Disclaimer: I don't own them, I just borrowed them. Numb3rs and its characters are the property of those that created them. No copyright infringement intended. No financial reward gained. All real places and organisations are used in a fictional sense. Original characters and the storyline are mine however.
A/N: Written for Clue Challenge #12, June 2010, at hurt_don on LiveJournal. Prompts: Who? – Don. What? – TASER. Where? – Police precinct.
Spoilers(more mention than spoiler): Rampage, Graphic, Janus List, Trust Metric, Two Daughters
It starts as a bid for freedom from a police precinct but after being taken hostage Don learns things are not quite as they seem.
Don pulled to a stop in an 'authorised vehicles only' parking bay outside the precinct. Shutting down the SUV he sat for a moment, sighing at what was about to be nothing more than a waste of his time. After another sigh he got himself moving, the longer he waited the longer it would be before he could get back to work. Closing his door he saw the cause of his visit to the precinct, a series of scratches through the paintwork all down the side of the SUV. It had been keyed along both sides and across the hood while he'd been parked off at a crime scene the day before. He'd duly reported it to the fleet manager who'd assessed the damage and unsurprisingly concluded that the entire paintwork had to be re-done. That left Don where he was now, attending the nearest precinct to fill out a police report as required by the FBI's insurer before the repair work could be authorised.
Locking the vehicle he trudged up the stairs and entered the foyer. He stopped a few steps in. He'd expected it to be busy but not this bad. He had to queue to see the desk sergeant before he could be assigned a number before he could take a seat and wait to be seen. He was going to be here for hours. Another deep sigh left him as he took his place in the queue. He'd progressed about five places before a friendly voice at his elbow snapped him out of his funk.
Turning he recognised the detective, a man he'd worked with the previous week on a series of home invasions. He extended his hand. "Detective Mortensen."
"What brings you down to our fine establishment?"
"Someone keyed my ride yesterday."
"That's your SUV out front?" Receiving a nod the detective continued. "That's gotta hurt."
Don made a suitable grimace in response.
"Come on, I'll take your report upstairs." Mortensen offered.
Don only hesitated for a moment before accepting the offer. The detective had more important things to work on but the report wouldn't take long and was only for forms sake, the FBI's forensic techs had already dusted and found no prints of interest. Taking the detective up on the offer would mean that he would be back at his office and his own work long before he'd even be near to even being called to make his report if he waited in line with everyone else. "Thanks."
"Hey, no problem. It'll be the easiest report I've worked in a long while." Mortensen said as he swiped his access card over the sensor at the door. The lock buzzed and he waved the agent through.
Don followed the other man up the flight of stairs and out into the detective's dayroom. Threading their way between the desks they finally reached Mortensen's where he was waved to a seat at the side of the desk.
"Do I really want any?" Don answered at the expression on the detective's face.
"Not if you like coffee."
That was fair warning. "Thank-you, but I think I'll pass."
"Smart." Mortensen took his seat, dropping the folder he'd been carrying onto a stack at the side of the computer. He pulled the keyboard towards him then logged on. "Alright, let's see if I can remember where the initial report forms are." He fiddled with the mouse for a bit before turning with a satisfied smile on his face. "Not so rusty after all. So, let's see. Complainant, Federal Bureau of Investigation. Informant, Don Eppes, Special Agent. Contact number?"
Don provided the office number and his direct line before answering the rest of the questions required by the form. He then gave a run down on how he found his vehicle to be damaged and the lack of result from the forensic examination.
"Forensics, not required. Suspects, nil. Insurance?"
Don handed over the card the fleet manager had given him. Mortensen duly noted the insurer's details and passed the card back. He pushed over a grey plastic pad with an attached stylus.
"I'll just get you to sign this and we're done. Need a copy?"
Don signed and pushed the pad back. "Yeah." If he'd been a normal citizen reporting damage to a private car he would only have needed the report number. In his case however the fleet manage had asked him to get a hard copy to file.
Mortensen fiddled some more with his mouse and pushed his chair back. "I'll just go grab it off the printer and you're on your way."
"Thanks, Detective. You're a life saver."
The man smiled as he stepped away, weaving his way across the room to a bank of printers Don could see set up on a bench.
As Mortensen reached his destination a door nearby opened and an officer came out, behind him followed a group of five men, all clearly offenders. Each was handcuffed and bore the expression of those caught out and knowing they were about to do some serious time. With the officer at the rear carrying a bundle of plastic bags containing what was probably personal property it had all the hallmarks of a prisoner transfer. Don looked them over out of curiosity, wondering who they were and what they'd done. He was in time to see the expression on the face of the man in the middle suddenly change from defeated to determined. He realised the man was about to try something. Despite being too far away to be effective, Don stood intending to give a warning but he was too late. Standing had given him a better perspective in time to see the man push the two ahead of him forward, knocking the lead officer off his feet. The officer bringing up the rear shouted but the man kept moving, lunging now sideways and reaching Detective Mortensen who had turned in surprise. The other two men in the line shoved themselves backwards and bowled over the other escorting officer.
Don and several detectives in the office started to move in but were brought up short when the sudden flurry of movement stopped. The first offender had Mortensen in a head lock, a pistol against his head, an awkward position with cuffed hands but possible. The others were now back on their feet, with the two escorting officers also held with their own guns to their heads. Don realised it hadn't been the one offender deciding to make a break, it was a concerted effort on the group's part. In a matter of seconds they'd gone from being prisoners to having weapons and three hostages.
There were shouts now from both sides, the detectives ordering surrender as the offenders ordered the officers to drop their weapons or they'd kill the men they held. Don was forced to adjust his position as detectives moved across in front of him seeking their own best angles. He found himself against the side of the room only a short distance from Mortensen, another detective just slightly closer and to his left. The shouts continued from both sides until Don heard the man holding Mortensen look to one of his accomplices and call a name.
One of the men holding an officer by the back of his shirt turned.
Ash released his hold on his hostage only to have the officer instantly grabbed by the offender standing next to him. Ash turned and lowered his stolen weapon before pulling the trigger. Not taking note of where his shot landed he instantly returned his gun to the officer's head in front of him.
The gunshot brought instant stillness to the room. Clear in the sudden silence was Mortensen's harsh breathing as he slumped in the man's hold with both hands clamped over the bullet wound in his upper leg.
"That was a warning. I'll be putting the next one in myself." The man threatened, given the position of the gun in his hands that could only mean one thing.
"What do you want?" One of the detectives asked, stepping forward slightly. Even though he didn't know the officer's name Don recognised him as a senior detective.
"For you all to drop your weapons and get down. We're getting out of here." The man then looked to his hostage. "And someone to take this one's place."
"Alright, just keep it calm. My name is Samuels." The detective slipped into negotiation mode, his voice no longer commanding even if not exactly friendly. "You know you are not getting out of here, right?"
"Then a whole lot of cops die."
"We both don't want that to happen."
"Then do what we say."
At the same time a shout came from the top of the stairs, uniformed officers rushing to find out why the shot had been fired had reached the scene and reacted as per their training. "Freeze!"
The men were now trapped. Their break for freedom had taken too long and they had lost the momentum they'd originally gained. Don almost held his breath, this situation could easily go one of three ways, the men could surrender, shoot it out or instigate a standoff. As he saw the tightening grips on the hostages Don knew where it was headed and that the next few minutes were the most dangerous for everyone involved.
"Back them off," The man holding Mortensen ordered. "Back them off now!"
"Easy, easy now." Detective Samuels soothed, attempting to calm things down.
"Don't tell me easy!" The man yelled back. He forced Mortensen forward causing Don and the detective beside him to move away a couple of paces. "Back them off."
Samuels made an urgent waving motion with his hand. The officers at the door backed up slightly but didn't retreat down the stairs.
The man wasn't happy but took what he'd been given. "Better. Now, everyone on that side of the room gets out. Everyone on this side stays."
The tilt of the man's head as he spoke clarified his order. He wanted those in the room closest to the stairs to leave, the others, including Don were to stay. It was clear that he felt three hostages, one of whom was wounded, were going to be insufficient for the standoff to come. An additional four hostages strengthened his hand even further.
"You don't want to do this. Put the weapons down and release the officers." Samuels tried.
The man's reply was to flick off the safety on the gun he was holding and pull back the hammer. A moment later he started to turn his head to avoid what would be the effects of his next action.
"Alright!" Samuels folded when it became clear the man wasn't bluffing and was about to shoot Mortensen. "Alright, we'll back off and let things settle." Samuels jerked his head at the detectives in the room, indicating for everyone to withdraw.
Don shot Mortensen a look but the man's eyes were closed as he struggled to remain calm with own gun pressed to his head. He glanced over at the two uniform officers and saw that while clearly afraid, as any sensible person would be, they were also holding it together. No one was going to do anything stupid. The detectives around him started backing away, Don followed suit.
"No!" The man countermanded. "I said this side stays. And everybody drops their weapons."
"Now, we don't-"
"Drop them!" He shoved his gun harder against Mortensen's head and no one needed reminding that the safety was off and the weapon was cocked.
After a rapid exchange of glances amongst the detectives Samuels was the first to release his stance and put his gun down on the floor. The others slowly followed suit, Don had no choice but to follow. At this stage of the situation, before full control, the hostages were most at risk. His read was the same as Samuels'; the man was not prepared to back down. There was no other option but to do as the man ordered if they were to keep Mortensen and the other two officers alive.
"All your weapons." The man ordered. "TASERs, pepper spray, cuffs, keys. Cell phones. Everything."
The officers complied then stepped back, holding up empty hands. Now the gun waved away from Mortensen's head, first to one side then the other, emphasizing his next order. "You all get out. You, get down."
Everything happened slowly at first then increased pace. The detectives closest the stairs, including Samuels, started backing away, followed by the other offenders holding the uniformed hostages, moving as if herding them from the room. The man holding Mortensen also moved, dragging the injured man with him as he approached the men he'd ordered to stay. The detective nearest Don was the first to move, slowly lowering himself to his knees, clasping his hands behind his head. The others followed, with Don the last at the hard stare that was turned his way. Reluctantly he went to his knees, hands held up at shoulder height.
Don was quickly on his feet and lunging forwards to catch Mortensen who'd been suddenly shoved towards him. He made it just in time, breaking the detective's fall and getting him down and seated, leaning against some cupboards. In the process he'd seen a tea-towel next to the coffee machine on the long bench above them. Reaching up he snagged the cloth and had it folded and pressed against Mortensen's leg in almost the same motion. He ignored the grunt in protest, the pressure was essential even if it caused pain.
There was a bang causing him to jump before he realised it wasn't a weapon going off but a door slamming and then sounds he recognised as bolts sliding home. The doors at the top of the stairs were being closed and secured. He glanced around to see the other men haul their two uniformed captives over towards the kneeling detectives and shove them down. All the officers were then ordered to lie face down on the floor. One of the men remained standing guard over them as the others grabbed keys and uncuffed themselves. In just a couple more minutes each man armed themselves, gathering up the rest of the discarded weapons and piling them on a desk creating a sizeable haul. They then tore open the plastic bags that the trailing officer had been carrying and recovered their wallets and other personal possessions.
Finished, the first man looked around, his gaze raking over Don and Mortensen before his attention went to the rest of the hostages. Officers were exchanging glances but each knew how volatile the situation was and did nothing further. The man snagged a pair of cuffs and tossed them at the nearest detective. One of the former prisoners repeated the action for the other hostages.
"Cuff yourselves, hands behind your backs."
As the others moved Don ignored the order, and the cuffs that had been thrown his way, concentrating on looking after Mortensen. He saw the warning glance on the detective's face a moment before he felt the press of a gun against the back of his head.
"Cuffs." The man behind him ordered. He didn't recognise the voice; it was one of the other men.
"If I don't keep pressure on this he could bleed to death." Don argued, ignoring the man's dangerous tone. "You don't want that."
There was a pause then Don felt movement behind him before the set of cuffs slid a foot or so across the floor to stop beside his knee.
"Then keep your hands in front."
The gun pressed harder and Don knew he'd pushed it as far as he could. Moving quickly he picked up the cuffs and fitted them around his wrists, locking them in place. He was reaching back to the cloth over the wound when he received another order. With no time to waste on arguing he reached around Mortensen's belt and pulled out the cuffs he found there, cuffing the detective's wrists together. He got his hands back onto the cloth and resumed applying pressure. The gun was finally pulled away from the back of his head and he took a deep breath in relief as the man stepped back.
"Get me a first aid kit." Don demanded before the man could move any further away.
"You don't get to give orders." A different voice growled.
Don glanced back to see the man who'd ordered Mortensen shot, and clearly the group's leader, approach. "This man needs a hospital." The agent said, knowing what the response was going to be to his statement. A seriously wounded hostage had great value, distracting the officers outside knowing that one of their own was hurt and in danger.
"He isn't going anywhere."
"Then get me a kit."
"Looks like you're doing just fine."
"If he bleeds out, if he dies, they are going to come in hard." Don snapped, as he turned to face the man. It was clear he needed a reality check. "Not a man here will begrudge going down if you go down as well."