Title: This Is The Day
Warnings: Major Character Death. Minor Language/Violence
Summary: Life teaches us important lessons. Lisa Reisert learned the wrong ones.
Disclaimer: Neither Red Eye nor Cillian Murphy belong to me. What a shame. No money made, no harm done.
Author's Note: Title and lyrics by Emil Bulls from the song 'Revenge'
It was only during the second time she met Jackson Rippner that Lisa realized how much of a mistake she had made.
Yes we know all that's been, was a comedy
And we dug our own grave on the TV screen
'It will never happen again' had become Lisa Reisert's mantra and her drive.
If only she could fight back, it would never happen again, that was what she had started to believe. Like people who think owing a gun will keep them safe from being shot.
Only when it was already too late did she finally begin to grasp how much of a victim she actually had become. How much one incident had clouded her judgment from then on. She had let the rape teach her the wrong lesson.
Therefore, that one day on the red eye flight from Dallas to Miami, seated next to a man who had introduced himself to her with the name Jackson Rippner, Lisa Reisert had simply misjudged the situation and the appropriate way to react.
Now, lying on the hardwood floor of her living room, choking too death on her own blood, she cursed herself for fighting where she should have endured without resistance. Because in the end, playing hero had helped no one, least of all herself.
Improvise, modify, adapt, overcome
Improvise, modify, adapt, hellfire!
She could remember the shock and growing uneasiness at the news that Rippner had vanished from the hospital without leaving a trace. The authorities had been unable to figure out how he had managed to open the restraints, get past the guards and never show up on any of the surveillance cameras. An unknown, unseen accomplice had been the only reasonable explanation but had remained an unconfirmed theory with no facts to back it up; just like Jackson Rippner's real identity had never been uncovered.
Lisa had kept looking over her shoulder for two months after the police had informed her of Jackson's escape but when nothing happened, she stopped worrying and simply assumed that he had thought better than to take revenge and she had a life to live and couldn't afford to forever wait for him to show up.
'It will never happen again.'
The believe in her mantra had only been strengthened by the outcome of her first encounter with him, after all. She had beaten him at his own game. She had freed herself from his clutches, impeded his plans to kill Keefe and survived his attempts to kill her in her father's house.
She would never again be a victim, because she fought back.
Our excesses are known, our successes not
It had come as a shock to her and the rest of her family when her father died in a car accident nine months later. One stormy night, on his way home from having dinner with his daughter, Joe Reisert had lost control over his car, veered off the street and hit a tree head on. He had been pronounced dead on the scene.
Since the police could not find any signs of foul play, the incident was classified as a tragic accident, most likely caused by a stray animal wandering on the road in front of his car.
The wake had been a beautiful, small ceremony only attended by the family and close friends. Even Secretary of Homeland Security Charles Keefe had sent his condolences and a funeral wreath, remembering what father and daughter had gone through for his sake.
Lisa hadn't thought to connect her father's death with Jackson Rippner, either.
We'll rise from the ashes with a fire fuck you
When another two months later Charles Keefe, his wife, both kids and the men responsible for the security detail, as well as twenty-five other concert attendees died in an explosion in front of a concert hall, she had been horrified - like the rest of the nation - and fear had started to manifest itself in her bones again.
If not for her father's sudden death, she might have put it down to Rippner's original clients having the job finished after all. However, so close after one another it couldn't be mere coincidence – who else would have any reason to kill her father and Keefe but Jackson? Would that mean she was next, would he go after more of her family and friends, Cynthia maybe? Or would he consider the job done with his original targets taken care of. Lisa couldn't make herself believe that but also there was nothing she could do – nothing but waiting, something she had sworn she wouldn't do anymore.
Unfortunately, for her, Lisa didn't have to wait long. However those three weeks between Charles Keefe's death and the day she found herself bleeding to death on her living room floor might have felt much like eternity to her.
This is the time, this is the place for the great revenge
Three weeks of always being on edge, checking the locks at her door over and again, of cold sweat every time she turned the key in the ignition and of expecting every strange face to turn into that of Jackson Rippner.
She shouldn't have bothered.
Rigging her car would have been too easy and impersonal. He wanted to watch her die. Wanted her to know it was him who had become her undoing.
It gave him extra pleasure to come to her in the last place she felt safe. Using the darkness of her home to his own advantage.
The sharp knife opened up her jugular wide and clean.
Her blood ran down her neck in deep, dark rivulets; soaking her blouse and making it stick to her skin like the cold sweat of fear.
As Lisa sank to the floor, Jackson stood over her, watching and enjoying the moment of his triumph.
It was then, looking up into his eyes – blue eyes that reminded her of winter and death and once deceitful promises of warmer times – she realized that she had nothing to fight with anymore, that she was truly helpless. That she was going to die.
"Don't worry, it won't hurt for long." His voice was only a whisper in the dark, a little raspy and so bereft of all emotions. It added to the coldness creeping over her from the vastly growing blood loss.
"But I want you to understand before you die, Lisa, that this lies completely in your responsibility. Not only your death but especially those of your father and the twenty-five innocent bystanders who had to die with Charles Keefe."
It is the anger, it's the hate that motivates
"'It will never happen again.' Wasn't that what you said? Guess what, it's happening again. But this time you could have actually prevented it." By then he was crouched next to her prone body, slowly stroking her hair and keeping stray locks from falling in her eyes.
"If you hadn't fought me that first time, if you had just done as you were told, the only ones dead now would be Keefe and his family; and they would have died quickly and painlessly, too.
"But you had to play the heroine, didn't you, Lisa? So determined to never again be a victim." The last word was dripping with sarcasm, just like her blood was dripping to the hardwood floor beneath her.
The world started to blur around the edges as her consciousness was slowly fading.
And still he was speaking, in his even, monotone voice that showed no signs of anger, joy or glee like it meant nothing to him at all.
"You know, Lisa, sometimes it's just smarter to hold still and endure. No one would have blamed you for thinking about your father and yourself first, not when Keefe was well aware of the danger he had put himself and his family in the day he had accepted his job. No one would have expected you to jeopardize your own life for him.
"I warned you not to gamble with your father's life. Yet you didn't listen to me. So stupid, Lisa. One might have thought that you had learned something from the rape."
He gently turned her chin with two fingers until her gaze meet his.
"In some situations it's smarter to just hold still and endure. To accept defeat but also to be able to live another day. Your rapist didn't kill you. As horrible that experience was to you, you survived it. Because you didn't fight the knife he was holding to your throat and all it cost you was one scar and the memory of the moment.
"I wouldn't even have left a scare on you, Lisa. Only a bad memory. But you had to fuck it all up.
But the pack's got the strength to take its mistakes
We can pull ourselves out of any hole
"Did you really think I would keep you alive after this? Or that no-one would come after Keefe only because you beat me then? Were you really that naïve?
"You disappoint me, Lisa. And I once thought you had potential." He chided her like one would a child that had gotten an often taught lesson wrong again. She wanted to cry at the wrongness of the situation, at his mocking words and the horror of her own error in judgment, but she couldn't find the strength.
Jackson was still stroking her hair and watching her so intently as Lisa Reisert drew her last gurgling breath and the glint of life vanished forever from her eyes.
With a small smile of satisfaction on his lips he got up from his crouch, careful to avoid the pool of blood around her body.
He hadn't wanted to do this. It hadn't been part of his original plan but she hadn't left him with any other choice.
You do not gamble with death and expect to win.
He looked back with regret at how much she had let one moment in her life cloud her mind. She could have been a formidable woman if it weren't for her weakness of never wanting to be weak again.
However all this was beyond them now. The job was done.
Jackson Rippner had gotten his well deserved revenge.
Hey you, this is the great revenge
This is the day to say fire fuck you all