When we last left our heroines, Libby had managed to talk to Thorne about how she was no imprisoned by Arnett and expected to marry the guy that evening. A fate worse than death...since Arnett also has the corpse of his old professor at the dinner table and has been hinting of other things that Libby /must/ see in the house.
Receiving the call, Thorne is on the way to rescue her with Kate accompanying. The latter on the phone with tech as they triangulate the position of Libby's cell phone. "About five miles" she tells Thorne. "Looks like the Parkwood district."
In the house Arnett is offering his warm smile and a hand to the nervous entomologist. "Come on. Let's get you into bed."
There's not a chance in hell that Libby is accepting the hand offered to her, but she very grudgingly allows Arnett to lead her up the stairs; she had made no efforts to do so herself after conversing with Detective Thorne. As requested, the phone line is still open, the smartphone clutched in Libby's lowered hand. With her skin crawling, and making a poor show of hiding her revulsion, Libby's teeth are gritted as she follows Arnett to "her" bedroom.
No lights, no. Thorne is driving as quickly as she can and might set off flags on a few patrol cars on the way, but the woman is making the approach without the warning clarion of a siren. She's asked Kate to pass that along when she calls for backup, also. Someone as unhinged as Arnett might do something brash if he thinks they're on their way. The detective has her phone clutched between shoulder and ear still, listening intently as she drives. Hands on the wheel have a tight enough grip to pale her knuckles.
"He's leading her upstairs," she mutters as an aside, biting at her lip. "Parkwood, got it. See if they can get someone running a search for any professors, potentially retired, in that area. In case we lose the line."
The location is narrowed down more with each passing second. "Got it" mutters Kate, "56 Barrowman." She peers out at the world shooting past. "We'll get there in time" she promises. The 'there' turning out to be a three storey house surrounded by an eight feet tall iron fence - the front gate closed. There is a light on downstairs and as the duo arrive, another light goes on upstairs.
Arnett flicks on the light to the bedroom and gestures for Libby to enter. It is furnished in an old style - Victorian. Everything is clean and dust free compared to the rest of the house. This is a Queen's Chamber after all. "You will be safe here" he promises.
If she has to wait somewhere within the bowels of the house, this isn't the worst place. Libby marginally relaxes as some of the scent of the house's long decay dissipates, though her eyes warily scan the room as soon as she steps foot within. "Alright." Libby offers Arnett a smile, one that tries desperately to be placating, yet only comes off as nervous and uncertain. Still keeping as far from Arnett as she can, Libby moves into the room, carefully handling her phone so as not to end the call, and seeks to stand by the window. It isn't an effective escape route at the moment, being that there are likely metal bars preventing her escape, but it's the thought that counts. "You could go downstairs and find me something to eat? I'm getting hungry."
Pulling up on the street before the house, Thorne kills the lights and the engine. There's a glance up to the house and she tilts her chin towards the room the light goes on in. "That's where they are," she offers, glancing to her phone. The call is ended and it's hung up. They've arrived. She has to focus now. Audrey takes a slow, deep breath and hits the switch for the trunk before getting out of the Charger.
"You want back or front? I don't think we should go in the same door. If one of us engages with him, the other can get her out." As she speaks, she retrieves things from the trunk. Her backup vest -- still guts on the other -- and her fingers hover over her shotgun. After a moment's thought, she opts for the Glock instead; checking it and her backup mag.
"I'll take the rear" nods Kate to Thorne. "Back-up is on the way. They'll arrive silent" she whispers to the other woman as she checks her Glock. Her vest is in her car back at the precinct...stupid. She taps her radio. "Keep in touch" she smiles before heading for the rear of the house.
Arnett smiles at Libby, happy to be doing her some service. "Of course. I'll bring up your meal straight away" he promises. "And you'll be quite safe here" he adds, pointing up at a dark corner of the room where 'something' squats in the shadows. "She will protect you." And then Arnett closes the door and there is the sound of a lock being turned. As Libby though, the windows are barred.
Still struggling with dry mouth, the scientist rakes her fingers hastily through her hair, grows annoyed at the way it curtains her face. With one of the hairbands loosely worn about her left wrist like a bracelet for such occasions, Libby pulls her hair back into a loose tail and considers her options. She tries the door, but it doesn't budge; the lock is secure and the knob doesn't wobble. The window is barred. Libby, adjusting her grip on the smartphone, glances towards the corner and the shadowy being she can't quite see. Wetting her lips and emboldening herself, the brunette starts closer, curious about whatever 'she' is lurking in the corner of the room.
Attaching her radio to her vest, Thorne gives a sharp nod to Kate. The woman tucks her gun into its holster and moves for the front gate. She checks the gate first, but finds it locked. Eyeing up the fence, she locates a good spot and heaves herself up and over. Landing lightly on the other side, Audrey straightens from her crouch and pulls her Glock out again. Holding it to her side, she starts an approach for the house; moving by the front windows first from the side- trying to get a view in as she heads for the door. Taking the lay of the land, as it were, before she gets to that door to try the knob. It's slower going than she'd perhaps explicitly like, but she's being careful. Focused. "Nearing the front of house," she mutters into the radio.
There is an 'oof' in reply on Thorne's radio. "Sorry...still haven't cleared the fence" Kate notes with much embarrassment. "But I can see the storm shelter is open." The front door is very much locked and each window has iron bars.
As Libby approaches the darkness in the corner of the room it starts to move too. Something moves a bit more into the light. It is a spider; about five feet across from leg tip to leg tip. It moves slowly, each leg carefully placed before the next rises and falls. Its myriad eyes looking down at the woman.
Spiders shouldn't be that large. No insect should. She's no arachnophobe, but it's just too much. Something has to give, and that something is Libby's ability to deal with the stressors surrounding her. Withdrawing mentally and emotionally from her own surroundings, Libby backpedals with numb feet until the backs of her thighs meet the bed's edge. She sits, largely unaware of her sitting, and just stares at the spider with distracted, glazed eyes. Libby murmurs to herself, reeling of the scientific lineage of similarly appearing spiders. Kingdom, phylum, class, and so on. It's repetitive, something she simply does, caught in a loop.
With no luck at the door and the windows all barred, Thorne starts to circle around the house. "Heading to the cellar," she notes into the radio. "Front door is locked." And she's not about to risk trying to kick it in and leaving herself too injured as a result. That shit looks good in movies, but it's a helluva lot harder in real life. Plus, backup will have the battering ram if it becomes necessary. She gets to the storm shelter and pulls it open, if needed. Her phone is pulled out, a quick text fired off, and then put away. In its place is a flashlight; held alongside her Glock as she descends. Her pace is measured, but only barely. She wants in and now.
Kate finally manages to scramble over the fence, dropping to the ground as quietly as she can before running towards the storm shelter doors. Thorne is there first though and already entering. The beam of her flashlight illuminating the earthen cellar floor as she steps down the wooden steps. The room is filled with glass terrariums, each of them filled with insects. It is humid down here, large heaters keeping everything tropical.
Upstairs the spider slowly lowers itself to the ground via a thick strand of web. Slowly it approaches the bed, venom dripping from its fangs, creeping over the plush carpet.
It doesn't disturb her, not really. Not in the sense that Libby leaps to her feet and goes shrieking for the locked door. With the spider slowly working its way over to the bed, Libby is largely unaware of it, and what little she is aware of, she doesn't care. No, the scientist, still sitting limply on the edge of the bed, is just continuing on with her mumbled biological classifications.
Reaching the base of the steps, Thorne just does a cursory glance over her shoulder. Visual confirmation that Kate is not far behind. She sweeps the beam of the flashlight -- and thus the gun -- over the cellar as she steadily moves forward. Her weight is kept on her toes; easy, quick to maneuver. Her nose wrinkles at the heat and she barely glances at the terrariums themselves. However, after a moment, she speaks in a quiet voice over her shoulder: "There's something else down here." This, to Kate. And though she has a sinking suspicion in her gut what it may be, the woman speaks out a bit louder: "Fallcoast PD. Come out with your hands up."
With Thorne slowing down, Kate is able to reach the steps in time to hear the warning. Pistol and flashlight are soon brought up to scan the room as she steps carefully towards Thorne. "Is it what I hope it isn't?" she asks her fellow detective. Something scuttles in the darkness...more heard than seen. The scrape of claw on brick and dirt. Many claws. The cockroach bursts into the light from under one of the tables and charges straight at the pair.
The spider is now at Libby's feet. She can feel the hair of its legs brushing against her before it starts to climb up the sheets next to her. It seems to be taking this bodyguard job very seriously.
Not again. This is what Thorne's eyes say as the cockroach charges at them. The way they narrow as she squeezes the trigger says 'I should have brought the shotgun,' however. The shots pulled off are quick and focused. The woman turns her body to an angle; making a smaller target of herself. It won't matter much if the thing throws itself at them, but it's basically a subconscious, rote action for the cop by now. "You have got to be fucking kidding me," she manages to spit out, finally.
Giant cockroaches? Not as bad as ghosts...or even Thorne's dead father that is haunting her fellow detective who Kate can see quite clearly. She fires too. Both bullets taking out chunks of armored carapace and making fountains of innards splash upwards...but it still comes for them.
The sound of gunshots cause Arnett to drop the tray he was bringing to Libby. "No...no..." he growls before he starts running for the basement. "Not now!!"
A father that cannot do anything at the moment. Were it a mechanical thing perhaps, yes. Instead, Kate gets to experience James Thorne hovering nearby, painfully concerned. "Eye on the interior door," she calls to her fellow detective. Because it's not as if a Glock 22 is the most stealthy of things to fire. Not by far. She takes a few steps back, but not enough to be behind Kate. Perhaps more alongside. The retreat is only to ensure that when she squeezes that trigger again, the abomination is still in sight.
Kate fires as well. The two bullets splashing into the now liquid interior of the cockroach and it slumps to the ground. They can hear the sound of running footsteps approaching. "Arnett?" Kate deduces before she starts running for the door. "We have to get to it before he locks it!" she calls back.
At least this one goes down before getting it's creepy, creepy limbs all over her. Thorne lowers her weapon marginally as the 'roach falls. Not entirely, no. Not completely. She might not be entirely certain that the thing is down and thus, the Glock is still at the ready. This leads to a touch of hesitation as Kate's words take a moment to register. Thus, it's a beat or two behind Kate that Audrey takes off running for the door as well.
Kate sprints for the door but the power of love has spurred on the lab guy to great feats of physical activity. Arnett slams the door shut in her face and quickly throws down the bar to lock it. "You're too late. Libby loves me. She wants to be with me. You should leave. You don't want me to open the gates. Just leave...now. Leave us to be happy."
The sound of the bar stalls Thorne and she makes a sound under her breath that's rather close to a growl. "How solid is it?" The first question, lifting flashlight to eyeball the door. "Can we break through the lower half?" Then a glance, over her shoulder. "Or do we go around to try the front door?" She's rolling forward onto her toes. Impatient. Frustrated. "I didn't see any other way in. The whole place is barred."
The sounds below are very much dulled, almost impossible to hear, but it's enough that it stirs Libby from the deep, dark place she's hidden herself away in. To this moment, her voice has still echoed a torrent of information, none of it especially useful in this moment. Swallowing convulsively and willing herself to pay heed to what's occurring around her, Libby turns dull eyes downward to where the magnificently oversized spider is waiting. Tentatively, Libby extends a hand towards the arachnid's carapace. "This is crazy," she tells herself aloud. "This is insane." Beat. "Can... you..." Libby sucks in a deep breath. "Open the door," she tells the spider.
The spider just sits there. It can't understand English...what on earth was Libby thinking? But then it jumps down from the bed and quickly crawls over to the door. It climbs upwards, scratching at the wood before its giant fangs sink into wood and splinter it. Another tear and a board pulls away. It is a thick door but those are thicker fangs. Venom wetting the wood as more of the door is ripped away.
Arnett hears the commotion and the detectives can hear him running upwards in a panic. "Libby!! Are you okay, Libby!!" Kate thumps the door. "We could always try breaking it down" she suggests, looking around in the cellar for a tool.
Swearing under her breath, Thorne moves back into the cellar, away from the door. She sweeps the flashlight steadily as she seeks. Something, anything. Her pistol is still held with the beam of light... just in case another roach lurks in the darkness. The shove is finally spotted against a wall and she grabs it; holding it in hand with the 'light as she skips carefully past the roach. "This might work," she calls out. No need to keep her voice down now. Arnett knows they're there. "How high on the door is that bar, do you think?"
Libby ignores Arnett's calls and yanks her smartphone off of the bed, stuffing it into her pocket and focusing instead on the door. All it takes is one board ripped free--the one to which the locking mechanism is attached. When the spider makes solid progress, Libby helps her the rest of the way and tries to pull the door open to a comparative sense of freedom.
There is a three story 'mansion' on the edge of town. Old. Dilapidated. It looks more like a home to termites than people...though there is a reason for that. Thorne and Kate have called for back-up because Libby is being held captive here by an entomologist called Arnett. He was supposed to be working for the FPD but it seems he has a different outcome in mind - Libby is to be queen of the bugs.
There is an iron fence surrounding the mansion and the gate is locked. People will have to be climbing over it to get in. Thorne and Kate are currently in the cellar dealing with a locked door. "The bar will be across the middle" Kate calculates to the shovel wielding Thorne.
All the windows have bars and all the external doors are locked...the main doors even having an iron sheet to reinforce. Upstairs, Libby is breaking out of the bedroom she was locked in. Smashing open the door with the assistance of...well...the others will see eventually. Arnett is running up the stairs towards Libby's bedroom, pulling out of his pocket a collection of keys and a electronic buzzer...the kind that would lock doors if pressed. Or unlock.
Mike answered the call while on his way back to the station house. He wheeled the big honkin Crown Vic around and hit the lights, running code. When he gets to the house, he spots the Charger and shakes his head. Thorne. Giant cockaroach, he laughs to himself. Ohhh silly Thorne. Seeing the gate, he grabs the 12ga from the rack and throws the sling around his shoulder. To the trunk, he grabs his body armor and some extra magazines quickly. He calmly hums Ride of the Valkyries as he does it all, then heading for the fence to try and haul his butt up and over.
Much to his good fortune (or bad fortune, it would depend on how the night went), Tucker had been in his car munching on a donut and sipping some coffee when the call for back-up went out. His first thought? Better not be another naked woman. Second thought? Thorne still owed him a beer for writing up that report. Revving up the engine, he turns on the sired and then pulls out of his parking space and heads to the location.
Tucker slows as he spots the other Charger ahead of him at the curb. Slowing down, he does a half-ass job of parking on the curb, and then hops out of his car after grabbing his flashlight. Clicking the flashlight on, he shines it around the fence. He glances over at the Crown Vic that's arriving and then flashes a nod at Mike as the man gets out with his shotgun. He draws his Glock and then gestures at the fence. "I can cover you or you can cover me." Really all that needs to be said.
So, the cavalry arrives in the form of Webb and Brodie in another Crown Vic. The most venerable one in the motor pool, Ol' Reliable, the one the supply chain guys can never quite bring themselves to replace. He slings himself out, shotgun in hand, heading for where Mike and Tucker are. There's an odd look on his face, a mingling of excitement and queasy unease and something darker, and the very air around him has an odd, flat quality. Like that wave of dull pressure when a storm front is coming in. ON sighting Mike, he winces, squares his shoulders, but then says, tone matter of fact, "Gentlemen, gimme a chance to work the lock. Might be we don't need to go over the fence itself." Ruh roh?
Brodie hops out of the car a second behind Webb, another shotgun in hand. That is always the benefit of patrol cars over the detective vehicles, much of the weaponry can stay in the front. He kicks the car door closed behind him as he follows his partner for the day up towards the fence. For once the deadpan officer is fairly easy to read, if his face was a thundercloud, someone would be getting struck by lightning. The two detectives already on scene get a nod as he steps aside to allow Webb a crack at the lock is he wants to try.
Holstering her gun and leaving the flashlight work to Kate so she can tuck that away also, Thorne takes a deep breath. She hefts the shovel, tests the balance... and chokes up on the handle a bit. The woman leans back on her rear foot a measure and swings the shovel up and overhead into the door with a grunt. The door dents, but doesn't yet splinter. She swears under her breath and draws it up for a second run.
As soon as Libby is leaving the bedroom, likely with her 'bodyguard' in tow, she spies Arnett rushing up the stairs towards her location. Only the creature behind her keeps her from backpedaling into the room. Instead, she sidesteps out of the door frame and watches Arnett with a wary look on her face. "Let me out, you crazy--bastard!" Libby almost looks chagrined by her use of such language, but plows on. "If you don't, Doug, you're going to regret it, I promise you." The words sound hollow spilling from her lips, but then Libby is darting a look around, searching for the oversized spider. "Keep him away from me," she pleads with the arachnid, swallowing.
Arnett doesn't notice the back-up arriving. He is totally fixated on /his/ Libby...and her treachery. "She won't attack me" he smiles about the spider before taking a couple of steps forward, offering his hands to her. "Come on, Libby. This is the happiest night of your life. Don't ruin it."
In the cellar Kate is holding the torch for Thorne. "Another one should do it" she offers as encouragement. "D1144 to back-up. Are you on-site already?" she asks through her police radio.
Outside in the dark night air, a group of cops prepare to make their approach...time for perception rolls - trained observer counts.
Mike looks to Tucker as he approaches the fence. "I'll take the lead going in if you are offering it. Just stay welded on my ass and cover the angles I'm not looking at. I move fast, though." He takes up the radio on his hip and calls it in, "Central, Two David Six Four One One is 10-20 for backup request. Be advised I am Plus Three, over." He then looks at Brodie and chuckles. "Brodes, unless you plan to crash the car through the fence and into the side of the house, I'm not waitin', hoss." He then smirks to Webb and gives a slow nod and then heads to the gate, testing it to make sure it won't open under a push, and starts climbing over. It's really more of him just him grabbing a single arm to it, jumping and hauling, and he's over the other side faster than is entirely appropriate. Annnd he's off running towards the house, pistol out of the holster and the shotgun dangling on his chest.
As word of backup comes in, Kate sees as James Thorne disappears- heading out through the front. And Brodie gets the sight of Thorne's father approaching. He's gesturing towards the side of the house. Around back, perhaps. He doesn't seem too happy. Downright concerned, in fact.
The other Crown Vic is noted. Now there are more people here to determine who had the least seniority. That was who would have to write up the report. He was sure he could get another couple of people to agree. As Mike goes ahead and climbs the fence, he glances around, keeping an eye out. Once the other man is up and over, he quickly holsters his gun, shoves his flashlight into his waistband and then climbs over. Damn, he hated climbing. Shit felt like he was back in high school, trying to reach the top of the climbing rope.
Grunting, he goes up and over and then makes his way quickly back down, glad he didn't fall flat on his ass. Taking the flashlight in one hand, he draws his weapon again, and then follows after Mike, his pace hurried. As he spots things in the grass, he calls over to Mike in a harsh whisper. "Watch where you step, who knows what's been getting dug around here." And he steps around one of those very patches as he continues to watch Mike's six.
So, the thing is....Webb doesn't even bother pretending to fiddle with the lock. He looks at it for a long moment, and ....then just goes up and pushes the gate open. Somehow it's unlocked now. Because....magic. Or Jedi. Or something. Then he's pounding after Mike and Tucker, though he's going off at an angle rather than a frontal assault. Which is breaking some serious commandments in the Marine Corps Gospel. Chapter 3, Verse 32 of the first book of Chesty, maybe. "Watch the patches on the lawn," he directs, heart suddenly in his throat, cold sweat suddenly a-prickle along his spine, as old instincts stand up in the back row of the mental theatre and start shrieking about IEDs. "Thorpe, we're going in the back, making sure we don't get any squirters."
Brodie gives Mike a look as soon as the gate swings open. For a moment his eyes dart off in another direction, locking on something for a brief moment, causing him to nod. "Back sounds good, right behind you, Webb." He lifts his shotgun as he moves through the gate, following Webb's movements carefully. If the other officer thinks there's a reason to avoid patches of grass, he's more than happy to play hopscotch if that's what's need. Between keeping an eye on the ground, and trying to make sure nothing comes up on them, his eyes flick around about ready to roll out of his head if they dart around too much more.
There's just something about fighting your second man-sized cockroach in a week that takes a bit out of a person. Or maybe it's the sheer difficulty in breaking down a door with a gods-damned shovel. Thorne shifts her weight once more, swings the shovel again, but this time it collides with the metal within the frame. It sends a jolt up her arms and she shoves it out towards Kate. "Why couldn't it have been an axe?" If the other detective takes it, she'll draw her pistol and flashlight free again. "And I hope to hell Arnett didn't hear our backup come in." There's a glance up- toward the ceiling. And whatever may be going on upstairs.
"No, Doug, I'm done. I'm done," Libby says with a great deal of wearied emphasis. "I'm leaving now." And she moves to do just that. Even if the arachnid won't aid her, Libby has every intention of moving past Arnett without accepting the hands extended towards her. She hunches her shoulders a little beneath her tanned leather jacket, her smartphone stuffed rapidly into her jeans pocket. When she feels arms trying to restrain her from behind, Libby squirms and wriggles out of Arnett's grip before he can find one, and all the man ends up with in his hands is her jacket as she tries to run down the stairs.
Kate, politely, takes the shovel from Thorne. "Whenever I need to hit something" she explains to Thorne, "I imagine this guy from high school who made fun of my braces. Okay...pants with braces isn't a good look but..." She slams the shovel into the door and it splinters enough for Thorne to get her hand in and unlock.
Libby slips past Arnett and he growls in frustration. "Stop it, Libby!! Stop it!! We're in love!!!" What is wrong with women?
Outside the back-up is charging up towards the house, dodging and weaving between the strange circles on the lawn. But Tucker zigs when he should have zagged and the vibration of his feet on the ground suddenly causes one of the circles to pop open like a trap door. A spider, about four feet across, leaps out and onto him. It's dripping fangs sink through his armor and then inject venom into his body. Tucker pales as the poison burns through his veins.
Mike looks over to Webb as that gate opens. Then to Brodie. 'We will talk later' is sort of understood with that look, then he looks back to the house. It's about this time he hears Tucker say something about the grass. WTF Roach IEDs!?!? Not cool, bro! He pounds feet and narrowly avoids stepping on a discolored area and looks up ahead, planning a route through the 'mine field', angling right for the front door. When suddenly something pops out of the ground in the corner of his vision he turns and lifts his gun. It occurs to him he's about to attempt to shoot a spider off a man's back. Huh. Mike rapidly plows through rounds and manages to hit the spider a few times. It’s a little satisfying, so there’s that.
Tucker zigging, not zagging, is rather shocked when a big ass spider comes out of the ground and jumps onto his back, biting him through his vest. "WHAT THE FFFUUUAHHHHHHH" He shouts as all of this is happening. The spider brings him down to the ground and he begins flailing and trying to roll to get it off of him. He hears gunshots and then goes still, not wanting one of the others to shoot him by accident, though this doesn't last for long. For now, he'll trust the one firing to hit the damn thing, even though that burning sensation he's beginning to feel is a quite a concern.
So, there's just enough vestige of composure for Webb to keep from doing the psychic equivalent of crapping his pants out of sheer shock, because OMG GIANT SPIDER, and having a full on Akira telekinetic fit. He also turns and unloads the shotgun into the spider, without also opening a huge hole in the unfortunate Tucker. It's a nasty mess and there's a spray of ichor, but the spider proves both tough and persistent and does not stop moving.
It's perhaps lucky for Brodie that only Thorne's unseen companion can see the plasm that drifts from his hands to wrap around the shotgun in his hand, sliding along the barrel like a glistening second skin as he spins on his heels to level the weapon at the giant spider that comes leaping out of the ground. No time to worry about the weird shit now, but that'll be at least two beers later in the evening. The plasm seeps into the metal of the gun a moment before he pulls the trigger, sending a blast of shot towards the AOUS, a silent prayer in his head he doesn't graze the detective.
"Yes, well, I laughed when it was suggested I try baseball," Thorne grouches, turning to look towards the cellar door again. She moves in quickly once there's a big enough hole; crouching down and wedging her arm up and through to get the lock and flip that damnable bar aside. "Where the fuck is our backup?" This, inquired, as she twists the knob and flings the door open. Through to the house proper, she has the weapon up again: "Libby!" Her voice is raised; a clarion call for the CSU scientist. Providing a thread to draw her, if she's free and able to move. The crease in her features reads something of a fear and discomfort for being too late.
Kate steps out of the way of Thorne...it's the safe thing to do...before flinging down the shovel and drawing her weapon again. With her fellow detective yelling out names, Kate chooses the 'watch for Arnett' tactic since he will no doubt be drawn towards them.
Libby has made good her escape and found a place to hide. An alcove in the wall with bugs keeping her company. So many bugs in this house.
Outside, what is left of the spider melts over Tucker. Its venom continuing to burn inside of him. At least they will know to avoid the circles in the grass now. All they have to do is storm a house and find Libby.
Mike is about to continue firing when the rest of the crew join in and it’s a party. The spider turns to goo and Mike offer Tucker his off-hand to help him up. "You alright? Want an ambulance? I think we've got a kit in the trunk of the car but.." Yeah. They have some shit going down here and things to do. Mike is already turning and starting to run back towards the house, reloading the gun on the fly.
The spider stopped moving. Or something. He feels spider slime all over him, and he winces. Both at the pain and at the idea at maybe buying a new suit since the dry cleaners might give him shit about getting this one cleaned. "Thanks." He gasps out to the other detectives, struggling to get onto his hands and knees before letting Mike help him back up. He staggers for a second and then straightens, leaning over to put his hands on his knees. "Hurts like a motherfucker, I can tell you that. Go on." He uses one hand to wave the others on. Honestly, he probably should go to the hospital. "Go get... the bastard." He steps carefully over to the driveway, and then sits down."
Pulling out his radio, he calls it in. "One David One Seven Six Six to dispatch, officer requires medical attention, requesting an ambulance at..." He rattles on the address, his breathing getting slightly labored as he fights through the pain.
Tricks with the lock aside, Henry's not a strong enough telekine to blow the door in. Not when it takes so much out of him with every effort. He looks over his shoulder at Brodie, briefly. "Basement access, right? All the rest of this shit would need a ram, and we don't have one. And I'm not waiting on the full SWAT party to get here." Still with the shotgun in one hand....and a really kind of peculiar lack of gibbering shock when it comes to giant spiders. Not even a comment. Maybe he's just kind of mentally airbrushing them out so he can go home and have hysterics later.
Brodie is surprisingly cool for having just blasted the spider from hell, then again, he's following a ghost to a cellar door, so who minds an eight-legged freak. He nods to Webb, a quick confirmation, "Basement access." He jerks his head to the side and keeps moving across the lawn, trying to avoid anything that might release more demonic insects upon him as he follows after the late Mr. Thorne.
James Thorne is all too happy to show the way. After all, his daughter is in there, and ghost he may be... but giant bugs aren't something he's going to be chill with. So it's around the house and to the storm cellar he leads.
Surprisingly, the sheer plethora of bugs around the house aren't affecting Thorne. Could be a multitude of things. Her focus on the task at hand. The fact that she hasn't heard anything from Libby yet. Or maybe, just maybe, the average incher just ain't special after you've had not one, but two bigger than you decide you might make a good meal. The woman moves quick. Visual checks. It's not like she's hunting for clues. She's looking for Libby or the man that has done this. Dead body of the professor is noted, if found, but she moves on... Until she spots the man. Arnett is distracted, looking desperately for the love of his life and Audrey? Well, someone can scold her later. Actually, she may be in a lot of trouble later. The woman doesn't think, doesn't call out. She just shoots.
The bullet smacks into Arnett and he cries out in pain before dropping to the ground. Kate is shocked...she will have words with Thorne afterwards for a start. Especially with the sound of gunfire outside - help was not far away. Aiming her pistol at Arnett she states, clearly and professionally, "FPD! Put your hands up. Where is Doctor Mayfaire." Arnett realises the game is up and that his life is over. He shakes his head sadly as he starts to cry. "Why didn't she realise she loves me?" he asks with strained breathing before he clicks a button on his electronic locker. There is the sound of moving metal as doors and windows unlock and metal sheets withdraw into the walls. "At least we will all go together" he sighs before pressing the button two more times. He smiles happily at Thorne - the woman who just shot him. "Three minutes" he whispers, "And the gates are open." Then he starts to laugh.
Mike see's the condition Tucker is in and stops. He keeps the gun out but isn't shy about helping Tucker over towards the driveway to sit down. At least an ambulance can just plow through a gate with minimal problems. "Detective," he says, trying to make sure Tucker is looking him in the eye. "Do NOT close your eyes for any reason. Got that? You focus on counting the number of rocks on the driveway. Got it?" He takes a few steps back and looks around the yard at all the discolored spots. Jesus Christ, this is way beyond him handling this on his own. His phone comes out and he hits speed-dial to 1-800-Valkyrie, stepping away from Tucker for a moment and lowering his voice. He speaks a long series of numbers into the phone, then, "We're going to need a cleaner team at my pos. Bug Hunt Class Three. It is Plus One Hood, team will need juice for ambulance crew and ER doctors. I'll handle the Charlies on scene." He pauses to wait for an ETA and nods. "Wait for us to clear the scene. I'll deliver the Hood. Will advise for intercept if unable. Peterson, out." He then steps back over to Tucker and takes a knee beside him, eyes scanning for anything else that might come after them. But hey, cool, the front gate is opening. "C'mon, Detective, lets get you to the street so the medics can get to you right away."
Tucker meets Mike's eye and then nods. Counting rocks. He can do that. Or he can simply count how many bars are in the gate in front of the driveway. Yes. That works. He starts to do that. The counting actually helps clear his mind of the pain a little. It's gone from OMFG IT HURTS to just plain OMFG. No attention is paid to Mike as he steps away and makes his call. When Mike comes back, the gate starts to open. He turns and points to the gate, but it seems Mike notices it too. Nodding, he struggles back to his feet and then heads out to the street.
All unaware of what might be waiting, Henry's following Brodie's lead towards the basement. The sound of shots fired inside has him reporting that over the radio. Standard procedure for clearing it. But then there's all the ruckus of the house's defenses coming down, and Webb pauses. Rather belatedly, he shouts, "FPD!"
Brodie winces slightly as he hears shots go off inside the house. He doubts their own gunfire has gone completely unnoticed, so it with a bit of worry he approached the basement door. He makes a motion to Webb to cover him while he swings the basement door open, just barely peeking inside, the barrel of his gun poking in before he himself fills the doorway. He let's Webb's call speak for the both of them before he makes his way inside the building, shotgun raised, the barrel making a quick sweep across the room as he scans it for anything out of the ordinary.
She might be shocked at herself. Thorne isn't sure. She's shaking, just slightly, in the wake of shooting the man. He falls, however, and is bleeding heavily from his torso. Gut shot. It'll hurt. He might even survive. The panels pulling away draw her attention up, but then he's hitting the button again. She dives forward to try to stop him, but it's already too late. "Shit." The expletive is spit out as the woman turns in a circle: "Suspect down," she reports back on the radio. "Libby!" The cavalry -- at least the mundane, expected part of it -- has arrived and, from the sounds of it outside, has their own trouble... But she hasn't seen nor heard from the scientist yet. And again, as she starts searching more thoroughly -- through doors and hallways -- she calls out: "Libby! We have to get out of here!" In the hopes that a man so desperate for his Bug Queen wouldn't have hurt her.
As Webb and Brodie step across the earthen floor cellar the ground begins to shake. The terrariums start to shake on their bases before crashing to the ground and smashing open. So many more insects to add to the flood - at least they are small. Puffs of earth start to shoot up into the air as the grounds starts to crack. The poles that hold up the building start to splinter and wires can be seen hugging the wood and rising up into the floors above.
"Leave him to me, Thorne" Kate tells the other detective, "Just go and find Libby." Especially since the house is starting to shake and break. She begins to move forward to cuff the suspect when she notices something out of the corner of her eye. A panel has slid to one side with the sudden earthquake and Kate pulls it back fully to reveal...a bomb. And then she notices the wires going all through the house...not to mention the counter at 2 minutes and falling. She's straight on the radio. "We have two minutes before the house blows. Everyone out!!" Kate grabs Arnett by the shoulder and drags him upwards.
The ground is not shaking so much outside the house but there is still a tremor. A continuous rumble until the earth explodes upwards in near the front door of the house. An ominous stillness before there is the sound of clicking...and shuffling. Then something pokes above the lip of the crater. Something black but shiny. It rises slowly before suddenly scuttling out of the darkness. A scorpion...about eight feet long. Its venom dripping stinger curled up over its body. Someone has been going crazy with the genetic experiments here.
Mike is walking Tucker back outside the fenceline and gets to the trunk of the Crown Vic. He opens it up to get at the medical kit there when he starts to feel some of the ground shaking. WTF. He looks down, then hears the call on the radio. Oh Crap. He looks up towards the house and then see's the eight foot scorpion. "You have gotta be- GodDAMNIT I'm putting my M4 in the trunk. This is BULLshit." He sighs and shifts the pistol and leans over the top of his Crown Vic. THEN begins firing. Mike doesn't seem so completely disturbed by what he's seeing and doing so much as really unhappy with himself. The pent shell casings kick through the air and make metallic tinkling sounds, between the pistol barking, as they bounce off the trunk and asphalt. Rounds plow into the Scorpion King and Mike only stops briefly to reload before he puts it back into action, even though he hadn't finished the mag yet.
Tucker might be feeling like shit, but when Mike begins cursing, he looks up and sees the big ass scorpion come out of the ground. "What the shit is this?" He leans against the car, shaking his head. Fucking Thorne, this was her fault, her and her big ass roaches. Holding his Glock in both hands, he squeezes off several shots, though if any actually hit the damn thing, he has no idea. Not yet anyway.
So, it all goes to hell in a handbasket just that fast. Webb makes sure that Brodie isn't left behind, but....he's hustling like his hair is on fire and his ass is catching. It's a frantic, graceless scramble. And then there's a monster and all his old instincts kick into play. and he's shooting at it. Because ten years or so of service in Valkyrie, that's the kneejerk reflex. He's yelling as he comes out of the basement, one long hoarse bellowing shriek of alert. IT changes into something angrier as he fires on the armored beast, like he's furious this thing dares exist in *his* jurisdiction.
"Jesus H Christ on a crutch." Brodie spits the rather bizarre swear as the ground starts rumbling underneath him. He hightails it out of the basement after Webb like a lunatic at a Black Friday sale. He scurries back onto the lawn and around the house, he's still looking behind him as he expects something to be chasing them. Until Webb's fire catches his attention, and then he's joining in on the shouting and the shooting, pouring everything he can manage into unloading another burst of shotgun shot into another overgrown insect. Somewhere in the back of his mind, he wonders how he's going to explain this when he goes to requisition more shells.
And there, finally, in an alcove with some of the smaller of her many-legged subjects, Thorne finds Libby. Shifting her pistol to her primary hand, the detective gets her other arm around the smaller woman's shoulders and will manhandle her towards the door. It's difficult to hit her radio, but she manages, on the way out: "Got her," there's only one person that could be, really, "Clearing out." She's breathless and her voice is pitched with urgency, but Audrey remains calm. Mostly calm. Actually, rather calm considering things. It's lovely when you get to compartmentalize until everything is done and over. Something goes whizzing by her head and distantly, she realizes that just isn't right, but the scorpion that comes into view as she tumbles out of the house with Libby takes up a lot more of her attention in those last seconds. "ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME?!"
Kate has a less willing passenger to drag out of the house. Arnett is dragging his feet at every opportunity while pining about his lost love; Libby will be devastated that they are not together! Thankfully he has a wound to poke when he gets too resistant. Kate and Arnett stumble out through the cellar - which is lucky since if they went through the front door they would be face to face with a giant scorpion. Or two...as another clicking monstrosity rises from the ground. One scorpion would hardly make the earth quake. Would two?
Mike notices that Tucker is also firing, which bodes well. And then there's Webb and Brodie. And who is TOTALLY not shocked to see Thorne trundling out of the house? Hint: He's got two thumbs. This Guy. Mike continues his hail of gunfire even as the second scorpion comes climbing out. "Oh COME THE FUCK ON," he shouts. "MOVE IT MOVE IT MOVE IT!" he barks like the Captain from Police Academy.
Tucker watches the scorpion go down as the others join in on the shooting. For a moment there is a sense of relief but that is short lived. "There's ANOTHER one?" He lets out a groan and then trains his weapon onto the thing and begins letting off shots. At least a few hit true. He pops out the magazine and loads another one as other shots continue to ring out.
He's ceased his wordless yelling, but Webb's still got that shotgun trained on Scorpion #1. Moving away from the house, even as he's conscious they can't possibly all get out of the blast radius before it all goes House of Usher and that's that. He unloads another around into the first monster. Mr. Creepy-Crawly gets to precede him into Valhalla, or something.
There's a satisfied grin on Brodie's face, which looks way out of place, as the first scorpion goes down, just in time for him to notice the second one. "No!" He turns to face the second scorpion, bringing his shotgun back up as he levels it right at the arachnid. "No! No! No!" He ejects the casing from his previous shot and pulls the trigger as soon as the next one slides into the chamber. Another blast staccatos in the chorus of gunfire being unloaded by the fuzz.
Much as a part of her may want to, Thorne cannot run. She has Libby to deal with. The scientist does not have a weapon nor the faculties to defend herself. The second scorpion appears from the ground and the detective's eyes go wide. She pushes Libby behind her as she starts down the steps. It's as much of a run as she can manage with the scientist. Her Glock is brought up and a number of rounds squeezed off- not enough. Not strong enough. She has to do something though and damn if she doesn't try. There's no need to shout, either. It's not like she wants to stay here. But Mr. Scorpion may have other plans and if you thought a scorpion was bad already, well. The vest may keep her from being gored entirely, but the woman is no longer able to fire. There's no cry. No scream. You get punctured like that and it just leaves you in a gasp. Perhaps a shuddering sigh. She crumples forward, but still tries to move... if only to get away, now. It's not quick. It may not even be successful. It's a slow stumble with a hand still on the scientist... though now for balance, more than anything else.
The scorpion recoils under the onslaught of metal but for once one of the annoying humans is in range of its claws. It snaps at Thorne, one claw merely nicking her but the second clamps around her torso and digs into her flesh before tossing her away. Libby is thankfully on the run down the slope towards the cars now...hopefully she doesn't run over a trap door.
Kate emerges from the house to find crazy time again. This is the /worst/ theme park ever. And Thorne is down bad and Webb and Brodie are just standing around. "There is a bomb!" she reminds them all before letting Arnett go and running for Thorne. She is more important than the suspect here and she'll tell the Chief that at her reprimand hearing. "Everyone get down!!"
With the scorpion turning and attacking Thorne, Tucker does what he can to try and provide a bit of suppressing fire in order for the others to get to cover. "Damn." He mutters to himself, wincing as his shots don't line up exactly as planned.
"Right, running." Brodie turns and bolts after Kate as she urges him on to get moving. The flask strapped to his calf where most sensible cops would keep a hold out pistol cools a bit against his skin as he lets a bit of his inner plasm out to play. The soft purring whisper in his Geist in his ear as he turns to face the scorpion. Not even those privy to the Twilight can see the invisible blade of plasm that he sends soaring towards the scorpion, the ghostly weapon sinking into chitinous flesh without a mark but he only needs to see the contact to know something got through. And then the monster is forgotten as he comes up beside Libby, offering her a shoulder should she need it in the mad flight from the soon to come explosion.
Thankfully, Brodie is there to help Libby because Thorne only makes it a few paces before she can't. Those pinchers? They hurt. They hurt bad. And they pierced her skin in places that the vest couldn't help. It's not like anyone, in the history of ever went 'Should we rate these for giant scorpions?' Because that would be ridiculous. Those don't even exist. Just like giant cockroaches don't exist and the largest 'spider' isn't technically a spider. The woman is just slowly sinking to the ground before Kate is there. She barely mumbles thanks- instead focusing on getting the fuck out.
The remaining scorpion is distracted by Brodie...as anyone would be by a lunatic running around...backing up into its pit slightly. With everyone barreling down towards the fence and Arnett...well he's not where Kate dropped him so has he got away?...the house explodes. A lot of napalm seems to have gone into these bombs as flames consume the wooden frame even before too much shrapnel can escape. The trap doors in the grass fling open and flame billows out...any spider in there now a pile of ash. The scorpion pit erupts and consumes the remaining scorpion. The fire springing from the ground all over the place to show previously unknown tunnels under the building. And then it all collapses in a burning heap.
Boom. Mike knew it was coming. He heard it over the radio. But that... that wasn't quite expected. The scorpion starting to sizzle in its own pit has Mike yell a really loud string of unmentionables at it.. and then some debris starts raining down. He ducks behind the car a moment, covering his head before looking back up. Thorne? Libby? Webb? Brodie? Kate? Yep, Mike doesn't mind. He swaps out the mag in his pistol and wanders over to Tucker and plops down on the pavement to wait for the ambulance. "So how was your day? Anything out of the ordinary happen? Me, nah. Trying a new Starbucks drink but I'm not sure I can get away from vanilla lattes. You?"
There's no last look back at the exploding house, an arm going up reflexively to shield his face should anything come flying, which thankfully it doesn't. He takes a last few steps opening a car door so Libby can take a seat if she wants before he finally does turn back to look at the smoldering rubble. "So, I think I'm going to need a stiff drink after this. Who wants to hit Taggarts?" He flicks the safety on his shotgun before lowering it to his side, propping it against his leg as he takes a breather. "Maybe two drinks."
"Vanilla lattes," Thorne opines as she accepts Kate's aid out to the thusly designated Ambulance Waiting Area, "are gross." The woman is all too happy to sink to the ground and even slump over a measure. She might even just lie down for the moment if there's no one to provide handy support. Clearly in pain, Audrey is doing her best to keep it together. There's tears in the corners of her eyes from it, but she's holding tight for the moment. If barely. Keys are pulled from pocket and shoved in Kate's direction. Complete with blood smeared across them. "Get her home safe, yeah? I think I've got a ride."
Kate takes the keys from Thorne and pockets them. "Libby will have the same ride as you, Detective." She frowns at the wound that Thorne suffered - 'The suspect had a jaws of life, chief. It was clamped around Thorne before we could react'. That sounds plausible. Right?" Kate looks back at the smoldering ruins and hopes that Arnett was caught up in that inferno - otherwise Libby may need watching over. Approaching rapidly are the sounds of ambulances and she looks over at the back-up and smiles a thanks to them. "Saturday nights...am I right?"