Disclaimer: I don't own F.E.A.R., any of it's subsequent titles and expansions, or it's characters... though I'm pretty damn good at playing them. (:P)
Author's Note: *blows dust off of the first chapter* I wrote this just after my FEAR nights: blasting all the way through the first game, the second game, Reborn, and the new one. For some odd reason, I felt myself feeling so bad for Fettel that I decided to make him a very unlikely little "friend": Devyn Krieg.
[A Willing Prisoner]
Devyn practically kicked open the door to her own apartment, and slammed it behind her before stomping off to the bathroom. She glared at herself in the mirror for nearly five minutes, watching the blood run down from her split lip, cut eyebrow, and nose. If she'd had a dime for every time her mother's "gift" and her own mouth had caused her trouble, she'd be a very rich woman by now. It wasn't her fault that she had a tendency to 'just know' things, or see things from time to time, just like it wasn't her fault that she'd been able to name every man that tramp had slept with in the past seventy-two hours after accidentally bumping into her. She should've anticipated that she was also beginning to take kickboxing lessons before she opened her mouth. If those roaming soldiers hadn't wandered by when they did, she probably would've looked a lot worse. Her golden-green eyes narrowed in mild discomfort as she carefully wiped the blood away from her eyes and rolled up a piece of tissue to plug her bleeding nose.
"Bitch had a mean right hook." She grumbled, wandering to the living room and flopping onto the couch, "Note to self: next time you open your mouth, make sure you see if they know how to fight better than you." With a quiet groan of self-loathing, she flipped on her stereo with the hope that the music would somehow heal her humiliation. The first four songs that rolled into the room were of the sappy, romantic variety. That certainly wasn't helping. With a frustrated groan, she hurled a throw pillow at the power button to stop the noise.
"Mother, if I ever meet you in the afterlife, I'm kicking your head in for this inheritance of yours." A loud 'thud' against the door to her apartment nearly made her fall off the couch. "Okay, okay... no need to get touchy about it." She growled at the floor, positive there couldn't possibly be any room in Heaven for such a woman. Pushing herself lightly to her feet, she hurried over to the door and peered outside. Maybe that new knife she'd ordered as an early birthday present finally showed up. She pulled the door open slowly. Or maybe it was a small box covered with security tape. Curious, she peered down the hall in search of the delivery boy. The only thing that could be remotely described as the one who brought this thing to her was a shadow quickly descending the stairs to the ground level. Odd, but not unusual. There were occasions where people would ask for her help, and most left a letter and an object as opposed to meeting her face to face. Shrugging, she picked the box up off the ground and returned to the comfort of her couch.
It was about the size of a DVD case, and as deep as four of them stacked on top of one another. The security tape convering it bore an unfamiliar logo: three diamonds arranged in a trifecta, the two lower diamonds connected to the top one with a single line, and the top diamond bearing a single dot in its center. Under the tape, the box was some kind of white metal case with a combination lock and a sticky note with it's appropriate combination. The first thing she noticed inside the case was a carefully typed letter resting on top of it's contents, which she moved aside to see what her possible client had left her with - which was nothing more than a red-stained fragment of concrete and a scrap of badly burned leather. Taking extreme care not to touch either of the two objects, she turned her attention to the letter. It asked her to do something highly unusual, even for her: track down not the person who had come in contact with these objects, but their mother, with the promise of great compensation for her efforts. Brushing the request's peculiarity aside, she reached for the items left for her to use in her search, and immediately withdrew her hand at the sight of a red smoke-like vapor.
She blinked. No, that wasn't a vapor. The curtain moved and caused a shift in the light. Exhaling slowly to collect herself, she reached her hand out a second time and ran her fingertips over the corse surface of the concrete. Almost right away she felt a pressure on her forehead and a searing pain close behind it, forcing her to withdraw her hand and press it to her head. Whoever these objects were tied to had gone through a lot of pain recently. If that one hurt, what could the other one possibly have tied to it? Preparing for another bolt of agony, she curled her fingers around the scrap of clothing. This one was filled with conflict, pain, rage... dominance, control. Her eyes narrowed as she tried to weave her way through the powerful emotions tied to the fabric. This was more difficult than other objects, giving her only a dark silhouette to try to give a name as opposed to the usual face. If she didn't know any better, she would have sworn that something was trying to stop her from seeing what she was after. Concentrating harder, she allowed her eyes to slowly close to block out any possible distractions in the room. The silence completely absorbed her - until a strange chill ran down her spine.
Her eyes snapped open, revealing nothing but darkness around her. This was new. She'd never been able to step into her own visions like this before. Impressed with herself, she tried to bring some light into the darkness - just enough to see where she was. As if on cue, a dim light flickereed on above her, lighting both her and the floor around her. Much to her surprise, she found herself tied to a chair with the scrap of leather clutched tightly in her hand. The bonds weren't weak, and didn't budge when she pulled against them. Why was she restrained in her own vision? She tried the straps holding her in place again, again they didn't give way. A flicker of movement tore her attention to the shadows in front of her. She wasn't alone; she could feel a pair of eyes boring into her, searching for something as they circled around her. The feeling from the stare wasn't one of curiosity. It was predatory. Hungry.
"Who... who are you?" She managed to ask the presence, her eyes focusing on the invisible source of the cold gaze. The circling stare stopped and a light, almost imperceptible chuckle floated around her. It made her shudder.
"You're psychic. You tell me." A voice purred. A man. The person staring at her like a fresh side of beef was a man. That eliminated things like Genevieve from her list of potential names. Her grip on the leather scrap tightened slightly, her nails digging into the fabric as though it would give her answers. It didn't.
"I don't know. This tiny piece of leather isn't telling me much. Can you offer any help?" She asked meekly, unsure as to whether or not she wanted to see this menacing presence. Silently, she decided she'd rather not know what it looked like. Putting a face to that voice and stare would more than likely just give her nightmares. The stare moved again, this time until it was directly behind her. A cold piece of metal pressed against her cheek. She most certainly did not like where this was going. The metal pressed harder against her pale flesh, leaving a thin ruby line and making her wince. As if she hadn't bled enough already today. However, the blade making contact with her skin shot a quick image of jumbled letters across her eyes - as well as a glimpse of a pair of icy blue eyes staring at her, into her. Startled, she let the scrap of leather slip from her hand and fall to the floor.
She instantly found herself sitting in her living room once more, drenched in sweat as though she'd just had a terrible nightmare. Her hand moved to where her cheek had been cut, and came away with a thin line of blood across her palm. Nightmares don't make people bleed, no matter how traumatic. Blaming the cut on her own fingernails, she scooped the piece of leather off the floor and stared at it while she tried to reorganize the letters she'd seen. A name eventually surfaced, though she wasn't enjoying the amount of effort this was taking. Groaning in mild frustration, she pulled her cell phone from her pocket and dialed the number left for her at the bottom of the letter. It took nearly five minutes to navigate the useless automated menues before she was able to speak to an actual human being. She didn't waste any time or mince words, and the question that emerged was somewhere between inquiry and demand.
"Who the hell is Paxton Fettel?"
Devyn Krieg had been put on speaker phone for the entire room to hear. They could tell from the tone of her voice she'd already run into a rather deadly obstacle. The man she'd called shook his head slowly, none too thrilled with her first attempt being met with such opposition. His militant stare passed briefly over the people he sat with before he spoke.
"That would be her son," He hesitated, unsure what was safe enough to tell her at such an early stage, "The items in the case we sent you belonged to him. What happened?"
"The creep had me tied to a chair. I couldn't dive any deeper than the surface of the objects because of him." There was a childish pout in her voice, which made a few of the other men crack a small smile. It was very unlike a twenty-four-year-old woman to react in such a way but, then again, they knew there'd be problems like this and had hoped it would be a little later into their search before they presented themselves.
"We were afraid he might try to hinder the search. Are you all right, Miss Krieg?" She clucked her tongue loudly on the other line.
"I'm..." She paused, thinking about something, "I'm fine. But I'm going to need something a little more substantial than a piece of bloody concrete and a charred scrap of leather if you want my help. Do you have anything else I could use?" The man gave a wary look at his fellows before saying anything more. Fettel was a dangerous individual. Who could tell what giving the woman a stronger link to his energy would do to her?
"As a matter of fact, we do. We happen to be in possession of one of his old jackets. Would that be substantial enough for you to work with?"
"That'd be perfect." The group of men could practically hear the eager smile in her voice.
"Very well, but you'll be working under observation from here on out. Someone will be there to pick you up within the hour." He hung up and addressed the men closest to the door, not bothering himself to look at them, "Maddox, go fetch."
She was already waiting outside with the white case and a notebook in hand, humming softly to herself. Her short dusty brown hair had been cut to follow her jawline, and her bangs had been dyed a rich shade of red. A pair of hair clips held all but two tapered strands of hair out of her face. She'd changed out of her bloodied and slightly torn clothes from earlier and into some white cargo jeans, dark red boots, and a comfortably snug deep scarlet three-quarter-sleeved top. Open fingered white leather gloves covered most of her hands - her way of preventing any unwanted visions from coming into contact with anyone. She'd been standing outside no longer than ten minutes when a dark vehicle pulled up outside the apartment building. The tinted front passenger window rolled down slowly, revealing two very intense looking men.
"Devyn Krieg?" One of them asked plainly.
"Yes." As she gave them a nod, the one who rolled the window down motioned for her to get inside. While she settled herself in the back seat of the vehicle, she peered into the rear-view mirror to get a look at the driver. His dark hair was gelled into a spiky mess, and his eyes were a slightly blue-tinted hazel due to the odd glasses he wore. The equipment he wore was of a different type, more expensive. She could barely read the letters 'F.E.A.R.' on his shoulder, "Who are you?" The question was calm and disinterested. Those strange hazel eyes glanced up at her in the mirror, studying her with the same scrutiny she'd just given him.
"Gethin Maddox. The new errand boy for these lazy bastards." He didn't laugh at his joke, but there was a smile in his eyes, "Where ya from?"
"Fairport, originally. Started hopping from foster home to foster home after my mother died and haven't been in the area since I was five." The man next to Gethin leaned toward him and whispered something, glancing over his shoulder at her. Gethin gave him a solemn nod.
"Boss says you're psychic." He stated flatly as the car began to slow down. Devyn was mildly taken aback by the statement. He'd said it as though it were common.
"I suppose you could call it that. It's more of a curse really." She sighed as the door next to her was opened from the outside. The men lead her inside a tall building, but took the elevator down to some deep basement level. When the doors slid open, she was greeted by bright flourescent lights and white walls, tile floors, and yet another man carrying a gun. It was almost enough to make her roll her eyes as he extended a friendly, uncovered hand to her. In turn, she folded her hands behind her back and gave him a pleasant smile and a nod. He gave her a confused look.
"No friendly greeting?" He asked. She laughed lightly.
"Unless you want me knowing everything that's ever happened to you, it might not be the best idea." She winked at him as he took a half-step backwards, unsettled by the notion of such a simple act betraying so much. Giving her a slight nod, he lead her down several identical corridors to a numbered room and punched a combination to unlock the door. She watched him carefully, memorizing the combination and studying the door's locking mechanism. There was a better chance of her sprouting wings than allowing a bunch of military knuckleheads to lock her up for an indeterminite amount of time. Flashing them another innocent smile, she stepped inside and grit her teeth as the door slid shut behind her, the lock engaging less than a second later.
The room itself wasn't as bland as the corridors, and she was thankful for that. A full-sized bed rested in the far corner beside a dresser, three bookshelves lined the wall opposite of the bed, and there was a stained glass patterened carpet decorating the middle of the floor. One of the walls had a mural of a cherry blossom tree in bloom. They'd at least made an effort to make the room less... white. She walked over to her bed and sat on the three fleece blankets covering it - right next to the jacket that the man on the phone had mentioned. Using all of her restraint to keep from connecting with its former owner, she ran a hand over the sturdy leather and synthetic materials. It wasn't her taste, to say the least. Moving her hand away from the article of clothing, she began to loosen her grip on her 'gift' and relax. A small tone sounding from the speaker placed in the room made her jump.
"You may begin whenever you're ready. The sooner you find the woman, the sooner you'll receive your reward." She shot a look to the poorly disguised observation window behind the mural and clucked her tongue before turning to look at the jacket once more. All she needed to do was slip around the owner of the object, and see if she could possibly reach whoever this woman was that they were trying to find. It couldn't possibly be that difficult. Breathing in deeply and closing her eyes, she wrapped her hands tightly around the shoulders of the coat.
"Well..." She said softly to herself, "Here goes nothing." Focusing on the object in her hands as she had before, she let it pull her - rather forcefully - to wherever it would take her.
Author's Note: My self confidence demon that I keep locked in a trunk really didn't want me to submit this, for FEAR (oh, god, bad joke) of this turning very sour very fast, so I'll be relying on reviews to see if it's worth building on. Reviews (and good music) are the lifeblood of this particular story, so please give me your input... or at least a better lock for the self confidence demon.