2007-08-08: DF: The Willful Slaughter of Hope


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Guest Appearance:


Summary: Serve your husband as your master, and guard against him as a traitor… The Petrellis make a gruesome discovery when they check up on one of their comrades. Terrible secrets are revealed and a trust is broken.

Dark Future Date: August 8, 2009

The Willful Slaughter of Hope

Megan's Apartment

Checking on members and contacts would be a much longer process if they'd had more. Peter's group has never been one of the more popular ones— but they did something many of the Resistance groups didn't. They accepted former Company people far more readily. Those with the tags, or those who'd actually been Agents, were given refuge if they agreed to fight the fight. Hard not to do this, when you're married to one. The fifth floor of the apartment complex they teleported into is mostly empty, but he tells her to keep a hand on his coat, just in case they need to teleport out fast. He's not the most popular face in the city right now— even if the Alliance believes he's been set up. Proof… that's hard to find. Never one to knock anymore, he didn't even bother to teleport into the hallway. They end up in the living room.

Megan Deatley's apartment is sparse in what it holds. It has the necessities, bedroom, kitchen, living room, but lacks much in any sort of decoration. There's a picture of her family resting on a table, but that seems to be it for sentimental items. In fact, it's like time stands still in this room. The calendar hanging in the kitchen hasn't had it's days changed for four days. It's always August 4th here, now. The door leading to the hallway is closed, but there's a breeze coming from somewhere, the street noise easy to be heard. The smell is what might get to them first, stale blood and something overrripe. It's kept to a minimum thanks to some ventilation, but it's still present and hard to mistake. It's also hard to miss the blood staining the carpet and the dead body sprawled out on the floor with the top of it's head sliced off. Megan Deatley lays with a vacant and very dead expression. A clock rests by one of her hands, broken.

Kate knows that smell well. It's something she dealt with quite a bit as a homicide detective. It coats the back of her throat. Breathing in through the mouth almost makes it worst. It's like she can taste it. Kate knows that Megan Deatley is dead before her eyes ever quest to the floor to find the woman's body. And when she does spot that body…

Well, it's just good that Kate hasn't got any sort of offensive power.

"No! No, no, no, no, nonononononono!" Kate drops to the floor and scrambles over to the fallen woman. "Megan! MeganmeganmeganmeganNO!" It's never surprising when they lose someone. It's less surprising when the body is that of a former Company affiliate. But this… Not Megan. Not like this.

This isn't right. None of this is right. This is a bad dream. Her head has been opened up and her brain is gone. Kate shakes her head in disbelief. No. It's a copycat. It has to be. "MEGAN!"

Never a homicide detective, Peter doesn't have the same exact memories to prepare him for the smell, but the last couple of years… he's gained a certain affiliation with this particular smell. Death is a common thing in their world. Even then… it's not so common that he dismissed it offhand. A hand goes to his mouth, to cover his nose and as if to avoid throwing up or breathing it in, and his eyes fall on Megan when Kate runs over to get to her side and scream. Dead. She won't be able to answer. Glancing up to see the missing top of her head, the empty skull— a copycat.

Only someone knows differently.

There's a hint of a sound, as if a grunt, and he turns away to look at the rest of the apartment. Window's opened, there's a calander and a clock… His skin might be pale, but he's not screaming and trying to deny it. If anything, he's closing off— and looking a little ill.

The clock.

Pale, trembling fingers reach out toward the broken time piece. Kate's bony digits make contact and she immediately slumps over on the floor next to Megan's body. Only she's not unconscious. Kate stares up at the ceiling, eyes wide and terrified, mouth opened in a silent scream. Seeing without seeing.

"Kate," Peter calls out when he sees her take the clock, knowing exactly what she's doing and apparently not approving even if… he already has a good idea what she's seeing. There's a pause, while she takes in whatever piece of what happened here that she sees, and he reaches into his coat and pulls out a small digital camera. Older in style, but still functional, with a memory card. It's what he has, and what he can use. And he actually starts to take photographs. Not of the body— not with his wife sitting there in the frame, but of other things to start, the open window— the marked day. "She died the night of the train accident," he says in a thick voice, a grunt almost.

With a startled cry, Kate's vision abruptly ends. She scrambles away from the clock and from Megan, feeling frantically at her own forehead. Everything still appears to be where it should be. Especially since her mind is racing. Huddled in a corner now with her knees drawn up to her chest, Kate rocks back and forth with tears streaming down her face. She has no response to Peter at this time.

With his wife backing into a corner and curling up to cry, Peter pockets his camera for later and walks over to her, glancing towards the body one last time, before he kneels down. "It is him, isn't it? You saw him…" He doesn't need to say who he is, but he doesn't sound very much in denial to this whole thing. He should be. Isn't he the one who came back and said he'd killed him? And who drank himself into a stupor for weeks— that she needed to almost physically pull him out of?

Hazel eyes suddenly snap up and focus again. On Peter. The woman behind those eyes is not one he's seen in a long time. Not since he all but destroyed her left arm. So it really shouldn't come as any surprise when the frightened woman lashes out like a frenzied animal. "You son of a bitch," she shouts at takes after him with fists and nails, "you said you killed him! You swore that you killed him! You said you did it for me!!"

For the first few hits, Peter doesn't make any move to stop her. The fists pound against him, but when her fingernails dig into his face and drawing blood, he reaches up to grab her wrists, similar to the way he'd done that night when he burned her arm so badly that it never quite healed. He's not angry now, though. There's no heat or flash of fire as the bloody lines on his face heal over. "I fought him for everyone," he says in a thick voice. "But I— I didn't kill him. You know why I didn't. You know why I couldn't…" There's a glance downwards, and he lets go of her wrists again. She can hit him all she wants. "I didn't think he could come back— thought I'd trapped him forever— that he'd never get out."

Kate's rage remains unabated. Once released, she just picks up where she left off. Lashing out is the only thing to keep her from screaming in terror. "Now you know why you should have," she growls as she throws another punch. "More people are going to die because of him!" Somewhere, at one point in time, there was - maybe still is - a Company file on Kaydence Lee Damaris, stating that she swears her desire to see Gabriel Gray dead stems from her need to protect people - just as she had as a cop - and rid the world of a violent serial killer. That same file also says that there is nothing altruistic about her real reasons. The ultimate in selfishness, Kate only wants to see Gray dead because she fears what he'll do to her, given the chance. If he vowed only to kill one last person - her - she would still cry out for his blood and swear it's for the protection of all.

"I didn't kill him because of you," Peter says, allowing her to scratch another furrow out of his skin, and not bothering to stop her this time. She can keep bashing him and scratching him. He's not about to stop her physically— not yet. Not as if the damage won't heal. "Hunting him down and killing him would've made me no better than he was— remember that? Remember that conversation? When you tested me." He hopes she does. "That's all I could think about when I went to find him. And when I found him. I couldn't kill him because I wasn't ready to be the person I'd have to be to do it." But he has less quams with killing people now, doesn't he?

"Th- That was so different, then." Kate slumps finally in defeat. Her limbs fall weakly at her sides, palms pressed against the floor. "I can feel him in here, Peter. I can feel that he was here. It hurts. My head hurts. It's so loud." If he were to probe at her mind now, he would find the ticking to be positively deafening. "I thought we could contain him once. But we can't." One last half-hearted slap to his face and Kate begins to cry again. "All this time, I thought I was losing my mind. The visions of him. I thought that I was going crazy. You should have told me, Peter. You let me think that he was dead. You let me think I was crazy."

"It wasn't that long ago," Peter mutters, glad that she's stopped hitting him at least. The wounds heal over just as he gets slapped in the face again. A lot lighter of one this time, but there's a hint of a glare— until she starts crying again. When that happens, it softens and he reaches to pull her in closer, against the chest she'd battered with her fists a few times. "I'm a different person than I was then," he says in a softened tone, not sounding as if that's necessarily a good thing, except for one thing. "I'll make it go away for good this time… I promise."

Kate sobs miserably against Peter's body, holding on for dear life and all that she's worth, lest she drown in her own fear. She tries to say something, but all that comes is a strangled sob. They're both different people than they were then. It seems like a lifetime ago that she told him he couldn't kill because he didn't have it in him, and now…

Shifting his hands to run through her hair, Peter holds her close and whispers in his hoarse tone of voice, "I was weak back then…" It's a confession, a whispered sound. There's so much he could say about the man he used to be in comparison to who he is now. "I couldn't kill him for you back then…" There's a hint of apology in his voice, one he can't quite ask for. But he already made his promise. He'll make it go away. But right now… "Kate— Megan worked with us— she knew things, she… she was killed the day of the train job."

"You think she betrayed us." It isn't a question. Kate's expression is grim as she pulls away. It's time to put the mask back on. It's time to get down to business. "She didn't have time to talk." And she would know. A glance is sent over Peter's shoulder to where Megan lays. "Tell me why you think he did this to her." Besides the obvious reasons, of course. This was deliberate. He chose her. He had to have. Gray never does something like this without reason. No matter how little it may make sense to others.

"Maybe she didn't know she was betraying us," Peter responds, looking around the room. "It's also possible he just— chose her— to leave us a message." They would have checked on her eventually. Whether or not she betrayed them isn't an issue here— it's the coincidences. They both should know there's no such a thing. There's fate and there's destiny— and then there's cold calculation. But rarely are there true coincidences. Something is behind everything. "Day of the train attack," he motions towards the calendar on the fridge, then he moves over to the body finally. The clock. He doesn't touch it, but he does pull out his camera and take a photograph. "If this was in the evening, it took place at almost the same time…" Not exactly, but close— very close. He kept track of the time that night, because he had to be specific to avoid schedules. Finally… he takes a picture of her head— the damage that obvious killed her.

"Megan would never…" Kate's lips press together and she shakes her head. The woman is dead, dammit. And while she may have sworn she'd kill the traitor herself, there's no way in her mind that it could have been Megan. "I don't understand. The clock was deliberate. The time wasn't just to tell us when she died. The time was a message, because of where you were. What's he playing at?" She frowns, trying to do something she hasn't had to do for a long time now. She's trying to get into Gray's head. "Maybe it's just to let you know you can't be in two places at once? No. It's got to be something more." Kate's gaze fixes on Peter again. "Everything's connected."

"I never said she betrayed us on purpose," Peter says, looking down at the dead body before he turns off the camera and puts it away. That's enough for now. It won't help things to take a dozen more pictures, not when he already knows they worked. And the flash is getting annoying. "Lachlan's going to kill me for this." Sure, they had falling outs, but family is family. People don't just forget that— But that's okay. He can die as many times as he has to, right? "He could have manipulated events easily— we'd known there was a traitor, but this… The timing, the— I don't know. The fact that the government's already comparing me to him for the public… You know him better than I do. You understand how he thinks."

Kate feels a knot, cold and hard in the pit of her stomach, when Peter reminds them both of the fact that she can understand the mind of a psychopathic killer. Spoken out loud, it seems so much more horrific. "You leave the spin to me, darlin'. You take care of finding him and taking him out for good this time. I promise, we will make this right."

There's a long pause. It's almost as if Peter doesn't know for sure whether he wants to leave the spin to her at all. There's a visible frown as he moves back over, getting close again. "I can't— do what I need to do— if you get killed." They both know this— if something happened to her, he'd promptly lose it. No question about it. Taking a slow breath, he shifts his hands to cup her face, rubbing her cheeks with his thumbs. "So whatever it is you're planning… you need to be careful. Okay?" He doesn't ask what she's planning— as if he's sure she wouldn't tell him anyway. His hand drops into his pocket and he pulls out the camera. "If you insist on handling it, you may need the evidence…"

Kate leans into Peter's touches with a soft sigh. "I know, honey. If I die, the whole of New York will die when you go nuclear. I'm always careful." Her expression is glum again when he pulls away and offers her the camera. She tucks it into her own coat and nods. "Let's get out of here. I'll put in a call to the proper people so they'll find her."

"I'm worried the proper people might cover it up— maybe you should tell the Alliance where to find her instead. At least then we'll know her brother will have a chance to see her body before they destroy it." Peter says, looking towards said body. It's not a person anymore, it's just a shell. Moving his arms around her to pull her into a hug, he closes his eyes— and the world shimmers out of existance to be replaced by another area all together, a destination far away. One that smells better, surely. But the world is different now. And the clock that should be there at all is still ticking.

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