2011-01-26: What Lurks Behind The Eyes


Connor_icon.jpg Hosea_icon.jpg

Special Guest: Yabani

Summary: Directly following It Can Hurt To Try, Connor and Hosea want answers about the camp. But how far can they take the interrogation before they become what they hunt?

Date: Wednesday, January 26, 2011. 7:26pm

Log Title: What Lurks Behind the Eyes

Rating: R

Africa - Rain Forest

Whether day or night, the sounds of life fill the rain forest here in Nigeria. The visibility range is very low, thick brush inhibiting sight more than ten yards in almost any direction. There are a few footpaths, but nothing like you would see in America on a hiking trail. They require a machete, and much hacking to get through them. A single road passes through the forest, scarcely used as well, only accessible by a four wheel drive vehicle.
At night, the sounds of animals still fill the air, eyes glint in the light, and most of them that you would see will eat you. Great caution is advised.

Connor crouches over the edge of the building a moment, watching down at the group who has Rashmi and seeing Hosea's moves and the taking of a prisoner. Under the balaklava style mask there's a scowl as he watches them all a long moment before being spotted… not just taking a moment to take it all in, but also to attune the area enough to return with much greater accuracy. That done, he pulls back to avoid bullets taking their toll on his suit and his own defenses before standing up and walking towards the other side, and on the commlink, even if Rashmi is not conscious to hear it, he says, "I'm coming back for you. I'll bring Hell itself to this bastard's doorstep if I have to, but I am coming back, Rashmi Franklin. I promise." And stepping off the end of the building, he teleports, and lands at the original entry point, using his grav-powers to snag his unconscious and tied up guard, drawing him close with his field and touching him before vanishing once more, and finding himself close by Hosea.

Hosea glances over his shoulder at Connor. "Dis was a mistake," he says. "I should have come alone." After all, there are few who can escape dangerous situations the way he can. Connor being one of them. Still, to allow Rashmi to come with them, it was unwise.

The man in his grip isn't moving. He's awake, but with a large Nigerian hand on his throat, and his gun hand pinned under Hosea's weight, he is hardly in a position to do anything other than submit. Hosea hasn't announced why he brought this man back out with him, but Connor's a smart guy, he can probably figure it out.

Connor almost stalks up next to Hosea, and says in a low, icy voice, "That's not a choice you get to make. You asked people to come with you, and she answered. She came to give something to people she knew nothing about, and when she discovered they were in danger… that her own friends were in danger… she resolved to do something about it. Mistakes happen, but mistakes can be mended. We owe it to her. Now let him go." Motioning with his chin to the man that Hosea has… his own left in the dirt and still unconscious from the earlier infiltration, "And start yelling at me, like I just told you to do something you don't agree with."

As he says this, Connor is not watching Hosea… he's watching the eyes of the other man, for any sense of understanding… reasoning… watching to see if he understands English.

Hosea watches the man's eyes as well. He shifts to listen to Connor, and then back to Hosea as if waiting to see how the African will respond. "I do disagree wit you," he says. "I will not let him go. I will not make you stay for dis. It will not be pleasant." Hosea doesn't wish to inflict any greater damage on his classmates than he already has. His hand reaches back to pull the gun from his enemy's hand.
"Hah, I will not be deceived by you," the man says to Connor. "You wait for me to run so dat you can shoot me in da back. You will shoot me to my face." He follows the statement with something short, in an African tongue. No doubt some sort of insulting name. Apparently he understands.

Pulling the pistol from the sling he's dropped it in from the guard, Connor checks it, and then nods once, "Fair enough… thanks for confirming you speak English. And for the record… I don't shoot people in the back. I prefer the knees." Walking over and to one side, he aims down towards the aforementioned spot, still watching the man as he says, possibly to Hosea's surprise, "This is how it works. You tell us what we want to know, and we give you a chance to get someplace very far away from here. You don't talk… we will start making you wish you were a kid back in camp being beat on with a pipe. You lie to us…" He stops and tilts his head, the cold look just in the eyes, no facial expression seen otherwise, "Lie to us… and I'll just turn my back. I turn my back and Hosea can stop caring that he'll hurt my feelings."

The man sneers back. "Dere is nothing dat I will tell you dat will matter. You cannot change it." He looks back at Hosea. "Dey say you were da traitor. You should have killed Nero when you had da chance. You are a fool," he accuses. "Nero has many more mutants now. You are not special anymore."
Hosea's expression isn't so cold. He's conflicted about what is about to take place. A scowl crosses his countenance, and he looks over his shoulder at Connor. He doesn't say anything to answer the charges, but then looks back at the captive. "Should I kill you den while I have da chance?" he asks through his teeth. The grip on the man's throat tightens, and with his free hand, he ejects the magazine of the gun, tossing the gun to the side and then catching the magazine in the same hand. There are still darts inside. Hosea is taking a moment to examine them before he decides on what to ask first.

Connor fires… aiming just wide of the man's leg. At this close range however it's hard to judge whether or not it was intentional or a last minute jerk. The forest around them resounds with the sound of the bullet ejecting and then burying in the dirt, "Oh good. The gun works too." Then the hot barrel is pressed in on the knee there while the choke is held, "Nero can have all the mutants he wants. He can have a big mutant party for all I give a shit. Right here, right now, there's only two mutants you have to worry about. Where are the Americans being held? Is Nero currently on site, and if so, for how long." The barrel presses in harder, "This isn't a game of american good cop, bad cop, friend… understand something… neither of us are really happy right now. And you're about the only thing within a couple miles we have to take that frustration out on. Or… I can let Hosea just kill you, and we can start on contestant number two sleeping over there."

The man tries to choke out an answer, and Hosea releases the grip enough so that he can speak. "Dey are in da camp," he winces. "But you will not get dem back. You will not want dem back when da Sugar Man is finished with dem." There's no amusement in his voice, it is a simple factual statement. Hosea reaches out with his hand, and places it on the gun. "Connor." His voice is softer, and he looks up at his fellow interrogator. His blood thirst seems to be less, a silent plea in his look for the other to reconsider what they are doing. He doesn't say anything, but the look contains all of the message that should be needed.

The hand comes away from the neck, but Hosea continues to sit on the arm to prevent him from getting up. "What is your name?" There is a certain hesitation. "Yabani."

That coldness is still there, "Fine." Connor takes the pistol, dumps the magazine, and then ejects the round before there's the sound of a snap as he breaks the hammer, tossing the now-useless piece into the grass of the forest floor. Crossing his arms over his chest, he moves back to lean against another tree, "But he doesn't care what happens to them. To anyone. He doesn't care that children are being made to fight like dogs for sport, that the people they've taken are so beaten they would rather cower in their cages rather than take a hope… even a slim one they'll survive. I'm starting to see why Magnus has such contempt for the people of this world. When they're capable of doing this to each other." The sheer venom in his words enough to be heard… he's at the line, and he's ready to cross. But it's not backed by anger, or unthinking rage, nor even fear. Something else still lurking in those eyes.

Hosea knows the look well. He's seen it in the mirror too many times. "No," Hosea agrees. "He does not. But I care." He looks at the Yabani. "Who is Sugar Man?" he asks. "I will not tell you," comes the quick response. With the lack of impending threat, Yabani seems to have grown his spine back. "Nero is strong, you are both weak. I do not fear weak men." There is a twitch in Hosea's cheek. Connor's not alone in the desire to get the answers at any cost. But it isn't desire that stays his hand, there's something else lurking behind his eyes as well.

Pushing off his spot, his hand flicks out, and suddenly Yabari is in the grip of a graviton field… and slowly lifted off the ground to be suspended uselessly there, "Weak? You want to talk about weakness?" His voice soft now as he approaches, "A weak man… A weak man doing what I am doing now? He would crush your arms, to make himself feel powerful. He would hurt you to make you feel the same weakness he is feeling now." Slowly turning the man upside down as he walks closer, until he's almost nose to nose with the other Nigerian, "Those urges are easy to give in to. Real weakness is not having the honor to stand on your own two feet and tell the world no, when everything around you makes you want to say yes. To stare Death in the fangs, and never flinch, even when it's not come for you. Weak men make easy choices. Weak men find power in pain. You want us to be weak? Like you?"
And the field suddenly intensifies as the crushing force is brought enough to bear to make breathing hurtful, and bones ache, "Because right now… I -really- want to give in. Make me care about you again, Yabari. Who is the Sugar Man."

Hosea stands to his feet to avoid rolling off of Yabani as he is lifted into the air. The soldier clenches his teeth with the pain, tensing against the crushing force. "He…" Yabani coughs, unable to continue the sentence. "Nero's…" he coughs more, trying to breathe against the force, his face turning red from the pressure. Hosea starts to interfere, but holds back. The Nigerian must confess that he wants the answers, and so he lets Connor continue for a moment longer.

Connor releases the crush-force of twice Earth's gravity on Yabani's body, leaving him with a blood-flow headache and an almost purple face from the effects, and then turns him right side up, "Who is the Sugar Man, Yabani… none of us want this to go on." The man remains floating still, Connor not giving him an inch for his consideration.

Yabani gasps for air for a moment before answering. "He'll kill me if I tell you," he bites back. "Strength is in control. We all find a place we cannot go on. Eitha I die by you, or die by him. What difference is it to me?" Hosea steps forward. "No." His voice is forceful, "Nero controls you by feah. But I escaped, and now you have a chance to escape. You do not need to be controlled by him any more."
The prospect doesn't sound promising. "Until he controls all of Nigeria. Ikbuku, you know what Nero can do more dan most. Dat is fool's speak. You can run away wit powers. I do not have dat. He will find me again, and he will kill me."

"No he won't. You tell us, and I'll send you to New York… away from all of this.", Connor replies to the statement, "Where there is no Nero. You might have to deal with muggers, gangs, poor housing… but I think you're used to that by now. But my way turns you into a face in the crowd. A no one. You can make your own name and life… where you can find a life that you can use to turn around and help the people you're hurting now."

"Ha," Yabani answers. He looks back at the distant camp. "America," Hosea says. "It is as beautiful as dey say in stories," Hosea tells Yabani. "I do not know much about him," Yabani confesses. "He is strange, like all head, and with four arms. A strange man. He makes da mutants." Hosea steps closer. "We want a map dat can show us where our friends are."
Connor nods once, "America, just like that… literally steps away from where you are now. That's the kind of power I have." And then he releases his gravitic hold on Yabani, and lets him gently to the ground, the glow dissipating from around him, "I could hear it in your voice. Even you don't like what's happening. I give you my word. On the lives of my friend that Nero has right now… you give us what we need to save her, and you can leave this place… this life behind. Not many people get second chances worth taking." There still remains that implacable edge, something else behind it enough to believe he's just as ready to return to suffocating the man.

"I will draw you da map, but my sister is also in da camp," he says. "Made to be a wife to Nero's body guards. I will not leave her behind." Yabani regards Hosea with contempt. "I am not like Hosea," he makes a passing verbal stab. Hosea has no response to give to the statement. Yabani seems to believe that he has more power now. He has the information, and gets to dictate the terms of the release of that information.

"If we go after your sister, that lessens the chances of our being able to rescue anyone else. You know that. And I think you also know that even if we do save her… she might be too far gone for it to mean anything." Walking forwards to put himself between Hosea and Yabani, Connor pulls the face-obscuring balaklava mask back and off to reveal his face, and the pale frown there, the clenched jaw, "So here's the deal. This isn't the part where you think you can negotiate terms. You give us ta map to work from, and everything else you know about the camp. Schedules, where the mutant barracks are, where the holes in the mansion security is, ammo supplies and fuel dumps. All of it. You do that, and when we start raining hell the likes of which Nero has never dreamed of on his little vacation home, you can take your shot and go get her. If you survive. If you get her out with you… I will send you both to New York… but just to be clear… which one is your sister? Is she the one you haven't h
"Is she the one you haven't had your way with yet?" Pushing his own taunt back in the man's face.

Yabani grins slyly. "Yes, she is dat one," he answers. Yabani is no cleaner than anyone else in the camp. He has family that he cares about like anyone else, but he is no less of a monster than the rest of the soldiers there. "I do not know da schedules for supplies, and dere are no holes in da security. I give you what I have." Hosea interrupts. "You will give us everything you have," he tells Yabani. "Everything we ask for, or we will let you go back in Nero's camp." That would probably be the worst thing that could be done. There is a certain fire behind Yabani's eyes. He plays the odds, and always goes with the side that is winning. "What shall I have for a promise. You will both die in dis attack."

Connor's gravity field encompasses Yabani and slams him to his hands and knees in the dirt, this time making him feel himself slowly sink down as he's pushed like it's quicksand, "Yabani, Yabani, Yabani… you're getting greedy… and I'm getting impatient. See how little it takes for me? This is nothing. I can make you feel like you have two tons sitting on your back… do you know what that kind of pressure does? Do you? How it presses on your spine, how it makes your bones ache? If this is the language you want us to speak… fine… I'm fluent in bastard. You'll have to pardon the accent though. I learned it from Magneto." Letting that sink in a moment.

Yabani cringes under the weight. He will take what he can get, though. He laughs painfully. "You are da ones dat wish to die," he tells Connor and Hosea. "You do no attack Nero and live to tell of it. But your funeral is your own. I will give you da map."

Connor releases the field once more, and then looks at Hosea, "All right… get the map. I'm going to get us a bigger stick. I have a birthday to make, and so does Rashmi. And I'm tired of disappointing people." He keeps his eyes level with Hosea, "I'm not going in there to talk and play nice, Hosea… this is your country, and this is your past coming back to roost… but I'm right there beside you. Wolves who travel alone die alone." Then the balaklava goes back up, "Wolves who travel in packs live together."

Hosea returns the gaze. "Do not be a wolf," he says. "I have been one for too long, dere is no happy ending. You will end up just like dis man. Instead, be shrewd like a serpent, but innocent like a dove." A message for himself as much as for Connor. He picks Yabani off of the ground. "Come, we have a map to make," he orders the other Nigerian.

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