Tuesday, January 29, 2013

the w orld is 
sh u  t   t    e   r  i ng 
sh a ki  ng
s  h   i v   e  r  i  n  g 
out of control. 
there s a storm building. hidden. boiling and itching n crawlingg                     
 beneath the skin
                                                                                      like insecrts. eating you from the inside out. flesh eaters. some humans are flesh eaters too. they eat away. wearing you out. down. crippling. until you feel like youre gon ig to hear an echo when you talk. bouncing off your ribcage into the exxpance of nothing that

only gets

"...Why did he do it?" 

"The Author never snapped
the leash like that on me before....
did he think I was just
going to roll over
and play dead?"
                      screeches and 
                             clawing cries of 
                           and nails

                    it's all coming apart, isn't it?
"He threatened me.
He threatened my family.
He had to know how I'd react.
It's not like I was a faceless file.
It's not like
he didn't know me.
I was brought into his office several times.
I thought, of all the Highest,
The Author would understand.
Let me do things my way.                                     
The Other Highest
never approved of me.
My attitude.
But The Author was different.
Least I thought he was.
I didn't mean for things to go this far but...
I couldn't
let it happen.
I couldn't let him
HURT them.
You understand,
don't you...?"

                                                                                              pounding. slitting. blistering my skull my m ind theres flashes and twisted of images one on top of the other amonst the RED and white like the stains on Alex's sheets when I
                                                                                     and it went thud. then 
just dead eyes and red on white on red on...
                                                    but Jo is here. Jo understands. he has always understood me. always known what i was thinking. what i was feeling. he's always been there for me. he's my friend. my closest friend. i can 
                                               t rust
"Of course, I do.
But, of course,
I can't help but feel responsible
for this whole mess
                in the first place.
However, what use is there to me
blaming the monster
that's truly at fault?
I suppose that's in the past now.
You forget, Sam,
that this all could have been
a product of...
careful misdirection.
The product of the Devil
whispering in your ear.
                     Or someone else's,
 for that matter.
I have never been a gambling man,
 you know that.
But a bet against the
 Crimson King
having his grubby fingers
where they did not belong
 is a stupid bet indeed.
You know how he is, Sam.
What he can do.
For all we know,
the entire situation
was just misinformation
built upon
 a foundation
of lies."
"I... suppose
it's possible that
The Author was mislead somehow?
I don't know what to think.
Everything just seems so...
complicated lately.
So very complicated..."
                                        "As if it wasn't
complicated enough before."
 such a kind smile 
such a welcome    
to the blistering storm outside                          
"But you've never really been one
to give up, have you?
Not with Alex or Leo
and certainly not now."
"...I kknow that he...
isn't dead.
He can't be dead.
There's no possibl e way.
Valtiel claims he is...
but one can hardly trust
a snake tongue,
"Yes, I'd be inclined
to agree with you.
If not The Tree,
what has our Red Friend
 even been killed by?
No, he's probably taking
his sweet time
dismantling all semblance
of order we used to have.
It's disgusting, isn't it?
How quickly he turns
to chaos as a solution  
to a question  
that nobody is asking...." 
he suddenly turns to me    

"But here's
the real problem, Sam.
What if it wasn't Author
 who was misled...?"
 my stomach 
  gives a twist
...I... suppose it's possible? 
I am merely
As capable of being 
deceived as
an yone. 
But how?
In what way? 
Those Proxies had come for me.
They had 
an arrest warrant for me 
issued by The Author. 
They tortured me. 
They were trying to find out 
where they were.
Alex and Leo. 
I couldn't 
tell them that. 
I couldn't...!"

                      and pound
                                   and pound
                                             and CLAWING at ny s skull
                                                       mmy EYE
                                           ny e ye iis B BURNNING 
"...then tthat...
...sna ke came... 
and made everything 
a million times 
the bboth 
of them..."
"It's interesting
that you use 'Snake' to
describe one,
and 'The Devil' to
describe the other.
You've got to wonder
 if maybe you've got it
the wrong way around.
Think, Sam!
Why would your subconscious mind
make that association
between the two of them? "
 i'm speechless
I don't know whattt 
it n  ever
it never made sense
i know that
i had always known that
so little of it all
actually made sense
but it split my 
to even ju
    "What are you missing?
when they tortured you,
were they really looking
 for something
so simple?"
my mind
to even...
why had The Author singled me out?
why had he issued a warrent
instead of just...
asking me to come in?
why had it all
spooked him so much?
why had it been put
on such top priority
when t here were so much
to wworry about?
i t nnever mad e sen
"...You can't trust anyone, Sam
You can't trust me.
  You can't trust Redlight.
 And you sure as Hell
can't trust yourself.

What are you doing?

 being satisfied

in a bed of lies?

This isn't like you!

     theres a 
         a glimpse
      a shadow
       an impression
             of somethi ng
                    that felt


"The Author...
that he
help me...?"

it diidn't

"...help me
It doesn't make any

 the t orture had been 
exxperimen tal
 buy whyy?
why bother go to that
 why isolatem e
 from the other prsioners?
  why take
  so m many precautions?
why had there been sso
too mmuch
to many
     m any 
 "I can't think!
I can't THINK
this damn headache!"
                 im ppacing again
                                 stirring dust
                        on the

"it just wwon't STOP! 
What couldn't The Author
help me with? 
Why is so much focused on me? 
First Red, 
then The Author, 
now Valtiel... 
or Valtiels, rather... 
Things don't get
this complicated. 
Not THIS complicated! 
I'm a Servant!
A damn high school teacher
for the love of God..."
"I know it's hard."
 he sound
so much mor e 
distant now
as if he was
 so far away
"But you're running out of time, Sam.
 You've made a terrible mistake...
 in assuming
that your memories
could be trusted.
 I wouldn't feel too badly about it.
You're human,
and that's all you can be.
To expect yourself
to have questioned
 your recollections sooner
 is a waste of time.
But that doesn't mean
you can keep pretending
you aren't nnoticing the
he swallows
seemingly finding it 
hard to continue
even as i
slowly come to a halt from my
                          p       a        c       i     n    ggg
              myy gaunt lett
                  l   e   aning against a 
my head pulsing with each
  word I hheard
 "Just iggnore
the headache for a s econd.
 Doesn't this all seem too...
The minute you'd want
revenge on The Devil,
a new Snake shows up...
 for what?
I'm going
to be frank here,
please forgive me,
but you're nothing special.
 You're right:
 you shouldn't have attracted
 any attention whatsoever."

he grimaces, 
 holding his own head,
fingers gripping tight enough
 to turn their tips
pure white.

  "So what
could have
possibly happened
that would suddenly
make you
a person of interest...?"
                          a siic knesss
                ch u rni n g
                    a Fear 
                           b   e       n       e   athe
                          the  P   A    I     N
               What ccan i
                                 t trust
                        if not my own 
                    m y own
                                     when did things 
                                        to stop 
                       making sense? 
"...Redlight disappeared. 
He disappeared and... 
there was suddenly this
that replaced him..." 

                                     i feel
                                            so weak
                                 i want to sit down
                          i nee d to si

thor think... 
I knew wh where he wwas? 
What he was... 
he panted 
 just the same as mme        
a mirror
of the pain 
       i felt gnawing away                       
"What would that
 have to do with
'helping you',
Author is a straightforward man.
He wouldn't say
anything he didn't-"

he's cut off                      
by another                                  
of pain                     
through his skull,                      
a silent whimper         
on the edge of his breath.  
                                                 I sta
                                         grabbing hold
                            of the b
                                 to support me
                    as i fight against
           the sudden    S
                   B O L T I N G

 "arre yyoou... aallright? 
My ffriiend...?
he finally finishes
 "I'm fine.
Everything's going t
o be
as long as we
 eeven a ssuming
 Author's comment
meant nothing.
why wouldn't Leo
have been used
 to control you before this?
The information
was not that hard to find.
 Children lleave
paper trails,
 no matter what.
Someone who knew what to look for
 could have found the signs."

he's shaking                                    
                           like me 
 they hit a dead
end, Sam.
Unless there was nothing

 I shook my head. 
at first
 then a touch more firm. 

 Or is 'desperate' a better word?

 "No, they... 
they wouldn't
have known. 
They couldn't have known.
I didn't give my name.
Not my real one.
'Freeman' is a lie.
My favorite
Nothing more.
was protected. 
I kept him safe. 
That was always
top priority. 
He stayed safe.

a sickening feeling
 stirred in my stomach. 
this i wrong. 
 this is 

"...he was my little boy.
he was so young...
would they
have even looked?
You said it yourself. 

I'm nothing special. 

I wasn't even


I'm not..."

"... Sam.

Why did you use past tense?"


 I didn't.

I'm sorry, that
was... an aaccident

I mmeant...

i meanntt...


 it was...

 an accident....



 no, it's not possible.
it's not!
I held him!


I was WITH him!

He remembered me,
He said he'd missed me!
He wanted to come home!


my bboy...


it huurts

  it all hu

                         rts so mu cch


 t to
m ee...?

"Leo's dead."

voice like a quiet breeze  
 in the stagnant air
of the cafe.

No, it's a bar, isn't it...?
"Two years ago,
he ran out into the road
and was mowed down
 by someone minding
 their own business.

Nobody was at fault.

His foster parents
 were inconsolable.
Fate dealt him a cruel hand.
Declared dead at the scene.
 Just another dead deer
at the side of the road.
A statistic.
 A tragedy.

That's what's going on, Sam.

You're living a LIE!"




youre wwrog!


Leeo w-was pplay ing

  i ssaw him

 i i saw mmy


 he rran
 t o me"

 sha kki n g 

           evve rythiing 

i could f eel the bblood

from my nails
grripping my




                                   f   r   o       m
F    -    L    -    E    -    S    -    H

its wrong

its lies

its not REAL





  ...sstop it...

                                                                                                                           ...stop it.

S          T          O          P                     I          T     !!!"

"...Let me tell you a story, Sam.
A Proxy goes
 to their only friend
on a dark and stormy night.
The Proxy's friend says that its important.
That the Proxy has been acting...


 Tell me..."

his voice sounds

"What did your friend show you that night?

What could have possibly
been so important?"
a shudder passed
t h r o u g h  me
 r at tlin g  me
ra tt ling  like  the  roof
the walls
the floor
the world
from its base

falling apart, don't you mean?


dde  ath



oh God


 pplease noo

 mm y

  he wwas j ust aa



 bbaby boy..."


"You had been acting like he was alive."

that voice keeps twisting. so unlike him.
 pacing around me.
circling me
constricting around
 unforgiving eyes
never leaving me

"So your friend confronted you. Showed you the evidence.
Said you were delusional.     
Explained that The Author had never sent you into any suicide mission
as punishment, but rather because you were the only one that could even come close to handling the job. That your allegiance towards the Red Devil had... changed you. That he was twisting everything around on you and turning his 'Jester' into a real life Fool. And when your friend finally finished 
talking... when he placed a hand on your shoulder                                                                            

and quietly stated that he would help you through this,

help you get your life back...."

i felt the floorboards hit my knees
 the palms of my hands
     everything coming up at me in a rush of movement that 
                                                                               flooded over my mind. plunging me into ice and 
heat and tearing storms of blood and screams and restraints on my wrists and ankles and chest as i begged the Author to kill me. i didn't want to go back i didn't want to get swallowed by the RED. it choked me until i couldn't breath couldn't think couldn't SEE what was right before my eyes until there were circles of bruises with eyes that never closed. only stared. only stared up at me as my fingers closed tighter around that throat. that throat that pulse that LIFE that is...


 my best friend... 
                                                                                                                and i did'nt stop


until it did

"...I killed him."


 all lies

all been nothing 




s p ll in t e  r i ng    in tto

  s moth  ering  


inF   ESTii ng



 jusst REDD



























            NO GETOUTT

                                  GGET OUT


Friday, January 25, 2013

"...Have you been
keeping track
of these blackout of yours, Sam?
Where you last remember being?
Where you wake up?
      When? In what way?"
"No, I...
I haven't been doing anything.
It's hard to keep
track of it, Winston.
Sometimes it's... only a few hours...
But I usually... wake up soaked in blood...
or smelling of gasoline and smoke...
sometimes... He's there...
...sometimes not..."
"All the more reason to keep track."
"You're right...
though, it seems, lately
I can't keep track of anything
hard as I try to.
I'm so tired...
it all just...
slips through my fingers.
You need to be careful, Winston.
If I ever come here
and don't seem... myself..."
                "I have nothing to fear.
Not from you, Sam."
"Dammit, Winston,
I'm not in control all the time!
When I black out, I don't...
I could hurt you.
I could kill you.
I came so close to before, I..."
"...Then who's in control, Sam?
If not you,
then who?"
"...I don't know.
...Promise me, Winston.
Promise me you'll kill me if I try.
I don't...
want to hurt you.
You're my best friend.
There's no one who knows me better.
Who knows me more than I know myself.
I forgave you for your part in this mess.
I know you only had 
my best interest in mind.
That's why I walked out that night.
That's why...
I made them all believe
you were dead.
It was the only way.
The only way...
This Life would leave you be.
The only way you'd be able to walk away.
They'd drag you back in
if they knew it was a lie.
They expect not but brutality from me.
A monster's brutality.
No mercy.
Not even towards...
my closest Kin.
But it's in that... 
that I can protect you.
I can live with all of them thinking
that I killed you.
If you gain even the slimmest chance...
to have a second life from it..."
       "I know, Sam.
I know better than anyone.
But that doesn't
 answer the question."
"I don't know, Winston
I don't know.
It's not like I...
haven't tried.
It's not like I...
haven't dug through the migraines.
clawed through the nightmares.
The Flashes of White and Black
And Red
just rred stains on white
a ring of purple and black
a nec
of brruisess..."
"...Sam, are you alright?"
"...My eye. It...
it... it's bburning. it...
it's nothing.
i'm sure.
it's just sstinging.
thaat's all..."
"...Sam, you have a
blood spot in that eye.
    Quite a bad one too
    Did you know that?
where did you get that?"
"...blood spot...? my...?
i know that 
i waas hit, 
sometime ago...
why do you ask...?"
"Who... hit you, Sam?
I know it stings.
Trust me, I know.
BBut I want you... to tell me who hit you.
You remember that,
 don't you?"
Heinrich Schultz...
beccame The Butler years ago.
He punched mme before I 
was even aware enough to staand..."
                  "...No, Sam..."
"back in tthat mansion...
everything was splattered...
splattered... red...
the blood was everywhere
on everything
Heinrich was so distraught
so horrified
so... smothered in grief
he punched me across the jaw
weak and unbalanced
ripping me from his own grip
and i fell to the floor...
still feeling so
from Him..."
This isn't the time.
You need to ffocus now.
                 Who was it who hit you?"
"...i remember... there was an arm...
laying on the floorboards...
a lifeless arm in a puddle
of cold clotting blood. 
the rest of the body hidden
around the corner of the doorway.
defensive bruising decorating across
pale, smooth skin 
so much better than
the delicate gold bracelet around her slim wrist.
finely cut diamonds and rubies
birthing the image of a flower. 
its image reflecting into the crimson. 
just like her ruby ring 
paled in comparison
to the ring of blood that was crafted down her fingers
from where two nails had been torn off
so delicate...
so brutal...
so... beautiful..."
"Sam, llisten to me.
It waasn't The Butler.
You know that.
We bboth know you've earned
a number of fists
from a number of people
over the years.
But they didn't make that mmark, Sam.
They didn't hit you liike a ton of bricks.
Their fists didn't hit you harrd enough
to burst a bblood vessel in your eye  
in a fit of ccomplete ragge  
 So wwho was it?  
"i ddont'...
i... don't want to.
are you okkay...?"
                        "I... I'll be fine.
Just think. THINK.
SSam, come on!
Who was it?"
I ddon't know.
god it burns...
Winston, pplease...
my heead..."
                              "Yes, you ddo!
 I know it's burnning.
I know your sskull is splittiing
 in two right noww
but you can't quit

Focus, Sam!"



 ...noo i... 




... yyouu...



J-Just a... bit more, Sam.
Keep p-pushing forward.
Who did you say that to?

Keep focused, Sam,

we're r-running out of

MD4: 05393976b70e87e016ccff760ba5bdc9
MD5: ce3de3f15d5b48a95962ab4dd2555655
CRC 8, ccitt, 16, 32 :

CRYPT (form: $ MD5? $ SALT $ CRYPT):
      (form: SALT[2] CRYPT[11]):

SHA1: 2c552b68051b840777c167311ba547263e451df9

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Things Are Supposed To Be Simple For A Proxy.

You Serve Him.

You Follow Orders.

You Eat. Sleep. Kill. Survive... and then Die.

Fellow Proxies are just meant to be... the same brand of cog that you are. Turning over the same gears. The same routine. The same pattern. Day after day after day. Just faces in the crowd. Fit to be replaced by the next face when they fail to Survive that day.

but humans can never keep things simple... can they?

it's early December
night is dark early
wind howling
good night to be inside
had already spent a few days in one spot
one cubby hole of a hotel room
a disaster zone of papers and notes
trying to make sense of the senseless
logic of the illogical
a pointless endeavor from the start
it's not just about Valtiel anymore
maybe not 
then there's just
a small sound
dismissible at first
if it was not so rare to hear
a simple tap, tap, tap 
on the old, 
just that
then nothing more

When the scene closes for the Runners

Kali stirred just as i did
we didn't get guests
especially when no one was supposed to know
where in the world we were
"...Who is it?"                                      
there's a pause
as though expecting his answer
to not be welcomed quite as warm as another

and the curtain closes for a pause

just open the door                                                    
only a crack                                                               
semi-automatic in hand                                            
enough to let the wind in                                           
but nothing more                                                       
he stands waiting
patient yet pained
blood drenched down his leg
ugly and bleeding
already had a bullet in him
and the night had barely begun

that would be when the Monsters we Are 

he was a pain that i didn't need
just another detail
amongst a nest
that was already too complex
"...Little late in the evening 
to be selling Girl Scout Cookies 
Isn't it, Banks?"                                                                     
he smiled
but it ended as a grimace
leaning on the door frame
looking fit to collapse
but still ever patient
or perhaps 'numb'
would be a better word
"...Can I come in?"

give the reins back to the Humans we Are

i waited only a moment longer
eyes darting out at the night
then back to him
before i stepped back
pulling the door wide
letting him in
then closing it
locking it
single then double
The Eyes were closing in again
crawling up my spine
but that was not a detail for right Then
what was for Then
was cleaning off a chair
unspoken permission
 he nearly collapsed into the seat
it was a wonder he hadn't passed out yet
so much is always that way

It's an ugly combination. The Monster and The Human. It doesn't mix for the exact same reasons that they do mix. It lets us Survive. It gets us Killed. It Tortures us. It Heals us. It makes us Fear that we're Losing Our Minds... and then turns right around and confirms what is Real and what is Not. Manifesting into one crushing Wave that Awakens as much as it Drowns. 

The Storm and The Lifeboat. 

The Blade and The Bandage.

i try to joke
like how others expect me to
but things come out
so much heavier these days
"Was there a party in the area I wasn't invited to?
Where's Ronan?
Last I checked
you two were attached at the hip." 

 "...he's dead."
flat and empty
just another face in the crowd

To forget The Human and become only The Monster is to Die for sure.

For The Human remembers why Life is worth Suffering through.

"...my apologies."
i gathered supplies
alcohol and towels
a knife laid over the stove element 
all just routine
but a very important one
a second face would not be claimed
not that night
"...A mission?"
he shook his head
watching me
as i gathered my things
gaze unfocused

To forget The Monster and become only The Human is to Die for sure.

For The Monster can do what is necessary to secure Life.

At all costs.

"I tried to stop her of course,
but I hate to admit..."
he sunk in his seat
just a little
one hand on that leg
gripping it
 "She was always 
better than me."
i sat in front
paid him nevermind
the pain inside would not kill him
and burn
and boil
and cut
but not kill
his leg however
was already pooling blood beneath the chair
"Still chasing 
the Happily Ever After, were you?"

And yet...

in the end

no matter The Human

no matter The Monster

no matter what Balance 

We All Die.

i tore his pants open wider
"I warned you, David. 
If life were fair, I'd be patching up him instead of you. 
But we both know it's far from fair
now, is it?"
blood on my hand
blood on my blades
looking for the bullet
following the trail
past the pressure on my temples
past the throb
a dull ache 
growing sharper
almost agreement
almost acceptance of fate
even as his hands gripping the chair
near knuckled white
but not another trace of pain showed
past the mask built by blood
"It isn't fair... but I don't see that as a reason
to stop creating.
I had him. For a moment in time
he was mine.
And nothing changes that."

And while death is inevitable...

many a time along the path of life...

pieces of us die long before the Whole catches up.

my blades pinched metal
pulling the invader from the flesh
and tossed it aside to rattle its empty notes
across the tiled floor
sprinkles of crimson trailing after  
"...In that case,
whatever you gave him over a handful of months
I do hope it was worth his life, in the end."
a pouring of alcohol filled the wound
bubbling and foaming
before dripping to the floor
"For him."
 i pressed a towel to the wound
then placed his hand over it
clear instructions
"As well as you."

I remember... being on a Mission what feels like ages ago now. At the time, I was still staying at the Cafe with Joseph, Morningstar, David, and Ronan. Still recovering from my play time with the Plague Doctor. But there's no rest for the wicked, is there? Redlight ordered us to launch an assault against a Moriarty base. There was... a reason behind it. I don't quite... remember what. 

It seemed so important at the time, I recall...

just gone then back again
this time with a knife in hand
scorching hot
even just to hold
"Do you need something to bite down on?"
i gestured to the wall
"We do have neighbors here."
he shook his head
"I can be quiet. 
Been through worse."

Moriarty was such a looming threat at the time.

Then again, so was our boss.

So when Redlight ordered us to move. 

We did.

i didn't let the moment carry
as anticipation only worsens the pain
pressing the blade down against 
the bleeding wound
a sizzling hiss rising into the air
much like the stink
of burning flesh  
he closed his eyes tight
knuckles bare white on the chair
voicing only a few low grunts
against that pain
complete trust towards
trust only learning

I remember the sharp, repeated cracks of exchanged gunfire.

I remember shouting.

And I remember... a monsterous noise.

A trumendous shift.

And the floorboards bucking beneath our feet. 

when the wound was closed
and the blood finally stopped
i tossed the blade
clattering into the sink across the room
torturing my skull
instant regret
as i flinched
head pounding
vision flashing to 
and red
"...Before I forget,"
through the fog
i reached for my other supplies
waiting beside my chair
and numbly took a jar
unlabelled but full
of think yellow ooze
"I wanted
to give you something."
slathering it over the fresh burn

The sudden scream of breaking wood tore all around us until there seemed to be no noise at all. A total void of air and space where sound itself was lost. And then I was falling. The light of the world pulling away as if I was lost in a dream...

I don't remember impact.

he held out his hand
the gesture trembling ever so slight
blood loss
though he tried to hold 
a strong front
it was clear to the keen
that his condition was getting the better of him
 his palm showcasing its own gash
to match his leg
bleeding down heavy
for something so minor
"...Something else to patch up?"
the bandages came next
first a pad
then the wrap
"You shouldn't have.
It isn't even my birthday." 

I just fell.

And then I was waking up inside a cocoon of rubble. Coughing. Choking on the dust. My mind a fog and throbbing against my skull. A moistness under my hood making sure I was well aware of how close death had come again. My body sore and bruised. Scrapped and gashed. 

But in one functional piece.

"The blood, Sam."
 those eyes caught mine
burdened deep
holding for the barest of seconds
"I thought you might...
be able to use it."
my mind
splintered and thobbing
caught his meaning 
gears grinding
before turning over
i didn't ask any more
simply rushed to get an empty jar
anything to give
to hold
and gather
that which has been claimed
to nullify powers
of the supernatural sort

I tried to reach for The Path. 

Tried to find its strings to pull myself out... but the shift in energy brought a strain that the rubble couldn't take. As a warning, I heard a groan. Then a snap. Dust raining down. And then pebbles. Rocks. Beams. Everything closing in...

I barely rolled out of the way in time.

Dust kicking up once again.

powers like Valtiel's
"...Thank you, David."
 a slow nod
"You're welcome, Sam."
i wrapped his leg
taking care with it
as he bled his hand
into the jar i'd given him
his eyes turning heavy
as the minutes passed between us
threatening to close

I was trapped  ("...Well, that might have hurt a little."), but not as alone as I'd thought at first. A deep chuckle greeted me even before the dust settled. The sound snapping my head around to see none other than David Banks  ("Yeah, probably. You always were quick on your feet though.")on the other side of that dust cloud.

i finished my work
quick as i could manage
taking the jar away from him
before it could slip from his
loosening grip
he barely seemed to notice
barely responded
to anything i did
not even
when i placed two fingers
against his neck
feeling for a pulse
and finding it weak

He seemed no more worse for the wear than I was ("...And what about you? In one piece or three? Please say three. I could use some good news about now.")  at first. Leaning back against some rubble with a cigarette trailing smoke between his lips. Passing a smirk to me, of which I  didn't return. His leg  ("One. Although a stationary piece.") trapped beneath some fallen rubble. ("Hurts like crazy. Not that I'd be going far anyway. Looks like we're stuck here. You must be thrilled.")

Out of us all... it would have to be Banks I'd get trapped ("...Ecstatic, Banks. Absolutely ecstatic.")   with, wouldn't it? 

i left him once more
and dug into some things i hadn't
wanted to use
pulling out a vile of clear liquid
and a needle
draining the former into the latter
then returning again
sitting down
turning his arm
and finding a vein
slipping the point of steel in
practiced and precise
it was in him before he even stirred enough
to flinch from the pinch

My eye went from his leg, to his eyes, and then back again. Before I pulled my spare gun from my leg. Small little thing. Two shots. But a nice surprise in an emergency. I checked it once.

And then I aimed it between his eyes.

before yanking his arm back completely
a glare focused in his eyes
when he rose them back to me
"What did you just give me...?"
i glared straight back at him
grabbing his other arm
and throwing a quick bandage
around the bleeding wound 
"A date rape drug, Banks.
Couldn't resist.
So sorry.
Hope you don't mind."

The moment hung.

And then I turned the gun. Emptying the two bullets for him to see. Then reloading them before pocketing the piece. He didn't say a word. Neither did I. But I knew the message got across loud and clear.("I'll lift.") I was not above killing him  ("...Alright.") if he gave me a reason to.

i left him in favor of the kitchen sink
washing the blood from my hands
my headache so much worse
splitting my skull
my gut twisting
threatening to heave
"It's a...
little mixture Dimme used to put together.
Way back when.
I still use it.
It'll give your system the boost
it needs right now."
his eyes were pulling down again
"...If I had the effort,
I would be
really angry at you right now."

I had to try to get him free. Not that I wanted to. But I hadn't a choice. If I left his leg as it was  ("Just know, Banks, if this triggers the rest of the cave in... that I can't think of another person I'd rather drag to Hell with me than you.")  and the rubble shifted, then he could lose it. Admittedly, it would be funny at first. But not so much when answering to Redlight later. 

Not to mention Jo or Venny.

"I don't do drugs."
"...So, you're a murderer and a rapist,
and you have a special love for flaying,
but taking any form of drug is crossing a sacred line, is it?
You're a shining example for the rest of us, Banks.
Truly, you are."
i leaned on the sink for a time
after i'd cleaned up
starting to feel a little like
i could breathe again

I counted to three and gave a heave... and his leg came out without anything else even taking notice  ("Sorry, mate. It's not going to be that easy.")There wasn't even a sprinkle of dust to warn ("...Then you can expect my bill in the mail.")  of tinkering with our little cocoon.

"You can be angry at me in the morning.
For now, I have a major headache 
and you're not making it any better."
after a moment or two more
i felt a bit better than i had
deciding to get done
what needed to be
before i was swept away again
finding blankets
and a spare pillow
setting up the couch
he watched me gather things
watched me
clean away my mess only
to make some room for where he'd be spending the night
yet another thing
"...Thank you."

There ("... Do you realize this is the second time a building has come down on us? I take it as a Sign.") was nothing to do ("A sign for what? To hire a contractor?") but wait.

"Don't thank me."
i came over for the last time
placing a light touch under his arm
"Come on.
On your feet."
he took a hold on my arm in turn
and a flash hit me
of pure White
folding in
a rush of movement 
and behind it
i saw a necklace
of purple bruises around a pale neck
and then it was gone
and in that instant
i felt more likely to fall down
than pull David up

We spoke about everything. Whether we both wanted to ("A Sign for Us to Stay. Away. From each other. Lest death come that much quicker for one or both.")  or not ("...Or perhaps it means you're stuck with me."). I helped him stay focused ("...You're claustrophobic?")  while he helped... rather, TRIED to help me ("Do Not. Touch Me. Banks. Never. Touch Me. Is that clear enough for you?") with a head wound I'd gained during the fall ("...Run from me all you can, but I'll still be there. And I realize I haven't gone about it well, but I like you. Say what you have to. Do what you have to. We need to bury this.") but I wouldn't let him. 

Though I don't think any would blame me.

but i found my grip before
the floor could come rushing up
swallowing hard
as i struggled
to bring the room back into focus
feeling that sickening weight
that taste
on the back of my throat
my skull splitting
as the world swayed
and i felt
like a ghost under my skin
trying to be
as gentle as i could as i
supported his weight
allowing him to
lean on me
as we managed our way
over to the couch
one step
just one

Though we did find ("I know how the Game works, Banks. I know I started this. The kidnapping. The Cult Town. It was just business. But it /was/ me who made the first move. After the Cafe... call my attitude what you will, but you brought her back. Dimme. It was the same thing all over again. Same, but different, but still the same. Honestly, I'd like to see how well you'd be able to shake off being thrown back under Dubois for even a brief moment.")  an understanding, of sorts. ("I'm sorry. All I wanted was to even the score. You scared me to death when you took Ronan.") 


i helped him 
lie down
pulled the covers 
over him
and then immediately sunk
into a chair nearby
holding my face in my hands
feeling as if
each pulse
would crack my skull
and leave the pieces on my open palms
he twisted where i'd laid him
looking at me
alarm in his eyes for the
first time
"Are you alright?"

 we were supposed to be 

Just a patch job to mend the holes ("We're even. But that does not make us friends.") in the bridge between us ("...I want to know you better, Sam. I want the chance to like and be liked back. Trust would be even better, but I'm smart enough to know the last two won't happen. The first will work.") for there were already too many enemies on the field ("...I can offer a truce. Tentative allies. Nothing more.")  and not nearly enough allies ("I'll take what I can get.").


a flutter of wings
had Kali's talons settling onto my shoulder
a soft call in my ear
as i nodded
one hand lifting to stroke
those ebony feathers
"I'm fine. 
Just... think I'm coming down with something. 
Haven't exactly been 
looking after myself lately, you could say. 
Had other things that needed to be 
focused on..."
he sunk back
settling in
finding what scarce comfort
simple fabric can bring
"Look at the two of us.
We used to be something."
"...Perhaps only Fools."

you were right here David

By the time Morningstar and Joseph dug ("...How old were you?") us out... we'd found ("...When it began? Or when it ended?") our common ground again ("...Both."). The same common ground  ("Ten. And eighteen.")  we'd had at the Cult Town. 

you were right here that night

i slowly forced myself up
Kali stirring
but staying with me
"Get some rest.
You'll be leaving in the morning."
he managed a chuckle
that made me pause
"Oh, you have no idea how true that sentence is."

right here

Altered, ("I have no pity for you, Banks. You were only a Victim for as long as you stood head and shoulders above Dubois. The instant you used his own tools against him - torture and rape - and then used those tools on others still... then you became his Kin. Not his Victim. The same rule applies to myself and Dimme. With her torture of me. And mine of her. As well as others. I'm not a Victim. We're just two Villains. Born from Villains. To give birth to the next generation of Villains.") but the same, nevertheless.


"...You're going to Run, aren't you?"
"...Haven't we always been?
In one way or another?"

why didn't you help me?

Perhaps, ("...You're the first person to understand that. Not even Ronan understood that...") when it all comes down to it... 

we're all just skinning ourselves.