Ryan stared at Grigori.
Ryan punched Grigori.
Ryan punched Grigori again.
He shook out his hand – punching the Russian was quite a lot like punching a brick wall. ‘You were there, Grigori,’ he said, ‘when I told Taylor what I would do to him if he hurt Stef. I would have assumed you would understand the greater implication was if anyone hurt her.’
‘So what,’ Grigori asked, ‘you’re going to kill me? While your tech watches?’
Jones looked from filling hypodermic needles with blue, and other liquids. ‘Just pretend I’m not here.’
‘It’s about time.’
Stef stared at the Russian. ‘Really? That’s the first thing you say? I’ve got the keys, remember?’
‘Your petty threats don’t mean anything.’
‘Dude,’ she said, ‘aren’t you supposed to be like the...happy version of Taylor?’
Grigori pointed at the comatose agent. ‘He needs medical attention.’
‘Yeah, I can guess so,’ she said, ‘but he’s not in any worse of a condition than he was when we go here. Which is what we need to talk about.’ She turned to Curt, handed him the keys and his gun. ‘Let him out, but if he makes a wrong move-’
Stef stared at the gun, then pushed it back toward Curt. ‘I thought I was supposed to be the crazy one.’
He lifted the gun, then dropped it in her lap. ‘Do it. You deserve to do it more than the others.’
‘Others?’ she echoed.
‘If you refuse, well-’ He stopped for a moment. ‘Well, I won’t actually have to make the offer to Ryan, I’m a traitor, I tortured you, you really think my life isn’t forfeit as soon as we go back? And, hell, I’m sure Grigori wouldn’t mind taking a shot at me.’
‘I’m not going to shoot you.’
The room beyond the torture chamber was empty – Stef looked around, judging by the state of the room, it had been recently occupied, probably watching the show. She kept her gun at her side, it had been occupied, so there was a chance it would be occupied again.
A laptop caught her eye – it had been left open, a simple screensaver showing the time bounced around. She ran a finger across the trackpad, and it went to the desktop without even asking for a password.
‘Jesus, so much for security.’
The countdown timer stayed on seven-seconds-to-live for a moment, then disappeared.
The rip in her chest sealed, and she felt her lungs inflate, and clear themselves of liquid...of blood. The frostbite disappeared, replaced by warm, pale pink skin. Her broken digits flexed, and straightened themselves with little fuss.
She felt herself blinking, and the odd feeling of a new eye appearing in her empty socket. Her vision flicked through several light spectrums, then settled, and then gave her the pleasure of depth perception again.
‘Do you think,’ Curt asked again, ‘that today is a good day to die?’
Stef stared up at him, hoping that he was saying what she thought he was saying. ‘I-’
‘REPENT!’ he screamed at her again.
The knife dug into her cheek.
‘Do you think,’ he asked for a third time, ‘today is a good day to die?’
Her cheek scraping against the edges of the blade, she nodded.
‘Are you ready to die?’
Good gods, Spyder, I hope-
Yeah, I hope you’re right too. I forgive you if you weren't.
She nodded again.
Curt walked into the adjoining room, a combination of an observation room though mirrored glass and a break room – two men sat playing cards, and Captain Zheleznova sat at a table by himself, casually typing away on a laptop.
‘I need a new pair of pants,’ he said.
The Captain looked up at him. ‘Those were the last new pair we had for the moment, but there should be some clean pairs in the laundry?’
‘Four doors down, on the right.’