Riley moaned in pain, spitting out another wad of blood from her cheek onto the warehouse floor. Her face felt swollen and nearly numb at this point. The punches that followed each unanswered question on her part was beginning to take its toll. She felt blood dripping down from her forehead, staining her shirt. The taste of blood in her mouth was overwhelming and nauseating.
"Still don't want to talk, lady?" The Bratva asked, slightly out of breath. His hands were just as bruised as her face. Apparently throwing a punch took a toll on one's hands. He shook them out to get some feeling back, even as Riley lolled her head to the side. She was so tired. She needed a nap. Maybe it would help the pain go away.
As soon as her eyes closed for even a fraction of a moment, a hand tightly grasped her hair in a fist and yanked her head back painfully. "Ahh!" She cried out, her neck craning at a frightening degree. A disturbing question shot through her head. How easily could the human neck break? Didn't that almost always mean paralysis?
"Huh?" The Bratva tried again, leaning closer to listen for any response. Riley gathered up as much spit as she could and hocked it into the guy's face. He recoiled, letting go of her hair. "вы заплатите за эту суку!" He cried, baring his teeth as he planted a booted foot on her chest and shoved her back with all his strength.
She was sent tumbling backwards, still strapped in the chair, for several feet, before it toppled over. Her head hit the concrete painfully, and she saw stars. Something warm and wet started to wet the back of her head. Shit, that might have been a fractured skull. It didn't help her any that she'd taken some medical anatomy in high school. Knowing what was going on with her body was nearly as terrifying as experiencing it. She knew how fragile the human body could be.
How much more could she take?
"I'm getting tired of the silence." The Bratva grumbled with a thunderous expression, wiping away any remnant of her blood from his face. Riley tried her best to remain unperturbed, but the fear was beginning to seep through her determination. And they knew it. With a grunt, he raised his foot and planted it directly in the middle of her chest, earning a scream from their prisoner.
Wrench was taken to the 16th street station. They'd forced the mask off his face in transit and had him blindfolded, but as soon as they sat him down in the metal, foldable chair and took off the cloth around his eyes, he recognized the small room. Hell, some of the graffiti that littered the wall was his own stuff from years back. San Francisco was his home. Did they really think they could bring him somewhere he wouldn't recognize? What a joke.
One of the agents set up a video camera across from him, and another took off the cuffs holding his wrists behind his back. A part of him thought about making a run for it—the door was right there, after all—but he wouldn't get far. They'd locked the door and he didn't want to leave without his mask. Of which, the smartly dressed agent that entered the room next was holding.
So instead of sprinting out of there like he was itching to do, Wrench stayed put, sitting as casually and comfortably as he could given the situation. Having people around he didn't trust or like without his mask on was making him nervous. He didn't like being in a state where he could be recognized. He didn't like people knowing who he was, and just what he was. He could almost feel the birthmark above his eye burning, marking him as a freak to these people.
The federal agent who was dressed in his suit studied the mask with fake interest, turning it back and forth to really get a good look. Wrench's hands clenched, but otherwise he showed no other outward display of irritation.
"This like a…Roy Orbison thing or something?" He finally asked, pointing to Wrench's mask while pacing slowly back and forth. The man's shoes clicked softly on the concrete. Wrench didn't bother responding, keeping his head down and staring up at him through his lashes.
It seemed the agent hadn't expected a response, because he continued on anyway. "You see, my dad told me that Roy wore those glasses to get over his incredible stage fright." While he spoke, the agent walked slowly around the chair they'd placed the hacker in, as if he hadn't a care in the world. Perhaps this was just a regular Tuesday to him.
The other man, who stood next to the camera recording everything, stayed there with his arms crossed, as if he were only there because he was obligated to. Maybe he was. Like…a witness thing? Wrench didn't know. But he stared at him just as vehemently as he did the agent who had circled around to stand in front of the chair again.
"Alright. I'm gonna ask you a question. Answer 'yes,' you walk out of here a free man…with the mask." The agent said, pointing towards the door as incentive. Wrench couldn't help but look towards his potential freedom, but knew he couldn't trust this man's words. No matter what.
Instead of complying like a good suspect would, Wrench gave a tiny smirk, the corner of his lip curling upwards a fraction of an inch, and he asked, "Who the fuck is Roy Orbison?" Purposely dragging the conversation back to some pointless metaphor the agent had tried using on him. That ought to piss him off.
In fact, it did. Wrench was skilled in the art of pissing people off. A finely-tuned skillset.
"Answer 'no,'" The agent continued in a more aggressive and authoritative voice, "the mask stays off, you go to jail, and you continue to be whoever it is you don't like looking at in the mirror." He spread his hands wide, encompassing that those were his only options.
Wrench felt an anger bubbling up from that last comment, but held it in check. The agent was trying to make him angry, trying to break his composure, but the hacker wouldn't back down so easily. He wanted answers? He'd have to kill him for them.
Wrench wondered if the team had tracked him down by now. Marcus knew he was taken, so obviously they were searching for him. Wrench had no doubts they would find him, just a matter of how long and what they'd do to these fucks afterwards. Wrench was for sure going to get some payback for this later.
The extended silence made the agent huff in annoyance, and he stepped closer to Wrench, gesturing to punctuate his point with one hand. "Here's the deal. You're a member of DedSec: fact. You've meddled in federal affairs: fact. You will be treated as a federal problem: fact."
Wrench's eyes never wandered from the mask in his other hand even as he continued in a matter-of-fact tone, satisfied that he was successfully chipping away at Wrench's confidence.
"Now, you see, all these things put together give me a bunch of different options. You're an enemy combatant! Which means rendition." He reasoned, turning to Wrench to make sure he still had his attention. "Gitmo if I get cranky."
The hacker was barely able to hold back the eye roll. Was that supposed to be intimidating? Wrench wasn't scared of this fucker. Hell, there weren't many people that scared him. And some high-and-mighty FBI agent wasn't one of them.
"Unless…" he concluded, rounding on him again and leaned casually with his hip cocked. The man paused, and Wrench finally looked up at him.
"Unless what?" He prompted, deciding it would do him some good to feed the agent's ego a bit. Let him think he was getting somewhere.
"Unless you help me get into DedSec." He concluded, and this time Wrench didn't even try holding back his incredulous eye roll. "Get me their zero days, get me the scoop on the whole gang. You are my way in."
Did he really think Wrench would give up the group just to avoid jail time? Really? That was almost more insulting than the comment about who he saw in the mirror earlier. DedSec was more important to him than anything in the world. Marcus, Sitara, Josh…Riley. They were his family and Wrench figured he'd had enough of this pompous asshole thinking he had some sort of leverage over him.
Shit, Riley! They hadn't taken her, had they? There was no mention of a second suspect so far, and he hadn't seen any sign of her. They only appeared to be interested in Wrench. Hopefully she'd been left alone. He didn't want her in danger like this. Once he was out of here, he'd check to be sure, but for now…
Casually lifting a hand to his cheek, Wrench scratched it with his middle finger, making his intentions clear to this guy. The agent shook his head and looked like he was about ready to start wringing his neck. Ha! What a fuckwit. He could kiss Wrench's ass for all he cared.
The man's phone vibrated and he walked away. "Goddammit…"
Out of the corner of his eye, Wrench saw him put the mask on one of the crates to his left, before rounding off at him again. There was a desperation and barely constrained anger in his voice now. A sound Wrench enjoyed having caused.
"Alright, look. I am an act of God. Get me something, point me in the right direction. Names! Addresses! Because I swear to God…you want me on your side!" The man spit, pointing at him venomously. Wrench was unperturbed, glaring silently from the corner of his eye.
A sudden knock on the door made both men look at where the disturbance had come. Wrench narrowed his eyes, as someone walked through just as the agent went to see who it was. The agent stood to stop him. "You can't just-"
"Heel!" The man shouted, and Wrench finally recognized him. Eyes widening in surprise and outrage, Wrench watched as Dušan sauntered his way across the room, regarding the hacker with his hands on his hips. The agent, obviously pissed, tried collecting himself over in the corner. He still had Wrench's mask.
Dušan came closer, shaking his head slowly. "I told him you were gonna be a waste of his time." The agent was angered by those words.
"You're jeopardizing the investigation. You have no standing here! None!"
"Go ahead," Dušan turned towards the agent confidently, "Call your boss. Call Chief Agent Monroe…Call her NOW."
Wrench watched from his seat as both men silently measured each other up, determining which one had the higher standing and ultimately it was Dušan. He jerked his chin, daring the agent to say or do something to the contrary, but the man only sighed and walked off to the back of the room again.
Wrench stayed silent, trying to glean as much information from this interaction as he could. Dušan and the FBI might be trying to interrogate him, but Wrench wasn't going to sit back and do nothing. He'd find out as much as he could in hopes of using their own words against them.
Wrench's attention was forced forward as Dušan crouched before the chair. "What the hell is up with Marcus?" He asked, almost in a genuine tone of concern. Wrench wasn't buying it, but damn was he a good actor for almost pulling it off. "I mean, he's a nice guy…" Dušan shrugged, "he's misguided, but c'mon. He can't protect you from what's coming."
Wrench didn't bother answering, but listened closely to his words.
"The FBI," he continued, gesturing at the agent behind him, "is gonna make an example out of him. I mean, it's kinda…what they do." He finished slowly. As if he were only telling him this to help Wrench. Like this was some big favor.
"It's too bad…but you." He pointed towards the hacker for emphasis. "You have a decision." His hands came up, lifting one and then the other to display his point. "You can decide to be onboard the ride, or just get run over by it."
Unable to keep his mouth shut, the agent stepped forward, pointing at Wrench accusingly. The hacker glared up at him. "You're rendering everything we've got against this guy inadmissible."
Dušan took on an expression of annoyance, lifting a hand in apology towards Wrench. "Excuse me." He rose from his crouch, finally turning back towards the agent. "Because agent Fuentes is having a really hard time seeing the long term."
They walked away from each other again, and Wrench watched carefully. Obviously the FBI weren't exactly happy to be working with Dušan, so there must be some sort of benefit they both received for working together. One great enough to see past the differences in goals.
"So you're free to go." Dušan said suddenly, and Wrench looked quickly up at him. Did he hear him correctly? He can just leave? What? The man spread his hands wide with an unconcerned shrug. "Tell your friends about the deal. If they want to be off the FBI's radar, they just gotta come see me."
Agent Fuentes cleared his throat.
"Yes, me!" Dušan said again with heat, glaring at the agent out of the corner of his eye. It seemed everyone was tired of his input. "Or else…things aren't gonna be pretty."
Wrench took that as his cue to leave, and reached over towards the mask that sat on the crate. Before he could grab it, Dušan stopped him with a hand.
"No, no, no, no, no, no, no, no…See, I think it's time you saw the world through your own eyes, like a big boy. And let the world see you for what you really are." Wrench slowly retracted his hand, internally fuming at the comment. Who the hell did he think he was? He didn't know a damn thing about what that mask represented. Hell, he didn't know a damn thing about Wrench.
He stood, putting as much venom as he could into his glare for Dušan, then turned to do the same to the FBI agents. Feeling the need to break something, Wrench started towards the door, daring one of them to try stopping him. At this point, who cared if they started shooting, he'd start resisting faster than they could blink.
"Escort this man out." Fuentes instructed the other agent. Wrench felt a tight grip on his elbow. "Properly!" He added, and the hand disappeared. Not bothering to look back, Wrench threw open the door and lowered his head. He didn't want anyone seeing his face.
Without the mask…well, Wrench was still Wrench but…there was no hiding what he didn't want others to know.
Barely able to see through the blood that was drying her eyes shut, Riley crawled slowly away from the Bratva member. The chair had long-ago broken from the abuse it had endured. Tossed around and rammed into the floor countless times until it was unable to sustain its integrity. It had broken apart, releasing her from her restraints, but at that point she couldn't have run if her life depended on it.
She'd stopped counting her injuries a while ago. After the definite broken or cracked ribs, she couldn't quite keep track of them all. The thugs had gotten a kick out of hearing her struggle to breath while they put weight on her chest for extended periods of time, hacking and crying out in pain all the while. She just wanted it to stop for a second. Just a second.
The men's amused laughter barely registered in her ears behind her, finding it funny how she tried escaping from them so pathetically. They'd stopped even asking questions awhile ago, too preoccupied with satisfying their own sick amusement. Riley no longer cared what she looked like or where she was. She just wanted out. Right now. Even if her pride was wounded. Even if she looked ridiculous and stupid as she crawled away, nearly blind and disoriented, Riley would be damned if she didn't try to get away. It was that, or die by giving up.
Feeling something small on the floor, she grabbed hold of it. By feel alone she figured it was her earpiece. Maybe one last saving grace. Turning it on with her fingernail, she let out a sigh of relief. Even if they didn't make it in time to save her, maybe DedSec could track down whoever did this to her and avenge her death. That was at least a bit reassuring.
A hand grabbed her ankle, pulling her backwards over the concrete floor. The earpiece fell from her fingertips and they pulled her out of reach. She choked out a sob of fear and pain, knowing there was only more pain to come.
Wrench turned his earpiece on, and Sitara immediately came on over the comm channel. "Wrench, thank god. Are you alright?" Came her concerned question.
"Yeah, I'm fine." He mumbled, unable to help feeling disheartened and defeated. He'd put on a good show to the agent and Dušan, but without anyone to prove his own feelings to, he fell into the usual pit of self-pity. He hated it. But he still allowed it. Pulling the hood further down over his face, he walked to the nearest bench with a tree overhanging it and sat.
"We were able to tap into the camera feed and see what was happening. They're lucky they didn't lay a hand on you. I'm already pissed, but I'd have been ready to beat their fucking asses into oblivion if they had." She promised heatedly, and Wrench was inclined to believe her.
"Thanks…" He said genuinely, feeling a shot of warmth to know his friends always had his back. Speaking of friends, he remembered one in particular he wanted to check on. "Is Riley there?"
There was a brief pause of silence, and Wrench's heart sank. "Sitara?"
"Riley hasn't checked in since you were taken. We've tried calling and pinging her earpiece, but neither are turned on."
Heart clenching in his chest, filling up with dread, Wrench was immediately on his feet and pacing the pavement under the tree. This was exactly what he'd been afraid of. "Can't you track the GPS without it being turned on?"
"On her phone, yes, but I'm not getting a single signal. They might have destroyed it. The earpiece? No. It doesn't use the same system as the phone would. It has to be turned on for us to trace it via the towers."
"Fucking dammit!" He cried, kicking at the closest thing, which happened to be a metal trash can. This earned a few wary looks from nearby people. This was all his fault. If he had thought to double check her apartment before leaving, maybe this wouldn't have happened. "Have you narrowed down anything at all?"
"No…" Sitara said miserably. "What kind of hacker can't even track a single bluetooth earpiece!? Fuck!" She shouted at herself, just as frustrated as him.
"Where's Marcus?" Wrench questioned next, noticing he hadn't spoken at all during the call.
Sitara sighed, trying to calm down. All this anger wouldn't help them find Riley. "He's going to get your mask back."
"There are more important things to take care of right now." He argued, but Sitara wasn't hearing it.
"Wrench, you know how he is. Marcus has made up his mind. We've got all our resources out looking for a way to find Riley. In the meantime, Marcus knows you need that mask. They are both important."
Wrench felt torn. He felt naked and vulnerable—a feeling he hated too—without his mask on. Just being in public without it left him shaking on the inside. But Riley…who knew what was happening to her right now? She was in physical danger, and Wrench couldn't stand idly by while she was out there somewhere. What priority did a mask have over her?
"I'm calling Marcus." He told Sitara, before switching channels to Marcus' personal one. It only took a few seconds before he'd answered.
"I'm here." He said.
"I'm getting your mask back."
He shook his head. "I know. Sitara told me, but we need to be looking for Riley!"
"We'll find her, Wrench, don't panic. Josh is on it right now. There's no one better." What Marcus said was true. Josh had yet to fail them when it came to things like this. Wrench trusted nobody more than him to track down their missing member. It still left him feeling unsatisfied though. He couldn't explain it.
Wrench didn't know how to respond, so Marcus continued in his silence. "You focus on finding Riley. I'll focus on getting you your mask. At the end of the day, we'll have our team back together as they should be."
"Thanks, Marcus." He said, disconnecting from the channel. Wrench rubbed his face with his hands, feeling antsy with no way of working off the energy. Deciding that sitting there wouldn't be productive in any way to finding Riley, Wrench looked around for the nearest parking lot to jack a car.
He made it back to his garage in record time, and made a beeline for his gun locker. It was where he kept his favorites, the ones he saved for special missions. And they'd finally be getting some use, by the looks of it. Face set in both determination and dread, he checked the magazines, satisfied they were still full of ammo.
What to take? There was a wide arsenal at his disposal. So many choices. He grabbed the shotgun and assault rifle. He wanted whatever could take down a man the quickest, and the shotgun would blast them away at close range. Perfect for what he wanted. Then, as an after thought, he traded the assault rifle for the sniper. He was sure it would feel even better to watch them drop like flies from a distance, too. Yeah, that sounded good.
They didn't even know where Riley was or what they'd be facing when they found her, but Wrench wasn't going in without something to cause some damage with. Maybe this was overkill. He didn't think so.
Wrench's earpiece vibrated, and he accepted the ping. "Did you find her?" He asked, unsure of who he was even talking to. But it didn't matter. The answer to the question was all that mattered.
"Riley's earpiece just suddenly turned on. I've narrowed it down to this general location." Josh said, and Wrench's phone chimed in his pocket. He pulled it out, seeing a marked GPS location on his Nudle maps. It looked to be the industrial zone, right at the edge of Bratva territory. Was it really the FBI who had taken her? Wrench began to have his doubts.
"Is she ok?" He asked, knowing that Josh would have tried to get a visual on her.
"There aren't any cameras where they've got her but…it's picking up audio." He finished quietly. Wrench was already in the process of grabbing extra rounds for both guns and jogging over to the motorbike he kept in the corner.
"And? What's happening?"
Instead of replying, Josh fed the transmission from Riley's earpiece into his, and Wrench was forced to hear her cries of pain. He tensed, outraged by the male laughter that it picked up in the background. And what sounded like Russian.
"Those fuckers are dead…" He muttered, reluctantly leaving the earpiece on so he could hear what was going on. "I'm bringing her back" He told Josh, revving the motorbike to life. He shot out of the garage, using the sounds of Riley's pain to push him to go faster, and fueling the fiery anger that swirled within him.
The motorbike coasted to a stop behind a shipping container, and Wrench killed the engine to reduce the noise. The area was surrounded by a large, chain link fence. Inside was an old steel factory, with smaller annex buildings adjacent. The Bratva liked to use places like this to hide their trafficking and drug practices. So it wasn't a surprise, really, that they'd taken Riley here.
There were a dozen or so Bratva members mingling around the area. One man stood on guard in front of the main warehouse, smoking on a cigarette casually. Another group nearby played cards over an upturned crate. Everyone appeared armed with various assault rifles or pistols at their hip. Nobody seemed worried that they'd be attacked.
Well, that was their first mistake.
Wrench was unperturbed. He'd done way more dangerous shit before, even when he wasn't fully a part of DedSec yet. Those missions had only solidified his place in the group, displaying to the rest that he was willing to get shit done where others wouldn't. Besides, if he died, at least he'd have gone down swinging in the attempt to save a friend. He couldn't ask for a better death.
Staying hidden behind the shipping container, probably from some drug smuggling operation from way back or something, the hacker watched as the Russian members moved and talked. He studied their patterns, just as Riley had done at the diner. She was probably better at it than him, but he got the gist of their patrols. There weren't more than a dozen Bratva there. Piece of cake.
Wrench looked around for some sort of higher ground he could utilize the sniper with. Across the street was an old water town. That would do. Leaving the bike, he ran over to the metal ladder and started climbing up. It was rusted and sharp, weathered over the years. He made sure not to get stabbed.
There was a break in the sounds of pain from the earpiece, and lots of Russian talking in the background. So far, Riley's whimpers of pain hadn't ended the entire drive here. Wrench swallowed, hoping that didn't mean she was already dead. He'd need to hurry. There was no time.
Wrench took out his sniper and propped himself in a good position. Yes, he could see most of the area from here. And the distance was far enough that they'd have a hard time seeing him in return. Perfect.
Lining up his scope with the guard's head at the entrance of the warehouse, Wrench felt his mouth twitch upwards just before pulling the trigger. A splatter of red showered a portion of the wall behind him, and he dropped to the ground without another thought. The rest of the gang began to disperse, but Wrench was able to down two other Bratva before they had the time to take cover behind any buildings.
They were on edge now, and that made things fun. The hacker waited another minute or so, hoping for another target. One member peered around the corner of a building, trying to gauge where the shots were coming from. Wrench shook his head in amusement, 'tsk'ing as he let another shot ring out.
What a shame.
That seemed to spook the rest into staying where they were. Wrench didn't feel like he'd get any more opportunities with the sniper, so he strapped it on his back again and began descending the water tower. Time to bring things close range, he thought, dropping the ground and cocking his shotgun.
Let the anarchy begin.
It was so difficult to breathe. Riley couldn't tell if she were dreaming, or if she was in some weird state of half-consciousness. Was she awake? At the edge of her hearing, she could still hear the sound of speaking, but the words she didn't understand. So, they were still there. Great.
Some of the blood that had blocked her vision had finally dried, letting her open her eyes a bit more. The ceiling of the warehouse was metal paneling, and she stared up at a circular light directly above her. The light burned her eyes, but it was batter than the two Bratva that hung at the edge of her peripherals.
Several distant booms cut through the still air of the warehouse. The talking stopped, and even Riley strained to listen to what was the cause of it. Another one…then…another one after that. She was finally able to pinpoint the noise. A gun. At long range. She couldn't tell what type, but it sounded high power.
"что это?" One of the men said, and the other gestured aggressively towards the door, effectively shooing his companion towards it.
"Что ж? не просто стоять там, иди, выясни, что это такое!"
The second Bratva pushed through the door, leaving Riley with just the one who'd been beating her to this point. He stood directly over her, blocking her view of the light. He glared down at her, all business again. The amusement he'd gained from her pain before was all gone.
"Who did you call?" He asked thickly. Riley wasn't sure if she was even capable of responding, so she didn't try. Instead, she closed her eyes and allowed them a rest. She was so tired, and her limbs felt cold. The only thing that burned was her chest, and that was mostly from pain.
More gunshots, this time in a much more rapid spread, began at a much closer distance. Multiple different kinds were fired back, but always that insistent boom. It didn't stop, and whoever it was wasn't finished yet. Riley opened her eyes again, realizing its significance. Had DedSec finally found her? A spark of hope returned, and she fought to stay awake a bit longer. Oh, but how heavy her eyes felt.
She heard the cock of a gun, and peered over to see the Bratva member standing there cooly, loosely pointing a pistol at her on the floor. He watched the door with a frown, waiting for whoever came through that door. She lacked the energy to keep her eyes opened any longer, and let them close.
Wrench was just quick enough to bring the shotgun up to point at the Bratva who rounded the corner of the building he hid behind, shooting him point blank with the high powered buckshot. The man cried out and was sent tumbling back, the assault rifle falling from his hands to the ground.
The hacker was haphazardly splattered with the blood of those he'd killed up close, but he didn't pay it any mind. He checked his stock of shotgun shells. It was more than enough for the last two remaining members he knew of.
Wrench peeked around the corner, and didn't see either of the two remaining thugs. He cocked the shotgun, loading a new round, before standing and slowly walking out towards the warehouse. He hoped Riley would be alright until he got there. The sound of running to his right made him look over, and he saw the flash of someone running behind the building next to him. Wrench chased after him, intent on hunting all of them down.
He rounded the corner, then ducked and rolled across the ground when he saw the knife aimed in a slash at his head. Wrench recovered and blasted the man with a round in his chest. He went limp and fell against the wall of the building.
He stood, eyes searching for the last one. Where, oh where, could the Bratva be?
The gunshots outside slowly decreased in frequency, before a final shot rang outside, nearly right outside the warehouse. The Bratva above Riley adjusted the grip on his gun, making sure it was still secure and pointing directly at her.
The brunette fought her hardest not to pass out from exhaustion and the desire for this all to be over. A fog had settled over her eyes, and she couldn't make out distinguishable figures or shapes anymore. Whoever it was that was on their way, she hoped it was a friend, because Riley wouldn't be able to tell at this point.
The sound of a door opening close by alerted them both. The Bratva was startled, not seeing the front entrance open at all. It cost him a precious few seconds to realize there was probably a back door into the warehouse that he hadn't thought of. Riley was able to make out the Bratva turning in place quickly, before a loud and echoing gunshot pierced the air, and he dropped to the ground beside her on the floor.
"Josh, get an ambulance here now!" She heard a familiar voice yell from the end of the room, and the sound of running feet approaching her. Something heavy clattered to the ground beside her and a body leaned over her. She tried seeing exactly who it was, but she couldn't tell by looking.
A gentle hand touched her face, strangely wet with something warm. "Hey, hey! You gotta stay with me, Riley. Don't close your eyes." He said insistently, and she recognized who it was then.
"-ench." She said, her voice croaking out the last bit of his name.
"I'm here!" He said, breathlessly, trying to cradle her head in a more comfortable position. She grimaced and hissed in pain as his fingers brushed over the spot on her head that had started bleeding. "Fuck…" He whispered, immediately taking his hand away.
"-'s ok…" She whispered, stuttering out a breath to reassure him. It wasn't his fault. He hadn't known. Through her blurry vision, she noticed his voice didn't sound like it normally did. There wasn't any sort of robotic filter, and his face wasn't dark or flashing. Was he not wearing his mask? What happened to it? Oh well, it didn't matter. Her eyes were too blurry right now anyway.
She smiled a little, knowing she was in safe hands. She could let him do the rest now. He'd make sure she was ok. As the adrenaline began wearing off, her eyes started to close, but Wrench wouldn't let her.
"No, no, no…Riley, I need you to stay awake." He pleaded. "Please, keep your eyes open."
"…tired…" She muttered, sucking in as much air as she could manage given her cracked or broken ribs. Every intake of air was painful.
"I know, but not right now, ok? Just…a little longer. Stay awake a little longer. Fuck…" He muttered, then spoke in a much more frustrated and louder tone. "Josh, where is that ambulance?"
Riley couldn't hear the reply, but it was reassuring to know the others were ok, and that they'd looked for her. She really appreciated everything they did for her. With that thought in mind, the brunette couldn't help but fall further into the comfort of blissful darkness.
"Riley." Wrench said, gently patting her cheek. But her eyes wouldn't open. "Riley!" He urged a bit louder, panic setting in when she didn't respond. Was this how Marcus felt finding Horatio? Unable to do anything but sit there and watch while their friend bled into the floor? This was more than he could take.
The sound of sirens coming closer jerked his attention back to reality. As much as he wanted to stay and make sure Riley was ok, he also couldn't be found by the authorities. He was covered in blood, and was carrying a weapon. Not to mention the dozens of bodies outside he'd left in his wake. They'd only arrest him.
He could hear paramedics going through the gates at the front of the compound, shouting for back up. He couldn't stay any longer for fear of being caught. Wrench stood, going against everything he wanted to do and grabbed his rifle from the ground. Giving her another glance back, he took off towards the back door of the warehouse, silently praying to himself that she'd be alright.ns 220.127.116.11da2