2010-09-25: His Enemy






Date: September 25th, 2010


Maggie wakes up, now in captivity, and is informed of her purpose.

"His Enemy"

Maggie's eyes fly open, the same improbable blue dreaming as waking. There is exactly zero delay between the haze of waking and the vivid understanding of where she is. It's with an instant and vicious determination in which she takes in this new, colder reality — here, where a bed is replaced by something infinitely harder and her only partner is a man in black.

The entire room, so contrary to a so recent seeming one, is all on edge. Brisk, cold floors to near walls, bending inward near the ceiling to create a claustrophobic's sense of the structure caving in, swallowing. It would do well at that; everything's damp, dark, scratchy. From above, the singular light source being a decrepit old hanging lamp that's lost its cover there's a blare of harsh yellow, but fading, light, and the intermittent squeak-squeaking as it sways unreliably on a rusting chain.

This small circle of dirty yellow finds the detective's knees, defining the curves of her bold cheeks and jaw, but not beyond her. Past the lamp's sad efforts is the shadow man, clinging to his dark friends still now as even the glow of his active cell-phone shies fearfully away from casting attention to those skeletal features.

"… She's awake." A rumble; unusually low, no longer painful. Still fattened by menace. Dull click of the phone snapping shut, and the rustle of coat as it's stored; the action nearly recalls a nicer rustle of the past — like something from so long ago… "And you took your sweet time doing it— clinging to futile dreams, detective?"

Straight into the fading light above, Maggie stares upward; it washes her every feature washed out with sickly yellow until her head snaps down and she stares, blinking, into the shadows. Groping every unknown corner, her sights navigate to the vague glow of a cell phone that could just as easily be a light spot in vision— she knows it's not.

Creak, Maggie jolts against the chair she's found herself in, harshly tugging against every point of resistance: a body freed of her jacket and vest, left to the white blouse, twists spitefully; shoulders careen ahead, their movement abruptly arrested by hands tied behind her back; thighs flex violently in denim confines when her ankles prove to be treated the same. That doesn't stop her from trying again, testing every limit. Hair falls in angry wisps into her face, half-in, half-out of her ponytail. She glowers toward the man through it. "You drugged me," she accuses as her only answer, her voice attacking him husky and lilted on her re-awakening. And let's not waste time: "You obviously know who I am— what do you want."

Some clearing of Maggie's vision — though the constantly swinging light makes adjustment to the dark beyond doubly difficult — reveals the shadow man to be perched on his own seat, but not fully; he's backed up onto the railing of some set of stairs, one leg thrown up higher than the other and his arm over that. His hands come together in front of him, utterly relaxed in the darkness where the detective struggles. Eyes fix on her attempts, void of concern or annoyance — let her try; he's confident in their holding. "You let me do it easy," responds her captor, tossing his bald head to the side, scanning some damp, dripping wall off at the left with a wisp of boredom. "As for what I want— you're already doing it."

A push and pull and the strong physical thrashing about ends; Maggie's struggles fade, but not out of any kind of resignation other than acceptance of the strength of her restraints. Her whole body is poised with a ready tension as she leans ahead as far as she can, which, all told, is barely at all. She blinks through every swing of light and change of shadows, and beneath heatedly furrowing brows, her stony focus stays precisely, exacting, on the man's position. "Yeah — and what's that," she prompts flatly; the woman's next words are just as even, but purposefully clear antagonism. "It's not just you who wants me here though, is it — I think you're an animal trained to follow somebody's orders. Where's your owner?"

"He'll be along… if he has time for you," is the cool response. "You're here— " but the head tips, skewing fact into brush-off, "You could be anywhere. In fact, it could be you, or any other whore." No venom to the word; it's flowed off his tongue so matter-of-fact he could have been calling her detective again. "So why don't you now sit tight and be glad to have a life of purpose instead of a corpse stinking up the earth alongside that fuck-up of an FBI agent."

She does — sit tight. There isn't much else Maggie can do, restrained as she is, except for glare, and talk, both of which she has down to a science. A malcontented frown stretches her mouth straight and thin over a flash of teeth, delaying the talking for at least a few moments.

"That FBI agent," she says with a flash of defense for the deceased, her voice then cooling down into tones — while angry, certainly — not exactly typical of a captive: logical, collected, fearless, matter-of-fact like the bald-headed man her eyes seek out so vigilantly. " — had a name, and a reason for being here." Here is thrown briefly into question with a glance to the vague impression of stairs near her captor, "He was on to something. Not that I'm not— thrilled… to have life of purpose, really, I am— but it couldn't… just be anyone, anywhere. It wasn't Agent Hamm. He was killed, and I have a purpose. Why. Is it because I'm a woman?"

That long nose is looked down over her defensiveness towards the dead; he scoffs, boldly, loudly, and with a toss of his pale head. Beyond this beacon of skin, the very walls appear to claw possessively at the man's body, tempting him to the shadows he seems to have been born from. Maggie's vigilance is an exercise in squinting against enemies. "Does a mere name make a man worthy of mention?" Barely a challenge, when the answer is already determined: "Not when it is one he's been given instead of earned." Signs of a sneer warp one side of his mouth to an ugly crease.

It doesn't exactly fade at the next, but lends his speech a consistently disgusted lilt on top of his practicality. "As far as it concerns me," an important rumble, "you are anyone— and the one— " calm hands twitch now, curling into themselves restlessly; subtle flexes in his neck are more difficult to pick up, but the strain of impatience — hunger — are there to be heard, "to bring him," and the eyes alight more even than the lamp with a ferocious hatred, "from his pathetic hiding."

No reply to a question answered himself no matter Maggie's own opinion, no great revelation for the next; instead, a small nod of calculation from the bound detective, barely discernable from the changeable play of shadows. Dismissive of the passion of the man's hatred directed toward "him", Maggie's narrow-eyed stare into the dark is unchanging as, in a guileless manner, she points out, "You're going to have to be more specific."

Flawlessly, the sneer becomes a smirk; they are neighbor expressions in snubbing the detective's attempts. Where his hands have become fists, he relaxes them, splaying long — long and calloused — fingers against his dark clothing. "No," he states evenly, with a dispassionate slither of his head to the side, "No, I'm really not."

"Alright," Maggie accepts quite calmly, "that's probably true. I'm in no position to coerce you." She leans back firmly against the uncomfortable chair, even that simple motion strictly dictated by her restraints. It's grudgingly she quiets, but as she sits in silence — however temporary — it's with considerable patience. She quits struggling to see through the dark, relaxing, relatively speaking, into an open stare at the man as if she can see his every detail and characteristic, physical and otherwise.

All's well to the man; barely a shift of his seat on the railing and his contentedness to wait out whatever's next is clear. Some wriggling of his shoulders is only for display as he knows of, but does not return, Maggie's examinations. There's nary a speck to interest him in the woman now that she's bound; he finds all of his interest in shadowy corners, spaces where tedious drips can be heard but not seen and the pitter-patter is insects or rodents or other crawling beasts.

All sounds that settle around Maggie and adapt her to the nature of her new surroundings. The passage of time goes on as it's wont to do, and she's as quiet as her captor throughout, if not as content; but calm on the surface, and motionless. Until, that is, her steady watch drifts away with a turn of her head, and she glances up to where the wall curves into ceiling, seeming casual. She's the one to bring about the next that interrupts her captor's wait.

"You might not care about me…" An indifferently posed fact which she is definitely not offended by. His lack of interest doesn't dissuade her from speaking forever, clearly. Eyes back on the shadow man. "But him… he makes you very angry, the person I'm supposed to bring," Maggie states as rationally as if she weren't tied up speaking to a kidnapper, sharing these observations not, per se, as accusations— just as they are. "You take orders, but there's something in all of this for you. You hate him." Thoughtful curiosity touches an otherwise cool voice. "Something he did. Something he represents to you."

Bright eyes against shadows roll a bit; there goes the detective again— can't keep her mouth shut. There is naught indulgent in the way he regards her when she speaks, and it only worsens from then. That distinct emphasis — the unnamed entity. "Not supposed to," an ominous storm settling in, the hints of heaviness in the air and rising winds. The shadow rises also. "You will." Gets off of his perch, his make-shift balcony throne, and descends to the ground level with a thud of a step disturbing the dark shapes of the floor. "And," he carries on in slow approach, in rising tide, "He— will crawl to the feet of his master like the dog who's lost his bite— "%RThere, into the boundary of the lamp, he steps — stands — looms. His height is unbounded. Finally, what light dares to flicker past his face, all sallow, and almost demon. "And he will be put down like the mongrel he is."

Bit by bit, Maggie's head cants backward to properly meet the malevolent face looming above, tensing further in his closer presence but only just; around the anger already steeled behind her all-encompassing regard of him is approval. There he is — hate, all the better to see him by. Put down like the mongrel he is— a twitch of contempt is prompted at her mouth; she shrugs it off, half-aborted by her hands-behind-her-back position, to give a small, soft, dismissive sound instead, "Mm, he doesn't sound like a very good guy," …this theoretical guy she certainly doesn't know the identity of… "I can tell you'd go to great lengths…" she says slowly, blinking up at the man, "Is it revenge? What did he do … did he betray you?"

"There's no need to lower yourself," he directs her, raising a long bony finger to circulate the air around her face, her mussed hair, "to pretending. We aren't here to chat. You. Hiding behind your 'good's and your 'lawful's. I see your anger— " The finger curls in, invading Maggie's unprotected space, steadily jabbing in to where that twitch was, as though it's left residue. After giving her skin a creasing push, he brings the finger to his mouth, pressing a mock-kiss to the tip that touched her. "He's in you like an itch." Plays at affection turn rotten; he snaps his fingers against that one, flickering whatever taste remained into the ether. "I imagine it will be therapeutic to be the instrument by which he is utterly destroyed."

Perhaps Maggie's captor ought to be glad she didn't bite him in that instance, for all the resentment that flares and lingers after the touch to her skin, in her space. "Oh, I'm not," she says matter-of-factly and gives her head a small shake that tumbles more pale hair in her way, tries to obscure the lift of the eyebrow beneath. Voice then lowering, smoothing out an increment, words ever-so-slow, she says, "…pretending. I can't think of anyone I know who fits the description of a crawling dog… definitely with no master worthwhile…"

Flashframe of pride. On him, it's nearly as wretched as the anger. It boils just the same, leading him to lean into her — again, that space — and now with the whole of his too tall body. Large hands clamp down on the sides of the chair. "It will happen," he huffs arrogantly into her face, cold burning eyes watching her movements lest she mistake closeness for vulnerability. "I saw it happen already. When the mighty Roscoe— " Protesting squeaks are the chair bending underneath his clenching, twisting grip. Perhaps Maggie's lucky her captor did not choose to grab her. "— chose to scramble after a poor screaming woman than face me." Slowly, his neck unwinding in a snake-like slither, his face passes up that strict watch in order for the last to be spoken with intimate thunder into her ear. "I will make you scream for him again."

Toward the stairs now vacated by the man now rumbling into her ear — so direct as to almost revive the painfulness his voice once carried — Maggie hardens. Her jaw tightens, a flicker in the close quarters; she slides her gaze to the side, where he's so undesirably near, and exercises willpower to stay very still otherwise. Her own voice couldn't be farther from thunder, but she quiets it down to the same intimate level — albeit steeped in hate for her captor. "I guess he likes me more." Which has perhaps brought her to this chair.

Maggie leans backward as far as she can, extending her neck back from the man as far as she can, too; she glares up-close. "You realize, of course, that you're chasing a ghost; he might have earned being called Roscoe … but it's not his name."

"More to his undoing." Fortunate for the captive, this intimacy cannot last. Her new words have him pushing against the chair with a complaining groan of the now bent material. "I know the nature of the traitor," he grits out to her face before being compelled to turn in dissatisifed pace. It doesn't get him far; there simply isn't enough room to get a good path going.

Instead, he ends up in an angry half-arc that puts him again in the shadows where he belongs. But the presence of darkness does not calm him. "That low, sniveling liar. That sad excuse." One might think the shadow man protests too much; tonally revealing a severely personal condescenion. But it's still condescion all the same. "He killed," a lean into the light, just so she can perfectly read the cruel curve of his lips, "Make no mistake— he killed whoever we said." Sliding away, a caress of shadows mirrors the same he gives to the gun revealed underneath his jacket when he goes to touch it. All of his pretty statements, his elaborate language, crackle around the edges with the pressure of his wrath inside; his hand twitches. It craves the violent pull of that trigger it caresses. "But he revealed himself a coward. And for that he will be put out of his fucking misery."

By the time the man has returned to his shadows, Maggie almost looks bored. Not comfortable — ever angry — but at the very least, the captive appears undaunted by all the captor has to say, unmoved by his cruel mouth or his trigger-happy hand; unsurprised. Yet through this, unseen attempts at twisting and turning of her wrists bound by cord, stretching of fingers behind her. "A coward…" she repeats in quiet skepticism, roaming eyes finding, again, the familiar pattern of shadows. "He's the coward," louder skepticism is outright sarcasm, finished slowly: "when you and your boss have waited this long to kill him…?"

"Unfortunately, these things take time." The voice is heard first — perhaps the shadow man's words to Maggie covered the sound of the door opening, the first few footfalls of the man slowly descending the steps. "However, sometimes — and I've always believed this, my dear — patience is a virtue." The voice sticks to the shadows, the outline of its owner barely visible against the dark black of the walls. It circles around Maggie, watching, studying, until finally it comes to a stop on the other side of the room. It remains silent, stoic, and it continues to watch the women for a long moment before it finally moves.

A dull scraping sound breaks the silence, the sound of rust on concrete grating throughout the room as the man pulls a chair to the center. He steps into the harsh yellow circle of light, his features clearly definable and easy to see for Maggie.

Vincent Salvatore.

He lifts the chair up, bringing it down in between Maggie and himself. As he dusts the seat of the chair off and lowers himself into it, he can't help the smirk that crosses his fast. He was in this room once before with the very man they're trying to lure here… albeit, that was under very different circumstances. He had to deal with a filthy betrayal, and then his most trusted killed him… and now even his most trusted has betrayed him as well. Funny how those things seem to come around like that.

He places his gaze on the shadow man for a few moments, before turning his eyes back to Maggie, taking in the general look of her appearance. She doesn't seem too worse for wear. It seems he can trust his associate didn't do any lasting damage. Not that he really cares — after all, if anything, hurting her will probably just make "him" show up sooner.

"So," he begins, crossing his hands across his lap, leaning back in the chair, and smiling slightly at the woman across from him. "Maggie Powers. We finally meet face to face."

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