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Ficlet: Chasing Down Answers (Olivia, Peter) 
22nd-Oct-2009 04:23 pm
Title: Chasing Down Answers
Fandom: Fringe
Author: chichuri
Characters: Olivia, Peter
Word Count: 715
Rating: PG
Summary: Olivia, Peter, and the FBI storm a ZFT facility in order to find the man who may have all the answers.
Warnings: Prompt.
Spoilers: Through episode 2.4.
Disclaimer: I don't own Fringe or its characters.
Author's Note: Written for [info - community] death_bingo, prompt: Suicide (seppuku).

Chasing Down Answers

Swat team at her back and Peter at her side, they storm the old office building, a warren of hallways and rooms that had been converted into labs and offices and holding cells. The maps showed a maze, but Olivia's pretty sure it had been remodeled into further confusion in the fifty years since the building plans had been filed. All she can do is hope, as they cautiously move deeper into the facility, that no one misses a well-concealed hidey-hole and that no escape routes have been overlooked.

A patter of gunfire somewhere behind them suggests that, as expected, not all occupants are going peacefully. The whole facility is ZFT run and they'll capture everyone they can, but all they need is a single man: Michael Hayashi, the man who holds all the answers. Intel says he hasn't left the place for the last three months, so there's no way to take him quietly. With the building surrounded and all possible avenues of escape cut off, it's down to a room to room search.

They clear the first floor, then the second. They've just started their sweep of the third when Hayashi emerges from a room down the hall. He doesn't seem surprised to see them, just bows slightly before wheeling and taking off at a run.

"Shit!" Olivia sprints after him, Peter at her heels. Every answer she wants is in Hayashi's hands, and she'll be damned if she lets him get away. She takes a left, a right, dead ends into another hallway and doesn't see him.

"Left!" Peter shouts, outdistancing her as she sees the closing door he spotted. Peter has the lead, keeps the lead, but it doesn't matter which of them catches up first, just that one of them does. Her hip hurts and she'll pay for it later, but it doesn't matter. This prize is worth any price.

"Locked," Peter says when he reaches the closed door, stepping aside as he rummages around in his pockets.

She lifts her gun and aims at the window set into the door. Her bullet barely even cracks the glass; whoever renovated the building was thoughtful enough to make the glass bulletproof. Shot hasn't even stopped echoing when Peter's at work on the lock. She leans over him and peers into the room, matches the location to her memory of the map. Inner room, no exit. They have their suspect trapped; now all they need is to get him in handcuffs.

Hayashi looks up from the desk, smiles, and pulls a short sword off the wall.

A chill runs up her back. "Peter!"

"Working on it," he snaps, then starts swearing as the lock proves stubborn. All Olivia can do is watch through the window.

Hayashi keeps his eyes on hers. Lifts the sword up, thrusts into his stomach, jerks the blade to the right.

"No. No, damn it!" She pounds against the door, then digs her fingernails into the doorframe.

He meets her eyes again as he withdraws the sword, then slowly, deliberately, raises the blade to his throat and impales himself.

Peter shoves open the door and she rushes in, gun trained on the suspect, Peter only a step behind. Checking Hayashi for a pulse tells her what she already knows: the answers they need just slipped through their fingers. Again.

Always a step too slow, no matter what they do to close the gap.

Peter looks up from the computer. "He didn't have time to wipe his files, doesn't look like. We might get something from them."

She shakes her head. "They're too smart to put anything in writing, they always have been." She paces from one side of the room to the other, stopping at the edge of the pool of blood to glare at the body. "What we need is in his brain."

She listens to herself, repeats the words, and her head snaps up.

"Is is worth it?" Peter's voice is neutral, his expression unreadable.

Ignoring the fear that curls through her, she meets his eyes. This time she's going in with her eyes open, knowing all the possible repercussions. "Given what he knows?"

Peter nods curtly, already pulling out his phone. "Walter? We've got a body for you. And we're going to need the tank."  

22nd-Oct-2009 10:48 pm (UTC)
Whoa. Way to rock this prompt and pull the twist ending with the tank. I want to know what Peter really thinks though!
23rd-Oct-2009 02:50 am (UTC)
Peter agrees the information is so important that they need to get at it no matter what the cost. He also knows that Olivia's not going to be happy when he informs her that he's the one going into the tank. He has all his arguments lined up, irrefutable logic that she won't be able to argue with. He's not going to mention the entirely irrational reasons he doesn't want her to go in.

Got to admit, the twist ending was a twist to me, too. *grins*

Glad you enjoyed the story!
(Deleted comment)
23rd-Oct-2009 02:51 am (UTC)
Got to admit, I do love the tank, so it was fun to be able to bring it in! Thanks so much, and I'm glad you enjoyed the story.
(Deleted comment)
23rd-Oct-2009 04:51 am (UTC)
Thanks you. I think that damned tank is going to keep reoccurring in stories, though, because I kind of love it.
(Deleted comment)
23rd-Oct-2009 04:51 pm (UTC)
Huh. That's a good question. Depends on how much of them is "there", I suppose. Is there a consciousness behind them if they're dead rather than unconscious/in a coma? Some remnant of personality based on memories, or just memories with no person guarding them? On one hand, someone who doesn't like you isn't going to want to share themselves with you, so there might not be as much overlap. On the other hand, the psychic trauma would potentially be a bitch.

Another question, specific to this story--Hayashi had to have known they had the technology/knowledge to read his brain. Why did he leave it intact when he killed himself? Olivia and/or Peter have to be giving that one serious consideration.

... I'm more and more poking at the idea of writing a sequel/continuation, with Peter going in the tank. I'm trying to avoid poking at the idea, but it's not going away.
23rd-Oct-2009 04:52 pm (UTC)
... and the above was me, managing to not be logged in. Gah.
(Deleted comment)
23rd-Oct-2009 10:10 pm (UTC)
Third possibility: does he have some sort of information that he/ZFT thinks Olivia needs to know, and wants to make sure that no one else can get to it? I, er, think there are elements of all three. And that I'm going to need to write it to figure it out, since I have snatches of Peter and Olivia arguing, and maybe Peter flatlining, and images of what happens in the tank. I'm may also going to put in the time to research Japanese culture, especially samurai, to pull this off.

Damn it, I really don't need another story to work on!
23rd-Oct-2009 06:28 pm (UTC)
So much ass kicking in this! LOVE.

I live the ritualisticness of the suicide, and of course, the TANK!

And I'm with crazyelf on the pondering if going into the mind of a guy who hates you is going to bring Liv a new form of mindfuck. Should prove fun to explore, no?
23rd-Oct-2009 10:06 pm (UTC)
Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it.

Should be a mindfuck, but for Peter, not Olivia (she just doesn't know it yet). And I think I'm slowly starting to accept that I'm going to have to write the damned sequel. Sometime.
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