kennedy cries out at that stab, her mind having to refocus to remind herself it's a dream. She takes a few deep breaths, wincing as he twists the knife around. But, as he yanks it out, it's like it never happened. "I am your shield, Nick." But, as her hands come free, she grips onto his arms, trying to push him back from her neck. "You're certainly hiding behind me now."
Nicholas's eye widens a bit as she grips his arms, and his lips curl, fighting against her. There's a sudden sharp twist as the dream reasserts its brokenness, like the floor's been yanked from under her. Her ankle restraints come free, and he yanks her away from the board to slam her onto that table, scalpels and needles and saws digging painfully into her back. "I see, you want one last hurrah, is that it?" A sick grin spreads on his face and he presses her into the table with his body. "Because I'll give it to you, Parker. Just--" He uses his free hand, trying to wrench her mouth open, blade leveling between her teeth. "--don't struggle /too/ much," he purrs.
That brokenness makes her stumble, dizzy as he yanks her around. She grunts as those instruments dig into her, but she fights back against that feeling, pushing it back as if trying to clean the dream all together. There's no blade, there's no room for torture, there's just the two of them as she tries to push in that familiar seaside setting she likes to use. "Nick. This isn't how this is supposed to go. It's not right. Why isn't it right?"
That seaside setting forms around them, breaks away from the torture room, until it's just them. The only problem is, that scar doesn't leave. Nicholas whips around at the new surroundings, teeth bared. Then he turns a murderous glare at her. "Not /right/? NOT RIGHT?" The ground shakes, the sky darkens, that nausea piques again, and he's suddenly got her on her back in the sand, hand on her face. "Get out of this one, Parker," he snarls. "There's no one to come home to. And I swear to god, I swear to the Father Wyrm and the Mother Weaver, I will get you back for this. I will peel from you everything you've ever loved, every person, every place. I will leave you stranded and desolate, alone in the world. And then I will fucking take every last shred of strength and dignity you've /ever/ possessed, and you will be left with NOTHING." He stands again, and stalks away from her. "I best be going. I have a date with your parents, you know."
Kennedy watches him this time, listening to his threats with an observer's ear. Like someone overhearing rather than someone who's one the receiving end. "Is that so? Well, I suppose I'll be waiting." She stands, too, but as he stalks away, those waters turn to silver and she runs to tackle him into the waves with unnatural speed as she bends the dream once more. "Because there will always be someone for you to come home to." And with that, she pulls out of the dream, stepping back into herself.
Nicholas snarls as she tackles him, and he tries to backhand her if he can manage, but it's awkward. And moreso when he hits that silver, body falling and arching as his screams peal forth and chase her out of that dream. They even, eerily, seem to echo through her head after. For just a little too long.
Those screams linger even as Kennedy wakes with a crazy-fast heartbeat and all that adrenaline. The pain of her arms being held up in those wrist restraints, the ankle shackles pulling her raw-skinned feet, it all thumps along with every pump of her heart. When she wakes, it's not a pretty sight to see that old (relatively speaking) cell. She's nowhere near Grey Inc. She's back in captivity. Back in the dark. Within that pitch darkness, comes that cold, now familiar voice. "Definitely a fascinating walk through your world, Miss Parker," Maria says in a neutral tone.
Back in her own body, Kennedy takes in a few deep breaths, trying to shake away those screams. From the sound of those pants, she's shaky, unstable and disturbed. There may even be tears. Of course, then there's the disorientation. Wasn't I just here? No wait, I broke out. No wait... And then, that voice. There is a long pause as Kennedy tightens up with the realization of what's just gone on. And resetting her mindset, so to speak. "Maria," she says coldly, "Oh, how I've missed you." It doesn't quite hit the mark of her usual snark, but the intention is there.
She can't see her, but there's only so many places a mind mage could hide, right? In that blackness, Maria can be heard moving about in those heels of hers. Someone's covered the window to the cell. Or, maybe, this is a different one. The way Kennedy's voice echoes off the walls is certainly different. If she notices these things. "Things got a little heated between us last time, didn't it," the woman says, her tone's inflection filled with sarcasm and false pleasantries. "But it only made me want to get to know you better. And with that little show and tell, I think I have /definitely/ gotten to know a little bit more about you." Soon, the sound of the heels stop off to her left.
She might notice on a good day, but today is not a good day. She probably hasn't even thought about the room. "Heated? I wouldn't say that. That's how I bond. A little brawling, then we go out for a beer later and laugh and tell stories and are buddies forever. We just didn't get to the drinks, see? Maybe it's because woman are so... /fake/." Her head turns toward the sound of those heels, and her voice drops to a whisper. "There a reason we're sitting in the dark? Your face still messed up?"
There isn't a further sound of those heels clicking across the floor. But the next time Maria speaks, it's from an entirely different direction than where she'd wound up. "Not as much as you would like, I imagine," comes the cool reply. A little too cool, maybe. Forced. "No, I just happen to have a nice little headache. Nothing a bit of aspirin won't help," she says much more loosely afterwards, her voice moving away from its previously close encounter. "I hope you'll bear with me."
"Oh, I imagine. Especially since I'd like it cold, stiff and decomposing six feet under. Although, I can negotiate on the depth." Kennedy turns her head back forward, letting out a sigh. "I suppose I can. You want a hug? I've been told my hugs are very soothing."
Maria chuckles from her position just off to Kennedy's right. "I think we'll have to arrange that later. Right now, I think I'd like you to meet your dear Nicholas." Her voice has a smugness in it that /isn't/ forced, as the world around her falls back to silence for a good long moment.
"Well, I can give you his address. Although, with his secretary gone, it isn't likely you'll get an appointment." Kennedy looks around as everything goes quiet, trying to listen for any hints of what's going on. "Unless you mean you're bringing him here? Won't that be fun."
There's a flick of a switch, and after a brief second, greenish lights intermingled with the usual kinds flick on. Standing before Kennedy, and looking a little twitchy, a greasy skinned looking man. Disconcerting, yes. He's hardly anything like Nick at all, for one. But he has this Stare. The kind of stare that looks right through a person and sees into them, plain as day. Maria steps forward, her heels seem to have come off and she's left them to a side. The room Kennedy finds herself in is a slightly larger cell than the one she'd been in previously. When did they move her again? Maybe when she was knocked out with exhaustion? "If you've got questions," Maria notes with a small smile, "Ask him." She gestures to the man, invitingly.
Kennedy winces at the light, and her eyes stay squinted for a while. She looks over the man, though, before her gaze flicks over to Maria. "Because I'm suppose to believe anything any of your people say? Please. You all haven't even been truthful about was /day/ it is, let alone anything important." Her gaze goes back to the man, just eyeing him, and looking uncomfortable under that stare.
"It's Tuesday," replies the man in a whispered voice. His stare continues to remain on the kin, unblinking and unmoving. Is he even really looking at her? Maria curls a lip corner up. "There is that popular phrase from that one pirate movie. What was it... about distrusting honest men, and trusting dishonest ones?" Her attention goes to her heels on the side. "Go on, ask another one."
"Pirate movie? Gee, Maria. I didn't take you for the dinner and a movie type. Which one takes you out? The big guy? He's strapping." Kennedy eyes the man again, her brow furrowing. "Well, you see, Maria... you /want/ me to ask him questions which makes me... want to do anything but."
"I prefer to watch alone," Maria says in a way that perhaps is true, and perhaps is not. The man speaks next. "You want to know if he's well. He's not." The stare doesn't move, doesn't blink. One wonders if he's got muscles in those eyelids of his. "He's hurt."
"You hear that? Maria likes to watch," Kennedy says to the man with a crooked smirk on her face Winkwinknudgenudge. But, when he speaks, she sobers up. "Look. This is really very pointless. There's no way you can convince me you're telling the truth. Or that you aren't spinning things to get a reaction out of me, so you might as well stop the staring."
"He's hurt because he thinks you're dead." Again with the brutal honesty. "Gone. Abandoned." The man's eyes finally twitch, but they don't blink yet, just do that little bit of dilating at the pupils. Maria mirrors the crooked smirk, but for entirely other reasons. She's enjoying this as much as Kennedy might not be.
"You figured that one out all by yourself? Maria, you've clearly got a genius on your hands here. A man's upset because his wife is dead." Kennedy tenses at those later two words, although she doesn't comment. Her gaze flicks over to Maria, though. "Enjoying the show, Maria?"
Maria looks quite content to watch. Maybe she /does/ like to do that. "You were his shield. You were his defense. Hope." Steadily, the man continues on unfazed by the kin's side conversations. "You always enjoyed the sea." His eyes must be awfully dry by now, except they're not. In fact, they seem to be getting wetter. They're welling with tears, in fact.
"You need to shut up," Kennedy says to the man, anger baaarely restrained in that tone. "You don't know anything about Nick or me or what we are to one another. And I hate the sea." Now she's just being difficult.
"And you're hurting too." The man doesn't shut up. He drones on. "Two hearts, each four chambers. One brings the life, the other gives life. Together." He shifts his weight, swaying lightly in place. Maybe he's weak? But that doesn't seem to be the case. "Seas are rough now, Kenny."
"Again. Brilliant. I hadn't noticed my own pain, thanks for pointing it out." Kennedy looks over at Maria, choosing to ignore the man in favor of staring down the mage. Funny how reminiscent it is of her fuzzier cousins.
Maria is maintaining a nice, safe distance. So one would hope. She eyes Kennedy right back, and keeps herself from touching some of those bruises about her pretty little face and throat. "He'll Dance. His hope will come back to him," speaks the man as he stops swaying. The hands at his side that haven't gone anywhere suddenly move as they raise up. He reaches for the space around Kennedy's face, fingers slightly curled and palms faced in, almost like he were going to cup her cheeks.
"Shut the /fuck/ up," Kennedy says to the man at those words, her gaze darting between the two. "I swear to god, Maria, if you don't get this guy out of my face I'm going to finish what I started with your face." When his hands reach up toward her face she does what anyone would do. She bites him. >:E
Her teeth get ahold of a finger and bite down hard. The man's reaction? To curl his fingers and make it a little tougher to chew upon tightened muscle in that hand. The other hand, however, cups her face since it's a little preoccupied. It's not a pleasant taste, the bland and slightly salty flavor of his skin. But he appears to not notice just how much pain there should be lancing its way down his hand and up his arm. That same finger she's biting on, along with the rest of the fingers on that hand, take ahold of her jaw and press upon her tongue. Maria? She looks amused.
Kennedy looks mostly weirded out at the man's reaction and she eyes him a bit before her jaw relaxes a bit. But, Maria's amusement gets the glare. It seems to be something akin to a warning shot, as that glare fixes on Maria and while the man focuses on her, she concentrates and unleashes her more painful ability, aiming at the mage.
Maria arches a brow at that glare. She apparently doesn't expect the next attack at all, and it catches her completely off guard. The woman suddenly cries out from the lancing pain that strikes her. It very nearly drops her like a stone. She crumples down to a knee. There's still no reaction from the man but that open stare at Kennedy from somewhat close up. She might not be paying attention to him, but he's definitely watching her. His hand twitches to extract from her relaxed jaw. Let's not pay attention to the ring of teeth marks and ooze of blood coming from those marks from the broken skin. Much more interesting is Maria's strong reaction to that psychic attack. She's kneeling there, panting and gasping to catch her breath. By the time she recovers, she does look like she's in pain. And oh, is she even more angrier than Kennedy has ever seen her!
Kennedy doesn't react much when maria goes down. Certainly no surprise there, and no sympathy, either. But when ose fingers leave her mouth, she works her jaw a little before noting, "Maybe you should sit, Maria. You don't look at all well." And then she looks back to the man. "You're excused."
"No excuses," replies the man simply. Sheesh, it's like he's got no emotion at all. Or some awesome way to control them. Maria struggles to keep her feet. Her expression is caught between pain and rage. Oh, not too different from what Kennedy's had a few times in her life, right? It's a while before the mind mage can speak. And the first words out of her mouth are, "You bitch."
"Was that a joke?" Kennedy asks the man with a bit of a crooked smile. But, her attention is mostly taken by Maria. "Oh ho ho, Maria. Language. Also, you're paranoid. I'm strapped to this table, after all. Helpless, remember? At the mercy of you and your variety show of creepy males."
Still looking like she's in a bit of pain, Maria manages to move over to that table. Maybe she's not that afraid after all. Or she's just angry enough to ignore that fear. With a hand, she reaches out and takes ahold of Kennedy's throat to squeeze it tightly. Her nails dig in to the skin. And Maria, looking Kennedy square in the eyes, seems to focus on one thing. White hot, blinding pain fires through the kin's own mind. And it doesn't just flare and die like a firework. No, this one lasts for some time. Ooh, she touched a sore spot.
Kennedy meets that stare, tensing as the other woman take her throat. She takes short, panicked breaths through her nose, just trying to focus on not outwardly reacting too much. But the pain does get an initial cry, her whole body going ridged. But, even through the pain, she keeps her stare right on Maria's.
It's hard to count through that pain how many seconds, minutes, it lasts. But it eventually cuts off once Maria seems to have satisfied her brief revenge. Her hand comes off Kennedy's throat with a hard scratch of those nails down the kin's skin. Then she turns abruptly to move off towards the door of this larger room. The man with no emotion stands there unmoving. And he continues to stand there, even as Maria gets to the door. Her head bows a moment, expression hidden but her body also tense, stiff, pained. Then the lights are flicked off and the cell plunges back into darkness.
When her throat is released and the pain ends, Kennedy coughs a few times before she glares at Maria's retreating back. "Coward." She practically spits the word. Her eyes flick to the man, but she just focuses on breathing again and relaxing after that pain. The lights going out is taken as a kindness, as the kin can cry silently without witnesses.