|A Broken Egg|
|What: The price of failure is always paid. This takes place just after the log "Cracking an Egg".|
"God... so glad... you're here." They were the first words he'd spoken since the police had wanted his 'statement'. Orion was driving, which was a relief in a way; he'd shown he could handle a vehicle as well as lying, the two coming to him like breathing.
Sometimes, Owen Jonas felt strange, working with others; both he and Orion had successfully done jobs alone until now, but out of nowhere the boss had found them, had not taken no for an answer - would /anyone/ dare to say that word to him? - and here they were, in a car after that kid and his helper had come along on what was supposed to be a simple message drop.
Orion didn't say anything, only glanced to the side while driving. Jonas was still in a bit of a daze; he /hurt/; it was hard to think clearly, and it took him some time to realize that where they were going was not where he had thought they were going.
"Wait... Orion... /here/?"
"Get out. You're supposed to recover here."
That was unsettling, but he had no choice. The crew's doc knew them on sight - he'd lost his license was all Jonas knew, but this place had been set up and equipped by the boss for this sort of thing. So far as Jonas knew, no one else but they knew about it.
Getting settled into a bed and having a drip put into him for the pain brought almost instant relief, and almost instant sleep. A dreamless sleep, it was, thankfully, as the next thing he knew, he was waking up bound.
And /he/ was there, too. No one else was.
"I thought I was clear about telling anyone anything, Jonas," that deep voice said from behind that mask. It was a calm voice, but worse, he recognized it from before. Every single one of them had, when this man before him had used it to explain consequences while... doing what he did... to Jimmy Carlson. "Clear enough, that I thought each, and every one of you, got the message. You all /looked/ like you understood. Was I wrong about you? I think I was, Jonas. A little. No. Don't try to speak. You have nothing you can say to me."
It was there that the boss put a hand on Jonas's arm, and the sudden sound of breaking bone filled the otherwise quiet in the room. The worst part was: Jonas couldn't feel a thing. Staring in horror at the grip that was crushing his right wrist into uselessness, he tried to open his mouth to say something--
And found it wouldn't move. Terror filled him as he found his left arm wouldn't respond either, and when the boss's hand gripped his throat, it turned his attention so their eyes met, the mask emotionless.
"Consider this your resignation, Jonas," that eerily quiet rumble said to him. "But do not worry. If you live after this, if the pain itself doesn't kill you when the anesthetic wears off, I might find it in myself to forgive you enough to have you deliver another message for me. But for now..."
The world suddenly went black, and the dreamless sleep took over again. When he woke up again, he thought he was in hell; never before had he hurt like this. He was still trying to scream, unable to move his broken jaw, and lapsing in and out of consciousness when the paramedics found him.