2007-09-27: Exeunt

Kellie_icon.gif

Rainer

After escaping the hospital wing, Kellie makes her way up to the management offices in search of an old friend.

September 27, 2007

Chapter Two

Truce

Exeunt


Primatech Research: Management Level

"Go home to your family, Bennet. I'm taking a last minute trip back out to Hartsdale for the day. Just remembered some unfinished business." Rainer Madson had said several hours ago.

He was true to his own word and steadfast dedication to his work, and look where it got him: trapped, for all intents and purposes: in an out-of-the-way area of the facility, the main surveillance room, trying to stop everything from falling apart more than it already has. Tough luck there. Rainer is surrounded by security feeds, about sixty-five of which are still functional, and computers, he can see everything from here. The alarm blares overhead, warning lights in yellow and danger lights in red flash from various consoles. "Reroute group F to the back, send the others down to block the exits — well, Christ, find someone alive to get it done!" He slams the black phone in his hand on the surface of a desk, testing the limited of its coiled cord. "We're running out of time!"

The scene on the cameras is an unpleasant one. People are on fire, stuck beneath debris, trampling each other trying to get out of the building. All of their careful planning and safety drills, and for what? Human nature has taken over. Some are calm. Most are in a panic.

Nowhere on the monitors can Kellie be seen. The last time a camera caught her, she was in the stairwell, headed up towards the hospital. It has been quite some time, indeed, since she threw a man through the doors and followed him out onto the hospital floor. Then the camera in that particular stairwell went black - as did the entire hospital wing, but for flashes of fire and gunshots in the dark.

But now, down the hall, there comes a new sound: a pounding, dull, sickly, at the door at the end of the hallway.

The receiver of the phone is sill clenched in a knuckle-whitening grip when the unnerving sound reaches Rainer's over the insistent alarm. He eyes the door of the surveillance room, not making any hasty decisions. He brings the phone to his ear. Dead air on the other line where a man was updating him on the situation on Level 4, one level above hell, as it were, only moments ago. His mouth straightening into an even straighter line, Mr. Madson moves slowly across the room to set the phone back in its place - a mundane detail, at a time like this - and withdraws his Company-specialized .45 caliber semiautomatic from its holster under his jacket. He flattens his back against the wall beside the door handle, opens it quickly, and glances into the breach, gun at the ready.

The hallway is quiet, but for that rhythmic pounding. Thud. Thud. Thud. There's a crack, and the next time something pounds at the door, there's a wet quality to the sound. That can't be good. When the door opens, something falls through, crumpling to the ground. An agent, his flesh charred and bloody, face unrecognizable.

"Was he yours, Rainer?" Kellie's voice is melodic as she steps through the open door, pitched to carry down the hall. Her condition is difficult to ascertain, as most of her frame is obscured by another agent, conscious and terrified, is shoved ahead of her. The only sound he makes is a moaning, and he is clearly in agony. Something is strange about her gait, but it isn't immediately apparent what may be causing the limp. It could just be her struggle to keep her hostage in front of her, protecting her. "I think this one is, too. I found them downstairs." Ducking her head down below the man's shoulder, a wicked smirk sneaks onto her face, and she calls out, "Here, kitty, kitty. Come get your kitten."

Someone could be trapped. A good agent to this Company, trapped. The pounding plays at Rainer's sense of loyalty, but it plays on his well-bred suspicion just as much. He removes a wireless radio from his jacket pocket. "This is Madson, do we have any agents situated on eastern side of the office wing…"

That melodic voice.

"…report…" Silence on the radio. It's probably scorched, along with the man himself. Rainer puts his own away. He moves slowly into full sight, although he's partly blocked by the door. "Think you've caused enough death and destruction for one day, Kellie," he rumbles, weapon trained on her - thus the hostage, by default. "Hell. You've caused enough for all your lifetimes, if you were to believe in that reincarnation crap. Put 'im down."

It just goes to show how twisted you people are," Kellie purrs as she advances down the hallway, her gait still off, her voice possessed of a faint hint of strain if he listens close enough, "that you think any of this will ever be enough." Still advancing, drawing nearer, the hostage in her grasp is still groaning in pain. His arms have both been charred, hanging limp and useless at his sides.

"Were you calling for help? Don't bother." Something flares behind the hostage, an amber light as flames spring to life on his clothes. They spread quickly, engulfing his back. Half a second later, the man is stumbling all too fast towards Rainer, helpless as Kellie thrusts him forward.

The second her hand is free, she throws her palm forward, and a rolling ball of fire crashes into the ceiling. It's only a matter of time before debris will begin falling, now.

Rainer, with no time to answer, let alone help the hostage in any way, shape or form, throws a sturdy arm up to block the burning man who comes hurtling toward him. It does little good, in the long run: he's bowled over, into the confines of the surveillance room. The dark brown of his suit is already seared by flame as he shoves the doomed fellow off his chest. Fire licks his face, his hands. He rolls the increasingly charred form aside so he may stagger to his feet, trying to make out the woman's form again.

"Kellie!" he shouts over the noise of everything: the constant alarm, the crackle of flames, the inevitable fall of debris. Quieter: "God rest, Fallon," Rainer tells the man under his breath before putting two bullets in his chest to put him out of his flaming misery. "Kellie! What now?" Madson shouts. "After all this is said and done!"

In the noise, the smoke, Kellie has moved. She is not where she was a moment ago. When next she speaks, however, her voice is all too close to Rainer. "There's a plan." At that precise moment, the door to security swings fully open, and Kellie is upon him. Her hand closes around his throat, instantly warm.

The proximity now should be enough for him to make out the extent of her injuries. Though one hand grips him tightly, the other hangs limp at her side, a dark wound in her shoulder inhibiting her from movement. Another wound in her side has soaked her pale shirt through. The cause of her limp is a third wound in her leg, this one still bleeding freely whereas the other two have slowed. There are burn marks on her clothes, some soot on her hands and face.

"But you'll never live to see it," Kellie purrs, the heat from her grip around his throat growing more intense by the second. Given her injuries, the wild look in her eye, she must be running on adrenaline and very little else. "You've played your part, Rainer."

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