Southtown Syndicate - Investing in Bonds

Description: A lawyer bails Amy out of Metro PD's custody with promises of training and rehabilitation, but the mountaintop manor where she's taken doesn't look open for business, just yet. Attaining her freedom proves not to be victory.. but only prologue.

Beneath the less-than-innocent sprawl of Metro sits the headquarters and holding facilities of the city's organised burea of 'super cops'. There are several entrance points above, not so assuming as to draw the attention of the locals not very aware of their existence - and as excellently surveyed and thus guarded as the lower levels themselves. Difficult enough to access without permission, it should certainly be nigh unbreakable from within, and yet in recent months there has been a breakout, the signs of battle still showing both out and inside despite heavy renovations. It is not a mistake Haggar's staff are keen to make again.
The apprehension of Amy Johnson and Nicholas Marivel was handled with care in spite of their apparent surrender, and it is with some relief - on part of D8 - that their confinement has continued without interruption or even requests for visitation. Despite verbose refusals to cooperate with questioning on part of the zealous pair, there have been few of the expected problems, at least until two nights previous to now. As a consequence of her apparently frail and dangerous mental state, security has been redoubled around the Templar. Psychological assessment has yet to be made, but the guards are on edge.
For her part, Amy has barely spoken since the events of her communion with her 'Lord', sat quietly in her cell staring either into space or at her bandaged hand. The wound upon it burns beneath the dressing, and she wears a perpetual frown as she seems to consider the repercussions of her own actions. And yet, the mist continues to roll off her shoulders, drenching the floor of the cell in a damp haze. Every time she makes eye contact with her captors, the golden light swims within her eyes. Something has changed about her...
What, remains to be seen.
And then the station receives word that an interested party wishes to discuss her fate. That bail may be offered. Papers are being hastily drawn upon within a small office at the fore of the facility, a tense administrator gulping back coffee as he tugs at his tie and double-checks the final draft. Things have changed; there are conditions now, to ensure this 'terrorist' does not cause further issues on the outside. They staff themselves will, however, be glad to be rid of her. She is... disturbing, even in her reticence.

In this instance, there's little impetus for breaking right into the locked-down joint. The motion comes through smoothly, via all the normal channels - in fact, the original benefactor who now takes interest in Mr. Marivel and Ms. Johnson is a now international conglomerate that built its name on the rebuilding of Metro City after Rolento's destructive doomsday scenario. Lawyers enough to have reserve lawyers, and ventures nationwide serving the growing lower class and helping communities recover from violent outbreaks. On the surface, everything is more than legit, indeed.

The specific conditions likely go something like this: We have facilities set up to handle this, it'll give us a chance to get them treatment while you decide what - if anything - to charge them with. The program is indeed rather new, but on the surface also legit: A home and camp specializing in rehabilitating those addicted to the sort of destruction that these times invite. Bail bonds are offered up, agreements outlined before being taken to the captives. Amy's cell is soon approached by several guards -not- on her shift at present, and an impeccably calm, sharp-featured fairskinned fellow with raven black hair carrying a large briefcase.

These three men pass through the check points up the hall, footfalls sounding in arythmic sets as they walk towards the holding cell, the lawyer in the back clearing his throat smoothly.

"I'm telling you, it's been impossible for the last two days. She won't talk to me, you, or her own damn mother. Unless you've got some fancy trick up your sleeve, there's little point in me even opening up this door..."
One of the guards is rather too talkative, but his more professional cohort does grunt vague agreement as they near the cell itself and come to a halt, the latter stepping forward to remove the bolts and disengage the array of secondary safety measures placed upon the high-security human lockbox. Within, the Templar's head lifts, her unerringly proud and distant gaze drifting onto the portal a moment before it is swung open. Her hands are held near the floor - where she kneels - her hands resting upon her jumpsuit-clad thighs, palms held up toward the ceiling, and her shoulders rolled back. True to the form explained, she says nothing, but that holy fire does swim about her pupils. Even invading them, casting bright, golden flecks into the perfect black.
"Johnson," the lead guard grinds out through a throat made of granite, nodding at the prisoner as he steps forward with a pair of manacles readied. "Looks like someone wants to get you out of here after all. Stand up; face the wall."
Amy seems to consider his words for several long, drawn-out seconds, the frown upon her brow only deepening, before she smoothly stands. A hand lifts to brush back her own raven hair as she follows the orders with stoic disregard, dropping her arm to link with the other behind her as she steps to the wall and even goes so far as to lean her forehead against it, eyes closing. The manacles close with a snap, and she is none-too-softly urged to turn with the application of a rough, calloused palm. She does so without stumbling, and without malice, the lids of her eyes lifting as she is brought before the lawyer and all but forced to meet his scrutinous gaze.
"...why do you come here?"
Her words are quiet, barely whispered, but they carry the weight of a curious mind - that bears intelligence in spite of her reported night-catatonic state. She examines the man carefully, warily, a cant of her head partway through carrying only a deepening of the spoken query upon her expression. And there it is; the madness within, flashing in that stormy stare as her lips tweak into a smile that would be almost sweet, were it not for her zealousy.
"Did He send you?"

"Doesn't need to talk to me." The bespectacled lawyer offers simply, a little bit dismissively, as he is accompanied to Amy's cell, and waits - more in polite patience than any apparent apprehension - for the potential little miss crazypants to get her chains on. Wants to get her out of there? It doesn't really seem to be on that level. But, was sent here to get her out? That much is quite accurate. "Foundation I represent has posted your bond." He explains in an even, matter-of-fact tenor.

"We can take you to a facility where you'll be more comfortable, and have access to training and educational programs. Until Metro City decides how to proceed in your case - and if they do go to trial - " There almost seems to be a touch of a veiled warning, there. "We can offer you capable council." The well-pressed man-in-glasses smiles a calm little half-smile and eyes Amy analytically.

"All of us were sent." The lawyer, perhaps surprisingly, offers in a low murmur, stooping down to bring his tall, lanky frame's eyes more in line with Johnson's. "And none of us move forward in a barred room. There are some people I work with, that you should meet." It's several very good reasons to be curious, and that's without visiting the very real risks of -this- place, so recently reinforced.

Trial. For a moment, the thought is abstracted beyond its reasonable and obvious meaning. A wandering mind carries the fallen Templar back to the beginning. To the school playground - to the first manifestations of her unusual talent with the energy that has now been corrupted from within her, to the mocking cries of children eager not to understand the change their peer was going through. It's not a memory that particularly scars her; even before these changes, her past is not a painful thing. There is no long-term pathological damage in this woman. Her wounds are fresh.
"They called me a witch," she murmurs faintly, darting a sidelong glance toward the first guard - the talkative one - who looks upon her with jaw disparagingly slack, his head shaking in mild disgust even before Amy turns away. She bears his lack of approval with all the pride already in her bearing, a toss of her own head bringing her back to the present. The fervour in her eyes has not dimmed, but she at least seems... gathered. Council? Yes. "But there is a power above us both that will answer for me. I will not burn upon their pyres."
The man before her is crisp, efficient. A creature as distant from the archaic, fantastic world of the zealot as any perceivably could be. They are at odds by their very nature. And yet, she does not struggle in her bonds, her disturbed tone does not carry an argument. She appears to be accepting, at the least. Until he leans in with well-chosen words.
And then the smile widens her lips, allows her cheeks to faintly dimple. Sent.
He could not have picked better.
"Guards," the Templar announces, drawing herself up with a regal air, "I would speak further with my benefactor; away from my new home." A roll of gold-flecked eyes seems to indicate the doorway behind her, as she twists her neck without turning away. Waiting for the touch of a hand upon her imprisoned wrists, she starts to move on alongside the lawyer. Apparently the guards fears were mostly unfounded, though there is an aura about the dark-haired woman that even the layman can feel. She is wrong. She should not exist, let alone be capable of maintaining such composure as she asks, "Tell me. Who do you represent?"
Almost as though it were a game.

Fresh wounds are tended by a surgeon's skillful mending, albeit those may not be equivilant to Amy's emotional distress even as forms are processed and contracts settled. No, this clinician's first focus is on the letter of the law - fulfilling and finalizing his own purposes here, secondary attention paid to Amy. A man with business beyond her, it seems - yet all of that business appears exceptionally valuable to the smooth, suited fellow. "Well we're certainly not interested in seeing you - ah - burn, Ms. Johnson." Surprisingly, -not- the least-spoken assurance he's had to make to clients in custody.

"We'll talk about that more on the way. For now, suffice it to say that people with a vision have put up a lot of money to make sure this whole thing is taken care of properly." The lawyer shows no hesitation to walk alongside Amy, smoothly keeping pace with the efforts of freeing her from her high-tech oubliette. At odds, perhaps - but in his function here as modernized facilitator, the man in the middle does a remarkable job of juggling everything, smoothly flipping open his briefcase to offer a document here, or cite a procedure with a guard there.

It's curious, the sense of humour that lurks within the unhinged woman's eye as she verbally spars with the bespectacled affairsman, a gentle snort of amusement leaving her nose at his hesitant 'quip'. The underlying irony is one she senses herself - she is not in the least unaware of her situation, deluded in truth only as to the origin of her newly-evolved abilities. Her memories of the night spent in the clutches of the serpent is vague indeed; it seems at once to have been weeks prior, and moments before. But she is an anomaly. She understands that, and she knows why she is watched so carefully by her captors.
Beyond her pride, she is also aware that she treads upon glass.
"I'll have to take your word for that," she responds to the man's assurances with a touch of frailty creeping beneath her words. An undertone scarce present, but easy for the astute to detect. Her smile barely fades however, and whilst documents and further words - indeed, ones beyond her - are exchanged, she glances to either side, silently examining the facility through which she passes. The personnel she is leaving behind. The deeply religious, utterly compelled fervour dances in her eyes, the fronds of mist curl still from her shoulders, as she watches this place pass her by.
Her intent? Not anger. Not violence. It's simply as though she seeks to commit every detail to memory while she can; to experience her path as fully as she possibly might. It only carries her head a little higher, deepens her resolve, and by the time they reach the upward elevator she is almost unrecognisable from the stricken woman who knelt within her cell. Only a downward glance at her bandaged hand betrays any lingering misgiving, before she looks to the man beside her and breathes a sigh. Then offers a brisk, purposeful nod.
"I'm ready. Take me to those who believe, as I do."

If indeed Amy's lawyerly comrade is sparring.. he seems all but blissfully unaware of the fact, going on about his business like it's the most normal part of his day, chi-leaking crusader for a dark deity notwithstanding. There's a simple nod of acknowledgement at her response. Yes, she'll have to take his word for it. No, he doesn't seem to think there's much chance that'll be a problem. It's a by-the-numbers sort of scenario that only has one outcome: Amy walks out the door of Metro's holding facility on bail, with a man in a suit and glasses who doesn't seem the least bit concerned asking her to get into a car.

This car is a new, black Cadillac outfitted in leather and luxury galore. Subtle enough not to draw the attention of a stretch, but certainly not an economy car by any stretch of the imagination. It's driven by a man in a simpler, black and white suit, gloves, sunglasses, and a buzzcut head. It's only once both are in the backseat, and Amy's had her pick of the stocked refreshment, that the lawyer pulls out a PDA, adjusts his glasses, and begins typing rather swiftly as he inquires.

"Have you been arrested before by any sovreignty worldwide? Have you been imprisoned, prosecuted, or convicted for or of any criminal action by said authorities? Do you currently or normally possess recording devices included but not limited to a cellphone?" This query is accompanied by a touch of a few buttons of his own phone, an LED glowing bright as the device is swept over nearer to Ms. Johnson's person.

Almost too easy. Though the Templar is blissfully unaware of the mountainous paperwork no doubt involved in her imprisonment and subsequent freedom of sorts, she is well aware that such operations do not go so smoothly without the considerable backing the this man has already referenced. There was a time, not too long ago, when a creeping paranoia would now be consuming her - in her doubts, she possessed many fears. Ancient orders oft possess similarly aged enemies, and the candidates who would possess what she seeks are numerous. But she steps into the car with gracious calm, accepts a spartan glass of the finest mineral water with murmured thanks, and sits without impatience.
Inwardly, the very human core feels relief, overwhelming enough that a lesser woman might be tempted to cry. Or perhaps, one not gifted with the delusional conviction that arises from sacred pacts made in the dark setting of the soul. She'd at least be shaking. But Amy shows no such sign, acting by this point as though this treatment were to be expected, as though this were much-deserved divine providence. Her gratitude, is to a power beyond mere men.
Sipping upon the cool, refreshing liquid, she rolls stormy, simmering eyes over to the lawyer's comparatively frantic form. His questions are regarded only briefly with lifted brow, a bat of the eyelids, before she shakes her head, glancing to the tinted window and watching the city roll past.
"Yes," she responds calmly, clearly, if distantly, "I was arrested in England, for assault. It was judged to be self-defense; I received a warning and was released within two hours. I was seventeen. I have no criminal record." She swallows, breaking the businesslike flow to ponder the third question. Why is he asking this? Such mundane considerations cause her hesitance. Confusion. She brushes the ill feeling aside, brushing it into the same procedural bracket as she has the many actions of her captors. A thing to be tolerated. "I have, or had, a mobile phone. The number's..."
"I don't remember."
She frowns. Material things have ceased to matter; she can't even recall where she lives, where she called home before this began. It's not amnesia. It's as though she has forgotten because she needs to - because the knowing will only make her task harder. "I'm sorry," she breathes, looking once more out at the chaotic blur of the city streets. At the time of her incarceration, she bore only a single possession, which she now carries with her, toying the tiny piece of metal back and forth in her fingers, a silver chain hanging between her legs, rattling almost inaudibly against the leather seat.
It's a crucifix. One she cannot bear to replace around her neck.
"There's a lot of things I don't remember. Do you have more questions?"

Answers are tabulated in a practiced, second-nature fashion, closed and sent away wherever they were requested in a flash. The phone is tucked away again, and the well-dressed lawyer offers simply, "That'll do fine for now, Ms. Johnson. Do relax, we're in for a bit of a drive I'm afraid." In this case, 'a bit of a drive' is clear up the border and into Canada. For whatever reasons, the car they're in doesn't even seem to get /stopped/ at the border, much less hassled about their potential fugitive crusader problem. It's horribly lax.

Mundane procedure gives way to relaxation on her fellow passenger's part, the lawyer easily relaxing into the trip, reading through files as land is left behind them. By the time the mountains are reached, capped with snow still in their highest elevations, a storm has rolled in, pelting an expansive compound with sheeting rain, lightning illuminating the fenced, patrolled outer border of a tremendous Victorian manor, more a castle really, all but growing out of the rock of a mountain hollow in centuries-old splendor. Most of the great estate is dark, lit only by arcs of lightning - a few lights on in one of its uppermost rooms. The sense there is almost tangible, as the car pulls out of the woods and along the drive - as if someone within were focused through the heart of the storm itself.

Whilst the Templar has been infinitely more forthcoming than her erstwhile captors have insisted she would be, upon the brisk man's declaration she is content to remain almost entirely silent. She answers when spoken to, even smiles if the situation warrants, but when left alone she continues to manipulate the small, silvery vestige of her former life. The icon of a God she is not yet aware she has left behind, even in her iron resolve it seems to linger as a subconscious concern. She never looks upon it, directing her attention outward when not partaking of a drink. Content, it seems, to brood.
Any odd instances at the border, indeed upon the very road, are regarded with little more than a mildly curious glance. Despite her lineage upon that small, wet island so secluded from the ways of the wider world, Amy is a seasoned traveller, and well aware that this is not 'normal'. But she doesn't expect such; not any more. She leaves the lawyer to his business, papers and all, until such time as they draw close to the destination.
Already pleased at her innermost by the mountains, the breathtaking views and the clean, cool air, she seems to sit more openly again as the storm breaks. Breathing deep, almost meditative in her own relaxed lull, she is caught offguard by the castle's daunting apparition. Deep blue, gold-flecked eyes shift in their sockets as she draws back against the seat, regarding the manse with the first real sign of suspicion since leaving the confines of her cell.
It's the kind of place she would have chosen, even hoped for.
And somehow it is deeply, terribly bothersome. The indistinct hairs at the nape of her neck rise, a tingle running down her spine, around the centre and into her fingertips. She almost drops her crucifix - forced instinctively to shift her palm around and close a fist to keep it from scattering away. Her attention shifts to the man opposite her, as though for confirmation. Is this it?
"These are your 'facilities'?" Her query is dubious. Either there is luxury beyond what has been promised, or worse... such places hold dark secrets, as well she knows from the passage of her life thus far. "Before we travelled here, you spoke of treatment, and rehabilitation. I'd expected something..." she grasps for the right words, closing her mouth momentarily to consider the view from the window once more, "More clinical. Less..."
Pervasive, she wants to say. Maddening. A locale that does not make her spirit cringe, her stomach twist and turn, that does not drive her barely-dormant energies to a stirring maelstrom at the centre. It's all she can do to keep the mist from answering an unphrased cry, to keep the energy of her Lord from driving it upward and outward. It's like nothing she has felt before, even in her admitted and acknowledged sensitivity to such phenomena.
But she accepts it, because she must.
"Very well."
She reaches to open the door, not waiting for the expected hand to proffer aid. A lady she may be termed by her partner in zealousy, a dame by those whom direct her upon the errant's path, but she neither expects nor desires the privilege of a gentleman's treatment. She swings herself from the limousine with a shuddering intake of breath, turning toward the castle as she slips her treasured cross into the pocket of her borrowed jacket. She is hardly dressed for a meeting of this nature; her own clothing ruined by the altercation preceding her arrest. Clad in a dull gray t-shirt, unmatching tracksuit bottoms, and a pair of battered old sneakers, even her hair is wrong - still torn and uneven, matted in places with blood dried from her midnight ritual. Only her bearing sees her fit for this setting. A knight, a would-be saint, she draws herself up and directs a nod to her escort.
"At least the weather is suitable. Am I yet to know the name of my benefactor?"

Log created on 02:09:12 04/06/2011 by Geese, and last modified on 21:19:14 04/08/2011.