interrogoiterum: (*mask: kickass)
interrogoiterum ([personal profile] interrogoiterum) wrote2010-10-13 09:31 pm

Five Lessons in Blood: Lesson Four

After meeting with the Mayor and agreeing to take on the case, Renee finds herself with free access to the case files and space to study and meditate on what she finds in there. It doesn't take her long to realise that there are holes in the initial overview O'Toole gave her.

Riley's bar, a cop haunt, was hit three weeks ago. Eleven men were killed bloody, and every single one had been a uniformed cop. There were two survivors. Monroe and Carson, who went undercover among policemen, trying to bring down the corruption from within. After the bad cops were mown down, only then were the good cops taken, one by one kidnapped and found bled-out and cut up, their badges taken, apparently sliced off their bodies flesh and all.

Twenty eight cops dead total, but O'Toole had mentally split it into two events – the systematic hunting and slaughter of his good, honest, hand picked cops, and the gang-style massacre of eleven bad cops, which he'd dismissed as a bad deal gone worse. Monroe and Carson, the "honest" cops, are still alive.

In body, at least.

Renee's no good at pretending to flirt with men, but when she tells O'Toole to watch himself, she lays a hand on his jacket, showing concern. He doesn't notice when she palms his badge, leaving him alone in the parking lot with Monroe. She's out of sight when the detective stabs his chief in the arm with a sedative-filled needle, and she hopes the chief will forgive her.

She follows Monroe and his captive to a warehouse, knowing at all times she could step out and stop it now. But that would end this chapter. That would stop the ritual.

And she has to know. Is this the Religion of Crime, or just a good cop gone crazy?

She's not sure what she'd prefer.



Renee hides, and she watches Monroe stringing O'Toole up like so much meat, himself stripped down to the waist except for a necklace of badges strung together – his trophies of the kill. She watches, and she listens.

"I was undercover and I was scared. All those dirty cops, they were so tough, so strong, and they'd killed, you see, but it wasn't enough. He slaughtered them. If you can't take life, you've got no right to keep your own."

His voice is distant and halting, dreamy and completely sincere, like a recent convert. It's all Renee needs to hear.

She knows those words.

She read them in a Book.

Announcing herself, Renee informs Monroe that he can't get what he wants, can't claim a trophy from O'Toole, because she has his badge. It's like setting a fire behind the acolyte's eyes; he forgets his bound victim and turns every force of his greed towards the Faceless. She had no intention opf giving it up, bbut when he throws a carving knife at her, she has to throw the steel to deflect and save her from losing both faces.

He flees up the stairs and she follows him under orders from the screaming chief of police behind her. She knew it was cold outside, but the snow still hits her hard when she breaks out on to the roof behind him. How the hell did it fall so fast? She's surrounded by a swirling cloud of white, and can't make anything out around her.

Annoying.

Though not quite as annoying as having two hundred pounds of half naked policeofficer jump on her from behind, his string of badges pulled back against her neck with the intent to choke.

"You're weak," he spits in her ear. "I'm strong..."

Renee clips an elbow back sharply into his ribs, winding him and sending his face forward into her rapidly jerking backsuch head. As she rips the badges away from her throat, she sees the arc of his nose blood into the snow in front of her. In the heartbeat before the snow covers that splatter, she darts forward and slips herself out of the jacket he holds. Feeling her feet slip on the ice, she spins around leaps back, flooring her assailant as she does so with a flying roundhouse kick.

"I'm sorry, you were saying?"

"...strong."

The distance wouold have been a great idea if he came at her again, but Renee's plans fail when Monroe slips around in the snow and turns tail, racing for the edge of the roof. She realises too late that he's going to try and make the leap, and races to catch him before...

...before he can....

...he misses the edge and hits the opposite wall with a crack as his kneecaps shatter. But he doesn't fall. Someone caught him.

Flay.

The man who beat Renee in Liepzig. Who she fought in London. Who she tracked to DC and to Gotham and who had the key to all of the Religion of Crime.

He stands on the flat edge of the other buiolding, holding in his hand the man he used to get Renee's attention with two massacres.

Monroe stares at Renee, all his faith stripped away, and she sees the scared helpless man who had been allowed to live in Riley's; allowed to live so he could murder.

"Help me."

"Pull him in, Flay!" she shouts. "You can save him! You can..."

"...no. You were strong. He was weak. And now..."

She could have stopped this. If she had moved to stop Monroe when he first took O'Toole. If she had told O'Toole from the beginning what she suspected.If she hadn't wallowed in more deceit in order to get closer to the Religion, to the Book.

To the Word.

And now...

"...You've murdered him."

It's not a long drop, but it's long enough, and Monroe's body is tired and frozen and breaks easily with when it hits the frozen road. Renee is as still as that corpse, stadning on the roof edge while Flay addresses her, casually tearing a strip away from the wrappings around his arm. There are coordinates written on the bandage, written in an ink thick and congealed brown.

"You've taken the fourth lesson of blood, Faceless. We shall meet four weeks from this day. If you do not come, I shall visit the fourth lesson upon everyone who has ever had meaning in your life, Renee Montoya."





Lesson Four: Murder

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