I knew this would happen. Since he found me in April and got involved in this, I knew there was going to come a point where he would snap and pull something like this. When you're desperate, you take whatever help you can get, but even then, you can never really trust them, not completely. I've never completely trusted Wren, and I'm sure that's been evident.
I just hoped it would hold until after I had figured out a solution...guess not.
When I joined the force a few years ago, Wren Stephanos was one of SWAT's demolition experts. I met him after I had been on the force about a month, when his team was assigned to take down a target on a case I had been working on. When they brought him in for interrogation, he saw me get a little...well, vocal while interrogating. I guess that was a good sign for him. When I was finished three hours later, he was sitting at my desk with a cup of coffee and a cinnamon raisin bagel.
“Not bad,” he said, as I took both. “You've got a flair for this kind of thing. Hope you stick around.”
After that, he and I hung out some, usually after work, either grabbing a drink or playing some pool. We were never “best friends”, but we got pretty chummy, which wasn't entirely uncommon but still a sight, mainly from those who knew Wren a while. He was the humor to my seriousness; he would always crack jokes, and he was one hell of a prankster. He was the kind of guy who would sneak tiny explosives in people's cigarettes that would explode when they were inhaling, put whoopee cushions in chairs, and put the occasional laxative into people's coffees.
But of course, there was that other side. He was known to be a particularly brutal officer. One time his team and I were dealing with a hostage situation; bank robbery gone wrong, you know the deal. The chief was trying to negotiate with the lead robber, this massive man with a mother complex, all coked out and out of his mind. Negotiations were going south, the guy was losing his cool...and then Wren just pulls out his gun and shoots him in the arm. Cool as ice.
The rest of his team took out his associates. The lead robber, he was bleeding from the arm, but he sees Wren, and he just dives at him. Wren barely even blinked. He just sidestepped, grabbed his arm, and twisted it until it cracked. Then he threw him against the wall, making sure his head hit the bricks hard, and then he pinched the nerve muscle in the neck. Lead robber dropped like a sack of bricks.
He turned at me, I'm standing there with my mouth open, and he just winked.
I told him I wanted to learn how to do that.
He asked me which part.
I wrote before that he said he had taught me everything I knew. He wasn't exaggerating. Oh, I knew self-defense, but Wren took it on a whole new level. He taught me more or less how to control my anger and vent it out in a more controlled way, something that the doctors I saw as a kid never really helped with. Even still, though, there were some lines I never crossed. I had no problem punching a suspect in interrogation, but I never broke toes or sprained fingers. Wren did those. I wanted them to feel anger and guilt; he wanted them to feel pain.
And yeah, he was friends with Lizzie and Eric. Sort of. Eric, he was friendly with, Wren helped him cope with Mickey's death, and they were on good terms for the time I saw them together. Lizzie, on the other hand, couldn't stand him. She found him creepy, and a bit of a pervert. Once he was behind bars and her and mine's relationship escalated, she told me he had hit on her so many times she lost count. She had also been on the receiving end of one of his pranks; he had left a box on her desk for her birthday, and when she opened it, a spring-loaded clown launched out and smacked her right in the nose with its wooden head. She was in the bathroom with a nosebleed for over an hour.
To be fair, she never knew for certain it was him. It was just assumed. But there weren't many people, before or after him, who pulled those kinds of stunts, so it was pretty likely.
But...well, it was Wren. You all know him by now. And with a personality like that, it was bound to come to a head sooner or later.
And it came, about a year and a half before we got Victoria Krell's case. Hostage situation in an office building owned by an Anthony Walden. Rich company executive. Never found out if the group were robbers, or terrorists, or business rivals or what have you. Maybe it was confirmed and I just never heard. Doesn't matter.
Lizzie and I were the detectives on site. Wren's team and another team had gone in to deal with them, and we were waiting outside. It was supposed to have taken ten minutes, but twenty minutes into the mission and we still had no word.
This was two nights before I met Mr. Armeen for the first time, by the way, just a little tidbit. Lizzie and I were getting along, but still not in the best of relationships. I wanted to go in, she wanted to stay out. We were fighting for five minutes when the front doors opened and Wren stepped out, arms at his side, with this weird smile painted across his face.
Confused, I went towards him as he came for me...and then the whole building went up, knocking all of us to the ground. I sat up, stunned, and right then a jagged piece of metal from the building exterior landed right next to me, hitting the space right between my fingers. Had it been a little more to the right, I would be dead now.
I looked at Wren, who was looking at the remains...and laughing. Not his usual laugh either. A cold, empty laugh.
Twenty-three people died. Nine officers, four bad guys, and ten hostages. All dead. We learned Wren had wired the boiler and had explosives placed on the building foundation. When we heard the report, at first we thought the suspects had wired the place to blow and we hadn't known about it, and Wren had just been lucky to leave. It became apparent quickly that that wasn't the case.
Wren was found guilty of mass manslaughter and sentenced to twenty years in prison in New York. Up until April, the last time I had seen him was when they had taken him away, still laughing his ass off.
Probably should've told you all this sooner. Oh well.
At any rate, I have to deal with it now.