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.


  1. This is so very, very difficult to read.

    My eyes hurt.

    Nightscream, this is really...ugh. Can't you be a LITTLE more...neat when you type?