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Twisted Experience and TCW - View topic - Havoc: Darkness vs. Loop
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 Havoc: Darkness vs. Loop 
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Post Havoc: Darkness vs. Loop
TCW Heavyweight Championship tournament semi-final.

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Sun Aug 09, 2009 3:22 pm
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Linda McMahon
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Post Re: Havoc: Darkness vs. Loop
"How are you feeling?"

"I'm kinda tired."

Deng looked up from his desk in surprise. "But your match was so short..."

"You try it sometime and tell me that." Loop fumbled a glass of water off the desk and took a small sip. "I'm excited though, don't get me wrong."

"Good. The generation of excitement was my ultimate aim in this endeavour. I wish TCW to be a blank canvas, rife with opportunity for young wrestlers such as yourself."

"Right. Yeah. It's good."

Deng leant forward and laced his fingers together. "But, you must understand, the path I have set out for you is not easy."

"I wouldn't have it any other way."

"Do not speak too soon. If you wish to become the Heavyweight Champion, you must defeat the best."

"Izumi?"

"Is that a joke?"

"Depends if she's in the same room or not."

"Are you familiar with her?"

"Only by reputation."

"I was not aware she had a reputation."

"Eh...depends what circles you move in."

Deng narrowed his eyes as he poured himself a cup from a steaming tea pot. "You are not what I expected, Mr. Loop."

"Why, what did you expect?"

"I am not sure. But not this. I will be honest with you: I see in you a potential for profit."

"Thanks, I think."

"It was intended as a compliment. I cannot market just anybody. Loop, you have the advantage of possessing a kind of touching vulnerability. What the Japanese might call 'kawaii'. It does not translate well into English, but it is a concept connected with the need to protect a child or small animal."

"Um."

"I understand that, to a Westerner, this must seem strange – even insulting."

"Yeah. Kinda."

"You are cute."

"I'm...cute...?"

"I do not mean that in a sexual way. I am referring again to the cultural concept to which I alluded to a moment ago. Your natural impression of, as I say, vulnerability, means that it is easy for fans to invest in you. You are a natural victim."

Loop scratched at his orange-blonde hair and drew one of his legs up close to his chest. "That's...uh..."

"I believe your disability helps. You generate sympathy."

"That's...not what I was going for..."

"Nonetheless, it is a useful trait, especially when matched against a more formidable opponent, one who specialises in submission victories. I imagine the fans will rally to your cause with relative ease."

"Are you saying you want me to be a pretty-boy face-in-peril?"

"Use whatever analogy you believe is closest to the truth. Your encounter with Drakus at Extreme Measures was most popular. I have a desire to feed you to the most violent and dangerous men on the roster."

Loop lifted his head with what he imagined defiance looked like. "Good. I think you'll be surprised at what you see from me."

Deng chuckled as he held his tea in both hands and leant back in his chair. "You are very amusing, Mr. Loop, and your readiness to subject yourself to this is a most charming trait. But please be aware: I do not expect you to win."

"No?"

"No. I expect you to be crushed. We all have a role in life, and yours – as that missing eye demonstrates – is to be the battered victim. It is not an easy part to play but the beauty of it is that people like you do not really have a choice, do you?"

"I guess not..."

* * *

Darkness spun quickly, ducking a wild swing from the vampire's claw and then bringing up the pommel of his sword into the creature's jaw. It staggered back with a feral snarl just as Darkness lifted the blade up in a wide vertical arc, carving its face in half. It fell back against the wall, pawing at itself, clinging to unlife despite its grievous injuries, but the palm of Darkness's prosthetic hand smashing into its skull and shattering it into pulp brought its feeble struggles to an end.

What remained of the vampire slid down the wall as Darkness turned to see what had become of its companions: around him, The Children made short work of them, and Darkness hefted his sword with a low grunt.

Gwen drove her spear-stave into a vampire's chest and wrinkled her nose as organs turned to mulch by months or years of decay spilled out onto the floor of the alley. "That's the last of them," she said.

"Only here. I can Sense more of them nearby."

"Well they can wait."

"No."

Gwen gave Darkness a sidelong glance as he walked past and then looked at Cai who was holding his leg on the other side of the alley. "Cai's hurt."

"Can he still fight?"

"I'm fine," Cai insisted.

Gwen's face clouded over. "No you aren't – I can smell it. What happened?"

"Fucking bloodsucker grabbed me with one of its claws after I stabbed it." He aimed a kick at the remnants of the creature's carcass lying next to him, then immediately regretted it as he hobbled away with a wince.

"That's enough for one night," Gwen told Darkness, "you need sleep."

Darkness shook his head. His hair was lank with sweat and his face paint was smeared away, revealing the two scars carved down his face, looking like twin bolts of ragged fork lightning.

"You do. You can't lie to me. You're exhausted."

"There are more of them out there."

"So?"

"They'll kill people."

"Maybe. But these things aren't worth your time."

Darkness looked down at the carnage. A dozen of their enemies lay in various states of dismemberment, strewn across the alley floor. They had already met several other similar bands of the creatures earlier in the night. "They're vampires."

"They're goons. Mooks."

"Thralls," Darkness corrected, "sometimes called Ghouls."

"See? You even have a name for it. These aren't worth your energy – and when you exhaust yourself fighting them, you only make yourself weaker for when your real enemies decide to attack."

"I am the Nightwalker, and I will teach these things what it is to know fear."

"No, you're just slaughtering them like cattle. And cattle don't learn from their mistakes – especially after they've had a bolt through the head."

Across the alley, Revenant crouched down and picked up a vampire's head. She regarded the grotesque object with a curious expression on her face, turning it around to examine the hard lines of its feral features, now permanently frozen into a grimace of fury. "I feel sorry for them in a way. They remind me of Caliban."

"Caliban who tortured you for your entire childhood?" Llenlleawg asked.

"Caliban was never the worst of them. He was like a dog – anything bad he did, he was goaded into. He couldn't think for himself." She dropped the head to the floor with a look of distaste. "Anyway, they're still better off dead."

"Darkness, you can't wage open war on the streets of one of the biggest metropoli in the world."

"Is that really the plural of 'metropolis'?"

"Shut up, Gawain."

"These things need killing," Darkness said. They were standing face-to-face now, Gwen easily able to meet his eyes without tilting her head.

"You don't have to tell me that, but we all need rest now."

"You need rest. I'm carrying on."

"Alone?"

"I'll go with him," Revenant piped up from the back of the group.

"Shut up, Revenant. Darkness – you need to sleep, and you need to calm down. You've been through a lot lately and you have to let it take root. This isn't healthy."

"A lot? Is that what you call it?"

"Yeah, you lost your belts – which I know you care about, even if you try to act aloof – and you killed a man in cold blood."

"I put down an animal. Not the same thing."

"Is to a werewolf. Look, I don't disagree with what you did, but this is a big deal for you, and you need some time to assimilate it. I know why you're throwing yourself into your war, but this is not the right way to deal with this. Let's go home and go to sleep."

"No."

Gwen took a step back. "All right. All right. None of us here is going to stop you doing what you want, even if we could. But at least take someone with you, okay? To watch your back?"

"I'll go." Revenant pushed through the crowd of werewolves. "I don't need as much sleep as you guys. Plus I'm floaty – it's easier for me to run around."

"Okay. Just...look after him."

"I don't need looking after," Darkness said, his voice low and threatening.

"Well are you going to stop Rev going with you?"

"I could order her to stay behind."

"Do you want to?"

Darkness eyed Revenant. "No. It's fine."

"Good. We're going to go back to the apartment then. Cai needs fixing up and we all need to get some sleep. Don't do anything stupid, okay?"

"This isn't stupid. This is my job."

"Okay. You have nothing to prove to anyone, you know that, right?"

"I know."

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Tue Aug 11, 2009 5:51 pm
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Post Re: Havoc: Darkness vs. Loop
Loop made it out of the room without throwing up, though it was only a mad dash through the empty halls of the backstage that made it all possible. His footsteps echoed in the lockeroom, too loud to allow him to escape himself, silence surrounding him, reminding him that he wasn't the first victim to ever offer themselves to the show. Where were they all? Where was Strikmore with his Jimmy Olsen smile and quiet assurance that the world made sense, and the rules people made were in place to just help you be yourself? How long had it been since Pyro proved that the complete collapse of all you believed to be real didn't always need to be a bad thing? Had the mothership finally found him? Once there had been ninjas who were rock gods, and insomniacs who's idea of pitch black baby eating evil was to force you to face your good intentions and question whether they were as good as you believed...

It had been a long nightmare, overall, and people still got hurt even then, but always there had been a hand to help those who fell. A laugh to break the sound of flesh breaking flesh.

There had been a dream.

Now there was just an empty lockerroom, and an empty bathroom - he threw open the door, balanced himself with one hand against the sinks as he ran past on shaking knees. He collapsed at a shower stall, tried to stand because he couldn't believe he couldn't walk anymore. The bubbling vomit burned as it tore out of his throat and onto the cold tiles in small chunks. His good eye burned, and he curled into himself, trying to shut out the empty room.

He had never hated someone so much that it consumed him before. Funny that he felt so consumed so literally.

If he hadn't run from the room, he had felt himself wanting to kill Deng. Could see himself picking up the table lamp, feel it's weight in his hand, how at the end of it's arc as he swung it seemed to leap forward, almost alive. A smile on his lips, as he watched the blood break out of the man's face. How good it felt to share the pain.

The worst part was not knowing why he hated him. Hadn't he been trying to hurt himself almost all his life? Hadn't he chased after every near death experience life had offered as if it were a gift?

"Yeah, but I always did this to myself. It was my choice. My secret..."

He heard the roar of the fans in his mind, only now he wasn't entertaining them.

He was feeding them...

Ring...ring...

Cellphone.

He shivered, feeling guilty, as if he'd been caught masturbating.

Hand shook as he picked up.
"Hey."

Forced his voice to be natural.

"Loop? Thank God!" The voice on the other end didn't try to hide her emotions. Relief, joy, and a fuck you, all in one neccessary explosion. "You didn't change your number."

He had had no idea that she could reach him this far out, or that the connection would be this clear. Must be an internet assisted call? "I'm sorry I didn't tell you."

"Yeah, me too." A flatline. The honesty that she'd shared with him was gone. He could sense her covering her hurt with the anger, even if the anger was deserved.

He felt like shit.

Small shit.

And that...he could deal with. "I was stupid."

"Loop...*a small sigh*...do you ever stop hating yourself long enough to let other people do it for you? You fucking cunt loser, you can pull the trigger after I've finished with you."

He laughed. "Sorry. I needed to hear that right now." He wiped the vomit from the bottom of his shoe as he stood. Turned on the water, used a paper towel on his face, and just like that the mess was gone. How did he sound to her? She must think he was laughing at her. "You've probably just saved my life..."

"Tell me what's going on."

"It's a long story."

"..."

"Are you still there?"

" Yeah...let me call you back collect."

*****

There are many long stories. Chances are you're at least 7 of them yourself.

So is everyone else.

Let's meet a few.

Sen Yu Hsia knew many things. Most of them useless. Sports trivia. All the best socially acceptable dirty jokes. Anything that he heard became stuck in his head. Despite that, his grades were only average. He put forth the minimum effort to graduate, as a point of pride. He seemed to have set himself on a path to be completely forgettable, just the same as his closest friends, Liu Sung Nien, named for the famous painter, and who wasn't so bad himself, and Soi Lek Cai, an exchange student who could tell when you were lying, always, a talent that made him unnaturally calm, and a great listener. The three formed their own gang, but it was an unofficial group that only formed when they caught each other in passing. A long distance bromance, if not for the fact that they lived so near to each other. Until the one day when Sen Yu Hsia told them each that he knew that the girl in the back of the classroom who stared at anyone who looked at her was a vampire. It wasn't that she was afraid of the sun, or that he saw her drawing blood. It was the way he felt weak when he came too close to her. It was the way people avoided her. He heard she'd lied about her father, and that was why he was in jail. He heard that she slept around. She wouldn't sleep with him, of course, but other people said she was easy. He saw the pictures on her blog, and read her pornographic poems about how vampires could be anyone, and he just knew.

They laughed, but it was an uneasy laugh. Just that their friend believed was all the evidence they'd need.

Later the news would blame it all on mental illness, and the alienation of modern otaku culture.

But it wasn't as simple as all that, because once upon a time, one bright and sunny day as the sun rose, but didn't yet touch the shadows of a back alley, Sen Yu felt fangs on his throat, and a completely different girl he had been flirting with held him close, breathing too close to his soul, tasting him. Her skin was as cool as the shade beneath the trees. He had watched her the entire time, waiting to die. And then there had been a moment where someone darker had walked into their lives, someone who held a sword that reflected the lights of passing cars, just a block away. He took that sword in hand, and...

And Sen Yu held the dead vampire in his arms, watching her body turn into dust. He cried for her that bright and sunny day...

And he never forgot the man who saved his life.

He couldn't believe it when he saw the man wrestle on TV. He had had no idea that the man who killed vampires was just an ordinary man. Seeing him work for money, sweating in the ring for an audience...it made everything so real it felt like a trap.

He soon became obsessed with the issue.

He watched as people disappeared. He saw their faces printed black and white on posters that few people read.
He knew that the dark man needed his help.

He knew he couldn't give that help alone.

That's why he and his friends followed the girl in the back of his class after school every day, and told her that they would kill her one night in a book store. And when other people tried to stop the violence , Soi Lek Kai stabbed them too, terrified of dying, unable to believe they couldn't tell that he wasn't lying about the vampire. The police shot him first. Lui Sung Nein was also shot, but didn't die for weeks. He lay in his own blood, and used it as a medium. He didn't know it yet, but his art would soon be seen by millions. The simple lines of red revealing scenes of bleeding children, over and over. On walls, on sheets in the hospital. At the trial, Sen Yu would break down entirely as he recounted the exact moment when he realized that none of their victims turned to dust. In his innocence, he thought those who were trying to protect the girl were vampires too. He was sentenced to death.

Total dead: 5.

The girl Sen Yu thought a vampire would visit him every day, and photograph him each and every time, standing in the exact same pose, waiting to die. They were almost lovers. She would later upload these photographs onto Youtube, and people would watch a video montage that looked like any other, except that these were a man's last days, counting down.

She never finished the project.

The body was never found.

The vampire who hunted her was then himself killed by the darkman, leaving only a mystery behind.

And that mystery grew. And people began to see the vampires among them.

Sometimes they guessed right.

Within a week, 7 more were killed. And then 22.

Darkness's army grew, even as he was unaware...

*****

"It's not as if my problems aren't entirely my own fault...I don't even know why I keep coming back." Loop found the empty room now provided the privacy he needed to be honest.

"Maybe he's right about you being a natural victim."

"Yeah, the more I think about it, the more I think he did me a favor by being this honest. I owe him one...but... this is the only place where I can fight back, and not get arrested."

"That's what scares me."

"It scares me too."


*****

Darkness stood among the broken nightmares, watching as the wind carried away any signs of human form...

It felt so right. Things were falling into place, he was doing what he was born to do.

He was just a machine. Someone else felt his exhaustion. Someone else felt the pain where his skin had been opened up by a desperate attack...

Rev nodded towards a house past the street where the lights were always on, the music was always just loud enough, and the party never ended if you just were willing to share yourself. She felt her body respond to the temptation, but she could ignore it. She was stronger than she had ever been, because this was her cause now too. They were united, and everything was as it should be. "You'd think they'd try to hide by now. It's almost like we're helping them die."

"Suicide is what we do." And it was impossible to tell if he meant it as a joke, because he was gone into the night, surrendering himself to the hunt.

She smiled anyways, and followed close behind...

******

Somewhere else, only a few miles away.

They sat in a circle inside a poorly lit room. Candles were all they had, since nobody had a job anymore. Not since the change. Once there were 7, now there were just six.

"Guess this our last meeting." Said the youngest, and nobody disagreed with him. There was a for sale sign in front of the house.

"It's okay. Coming to this place reminds me of when I attended my own funeral. It's depressing, no matter how funny it should be." The woman who spoke wasn't much older. It had been only a week since she'd posted her last youtube movie, walked outside, and said goodbye to her old life. She had no idea who had turned her. She'd never seen him again.

The candle that represented the missing member threatened to blow out. She lit it with a cigarette lighter someone had given her...

"So...has anyone broken the promise? Killed anyone?"

All were quiet. "You know better." Said the second oldest.

"I did." Said the third in a whisper. "I tried to change him.." She let her voice fade out.

"Copy of a copy of a copy..." Said the fourth, as he held her close.

"Do we even count as vampires?" The youngest asked.

"No. I'm sure we're something else. I get by on raw meat at the butcher's and street vendors."

"I got by on...he would let me..." The third was still in shock. The youngest joined in the embrace, as did the others, one by one. The next to oldest last. "It's okay. I'm sure he knew you didn't mean it..he thought it was worth the risk..."

Only the oldest stayed out of it. He had an agenda they hadn't yet touched. "Has anyone seen the news?"

"They don't know anything yet." reported the third after a painful moment. "We're being killed, and it's just 'random violence against the less fortunate', with a reminder that we're all equal here."

Normally the propoganda would be worth a cynical laugh, but none of them felt much like laughing.

The oldest looked at them each in turn, and then gave a nod. "Then it's time we woke them up."

He showed them his hand.

6 tickets.

"Next show, nobody's got an excuse to be innocent."

*****


Tue Aug 18, 2009 9:39 pm
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Linda McMahon
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Post Re: Havoc: Darkness vs. Loop
Loop loped despondently up the concrete steps of the apartment block he had been reliably informed was now his home and turned down the corridor he had come to know. He fumbled keys from his pocket. He thought about nothing as he approached his door, his mind recoiling from anything coherent. Thinking made his head hurt, and not in a way that interested him. He just wanted to rest now. He'd done almost nothing all day, but he still felt exhausted. Besides: the nothingness of sleep is a potent aphrodisiac when you equate oblivion with satisfaction.

The key fitted – the only thing about the room that did – and he shouldered the door open with a low grunt. It was dark, as he expected, but there was something about that darkness that loomed with more menace than usual.

"Hello?"

"Hello."

The blood froze in his veins. No one ever expects an answer to that question – Loop wondered, his mind running at five times normal speed, why people bothered then, and realised that it was just to reassure themselves that the darkness was as empty as they hoped. What do you do when it isn't?

You die. Something in his hindbrain assured him of the truth of that: for a million years, man and its ancestors had prayed the shadows would remain unoccupied, but sometimes they just weren't. And that, to coin an anachronism, meant your ass.

"Are you going to stand there like a frightened animal all night, or are you going to come in?"

The voice was hoarse, dry. Something powerful resonated in it though, something from the depths of time and space, a power older than any predator his distant many-times-great-grandparents could have imagined.

"Who are you?" He kept his voice even, despite the heart that was pumping ice around his body with the force of a jackhammer.

"A well-wisher."

"How did you get in here?"

"Locks present no obstacles for one such as I."

"So you broke in?"

"Did you detect any damage?"

"I suppose not." Loop closed the door behind him. He didn't know why he did that, except that something about the terror he was feeling made things flow easier. It was like everything had been thrown into sharper focus now. You spend your whole life courting destruction, both fearing and lusting after your apocalypse, but when it sits across the room from you, lurking in the shadows, it's not what you expect. Never meet your heroes, right?

"Why don't you take a seat?"

"I'm fine. Thanks."

"Suit yourself. I imagine you're feeling a little sore after your match anyway."

"You...saw my match?"

"I was very impressed. You should know; I've had dealings with DeSean Blackwell before."

"Yeah?" Loop edged along the wall, reaching for the light switch he knew was there.

"Please," he saw the dim shape across the room lift what he assumed was a hand, "I prefer the...darkness."

"You've got good night vision..."

"It comes with the territory. Anyway, as I was saying, I have some experience of Mr. Blackwell. Your upset was truly remarkable."

"He's not so tough."

"On the contrary, I have found him most resilient in the past. Tell me, have you given much thought to your future?"

"What future?"

"Your next match."

Loop flashed back to his conversation with Deng. "No, I guess I haven't, really."

"Could be a tough one. There are some formidable opponents left in this tournament."

Loop folded his arms. "Did you just come here to talk to me about wrestling? Because, in my experience, fans don't usually lurk in the shadows and talk in riddles."

"You obviously haven't been in TCW long." The figure in the darkness stood up, and Loop could make out the outline of a long jacket and long, stringy hair in the dull light that filtered weakly through the blinds.

He started to back away slowly, but found he was already pressed up against the wall. "Look...who are you?"

"I told you. I'm a well-wisher and, in fact, I have a proposition for you."

"A proposition?"

"Yes, an incredible opportunity that I think will aid your rise to the top of TCW immensely."

"Really?"

"Oh yes." The figure stepped towards Loop and grinned. He could tell because of the way the light reflected of his fangs when he did it, like a flick-knife opening. "Tell me, Loop – do you want to be a Darkling?"

* * *

Darkness crossed over to the stereo, stepping over a still-smouldering fragment of ribcage on the way, and turned it off with a low growl.

"Infernal racket. At least the neighbours will be happy."

Revenant surveyed the carnage in the room with a strange expression on her face. It was not the kind of place you would expect to find vampires. There were posters on the walls, and strategically hung drapes framing every corner. The air was dizzy with the stink of marijuana smoke. "They didn't put up much of a fight," she said blankly.

"Copies of copies." Darkness nudged a piece of charred skull with his foot. "The strain was weak in these ones."

Revenant sniffed the air. "Can you smell that?"

"The weed?"

"No, something else. Smells like blood."

Darkness looked down at himself. Not a scratch. They really didn't put up much of a fight.

"Not from you." Revenant picked her way through the chaos and into a squalid kitchen. There were dishes piled up in the sink with food rotting on them. They'd clearly been there for some time, which made sense since the inhabitants of the dig hadn't had cause to eat food for quite a while. Nonetheless, the fridge was running, and Revenant yanked it open.

"Oh, gross!"

"What?" Darkness walked into the kitchen and peered into the open fridge.

"Look." Revenant pointed at a pile of blood packs, stacked up with surprising care in one corner.

Darkness reached for one with his good hand and looked at the writing printed on the plastic as he pulled it out. "My Mandarin isn't as good as it used to be, but it looks like these came from the local hospital. Maybe one of them worked there or something?"

"Great, vampires treating injuries."

"I can't see a vampire holding down a job as a doctor."

"That's gross though." Revenant hadn't touched the blood packs, and was instead recoiling, her tongue poking out between her delicate fangs.

"What's the problem?"

"Chilled, disembodied blood? It's disgusting. It's like…rotten fruit. You can't survive off that."

"Well I certainly can't, no. But they obviously seemed to think it would work."

"Gross," she said for the third time.

Darkness, blood pack still in hand, walked back into the living room. He looked around at the rapidly-cooling remains of the vampires that had all been huddled around a coffee table littered with drug paraphernalia. "Perhaps they thought narcotics would stave off the cravings?"

"Or maybe they just liked to get high to take their minds off it," Revenant suggested.

"Futile in either case. Like this blood." Darkness held up the pack, as if there was any question about what he referred to. "Sooner or later, the hunger would have taken them."

"They didn't look like killers."

"Maybe they didn't have the strength or the will to take a life yet, but eventually it would have gone too far. They'd have become the beasts they truly were in the end. You know."

"Yeah, I do. Still."

Darkness turned to her. "Still what?"

"Nothing."

"I know what you're thinking."

"Do you?"

"Yes. And you know better than anyone why we're doing this. We're not killing people: we're just giving them peace. Their hunger is an addiction that will claim the lives of innocent people – if not right now, then soon – and will in turn beget more addicts that spread this contagion. Whatever they were in life was lost the moment they were Sired. They were already dead."

"So this isn't murder?"

"We destroy vampires. You can't kill something that's already dead."

"Tom-ay-to, tom-ah-to."

"No, apples and oranges."

"This isn't about fruit."

Darkness waved the blood pack. "You've changed your tune."

The moment of levity diffused the tension and Revenant let out a sharp cackle as she folded her arms across her chest. "Can we get out of here? I'm getting chills."

"Sure. I can Sense more a few streets over."

"No…let's go home."

"But there's still…"

"C'mon. It'll be light soon. Do you want to be killing – sorry destroying – vampires in the streets while everyone is on their way to work?"

"Fair point. It's just…" Darkness looked down at the remains that littered the stained carpet again. "There's so many of them. And they're so weak."

"So?"

"So, it means that this has spread pretty far. Usually, you don't see vampirism filter down to such low levels – the contagion is extremely dilute in these cases. Sub-Thralls. The fact that they're trying to fight their instincts…"

"What are you saying?"

"I'm saying that I think there's a progenitor somewhere in this city. There's something called the Law of Pyramids when dealing with vampire hives: for every two Thralls, there's a stronger vampire, for every two of them, there's a stronger one still, all the way to the Lord at the top. For there to be so many of these lesser creatures, we could be dealing with something very powerful."

"Or it could have moved on years – or centuries – ago. Like you said, it's a disease. Once it gets into the population, it can rage out of control."

Darkness nodded. "True, but a vampire can't Sire without guidance. It takes the will of the hive to show it how it's done. A lone vampire, without others of its kind to tutor it, will just slaughter indiscriminately, never passing on its curse. There's a community here, hiding in the underground. We just have to find a stronger trail."

Revenant sighed. "All right then, one more hunt. Then home?"

"We'll see."

_________________
- lots and lots of short fiction, written by me, regularly updated.

- it's a space opera novel I wrote.

I have some shit on Kindle too: ,


Fri Aug 21, 2009 5:16 pm
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Joined: Thu Sep 20, 2007 6:37 pm
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Post Re: Havoc: Darkness vs. Loop
Ever get lost at night? It's hard to do without a little effort. Lights mark every inch of the wild labyrinths of colorful street names, and 24 hour service stations. Even in the darkest alleys, you can still see your hand in front of your face. ( Pity about the sky, but the heavens were never as kind to us as we were to them. )

Despite all that, it's still entirely possible to get lost at night. Allow me to show you a few of the easiest ways.

Loop listened for the sound of others in the hallway, in the rooms around. It was quieter in China than it was in America, but now and then the sounds of people walking, and soft echoes of their words could be heard. So the world continued to spin regardless of this scene, and this scene was a very small part in the play that surrounded them. And the smaller he felt, the bigger the moment itself seemed.

Like a ritual of growing up. First kiss, first car, first drink - it was surreal that he could drink now, in this country - and now his first encounter with something completely alien. There had always been layers to the world, parts of it he hadn't been allowed to see.

"Darkling?" Despite himself, Loop laughed at the feel of the word. It brought to mind images of goblins, poltergiests and other creatures that go bump in the night. No Disney villian was complete without at least two.

"It's rare that I offer someone this honor."

Loop nodded, then deliberately looked away from the man. Outside the apartment's window, the trees would sway in a breeze for only seconds, and then fall still for long minutes. "This honor - is it just because of Darkness, or..."

"I'm not attracted to you. I know almost nothing about you. Except... haven't you always wanted to be the predator, Loop?" This was said as if they had always been friends, the tone warm, accepting of all his flaws.

Loop felt like a piece of meat. How much of the earlier conversation had been staged for the benefit of viewers? How many people saw him as prey? But he was suddenly numb to it all now. Finding out why was his priority. There was something wrong with this offer, more than the morality of it. The way the man spoke, avoiding specifics. The way he set the scene. Loop felt like he was trapped in a LARP. "Of course I do...but I smell blood." His honesty was reflexive. In deciding he couldn't trust the man, he was able to lower his defenses.

The countours of the man were illuminated by faint light. An eclipse given life. When he smiled, his smile was only suggested by the movement of lips. All the better to eat you with, my dear. "And where is my wound?" He sounded satisfied with himself just to be able to keep up with this rhetorical exploration. He was almost panther like as he walked to the boy. The sound of leather on the floor, and even that seemed artificial...

"How many people have you changed?"

A pause. The silence was itself a revealing of the wound.

It bled hatred.

The atmosphere became almost suffocating, but Loop had never felt more alive. He felt the man's cold breath, and shivered. Looked him in the eyes and tilted his head, and smiled a sad little smile. "So, we're both kind of low on the food chain, aren't we?"

His kick was in the air, aimed for the head, but to make the move was to gamble his balance and offer a limb. He struck flesh, felt the pain he had to offer be accepted, but the man no longer pretended to be human as he surrendered to the beast inside, throwing himself at the smaller boy. There was a desperation in the attack, an anger born of humiliation. Loop's back crashed into the wall, his skull hit it hard due to the impact. He couldn't see the man's face for an instant, as it disappeared to the side of his face where the bad eye was hidden.The weight on him was too heavy, and suddenly every breath he took felt like he lit a fire inside.

His arms were pinned above his head.

The man's lips on his throat.

Just a piece of meat.

The salt, the fears, skin opening for the predator.

His heart fed it's hunger, with every beat his heart was killing him a little more, forcing the blood through his wounds.

If he moved now, he would be torn apart.

The man's breath was no longer cold. His skin growing warm.

Loop felt cold. The cold was worse than the terror.

It was an emptiness. A cancerous abyss.

It was hard to think.

He no longer fought the man who held him down.

As he lost consciousness, he instinctively wrapped his fingers around the man's hands, seeking the man's warmth...

Anything was better than the nothing he'd been given...

*****

6 tickets. The ink blurred, the paper cheap. The six vampires held them as if they were holding all the magic left in the world. Just for an instant, they believed.

"But what will we do? Start a crowd chant? Storm the ring? Kill the referee?" Asked the youngest. One of the candles flickered and died as the night entered the room. It was rare that Darkness made even that much of a mistake. The others continued to burn. Nobody noticed the sign. One new arrival entered through the front door.

The other took the roof.

"He's right." Said the third oldest, who still held the youngest close, needing the touch. "Even if we can make the world see us, we can't make them see us as..."

The oldest didn't have an answer. It was okay, nobody knew how to make things right.

"Anyone see District 9? We're just another alien race with a disease, right? At least we have a chance to try to reach someone out there."

But even if they had run then, they wouldn't have escaped.

"I'm going to be sick." A young woman's voice from above them. "They're keeping their blood at room temperature. It's.."

"It just means they've found another source." The second voice was almost mechanical, in the matter of fact way it sentenced the occupants inside. "Make sure nobody runs."

It was deliberate that the two voices were overheard.

The vampires fell silent. Those who knew any English tried to piece together the words.

The oldest: "We don't kill."

The voice behind the door replied. "Not yet." His Chinese was flat, the tones chosen with too much care. But at least he knew that Chinese wasn't just English with different words. He was making the effort to speak to them...

That gave them hope.

The third oldest spoke. "I know what it's like to kill. I lost my love to this curse. Never again."

A wait.

"Do you miss him?"

Her eyes burned, but no tears fell. She had no more left to give. "Yes. I dream of him every moment of my life. I feel empty, as if I'm being eaten inside, except when I hear his voice, making a dumb joke, telling me to stop crying, and I try to argue with him, but he can't argue back. That's when I just want to die."

Again, the wait. In the time between messages sent, they had time to think, to look at themselves, and to remember.

"Come to the door."

She looked to the others, to the youngest especially, who was like her brother. She smiled, for them. "I will be his hostage, if this is what he requires."

He held her hand, and then her fingers, and then she was walking to the door. She raised her hand to the doorknob, to let the stranger inside.

"Close your eyes." Said the stranger's voice.

She thought to herself that he must be unable to look his hostage in the eyes. There was innocence there...

The stranger entered the room, and her body fell behind him. The blood that stained his sword was clotted, some of it dried into flakes.

The third oldest had joined her lover.

He pointed his blade at the youngest. "Who sired you?"

But the youngest moved to strike, or to run past him to the body of his sister. It didn't matter. There was no room for mercy. His right hand fell to the ground, useless. The blood that fell from it was like ash. "He's dead! You killed him!"

The attack on the youngest inspired the oldest to fight now. It was his duty to protect them...

On the rooftop's Rev listened to the cries inside. The screams. The pain of people who were still alive, in whatever form, and they were being killed..

Butchered.

The oldest was able to watch himself rot away...

"FUCK IT, STOP!" Her scream had destroyed any hope Darkness had had of keeping the local law enforcement out of the picture. Witnesses might be watching now.

She entered through the window. The vampires recognized her as one of their own.

The plan was falling apart.

Rev was a liability. He couldn't allow himself to think of her in any other way, until they got out of there. Why? Had he missed the signs? No time to ask that now. He knelt down on one knee, reached for the three tickets on the ground that had fallen.

His eyes lost all humanity. His sword aimed at each...

They had crossed a boundary.

Darkness gave himself over to the hunt. Lifted his sword...

But there was one more vampire in the way. Small. Angry.

"Rev..." His growl was from somewhere he didn't want to acknowlege.

"If you kill them, you have to kill me."

It tore him apart to access the part of him that cared enough about her to stay his hand, and give it control. She was thinking emotionally, and couldn't be held responsible...

If she walked away now.

But she didn't. She had no idea where the emotion was coming from, but this was too mechanical, too..too stupid...

She was determind to be a flaw in the plan...

"Let them go. You can come back for seconds if they actually ever kill anyone. Is that enough to satisfy your cravings? "

Darkness, who did not feel any needs when he took his sword in hand; who only did as destiny had designed him to do, said nothing. Her attack wasn't relevant to the situation. He turned from her, looked at the rest. A flash of delayed recognition. He watched the second youngest, whom he had once seen as a victim, all those nights ago. She stared back, unblinking. Three times she had seen those around her stabbed to death. Death was all she believed in anymore. "You're just like your fans." Almost a whisper.

He cursed himself. He hadn't even looked at her a second time when he had killed the vampire that had sired her. How had he let her escape? Another flaw in the plan.

Too many.

How many other failures waited to be discovered? For a moment, Darkness, the angel of death, the AntiChrist who would save humanity through the sacrifice of sinners was scared.

Just one moment, and then the humanity was shut down.

He walked away, without anyone trying to stop him, and was gone, as quietly as he came.

Rev watched the others for a moment, saw that she couldn't do anything to change what had already been done, and followed after...

She followed him for 7 blocks, through shards of shadow and light, in and out of traffic, and yet they were never seen. He said nothing.

She said nothing.

She wasn't sure when she took another path. She needed to be alone, that much was certain. What had just happened?

He didn't follow her.

She took to the rooftops, scared the children who heard.

Ran fast as the faint breeze that was the only life in the otherwise stillborn night.

She felt free.

She felt caged.

She felt blood in the air, and it was wonderful..

Someone, somewhere was bleeding, soon that someone would be dead...

*****

The boy with one eye forgot to wink as he drifted in and out of consciousness. Where he had lost the right eye, the bands of muscle behind still moved as if it could see. Old habits.

He was asleep now.

The man who had stolen his blood watched this pseudo eye with interest.
"You were right, I have no fucking clue how to turn you into a Darkling. Most people just die. But I keep trying."

He leaned to taste it...

He smiled at that. It still had it uses.

It could still shed tears.

"One day, I'm going to get it right."

The boy's body convulsed, somewhere, whatever remained still felt pain.

The man closed the unseeing eye, and brushed the boy's bangs back over it, returning him to the state at which he had been found.

He could do that much at least.

"I think...I mean, I don't know for certain...but I'm pretty sure I've just killed you. So I'm going to go now. I've seen enough of my failures to not want to be reminded of them anymore."

He rose up on one knee, offered a rogue's smile that allowed him to get away with murder time and time again. "And if I'm wrong, and you survive - hey, I'm just one more deadbeat dad. Don't forget who gave you your powers. I want you to go in and fight Darkness with all you have. Win or lose, it doesn't matter..."

He was careful to open all the windows. He turned on the fan just before he left.

"But if you get the chance...try to hurt him. Just for me.

You can't imagine how much the bastard deserves it..he needs a reminder who his friends are."


Tue Aug 25, 2009 7:33 pm
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Linda McMahon
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Joined: Wed Mar 16, 2005 3:01 pm
Posts: 6242
Post Re: Havoc: Darkness vs. Loop
Loop slipped in and out of consciousness several times, dreams merging with reality as his damaged mind tried to make sense of what he experienced. He was aware that he was alone, but he had the sensation of being surrounded by chattering voices too: spectres looming from his subconscious to whisper strange words to him. He pawed around himself blearily, his hand touching something sticky from which he instinctively recoiled. He could smell metal and it made him feel sick, even though his stomach felt hollow. The thought of food made him nauseous too. The odd sensations were given form in his mind, forming rough narratives and taking strange shapes. He was both dreaming and awake.

There was a noise. He was sure it was from the real world, but he was still unable to focus on it. He wasn't awake yet – wasn't sure he ever would be again.

Something was coming through the window...

Terror seized at him, but it was dull, refracted through a clouded prism of semi-consciousness or something else. He tried to move, but he was paralysed. A symptom of sleep, or not?

"Hey, relax."

A female voice. Young. Very young. She smelled wrong. He felt a small cold hand against his cheek.

"Who did this to you?"

Mouth too dry to speak. He rasped something.

"They did a shit job anyway. Look at the mess they made of your throat. It's a wonder you can breathe..." there was an ominous silence. "Hm. I see. Can you sit up?"

No. But he couldn't say it. Couldn't say anything.

"Here, I'll help." He felt arms underneath him, moving with surprising strength to prop him against the wall. Those tiny icy fingers brushed at his bangs, exposing his eye. He was looking into a young girl's face. She was pale, with pointed features and eyes with tiny pinprick pupils. She radiated concern. "Can you hear me?"

He nodded blankly.

"Good. Listen, don't be scared. You were attacked."

Another vague nod.

"Okay, you know that. Good. The thing that attacked you was...wait, do you know? Just nod. I think he damaged your throat."

He nodded again and reached up feebly to his neck. He flinched away when he felt ragged flesh and blood drying stickily.

"All right. It's going to be okay. It hurt you, but I think it was trying to do something else. Does anything hurt?"

Only my head. But he didn't dare open his mouth to say. He felt like using the muscles in his jaw would tear his throat apart. He settled for gesturing weakly towards his head.

"Yeah, that makes sense. Even now, your brain chemistry is changing. Listen, because this is important. The vampire that attacked you tried to do something to you, but it fucked it up. Don't know why. It's left you a total mess, and I don't know how to fix it, but I have friends who know about this kind of thing. We'll get you through this, okay?"

He could tell she was trying to look reassuring, but her facial features, hardened by heritage and experience, couldn't hide the fact that she was a teenager with no more idea of what was going on than he was. He trusted her though. There was something about her.

"Can you stand?"

Probably not, but he was going to try.

* * *

One of the vampires left in the room looked down at the remains of one of the others. They had been friends. Lovers, once, drunkenly, in a night they'd both agreed to forget. He remembered laughing with her in a tea house over some joke about one of their tutors. He remembered talking about going to Victoria Park in Hong Kong to protest together or, better yet, Tian'anmen Square itself on the anniversary. Big ideas. They seemed a lot smaller now.

"She's dead."

His other friend stepped up beside him. She looked down too, no doubt lost in her own memories of the fallen. "I think she died already."

"But now she really is gone."

"Yes."

"I should be sad. But I don't have anything here." He pointed at his chest, still looking down at the smouldering remnants of what had once been a person. "Maybe he was right."

"Who?"

"The man with the sword. Maybe he was right to want to kill us."

"Do you really believe that?"

"I don't know. Shouldn't I feel something?"

"You're in shock."

"I don't think so. I feel numb, and I think I've felt that way for a long time. I didn't notice until now."

"Let's go for a walk," she suggested.

"Shouldn't we clean up?" he looked around at the others.

"No. Leave it. I want us to remember."

_________________
- lots and lots of short fiction, written by me, regularly updated.

- it's a space opera novel I wrote.

I have some shit on Kindle too: ,


Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:53 am
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