And Hell Followed With Him
Part 1 of the Series: Hope Is The Thing With Feathers.
Summary: Accompanying the Marshal and Hope County Sheriff's Department to arrest Joseph Seed, Deputy Blue Murphy makes a choice and kickstarts the war in Hope County.
Warnings: Obviously Canon-Typical Violence and Joseph Seed being Joseph Seed. Also, there is a reference towards implied child abuse/domestic violence towards the end. Please be careful; it's only in one paragraph. Please let me know if I missed anything else.
Ships: A little bit of Joseph/Deputy if you squint.
Author's Note: Hey everyone! For a while, I've wanted to start doing a series on Blue's canon for FC5. This oneshot is the first in that series. I really hope you enjoy this!
“Mendoza, I really don’t have a good feeling about this arrest. Something just seems off,” Blue said into their phone as they sat outside the Hope County Sheriff’s Department. Hope County had been a cluster fuck from day one, especially with Eden’s Gate adding more fuel to the fire. No one had warned Blue about Eden’s Gate before they moved to Hope County three months ago, and they felt woefully underprepared to deal with an actual cult. To top it all off, tonight of all nights, U.S. Marshal Cameron Burke planned to arrest the leader of said cult, Joseph Seed, with the help of the Sheriff’s Department. Always one to look on the bright side, Blue couldn’t find a good side to this situation. Shit was gonna go sideways tonight.
“I know, Murph. I’ve looked up that Joseph Seed guy, seems like a real piece of work,’ Ranger Gabriel Mendoza, Blue’s former boss and their mentor, continued as Blue snorted in response, ‘Keep your wits about you; you’ve been through worse before. You just have to get through this job for the next two weeks, Murph. Then, you’ll be back at the Ranger Station with us.”
Blue sighed, leaning their head against the steering wheel. He was right; two weeks could go by in a blink of an eye. It’s just…they detested this job with every fiber of their being. Blue wasn’t meant to be a Deputy. That had become painfully clear on the first day, but no one else wanted the fucking job, and Blue was another warm body to fil the spot. Their personal life was even more of a disaster; Blue felt plain lonely in Hope County. No matter how hard they tried to make friends; most folks weren’t willing to Blue a fair shake thanks to Eden’s Gate. It was a lonely and isolating experience. Sitting up, Blue glanced at the clock on their truck’s dashboard. Shit, they needed to head in. “You’re right, Mendoza. I gotta go; I’ll give you a call sometime next week.”
“Good luck, Murph. Stay safe out there.” He said before hanging up. Looking at the station, Blue felt a sense of dread overwhelming them. Maybe, they should run, leave Hope County, and never look back. They shook their head, knowing how cowardly that would be. Blue couldn’t let their teammates down. Opening the door of their truck, Blue hopped out of the truck, closing the door behind them. Locking it, Blue walked towards the station, shoving their hands and phone into their jeans pockets.
“Hey Rook!” Hudson said, patting them on the back.
“Hey, Hudson.” Blue replied nervously. They liked Hudson and admired her toughness.
“You nervous about tonight?”
Blue nodded as the two walked towards the station door. “Yeah, just have a bad feeling about this.”
“We’ll be fine, Rook. Whitehorse won’t let us down.” She said, opening the door.
“I know he won’t.” Blue said. Sheriff Whitehorse was not the person they were worried about.
“I will make them see.” Blue closed their eyes as they lost service, sick to their stomach. Behind their eyelids, a vision of Joseph Seed with raised, bloody hands appeared. How could one person be so desensitized to all of this violence? Be so casual about gouging a man’s eyes out? They opened their eyes, slipping their phone into their pocket, still queasy. A part of them was angry, that familiar wrath appearing. What right did Joseph Seed think he had to hurt others so horrifically?
Mendoza’s words replayed in their mind, bringing a small comfort to Blue: “Keep your wits about you; you’ve been through worse before”. As the helicopter continued its winding flight to the Eden’s Gate compound, Blue’s ominous feelings only grew, the sinking feeling in their chest growing worse. “Nervous, Rookie?” Marshal Burke asked, eying Blue with distrust.
“A little bit.” Blue answered, their mouth dry. Blue didn’t trust Marshal Burke, and it seemed that no one else trusted him either. Sheriff Whitehorse had been very clear that he thought Marshal Burke was making a mistake. Marshal Burke shrugged it off, acting like the department was overreacting. Blue thought he seemed like the kind of man who was more concerned with potential glory, never thinking about what might happen in his wake. This was a delicate situation, and Marshal Burke was not a delicate man.
“Don’t freak out on us, Rookie. We don’t need you to whip them up into a frenzy and start shooting at us.” Marshal Burke admonished them.
“We can rely on Deputy Murphy.” Sheriff Whitehorse said, interceding on Blue’s behalf. “Deputy Murphy is a valued member of this department. They haven’t let us down.”
Marshal Burke snorted. “I’ll be the judge of that.” He replied, slightly defensive. Blue shot a small smile at Sheriff Whitehorse before turning to look out the helicopter window. Blue didn’t blame the Marshal for not trusting them; Blue was the new guy on the team. Plus, it didn’t help that there were rumors of Eden’s Gate still having a mole in the Hope County Sheriff’s Department.
Passing by the statue of Joseph Seed, Blue leaned forward to get a better look, their hand coming up to touch the window. The monstrosity of the statue was one of the first things Blue noticed in Hope County. It looked even uglier up close. Blue wondered what kind of man could inspire his followers to build a statue of him, to follow him so fervently. Probably the same kind of monster who casually gouged someone’s eyes out.
As Sheriff Whitehorse called for dispatch, Blue looked away from the window, automatically feeling for the pocketknife in their pocket. The pocketknife belonged to their Grandfather, something he always carried with him and passed on to Blue when he died. He always told Blue that the knife had saved his life, considering the old knife lucky. Bouncing their leg anxiously, Blue thought: I hope this knife brings me luck tonight; I’m going to need it.
The Helicopter circled the Eden’s Gate compound, Blue’s sense of dread worsening. Leave, Leave now. But it was too late. The helicopter descended, landing within the dark compound. Blue certainly felt like they were about to descend into hell. Hopefully, they made it out in one piece.
Pulling off their headset, Blue stepped out of the helicopter, shivering at the wind created by the blades. They fell into step behind the Marshal, Sheriff Whitehorse, and Hudson, bringing up the rear. Blue kept their left hand ready, near their service weapon. Their chest tightened, anxiety threatening to overwhelm them. The Peggies watched the group closely, faces full of fury and fear. If looks could kill, the group would have been reduced to ash. Dogs barked threateningly, jaws snapping loudly. Their skin crawled, resisting the urge to clap their hands over their ears to drown out the noise. The small Church seemed to be an eternity away with every step.
When they finally reached the small Church, Blue could barely hear Sheriff Whitehorse over the fervent singing of the devoted. Fuck, this was a terrible idea. Realizing that Blue must be terrified, Hudson placed a comforting hand on their right shoulder. “You’ll be fine.” Blue could only nod in response; they hoped she was right.
Marshal Burke and Sheriff Whitehorse opened the door to the Church as the singing quieted. “Somethings coming.’ Joseph Seed said, pausing as the doors fully opened, ‘You can feel it, can’t you?” For the first time since arriving in Hope County, Deputy Blue Murphy finally saw Joseph Seed in person. The symbol for Eden’s Gate behind him glowed, bathing him in celestial light. He looked fucking divine, more than human from the back of the Church. His followers were enthralled, hanging onto each and every word like it was fucking air. He radiated a transcendent aura, weighing down on their shoulders. Blue’s heart skipped a beat as they continued forward. They could see why so many believed he was much more than a mere man; he certainly looked like it now.
Sheriff Whitehorse glanced back at Blue, checking on them. They nodded, still following the Sheriff. No matter how ethereal Joseph appeared, Blue was determined to see this through. Peggies parted around the, watching the trio. Their eyes bared into the group, full of only white, hot rage. Many of them clambered to their feet, the air within the Church changing. A storm was coming, heavy and electrifying.
Marshal Burke, unfazed, shoved the arrest in Joseph’s face, reciting the charges. The Peggies spilled in front of Joseph, determined to protect their beloved Father. Blue’s left hand gripped their service weapon, unwilling to use it. As Sheriff Whitehorse tried to deescalate the situation, Joseph descended, peggies moving like they were the Red Sea, and Joseph was fucking Moses. It was fucking terrifying to see the way he calmed them with a handful of words and a loving look.
As the peggies left the Church, Blue finally got a closer look at the rest of the Seed Family. First, their eyes settled on John, the youngest brother. Blue knew he was something of a hotshot lawyer before working for the cult. They wondered what could bring him here to the middle of bumfuck nowhere. His blue eyes watched the trio hawkishly, daring them to make the wrong move. Their eyes moved to Jacob, the eldest brother. Blue knew he had served in a previous war, but Sheriff Whitehorse had little details about his service. Whatever happened had clearly changed him as it would any other person. His eyes seemed to appraise the group, clearly not threatened by any of them. Lastly, they looked at Faith, the only sister of the quartet. No one knew quite where she came from, save for the odd whisper or rumor. Blue found it difficult to look at her; something was off about Faith. She appeared hazy as if she was a mirage.
“Behold it was a white horse.” Joseph paused before finally turning to look at Blue. “And Hell followed with him.” He held his hands out in front of him, waiting for Blue to put the cuffs on. Behind the shades, his startingly blue eyes burned through them, as if he was finally seeing Blue for the first time. They couldn’t read the expression on his face; it was as if he knew something they didn’t. Blue felt like they were the only two people in the room, no one else existed. They were looking into the void, drawing them in with sweet promises of salvation. Perhaps, they could-
“Rookie, cuff this son of a bitch.” Marshal Burke commanded.
Joseph shook his head. “God will not let you take me.”
Staring at Joseph’s offered hands, an internal battle waged within Blue. The group could leave now, and Eden’s Gate would continue their reign of terror. Or Blue could arrest him and finally put an end to all of this madness. Being scared is part of being brave, Blue Jay. Their Grandfather’s voice echoed in their head, and Blue knew what they had to do. Taking a deep breath, Blue grabbed the handcuffs from their belt, determined to arrest him. Stepping forward, Blue placed the handcuffs on his wrists.
“Sometimes, the best thing to do is to walk away.”
“Anyone there? Over.” Blue blinked, the world spinning blurrily around them. Their head pounded painfully as the memories leading up to the crash flooded back. Glancing between Marshal Burke and Hudson, Blue realized they were both unconscious. Shit, they were the only one awake. They’ll have to let Nancy know that they need back up and a hell of a lot of back up at that.
“Nancy.” They croaked, pain coursing through them as they stretched towards the headset. Shit, they missed. They reached again. Another miss. Blue reached again, snagging the headset on the third time, dragging it closer to them. Help is within their grasp.
A hand gripped their wrist, firm yet gentle. They jumped, nearly dropping the headset as Joseph swings into view. He is still staring through them, magnetic eyes hidden behind a piss shade pair of aviators. As he finished whistling the last few notes of Amazing Grace, his eyes trail up and down Blue. It’s almost as if he is committing this scene to his memory, committing Blue to memory. A shiver runs over them as Blue glanced towards the headset. If they could just get free…
He squeezed their wrist painfully, Blue releasing the headset with a painful hiss. They shoot him a fierce glare as he lets go of their wrist. Oh, Blue is so going to kick his ass. They are no longer afraid, familiar wrath simmering within Blue. Joseph grabs the collar of their uniform, invading Blue’s space as he pulls himself closer. They tried not to flinch, only drawing back slightly. Yet, Joseph does not let them escape, coming closer. “I told you that God wouldn’t let you take me.”
Nancy called for the group again over the radio. “Nancy!” Blue yelled as the two simultaneously looked at the headset. “Call for help! Call for the National Guard!”
Joseph grabbed the headset, his grip on Blue firm. “Dispatch.” He spoke calmly as if he was a member of Hope County Sheriff’s Department. “Everything is just fine here. No need to call anyone.”
Don’t believe him, Nancy. You have to help us. “Yes, Father. Praise be to you.” Blue’s blood runs cold as they finally realize who the mole is in the Sheriff’s Department. Nancy? One of the few who went out of their way to make Blue feel welcome? Who brought chocolate chip cookies every Wednesday? Fuck. The familiar wrath boiled within Blue. If Blue got out of this alive, they were going to give Nancy a piece of their mind and a whole lot fucking more.
Joseph’s undivided attention settled on Blue again. He pulled in closer to Blue, trapping them against the seat of the helicopter. His breath was warm on their face as he whispered, “No one is coming to save you.”
Blue snapped, hearing those words as a challenge. From an early age, Blue knew they couldn’t always rely on others to save them. When Police, Teachers, Preachers, and other people turned a blind eye at the hell Blue and their mother went through, it was up to Blue to deal with it. And, when that fucking monster decided he’d had enough of Blue and their mother, it had been up to Blue to stop him. And they had; they had done what no one else was willing to do. Fine. If Joseph wanted a fucking fight, he was going to fucking get one. The familiar wrath within them burned red hot. Blue leaned in closer to him, their nose practically touching his. They snarled, “I don’t need anyone to save me. I’ll fucking do it myself.”
The corner of Joseph’s lips twitched upwards in a cold smirk. He pressed his forehead against their forehead, his right hand coming up to cup their face. “Let me save you, my child. You no longer need to rely on yourself. The Father is always willing to help those who are willing to repent.”
Blue rolled their eyes. “No thanks, I’ll take my fucking chances. People like you never mean it when you say you’re gonna save people. You just want the fucking credit for doing jack shit.”
He shook his head in disappointment, not justifying their words with any response. Blue watched him pull himself out of the helicopter, surprisingly gracefully. Beside Blue, Hudson groaned in pain, finally waking up. Across from Blue, Marshal Burke woke up, slightly disoriented as well. They sighed in relief, knowing it would be easier to escape with Hudson and Burke awake.
Unfortunately, things went to hell in a handbasket in a matter of seconds. Blue grabbed onto Hudson’s legs as the peggies started to drag her out of the helicopter. “LET HER GO!” Blue screamed, trying to pull Hudson back into the helicopter. The peggies pulled harder, Hudson slipping out of Blue’s grasp. As they reached out for her, flames exploded starting to devour the helicopter.
Fuck, they need to get the hell out now. Blue wasn’t surprised that the Marshal left them to burn; he seemed like the unreliable type anyway. Fishing their lucky pocketknife out, Blue cut their seatbelt, crashing down onto the roof of the helicopter. They scrambled out, knife still in hand, and into the fresh night air. Throwing one last glance behind them, Blue caught sight of Joseph through the growing fire. He held out his hand, one last offer. “Let me save you, my child.” They could hear him whisper.
Smirking impulsively, Blue flipped him the bird.
Joseph shook his head, pointing right towards Blue, ordering the remaining Peggies to give chase. Blue took off into the night, now determined to win this fight.
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