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Grim Wolf
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And all my sins come home to roost.

He pivoted on his heel, fast as he could, swung his machete up, too late: again, something slammed home into him. And again. And again.

He moved, as best as he was able. He slashed, but there was his nameless assailant in his absurd fucking mask, swinging a...was that a god damn toilet seat? Was he trying to kill him with a god damn toilet seat?

This lunatic place run by lunatic people.

They danced, swinging and stabbing, trying to end each other, grunting and shouting. Alex drew blood. He was faster. He was sharper. He was-

He swung, and the masked man feinted, and swung differently. The toilet seat caught Alex's hand, and the machete fell to the ground.


He reached back for his bag, forgetting he'd flung it at Amanda, weapons and all. A moment later, and the man was upon him, catching him with a walloping blow to the face. Teeth clattered against a far wall: aching tumors of emptiness and pain seizured up in Alex's mouth, as blood dripped down his chin.

And more. And more. He'd lost his balance, his rhythm. And the blows rained down, and Alex blocked and dodged as best he could, but his head was spinning and one eye was gone and then, in the midst of those blows he heard the voice.

Jonathan Gulley--little faggot Gulley, little coward, the only other man who'd fought with him in that abandoned paintball lot so long ago. Gulley, who'd kissed Crowe on the lips so soon before he'd died. Gulley.


And all my sins come home to roost.

Alex hit the wall. Jonathan raised his toilet seat again. Is this how it ended? One mad avenger, one old friend, a toilet seat ahead? Where was the justice in this, the honor, the theater? What notion of fittest would be served? What story?

I don't want to die.

This was not how Alexander David Tarquin died.

He raised his hands with sudden desperate strength, and caught the falling toilet seat. He felt the impact from wrist to elbow to shoulder, but did not yield.

"You ran."

The words came. Whose words? His, or the character he'd been trying to play? Was there any difference anymore? That moment when he and Crowe had clashed on the docks, he'd wanted it. His one remained eye bored into the matching mask hole. Fire in his gaze, and no artifice behind it, no difference between the man he was and the man he'd claimed to be. At this moment, role and player were in perfect harmony. He'd wanted to kill. No more hesitation. No more mercy. Something new had sharpened his awareness and his rage, transformed him into a monster in an earnest, and the truth was he longed for that feeling, because this place robbed him of any chance or impulse towards decency. He offered Crowe mercy, and Crowe punched him. He bared his back, and Crowe advanced with blade in hand. He offered Will a fair fight, and Will chose...

Again. And again. And again. Nothing fitting quite right. Nothing going the way it was supposed to.

"You ran," he said. "You knew what I aimed to do. I told you. I told you both. And you ran." His grip tightened on the toilet seat. He shifted to his full height, glaring into the mask holes.

"We live on the edge of life and death," Alex hissed. "We'd forgotten, but we remember now. What we are. What we can be. And what you are, Jonathan Gulley, is a coward, even worse than Crowe."

Gulley tensed, and tried to swing. Alex tensed, and wrested the toilet seat from him in one great stumbling heave. He turned that stumble into a charge, hammered his shoulder into Gulley's chest, slammed him back against the shelves. Gulley kicked, punched, and Alex kept moving, slammed him backwards once, twice, thrice, each time bouncing a different part of him against a wall or a shelf, and then he caught him and twisted and hurled him to the ground. Gulley scrambled to his feet, and Alex grabbed the back of his head, and hammered it home against the wall.

Again. And again. And again. Until Gulley was barely fighting him anymore, and blood dripped down the neck of that ridiculous fucking mask, and wasn't that just like Gulley and Crowe, refusing to fit into the story, refusing to behave the way they were supposed to, so Alex peeled the mask from his bloody face and glared into his eyes.

Alex looked monstrous. The blackened flesh of his taken eye, the blood dribbling down from his mouth, blood in his hair and blood on his clothes, ragged and ridiculous and just a little bit theatrical, even now.

"No more masks!" shouted Alex, and plunged Gulley's face towards the wall again.
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V6 Players

Tara Behzad: "They don't get to decide how I die."

Lizzie Luz: "I don't want to go."

Alex Tarquin: "No more masks."

V5 Players

V4 Players
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