[ April 29th, 2014 ]
BREAKING NEWS: POLICE IN HIGH SPEED CHASE WITH DOWNTOWN BOMBING SUSPECT
At approximately 11 AM a Denver homicide detective radioed in for backup after cornering a suspect in the bombing that took place earlier this month in downtown Denver near Capitol Hill.
The suspect was reportedly staying at the Fairfax Motel in East Denver. An explosion was reported at the motel and a car chase ensued with two cruisers taken out by what appeared to be improvised grenades thrown by the suspect. Five officers are reported injured, two of them critically.
The chase is reported to have come to a halt on a utility road outside of the Crescent Valley residential community, a suburb of Denver two miles from the motel.
We have live video from the scene...
* * *
[ System post ]
Kragen is gained upon, the front bumper of the SUV crashing into his rear, but the sturdy little junker manages to hold up and hold its own, keeping traction as it continues kicking up dirt and speeding along the dirt road that's quickly becoming little more than a cattle run. It's the kind of chase that would make them Duke boys proud.
Luckily the rolling hills are tapering off into a valley, the place where the residential neighborhood sprouts out of the dry wilderness, and the car is able to continue making its way closer.
The shooter, a police officer in the passenger seat of the pursuing Denver Police SUV, cracks off a round that slams into Kragen's shoulder. At least the shooter is consistent. It bites deeper that an earlier one and as he wills vitae to stitch the wound shut he tosses another plastic wrapped piece of ordinance out his window with his good arm.
The SUV manages to survive yet another onslaught of exploding gunpowder and metal shrapnel. It crashes once more into the back of Kragen's escape car and this time it means business. Under the power of its own wheels, now having lost their grip on the fundament below, its rear spins out and Kragen finds his own vehicle crashing into a ditch in a manner similar to the cruiser he'd left many-a-football-field behind.
The sharpshooter, still trembling in pain, finds the strength to steady his weapon one last time and crack off a round through the back window of Kragen's vehicle. This time it opens up the side of his jaw, leaving him bleeding in the driver's seat, body now struggling to continue functioning under the trauma coupled with the violence of the crash.
But it can function. And the neighborhood is no longer so far in the distance. It's less than a quarter mile away, fenced in backyards and long paved driveways of cookie cutter homes. There lies the possibility of freedom, tempting to a ghoul of Kragen's mindset.
* * *
[ Shayla post ]
Apparently these police weren't quite as pathetic as Kragen had imagined them to be, perhaps the shooter was ex military, and it would seem the driver had no concern for his, or his partners well being. Regardless it was commendable. Though commending them as he crashed out, spinning and lodging in the ditch was the furthest thing from his mind.
He lay there, bleeding and in pain for several long moments as he recomposed himself and looked out at the cops. He knew he had to play a different sort of game, a different battlefield came next.
What came from the man in that moment was a laugh, deep and terrible before he pulled out his weapon and tossed it onto the dirt outside his car, he also threw the shotgun out before raising his hands to his head, and continued to chuckle to himself.
“I surrender officers, take me away.”
* * *
[ System post - the view from on high ]
The quiet wind blowing over the open plains is broken by the sound of helicopter blades. One helicopter has the emblem of the local news station on its side, the other that of the Denver State Patrol, and they both converge on the scene as more SUVs do the same. Some of them are painted the black and white of conventional law enforcement vehicles, others with government plates and all jet black, and along with them come three ambulances and one large bus that says BOMB SQUAD in plain white lettering along its side.
* * *
[ System post - on the ground ]
The surrender doesn't come quickly. As more officers arrive, Detective Cutter's car among the first on the scene, more gun sights fall on the car. Cutter is informed by the driver of the point SUV that Kragen had thrown his weapons from the window and surrendered.
After some more time has passed a man with a bullhorn begins shouting through it at the car, ordering Kragen to remove his shirt, to strip down to his bare chest, and to step out of the car. A squad of officers approach the car almost fifteen minutes after the chase had ended, hidden behind thick ballistic shields as they advance on Kragen, ordering him to lace his fingers behind his head and step backwards away from the car.
Dammit, further, and it's only when they are clear of some imagined blast radius they advance to shackle the man. Moments later the lone bomb squad technician makes his way in that unwieldy padded moon suit to check the vehicle and if it is rigged to blow.
The entire long and drawn out situation is tense, or at least it was tense for the cops, thr media, and for those viewers at home. For Kragen it was a riot of entertainment, all that fear, all that worry. As he advanced away from the car he can be heard chuckling, laughing as he made his waytowards that thin line of blue.
"Oh come on!" Hed cackle " If id i wanted to blow you all up i would have!" Of course that doesnt allay their concerns and thr bomb tech heads towards the car. "Amateur!" He calls after the man before turning to any available camera and said.
"Oh dear friends, you know who you are... You know what happens if this goes forward!" And then he just laughs and laughs as hea cuffed and lead off.
Somewhere, Laurel hears the news. That somewhere is the garage where her car is. Her car is her baby, and she keeps it in tip-top shape, 100% perfect condition. Part of that is because she works on it when she's stressed, because it relaxes her. And these days, she's always stressed.
So that's where she is, working at the garage that belongs to a friend (the more accurate word would be "associate who she pays for garage use time") on Colfax when she hears the news...someone mentions that it's on TV. "Dude, the bomber guy is being chased by the police and throwing grenades!"
Have you ever seen someone stand up suddenly and bang their head into a cabinet or something? That's what Laurel does, except the cabinet is the underside of her car hood. She's swearing up a storm as a bump starts to form there and she pays Marcus that she has to go, she'll be back for the car later. Five minutes later, she's in front of a TV, watching the whole thing with an expression that combines disbelief at the insanity of it and a lack of surprise that it went down like this. She had told Nathan that he wouldn't go down in anything less than a bloodbath; frankly the only thing that surprises her is that he was taken alive.
And then comes that phrase: Oh dear friends, you know who you are... You know what happens if this goes forward! Laurel half-chokes on her coffee there, initially thinking he must mean her. She has police connections, and he certainly could implicate her if he wanted to. Not in anything strictly criminal, but enough that it could ruin her career.
Cue a long series of profanity as Laurel proceeds to beat the shit out of something in her home. She realizes it's probably NOT her, for the record. After a while anyway. Key reason: he said friends, not friend. Laurel is just one person with a connection. And Kragen probably has employers.
So she doesn't make a move to try and get him out. First of all, her police muscle is far from that strong, considering how much damage he's done. Even if she wanted to help, she couldn't. And second, Kragen's made a lot of enemies, and a lot of friends. And Laurel's smart enough to know she's probably the least of them (and isn't sure which side of that she's on). Even if she wanted to get involved...there's no way.
So she nurses her hand (not injured, just sore from the punching) and keeps an eye on the news.
Later that night, Summer wakes up. There is already a message for her from Roderick when she rises, ever so earlier than they usually do. That's been the norm now, after all. She ignores everything else for the moment and picks up the phone, plugs the headset into her ear. She's usually wearing her Bluetooth before she wears any clothing, and tonight is no different. She listens to the message.
Good evening, Summer, comes her ghoul-slash-agent's pleasant, warm baritone. I apologize for disturbing you, but when you awaken and receive this message you'll want to watch news coverage. I've recorded it on the DVR for you. Your schedule is clear this evening, by the way. I'll notify you if any offers come in, of course. Have a wonderful evening. *Click*
Summer plucks out the headpiece, walks to the TV, turns it on. Roderick had shown her how to operate the DVR before, it sometimes came in handy. She locates the one thing currently on it, the news report, and watches. There is no reaction--but then, this is typical for her of course. Just watching, and once it's done she deletes the recording.
The phone is picked up, no headset this time. And she makes contact with those she's met in her visits to Elysium. She goes there for one reason, and one alone: professional networking. For situations just like this.
She's trying to get ahold of Narcisa, or perhaps the Keeper of Elysium. Someone who can take an offer to Narcisa or better yet, Rasmussen. She understands he is somewhat lenient to Anarchs.
And the offer is simple: "It would appear that there is an explosive problem sitting in a cage. Should the situation not be under control yet, I offer my professional services to handle it."
She leaves it there. They will accept or refuse; either way, she has reached out.
Kali hears about the news when she wakes up, of course. But she has a lot on her mind. Ancient evils, pregnant stakees, Holy rings, plus her drug and stripper trade. What I'm saying is, it's hard out there for a Ravnos. But she hears because when you're living on the street level, you're going to pick up these kinds of things.
Kali loves cleaning up messes for the Camarilla, because it wins her favors and those favors keep her alive. She's racked up a decent number of those favors so far. And that's part of why she just takes in the news, then shrugs.
Let him be someone else's problem. Even waking up early, there's just not enough time in the day for her to deal with that.
"The anger of a good man is not a problem. Good men have too many rules."
"Good men don't need rules. And today's not the day to find out why I have so many."
No matter how hard he pushed the gas in his sedan the car wouldn't go fast enough for his liking. He drove with one hand and kept the other on his radio. Police code and jargon bounces back and forth between the crackle and pop of dead air. It didn't matter how many guns were trained on Kingsmith, Cutter's just added another ounce of intent to the entire capture.
He's itchy while waiting for the man to take himself out of the blast radius of whatever bomb he might have rigged to himself or the car and it's Cutter that pushes his way through the line of dark blue uniforms, each man and woman angry but none as frustrated as Rex Cutter.
The gun is holstered and handcuffs are slipped from the back waist of his pants and he's none to gentle in flipping the man around and over to slip the silver bracelets on his wrists.
Oh dear friends, you know who you are... You know what happens if this goes forward!
"Shut the fuck up." He rumbles at Kragen, his lips reciting the memorised Miranda rights due to every suspect in these United States of America.
Somewhere in Denver a pretty blond haired woman is watching the chase between the bombing suspect, half the DPD and one homicide detective. In the middle of folding laundry she is frozen by the images flashing on the television and it doesn't matter that the man in the hat's face is obscured by shadow and bill, she knows without a doubt that that is her husband.
Kragen continues to chuckle as he gets pushed off camera by the weight of Detective Cutter's hand the cuffs around his hands chaffing as he moves. Of course that is the least of his pain, the least of his concern. His jaw is a gushing mess, his shoulder punctured by several bullet holes which would add to the plethora of scarring that lay beneath the surface of his clothes. He'd look back at Cutter for a moment with those dangerous grey eyes and ask.
"Having fun Detective? Are you enjoying being the pawn in someone elses game?"
He's cryptic, because of course he is. But the look on his face is certain, the look in his eye absolutely manic. He doesn't act defeated, dejected or even remotely concerned about the shackles around his wrists or the justice system which has him in his clutches.
Kragen is in only a single set of handcuff for but a moment. Before long he has been handcuffed and strapped down to the stretcher. EMTs tend as they much as they can to the two bullet holes in his shoulder and the third along his mangled jaw once he's loaded into the back of an ambulance.
He's still able to talk, but it is painful, so he must mean those words he's tossing about.
Detective Cutter is the arresting officer and he acts as DPD's representative in the back of that bus. He's joined by a fed in a black suit who unbuttons his jacket as he relaxes onto the bench the runs along once side of the ambulance.
“Special Agent William Troy,” the man says with a nod to Detective Cutter.
“I've already spoken with your Captain and Deputy Chief. I'm going to be joining you in escorting and any questioning of Mr. Kingsmith,” is how he begins inserting himself into this.
“Not to step on any toes,” his thin-lipped and tilt-headed expression seems to recognize is exactly what someone says before they start stomping, “but this investigation has a federal aspect and we need to work in unison,” finishing with a shrug.
It isn't long before Kragen's transport is moving, its own lights joining with the telltale blue strobe of police vehicles guarding its passage, but it's long enough for the extent of his actions to begin to set in. The long line of carnage that had led from Capitol Hill to the field he'd finally been caught in.
Other than the words exchanged between the agent and detective, and whatever Kragen has to add to them between pokes and prods from the EMT, the only noise is their siren cacophony dying as the arrival to Swedish Medical Center. It isn't the closest Level I Trauma Center as the crow flies, but downtown traffic means it's the fastest these blazing lights can get to.
Kragen is taken out the back upon their arrival to the hospital and wheeled to a section of the hospital that is quickly quartered off by officers and agents. A doctor and three assistants arrive to begin more definitive treatment for the bullet wounds once he's brought into a closed off operating room and put under anesthesia.
Just as he'd faded to black under the blanket of the drugs his vision again moves from darkened to blurry to bleary eyed until it's fully sharpened and returned. Kragen is still in that same operating room he'd fallen asleep in untold hours ago. It's white as snow with only blue curtains and stainless steel tools and trays, and there's the steady beeping from the machine near his bed.
He's still strapped to that table, still handcuffed by his wrists and ankles to it, and a sore and distant pain persists in his shoulder, jaw, and stomach.
A doctor enters his field of vision. His hair is hidden by a surgical cap and most of his face by a similar mask. All that's visible are his simple brown eyes. They look interested as he looms over the man.
“I want to let you know that I don't admire your work, Mr. Kingsmith. It's vulgar and that makes this much easier,” he says, the mask shifting as a chin and lips move beneath it, his voice quite plain. Mediocre. “Don't get me wrong. Your earlier pieces were creative. A lake of gasoline underneath a haven? The collapse of that roadway outside Chicago? Excellent, but so far in the past. Though I guess age catches up with some of us.”
The ride to the Medical center is spent in surprising silence for Kragen, he takes the time to watch the Detective, and this far more intriguing special agent who has joined him, he watches them with the cold grey orbs that were his eyes, taking in any details any plans they might have. It made passing the time easier, gave him time to consider and to plan.
Because Kragen always had a plan, as insane or offbeat as it might seem, he always had something brewing, something set aside for just the right moment. If he didn't, he wouldn't have lasted as long as he had in this world of shadows and fire. He might occasionally glare at an EMT when they poke particularly hard, or laugh when they seem overly fastidious or concerned, but beyond that he is quiet the entire time up until he enter's that the operating room.
It is here and only here that he fights for a few moments as the anesthesia works to take his consciousness, he knew of the vile and nasty things that could be done to a man in his sleep, and he had no desire to have such things done to him. But there is no winning against the inevitable pull of the drugs, and so he slumbers as the saw bones work away at him, chewing him up, and putting him back together afterwards.
When he comes to, he stares about for a moment, testing the strength of his bonds to see if the orderlies had done their jobs right, oh how he'd have liked if they'd not. But surely they had, and besides that...a doctor had entered.
This was not such a strange thing of course, but the fact that he was still in the operating room, and that this doctor knew so much about him had Kragen's eyes focusing all that much faster, taking in the details, listening to the words. This man knew him, or knew his work...and that mean't he was much more interesting then a regular doctor.
"Age means nothing my dear fellow." Kragen chuckles through the bindings of his face, fighting the pain. "And those, flashes in the pan, the car and the road chase...were merely entertainment." He meets the doctors gaze and narrows his eyes.
"After all, I do not perform masterpieces of work without suitable recompense. Why should I craft a magnum opus of fire and death with no one to appreciate it? And no one suitable in which to suffer it?" He inquired with that knife like grin splitting his lips despite the stitches.
"But I must say, you are remarkably well informed for a ER surgeon, so do tell me...on which side of the fence do you plant your feet hmm?"
He watches the man then, listening to him as he considers the man's intent, his plan for Kragen as he lay there in restraints.
Shay @ 7:42PM
Roll: 3 d10 TN7 (3, 7, 8) ( success x 2 ) VALID
niko @ 7:43PM
“Common graffiti. Yes, that's a good way to describe it,” the doctor agrees.
“Which side of the fence?” The doctor shakes his head. “Does it really matter? You're too far off the reservation to be worrying about fences. Wouldn't you agree?” The tsk-tsk-tsking sound comes off his tongue probably isn't much of a surprise.
“Vulgar things must exist. They have their place and their time,” and again the doctor agrees, this time his eyebrows raised and he nods for good measure. “I'm sorry to say there's no place for you here and your time has run up,” and Kragen will feel a pressure against his stomach a moment later.
No, that's wrong, Kragen will begin to feel it. As the anesthesia continues to fade he will realize it was there all along behind that dull pain.
“Don't get me wrong,” he repeats it. “You've made my job here so much easier, Mr. Kingsmith. You've made yourself seem so very predictable. Blow up this, blow up that, the dots so very hard to connect, but it helps them all make sense of this next part,” he continues.
“Why would you let yourself be taken in?” The question seems rhetorical as the man's eyes, detached and purposeful, look down from Kragen at what they've been doing.
The doctor's hands have as of yet not been visible. Should Kragen raise his head- yes, it hurts, but it's possible- to look down he will see that they are buried within the cavity of his stomach.
Kragen does indeed look up, curiosity and a need to piece together what was going on here all to prominent. He see's those hands, and listens to those words and it becomes quite clear to the man exactly what it is that the 'doctor' was doing. Kragen lays his head back for a moment, and begins to laugh, high and manic at what the doctor was doing and he shook his head despite the pain of it.
"Ohh, oh Doctor, is that your idea of poetic justice?" He inquires. "A bomb in my belly, the last explosive act of a mad bomber?" He inquires as he looks up at those cold eyes. "To bad it doesn't even remotely fit the profile...a profile you should be able to pick out...if you are any good at your job."
He doesn't struggle as the doctor goes about his work, he lays there watching the man with a rictus grin as he went on. "And fences and camps and sides still matter a great deal, if you could understand what I am doing. Being so far off the reservation gives a man a great deal of leverage, and more importantly a great deal of opportunity to stride into whatever camp he wishes."
He tilts his head slightly as he winces, a particular movement in his guts more painful then the others. "There was no profit in death, no benefit to be had...so I think the better question is why wouldn't I give myself up in an untenable situation?"
He looks up again, peering down his chest to look at the hole in his stomach. "Which I must say makes me wonder as to the sense of yourself, a bomb in my belly certainly doesn't benefit anyone, its too random for the tower and too banal for the sword...so tell me, why go to all the bother?"
“Is that really the position you see yourself in?” The man can't help but shake with laughter, his eyes turning down and creasing with amusement at some perceived absurdity. “No, you are right. I don't understand, but never mind.”
“It doesn't need to fit the profile,” he says with some surprise before he shakes his head and his voice becomes patronizing.
“It just needs to happen,” saying that next part ever so slowly, as if he thinks it will help it sink in.
“And then it becomes the last act of a mad bomber. It becomes your profile. This,” a twist of his wrist as he continues his work, “isn't my poetic justice. That is. That's how you'll be remembered. A mad bomber.”
The man withdraws his hand with some finality. He looks up and around the pristine operating room.
“This will be the canvas,” placing a hand onto Kragen's chest.
“You need not approve; the greatest futility is arguing with a critic,” and then he looks down at the state that the rogue ghoul has found himself in.
“Well, almost the greatest. I don't usually get to hear people bargaining for their lives. This has been entertaining. Good bye, Mr. Kingsmith,” and with that he turns to the door of the operating room and moves to leave.