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Lord of Lunatics; night of Day 4/morning of Day 5
Topic Started: Jan 26 2017, 01:58 AM (1,027 Views)
Grim Wolf
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Sweet mother of Christ, but Will's grip was tight! It was all Alex could do to keep the gun from pointing at him, and then-

And then.

He saw Crowe hurtling forwards, something sparking in his hand and stabbing towards Will's hand and



Electricty spasmed out along Alex's body, tightened him, chilled, him warmed, him made him feel strange and lopsided, his nerves all janky and out of order, like his fingers were toes and his his toes fingers, nothing firing quite right. He rolled away, gasping, his body tingling. The large sword burned against his back, digging into his shoulder blades. Everything felt wrong. Everything hurt.

Death and madness and pain, and Alex hated every moment of it. But he had to survive here. He had to thrive here. That was the role he'd cast for himself.

He rolled, and kept rolling, so he somersaulted to his feet, and he reached for that gargantuan, ridiculous sword that Lizzie Luz had granted him those days, months, lifetimes ago atop the cliffs where he and she had Tara had talked when he had imagined he could be a hero or

(had the Announcements said Tara? Had he heard that right? But what did it matter now, in the thick of the fight?)

But there was no time for practical concerns or memories or hope or anything but focus. The war had begun again, and Alexander David Tarquin had to win it.

He drove forwards, slashing down with his enormous sword.
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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."

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There was something really fuckin' cathartic seein' Will scream like that. Dumb motherfucker shoulda' knew better, braggin' about killin' his best friend right in front of him. Well, he'd say they were square. Will killed Darius, Mike killed Will's family tree. Fair's fair.

There was one problem though. Even after a hit like that, Will didn't pay attention to him. His hand was still locked to Alex's. It was funny, they were like lovers, almost!

Michael had to separate them. Will was his!

Michael brought the shock knife down on Alex's arm, and watched him roll back. "Lay down and stay down fucker!"

His attention turned back to McKinl- AUGH!

A kick to the chin sent Michael stumbling to the ground. A sharp pain filled his mouth and he could taste blood. Michael was damn near certain he almost bit his tongue off.

Blood rolled down his chin, and Michael brought a hand up to feel where it was coming from. It was his lower lip, busted wide open.

He was all quiet now. It was game time. Will was getting back up with his gun, and Alex was crawling up with one BIG FUCKIN' SWORD...

Two on one, eh?

Michael got up himself.

The shock knife crackled to life again.

Let's dance.


Alex tried to bring down his trashy ass 'deus valt' final fantasy shit sword on him. Michael juked to the left, and gave him three more shocks in return. Gut, gut, chest, learn your place! He turned to Will, and sent three more shocks his way. Arm, armpit, shoulder, stay the fuck down!

He moved back to Alex. Shock shock shock, then back to Will.

Back and forth, back and forth. He was fighting with the spirit of two right now! Was Jerry with him?! This was for you, brother!

One, two, three!

One, two, three!


Kzzt Kzzt Kzzt, turn.


Kzzt kzzt kzzt, turn.


Michael's Lemongrab level screeches reached higher octaves than the pained protests of his combatants as he became a blur of electricity and ass-kickery.

In short? Motherfucker went ham.
Edited by ToxieTheToxicAvenger, May 18 2017, 11:02 AM.
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When he had kicked Michael in the face he had hoped that Michael would fuck off after, but of course not! And now he was screaming shit aga... Darius? He's being a fucking nuisance like this because of fucking Darius?! Fine then, Will decided he was going to send him to hell as well, keep Darius in company.

The screeches coming from him were unbearable and so were the shocks. 1, 2 before he shifted over to Alex, back and forth. 1, 2.

It hurt like hell, but he was not going to give Michael the satisfaction, far from it. He was going to ruin his day.

He felt Alex release his grip and heard him roll away. This was his opportunity. Ignoring the shocks the best he could, he got up to his feet, mustered up his strength; yelled as loudly as he could. "Fuck your cock of justice" As he sprinted towards him as fast as possible, with a kick aimed right for the dick. Two could play at that game.
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Grim Wolf
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The fight was over.

Had to be over. Will's advantage had been that gun, but here, sword in hand and whatever the fuck that shocking thing was that Crowe had? No question, no contest. They'd tear Will apart

(because he wanted to avenge the woman he'd love yes what a piece of work you are Alex Tarquin)

He moved forwards to end this fight, and

Crow fucking turned on him and started stabbing with that god damn lightning knife

No no no what the actual fuck Crowe are you insane? Do you believe your bullshit about heroes and villains, righteous and wrong? Crowe, you idiot, the man with the gun is in front of you, you can end this, but everytime Alex tried to get closer or started to say something that stabbing knife was lashing out again and Alex had to duck and weave because just the aftershocks of that thing had hurt him and he had no intention of getting the full brunt he had no-

The knife made contact with his sword. Electricity singed along the metal, into his palms, down into the water at his feet. Little jolts of steam rose up through the air as Alex flung himself backwards, dancing atop lighting that made his body sing with pain.

He hit the ground, hard. His head was spinning, his body shaking. What the fuck was that weapon?

Focus, Tarquin! You're still alive!

Still alive, yes. Still fighting. How's your image look? How's the villain who will be the Fittest, come hell or high water?

In the heat of that electric pain, in the thrill of adrenaline, he felt a peculiar clarity. His thoughts had realigned. Who was he supposed to be?

He rose in the dark, saw Crowe and Will entangled in a frenzy of stabbing, slashing, kicking, crackling. His body was shaking, and he allowed a grin to unfurl on his face. He looked around the room, and found Crowe's axe just in front of him.

He lunged forwards, scooping up the axe, charging forwards, fever-bright with fearless fury, and raised his body in a projecting, booming laugh, conveying this strange manic sensation, this violent clarity, because for the first time on this damn island there was no pretense because for the first time there were two men in front of him and both had tried to hurt him and to ruin him and it was enough, enough.

He was a villain fighting heroes. Act like it.
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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."

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Back and forth. Back and Forth.

He zapped the shit out of Alex.


He then zapped the shit out of Will.


He turned back to Alex, bringing his shock knife down on Alex's sword. The sword glowed. So did Alex. The room flashed it's black and white strobe. The sword, the shock knife, Alex, Michael's glasses... Each flashed black and white, black and white. Alex dropped like a sack of twitching bricks that were also probably shitting bricks.

Michael turned back to Will who wassprintingtowardshimwhatthe-

A boot went right into Michael's cock of justice. And no, it wasn't the shock knife he was talking about this time either. Michael felt the kick rise him off the ground. His feet were physically in the air. This motherfucker kicked him in the dick so hard he sent him into the fucking sky. No fucking way. Mike tazes the shit out of him, and he can do that.

Not long after that, a flurry of kicks and punches were his way, he didn't even know where the fuck he was for the moment. Will had the advantage. Will was worldstar'ing his ass.

Michael just barely got out by jabbing Will in the throat with the shock knife. Too bad it wasn't powerful enough to blow his collar, lucky bastard! He watched Will stumble back, coughing up a lung.

Michael slowly got back up from his hunched over state, right hand gripping his gripples. He couldn't let that shit slow him down. Not yet. A kick in the dick is a kick in the dick. He could take more.

Michael shook his head and straightened himself. He forced some more hype into himself.


Michael slapped himself in the face to taunt him.


Then it hit him.

The axe first. Then reality. But they both hit pretty hard.

Michael only turned just in time to see Alex cackling and howling, waving his axe around like Christian Bale. That was HIS axe! Michael brought his arms up to shield him out of reflex. He didn't think to dodge, to duck, to juke.

He gasped, then felt metal on mouth. He was lifted off the floor again, feeling like a hooked fish. He felt wood smack against his left arm, his right feeling for air. The roof was the floor, and the floor the roof. His head smashed into water, legs above him. He rolled to his front, getting to his knees.

His shock knife still glowing landed right by him, sending jolts of electricity through his body. That wasn't the most painful thing that happened to him though.

Michael screamed, and as he did so, it felt as though the right side of his face would split open. He screamed louder. The pain got stronger. The shock ended as soon as it started, and Michael covered his mouth with his elbow, still shrieking. He looked at his arm, and what he saw instantly horrified him.

Blood, lots of it.

His adrenaline left his body as quick as the blood left his face. His left hand reached for the shock knife and gripped it. His right was still held over his face as he hissed in pain. He heard a slight whistle, and felt air blowing out the right side of his face as he did so. His tongue moved inside his mouth, feeling losened teeth. Some of the ones in the back wiggled, then fell out. They rolled out the side of his mouth and down his arm- wait what?!

He tried to lick his teeth, and ended up tasting his jacket instead. His tongue felt air in between. He felt pain on top and below it. He moved his tongue side to side. Felt his jacket, felt his arm, tasted his blood. He felt his lips, then couldn't press it any farther. Alex just sliced his fuckin' cheek open! He just got halfway Kakihara'd! If he didn't block, Alex would've turned him into a fucking pez dispenser!

Oh shit, oh shit oh fuck, shit this hurts, Jesus fuck!

This wasn't a game anymore. This wasn't a movie, he could die here. There was no asking 'What would Arnie do.' He wasn't Arnie. Arnie didn't lose. Michael could. In fact, he was. His 'invincibility' bullshit was gone. That power trip he had was gone. Whatever the hell burst of adrenaline he had just seconds ago; gone. He tried to get up, his feet shaking under him, muscles twitching. He started crawling, the arm holding his shock knife dragging him forward, the other cradling his fucked up face. He was emitting some half-laugh half-sob the entire time as he forced himself to keep moving.

He had to run. He had to see Jon again, but he had to avenge Darius and Larkin. He had to-

He had to make a decision.

He looked back and forth towards Will and Alex, then towards the door. The throbbing in his face matched the beat in his ears.

He had to make a decision.

He started crawling towards the door.
Edited by ToxieTheToxicAvenger, Feb 20 2017, 01:41 PM.
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With his attention away from him, Will gave Michael the hardest kick he could. And not long after it connected, Will immediatly set about beating the shit out of him, a flurry of kicks and punches that set about rearranging his face when he felt a shock to his throat that forced him down, gasping and coughing for air.. He heard the little bastard started yelling again when Alex made his move.

Sometime during their struggle he'd gotten his hands on a axe when it was brought down on Michael's face, well deserved Will thought as Michael screamed from the pain. Should have thought better than to take someone on with a knife as he went down. It was then Will saw it.

He was too distracted by the screaming lunatic to notice him, excellent opportunity. He forced himself on his feet , rubbing his throat all the while, he wasn't going to miss the opportunity to let him know who did him in. He finally caught his attention when he noticed the gun was again pointed at him, and for a brief moment. Will thought he saw a hint of fear in his eyes.

Just as it should be, it felt like the first day all over again, as he looked him in the eyes. He kept his promises.

"Looks like you're lucks out Alex, say hi to Darius for me."





Click click click clickclickclickclickclick

All air felt like it was sucked out of the room, dead silence other than drips of water and the rapid sounds of Will trying to fire his gun as both of them stood there staring at each other. Will started slapping the gun as they realised what had happened. The damn thing's gotten fucking jammed by the water, shit! Will realised this meant he'd lost his weapon for now against him. So he did the smartest thing he could at the moment.

He ran.

Sprinting away to the door, he noticed Michael crawling his way there. Fuckface had caused enough problems for him so he decided to leave a parting gift. As he ran, he stopped for a brief moment to give him a hard stomp on the back. "Enjoy dying to him Crowe."

There was a pervasive thought in the back of his head, to stay and beat the fuck dead instead with his hands, that he didn't need the gun to kill him. He forced that thought out as he ran, he had other promises to keep, some he'd broken already by proxy, but Will decided then and there that he wouldn't die just yet.

He hurried his way out, disregarding all the cans and such as he ran as fast as he could, away from the two psycho's.

((Will McKinley continued in Say You're One of Them))
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Blood on his axe. Crowe's blood. Crowe's blood on Crowe's axe, ha!

The man looked up at him, his eyes wide, his mouth bared in an uneven, monstrous grin. Dim light had begun to filter in from outside, and his flashlight was still casting shadows across the room. Blood like paint, dripping down his jaw. He'd seen this before, hadn't he? That fight in the park, when they'd been kids at high school playing games.

Crowe started crawling away, moaning.

Crowe. Crowe. How the fuck did we get here, Crowe? How-?

Movement, from the corner of Alex's eye. He turned to face the source.



Gun right there, and the moment's clarity was gone, and he was not a villain and he was not larger than life. He was just a mortal man with his death in front of him.

"Looks like your luck's out, Alex."

Alex's hand tensed on his axe. There had to be something he could do!

"Say hi to Darius for me."

You are about to die, Alex Tarquin. This is how your life ends, how your story ends. Here, in this inglorious fight. Everything goes wrong. Everything. You are alone, without a single soul to trust. Your parents will mourn you, while Rea's parents curse your name, while Crowe's parents curse your name. You intend to be a villain, so act the part. Say something.


Alex blinked.

Click click click clickclickclickclickclick

The gun was jammed. The gun was jammed? The bullets failed to fly again, and Alex was still alive, Alex was still alive.

Will turned and ran. Alex hurtled after him without thinking, axe whisking through the air where Will had been. Fire and fury, the urgent necessity of violence, and something else, too. How many times could a gun fail to kill him? Even with all his care and caution, how many times could Alex survive the impossible?

"Run away, Will!" Alex howled, as Will vanished. "You're no hero! You're no avenger!" He raised his voice still higher. "You're even more a coward than me!"

He stopped. Will was gone, and Alex was in mood to get ambushed. He turned back around, and saw Crowe upon the ground. Crowe, who he'd hurt.

His head was a roiling, wild mess. He was alive, gloriously and unexpectedly alive, and his body still sang with the electric pain of Crowe's shock knife, and thrilled with the incredible fire of such a fight, so much better than the paintball duel of long ago, a contest where everything was on the line, and he was still performing, and the butterflies still beating in his stoamch.

He dropped to one knee in front of Crowe, his stolen axe in Alex's hand. He opened his mouth, unsure what he was going to say.

Play the villain, of course. That's what you've decided.

"Look at yourself, hero." He spat that last word with all the venom he could muster. "All these avengers, and no one avenged."

He raised his axe for the killing blow. But this wasn't like Rea, was it? She wasn't surprising him out of the dark. His adrenaline and fury were fading: this was murder in cold-blood.

"Weakness and strength, Crowe," he said. "No other truths in this mad place."

He raised the axe still higher.
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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."

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"ah-hen, hnnnn, ah-heh ah-heh, haaa, mmm-hmmm-hmmm..."

Choked sobs escaped Michael as he moved to the door. He couldn- he couldn't die here! Not after everything that's happened! Not after all the shit he's been through! He-he had to get out of here! Let these fuckers tear each other apart.

Closer and closer he crawled to the door. He could slip out, unnoticed. He wasn't gonna die today. He got to he knees. He could stand. He could leave.

Will ran up behind him and talked a lot of shit. One quick stomp to the back and Mike was on the ground again. He grasped for Will's leg as he tried to leave, hoping to trip him, let him get killed, Alex was closing in! He's the one you want!

Will kicked free and sprinted off.

"Y-you coward! You rat fuck! Rea's suckin' cock in Hell right now!"

He turned on his back, Alex was making his way to him. He crawled backwards raising his free arm, pleading "Wait, wait, wait!" Alex got full view of Michael's new crocodile smile. His mouth now couldn't close all the way, the right side of his upper lip raised in a permanent sneer, his overbite apparent, there was a jagged line moving from his lip halfway up to his cheek.

"Look at yourself, hero." Alex moved closer. "All these avengers, and no one avenged."

He wasn't getting out of this. Alex was gonna kill him. He was this close to making it out, and Will used him as a scapegoat! Fucking rat, fuck fuck fuuuuuck!

"Please no! Oh, God, nooo-OOo-Oohoo..."

Alex raised his axe.

Michael screamed.

"Weakness and strength, Crowe; No other truths in this mad place."

One last ditch effort.

The crackle of his shock-knife burst through the air as he brought it up towards Alex's face. Michael was sure he saw Jon in the flashes as the room went from dark to light, dark to light. The blade shot fast. The blade pushed hard.

By the end of it, Michael wasn't the only one screaming.
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Grim Wolf
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Question: why does a villain monologue?

There's an easy answer for that, of course. It's the narrative answer. If you're telling a story from the hero's perspective, than the only chance for the villain to have their say is to have their say all at once. In the heat of confrontation, when all the cards must be revealed, and the stakes set in earnest. The hero's strength and ideals against the villain's, spelled out in perfect clarity so that the audience may understand.

But what about the man who must play the villain? Who must bring weight and reality to the scene? He has to understand why the villain is doing what he's doing. He has to understand the nature of the monologue. And so he finds that the justification is exactly the same as the writer's, but with the weight of desperation.

The villain monologues because he wants someone to understand. Because he so rarely gets to speak freely, hiding his intentions behind veils and feints so he may always emerge triumphant. He monologues because in a moment of power he is able, at last, to put aside his masks...

Except that's not what Alex was doing. Alex was monologuing because he was afraid. Because Crowe, for all his jabbing and bluster, didn't deserve to die, and Alex knew it.

He was committed, wasn't he? Committed by the scene. He had to kill, however Crowe might beg, however pitiable the man might look. Crowe had challenged him, with far more audacity than their last confrontation. If Alexander David Tarquin was to be the fittest, he had to end it. He had to end it now. He had to-

In spite of himself, the axe lowered, just a little.

Crowe moved, lunged with more vigor than his sobbing, weak body should possibly have had. Alex moved backwards, but slipped in the wet room, lost his balance and couldn't quite rise and then-

And then: pain.

Worse than any of the blows, worse than anything, that terrible shocking force that grabbed him and wouldn't let him go, and he was shaking with it, the axe clutched uselessly between spasming hands, his left eye burning and searing and scalding and he felt a pain like a migraine of flame inside his god damn skull inside his god damn eye socket and everything was going white and dark around the edges, his mind was a storm, his body a storm, he was screaming and he couldn't stop himself, there was no thought left of heroes or villains, no thought left of who he was supposed to be, nothing left but the pain.

The knife shorted out with a cartoonish kzzzzzt. Alex slumped backwards, shaking in the water so that little ripples spread around him. Shaking, shaking, shaking.

And then: Not shaking. Not moving. Not breathing.
Edited by Grim Wolf, Feb 22 2017, 12:10 AM.
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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."

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Alex shot back, sparks shooting out of his skull as the shock-knife lodged in his left eye. Michael could do nothing but watch as he seized, then froze. Alex curled up, arms raised above him like a killed spider. Michael's shock knife slowly ticked out, as the crackling faded. The room got quiet fast. All Mike could focus on was that quietness, and the small portions of smoke wafting around Alex.

Michael stood up and reached in his coat pocket. He pulled out the severed finger that's been lying in there for four days now.

He looked down at Alex.

"R-remember when I said I'd make you taste hell?"

He looked down at the severed finger, before tossing it towards Alex's body.

"Well, here's your dessert, fucker..."

That was it then. It was petty. But it was what it was. All of that build up. All of that shit, hyping yourself up. And for what? Good job Hero! You did it! Victory! You are triumphant! This is supposed to feel good, right?


It didn't though. Not really. To be quite honest, he didn't really feel much right now, outside of the obvious.

Really though. What did he accomplish? Was he supposed to walk out that door, all his injuries would just melt away? Hell, barring that, would Darius, Jerry, Jon, and the rest of them just be standing there, congratulating him? Darius would probably say some weeaboo memeshit about the face-gash first thing. "Holy shit Mike, you look like Devilman hurrdehurr." And you know what? Mike would be fine with it. Why? Because some injury is better than all his friends being dead, right?

But that won't happen. Hell, at best, he's gonna walk back into Will. Smug ol' Will, with his big ol' gun. "I stole your kill fucker" would be the only thing he gave him, before the bastard blew his skull apart.

Really, did he feel like a hero? A winner? Maybe. He dangled an underclassman off a bell tower after binding and waterboarding him and used a girl as a human shield. That's pretty heroic right? He got the first person he met killed by being all theatrical and not just finishing the job. He spent five fucking days wandering around like an idiot, watching everyone die, pretending he was doing something productive, when he really wasn't.

Hey! You hear the story about the dumb-shit named Mike who thought he knew shit but really didn't know any fuckin' thing at all? Oh-hoho~ It's a good one!

That's really all there was to it.

It was all just kid shit.

Just some idiot kid playing pretend. Same way Alex was pretending he bought into that shit Danya preached about. Yeah motherfucker, I know, I saw you hesitate, I saw that look in your eye before I popped it right out... How long'd it take? Five fucking days to finally kill someone, only to realize you never actually wanted to do it?

You hesitated with Nancy, you could've caught up to Brendan, but you didn't. Coulda' swung at Jeremy, he was close enough. Woulda' been a double if you had the ambition to stomp Alex's skull in afterwords. If you really wanted Al dead, you wouldn't have dragged him from the asylum roof to the bell tower would you? You definitely wouldn't have done shit to the Dr. Seuss death squad in the church, at least you were aware you were bluffing then.

You coulda' did a lot of shit, but you didn't. Face it, you couldn't have done what you promised. Hell, it's only blind luck you got Alex. He hesitated just slightly longer than you. That's all it amounted too. You both knew you had to swing, and one of you just had to do it first.

How'd we get here? Me and you Alex? We just met playing paintball in an abandoned field. How'd we get to playing pretend in a game of death. Honest fucking question. What happened to us? How did we fuck up this bad? He wasn't even that bad of a dude. Sure, he could see Isabel coming from a mile away, and twitchy Alvaro was always on the brink of doing a pumped up kicks number, regardless of SOTF. But Alex? Nah. Alex was alright. He even asked if Michael was okay when he took that paintball in the nads, while Jon was apologizing his little heart out. If it were Darius he'd ask Jon to do it again because he wasn't recording.

So here he was. He was alive, Alex was dead. Nothing gained, a lot lost.

Michael didn't even bother to pick up any of the weapons on the ground as he limped out. He wasn't gonna use them anyways.

There was no point. It was all pointless. It didn't matter. Playtime's over.

It's time to grow up.

((Michael Crowe continued elsewhere))
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Not breathing.

It exists beneath your notice, just like blinking. It's something you do so automatically that you take it for granted. You don't think about making your heart pump: it just does. You don't think about making your lungs work: they just do.

Until they don't. Until you're drowning in the dark, your thoughts dimming away. And there weren't many thoughts left to begin with: they died in the storm, sundered and burnt by bolts of lightning scissoring across your consciousness. Now the heavy clouds are drawing a blanket over your soul.

He was dying, wasn't he? This was what dying felt like.

It didn't hurt. It barely felt like anything at all. Like a blanket slipping in place on a cold night after a long day, a moment's comfort, a moment's restful bliss. Sleep now. It will all be over soon.

How had Crowe gotten the shock knife in hand? How had he surprised Alex?

The questions hardly seemed to matter, but they did matter. Alex remembered how much they mattered. Somewhere in the dark was the thought of this thing, this fixation, this obsession. He was supposed to...there was something he was supposed to do.

This was important. This mattered. There was something he was supposed to do.

What did it matter now? It's over. Sleep.

But Alex didn't want it to be over. Alex didn't want to sleep. Alex didn't want to die, not when there was so much future ahead, lovers he'd never known and stardom he'd never obtain, not when there was all this life left and not when he had gone down like a little bitch, surprised by a man he'd hurt because he hadn't been able to bring down the blade. Alex wanted to live. Alex wanted to live.

Alex bolted upright, gasping, and the shock knife clattered down into the dark, a welt of bright pain pulsing against the side of his face. His lungs ached, his chest burned, his heart was pounding so hard and so disjointedly that his head was spinning, his body felt weak and wrong. Everything shook. He couldn't stop himself from trembling, and he wrapped his arms tight around his body and shivered in the wet dark. He was pretty sure he'd crapped himself somewhere during the fight--whether it was because he was staring down the barrel of a gun or because he had been electrocuted he didn't know, but there was an uncomfortable squishing against his ass he really didn't like. Embarrassing. So fucking embarrassing. He'd been humiliated in front of the cameras. He'd been...

Who could believe that Alexander David Tarquin was a villain now?

He was lost in humiliation and weak agony. He sat, huddled in the dark, careless of image and careless of cameras. So careless that it took him a long time to realize he couldn't see out of his left eye.

He blinked, and found that only one eye closed. He felt nothing against his left eye. He felt very little on that side of his face. He trailed his fingers down until he felt tender, sunburn pain, then pack up until he felt numb.

And still, he could not see.

My eye. He...he...

He felt tears in the one eye he had left. He huddled down into the dark, his jaw clenched. He couldn't cry. He couldn't. If he cried...if...

What, Alex? What happens then? How can this be any worse? You've lost an eye, you've been electrocuted, and you're covered in shit. You've lost.

I haven't lost

Huddled in on himself, knees pressing against his chest, blind in one eye (it'll never work again I'll never see again I I I I I). He'd lost.

I'm alive.

What the fuck does that matter, Alex? Alive, and blind, and humiliated. You've got nothing. You're just a scared little boy and everyone can see that now.

They can't see anything. All they can see is a fight.

A fight you lost.

How many battles did Napoleon lose? How many times has someone beaten Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers? How many times were Vader's plans thwarted?

You're not them.

How do you know?

Vader never shat himself.

Maybe he did, maybe he didn't. But if he did, he made damn sure no one could find out about it.

Okay. Okay. There was something there, something real. If it was over, he'd killed Rea for nothing. He'd taken Crowe's finger for nothing. He'd lost an eye for nothing. That was unacceptable. That was unacceptable.

"I see," he croaked. His throat was sore from screaming. He considered elaborating, but decide against it. Leave it for now.

He rose to his feet, and almost fell over. He hunched onto his knees, staring out into the dark. He still felt that awful, trembling weakness, but that was alright. He had to be larger than life, but a little human weakness was acceptable. Edmund is not less daunting an antagonist because he laments the accident of his bastard birth. As long as it never defeated him. As long as it never made him any less formidable.

Start moving. Keep moving. The longer you lay in the dark, the harder it becomes to recover. Do you want the world to see a child forced to kill against his will, or a towering antagonist who has awakened to a higher truth? Will you be a boy? Or will you be a legend?

Slowly, so slowly, he moved around the room. He gathered his weapons and his gear, one by one. He took a drink of water, and ate a little food, and vomited it all almost immediately. He gasped, staring at the steaming pile in the center of the room, acrid bile scorching at his throat. God, so weak.

He chuckled. It was forced and rasping, but maybe that would work for him. He needed more than that, though. An observation. The cameras are always watching.

He drank a little more water, swallowing against the pressure in his throat. It stayed down, and he resumed his quest to gather his stuff. It was harder, though: everything felt uneven, and he kept making assumptions about the darkness in his left eye, bumping his shin against pipes and upturned tubs. After a long, precarious while, he'd gathered his bag and his weapons, and secured all of it in a pile in the corner, free from the damp and the cold.

Now what?

Can't smell like shit can't look like shit.

The answer came to him. He took off shit shirt, with its makeshift leather greaves that had protected him in his fight with Crowe and Will. He undid the red headband, and laid them down atop his bag. He staggered across the room, until he found a tub still filled with grungy, unpleasant water. He rocked back and forth against it, with his flashlight angled so he could see his face. So he could see the black, charred flesh around his black, charred eye.

He stared at that for several seconds, grasping at the edge of the tub. His breath came in short, uneven gasps. He needed to be in control, and he wasn't. He wasn't.

Use it.

"I see," he said again. "Weak." He closed his one remaining eye, so he wouldn't have to look at himself. "So..."

He plunged into the tub, cringing at the slimy feel of it against his skin. The skin around his injured eye exploded in pain, but he forced himself to stay down, pulled the pants off his waist in one smooth move, and set to work with fingers and hands. He cleaned himself, as best he could. Until he felt that only the slime remained.

And? Finish the story, Alex. How does this end?

He exploded out of the slimy water, throwing his head back so droplets splashed against the ground. "WEAK!" he howled, and the rasp in his voice gave the words a guttural growl that echoed through the room. He found he rather liked the sound of it. He sounded dangerous. "UNFIT!" he repeated, mostly because he liked the way the words echoed.

He strode out of the tub, forcing himself to move confidently (and now instinct was taking over, he'd spent some time exploring this room and he knew exactly how it was arranged, he could trust his memory to lead him in the darkness). Dripping, naked, and slimy (but with no visible trace of his disgusting embarassment) he returned to his stuff. He slipped the greaves off the shirt, and toweled himself off with the scrub top, working top to bottom. When he was reasonably dry, he pulled the old jeans from his back, and pulled them on. Then he secured the leather greaves on his bare arms.

And the eye? Shouldn't you bandage that?

No. Think of the image. Shirtless swordsman in denim with one blackened eye

But you just plunged face-first into that disgusting water while cleaning shit off yourself. There's a risk of infection.

In answer, Alex reached into the back, and grabbed the alcohol wipes. He moved in slow, purposeful circles around the eyes, first in the tender, stinging tissue around it, working into the numb black. But he stopped when he felt the hollow-soft jelly of the dead eye.

He was ready, as he could ever be. He had the image he needed. He had the narrative again.

"No more mercy," he said. He grabbed his weapons and his bag, arranged everything to it wouldn't slow him down, hesitated but left that large sword behind, leaning against the wall with casual danger. So prepared, he started to walk, slow but sure, out into the island. He was the vision of a nightmare--hair crusted with blood, sweat, and slime, left eye a blackened expanse of burnt flesh and murderous intent, barechested and well-built, a bag over his shoulder, a machete in one hand and an axe in the other, the explosive collar around his neck.

That wasn't a good end, of course. He needed more. He needed to complete the transformation, the daunting ascension from honorable warrior to post-apocalypse nightmare. And that required vengeance.

That required Michael Crowe.

(EXIT: Alex Tarquin to Real Human Being)
Edited by Grim Wolf, Feb 26 2017, 03:29 PM.
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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."

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