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Evelyn Arwen gazed down into her cup of coffee and tried to disregard the sounds from the next room. The thumps and groans penetrated through the concrete wall and filled the small room where Evelyn kept her belongings. The building that the Los Angeles Police Department used as an operational base after a suspicious fire at their station was an old slaughterhouse that had been closed since before the arson. Fittingly, the interrogation room next door had been the slaughterhouse's killing floor.
She looked up and saw Anthony Connelly standing in the doorway leading into the interrogation room. Tony had a serious look on his face and a cigarette between his index and middle fingers was dangerously close to burning both fingers as it burned down to the butt.
"I think he's ready to talk. Come on in."
Evelyn took a deep breath and polished off her lukewarm coffee. She flipped a switch on her desk that turned on the microphones in the next room. The lieutenant, captain, and who the hell ever was involved in this interrogation wanted to hear whatever came next. Evelyn took another deep breath and sighed. She had to prepare herself for what awaited her inside. She had been working with the LAPD with permission from her school to work on tough cases that required Hero presences. She spent her free time reading and writing about the world. She read and wrote reports on everything from the production of methamphetamine in Silicon Valley to the criminal structure of the organized crime syndicates in San Francisco. There was a sense of detachment to her work. It was more academic than applicable. Tony had no such luxury. He did the legwork for LAPD’s Interrogation Department and saw the brutal truths of the job firsthand. Tony had no problem keeping his composure in the interrogation room, but Evelyn wasn't sure of herself.
They went inside the long, dim room with a single naked lightbulb serving as the sole source of light. LAPD's Captain, Erik Crystal and two of his trusted aides stood close to a metal chair bolted to the concrete floor. A bloody and beaten man sat on the chair strapped with down with leather belts. A metal tub of water sat next to the chair. Evelyn noticed drops of blood on the floor leading towards the tub. She also noticed the beaten man's wet head and the black gloves Crystal wore. They were weighted with lead in the knuckles and palms. Sap gloves, they were called, and they were used to issue beatings.
"Reg," Tony said to the beaten man, slapping him gently to wake him up.
"Reg, my man. You need to wake up and talk."
Regiland Leonard, the bloody mess in front of Evelyn, broke out into a fit of coughing. A broken molar came out of his mouth and clattered to the floor. Leonard looked up at Evelyn with swollen eyes that seemed to look through her more than they looked at her.
"We need to know about the group behind the recent criminal activities in Hollywood and the arson, Reg. They're planning something. We need to know what they're planning, who they are, and how to find them."
Leonard started to say something but stopped when he saw Crystal approaching with his sap gloves. The beaten man flinched and hurriedly looked down at the floor. Blood dripped from his open mouth and spilled onto the floor in drips and drops.
"I was hired to set the fire," Leonard said. "I came here to distract and destroy the Hollywood Police Station on the boulevard here.”
"Hired? And to distract?" Tony asked.
"I was supposed to allow the group a chance to breathe and continue their activities without the eyes of the LAPD watching them. I only had to set the gadget that set the fire.."
"How long ago was this planned?" Evelyn asked.
"A month or so. I... I'm not sure, but it wasn’t supposed to be a cakewalk, but I was assured that the gadget would make it easy.."
Evelyn and Crystal exchanged looks. Evelyn had never heard of an outside individual being embraced by a criminal group to carry out their agenda. So, why would they embrace a man that wasn’t devoted to their cause? Leonard took no part in their message that was tainted to their crime scenes but he was given intel and highly technologically advanced gadget that set one of LAPD’s police stations on fire.
"Can I have a cigarette? Leonard asked.
"Soon as you answer my question," Evelyn said. "Who gave you the orders? Give me some names, please."
"I just know her by her first name," he said with a shrug. "And she is the only one I've met so far, she went by the name of Mercury.”
"What does she look like?" Tony asked as he started to pull a cigarette out for Leonard.
Leonard shrugged in his chair. He regretted the decision immediately and winced in pain at some injury. "Mercury was just a bizarre gal."
Tony put a cigarette in Leonard's mouth and lit it up for him.
"Bizarre how?" Tony asked while Leonard inhaled the cigarette smoke.
"Mercury said she was a woman," Leonard said, expelling smoke from his mouth as he spoke. "However, everything about her contrasted what a woman looks like. Broad shoulders, prickly stubble hair on her face, no breasts... you know?"
“So a guy.” said Tony.
Evelyn made a mental note. Mercury, a feminine male that stood out. The dimly lit room stood quiet for a moment as if everything in the room had ceased to exist. A cough from the battered, wounded and abused man re-ignited Evelyn's attention to him. She glanced at the man and recalled the vitality in him just a couple days prior. For a slight moment in that arson, she had stood frightened; one of the police officers was sprawled on the earth defeated. But then she had recognized the havoc she had advanced through beside her mother and that was nothing rivaling this. She had observed numerous people perish, some enemies but many companions. Hell, she had killed her own mother out of spite. And in the resolution of the battle, it was she who had come out as the victor.
Tony put his hand on Evelyn's shoulder shaking her back into the present. Tony saw the look Evelyn gave him and acknowledged the apologetic expression on her eyes. He was proud of her, but his facial appearance didn't falter from the cold, hardened aspect he put on in the interrogation room.
"Where did you meet him last?" demanded Tony as he strode ahead to Leonard, stomping his heel onto the ground.
Leonard was startled a bit but it did little to startle the man, especially after the grueling hours of physical and mental trauma he had been put through.
"Franklin Avenue was where I last made my communication with them, and there I was equipped with the materials to set off the device," said Leonard inhaling the last bit of his cigarette as it transposed into ash.
Franklin Avenue was the perfect getaway for criminals, and Evelyn wasn't astounded to discover that Leonard and the Criminal Group acted out of there as well. She condemned the captain of the Hollywood Boulevard Police station. For far too long, Crystal granted the area to the horrors of the rampant small-time criminals. And now, an advanced, yet sickening group was directly on their nose, preying and charging. It was tough to see, and Evelyn wished she could alter the outlook on Hollywood Boulevard. She glanced at Crystal with contempt.
"Now onto how you got enlisted by Mercury. Come now, out with it," asked Crystal hastily trying to deviate from Evelyn's glare.
“I was offered 1 Million dollars to destroy the pitiful police station on this block of town!" Leonard spoke gallantly as if those words had any power to them now.
"1 Million dollars from whom? The group? It’s leader? Mercury?" Evelyn asked.
"That may be the case or he is forgetting something, right?" asked Tony menacingly getting the sap gloves ready for another thrashing. Leonard winced at the thought of another minute of torture, he had already cracked open and revealed everything.
"Mercury said he guaranteed the money because he was financially sound. He had tons of money from being an Underworld broker" gasped out Leonard.
Both Evelyn and Tony were unsure of the authenticity of the statement. It was either a plea for them to stop the beating or a fabrication.
"Wait, Tony. Let me try my hand on him. He's done anyways." suggested Evelyn her voice crackling with fury. She was enraged. She wanted to let out her rage from the days prior onto Leonard but was stopped. This man had killed nearly every single man and woman in the station. It was purely unjust. It made her quail, as those actions went against her very belief in life.
Evelyn looked down at the knife she now clutched in her hand, and then backed up and looked at Leonard. She threw the knife embedding the blade deep in his genitalia, and then the wall behind him. His screams were sweet, sweet music, a grass flute over a background of a former slaughterhouse, her vision flashed, and she was back in her childhood, killing a young man who had gone just one little step too far. She didn’t backtrack from the memory but encompassed it.
“This is for what I didn't get to do last time.” She hissed, her voice somehow even more inhuman, where before it had been laced with fury, now all Leonard could hear was cold, calculating disdain and disgust, “I’ll get to your friends aft-”. She was distracted as Leonard started kicking her on her legs, it didn’t hurt all that much, but now she was even angrier, and tightened her grip on his neck. “You see, if there’s one thing in this world I detest the greatest, it’s scum like yourself. You make me sick.”
The man in her grasp blanched, evidently trying to say something. She was of half a mind to let him say it too, just to have another reason to make him suffer.
Another second in, her left arm shot out, grasping onto his right foot that was about to kick her, “You don't know the number of people you burned!” She squeezed down, crushing his foot into splinters of bone and marrow. Evelyn moved higher up on his leg, relishing his howls and moans, “Most of those people there were unarmed civilians!” She crushed his shin, smothering his mouth with the palm of her hand while gripping his neck with her fingers. By holding him by the neck, Evelyn kept him from making too much noise, pleasant as it was, it was distracting for the other police officers. “You relished watching the screams, huh?”. She tore off his patella tendon via digging her nails into his knee, waving it tauntingly in front of his now tear-streaked face. She crushed his thigh, flinging the pulverized patella tendon against the wall, “You should’ve just died at birth!”
His screams were like music to her ears as she brought him closer, pulling the knife from the wall with the same hand she had used to disable his leg. She held it up to him as she hummed a bastardized version of the USA anthem. “P… please!” He begged, eyes showing a now broken man. She was disappointed.
Leonard was just pathetic.
Planting a light kiss on his cheek and tracing it down to his mouth, she slid a cold, bloody knife in as she followed up with a very slow, very deliberate cut along the same route with the knife, eventually cutting through completely and leaving the entire lower right side of his mouth exposed as the severed flesh flopped down. Licking the blood off the edge of the knife she smirked at him, planting another kiss on the other cheek that left a bloody imprint of her lips before doing the exact same as before and ripping out his teeth.
He blubbered nonsensical things, and she promptly cut his tongue out, tossing it off to the side as she examined the blade. “Very fine knife I chose to torture you with, by the way, seems to be some very durable steel. Should hold an edge well.” She grinned, “Which is good because we’ll need it.” She looked him dead in the eyes, seeing the abject terror in them and licking her own lips in anticipation.
Evelyn pressed it down on his breastbone, slowly drawing the knife down the length of his torso until she reached his pelvis, where she turned it sideways and continued to cut, rotating him until she’d made one full circle. Leonard had been reduced to incoherent babbling that she ignored, focusing only on her task. Moving up, Evelyn did the same at the point she had begun the incision. Pausing for a moment, she admired her work, cooing to the man, “Oh, don’t worry, it’ll be over eventually.” Leonard didn’t respond, but he was still awake, barely. Grasping part of the flesh she had cut, she dug her fingers in, slowly peeling away his skin until she had a large, bloody piece of it in her hand, leaving the fat and muscle underneath exposed.
Before Evelyn could continue, the sound of approaching footsteps met her ears, and she punched through his broken ribcage and pulverized his former beating heart, raising the nearly lifeless thing that had been a man and smashing him onto the floor, then the wall, then the other wall, and finally hurling the pulped remains into the ceiling before turning to face the door.
The people that stood at the door seemed suddenly so out of place, like a piece of a different reality that had been tossed there by a violent storm. The woman’s eyes were wide but her mouth was drawn to a very tight line. A piece of flesh fell from the ceiling to her bare feet with a sickening wet sound.
It was the Police Officers that stood with her in the room just several minutes ago and two other individuals she couldn’t quite see. Evelyn didn't realize it but everyone had vacated the room and left her to her prey. All of her emotions had just expanded out in devastation of Leonard. She looked and saw the fear in Crystal's optics but admiration in Tony's pupils. She didn't know what to make of their glances but to her, she felt that what she did was justice.