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Old 10-25-2011, 06:36 PM   #1
Thekylekurtz
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Shut up Kyle, you could have spent this space writing.


Painkillers


Chapter One: It's Called Pity


Sirens screamed through the night air, echoes bouncing through Metroze City a sound he would have once found very unpleasant. He silently glided along streets slick with a rare rain, dark coat flapping in a burst of wind that broke through the myriad collection of buildings that decayed all around. The gale was so strong he felt it steal his hat, and had to check for the grip of his Winchester Burst, relieved to find his weapon still slung at his side.

Dead Eyes then came to a halt, all too aware that a group of men had begun to follow. Undaunted by his notice they approached, smug pursuers sauntering into a circle that offered him no escape. He stood absolutely still, not even giving the man pointing a pistol his way any attention when he asked, “Your card, please.”

Dead Eyes kept staring into oblivion, thin chin set in place as he seemed entirely oblivious to his company. His pitch black hair twisted an a fresh breeze, voice at ease when he answered, “I'm afraid I can't part with it right now.”

The man with the gun glared, eyes aflame as he fired a warning shot and leveled his cannon again only to find his target still utterly disinterested, a placid point in the universe. Pistol brandished even closer he screamed at the target, spittle slipping off his lips, “Oh yeah, why not smart guy?”

Dead Eyes took a deep breath, men abound all reaching for their weapons relaxing when he sighed out, “The solid state drive encoded on my ID contains some very important documents, that could make whoever hired you thugs a lot of money. But you must have had some idea. Wait, was that rhetorical?”

The thug fired, slug catching Dead Eyes at the end of his question and throwing his body to the cold pavement. Perplexed, the leader looked from his target lying still, to his own weapon. Voice still quivering he boasted, “Guess you weren't so smart.” He bent down over his prey, hand reaching inside the black material of his coat.

Dead Eyes abruptly sat up, gloved hand already clutching the leader's contorted face by the time any of the men had drawn their weapons. The first to fire swore, rounds tearing into his boss' back while Dead Eye's cool stare met his own from behind the screaming figure in his grasp.

He moved with the same serene quality he'd stoically had before, kicking one in the kneecap before catching his jaw with a right hook that sent him sprawling, swallowing teeth between gulps of blood. The next to raise his weapon found Dead Eyes already holding the Winchester Burst his way, cold black steel sights in an unwavering hand locked between his eyes.

Dead Eyes fired, man stumbling back without ever realize he hadn't had time to take his shot. He then indifferently watched the rest flee into the night, waiting until they were all gone to kneel by their leader's side. The man struggled through his last breaths, gasping wet air as Dead Eyes said, “I'm sorry you all had to die, but I can't give this up, or I wouldn't have been able to get my medicine.”

The man's sight came to rest on Dead Eyes, voice pleading for a purpose as he struggled out, “What... for?”

Pistol held out towards someone who had been his enemy only moments ago Dead Eyes felt something, an odd pulling he couldn't place at the sight of the man bleeding his lungs out onto the city. He hesitated, slack features still offering nothing as he replied, “Pain.”

A gunshot in the night air signified the end of the dying leader's suffering.
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Old 10-28-2011, 06:02 PM   #2
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Chapter Two: Spitfire would work, too.


The ball was a privileged scene, one only accessible to those who spent exorbitant amounts of time trying to pick names for their yacht as well as servants and guests. This crowd didn't appreciate the sight of their visitor, strut trailing a muddy path into the center of the socialites' party.

His appearance, at a glance, was one of pedigree. Sharp green eyes that cut through anything that got in their way swept the crowd all staring at him, some already reaching in their coats. A smile spread across his square jaw, ending on the left side in blackened, burned flesh that marked his lower jaw. The burns slid down his neck and continued on at least as far as his left hand, which he held high as he declared, “I'm sorry to interrupt so rudely, but I have business to conduct.”

No one at the ball said a word, and to his pleasure Charr noticed the music had already ground to a halt. With every pair of eyes his way he announced, “I'm here to kill a man named Harry Eisner, and whoever doesn't get on the ground.” A man drew his custom built pistol from a holster designed to not winkle his suit, eyes wide when Charr lashed his burned palm the man's way that spit flames oblivious to his attempts to roll on the ground and put them out.

Slowly the pampered crowd all found their way to the floor, one last figure standing glaring at the newcomer. Charr took in the sight of his target, pleased with what he saw as he nodded and said, “You know, most men in your position would have hid, or run. I have to say, I like that.”

A cough tore free from his withered form, green eyes surveying the scene for any changes as he struggled against the ragged hacking. Finally he spit what had collected out, blood on the carpet smoking into black tendrils twisting in the air. Attention drawn fully to his target again Charr took a few deep, unsure breaths before replying with ease, “It's just too bad I don't know how to make this quick. But for a good enough man like you, I'll try.”

Charr extended his hand towards the target, flames emerging from his own ruined flesh dancing through the air until they swallowed Harry Eisner whole. Carr also snapped his fingers, light fire only causing first degree burns on the fool who'd threatened him earlier dying. He calmly watched until Eisner struggled no further, flames flowing back his way embedding themselves in his arm with the sound of flesh freshly scorched.

He turned around, aware that all eyes were on him. He licked his lips, drawing a glass of champagne from a table as he passed and finishing it briskly. Sirens wailed in the distance, but he paid them no heed as he left, voice echoing from the hall, “Carry on.”

In the hall, he found the compartment on his belt had opened, and he quickly drew the pill that emerged with shaking fingers, swallowing the bitter device dry. Another bloody cough tore through him as he stepped out into the dark, wet streets.
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Old 10-28-2011, 07:21 PM   #3
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Painkillers

Chapter Three: At least they don't call you Blade Runners.



“Another cartel illegally transporting a shipment of WM-75 was intercepted by the Metroze City Police Department today, and after a deadly shootout the remaining suspects were taken into custody. The Department gave no official report, but so far suspects the shipment may have been intended to continue illegal Painkiller Operations that have plagued the city since the drug was discovered five years ago-”

The perky reporter in the television vanished, Doctor Martin setting the remote aside before documenting the results displayed on her screen before whisking the monitor from existence with a wave of her hand.. She cast a cool glance over at Dead Eyes when he wondered, “Is that was they call us? Painkillers?”

Dr. Martin sighed, chin resting in the palm of her hand as she muttered back through pursed lips, “It's wordplay at best, but yes. The world has caught wind of our cell's presence, as well as the numerous others. It doesn't help that Charr doesn't know a damn thing about tact when assassinating a target. That's all the public thinks you guys do, you know.”

Dead Eyes sat back in his chair, gray stare seemingly piercing the atmosphere. His voice was quiet, almost a whisper as he said, “The things people don't know.” Without another word he was on his feet, pill drawn from his belt ingested with the glass of water she'd left out.

He didn't look her way on the way out, pausing only when a mechanical voice reverberated through the office, “You have a new mission. The objective and perimeters are waiting for you in your quarters.” Dead Eyes waited a moment more, only exiting when he was sure The Supplier had nothing else to add. On his way though the door he passed Charr, burned smile on his face as he waved.

The doctor waited until Charr had taken his seat, vital signs already displayed on her screen all red. He glanced her way, voice carrying a taste of bitter humor as he wondered, “Would you be mad if I said no to a colonoscopy this year? Just doesn't seem worthwhile.”

Dr. Martin waved away the screen, features now set in a curt frown as she looked away from the wounded creature in the room. Finally she asked, already fully knowing the answer, “Have you started the prescribed regimen of chemotherapy and radiation yet?”

Charr laughed, sound breaking into a whooping cough that grew strained until he got up, splitting out the window. He sat again on the couch, hands on his knees. He took a few breaths to steady himself before answering, “Doctor, look at me, not my diagnosis. For once. Do you really think it'll do any good? I only come because if I don't the big man will nix my supply.”

She only nodded, returning to her work and waving for him to leave. On his feet Charr paused, wondering with a smile,

“Besides, would it really do the world any good if I stuck around?”
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Old 10-29-2011, 08:32 AM   #4
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Painkillers

Chapter Four: This is a Kansas City Shuffle



Dead Eyes opened the door to his quarters, hand immediately finding the warm bottle of Vodka he'd failed to finish the night before. He fell into his chair, stomaching what was left in the container. He felt no harsh sting, only the sensation of liquid sliding down his system chased by a pleasant warm flush. A pull like that would have been enough to make him sick, back when he was-

The folder on the desk drew his attention, binding flipping aside to reveal his next mission: An assassination. This was really more of Charr's territory, though after showing his easily memorable features to nearly anyone worth a fortune in the city it came as no surprise. He didn't like contract killing; he could only tell because when the task was done he felt nothing.

Almost always, he felt that hollow ring where emotions should echo. That feeling was preferable to the alternative, it was one he could live with. So he would do what he had to. Even though the target had no idea, the man Dead Eyes began to research was doomed.


---


Brandon Black was in one word, regular.

He woke up at the same time every morning, even on his days off. He always had the same thing for breakfast, eggs and toast with jelly on the side with a glass of orange juice. He drove his daughter to school every morning, or enjoy the quiet house with his dog at his side until everyone woke.

He was a security guard at a pharmaceutical company, a job he'd never touched his pistol for. He enjoyed the physical training, even though most of his peers didn't. Brandon often threw sparring matches with his co-workers, preferring a few insults over hurt feelings. They liked him, enough to call him 'BB' and invite him to the bars, though he often declined.

Brandon instead looked forward to getting home every night, first whiff of what was waiting for dinner always a surprise and the loving arms of his wife not far. He had everything he could ever want, and nothing more. He paid his taxes, and never missed a bill once. He tried to talk his daughter into getting a job and learning the value of a dollar, but felt in his heart she'd be okay.

It was already too late for Brandon Black.
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Old 10-29-2011, 08:32 AM   #5
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Painkillers


Chapter Five: You looked left, didn't you?



Dead Eyes came to a halt, autumn air drawing waves of leaves past that caught in his coat. His fingers brushed the grip of his sidearm, and he took inventory of every possible escape possible from the house. For some reason, he hesitated just before the door.

That was unusual.

---

Brandon Black knew something was wrong the moment he saw the door open.

It had been a day like any other. His alarm went off at seven, he had yawned and stretched, returning to the land of the living. Scrambled eggs and toast, the jelly had run out so he ate it dry. He'd kissed Julie goodbye, and dropped Rebeccah off at school.

At work, his boss accosted him for never taking any sick days. Said it made everyone else look bad. Even if he never fell ill, he could at least sham every once in a while. Brandon laughed and waved it off, promising he'd pretend to be sick tomorrow. He sat through the day like any other, making rounds and documenting the regular results.

The managers were acting paranoid, claiming a new product could cause more junkies to try and break in and steal their fix. He'd seen a few such lost souls, and never had any trouble scaring them off. It was better than making a scene, most would scurry away after a shout or two. He'd found nothing remarkable, and at five was on the way home when he saw his front door ajar.

The autumn air was still as he freed himself from his car, dread spreading down his spine at the sight of the splintered handle. He stumbled into the kitchen, confronted with the sight of a man perched over his struggling wife. Only feet away Rebeccah lay staring his way with dead eyes. He moved without thinking towards the attacker, coming to a halt when he heard a voice behind him say, “Hey, big guy.”

Brandon Black turned in time to see the darkness inside the barrel of a revolver, and his world go dark.

His world pieced back together a week later in intensive care. He tore the tubes and monitors free, glaring at apprehensive medical personnel trying to calm down the man who'd been missing an eye only seven days ago.

He fell into the street that night, struggling to find any way to eliminate the memory of what he'd seen. To escape in any way. Everything made it worse, until Dead Eyes found WM-75.

---

Dead Eyes stepped out of the house, taking a deep breath. He couldn't place why, but he was having trouble keeping his balance. He took one last look at the placid house holding the body of Dan Spraugh, the man he'd quietly executed. The feeling gone, he drew a fresh dose from his belt and was on his way.
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Old 11-11-2011, 06:06 PM   #6
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Chapter Six: The NDF are(n’t?) the real enemy

Addled with a dizzying amount of alcohol infiltrating his system Dead Eyes shambled his way though the complex on a confused route towards the board room. Flask falling aside as he struggled to cope with his tilting world he shrugged, device no longer of any consequence. He quickly realized he was on his hands and knees now, shifting sight rising to focus on Charr grinning down his way and chuckling, “It’s not even five.”

Dead Eyes rolled to his back, hands lazily thrown in the air. Char pulled the slack form from the floor, surprised to find his companion clinging to his side. Dead Eyes shuffled along with his human crutch moments later, voice carrying a steady giggle as he wondered, “Think they’ll be mad?”

Charr hummed a detached response, dropping the intoxicated body in one of the chairs lining the board room. His eyes went wide, deep breath rattling through him before he doubled over, hacking until burning blood spattered the carpet. He smothered the embers under his shoe, casting a angry glare over at Dead Eyes and declaring, “I’m not a fucking sideshow.”

Without missing a beat Dead Eyes responded with surprising clarity, “I’m not looking at you.”

A voice resonated through the chamber, metallic tones matching the syllables of English as the supplier let them know, “You’re both to take on a mission to protect one William Grimm, the successor to a prestigious family deeply rooted in medicine all over the world. I hope the two of you can grasp the importance of ensuring this young man lives. He has a very flexible moral compass.”

Dead Eyes sat up suddenly, voice playful as he interjected, “So you’re saying if we keep the little prince safe he’ll give us drugs.”

A heavy silence fell across the room, before the indistinguishable voice continued undaunted, “You may face heavy opposition on this mission. Other suppliers backed by different families may see this new face emerging on the black market as a threat. The NDF also have taken notice and see him as a target that can be neutralized early, before becoming a powerful player out of their reach.”

Charr sat back without a word, frown settled across his features. When he was sure the supplier had nothing more to offer he went to scoop Dead Eyes from his seat, accosting on the way, “Come on. We need to catch a plane. You’ll have plenty of time to sober up on the ride.”

Dead Eyes smiled, swaying nearly free from his associate’s grasp. He burped loudly, and boasted, “Not if they serve alcohol! I drive and fight and fuck and… drive… best drunk. Let’s go!”

With a smile Charr carried Dead Eyes towards the garage, musing along the way, “So I’ll be babysitting two. At least you’re a little more fun this way.”
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Old 11-18-2011, 03:43 PM   #7
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Painkillers


Chapter Seven: The Batman Syndrome



He was such a good boy.

From the day he was born, everyone gravitated toward the little bundle of joy and his sunshine smile. Even if he hadn't been born with the pedigree of two important families, his surefire attitude and charm would have taken him as far as he wanted to go.

His parents remembered his first word fondly, after telling him how they felt he emphatically responded, “love.” The young couple were poised to rule the world of business, and usher in a new era of family owned business that Americans could appreciate.

And then they died.

On a trip home from an important meeting somewhere halfway across the globe, their jet mysteriously caught fire and plunged into the pacific ocean. No survivors were ever found, despite months of searching. The two never made it home to console their crying baby, none the wiser of what he'd lost.

He found himself raised by a woman not warmed by his smiles, oblivious to any positive features present in her grandson. This child was a painful reminder of the empire she'd lost into the ocean currently being requisitioned by shareholders. His first steps were taken with a nanny urging him forward. And when he was old enough, she was gone as well.

The grandmother, for lack of better word, hated her grandson. Every chance she could she tore him down, ignoring his polite attempts to win her affection. He was to clean and dust the house every day, at the risk of physical punishment. Sometimes, the punishment came without clear reason.

He often curled in bed at night with welts strewn across his back wishing he'd been on that plane as well. Somewhere in his heart, a hate began to brew for that frail old form that glared at him with such contempt. For a world that coldly rebuked his loneliness, seeing only the worthless wealth he had.

He was still a good boy.

----

The two stepped off the plane, Dead Eyes finally regaining enough bearing to stand on his own. He followed behind Charr, finding the burned individual leering at the rich kid the two were tasked to protect. With a light smile he asked, “What's your problem?”

Emerald eyes still sizing the thin young man with two regular bodyguards in tow Charr scowled. His voice was terse, curtly replying, “I cant stand socialites.”
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Old 11-22-2011, 06:41 PM   #8
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Painkillers

Chapter Eight: Nature Vs Nurture


He wouldn't always be a good boy.

One night spent in tear soaked sheets he awakened to a sound unlike any he'd heard before chased by a smell that caught in his lungs and elicited a ragged cough. He stumbled from bed to find his door bolted shut, and the crackling of a fresh fire growing outside the mahogany.

He fell back against the bed, young eyes growing grim at the sight of fire devouring his room. Still choking on the smoke infiltrating the air he grimaced, rising once more to his feet and glaring at the smoldering obstacle. He ran, throwing himself through the weakened wood and finding himself lying on his right side against shag carpeting soaked in kerosene.

The fire sunk into his pores, pain unlike anything he could fathom coursing through his veins. He rolled free from the flames, struggling against the darkness ebbing at the corners of his sight. He hacked in the smoke, tunnel vision locking onto a frail form framed in the window down the hall watching her family mansion burn.

The grandmother watched for what seemed like an eternity, knowing already that the ensuing legal battle would rob her family of what little clout that remained. But to see that little despot, the cretin wearing her lost son's smile vanish from this world would be enough. To make bail would be a trivial matter, and after that she would probably take a few too many percocet.

Her eyes widened when she realized the orange glow once illuminating the young bastard's window was gone. Fingers shaking she felt for the lighter than had started the fire, willing to do what it took to end it. She froze at the sight of a lithe figure in the doorway.

Emerald eyes aglow he glared at her with a sneer that ended only in the most horrid burn she'd ever seen. Features twisted in rage he ignored her plea for mercy and struck, flames still lapping at his left arm surging through the night air to envelop his beloved grandmother. He watched her burn, and scream, and cry.

He watched her die.

A week later, the boy woke in a hospital bed screaming. Between bouts of ragged coughing he wailed in pain, begging the nurses holding him down to make it go away. Morphine only offered him a release from the waking world, once he'd been given enough.

A day before the skin graft was set to take place the young Charles Winter vanished. In the streets, he found what he was looking for, the one thing that would make the world of hurt he endured every moment tolerable.

And he wasn't a good boy, anymore.

- - - -

William Grimm eyed the two men his father promised would keep him safe with a touch of worry. One seemed doped out of his mind, the other wouldn't look his way without scowling. But if he'd learned anything from his father, it was that men like these needed WM-75.

And he could use that.
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Old 11-23-2011, 06:30 PM   #9
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Painkillers

Chapter Nine: An Adverse Reaction Between Painkillers


William Grimm lead his entourage with a false sense of confidence through the complex, preparing himself for the criminal he was about to confront. The king of his empire, Edward Kayne stood shouting orders at his men struggling to bustle crates and packages left and right into trucks. The statue of a man turned to the three approaching, nodding for them to follow as he ordered, “Talk. I don't have long kid.”

William cleared his throat, trying to conceal the fact that he was struggling to keep pace with the hulking form beside him as he said, “We've recently begun to transport very sensitive material with your... company. The last shipment was found lacking upon arrival.”

Edward Kayne stopped, chiseled features drawn as he demanded, “Are you implying my men would even snoop through a shipment, much less steal from it? Because kid, that's a very serious allegation.”

Frown set on his thin face William took a step back, taking a deep breath. He cast another glance at his bodyguards who were idly watching the confrontation. He locked eyes with the man standing over him and replied, “I am, actually. All I can threaten is to find someone else to handle our business in the future. But if you don't take this, or me seriously I gladly will.”

Kayne's glare softened, smile spreading across his face as she slapped William on the back and demanded, “Was that so hard? Of course I'll look into it. I have a record of the guys who handled that shipment, and will personally find out which one had the nuts to shit where they eat. Anything else?” The two stopped outside the doorway of the building, William shielding his eyes against the sun shining down on them. In the distance, a raven cawed loudly.

He swore when Dead Eyes shoved him to the pavement, sight adjusting to take in the image of his guard standing tall with a frozen spear piercing his chest. Dead Eyes calmly looked to Charr, whose crisp touch melted the construct. He glanced at Edward Kayne and pulled William off the ground by his collar.

Inside he inspected the hole in his jacket, their young employer demanding, “What the fuck was that? Is someone after me?” He fell silent when Dead Eyes held a bloodied finger up, blank stare cast down the hallway. When William opened his mouth to demand again what was happening he found himself pushed into the factory by Charr, the other guard's eyes warily searching for any danger.

Alone outside the doorway, Dead Eyes found the handle of his Winchester Burst Special and drew the weapon. Back against the wall he waited, feeling the hole in his chest beginning already to close. To his left, a raven cried again. He looked down the hall, figure in the opposite end of his peripheral vision striking as he turned back.

A blade passed through his face, horizontal red line where his eyes where erupting in blood. He pushed his weapon out and fired twice, knowing full well he wouldn't hit the target. Another cut occurred on his back and he turned to fire, sword burying itself in his knee causing him to fall to the floor.

He calmly got to his feet, blinking through the red tears streaming to make out the figure of a thin man wielding a sword standing before him in the hallway. Vision clearing Dead Eyes leveled his weapon, grimly acknowledging, “Poe.” He fired, round sliding through the approaching figure, segmented blade striking the gun from Dead Eyes' hand before driving deep into his chest.

Hand grasping his attacker's wrist, Dead Eyes only stared placidly when Poe asked, “Do you think you can heal faster than I could cut you?” Fist cracking the bones in Poe's cheek Dead Eyes watched him stumble back before regaining balance, running through his enemy to repossess the sword.

Dead Eyes turned around and two faced off calmly, oblivious to their injuries as they moved to strike.
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Old 11-23-2011, 06:36 PM   #10
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Old 11-24-2011, 08:24 PM   #11
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Painkillers


Chapter Ten: Intimacy Issues



Edward Kayne lead the two, voice irate as he vented, “Think about it. It's bad business to have anything to do with a client getting offed. No matter what they'd pay me it's pale compared to what pipsqueak here would in a lifetime. And if you think they've threatened me, fuckin' look at me.” He stopped, staring down at Charr.

The burned figure cast a wary glance between the gangster and William, frown growing despite giving in with, “I suppose. How can we get out of here without getting killed? We don't know how many there are.”

With a smile Edward nodded, throwing an arm out as he replied, “Every truck is going to leave at the same time, with us on just one. They won't know what to do. Now I'll lead, you watch our backs.” Charr nodded, cautiously following until noticing the others had slowed to a stop. He turned in time to see Edward leveling his pistol at a lithe figure blocking the way.

She stood at half his height with a coy smile splayed on her thin lips, hands resting on her tan hips. In a skirt and short shirt exposing her midriff, Charr instantly recognized the woman and began to warn Edward when he took a step forward and cockily asked, “Are you the entertainment? Because if not you better-”

Her brown eyes snapped his way when he moved, hand brushing the pistol in his hand . Edward swore, backing away and staring at the steel frozen in his hand. Charr took the weapon in hand, easily warming it enough to pull it free. He stood before their new foe, warning the others, “Take the kid to safety Kayne. Better get that looked at too. If anything happens to him...”

Still nursing his blistered hand Edward grinned and replied, “Don't worry about it. I'll get him home by dark.” Edward lead William away wide eyed and Charr turned his attention back to the would be assassin standing before him.

He took a deep breath, stifling a cough before wondering, “Probably should've warned him about you earlier. How've you been Cloud? You look good.”

She smiled back, fingers brushing through her waist length black hair. Voice carrying dulcet tones she replied cheerily, “I've been great. But you don't look very well, maybe you should step aside.”

Charr hummed, flames beginning to dance from his ruined skin as he wondered, “Find a man yet?” Her eyes grew narrow at the question, frozen spike forming in hand thrown his way dissolving as it hit a wall of flames he spawned. She emerged from the fire, outstretched hand reaching for his face sidestepped as he held a foot out that stole her balance.

On the floor she grunted in annoyance as he doused her with flames, clothes igniting as steam rose off of her skin. On her feet again she brushed embers from her top and free from her hair, voice carrying a touch of annoyance as she asked, “Do you really think you stand a chance? You couldn't hurt me if you tried.”

Charr shrugged, fire dissipating as he replied coolly, “Who said I was trying? I'm just waiting for our guests to show up.” Cloud frowned, attention drawn away by the commotion as he said, “And here they are.”

- - - -


Dead Eyes grunted, blood pooling around him on the floor as he stared dully at his enemy. Breath taken out of him, Poe watched the wounds vanishing from the other Painkiller, defeated smile growing across his pale features. He sighed, sword snapping back into it's hilt as he lamented, “Guess I can't kill you. It's about time I made sure the target has been eliminated though. Good luck keeping up with me.”

Without warning, he walked into the wall and was gone. Blank stare widening Dead Eyes began to run down the hall, twisting at the sight of his foe bursting into sight. The blade driven through his shoulder screamed as it sunk into the steel siding of the factory. Poe snapped the first few feet of his sword off, new edge emerging with a flick of his wrist.

At the sound of helicopters in the distance the two frowned and Poe waved as he vanished again into the structure. Hand bleeding as he pulled on the sword binding him Dead Eyes jerked when the door to the factory was blown off it's hinges. He pushed off the wall and ran bleeding from the NDF troops seething in from the entry point.
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Old 11-24-2011, 09:02 PM   #12
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Painkillers


Thanksgiving Special



“I don't get how people can eat stuffing. It's shoved up the turkey's ass or fuck hole and you're supposed to put it in your mouth? I don't care how good it tastes.” Charr swirled the glass of white wine in hand, pausing to take another drink.

Across the table sat Doctor Martin, staring back behind a pair of thin rimmed glasses. She adjusted the lenses and replied curtly, “Well. No one said you have to eat it. Please try to watch your language at the dinner table.”

Charr coughed for a moment, polishing off his glass of wine. He cleared his throat loudly, pouring a second glass to enjoy. He wondered casually, “So do you ever take a day off doc? Still in the lab coat and all.”

She glanced down at her apparel and frowned. She intertwined her fingers and rested her chin on them, shrugging and answering, “I don't have much in the way of family, and you two don't afford me any days off. You're the family I never wanted.”

Turkey and side items in tow Dead Eyes approached, quickly setting the table as he calmly stated, “That's sad.” He finished laying out every item before taking his own place with a fresh bottle of wine at his side.

Charr surveyed his comrade's handiwork with wide eyes. He passed by the stuffing and wasted no time carving the first slice of turkey free. He greedily began filling his plate as he wondered aloud, “Where did you learn to cook?”

Dead Eyes finished his first glass before responding quietly, “I'd rather not talk about it. Should we say grace?” A silence fell over the three, Doctor Marten fixing her glasses again as Charr swallowed his first mouthful of food.

The three all looked at each other, all agreeing at once, “No.”
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Old 11-25-2011, 05:22 AM   #13
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That's the end of part one. If anyone wants more let me know some things to sustain or improve in the future or I'll keep future entries on my tumblr.
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Old 11-25-2011, 05:45 AM   #14
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Not really big on this section of the boards, but seeing how much you update this story I'll give it a read!
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Old 11-25-2011, 07:38 AM   #15
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The Thanksgiving tangent was fun.
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Old 11-25-2011, 09:15 AM   #16
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Thanks Frent. Once I got the idea I had to go through with it. And you too Mega, I'll work on this more tonight and whatnot.

Sorry if that sounded cranky as well, but I'm hoping to rework this when I'm done and send it off to get rejected by some publishers. So I'm a bit eager to improve it any way I can.
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Old 11-27-2011, 04:56 PM   #17
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Painkillers

Chapter Eleven: Shit hits the fan.

Liza Silver-Blue stood watching her men swarm around the complex, securing every exit and simultaneously breaching the objective. She ran a hand through her shoulder length blonde hair and felt a touch of pride that the teams she’d spent day and night training to handle any kind of freak they came across were bound to bring out William Grimm. Hopefully alive, but things happened in these operations.

Two of her men emerged from the front entrance, figure draped in a long black jacket in tow. He offered no resistance when thrown to the pavement, staring up at her with gray eyes while quietly working to free his zip tied hands. With a voice used to commanding attention she demanded, “Do you have any idea of the shit you’re in?”

Dead Eyes looked her way, showing no sign of interest before regaining his glazed stare. Eyes wrought with anger he held a hand out, plastic binding his hands snapping as he ascended into the air with all four limbs strung out. Smile creeping across her features she mocked him, “It’s strange, when I look inside you I see an image. A house with the door half open. You run as fast as you can and find…”

For the first time his eyes met hers, voice even as he said, “I wouldn’t snoop. Might not like what you find. You should be more worried about my friends inside.” She flicked a finger, Dead Eyes thrown against the siding of the factory with enough force to dent the steel.

With an ever growing grin Liza pushed harder, metal moaning as it began to give way. She wondered just how much he was on to be so oblivious, a blank slate despite his bones cracking. Voice dripping venom she wondered, “Is that so?”

------
On their hands and knees Charr smiled at Cloud, jovial despite the assortment of firepower leveled their way. He wondered quaintly, “Your supplier didn’t warn you about the Narcotic Drug Force? You should have expected them. Babe, you’re losing your touch.”

She moved to grab her enemy, placing her hands back behind her head after a stern warning from one of the many NDF troops perched over the two and replied, “You’re lucky I can’t show you how wrong you are. So this was your plan, get us caught? You know what they do to people like us.”

Charr nodded, corners of his lips upturned as he bemusedly responded, “No, slow cheetah. I’m not getting processed today, so I guess you aren’t either. You can’t feel it, but they can.”

One by one the NDF troops left guarding the two began to squirm about the room, one even going so far as to remove his rubber gas mask and complain, “Goddamn, can anyone check the thermostat? I can hardly breathe. Check it out, go.”

Charr watched one of the three wander off in search of a means to alleviate the rising temperature with a smirk. He began to cough, hands falling from behind his cropped brown hair to hug his chest as he hacked until smoking blood hit the floor.

One of the remaining NDF troops took a step closer, eyes growing wide at the sight of fire engulfing the young man’s arm, flames rising up the injured side of his face. He opened his mouth to shout a warning but no sound came, blade instead emerging from the latter portion of his throat. Poe emerged from the wall behind the silenced man to pull him in as the last guard stood absolutely still, skin crystallizing as Cloud withdrew her hand from his.

Fire beginning to cascade from his thin form Charr looked towards Cloud and asked, “You sure you’re fireproof?”

-----

Ankle deep in liquid he dared not think too deeply about William Grimm peered through the darkness for Edward Kayne. He continued to follow by the sound of the other man’s sloshing footsteps, still struggling to avoid gagging. He slowed to a stop with his hands perched on his knees and whispered, “I’m gonna throw up. I can’t.”

Hand roughly taking the young man by the collar of his tailored shirt Edward glared even though he could hardly make the kid out as he accosted him, “Listen up, keep your shit down and follow me. We’ll be back on the surface any moment. Things have really gone tits up, with the NDF swarming the place. They’re gonna be looking for either me, or you, and it won’t take them long to figure out we’re swimming in shit. So come on!”

He shoved William out in front, keeping a hand on his back as he forced the gagging form forward. He sighed, knowing all too well he’d have to set up shop in some other city now that things were so fucked in New Marida. He began to ask the kid what things were like it Metroze.

And then the world shook.

-------

Liza Silver-Blue took in the sight of a man so eager to disappoint, full lips most men couldn’t get enough of drawn into a frown. Still finding nothing but a looped horrific home movie every time she probed what was left of his mind she wondered, “Why don’t you just tell me about your friends, or where Grimm is?”

Still pressed into the sheet metal wall slowly giving in to the force applied against his body Dead Eyes casually wondered, “Why don’t you just make me tell you, if you’re gonna act like Dennis Quaid?”

Feeling the bones of his spine she slowly smiled, tracing the jagged edges with her fingertips. She coyly replied, “I don’t like to pry into minds. Things could… blend. But I could put you out of all that misery.” With a jerk of her finger Dead Eyes’ Neck twisted, vertebrae shattering as the nerves were all torn asunder. She let him collapse to the ground, attention turning to the factory containing the rest of the day’s work with satisfaction.

An explosion tore through the building carrying no less fury than a volcano, blast throwing her off the ground as a cloud of fire soared into the sky already red under the setting sun.
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Old 11-27-2011, 10:25 PM   #18
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I like the quotes the best. You know how to make people talk.
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Old 11-28-2011, 03:57 AM   #19
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Why thank you. I had a bit of trouble working on the sequence of events unfolding in eleven, but I do enjoy the way the characters interact.
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Old 11-28-2011, 11:55 PM   #20
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Painkillers


Chapter Twelve: What Lies Beneath



Sapphire eyes taking in the ruined structure that over half of her platoon had been occupying Liza Silver-Blue frowned, already bracing herself for the inevitable phone call. At the slightest of vibrations she reluctantly drew a phone from one of her many pouches lining the NDF tactical uniform hugging a slim figure. She didn't even have a chance to say hello before her superior's voice erupted from the earpiece, accosting so quickly she couldn't make a word out.

Liza let the cell phone go to hang in the air beside her face and inspected her short cut nails while he got it out of his system. Voice confident she cut him off mid expletive to report, “I know I made a mistake sir, but I'm now aware of the fact that Grimm is utilizing Painkillers as bodyguards with unique metahuman signatures. I'll be ready in future operations.”

With that she snapped the phone shut and slid it back away at her thought's beckoning. She smiled at the sound of her container snapping open, hiss of gas at her fingertips as she drew a single white pill from her belt.

Liza eagerly swallowed it dry.


- - - - -


Charr smiled up at Dead Eyes' wire thin form emerging from the smoke, cold stare falling his way. He weakly held both hands in the air, rasping out to his associate, “It's your turn to carry me.” Dead Eyes said nothing, dutifully bearing Charr's weight and quickly removing the young man from the wreckage.

The two traveled quietly through the confusion, passing into the many alleyways infiltrating the metropolis. His gray eyes flicked between the distance and the burned face shuddering over his shoulder. He wondered mutely, “Are your burns getting worse?”

Charr stifled a laugh, instead coughing a few times into the material of Dead Eye's dark jacket. He smiled regardless and shakily responded, “What do you think happens to a normal person like me who shits fire from his pores? Why haven't our new doses activated?” The last few words were laced with growing desperation.

Dead Eyes briefly contemplated how long it had been since his last dose, coming to the realization they were both long past due. His eyes flickered, voice searching for confidence as he replied, “The NDF must have jammed our supplier's signal. If we get far enough away we should be fine.” He realized, after not being able to recall the sensation for a few moments that his back was beginning to burn, blisters cascading across the flash closest to his partner.

Fire beginning to crackle in the evening air around the two Charr's voice grew sharp as he began to struggle, finally throwing himself to the pavement as he screamed, “Let me go you piece of shit!” On his hands and knees he swore again, singed hand shaking as he began to hack. He continued quaking and coughing until he retched, thin body spasmodic as he regurgitated onto the street. The bile caught fire, roaring until only a black stain remained seared in it's place.

Unsure of how to offer condolences Dead Eyes cautiously took a step forward, coming to a halt when Charr's emerald eyes locked into his. Still breathing haphazardly Charr warned, “Stay away from me. Do you have any idea what you have? How you waste it?!” He held his ruined hand in the air, flames bursting from his skin throwing Dead Eyes off his feet.

Dead Eyes regained his balance, flesh that formed his face returning in only an instant's wait. Twisted smile splattered across his pained features Charr pointed and accused, “That! You perfect fucker. What makes you so special?”

Dead Eyes frowned when he reached for the grip of his Winchester Burst Special, recalling the NDF had seized his weapon. Another burning bout sent him reeling across the pavement as Charr struggled his way to his feet. Eyes wide Brandon watched the wrecked figure shamble forward.

At his belt he heard a faint hiss, and felt for the pill as Charr aimed his raw appendage at his ally and demanded, “Any last words? I won't stop until we're both gone.”

Fist clenching around the medication Brandon Black replied, “Can't think of a thing.” He jumped through the tide of fire Charr unleashed, fist opening only as he clenched his hand over Charr's face and ordered, “Swallow it!” His free fist sent Charr rolling across the cement, wobbling legs finally giving out.

On his knees Brandon's fingers combed through his pitch black hair as he covered his eyes, taking in a stuttering breath. Now he couldn't ignore the sight. If only he'd gotten off work earlier that day, that blue door he'd painted with his daughter when she was five would have been closed. Maybe if he'd moved faster he could have taken the men by surprise. If he hadn't barged in to the sight of one perched over his wife...

Brandon screamed, rolling to the ground and seeing the pale sky through crying eyes without recognizing anything. The man raping Julie hadn't even looked up. He could have gotten to him if he hadn't hesitated. At least stop what was happening. The gunshot, that merciful gunshot finally came. But in an instant he was back at the lip of his car, horror building at the sight of an open door. He saw Rebeccah's faded blue eyes meet his again from the floor she'd bled out on.

Through tears Brandon Black pleaded for Charr to kill him. He couldn't even make out who cast the shadow on him, that was in some other world. He was caught somewhere between two nightmares. In a place where men don't die.

Relief finally came in the form of a chalky white pill slipped between his lips. He greedily swallowed it, rolling on his hands and knees to wait. Brandon again suffered one last looping memory he could still feel.

After a few moments, Dead Eyes got back on his feet and casually brushed tears from his face. Glazed over eyes still seeing the last day of his life unfold again he listened to Charr mutter, “I'm sorry about that. Freaking out and all.”

Dead Eyes told him not to worry. They had to get to the rally point and see if the kid had made it.







This chapter was pivotal, to me at least. Hopefully it didn't disappoint.
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Old 11-30-2011, 04:35 PM   #21
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For a more complete painkillers experience see REDACTED
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Old 12-02-2011, 08:57 PM   #22
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Sadly think writing may only end up a hobby in my life.
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Old 12-05-2011, 08:55 PM   #23
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Painkillers

Chapter Thirteen: The real villain?


Charr's eyes flickered about the plush office to odd pieces of art adorning the walls, statues of mythic figures realized in lime and even the silenced flashing alarms displaying his own vital signs. Anything other than the cold stare set behind Dr. Martin's favorite pair of glasses. She sat with crossed legs and angrily scribbled away in her notebook, pausing to wonder, “Is there anything you'd like to talk about?”

He grunted, eyes tracing the blackened flesh of his left arm. Dr. Martin sighed, setting aside her materials and clasping her hands. Through the golden rays of light lazily shining in from the world outside she observed the withered figure on her couch and said, “I want you to tell me why you won't get treatment. You're going to die if you don't.”

Charr's features fell into a heavy set frown, sight finally making contact with his physician's. Rather than explaining why he's assaulted Dead Eyes only hours ago, he was going to have to deal with this. Or maybe she knew the two were connected. He sighed, finally giving in to answer, “Say I get the treatment, doc. What then?”

Doctor Martin paused, considering documenting the interaction ver batem before deciding to paraphrase later on. She pushed thin silver framed lenses back up the bridge of her nose and said, “We get you better.”

Charr grinned at the word, mouthing better silently. He rose to a seated position and Dr. Martin wondered if it had suddenly gotten warmer in the room. Voice thready at first he replied coyly, “And what if I get 'better'? If the cancer just goes away then I get skin graphs and come off the drug? I don't have to feel shame to notice the way people look at me.”

He got to his feet, again avoiding her gaze. He smiled in an almost carefree fashion and said, “I'd rather burn than drown.”

- - - - - - -


A city of sin.

That's all Metroze was, and all it would ever be. Not an affront against some imagined god, but an insult to humanity. The caves of steel lining the horizon contained more abusers of the damned WM-75 than any other metropolis on Earth, and yet no one did anything about it.

There was a Narcotic Drug Force, lead by an abuser. Entirely ineffective at eradicating the problem. The cartels were truly in control, their tendrils infiltrating every square inch of Metroze and amassing large quantities of supplies to synthesize the drug, all the while protecting their interests with junkies too addicted to ever ask questions.
He stood tall atop the tallest sky scraper offered, Neo tower, air pressure so thin he felt each breath whittling its way to his lungs as though through a straw. Chains hanging from the cuffs of his jacket carrying the sounds of bells in the breeze he threw both arms up, smile creeping across his tan face.

Alendreo Rossum leaned back until gravity took him off the edge of Neo Tower. Links of steel snaking from his coat as he fell he relaxed, the world rushing up to greet him in the span of a few minutes. With the sound of metal clashing he came to a halt inches before the rooftop of a nearby building, chains anchoring him to the tower taught.

His feet connected with the cement and he smiled, feeling the steel extending hundreds of feet to the top of Neo Tower linking him with the support beams supporting virtually every inch of the structure. With a cry Alrendreo pulled it all aside, easily forcing every weakness in the metal forming the behemoth to give in.

He calmly watched his work as the primary center for creating the ingredients that made WM-75 so potent teetered to the side and collapsed onto the unsuspecting city. Debris met him with a blast wave that almost threw blew him off the rooftop. Several feet of chains retracting into his clothing Alendreo spoke only to himself when he mused, “That should get everyone's attention.”
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Old 12-06-2011, 09:10 PM   #24
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Painkillers

Chapter Fourteen: Where where you when it happened?



The rumbling in the distance tore him from a heavy slumber, one rife with nothing but darkness tinged silence. Dead Eyes groggily looked around his quarters, attention eventually falling to the cool metal of the Winchester Burst Special lying in hand.

The Earth shook again and he stood on wobbling legs, turning to see the dried blood painting his wall, yet again. He'd have to clean that up, but right now there were more pressing matters to attend to. He sheathed the weapon and stabilized his balance against the wall while struggling to make out the sunset obscured by a man made cloud of debris.

Somewhere an intercom rang with the metallic twang of The Supplier ordering, “We have a situation. Board room in five minutes.”


-----


Edge of the tourniquet clenched between his teeth Poe stared down at the vein in the crook of his arm bulging. Needle in his free hand positioned only inches away he hesitated, waiting for the shaking wracking his digits to dissipate. He swore when the world beneath him lurched, steel burying itself deep in his arm. He felt no pain as he went ahead and injected the heroin regardless, throwing the bloodied device aside as he moved to the window.

The sight of a yawning wave of dust devouring the city met him. At his hip his cell phone began to go off, but he paid it no attention. A stray stone shattered his window, shards of glass slipping through him to clatter against the floor as he finally answered the phone. The voice of his supplier was hectic, demanding he report as quickly as possible.

Once the conversation had come to an end he looked down at his arm and frowned. No rush was hurtling his way, he should have just fished for the vein. Poe sighed, sitting down and tying a new knot on his arm with the tourniquet.


--------


Cloud sat alone, as always, on a park bench watching the sun take its time dipping beneath the horizon. Even in the busiest of scenes she found herself avoided, anyone foolish enough to approach the empty seat quickly passing by at the feeling of freezing temperatures permeating the air through what should have been a blistering July evening.

She didn't blame them for going about their way, but knew she would feel even a moment of fleeting joy if someone would sit next to her, maybe talk about the abundance of pigeons littering the park. Even the birds took care to keep their distance.

It all happened in an instant.

The shock wave that sent her scrambling to her knees was the first sign something was wrong. The cloud blackening the crimson sunset, the screams and panic were enough to convince her the situation was serious. She moved without any sign of concern, swiftly rising to her feet and moving in the opposite direction of the cloud forming downtown while trying to make out what had caused the damage all the while.

Head still on a swivel towards the wreckage Cloud had no idea what she'd hit when she stumbled headfirst towards the grass. Kneeling in the crackling foliage growing a thin layer of frost she turned, blue eyes taking in the sight of an old woman huddled in the fetal position at her feet.

An elder woman entirely frozen at this point, forever trapped in the same position she'd been conceived in. Cloud wondered if she should feel anything for this deceased form at her feet, cowering in her last moments from the catastrophe that didn't even lead to her demise.

But she didn't feel anything.
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Old 12-10-2011, 12:05 PM   #25
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Painkillers

Chapter Fifteen: Unwanted help isn't always free



The NDF was scrambling as quickly as any other organization in the city to contain the situation. Phones were ringing off the hook, rife with questions and cries for help. The secretaries were rushing to and fro, documenting all they could while trying to reach field operatives aiding the rescue efforts.

At a time like this, Liza Liver-Blue wouldn't have been able to make it through the room. The myriad assortment of thoughts and feelings crashed into her mind all at once, but rather than an intolerable migraine forming she felt nothing. If she wanted, she could sort through them all at will and feel no pain.

But today she strode past the chaos towards her office, ignoring anyone on the way. The air inside her workspace was different than before, and she stopped before her desk and traced every inch inside with her mind.

An ID card left on her desk flared bright in her mental eye, a vestige of the forgone intruder. She held the blank badge in hand, twirling the plastic between her fingers. Liza sat down before her computer was relieved to find it still locked under her handle. She slid her own card to unlock the screen before doing the same with the mystery intruder's. A series of files appeared on the projected screen before her, folders titled with names.

One with her own at the forefront.

An image of her smiling at the NDF graduation ceremony was waiting inside, followed by a series of biographical information ending with bold letters reading WM-75 ABUSER. Her chair fell back as she read the words, fists pounding the table as she scanned the room again with wild eyes. She caught her breath, flipping her chair back on it's wheels with a snap before clicking the video file at the very end of her unwanted biography.

A clip of a man with messy dark hair obscuring equally dark eyes appeared, subject coughing before wondering aloud, “Is this on? Ah, there's the light.” He smiled, feature out of place on his stubble lined face. He was overtly aloof as he went on, “I imagine by now you want to know who I am. That doesn't matter. What does, is that the list I've just given you will help you help me clean up the streets.”

He leaned in towards the camera, overcast brown eyes wide as he gloated, “I bet you're still angry, even after all the help I've given you. You seem like the feisty type, from what I've seen. Born into a well off enough family, high marks in school. But rather than becoming a doctor or flashing your looks as a model you go into the police force. Even go public as a metahuman. Brave.”

He stopped, glancing down at his watch for a moment before sighing. Eyes locked back into the camera he grinned and finished, “We'll see each other soon. I say we do lunch sometime. Also, I expect to see some of the names on that list vanish soon, if you know what I mean Liza. Ciao!”

Then he was gone. Alone in the silence washing over her office Liza Silver-Blue sat back in her chair and frowned. The information provided could be invaluable in tracking down suppliers and users, but she already didn't care for this vigilante. It was clear he had something to do with the collapse of Neo Tower as well.

It bothered her to know someone was out there capable to toppling a sky scraper without the use of a single explosion, also capable of collecting data on someone carrying a top secret security clearance. What bothered her most was that once his mission was over and all the users were gone, there would only be one left walking the streets of Metroze City.

Her.
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Old 12-14-2011, 05:06 PM   #26
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Any thoughts?
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:11 PM   #27
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The first half, in which you describe Liza's mindset and movements during a crisis, are extremely strong. It feels hurried, but not to the point where it confuses the reader. I really like it.
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Old 12-14-2011, 06:14 PM   #28
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Thank you Frent. I appreciate it. Just wondering. I'd write tonight but Im not in the right frame to. But tomorrow I plan to continue.
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Old 12-15-2011, 03:17 PM   #29
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Painkillers

Chapter Sixteen: The Downward Spiral


The picture perfect reporter stood in the wake of what was once a peaceful street, flawless features absolutely distraught as she orated, “The collapse of Neo Tower has spurred the Mayor to declare Metroze to be in a state of emergency. All entries and exits from the city will be heavily guarded by the NDF, as well as the private military company, Baptize. The exact nature of the building's collapse is still a mystery, but our sources refuse to rule out the possibility of a terrorist Metahuman group being the cause...”

Edward Kayne and William Grimm sat at opposite ends of a table, attention entirely drawn to the television. They paid no heed to the duo entering the room, only looking away from the screen when they cleared their throats. Charr broke away for a moment to hack and wheeze as Dead Eyes took a seat. He stared off into the abyss as he warned, “Things are going to get bad. We have to find a way out of the city.”

Edward grinned, resting his chin in an oversized hand as he replied, “Well it's gonna be hard to get the hell outta dodge. We could try to sneak, but that probably won't fly. Baptize isn't the kind to take prisoners, if you know what I mean.”

After forcing the obstruction from his throat Charr took a seat as well, frail form shuddering momentarily as he took a few uneasy breaths. Coy air returning he cast the others a grin and said, “Looks like the only way out is through.”

At his end of the table Edward Kayne leaned back in chair, voice strained as he stretched and let the others know, “I think I've heard of the guy who did this. Took down an enemy cartel of mine in New Rorikstead. Appeared out of nowhere, all thunder and lightning and went out of his way to get everyone involved with WM-75 either arrested or killed. Then he was gone. No one even got his name.”

Dead Eyes stood abruptly, cold gaze cast at the others as he spoke, “Then we're going to have to get some help.”


- - - -

In his office Michael Silver-Blue sat watching the news splashed across the television with bated breath. He almost ignored the electronic voice of his secretary paging over and over that his last patient of the day was waiting to be seen. He idly told her to send them in, struggling to loosen the cornflower blue tie that suddenly seemed a bit too tight.

The man who entered carried the sound of rattling metal, chimes echoing with every footstep taken. Michael took in the scruffy appearance of his last patient, already suspecting another drug abuser was coming by to try and get his fix from a new provider. He took his stethoscope and pen light in hand regardless and smiled, pleasant voice crafted from years of practice wondering, “What brings you by today... Mister Rossum?”

The man jumped lightly to sit atop the exam table. A slow smile stretched across his tan face, dark eyes locking onto Michael's as Alendreo responded, “I just need your help with something, Doctor Silver-Blue.”
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Old 12-20-2011, 12:49 PM   #30
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Painkillers

Chapter Seventeen: The heroes are villains are heroes.


“So back in the day these were the greats, huh?” Charr stared idly at the wax display of seven humans standing together, who couldn't have been further apart by the time they passed away. Standing beside his cohort Dead Eyes glanced at the mural, taking in the sight of the Sanction of Metahumans at it's height.

He looked from one to the next, eyes finally setting on the morose, black and write figure once known as Wrath. The indestructible man. He spoke quietly, seeming farther away than usual as he said, “When there were villains, they were the heroes. When there weren't any left, they started going bad. Taking each other out until there was only one left.”

Charr shrugged, stifling a cough and taking a few short breaths while looking over each of the figures forever frozen in place. He croaked out, “How Shakespeare. What happened to the last one?”

Dead Eyes' gray gaze remained locked on the pale figure of Wrath, standing to the side of the Sanction. He broke away, continuing forward in hopes of seeing what else the Metroze Museum had to offer. His reply was curt, “Nobody knows. He's been gone for more than a decade.”

Charr stopped beside his partner to admire a display listing the theories on where Metahumans gained their 'extraordinary traits', but wasted no time reading before laughing, “Let me guess, they have no idea?”

“You're right about that.” The two turned t the sound of a cold voice to find Poe standing several feet away smiling back. Down the hall Cloud slowly advanced, keeping her distance when stopped to observe the interaction. Left hand perched on the hilt of his collapsible blade just under his coat his tone changed as he went on, “This is a pretty weird place to meet. I'm also having a bit of trouble trusting this proposition of yours.”

Dead Eyes smiled, a forced expression carrying absolutely no warmth. He replied with the same detached tone he always carried, “We need your help. I'm sure you've heard about the collapse of Neo Industries, and the lock down. We have someone we need to get out of the city. Our supplier has offered yours quite a deal in exchange for your cooperation.”

Poe glanced back at his own partner and nodded. He grinned wider, announcing, “Well, it was decided before we even got here but our supplier thought it was a good idea anyway. Guess your boss had something good to offer. Here's to the super weirdo team up.” The two shook hands in front of the sculptures illuminated in spotlight, forever frozen in their finest moment.
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