2007-08-17: DF: The Dead Man's Zone


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Summary: Logan and Trina get to have a chat. She's nicer than Jack. Nathan gets to keep all nine fingers.

Dark Future Date: The Early Hours of August 17, 2009

The Dead Man's Zone

Dark Future - WCH - Packing Room

Weichsel House is an old-fashioned operation based out of one enormous room separated into sections by thick, opaque plastic curtains. One entire wall is dedicated to walk-in coolers and freezers. There are row after row of meathooks mounted on automated conveyors in the high ceiling, powered saws of all imaginable sizes and descriptions, and steel tables laid out with many hand-sized implements. Much of the equipment is still covered with dried blood. It looks as if the crew dropped what they were doing in the middle of a workday, walked out, and never came back. All that's missing is the meat. A creaky, shallow staircase at one side of the room leads up to a large, enclosed loft with a stout door and heavily shuttered windows.

Somewhere, in the space of the massive packing room, a large cage has been dragged into the area. If one knows ones cages, it's obvious that it used to hold livestock - animals for the slaughter of the Weichsel House. Right now? It's Logan's new home, and now that he's alone, he's attempting sleep. He stays right in the middle of the cage, as if wary of being near the sides, flat on his back and staring up at the barred ceiling, and the roof beyond that. His hand has long since stopped bleeding, but he has a whole sleuth of new bruises and cuts, as if he's been in regular brawls. Which he kind of has.

It's late, late at night, and he's coming to terms with the fact that sleep is not going to occur, no matter how much he wills it. With a pained groan, he sits up, and sort of grab walks towards the door of the cage. That's when the metal clanking starts as he rhythmically starts kicking at the bars. Because you never know.

Late, late at night. That means it's the perfect time for Saints to move. With Cass now safe and the crew retired for the evening, that has left one entirely sleepless mechanic with nothing to do except worry. Her gut has been a tiny ball of agonizing acid since she and the Saints' lieutenant left this very warehouse on rather strained terms with the Shepherd. That's why Trina had to come back, you see. Leaving on a sour note was something she had willed a long time ago to not do.

Regret, after all, was a bitch.

There's the rumble of chains and the bay door, likely now easily recognized by the captive held within the cage, as Trina pulls the big black van inside the main floor. Then there's the sound of her cutting the engine, opening the door, and landing on the concrete with her heavy black combat boots. And then? Then her voice, a nervous alto, dancing across the adjoining rooms. "Jack? Baby? Are you here?" Eventually, she crosses the threshold into the packing room, hands rubbing her bare arms distractedly as she tries to soothe her nerves. The room is still mostly dark, so she calls out again. "Jack?"

As soon as he hears the sound of a motor, the kicking stops, Logan's gaze snapping warily towards the source of the sound. Soundlessly, he gets to his feet, reaching up his left hand to hold onto a metal bar just inches above his head. Something to be said about confronting people when you're standing up, even if you're inside a reinforced cattle cage. He watches from his slightly better vantage point, from within the dark room rather than outside of it, when Trina enters the space, calling for her boyfriend.

Hello, Clarice.

No, he doesn't say that. But it wouldn't be inappropriate. Logan waits for a moment, as if deciding whether to ignore her or not, but ultimately, he calls out, sardonic, "I don't know where he is either. Throw on a light, maybe he's sneaking around in the shadows."

At the sound of the unfamiliar voice, Trina's attention snaps towards the cage that her beau has seemingly deemed appropriate for his purposes. Her eyes, blue in dark circles of sleepless worry, narrow from their previously wide curiosity into suspicious slits. In the end, however, she obeys. Her hand snakes out towards the switch on the wall, knowing exactly where to find it without needing to look for it. In rapid succession, a number of florescent lights heed her command, flickering to life. Some buzz in complaint, but still serve their purpose.

"You mean to tell me he just fuckin' left you here by yourself?" Her nearly black hair hangs down, falling to the middle of her back in mostly brushed cascades. Her tank top is stretched out from use and faded to a greenish black. Her jeans are tattered and worn. However, her lean form is quick to cast aside all signs of skittishness or worry. This is the time for bravado. "What a shitty host. I'll have to talk to him about it."

Logan steps forward, bare feet against cold cement. Trina's not the only one up to the game of putting on bravado. He keeps his four-fingered hand elevated, resting against his chest, but otherwise, there's a casualness there unfitting for man in his situation, still stripped down to bloodied tuxedo pants and unbandaged wounds on display. Leaning his non-bruised shoulder against the front of the cage, he now glances her over as harsh light flickers into being. "He could be better," he agrees. "He hasn't even offered me a drink yet. Times change, I guess."

"Yeah. Way I hear it, you weren't always such a fucker, either. Don't know that I *believe* it, but that's what I hear." Trina's nose crinkles as she studies Logan for a moment, eyes softening more than she is aware as she does so. Jack, do you even see what this man is doing to you? That, almost more than any reason, is why the president should not be here. Because he takes the man she loves so dearly and displays his insides to be every bit as scarred as the outside. And, just like the skin without, few realize the full extent of those scars. Oh, Jack. What have you done?

Slowly, the young woman begins walking around the cage, being sure to give it a sufficiently wide berth. It's best to keep this conversation simple. "How long ago did he leave?"

Don't approach the glass. Or the bars, in this instance. Logan just keeps watching her, as if willing her to come closer, but it seems as if Trina is currently smarter than that. That's fine too. And it does indeed that his presence seems to be bringing out the worst in Jack Derex — he's a walking testament to this, a product of outright torture. His lip curls when she asks him that question. "What the fuck do I look like to you, an attendance record?" he sneers.

At Logan's little display, Trina just stops short. Her blue eyes roll upward, even as she offers a little purse of her lips in contemplation. "That'd be a whole lot more helpful to me than You As Living Art Piece." She shrugs once as she allows her eyes to settle on him once more. "I never really dug the performance art thing. Gawd, those people get snotty."

The sneer is wiped away into a slight unhinged smile, one that doesn't reach his eyes. "Well you have your lover to thank for this," Logan says, then holds up his injured hand as if to wave, though it doesn't move. Just displays three long fingers, a thumb, and that obvious gap, messy and barely even clean. "Impressed? I wouldn't have thought he'd had it in him."

"Then you obviously weren't paying attention," Trina snarls back, finally showing a little bit of emotion. "Just like you don' know him now, and you don' have the first clue who the fuck I am. I'm more impressed with the way Jack can take a piss than with anythin' you can say, so just tell me how long ago he left." Then a bright smile erupts on her lips as Trina tucks a strand of hair behind her ear. "If you're nice, Mr. Rocket Man, maybe I'll get you some water."

The hand drops a few inches, but again, he doesn't let it hang by his side. His expression becomes stonier, smirk faded, but gaze still sharp. A small bout of silence, before Logan gives a jerk of a shrug. "Glass of water and some bandages, and maybe I'll even tell you where he was headed."

Trina's eyes narrow again, all amusement fading. Does her desire to find Jack outweigh her concern of making him unhappy were he to find out that she did anything to help Nathan Petrelli? Her foot taps in consideration. Jack? Don't be too mad, please.

Heaving a small sigh and frowning, the mechanic makes her way towards one of the bandage stash spots on a side wall. He's not getting much, though, she decides. A couple of square self-stick gauze bandages for quick field fixes. They're the delivery, but Trina still doesn't get close.

Two years in Hell has made her very wary of devils' deals. Instead, she uses her ability to build something of a shimmering ramp in the air, pointing down into that lion's cage before her. It is along that forcefield that she flicks the bandages, allowing them to follow said ramp into easy reach of the president. "There."

They will hardly do, but beggars can't be chooses. Logan snatches the bandages as if wary of them being taken from him, and he paces back towards the center of the cage. Gritting his teeth, he tries to cover the wound where his right ring finger should be, desperately attempting not to whimper out loud as the material makes contact. With a shuddery breath, he doesn't look up from his work as he adds, "And a glass of water."

Trina sets her jaw. He… really shouldn't be given anything of real substance. With a small growl, the woman stalks off in the direction of the kitchen. Swear on all that's holy, this had better be worth it. There's the sound of running water, and eventually the brunette emerges with a paper cup. She holds it from where she stands, considering. When she finally comes up with a plan, she lifts her chin so she can observe Nathan from the corners of her eyes from that up-turned face. "Chest against the bars. Arm out past 'em as far as it'll go. And no funny business, or so help me, you're gonna find yourself suddenly very sympathetic to the trash in your compactor."

It could be flattering, the caution here. Or just smart. Either way, Logan suppresses a smirk - only just - but does as he's told, shifting his body to press right up against the bars— almost. Almost smarmily, if this is possible, coupled with keeping his eyes directly on Trina's. He keeps his injured hand to himself, and so extends his left arm out, fingertips stretching. "I don't even have a clue what you mean by that, but I'll be good. It sounds unpleasant."

"It would be." For a good long moment, Trina debates just a little more. When she finishes her inner monologue, she slowly starts walking forward. Every muscle in her body is achingly tense as she draws near, blue eyes wide as she watches very, very carefully. In some ways, she resembles a deer, ready to bolt. However, human reason makes it so that she can have the courage — or stupidity — to keep moving forward, until at last the glass is within easy reach of Nathan's hand. Her face, however, is a mostly successful picture of firm resolve. "Where. Is. Jack."

If there were an opportunity to touch Trina, Logan doesn't take it. The cup is grabbed - but carefully, curbing enthusiasm with not wanting to spill a drop. He withdraws back from the cage, downing the water in a few quick gulps, and his stoic, casual facade cracks just a fraction in this show of desperation. Gasping in a breath once he's done, Logan looks towards her, then moves to offer her back the cup almost disdainfully. "Don't know," he says, before smiling widely. "But he left about a half hour ago. He'll be back soon, usually is."

"…" Trina's got a temper. It's now clearly visible, burning beneath the surface of her icy eyes and painting her cheeks a rosy pink as she abandons all care in order to snatch the glass back with a childish display of fury. Leaving any further evidence that she gave this asshole anything is only going to make Jack more angry at her. "Well, then I guess you'll just have to put up with me until he gets back."

The glass is taken, and Logan wraps that left arm around the bars he leans against, not bothering to mask his smugness at this one, small victory. In contrast, he keeps his now bandaged right hand away from the side of the cage, nearly behind him, protectively. "I could do worse in terms of company," he says, raising an eyebrow. A pause, and he snorts softly. "Believe me." Having a conversation with your own subconscious can get draining after a while.

"I don't think I could," Trina shoots back with a snippish tone, turning away at last to move back towards the light switch. Why? Because it isn't doing anybody any good to have them on. The cup is crushed angrily in her hand, only to be thrown violently towards a far wall. It should be noticed that the cup never makes it, only further infuriating her. Jack back soon. She can wait. "I can't wait until Jack finally puts you out of our misery."

"I can," Logan counters, bitterly. A lack of food and sustenance finally cashes some checks, and he slides down the bars to sit, still keeping an arm around wrapped around a couple. "You think this is right, what you're doing to me? Half the damage done to this world was a war I had to clean up after," he says, snappishness clipping his words as he glares at her through the semi-darkness. "Think of how many more would've broken out had someone not done something about it."

"You shoulda thoughta that before you had somebody rig the Den to blow." Proudly, she was the one who took care of those little men in their pretty little van. But Nathan need not know that. "It don't need to be right anymore. Ain't ever gonna be right anymore. All it's gotta get is better." Once the light are shut off, Trina makes her way to perch atop an old crate still standing against the wall. Her lips are now releasing her fury in order to simply frown. Once she's on that crate, she pulls her feet up to rest her heels on the crate edge. Her chin settles atop her knees as she hugs her leg, simply staring at the man in the cage. "And any world with you out of it has gotta be better."

Using the bars as leverage, Logan shuffles closer to where Trina has seated herself, dragging himself without needing to stand up to do so. "The country will run without me," he says, now a hint of a waver in his voice. "Everything will continue as it is now. I'm just one man, a symbol for something greater. Kill me, nothing will get better for you." There's a slide thud as he rests his head against a bar. "Use me, maybe it will. I could do a lot of change with the right motivation."

"You don't want to change anything," Trina sighs, eyes closing. She's so tired. All she wants is this whole nightmare to evaporate with the morning dew and leave them a world where things made a lick of sense. "My grandma used to say that politicians could only talk one word normal for every two words backtalk." When her eyes reopen, she smiles caustically. "You probably would have hated her. You probably had her shipped off to a camp."

In the dimness, Trina is awarded a flat, shark-like look, before Logan lifts his head to stare balefully towards the doors. His knees come up, unconsciously mimicking Trina's pose, bringing his right arm to rest around them. Already, those few bandages he as given have become a bright red. "Your grandma sounds like a brilliant, political mind," he states, dryly.

"And she would have been absolutely tickled to hear you say so." Her voice has a feigned mirth that finds not even an inch of purchase on her expression, Trina making conversation now for conversation's sake. Now she knows why Jack punches him and cuts his fingers off. It's so exhausting to just talk to him. "I mean. President and all that." Finally unable to just sit any longer, the young woman stretches out her lean legs so that she can stand back up. She closes the distance between herself and that fine, moral authority in the cage, keeping keen track of how far that arm of his stretched last time. She then squats down, arms draping over her knees and trying to really look him in the eye in that darkness. Her face, by a fortuitous bit of lighting on her part, ends up mostly falling in shadow, hiding a good deal of the premature wrinkles brought by wartime stress and hygiene. The war never really ended for them.

"You know I ain't gonna let you out without Jack's say so and Jack ain't gonna let you go any fuckin' where until he's good and ready. I know you'll say just about anything to try to convince me to. So why don't we just be honest, me and you?" Blue eyes narrow again, voice growing hushed. "Why? Why'd you do it to Jack? He was your friend. How could you give the fuckin' order? How could you do it and still wake up in the morning?"

Logan looks at her, checking the distance he has between she and he, but no, too far away. So he levels that gaze onto her eyes, dark brown with far less life than her blue. "People change," he says, delivering this very likely unacceptable answer with the lack of tone it deserves. "First thing I learned when I ran for office is that you… you need to cut your ties. Cut 'em away. For what it's worth, he was meant to die." He smiles, now, coldly in the half-light.

It's a quiet thing, Trina losing her temper this time. This time, however, she doesn't need to get close. Doesn't need to throw anything. No, all she has to do is form a little forcefield around Nathan. Which she does. And then all she has to do is start to press the top down. Which she does, her head starting to lower so her eyes can presumably remain even with his. If his head tilts, she'll tilt hers. Her lips curl up into a smile. "Yeah. I know."

He feels that pressure start to come down, and he jerks once against it. When there's no resistance, Logan takes a breath and forces himself not to fight, not to panic, back starting to curl as the forcefield descends, good hand groping out to find the limits before withdrawing again. "You wanted the truth," he points out, voice forcibly calm.

"I did," Trina replies simply, head continuing drop, back to curl and shoulders beginning to hunch as though it were her inside those confines. But it's not. And that makes her happy. And then the motion stops. Then the field dissipates entirely. However, the displaced Southerner never stretches back out, save one hand stretching out into the Dead Man's zone between them. "I never said I would like it." And with that, she moves to stretch a forcefield between the bars and between then… fully intending to slam him into the other side of the cage. It won't kill, if she manages. Won't break bone. But it will hurt. And right now, that's all she wants. Just something to release the furious ball of anger and hurt that churns in the pit of her stomach, threatening to make her ill. It's something.

It hurts. Logan slams into the bars, stripes of pain shooting up his body where the metal makes contact against his head, back, legs, and he slumps down against the ground, unabashedly groaning in pain as new bruises join the party. "Nice to see…" he grunts, as he pushes himself to his knees. "…that you and Jack share a hobby."

"We don't. Not really. But I thought you might be missin' him. I know I am." Pushing herself back up to her feet, Trina starts making her way towards the office with that same quiet, swaying step earlier, with arms wrapped back around herself. Why? Because it's better than sharing the room with this asshole. The cage must be secure, or Jack wouldn't have left him in it in the first place. Over her shoulder, however, the young woman continues to talk. "If Jack comes back tonight in any sort of mood, you might get to hear how much I missed him. I love noisy sex. And it echoes in here! It's fuckin' fantastic." There's a pause in both speech and step as Trina thinks. "No pun intended." Okay, right. Moving on! Yes! Now she is moving onward to the office! So she can brood in private until her beau gets back.

He's on his feet by the time Trina is walking away, and it takes every ounce of willpower not to ask her to come back, despite what she can do, what she just did. It gets dull, in a cage in the dark, with someone like Derex as occasional company. But, Logan holds it back, a hand gripping a bar to the door of the cage in absent frustration as she leaves.

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