Moose is built much like his namesake, so he's not afraid of his fellow Gens. He isn't afraid of Simes, either, not since the time when he was younger that he was attacked by one, and lived. He's therefore used to getting the occasional cross-border job, mostly from devout parents who really mean it when they say they'd rather their kid was dead than Sime.
Moose is a little farther across the border than usual, this time, and this time the quarry is wanted alive. Still, a job's a job, and someone must really want this guy. They're paying double the usual bounty, plus expenses.
Moose knows a lot of tricks for getting around Simes. Like donating at the border, so he's harder for the snakes to smell. And keeping cool, no matter what happens.
Moose saunters through the public park, right in the middle of the Sime capital city. He's spotted his quarry. The man's name is Nick Debree, and for the past hour he's been glued to the side of a cute little snake.
Moose knows tricks for managing Simes, but most of them are too conspicuous for a public park. Especially if you want to leave the Sime undamaged.
Nick is feeding the ducks, which he and Kat have made into a weekly ritual. He's ~~ enjoying ~~ the nice day, the time off, not having to be in uniform, and Kat. Not necessarily in that order.
Katsura is enjoying the fresh air and sunshine, too, the more so that Nick is as well, and as usual, enjoying Nick and his nager.
Katsura: Oh, that big drake always crowds the little ducks out.
Nick: Greedy little pigs, aren't they?
Katsura: They sure are.
Katsura tosses some bits of bread well off to the side, where the other ducks will have more of a chance.
Moose moves a little closer, staying calm and studying the pair. She's supposed to be a super-Sime, a channel. But Moose has gotten past channels before.
Nick: That drake must think he's a hummingbird, or something.
Moose can be patient. Half an hour ago, he saw the Sime drink a huge cup of tea from a roadside vendor. A little thing like her can't have a very big bladder. All he has to do is wait.
Nick brushes the last crumbs from the last piece of bread from his hands and offers his arm to Kat, out-T style.
Katsura tosses her last piece of bread, brushes the crumbs and takes Nick's arm, charmed as usual by the gesture.
Moose thoroughly approves of the park's public washroom. It's picturesque, solidly built out of fieldstone.
Nick leads the way down the path towards the roses, which coincidentally is near the washroom.
Katsura can zlin that Nick doesn't require the use of the latrine, even though she does.
Katsura: I'll just duck in here for a moment.
Nick: Sure. Take your time. I'll meet you in the roses.
Nick knows that Kat is not likely to want to spend as much time examining them as he does.
Katsura goes around the small building to the door.
Nick smiles after her ~~ fondly ~~, then wanders towards the rose bed.
Katsura automatically keeps track of Nick's nager even as he moves away.
Nick makes her task easier by allowing a ~ fragment ~ of his attention to remain pointed her way.
Moose saunters calmly past the privy, pausing just long enough to pull the little bar of tool steel from his pocket and wedge it through the hasp of the door's outside padlock. That'll slow her down, if she even senses anything at all through the stone walls.
Katsura hears a Gen fumble at the door.
Katsura: I'll be out in a moment!
Moose thinks, No, you won't. He stays calm for the benefit of bystanding snakes, as he closes swiftly on his quarry. He has the chloroform rag and the cuffs ready.
Katsura finishes, arranges her clothes and unlatches the door, but it doesn't open. She jiggles the latch, then zlins that the hasp has been closed and pinned. Some kind of practical joke?
Nick is occupied with a double rose that starts yellow and turns salmon pink as it ages.
Moose steps up behind his oblivious target and raises the rag in a calm, casual gesture.
Nick smells an odd chemical smell, but only thinks that someone has sprayed the roses.
Katsura: Okay, kids, let me out now.
Katsura doesn't zlin anyone, even children, close by. ~~ annoyance ~~
Moose presses the rag to Debree's nose and mouth, placing a friendly arm around his shoulder to catch him as he sags.
Nick feels the cloth and holds his breath, slamming his elbow backwards.
Moose was ready for the move; they'd told him this guy was a scrapper. He turns so the elbow gets him in the side instead of the solar plexus.
Nick raises an ~~~ alarm ~~~ for Kat and any other Simes to zlin, although it lacks the precision it would normally have.
Katsura zlins that Nick is in trouble and slams her shoulder against the door, augmenting. The hasp pulls off its screws and Kat races out.
Moose keeps the cloth pressed against Debree's face as he dodges another, weaker blow.
Nick then reaches up, grabs the little finger of the hand holding the rag, and yanks quickly, snapping it back and breaking it.
Katsura shifts into high augmentation and races toward Nick. She zlins the finger break.
Moose gasps, but manages not to scream. Damn, the bastard is gonna pay for that.
Nick tries for the next finger, although his movements are far less coordinated.
Moose lets the rag slip for just a second.
Nick gasps in clean(er) air, and jerks the second finger again, harder.
Katsura grabs the attacker by the arm and pulls him away from her Gen.
Nick stumbles as he's released, then falls face first to the ground.
Moose gasps under the double onslaught, and begins to struggle. All his attention is on the Sime, now.
Katsura pulls the arm back, around and behind the attacker's back, pulling it well up, wondering if she's going to have to go hypoconscious until Nick can help her with the Gen's pain.
Katsura: What's going on here?
Katsura can smell the chloroform, and zlins that Nick isn't injured.
Nick is, however, very ~~~ woozy ~~~.
Moose brings back one booted heel, raking it down the Sime's shin and stomping hard on the foot.
Katsura is on to that one, and her foot isn't there by the time the boot gets there. She jerks the arm up higher.
Katsura: Stop that.
Moose stumbles, momentarily off balance, putting more of his weight on his twisted arm. He still manages not to scream.
Katsura wonders if she's going to have to take the Gen down with pressure on the carotid nodes, a technique she learned in psychiatric training, but hates to use because of its occasional lethal effect.
Moose brings his injured hand around. There's a spot on the snake's forearm, if he can just manage to hit it.
Katsura evades the attempt at her lateral nodes, grasps the wrist and bends that arm up behind the Gen's back as well, holding both with one hand and tentacles, freeing her other.
Nick tries to get to his feet, but only makes it halfway.
Moose grunts as his broken fingers slam against something. He throws all his weight backwards, hoping sheer size will work in his favor.
Katsura drops hypoconscious and with Sime grace avoids injury as the Gen throws himself backward.
Katsura: Nick, get his handcuffs!
Moose's move puts even more pressure on his twisted arm. He feels something in his shoulder pop.
Katsura feels it too, and is very glad she's still hypoconscious.
Nick blinks, then settles for sitting up, rather than standing. He's rewarded with a a bit more success.
Nick looks around.
Katsura: He dropped them, over there.
Moose lashes out with both feet, hoping to strike something, anything.
Katsura jumps to avoid the kick, and the Gen ends up falling on his face.
Nick sees his assailant slam one foot into a rose bush, and finally his head clears enough to assess the situation.
Moose gets a faceful of rose brambles, including one right in the eye. He would howl this time, if the breath hadn't been knocked clean out of him.
Katsura kneels on his back, still holding his wrists. Remaining hypoconscious is becoming uncomfortable.
Nick has his priorities, and so the first thing he does is to ~~ protect ~~ Kat, albeit in a slightly woozier fashion than usual. He crawls for the handcuffs.
Katsura remains hypoconscious, unwilling to risk zlinning until she's sure Nick can protect her.
Nick picks up the cuffs, drops them, picks them up again, and starts crawling back towards Kat.
Moose's mind is still working, even if his lungs, for the moment, aren't. He goes totally limp, hoping to buy an off guard moment.
Katsura risks duoconsciousness and confirms both that the Gen is faking it and that Nick is doing a good job of supporting her.
Nick: Here, Kat.
Nick holds the cuffs out.
Katsura: Can you get the cuffs on him? I don't dare let go.
Katsura is feeling queasy, zlinning the Gen's pain and knowing she's exacerbating it.
Nick: Oh. All right.
Moose struggles with everything that's in him, which is more than most men would have at this point. His foot connects with something.
Nick yelps as he gets a boot in the ankle.
Katsura winces but zlins that Nick's ankle isn't much harmed.
Moose follows up with the other foot.
Katsura watches the kick land on a stake that supports a tree rose, breaking it. Good thing it didn't break the rose's trunk.
Moose keeps struggling, writhing and kicking frantically.
Katsura: Stop struggling. You're only injuring yourself worse.
Moose's only response is another flurry of kicks.
Nick gets one cuff secured, then struggles to get the other working.
Moose tries to move his wrists a bit farther apart, so the second cuff won't reach.
Katsura forces the wrist back in range.
Nick finally gets the cuff to snap closed.
Katsura: Good. Thanks. You sit on his legs and I'll tie his ankles together.
Nick sits as directed, grunting at the bumpy ride.
Moose forces himself to relax. There's got to be a way out of this. If only he can think what it is.
Katsura rummages in Nick's satchel. He has everything else in there, there must be rope. She pulls out a length of strong twine.
Nick's head is clearing rapidly, allowing him to take an interest in something beside not passing out.
Katsura pulls off the Gen's boots and binds his ankles together.
Nick takes a closer look at their captive's face.
Moose breathes slowly and deeply, saving his strength. Sooner or later, there'll be a chance to escape.
Nick: Who are you? And what the shen were you trying to do?
Moose glares at Nick.
Moose: Dammit, they're payin' me extra for this one.
Nick: Who is paying you? And why?
Moose shakes his head.
Moose: Uh-uh, Debree. I ain't sayin' nuthin.
Katsura wonders if this is a case of mistaken identity.
Nick: It's Genlan for Reckage. I haven't used that name for a long time, though.
Katsura: Well, whatever this is about, this man is guilty of assault and attempted abduction. Against a Donor, too.
Nick: Of course, if he's cooperative, the law might be inclined to be more lenient. Especially if he was hired by someone else.
Moose: Lawyer. Wanna lawyer.
Nick: It's only the police who have to give you a lawyer before they start asking questions. We're civilians, so we can ask as many as we want.
Moose: Not sayin' nothin' without a lawyer.
Katsura: Nick, I'd like to set and splint that finger. It will make both of us more comfortable.
Nick: We don't have any painkillers with us, but you're right. That finger must be set.
Katsura gets supplies out of Nick's satchel and goes to work.
Moose: Want a good doc. A real doc.
Katsura: You won't get a better one than a Farris channel, mister.
Nick: Go ahead, Kat. I'll make sure you don't feel anything.
Katsura signals to Nick for strong support, and sets the broken bone.
Moose: Whiskey. Need a whiskey.
Katsura: The worst is over now, as far as that finger goes, anyway.
Moose figures his request might have a chance, since they don't seem to be trying to torture information out of him.
Moose: Good shot of whiskey.
Katsura expertly splints and bandages, then goes into healing mode to reduce the swelling and start the bone fusing.
Nick: Of course, there's still the shoulder to go. I might be able to find a painkiller, but I'm still too distracted by wondering who sent you.
Moose: Uh-uh. Won't work.
Moose can live with a little ~~ pain ~~ . He can't live with ratting out an employer.
Nick: Oh, Kat's quite capable of putting that dislocated shoulder back without any anesthetic. Of course, a shoulder hurts a bit more than a finger. Quite a bit more, actually.
Katsura: The shoulder isn't dislocated, but some of the ligaments are torn. I'll reposition his arms to relieve some of the strain
Katsura rotates the man's wrists in the cuffs so she can straighten his arms. She's glad Nick is keeping up the support.
Nick: I don't see the keys to the cuffs.
Moose: Left inside jacket pocket.
Moose figures if they uncuff him, he may yet get away.
Katsura: They have hacksaws at the police station. I'll work on the shoulder a bit.
Katsura does so, enough to get healing started and relieve some of the pain.
Nick takes the keys, meanwhile, and investigates the other contents of the pockets.
Katsura is itching to get the police here. Where are all the bystanders you can send off to fetch the cops when you need them? She hasn't zlinned anyone within shouting distance since the attack started.
Nick finds a considerable sum of cash, then some lock picks.
Nick: Naughty fellow. These will get you some extra time. And what's this?
Nick pulls out a business card.
Nick: The Karamel Kat House? You've come a long way, whoever you are. Better check him for social diseases, Kat. He's probably infected.
Katsura: The prison channel can do that.
Nick: Yes, leave it for the prison channel. He'll have a long time before he'll have the opportunity to infect someone else.
Nick looks around at the deserted garden.
Nick: It looks like we've got to transport him to the police ourselves.
Nick cuts the twine binding Moose's ankles, stands, then reaches down to grab Moose between the shoulders and haul him to his feet. He's not particularly careful about avoiding pain to Moose, although he politely blocks it for Kat and any other Simes in the area.
Moose cooperates, to the extent of trying to keep his feet under his center of gravity and not screaming.
Nick: We can take the short cut through the meadow.
Nick pushes Moose in the proper direction.
Katsura picks up the man's boots, ties the laces together, and hooks them over his good arm.
Moose walks, ~~ sullenly ~~ and somewhat stiffly until the pins and needles work themselves out. He's beginning to wonder if it's time to retire. He's obviously not at the peak of his game any more. This Debree and his little snake should have been a walk in the park. Literally.
Moose grunts as he steps on a loose twig of rose bramble. He wonders how much time he'll have to do. It's really not worth it any more.