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Old 04-07-2017, 07:22 AM   #134
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Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Iceland*
Default The Good Shepherd

When Taylor bursts in the door, a nurse freezes and drops the empty syringe she is holding next to the patient she injected. The unconscious Special Agent Banks and Colonel Burr lie on couches. Vicente Berrocal’s wheelchair is in a corner with him strapped into it, unconscious, possibly drugged. Cam Townsend is sitting at the desk talking into the radio and behind him, a clean-cut man with dark hair and glasses is standing. Both of them look at the door when Taylor bursts in.

Taylor: "Freeze! Drop the syringe, ma'am. Hands up, y'all."
Dr. Cotton: "Now, there's no need..."
Taylor: “Dr. Bruce Cotton?”
Cotton: "Yes, I am.”
Taylor: “It’s over, Dr. Cotton. Warden Tyrrell ain’t in control no more. Would them guards in the towers obey you?”
Townsend: “Taylor, we’ve reached an agree…”
Taylor [interjecting]: “Ain’t got time to argue. Any moment now, the Coast Guard is gonna take out them towers as the first step of assaulting this here place. If’n they do, everybody in them is gonna die. Dr. Cotton, can you get them guards to surrender?”
Cotton: “I can but try, my good man.”

Dr. Cotton moves to the desk and fiddles with the controls for the intercom and radio. Townsend moves aside, while looking askance at Taylor and the pistol he is still pointing at Dr. Cotton.

Townsend: “There really isn’t any need for…”
Taylor: “There’s every need, sir. Lives are still at stake an’ we ain’t safe yet. Dr. Cotton, you’d best start talkin’ now.”
Cotton: “Certainly.”

Dr. Cotton starts talking in a smooth, mellifluous voice. There is a curious musical quality to his speech, with certain words emphasised in a staccato rhythm. Every intercom and radio on Jewell Island carries his message. When Cherry Bell hears it, she freezes in terror, closes her eyes and starts mouthing denials. Then she starts running. Dr. Anderson look up from placing Emma King on a couch and with a quick interjection to some orderlies to take care of her, he runs after Bell down the corridor in the direction of the main building.

Cotton: “Officers, I would like to state that you have acted courageously in the defence of Manhanock. I royally salute your efforts, but now is the time to give up arms and give up. This exercise gets top marks, but do the right thing and surrender."
Taylor [sharply]: “That’s enough, ya low down copperhead snake in the grass! Step away from the desk, now!”
Townsend: “Taylor, what the hell…!”

Taylor has taken a step closer to Dr. Cotton and has his finger on the trigger of his M9. No one in the room doubts that he’s a fraction of a second away from firing if Cotton doesn’t comply immediately. Shocked, Dr. Cotton stumbles backward, with his hands in his air.

Cotton: “What is this about, friend? There’s no need for this at all.”
Taylor: “Ain’t a real good time to play dumb, Dr. Cotton. That there were a code phrase or somethin’ like it. Tyrrell call himself a King an' his men Knights. You'd be what, a Jester? Tryin’ to get ever'body might could testify ‘bout your crimes kilt?”
Cotton: “I don’t know what you think you know or who you think you are, but…”
Taylor [interrupting]: “I been strivin’ real hard, Dr. Cotton, strivin’ to be the Good Shepherd. I'ma a-feared that in my heart, though, I’ma real tempted to be the avenger of blood.”
Cotton: “What are y… Oh, my God!”
Taylor: “An’ I don’t know if’n that would be such a bad thing, neither. When somebody like you, Dr. Cotton, preys on the innocent and defenceless, falling on them like a wolf in the fold, ain’t the shepherd right to take up rod and staff? Don’t justice require a sword in the hands of God’s servants, somebody to execute His wrath upon the evildoer?”
Cotton: “This is ridiculous, I’ve made an arrangement with your superiors!”
Townsend: “Taylor, this man is cooperating with us. He’s very important to our plans! You can’t shoot him!”
Taylor: “Doncha know, Dr. Cotton, that what you done, it is evil? Preyin’ on somebody so completely powerless, no friends, no family, nobody to protect her at all. Jes’ false reports an’ secret deals bein’ used to take away her voice. An’ then you done got your filthy hands on her. Somebody who were supposed to be in your care! You gonna tell me how that’s right, Dr. Cotton? How you ain’t evil at all?”
Cotton [scared]: “You can’t do anything to me! I’ve made a deal! Townsend, call him to order!”
Townsend: “Taylor, I’m ordering you to lower your gun, right now.”
Taylor: “I’d sure like it if’n I could believe I was chosen to deliver vengeance to ya. But I cain’t do that. I ain’t God’s messenger. I’ma jes’ a sinner, Dr. Cotton, like you. I… I ain’t big enough to forgive ya. But I ain’t gonna judge you, neither. Judgment ain’t no job for the fallible an’ the sinful. My preacher, he done said that vengeance, it belong to the Lord.”

Taylor lowers his gun. Dr. Cotton breathes out in relief and Townsend wipes sweat of his brow. Dr. Cotton starts to turn to Townsend, his face still pale with fear, but rapidly filling with rage. Faster than either Cotton or Townsend can follow, Taylor brings his M9 pistol back into line and fires three times rapidly, the reports blending together into one sound. Three 9mm bullets hit Dr. Cotton between the eyes before he registers motion. Cotton's brains splatter the wall behind him and he is dead before he hits the ground.

Taylor: “I’ma jes’ here to fetch ya to Him.”

Horrified at the noise, blood and gore, Townsend jumps away from the falling Dr. Cotton. He looks at Taylor in incoherent fury.

Townsend: “Do you know what you’ve done!”
Taylor: “I reckon I jes’ done committed a murder.”

Townsend notices that Taylor is still holding his gun. Looking around the room, Townsend notices that everyone except him and the nurse who gave the man strapped down in a chair a shot is heavily medicated and not conscious. And judging from the glassy stare and vacant demeanour of the nurse, she might not be entirely there. Which might make Townsend the only witness.

Taylor notices that Townsend is staring at the pistol he’s got in his hand, pointing at the floor. With a contemptuous shrug, Taylor engages the safety and drops it to the ground, where it clatters loudly. Then he moves to the desk and takes the two grenades that still hang on his tactical gear off, placing them on the desk.

As he does so, Cherry Bell comes running in the room. She’s got an M16A2 rifle hanging on a patrol sling, but she doesn’t seem to notice that it’s there. Instead, she runs to the bloody corpse of Dr. Cotton, screaming in incoherent fury. She kicks the body again and again, screaming wordless hatred. Dr. Anderson follows her inside, moving to restrain her. He takes her in his arms, speaking her name comfortingly, as if to a child. Cherry Bell looks up with a stricken expression.

Bell: “Why can’t I remember his name?”

Taylor doesn’t look in Bell’s direction. He can see Dr. Anderson leading her unresistingly to a chair in the corner and asking about a sheet to cover the body, but doesn’t show any evidence that he hears him. Instead, he simply starts walking out of the room.

Townsend: “Where the hell do you think you’re going?”
Taylor [flatly, tiredly]: “Back downstairs. Ain’t all them guards surrendered, last I done checked. If’n we don’t want more people dying when them Coastie boys get here, I better secure everybody. You might could talk to your boss an’ get a line for the incident commander, update everybody on our status. Oh, an’ Doc, I could use some help downstairs. Some real bad wounds there. Warden Tyrrell were still breathing when I left him, but it ain’t no thanks to me if’n he still is. Real bad head injury, probably needs urgent care.”
Dr. Anderson [while holding Bell]: “I am sorry, Taylor, but as you can see, I have duties here as well.”
Taylor: “Whatever, Doc. Join me when ya kin. I’ll try an’ send O’Toole up here to do anythin’ that don’t require a for-real medical degree, if’n ya think it’d make it easier for ya to get free.”

Without waiting for an answer, Taylor walks off. Dr. Anderson looks after him with a worried look on his face, but then focuses on attending to Sherilyn Bell. As they were running there, he noticed her reacting very strangely to Dr. Cotton’s speech in the intercom, staggering and almost falling down near the end of it. Ms. Bell is clearly upset, but she is also exhibiting peculiar symptoms that might indicate a dreamlike state or an altered state of consciousness.

Dr. Anderson: “Ms.Bell, do you know where you are? And what you are doing here?”
Bell [crying]: “Sure. I’m in Warden Tyrrell’s office. I was… am… I…”
Dr. Anderson: “Who were you angry at, Ms. Bell?”
Bell [downcast]: “I don’t know. I… can’t remember. Somebody real bad.”
Dr. Anderson: “Who is primary physician, Ms. Bell?”
Bell: “Doctor… uh, Doctor… I don’t know. I don’t understand!”
Dr. Anderson: “It is quite all right, Ms. Bell. I believe that I understand and there is no need for you to do anything at the moment other than relax and recover.”

Dr. Anderson can see that the nurse in the room, Nurse McRae according to her nametag, who is still standing still with glassy eyes, is further evidence of his theory. Nurse McRae exhibits all the signs of someone who has been subjected to drug-enhanced hypnotism. Hypnotism has a number of legitimate clinical uses in psychiatry, but is far from as effective as usually portrayed in the movies.

Certain psychotropic drugs, however, could engender exceptional susceptibility to mental suggestion and theoretically allow a skilled hypnotism to put the subject in a dream-like state. It was, in fact, something Dr. Anderson had done some research on in his first years at Manhanock Asylum.
Za uspiekh nashevo beznadiozhnovo diela!

Last edited by Icelander; 05-05-2017 at 04:45 AM.
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