@hawkshade: Thanks! And same. >:D
She'd call him paranoid, dismiss the suspicions of his sharpened mind as "Kellan being Kellan", but it didn't matter. She should've returned to the Cave by now. But she hadn't, and that was reason enough for him to venture out into the night. Like a horned specter in the night, Grimmwald moved where cold winds howled as they raced through the night. He stalked the shadows themselves till they yielded and told his ears what they sought. Tessa wasn't hard to track. He'd been an assassin once, an expert in hunting down men who blew away their life savings to hide from him. More concerned about her digital footsteps than her physical ones, he thought, red eyes sweeping to every corner of the dreary street for something. Anything.
He searched and searched till his hyper-sensitive dermis latched on to the vibrations of a groan. The voice was familiar, as was the crack of pain in it. Slipping into the shadows of a dead alleyway, his eyes widened like saucers at the silhouette of a woman left for dead on a heap of trash. Tessa! His mind raced, and so did he. She'd been butchered, looked like a corpse. He could smell the dried tears on her cheeks and for a split-second felt the cold and murderous rage of his Strigidae days. He wanted to kill whoever'd done this. Just as he did the one who'd bloodied Richard. Instead, his balled fists relaxed and he scooped Tessa into his arms. She needed medical attention. Now.
Several hours later...
Dog sat in a shadowy back booth in a run-down bar on the edge of one of Gothic's rougher neighborhoods. The place was a dump, but the cook knew how to fix a rare steak, and that and the pitcher of beer he held in his hand like it was a mug were doing a lot to contribute to his unusually cheerful mood. What really had him feeling so sunny, however, was the intel he now had; intel that Tessa Callahan had thought it worth her life to protect, and which her former employers were willing to drop a pretty considerable sum of cash to ensure never saw the light of day.
Now that he knew what the intel was (at least part of it), Dog could understand why; this had the potential to be a real game-changer for him, depending on how he played it. He had a couple options, and he wasn't even under any pressure to make an immediate decision, as the only person who knew he was now privy to this information wasn't likely to letting her former bosses know he had it.
Yeah, Dog thought, as he tilted the pitcher back and took a long drink, things were lookin' up, alright. Pretty soon he'd be able to stop removing pawns from the board, and start setting his sights on some of the bigger pieces.
The move worked to perfection, successfully one-shotting his opponent by putting a hole through his chest and taking out the heart. He smiled sadistically as he held the heart in hand. "You see? I told you I-- huh?" Everdeen froze for a sec as the black mist covered the alley, including his vision. "Who... whodid that? Wait! I bet it was that guy I ran into on my way here. I'mma **** him up once this stupid shit fades away. No one messes with my vision and gets away with it."
The mysterious mist was going away, and Everdeen started to move again. But to his surprise, he was confronted by the remaining thugs. "What, are you guys by any chance dense? You don't stand a chance, so the solution is simple: run or die. Balls in you guys' court because I wouldn't mind killing you all and use your hearts as trophies for my glorious wall."
Just as the last of mist faded away from sight, Jack locked his eyes upon the stranger standing over a dead corpse, with fresh blood dripping from his hand. At his feet steam rosed from the deadman’s chest, as a pool of blood filled up around him. Despite the brutality of the situation Jack had to hold on to the belief the stranger acted out of self preservation rather than a vicious homicide, if for no other reason than...he just didn’t want to have to deal with another cold blooded killer. But just as he was about to passively address the question, the remaining gang members regrouped, ready for a bit of street justice payback. Like an army of ants they spread out using their increased numbers to their advantage. With no other option Jack took a fighting stance next to the stranger, careful not to step on the corpse at his feet. When suddenly the stranger shouted, "What, are you guys by any chance dense? You don't stand a chance, so the solution is simple: run or die. Balls in you guys' court because I wouldn't mind killing you all and use your hearts as trophies for my glorious wall."
Surprisingly enough the hoods stopped dead in their tracks, whispering to one another over their next move, until making a tactical retreat. Still going out swinging they barked back, “you just wait till we get reinforcements. Ain’t nobody messes with the Night Reapers and lives,NOBODY!”as they stumbled over one another running away. Not quite sure what to say, Jack turned to the stranger and in a fatherly way, went with, “Let em go, they may not have learned their lesson today. But trust me they did learn a lesson.” He then looked down to the puddle of blood staining his boots with a red color, as the corpse below turned dark blue. After a quick clearing of his throat, his nurturing instinct took over and with an uncertain feeling in his gut he begins to ask, “So you going to tell me what happened here betwe....” But before he could finish his question, one lonely Night Reaper jumped back into the alley, holding a Molotov Cocktail in hand. High on Meth and a pile or two of cocaine, he boldly shouts, “Burn Outsiders, Burn!” as he hurls the bottle forwards, hoping to watch the two go up in a ball of fire. For within a few brief seconds the bottle would smash, igniting a ball of fire that would spread throughout the alley, burning away anything in its path.
"That's right, you losers! Run like the cowards you are. I didn't expect much out of a weak-ass gang anyway." Blood dripped from his hand as he continued to hold the heart in it. His attention then turned to the thirty plus year-old stranger, ignoring his words yet again before finally breaking the silence after a long stare down. "Look I don't need you judging me if that's your--" A crazed man suddenly screamed with a bottle in his hand, with the eyes of a killer. "Oh, I gotta get outta here. NOW!" Before the bottle could hit the ground, Everdeen ran as fast as a cheetah, vacating from the alley and leaning against a wall. "Phew, that was close. Okay, so where did that prick who threw the damn bottle go, and did the stranger survive? It's not that I care, just a bit curious."
The Docks: 11:21 PM
Sah Ed Valam arrived on the docks under the cover of night. In this less-then-gentrified division of town, smog hung thinly in the humid air. The docks were worn and weathered, many vessels grimy with corrosion. At this hour not a soul tread the area - not that the one soul who did could blame them.
The fact that this little harbor was all-but abandoned made it ideal for Sah Ed Valam's business here. He'd arranged a meeting with an old contact - the only other survivor of the dismantled Society of Shadows. Touching base with this former associate could prove very useful to the Dark Hunter's redemptive endeavors. He otherwise had little way of ascertaining any current activities of the League, assuming it too hadn't been eradicated. He didn't even know who the current al Shaytan was!
And so he waited, arms crossed over his runic breastplate, gray eyes staring out and over the murky waters of a city he hadn't seen in years.
Lada had no official business in Gothic. It certainly wasn't Russia, but there were occasions where some odd rich individual from Gothic, or at least not too far away from it, would contact her Army of Radegast, and she liked to drop in sometimes. So she wasn't really going out of her way by visiting this place that seemed to just attract every bit of evil this world could throw at it short of becoming a desolate haunted hole.
It was for this reason Lada had made the decision to use a different form while wandering this place. It was unlikely to profit her walking around as her normal self, and after-all, if she chose to, she could always just turn back. Those who knew well who she was knew that she had some powers, although most had no clue what she was capable of. Smoke magic and the occasional shapeshifting comprised the majority of what she'd used in front of people for awhile now. Little else was ever needed.
So she took on another appearance. It was one she used often and was associated with the name Elizibeth Semenov...most of the time. As she didn't really need to bother with another form often it wasn't very well known, records of it were practically nonexistent which was convenient. Most of those who knew both the name and the face that went with it were spread out and few.
She glanced about Gothic, her eyes dancing over the area only for her to pause as she noticed something out of the ordinary. Magic. Not too far away from her, she could see the aura of an individual who had a more noticeable skill in the art of magic then should be expected. She kept her distance, keeping more in the shadows, but began to move closer to Sah Ed casually. Wondering what business someone with arcane gifts had in this sort of place. Not that she was one to judge.
Since her rather short banter with Hawkshade the journalist Rayne decided to take a closer look at the Gothic corruption that was referenced and not to her surprise after some unorthodox manners of investigation did she find it however she knew she would never be able to bring true justice by following the confines of the law.
Normally Rayne would do her attempt to expose and get the corrupt officals convicted and not care if she succeeded or not but today was different rather Rayne was feeling rather inspired by Hawkshades words and was deciding on her own with out orders from her family to under go a vigilante mission, tonight at the docks Rayne had staged a meet up between almost a dozen 'corrupt' Police Officers who were expecting to apprehend small time drug dealers that failed to pay bribes.
In an under ground parking lot not too far away from the docks she waited whilst prepparing her small arsenal of modern weaponry and Umbrella Corporation designed bio weapons, tonight she was taking justice to her own hands she would in her eyes be helping Hawkshade make the world a better place.
Dog stood atop am 8-story office building in the business district, scanning the night sky. It would have made for a rare peaceful scene in the murderous mutant's life, were it not for the bound and gagged child, no more that 8 years old, that lay just to the side, fearful eyes fixed on the monstrous massacre machine that stood only a few steps away.
"Relax, kid," Dog growled, glancing down at the captive. "Ya got nothin' to worry 'bout, long as yer pa comes through with the intel I'm lookin' fer. 'Course, informants ain't known fer their fortitude, so maybe ya should be a little worried, after all." With a sadistic smile, he returned his gaze to the Gothic skyline, waiting.
Unfortunately for Dog, the father of that child has enough money to hire a Mercenary. Mostly because he doesn't trust the Cops or the Feds to do their jobs right. So, Sarah gets the call, offered a price to return his daughter to him alive and kick some bad guy tail. Sarah is still a relative unknown in the Mercenary world, so work has been a bit slow. But her name is getting out there, bit by bit. And the more it does, the more work she gets.
Sarah is dressed as Thunderfist for this night of work. And she has read up on the situation. She even has the intel Dog is after just in case she needs it. Like a silent predator, she sneaks her way onto the roof that Dog and the captive occupy. Making absolutely no sound, she steps into the light because she knows she cannot remain hidden for long. She may not know Dog, but even from a glance she knows he's a mutant. Besides, she did a little research and knows what he's capable of. Well, at least what has been released to the public. So, even if Dog cannot hear her, he might be able to smell her even if she's upwind from him.
Speaking in a steady voice, Thunderfist speaks to Dog, "I'm going to say this politely. Please let the girl go and I'll give you the intel you want." So far, she doesn't draw her weapons yet, so both her hands are free. She tries negotiating first to see if Dog can be reasonable.
Dog slowly turned as Sarah spoke, his eyes sweeping over her appearance, stance, and weaponry with a practiced gaze, his nigh-onmipresent, sadistic smirk cracking his feral features. He noted the colorful garb, the blades...and the covered eye. Not someone he was familiar with, but there were lots of new faces turning up in his life, these days. Suited him just fine; kept things fresh and interesting.
"Think yer lost, pirate lady," he chuckled, pointing a clawed thumb over his shoulder, "harbor's 'bout ten blocks that way." He folded his arms across his massive chest, but didn't otherwise move, towards Sarah or the child. He'd foregone street clothes, tonight, and was clad only in his vibranium-weave bodysuit and gauntlets. Combat boots and his brace of vibranium knives completed his ensemble.
"So daddy dearest had the cash to pony up fer some muscle, eh?" he continued, "Smart guy, seein' as I wasn't plannin' on lettin' him walk away from this one. Smart guy like that'd be just as likely to give you fake intel, figurin' his little angel'd be runnin' away while I gutted ya fer bringin' it to me, so she's stayin' right where she's at 'till ya spill. Say something I like, and she's all yers."
Jack heard the attitude in the strangers voice, taunting him with the whole, "Look I don't need you judging me” shtick. It was clear he had no remorse for taking a life. Immediately Jack’s parental nature took over as his ridged face took on a calmer more trusting look. But just as he looked down upon what he saw as a troubled youth, one of the gang members interrupted the moment with some brash words and a lit Molotov Cocktail. Before he knew it the stranger was gone, just as the hoodlum threw the bottle in the air. With no time to waste, Jack quickly raised his hands palm up, and with the use of his ink glands under his wrists, released a small blast at the incoming bottle. Upon contact, the ink engulfed the flame in a thick solid ball of black, extinguishing the flame in seconds. After hardening, it simply fell to the ground like a rock without any cracking or worse, a ball of fire. By now the gang member had vanished almost as fast as the stranger, leaving Jack to wonder, “Where the heck did he go?”
Concerned for the strangers health, as well as a dire need to know he was not a threat, Jack decided it would be best to follow him. Taking the high road, he called forth to his two lower mechanical arms, and as they planted their claws firmly on the ground beneath him, he raised himself upwards by continually extending them out, until he reached the roof top of the nearest adjacent building. Hoping the stranger left in the same direction he came from, Jack quickly retracted the two arms and ran off into the night in that direction, by use of his two fleshy, but muscular, human legs. After a brief minute or two he ran across a shadowy figure, moving through the shadow, and based on the mans size, shape and mannerisms, Jack felt confident enough to assume he was the stranger. With that in mind, he ran a block ahead, just far enough so that after leaping off the roof he could stand there as a menacing presence in front of the stranger, just as he turned the next corner. Then at that moment he would stand there with his mechanical arms recoiled, in his trade mark trench coat and thick dark lens glasses, ready to say, “We need to talk!”
Richard ripped the mic out of his jacket and threw it in her face. It picked up his last words. "Stick it up your ass bitch."
Returning to her father's old office in the Gothic Halfway House, Elsa had put on the local news in the background as a distraction while she went about the mundane administrative tasks that were required to keep an organization the scope of the Alaric Foundation solvent. Daily paperwork, however, were quickly forgotten as she found herself drawn in by the volatile individual being interviewed. Putting her DVR to good use, she replayed the brief but memorable exchange several times.
She steepled her fingers as she leaned forward on her desk, her glacial gaze resting for a long time on a freeze-frame of Richard's enraged face. Hmm...yes. This one is going to be worth watching. A bit of a liability, perhaps, but his potential usefulness should outweigh that, easily...
MRF Supervisor Garrett ran a hand over his face as he took in the scene of carnage that surrounded the Quick Response Team. What had very recently been a group of mutant kidnappers who had holed up in the shell of an old grocery store were now mangled bits of bloody meat, body parts scattered around the inside of the building like a bomb had gone off.
"That's...really not fair, sir..." the squad leader stammered, his unease seeming to stem more from the obvious disapproval of his superior than the fact that they were standing in the middle of an improvised abattoir. "We followed situational protocol exactly-"
"You had a group of mutant criminals that we've been trying to pin down for months cornered and surrounded, and you somehow let them all get massacred under your noses," Garrett cut his junior officer off. "I'd say that's about as textbook a screwup as you can find. Now, what happened?"
"Well, we managed to get into position around the building with no issues," the officer answered, loosening his collar, "but they got wind of us and opened fire, so we took cover and called in a heavy insertion team, SOP. After about three minutes of the standoff, we suddenly realized that they weren't screaming and shooting at us anymore; some kinda fight had broken out inside the building. We couldn't get a clear line of sight, so we made a cautious advance...and by the time we got inside, this was all that was left."
Great. Probably another vigilante. They really needed to start rounding those up."Alright, alright...get a cleanup team down here, ASAP. Call it in on a secure channel, we don't need the media getting wind of this. And I expect your full report in my inbox before end-of-business, today. Now move."
@gripper: He got off the wall and was ready to walk again. Everdeen was heading home and calling it a night until suddenly... "What's... what's that sound? It-it's like something I've heard before moving at that speed. Could it be the guy that was talking to me in the alley? Man, this dude just won't leave me alone! Not only do I find him being lame as hell, but he also comes off as a groupie, and I hate groupies."
Everdeen slowly turned the corner, looking disgusted as ever hearing the words "We need to talk!" come from the stranger's mouth. His first thought was to ignore him again, but what did that lead to besides another encounter? If he wanted to lose this guy there were two options: kill 'im or actually talk, and he was leaning towards the second choice. "Okay, so what? Whaddya wanna talk about, man? Are you amazed by my abilities? Here to judge me? Want an autograph like the goddamn groupie you are? Don't waste my time."
The kid was brash, arrogant, even cocky to the point he reminded Jack of himself back in his younger days. He couldn’t decide whether to buy the kid a drink or bend him over his knee. But the fact was he could relate to him on a level few would understand. But by taking a stance the stranger could respect, and might listen to, he simply replied, “Don’t flatter yourself Sport. You’re not that special.” The truth however was different. He was indeed interested in the kids wellbeing, more to the point he didn’t want to watch him make the same mistakes he did. Unfortunately everything about the stranger screamed rebellion, against everyone and everything, making it a long and strenuous road to turn him around. But like in any journey, it must begin with a single step, and in this case it was up to Jack to make it.
Taking a stern but non threatening stance, he looks down upon the stranger and says, “You remember that gang we just met?” Hoping to gain the strangers interest, he decide to play on his ego as he continues, “You know the one you........ran away from?” From this point on his voice and mannerism become sincere, as he puts all his cards on the table. “Well I need your help stopping them!” Slowly he turns his back to the stranger as he recalls the details, “Just before you left, one of them swore he would be coming back with more. Well I don’t know about you, but I don’t like the idea of a gang like that running aroundinour city.” Returning to face the stranger he shows just a hint of a smile and says “and from what I’ve seen, you know how to handle yourself in a fight.”Finally he extends his right hand out in respect for a hand shake, and in response with a bit of a cocky attitude himself he asks “Are you in?!?”
𝔉𝔦𝔯𝔢 𝔰𝔠𝔬𝔯𝔠𝔥𝔢𝔡 𝔱𝔲𝔫𝔫𝔢𝔩𝔰 𝔟𝔢𝔫𝔢𝔞𝔱𝔥 𝔱𝔥𝔢 𝔠𝔦𝔱𝔶
|Rogetti Crime Family|
"So what are you sayin Mr. Bashir? You!? Can fix this?"
"No. You're not listen to me. I'm tellin you dhere is no fix. Its already done. Its happened. Grimm is cut off. Commerce, it is cut off. Every illegal operation going in and comin out of dat now shackled metropolis, tis over. Guns, narcotics, tech, slaves, its all cut off. Dee money...your, money...cut off." Musa arrogantly proclaimed.
"What I can offer is information. For example, who has dee immediate resources to fill dee power vacuum? Is dhere any one organization dat could sustain dee supplemental weight of an entire city's blackmarket crash? Or will dhere be a war over individual vices? What if you had a digital cheat sheet which allowed you to anticipate dee competition's moves with cyber based clairvoyance? Cause dat is what I can offer. For a price." Leaning forward in his sleek all black Panther habit. "And a piece of dee construction racket in Gothic City."
His physically dominating though stoically natural disposition had captivated their attention, but it was his enticing solicitation of technological espionage which had arrested their genuine focus. "I'll await your decision."
"Supervisor Garrett is here to see you, ma'am."
The digitally filtered voice on her desk intercom brought Elsa out of her deep contemplation of several spreadsheets, a welcome distraction that she would need to be mindful of not expressing. It was important to keep one's business face on when discussing business, especially with a subordinate. "Send him in."
Her office door swung open momentarily to admit the MRF supervisor, his athletic frame still wrapped in his tactical armor. Despite the fact that his responsibilities generally kept him away from most firefights, he was never seen without it when he was working, and all reports indicated that he kept up with his combat training to an almost religious extent. An admirable quality. "The cleanup team has wrapped up their operation on the afternoon's debacle," he reported, as he crossed to Elsa's desk and placed a sealed plastic case on it. "Here are the samples that were recovered from the targets, but as they were all confirmed to be very deceased on-scene, I don't think they're going to be a useful addition to the database."
"Well then," Elsa replied, her smooth but dispassionate voice resembling steel that had been coated in fine silk, "it's fortunate that I don't keep you on the payroll for your ability to think. Acceptable work, supervisor. You are dismissed." If Garrett at all resented his employer's manner, he made no show of it, as he nodded respectfully and strode purposefully from the office.
As the door clicked shut behind him, Else again activated her desk intercom, as her usually cold gaze rested almost lovingly on the container that now sat on her desk. "Prep shipping for a priority package," she ordered. "I have material that needs to get to the castle. Let the lab know what's coming; the relevant details should be in the team's report."
Sirens screamed past the local CVS, Churches Chicken, and Shell station as numerous squad cars aggressively pursued one of their own. The grand theft auto having taken place only moments earlier, as a wild bunch of forward tech attired teenagers had brazenly car jacked the vehicle from the parking lot of a nearby coffee shop.
Each one artistically expressed through their choices of goggles, partial face bandannas, urban beanies, understated yet fashionable t's, cargo pants and or shorts, and vintage Adidas. Little did the law enforcement officials of Gothic know, but the arrogantly anointed King of Kings had unleashed the Den of Thieves on the unsuspecting city.
Unlike most of Gothic's criminal reprobates however, the DOT's had no overt superhuman abilities. Just a natural athletic gift for free-running and an unapologetic hatred for Americans. Without fear and blitzed off every manner of narcotic the corrupt city had to offer they weaved through traffic. Some partial hung out the car, cat calling to the shocked pedestrians on either walk of the street music thumping Kwazulu Kush rolling out the windows.
Clearly armed, it was only ever going to end one way. Right?
|Metro North Post (GC Precinct)|
|7:56 pm est|
An electronic concert of digital sounding audio signified the Coda's commencement of the precinct's breach.
"I'm in LETS MOVE!"
As they entered the man size man made hole in the back of building, the Coda 4 were swiftly greeted by some of Gothic's more courageous officers. But in a hail of technological repulsors and bullets, the city would be reminded why there is no such thing as normal heroes in Gothic. Unceremoniously stepping over dead officer after dead officer, the relentless Coda preceded to hack the central database. "Kill anybody who pulls up. I need 2 minutes for a clean sweep. If Musa wants the 'evidence' erased its gonna take time."
From a rooftop edge, Grimmwald heard the sirens howling back and forth. He stood still like a statue made of stone, but his red eyes followed the police cars as they sped through the streets. Finally, he moved, rolling his neck and shoulders - and diving from the rooftop like a bird of prey. With tissue stronger yet more elastic, few were quicker and more agile than the Horned Saint. He leaped from building to building, and used swinging cables to glide through the air. THUD! The car roof almost gave way to his harsh landing, but it held. The Den of Thieves was wild and dangerous, blasting music as they racked up charges of grand theft auto and reckless endangerment. Heads stuck out the car window as police cars gave chase, Grimmwald imagined their adrenaline rush.
He imagined, got low on the car roof, and he swung an arm to slap a hand on the face poking out the left window. Then something'd happen, his glove'd form molecular bonds with the joyrider's face - in other words, his hand'd glue itself to the joyrider's face. And Grimmwald'd nudge his arm back, and tug on the skin till it felt like he'd peel the man's face off his skull. "It hurts. I know", he rasped, "But I also know you're all dressed similarly like a gang. And you've stolen a police car in the most reckless way possible. With all this attention drawn to you", he paused, voice grazing their ears like a sharp blade. "With cops and vigilantes breathing down your necks. You're either stupid... or someone paid you to draw all this attention to yourselves so someone somewhere else can do something without having to worry about law enforcement".
The car'd swerve, accelerate, stop - it wouldn't matter. Grimmwald was stuck to that roof, his boots and other glove bound to it's atoms. "Which is it? And if it's the latter, who hired you and what're they doing? Don't lose your face over a lie", he warned, "Because if you lie, it won't matter where you go. I'll come back and take your face".
ℝ𝕖𝕔𝕠𝕣𝕕𝕚𝕟𝕘 𝕚𝕟 𝕡𝕣𝕠𝕘𝕣𝕖𝕤𝕤 00:03:98
"MHPHMHPMH" the driver struggled to speak beneath the smothering adhesive grip.
"HAHAHHA HOLY SH1T HIS HAND IS EATIN BINKY BILLZ FACE HAHAHA" the passenger hysterically laughed with disturbing lunacy. While the packed entourage in the backseat buckled up, comedically eye'd eachother, then chucked in chorus to the aforementioned passenger..."DO IT!"
In a deafening flash the driver's cap was peeled, head blown off immediately causing the car to violently lurch and veer off into the lite metal and glass canopy of a nearby public transit stop. End over end the car aerially spun crashing into a nearby department store. Quickly the remaining joyriders athletically exited the car and deeper into the store where they could fully utilize the corners and situational awkwardness of the building.
Meanhwile outside, the crash site was quickly surrounded. Spotters for the nefarious Bashir would arrive shortly there after as well.
On dirt bikes. In candy coated Lincolns. In neighborhood windows. Effortlessly bleeding into the crowd of curious onlookers and local shop owners. All of whom had made their way(s) outside to personally investigate making it a containment nightmare for the arriving metro units. And further escalating the intensity of the King of King's staged diversion.
The gunshot came like a thunderclap. BLAM! Blood and grey matter smeared the dashboard and windshield, but Grimmwald kept cool. As though it was ice water and not blood running in his veins. Crazier than I thought, his mind sighed, yanking his arm back and peeling the dead man's face from his skull. I'll use this, he decided. Suddenly, the car spun, and it was as it rotated in midair that the Many Faced Man slipped in through the window - then out. The car had crashed, and like the Den of Thieves, Grimmwald ran out it's doors, in the skin and clothes of a dead man. He wore his face, hair and eyes just as he did his clothes, and he borrowed his voice just as they had the police car.
So he ran. Into the store, and hot on their heels. A hand fell back to his waist, and his fingers curled round a flashbang. He chucked it far at those who fled from him, and the flash was blinding. BANG! The ringing was deafening and loud, and it tortured the ears like two drills entering the ears and meeting in the middle. They'd be blind, they'd be deaf, and their sense of balance gone. For five seconds. Five seconds was all he needed to cripple them and break bones. Paralyze them from the neck down like a servant of merciful cruelty. He'd stand there, their colleague's pale face and bloodied clothes tossed across the floor, and his horned shadow looming over them all. "Some of you can't stand, others can't even move", he'd say in the face of success - and nothing in the face of failure.
"But none of you'll talk. So I'll teach you. About the pain principle".
Torture. There was no other way.
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