I'll have a post up later tomorrow after practice.
Outcast was running for his life, continuing with a series of flips and twirls, his mind solely on distraction and evasion and mainly staying alive. The masked hero knew that his luck would eventually run out and that the T-Rex would eventually land a blow like it did with Dusk Zephyr. By sheer chance, it was then Outcast saw Dusk Zephyr swing back into action - literally. His mighty blow created a rather loud clap, causing Outcast to grimace under his mask while the behemoth fell.
Outcast paused, seeing the troublesome dinosaur breath steadily slow and Dusk Zephyr fell too from his mighty blow. Outcast began a light jog to the two, the dinosaur continuing to shrink in size. He would run past the dinosaur to attend to Dusk Zephyr, only to pause, backtracking his steps back to the shrinking dinosaur. You got knocked out, butch!
Giggling, he would now race toward Dusk Zephyr, hoping the vigilante was fine. Yo, that was one of the dopest things I have ever seen. You came swinging like Mike Tyson. Outcast would turn for Dusk Zephyr to claim his victory with nothing more than the gecko remaining.
"Guess that thing had a time limit or something?"
I guess so, Outcast said as he lifted the tiny lizard with his fingers. We should take this to a lab for further investigation after we...Outcast would turn to the crate which birthed the dinosaur only to see just wreckage from the dinosaurs wake of destruction. cut his sentence short. Outcast could hear the sirens in the background come closer and closer as the red and blue hue of the police cars could begin to tint the shadows as the came to pier.
I don't know about you, but I think that's our signal to leave. Outcast would extend a handshake to Dusk Zephyr, grateful of his presence with the dinosaur, and also that they both survived the ordeal. It was a pleasure to battle with you. Im pretty sure we shall meet again, and if you need it, know I got your back.
@outcast__: Thanks for the great time!
As the Outcast complimented him, Dusk Zephyr grinned and gave a thumbs up in response. "Thanks. Couldn't have done it without your help though. We make a damn good team." He followed the Outcast's gaze at the wake of destruction and winced. "That's gonna take a while to clean up." He heard the police sirens at the same time as the red suited hero and grimaced. Great timing.
It was a pleasure to battle with you. Im pretty sure we shall meet again, and if you need it, know I got your back.
"Likewise, thanks for the assist and everything else. I fancy our chances at meeting again, after all, this city sure seems to have a way of bringing its heroes together. Perhaps we'll have another wild adventure next time, although it'll be hard to beat fighting a T-Rex." He smiled from underneath his mask and reached out at the same time to return the Outcast's handshake, clasping his hand. "Stay safe out there."
It might have been broad daylight. FBI agents might have been walking in plain sight, waiting for the specialists from Gothic City to arrive. The crowd was silent as could be. It might have been Los Angeles, the City of Angels. But true evil was here. It was waiting for its game to unfold and for the pieces to start moving. Willingly or not, everyone who stepped into that house entered into a world of their worst nightmares made manifest.
Knowingly or not, they were being followed by unseen eyes. The weight of heavy, malevolent observation cradled the invaders to the murderous ritual. A FBI agent by the name of Steven Barnes greeted Gordon with a sad nod as he, too, walked under the archway.
A woman staring into the windows of the upper floor started to weep uncontrollably, and her family had to escort her away.
"The Devil!" she screamed through her wailing. "Don't go in there, the Devil's in there!" she reached out for Gordon before fainting.
Steven rubbed his brow.
"Neighbors believe something unnatural happened here. By all accounts, it did," he continued with Gordon into the arena of sin that the murder took place amidst.
He shut the curtains, plunging the living room into complete darkness, and motioned for the other officers and agents to stand by him in the other room.
"Close all the windows on the first floor, we're doing a light," he instructed before putting his hands on his hips.
What Gordon would find beyond the initial markings on the floor was understandably unsettling. The unbroken circle scribbled where the body had been found bled into other, more obscure details too muddled with large boot-prints to make out. But none of the officers wore that kind of shoe, and the SWAT members never set foot inside the living room. Even if someone mistakenly stepped into the blood, it simply wouldn't have been that pattern.
The prints went back into the main hallway, flecked between the carpet and dark hardwood. Barely any blood was tracked upstairs if Gordon were to investigate that way. Fingerprints, however, were far more common. A flurry of them on the leather of the chair indicated that the death was not a good one. It was a struggle and perhaps a horror beyond imagination to be pinned to one's own seating arrangement and slowly gutted.
Larger, foreign fingerprints were on the doorknobs and telephone in the kitchen as well. Of course, that was where the murder weapon was confiscated from. It was the largest knife in the room, a long steak knife for when the victim allegedly hosted barbecues in his backyard many years ago. It was still missing, with fingerprints on various handles in the kitchen apparently from a short and calculated search for a weapon. The drawer that was left ajar had a multitude of other knives as well. Something about that steak knife, however, attracted the attention of the murderer.
The victim died after the 3rd impaling blow. But his killer saw fit to go through the motion another 34 times, turning the human being into a slaughterhouse carcass. He had no internal organs that weren't punctured. Blood had been flung onto the ceiling, splattered across the walls, and the floor would have to be completely replaced once the cleaning crew arrived.
It was a haunting scene for a truly despicable murder, and more clues would start to reveal themselves the further Gordon dug down.
Only time would tell if he was uncovering the truth or making his own grave.
"Neighbors believe something unnatural happened here. By all accounts, it did,"
Gordon couldn't argue the notion by Agent Barnes. He had seen it so many times that he had grown numb to it. Was it evidence that he had fallen so deep into the darkness that he didn't know the way back? His mind would picture the victim, a puddled husk within his own living room and wondered how sickness like this could exist in the world. It was unnatural. AN anathema to life itself.
Gordon would follow the voice of the dead, hearing the cries and screams that went silent before it lead him through the house. He would look around the kitchen the moment he stepped foot inside the room, His gloved hand would slowly follow the path which was set before him, envisioning himself as the killer as he followed the prints tell their tale.
Gordon would pretend to possess the knife in his hand, as the morgue guided him through the location and angle of each blow. He did not know where the strike was actually initiated, but he acted out in his mind the repeated stabbing motion by the killer. Gordon had been in the military, trained in many close quarter combat techniques - the knife being one he knew all to well. The moment he envisioned a blow to the victim's carotid artery as well as the one that pierced the heart, he knew everything after the fatal killing blow should have been just moot rage but it wasn’t.
The person suffered, but only because the killer wanted him to suffer. Once the flesh failed to support the slashing, the death morphed from a homicide to a ritual killing. There was a purpose to the killing. It meant something to them. The sicko may have even enjoyed what he was doing but the purpose was the most vital.
Gordon would walk slowly toward the window, grasping the blackened curtains which engulfed the house into darkness. It took but one pull from Gordon as he wondered many of times how could such people exist. There was a momentary blindness from the intense sun gleaming through the windows. If only it had washed away the evil which his eyes had just witnessed. There was definite concern on Gordon’s face as he looked at Agent Barnes. The cuts had a purpose. Of what we do not know yet. If we were lucky it would be a one-time thing. I don’t believe in luck so I expect it to get much worse. Much, much worse. Killing is like an art, when one gets good at it the signature pretty much speaks for itself.
Gordon would walk to the door to get some air, the phantasm of the dead peeling away like the memory they were, but before leaving he would warn everyone in attendance. There is going to be more like this. I don’t know when and where but it’s coming again. My team is going to check in at a hotel. I want those finger prints ran. Knowing who the killer is will be one thing. Knowing what the killer is thinking is what's important.
The teams started to scatter so the cleanup crew could get a foothold on their jobs. Gordon's warning did not fall on deaf ears, however. Everyone in attendance listened with attentive ears and cold, saddened eyes. It had been a long day for all of them and, just as Gordon said, they all knew it was going to get worse. Much worse.
Steven stayed behind so he could get words with Gordon, words he knew were of some importance. Any clues at this point were valuable one way or another.
"I bet you any amount of money that I know who those fingerprints belong to," Steven looked Gordon dead in the eyes.
His stomach was starting to turn into a knot. He'd been sitting on this information for far too long and now he was looking at the results of it. He mentally bruised himself, but it wasn't too late to at least pray that he was wrong. It wasn't like he could do anything to prevent it anyway. Everyone would think he was insane if he carted off a mentally disturbed patient claiming that he was going to kill again or had killed recently.
"Don't ask me how, I don't know. It's just been a gut feeling ever since I saw his case file from fifteen years ago,"
He opened his phone and flipped to a bookmark he frequented way too often these days. It was the North case. Six-year-old Roger murdered his older brother Tommy in cold blood with a steak knife. A decade and a half later, he's still locked up in a mental institution. He gave it to Gordon, who could clearly see all the details.
Roger planned out the murder to the last detail. It was surprisingly cruel and efficient for such a young boy. To have that spark of childhood snuffed out and replaced with such evil was unthinkable, but not impossible. What made Roger's killing so haunting was what happened afterwards. He showed no emotion about it, and refused to speak to anyone. Psychiatrists would bounce him around until he had no option but to stay in juvenile hall. No one would want to help him.
They could see that he had no remorse for what he did. His eyes, and everything beyond that, were empty.
But one hospital claimed to help him. It was that place, the former tuberculosis hospital built out in the forest. It was where the Boogeyman lived now and where parents told their children never to visit. The nurses and psychiatric staff there kept him practically secret in his room. He was their dark little rumor, seeding fear and dread. Agent Barnes was no exception. He had fallen to that anxiety and allowed it to consume him every single night.
"He's holed up in St. Annabelle's, outside of town. Cloistered away in the woods with just one road in or out," he had to stop himself from getting too excited about explaining the sheer strangeness of it.
"All I'm saying is there's some weird stit going on in that place. Probably worth looking into."
Gordon would be hesitant at Agent Barnes’ suggestion, the sheer fact that an institutionalized murderer presented a rather healthy alibi that no judge worth a dann would allow to see the juvenile record. Gordon would slide his hand from the back of his head over his fraught lips, his thoughts screaming not to follow the suggestion, but the look in Agent Barnes’ face suggested an extreme belief that Roger North was the killer. Gordon would see the similarities regarding the peripheral aspects of the case, but anything substantial would be locked away with juvenile records. Evil had a unique way of selecting its followers though, young Roger North seemingly the perfect example of its corrupting power. It was enticing to some, its immense gravity able to swallow up the most unassuming person and thus making everyone a suspect.
Gordon would go to St. Annabelle’s, the thought of talking with a killer never an experience any would want. The likelihood would be that North would be sedated on Clozaril and Thorazine rather than Anthony Hopkins in Silence of the Lambs, though he would play the role of Jodie Foster if it meant breaking the case. He had informed his team of the far-fetched idea, suggesting that the killer could have been inspired by North himself. Even Detective Black considered the possibility intriguing. All were suspects, even the psychiatrist themselves would be under suspicion.
Agent Barnes description of St Annabelle's was as if he had written them in a novel with the words fresh in his head. Gordon had even wondered if he was even still in Los Angeles County by the total transformation of the terrain around him. The GPS would not even locate the road which he drove. Any form of cell service vanished once he turned onto the dirt covered road. Gordon thoughts would contemplate that all those factors made the perfect beginning to a horror movie. Once his eyes set focus onto facade which was St Annabelle's, he wished he was able to bring his firearm into the facility. If time had ever forgotten a place, St. Anabelle's would be it.
The interior of the building was no better than the outside, its structure looking as if it hadn't been touched in decades. The paint that was not peeling, would enforce the stigma of such an institution with its beige tones and low lighting. It was definitely not a place one would voluntarily visit. Gordon would be greeted by the Medical Director of facility, their eventual conversation about North an uneasy one to utter, as every locked door they crossed into would follow with a crash, showing their intent of keeping those in permanently with no hope of ever seeing the outside due to the frosted glass windows which adorned the facility.
Gordon would be escorted to a waiting room, waiting for the chance to see where Roger North would lead. The room presented the same challenges as did every room he set eyes upon. It gave the impression that the facility was more to house people with difficulties rather than true rehabilitation. His thoughts would continue to run rampant until time had elapsed as if he was forgotten. There would be a power surge, plunging the room and the entire hall into a darkness only for the lights to return with a sporadic flicker.
Gordon would arise from his room, trying to get an update on the situation. He would hear the faint sounds of chatter in the hall, but the exact source of its direction would elude him, hearing it briefly only for it to disappear and resume in another direction. Gordon would come across the last locked door to the corridor which he was led into for questioning with no answer when he pressed the buzzer. What the Hell! Gordon would press the buzzer once more, still no answer. He would begin to shake on the door, pounding on the thick glass hoping to get anyone's attention. There would be a moment where he saw someone walk pass the hallway on the other side of the door. His screams for attention would go unnoticed as they continued as if his voice was non-existent. There would be another power surge, plunging Gordon into darkness once more, with their sporadic return followed by the faint chatter once again.
Gordon would redirect his frustration toward finding someone, anyone that worked for the facility. The chatter would continue to disappear and reappear, not ever growing any stronger than a faint whisper in the distance. The lights would plunge into darkness a third time as Gordon was now numb to its fluctuations, unaware of which that had appeared behind him. Gordon would feel the sensation of something piercing his deltoid as the room seemed to instantaneously spin upon the needle striking him. His focus would wane as his assailant would appear nothing more than a blur until there was nothing but darkness.
Gordon would feel as if he was in a terrible nightmare, seeing blurry visions of indescribable events flash before him, not knowing who they where or even what he was seeing. He was even unable to determine if they had happened or if they were part of some hallucination. He would hear the chatter once more in his sleep state, finally in a louder tone as if it was directly over him though he was unable to determine the exact discussion of the voices. He wanted to scream, though he desperately wanted to with every fiber of his being. Gordon had lost track of time. He had lost track of reality. And then there was nothing but darkness.
Gordon would awake with a gasp, the effects of breathing something he had to relearn, as if life had found its way toward his body once more. His pulse would slow from its frenetic pace as he gathered his bearings of what was around him. He would look at his hands, allowing them to touch his face to see if he was awake. He would notice he was no longer in the clothes that he had worn in the facility, but now he was adorned as if he too was now a patient of St. Anabelle's. What the funk is happening! He uttered aloud, his bare feet feeling the cold tiles of the twisted place. Gordon would exit the room, not knowing what was happening, or what awaited him next, but Gordon would make damn sure he would not be a resident for long.
If evil does exist, where does it come from? It is a question that most people ignore. Whether by lack of intrigue or by sheer stubbornness to change, the answer seemed to elude those who cautiously sought after it. But it is a question that most detectives eventually come across.
And it was no doubt swimming within Gordon's mind as he wandered the halls of St. Annabelle's. His patient gown curled around his body in cold wisps of un-fabric. The dreamlike haze crept on either side of his vision. It was not of his own choosing or biology, it was a product of the environment he stepped into.
The hushed tumbler of the lock on his room door clattered and sunk into place. It wasn't barred against him. But then again, the doors slathered with blood during the Abrahamic God's final plague upon Egypt were not locked either. Had he stepped into the grasp of Death?
There was sunlight in those corridors, however. The large windows were nothing of St. Annabelle's categorized institution of anxiety. They were broad and uncovered, letting in a bold sunrise. Yet even that was of the barest satisfaction given the state of things.
The more Gordon walked around, the more he was able to see clearly.
He was in a wing of the hospital that was abandoned, for some reason or another - untouched, and unguarded. He was not alone, however. Even in broad daylight, demons lurked. He could hear the sounds of suffering from beyond his immediate vicinity. Through doors locked and sturdy, the tortured and damned made their voices heard by those unwilling to listen.
Their song of agony did not harmonize, the chaotic noise swelling in the air like the head of some mighty storm. It fueled dread, and conjured anxiety. Humans were here. They were screaming and dying, their mixed agonies contrived by a single mastermind no doubt.
But that would have to wait.
Beyond even that, at the far end of the hallway more than a hundred yards away, was Room 1260. By some perfect menagerie of luck, Gordon managed to find himself on the same floor as that of his supposed murderer.
Even then, the very sight of the closed door would give any man pause. To know what was behind it was unbearable for some. In some legends, there was no human being in that room to begin with. All that Gordon could see, however, was the answer to the question that burned in every detective's notebook.
Evil was real.
It came from behind that door.
Gordon stared at the door to 1260 what seemed to be an eternity. There was something familiar to it, almost like he had seen it somewhere in the back recesses of his mind. Whether it was it a dream or nightmare, its existence seemed to mock him, calling Gordon to know the answer which he never asked. He would reach for the handle, but his arm would feel the weight of a hundred fold of what it should. His feet had already cemented themselves to the tile floor. What was this? Was it fear? His hand drew closer as he could feel his heart beating aloud like a drum, his spine feeling the cold chill which had appeared. Gordon wondered why he needed to see what was behind this specific door. Why was it so familiar? Why did it know his name?
His hand would draw closer as the call to come closer grew louder. The sensation of its cold touch was something few had ever been invited to experience. Many had hesitated, not able to move past their own fears, but not Gordon. The feeling would wash over him, the room itself not waiting any longer as the round knob of the door turning by itself before Gordon could ever touch its familiar texture. The doorway would welcome its haunting history to whomever searched for it, and now Gordon was one step closer to its mysterious meaning. Gordon had walked along life's burning flame for so long he had forgotten when he had started his journey. Would today be the day Gordon finally got burnt. The doorway was now open, welcoming Gordon to take on step more. It was a step Gordon would take, not knowing what it meant, but it was a step none the less. It was slow and calculated, his mind trying to understand what was happening.
The chill continued as he entered 1260, the eerie silence of its occupants holding many secrets to what it possessed. The stainless steel doors of the morgue led Gordon to where it wanted. Once he set foot into the clutches of its power there was no other choice but to follow its path. He had no memory of it, but the door which crossed reality was now shut as if he was meant to be in the room never to escape it. He would not question why or how, none of it mattered not as his eyes set its gaze upon one figure in the distance. It seemed like miles as his feet reacted slower than his mind was commanding. He would eventually get there as he stood at the foot of it’s motionless body covered by a white shroud upon a cold table. He would stand over the shrouded body, the temptation almost as intense as when he entered the room.
You already know who lies under the shroud, Detective. A familiar voice uttered, appearing out of nowhere from the shadows. Much like the door, or Gordon's purpose being in the room, Detective Gregory Black's presence belonged in that room just as his did, his mind never questioning the appearance of the Detective. The voice blended with a relative calm within the thrall of chaos. What Gordon would see as reality not to be questioned. The sound of familiarity and intellectual superiority a guiding light to what Gordon did not know. The moment you started your search for Roger North and set eyes upon this corpse you already knew that this was Thomas North, Roger's deceased brother who he took from this world with not even a second thought fifteen years ago.
The boy was six, Gordon would respond aloud as Detective Black teetered on the edges of the shadows which lined the room, not caring for the obvious quandary which rested before them. And here we are now fifteen years later.Obviously the boy had problems.
Did he, Detective? The question was posed as if the shadowy figure knew more about the situation then Gordon. If your profession has taught you anything it should be that people are fickle to their core. They are an emotional powder keg ready to explode and have been such ever since they have walked this planet. There is a divine sin that lingers in us all, Detective. Excuse the analogy if you do not follow. Its just that Roger North acted on his inner voice where many of us pretend it does not exist. Roger North is just a revelation to us all that all are afraid to see.
What are you saying, Gordon would reply with disgust in his voice. Are you saying that we are like Roger North? That something inside us makes us...makes me capable of doing something like this?
Detective Black's eyes would finally reveal themselves to Gordon from their shadowy clutches. Why do you ask questions that you already know the answer, Detective? You need to seek answers for question that have longed plagued mankind forever.
Gordon would grow furious, drawing closer to his colleague with eyes set a flame. Roger North killed this boy. There is evidence that he killed the man that brought us to Los Angeles. I do not know how he did it, but he did. Roger North is evil.
Roger North is Evil! There would be a thunderous clap as Detective Black slammed both his hands upon the metal table which Thomas North rested. Is your mind not capable of comprehending what is before you, Detective? Roger North is just a name. He is the tale which many do not speak of. He is the Boogeyman to those that cannot accept reality, Detective. You know what he did. You know how he did it. Yet, it still brings you no closer to the answer you desperately need. Bringing up how he savagely impaled his brother thrust after thrust with not even a second thought brings you no closer to what Roger North actually represents. It isn't who or what Roger North did, but why he did it that is the question. Take away the name and the fifteen years of isolation locked up here for what he did and there is only the why that needs to be answered.
Why did Roger North do what he did? It was a question many psychiatrist had asked over and over again the moment Roger North stepped foot onto St. Anabelle's. It was that same logic that proved a conundrum to Gordon as much as it did the psychiatrist. Yet, the voice of Detective Black would remain consistent, a conscious along the path of darkness which Gordon had now entered. The lights overhead would flicker until only the light which rained over them remained. Detective Black would rest his hand upon Gordon's face, his touch as cold as ice. With just a push from Detective Black, Gordon would fall into the depths of darkness which surrounded them and into the abyss.
You need to know why Roger North does what he does, Detective. Then and only then will you see what he truly is.
Gordon would awaken somewhere other than the infamous hospital. His immediate evidence was a series of family pictures that sat on a nightstand next to where he was sleeping. Judging by how tired, how groggy he would be in that initial moment of recognition... he had only taken a short nap. But in that timespan, how he arrived here would elude him for a time. Now, he had all the information he needed to tell him that this was where he needed to be.
The police sirens outside whirred silently, the lights flickering back and forth across the open windows of the quiet suburban home. As Gordon would rise from his chair, he could scan his surroundings. It was simple home furniture at first glance, but even the grains of wood in the tables told him a deeper story. The creaking floorboards echoed in his mind. Each imperfection in the wall seemed to grow and pulsate. He was still inside the dream, perhaps even deeper than before.
Despite all the activity outside, there were no police officers. There were no witnesses. All Gordon had to go by was the gentle motion of the red, blue, red blue, red, blue.
The carpet was disturbed and dirtied by stretcher tracks. They led upstairs, in a similar fashion to those bloodied footprints that Gordon and Agent Barnes found in the house not too long ago.
Everything downstairs was untouched. His investigation could only lead to the top floor. Once there, he would only find one door open. The rest were locked, impossible to open. Even from the bottom step, a cold presence emanated from the room. It drew in all light and absorbed it, drained color from the blood and left it grey in the veins. Life seemed to stop at the bannister. The curling details of the handrail stuck to the skin, clawing at the flesh. It wanted Gordon to stay, to see what happened inside.
Perhaps he could make out the barest of whispers along his neck, kissing his ears with promises. He had no other choice. This was where it all happened, fifteen years ago.
He would have to push open the door, to accept his fate as a detective and plunge into an eternal nightmare. That's what this case would be to him. It would be his Purgatory, locking him in its details and haunting his every breath. Roger North wasn't just a man inside a room at a mental hospital.
He could be anywhere, drag anyone into his world of death and insanity. It wasn't his design, however. Something greater gave it to him. But for now Gordon had to play his game. He had to look at the product of humanity's deepest humiliation. He had to look at himself, and see the same sin boiling in his blood. It was there. It lingered behind every eye and within every hand.
The ability to do evil, to commit to evil acts.
But for what reason? There had to be a tipping point. Thomas North stared at the detective with dead eyes, rolled back into his head and left in place for the parents to find on that traumatizing Halloween night. Was it jealousy? Greed? Had Thomas gotten something that Roger hadn't, or took it from his younger brother by force? Or perhaps he did something so reprehensible that Roger had to get rid of his own brother, his own flesh and blood.
Cain murdered Abel because God favored him, the younger man who looked after his flock of sheep and loved his wife - Cain's sister, whom Cain desired more than his own wife. A deep, festering hatred for his own brother was groomed early on in Cain's heart. It didn't take much for him to slay Abel, to paint himself with his brother's blood, as if to say God was wrong for favoring him.
God struck Cain down for his pride, and for his wrath. Never again would humanity live without the hatred that Cain had in his heart, and never again would they be without an impulse to murder. The scars of Cain ran deep, marking his sons and daughters for all time.
But what if Cain hadn't gone to God? What if he had proclaimed his murder to darker powers, perhaps in an attempt to escape the judgment of God and His inevitable damnation?
A shadow loomed over the moonlight-drenched floor. The floorboards which had previously creaked with each step didn't shed a single sound. The walls that clung to Gordon's entire presence, suffocating him, suddenly expanded and seemed to grow. Not into a more comfortable environment, not into a home.
The overwhelming darkness and dread scattered away to reveal an arena between the bannister and the locked rooms, between Thomas North's mausoleum and the only way downstairs.
Roger North was there, his face obscured by a featureless white mask. He wore blue coveralls and heavy brown boots. In his hand was the same murder weapon he used on the man Gordon found a few days ago. It was cleaned, maintained almost lovingly.
He approached Gordon slowly, a predatory pace to his methodical steps forward.
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