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Greater Expectations; [Concluded] The adventure continues...
Topic Started: Jan 6 2011, 03:52 AM (1,129 Views)
Lord_Shadow
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[ *  *  *  *  * ]
((Michael Maxwell continued from Once Upon A Time...))

Glad he was out of that situation in the Barracks, Michael wandered near the Administration Building. It was the closest thing to where he had come out from, so there wasn't much planning in that thought process.

He studied his scythe. It was sharp enough to cut someone, for how long before it became useless depending entirely on him. He was glad he hadn't come across anyone who actually was bent on killing people.

He was sure that he wouldn't be able to go through with killing people. Hurting them to protect himself, maybe... if he could keep calm and not freak out at the inevitable blood flow and bits of flesh that would follow such a move.

To think that someone had already been killed. Michael was surprised that someone could be so ruthless and heartless to someone they knew. He frowned. The more he thought about it the more he figured he shouldn't be so surprised.

People were hurtful terrible bastards. Of course they were going to kill each other. He had to come to terms with that. No way was he dying, not if that scythe had anything to say about it.

"Let's see someone come after me. I know a little something about the cruelty of the universe. I'll be ready."

"Big words Michael. And nothing to back them up other than a piece of curved metal." He hoped the universe wouldn't have a dark sense of humor like it usually did and dump him into a situation to back up those words.

His luck couldn't be that bad.
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Rattlesnake
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[ *  *  * ]
((M26: Commence))

Glump. Glump. Glump.

Jerry had to admit that he liked the sound of his boots on packed dirt. Sure, it was a bit childish, stomping around like that, but it felt so good to forget everything for the moment, close his eyes and imagine someone truly heroic making those footfalls. Maybe Batman, except he was usually stealthy. The cape added a lot, though. Or Obi-Wan, he wore boots, didn't he? Or - this was a doozy - Gimli the dwarf. He'd probably clank a bit more, of course, with all that armor and that wicked axe that let him stand there and not take any crap in an epic manner. Well, unless he wanted to, in which case he'd take the crap dealt out to him so he could turn around and shove it right down-

The building ended.

He'd have to be more careful about that. He didn't know exactly what you were supposed to do in a firefight, but absentmindedly clomping around corners probably didn't top the list. Regaining with a vengeance his sense of tactics, he darted back a few feet. He could hear a voice coming from someone standing along the side of the building. He leaned slowly towards the end of the wall...

No, wait, he needed to have a weapon first. You couldn't not stick your gun around the corner first, preferably with a lot of yelling and a flashbang. Oh, and a bulletproof vest.

He opened his daypack. There weren't any flashbangs in it. He pulled out his weapon, which failed to transform miraculously into a bulletproof vest. There were no secret switches or compartments that he could see (which didn't mean there weren't any, because duhh, secret!) and it didn't seem to be poisoned. But he could totally scare off whoever it was standing there with his fully-loaded, semiautomatic...

Comb.

It was a pretty bum weapon by any standards. He honestly didn't know why he still had it with him. For a very short time, he'd stuck it in his hair. But then he decided that the last thing he needed was to return home to a bunch of people asking whether he rolled that way. Maybe it would be useful in a few days when his hair started tangling up, except tangled hair was pretty manly and he really hoped the whole Program would implode on itself before then.

Focus. For the previous day, he'd just ran away from everyone before they could get a good look at him. He'd watched the Program before. He knew how it worked. There would be a pile of blood-oozing corpses by the end of the first day. And it would get even bigger on day two, and by the third day there would be a new pile because corpses smelled like something that the dog rolled in might step in. But then some dude would come out of nowhere with his bolt cutters or crowbar or something and just beat the snot (well, blood) out of everyone and win because he hadn't gotten himself all damaged in the fighting.

The trouble was, that wasn't happening. He'd listened to the announcement. The entire class had very audaciously not died, except for one poor kid. Which meant he could probably be safe at least talking to someone or something, and-

OhSnapIt'sTheAngelofDeath

He knew this would happen sooner or later. The weird thing, though, was discovering that the Angel of Death was apparently a sophomore at his school, and for that matter, he looked a lot like-

"Michael?" he ventured, hopping out from behind the corner for the conclusion to his triple-take. "What do you think you're doing?"
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Lord_Shadow
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"Gah! Who's there?" Michael jumped back in fright when he heard his name. It wasn't that he was surprised to hear it, well okay maybe so, but the volume at which it was said didn't make things any better. He turned to face his probable assailant.

And who was it that startled him? Oh right, Jerry Aarons. Not hard to mistake him for someone else. Michael was surprised to see him though. He was sure that he'd be on the run from some of the more 'patriotic' members of their class. Though where the patriotism came into those ideas was beyond Michael's understanding or interest.

The fact of the matter was that Jerry was here, and that he had recognized and startled him. Michael shot a quick look skyward. "I just had to open my mouth." He thought. Surely he was going to die. Except... maybe he wouldn't.

Of all things, Jerry seemed to have received a comb. Michael looked at his scythe, then back at Jerry's comb. Easy to see what would happen if Jerry tried to kill him.

It suddenly dawned on Michael that Jerry might be expecting a reply to his question. Michael tried not to sound nervous as he replied, "Just trying to stay the hell away from everyone." No need to tell Jerry about the fight that probably happened after he left the Barracks. No need to even think about it.

"What about you? I thought you'd be running for your life, what with your herita— Shiiii—" Not the brightest idea to say exactly what he was thinking. If he had just made an enemy for himself, well honestly that sucked. At least he had the weapon advantage. Though against someone in Jerry's shape, compared to his own, he doubted he would have the advantage for long.
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Lord_Shadow
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((GAH. Lack of activity makes LS a panicked poster.))

Best to diffuse the situation before it even becomes one. It might be ironic for Michael to die in a fight he started when he had just said he could handle anything coming his way. Maybe. But whether or not that outcome would be ironic or not wasn't his concern at the moment.

Appeasing the probable anger of the boy next to him was. "Woah! Didn't mean that! Totally did not mean that. Nothing meant by that remark whatsoever. ... You believe me don't you?" He smiled nervously. Great. Now he couldn't help imaging himself somehow getting beaten to death, despite having the weapon advantage.

"Eh heh heh..." His voice trailed off. The way he saw it there where probably three options. Option A was to run like hell, and look like a total coward on account of Jerry having a goddamn comb against a scythe. Option 2 was to hope he hadn't offended him and stick with the situation. Option Suicide was strike first, disabling but much more likely killing the boy.

Michael took a second to make his choice. Option 2 it was. He just really didn't have it in him to strike first, even if he was probably going to be defending himself by doing so. For some reason, all he could do was run away when things got bad.

But did he really expect any different? He stared at the ground. All his life he had run away. Into worlds not his own. He was pathetic. He hated life and he hated himself and he hated everyone. "No. No more running. Good or bad I'll take what's coming to me." He was sure he was going to regret that decision.

At least he couldn't be called a coward anymore.
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Rattlesnake
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[ *  *  * ]
(No excuse for this sort of timeline...)
Courage under fire. Show this punk who's boss.

The first thing that registered in his brain was an intense desire to beat the blood out of the kid standing in front of him. The second thing was that he was still holding his ornamental comb as if it were a dagger.

"Ok, Michael. I'm a pretty reasonable guy. I'll be honest with you here, I forgot to tell you that this thing is like, super-secret ninja status. We're talking arsenic or whatever, real 'drop-you-before-your-next-heartbeat' stuff. This ain't fancy girly-girl stuff here, this is bona fide super spy crap right here. But like I said, I can make a deal."

I am so freaking good at this game.

"You see," he said, "I can't win this thing without - well I can, but I'll be just be more painful for you, cause the alternative is me pulling your testicles out your mouth for it - well, I kind of need that sweet scythe you've got there. Always nice to have something other than this sweet ninja comb and these here guns," he said, flexing his arms.

"So what say you, you just set that thing down and walk away nice and easy, yeah?"
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Lord_Shadow
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Michael thought about what Jerry had said. It sure did make a lot of sense. Give up his weapon, which also happened to be his only defense against homicidal former classmates, and not get horribly disfigured. He rather liked his face. At least, enough to not want it to be smashed in.

The only problem with this reasonable and utterly stupendous plan was: Michael was pretty sure he didn't want to die right now. He spoke up. "Umm, let me just mentally check my schedule for today." He took a step back. "Nope, nothing here about handing over my only hope of surviving this game to someone else. Sorry about that. Gotta keep a schedule you know." He took another step back as he finished his sentence.

"You know what is in my schedule though," He began. He was frightened. Terrified even. But this was the real test. A scuffle was inevitable at this point. There's just no beating around the bush anymore. Time for him to see what he's really made of. Preferably metaphorically. "What's in my schedule... is using this 'sweet scythe', your words not mine, to keep guys like you away from me."

He held the weapon in front of him. Clumsily. He still wasn't really sure if he could go through with it. Hopefully the weapon would get the message across by itself. "Chapter, oh who cares anymore, I'm gonna die now. Probably."
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"Alright, then," Jerry said, "On my schedule, it says it's time to take out the trash. The white trash. Which is you."

He paused a moment to consider all the various ways he could have worded that better. Still, a threat was a threat, and muscles were muscles. And that sweet super-secret ninja comb was -

Oh, right.

Too late to put it down now, though. He'd have to roll with it. Preferably after rolling his fist into Michael's face. Or blood. Or something like that. He'd work it out once he was performing whatever celebration with his brand-new scythe. Point was, though, there was something he couldn't keep doing if he wanted to show the world what an awesome guy he was, and that was not soaking his fist in Michael's white trash blood.

Nailed it.

He took another few steps forward, feeling empowered by that clear, ringing, unambiguous clump clump of his boots, flicking his ponytail in what he hoped was a cool and suave manner, ready to grab that wicked weapon with arms like pythons.

"Now, it's not too late to apologiz- whoops. Too late!"

He took a lunging step forward and hurled the weapon at his victim. Partially because, hey, maybe the kid would believe it was a sweet super-secret ninja assassin artifact. And partially because screw that stupid comb.

Breaking into a noisy run, he fixed his eyes on whatever non-sharp bits of the scythe he thought he could reach, bearing down on its wielder.

He closed in.

He swung.
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Lord_Shadow
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Lameness of the threat aside... holy shit Jerry was actually making a threat followed by a not so friendly lunging toss of the stupid comb.

Whiff... was the sound Michael hoped to hear. A soft click was what he heard instead when the comb connected with his torso and momentarily stunned him because seriously Jerry threw a goddamn comb and Mike just wasn't expecting that.

Taking that moment to stand in stunned silence proved to be a mistake, hopefully not fatal. Jerry was closing the distance, fast.

Jerry swung to try and probably knock him out and steal his scythe. Probably kill him too.

Time seemed to slow down. Now was the moment, now was the time to do it. Now or fucking never. Micheal summoned all his courage. All his resolve was in this motion.

He spoke a resounding, "No!" as he gripped the scythe as hard as he could and swung to connect with Jerry's arm. No. So much meaning behind that word. Today's meaning was, no way in hell are you taking this weapon from me bastard.
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Everything moved in a blur for Jerry. Closing in, seeing comprehension dawn on Michael's face. Watching the scythe, the way he was gripping it, preparing for a swing. He just needed to get there before...

There was a shout, a loud "No!", and then a flash of movement.

Fortunately, the scythe missed his arm completely.

Unfortunately, the swing didn't stop there.

Flesh, bone, tendon, ligament, it didn't matter. The razor point of the weapon shore right through it all. He pitched forward, transfixed on the blade, slicing himself ever deeper, ever wider as his momentum carried him forward.

Jerry crashed to his knees, watched Michael slip the scythe out of his chest. It was so sharp, so deadly, so long. And bloody along the entire length. This wasn't happening, not to him, Jerry Aarons, winner of Program version whatever this was. Biggest, fastest, strongest, baddest guy in his his class. If this was a dream, why did it hurt so bad?

He tried to cough but only managed a spasm, a ripple of flesh that tore his wound ever wider. So much blood. So much. All his. That wouldn't do. It couldn't happen. He'd get up, tackle Michael, grind him into the ground-

He pitched unsteadily forward onto his hands.

It wasn't supposed to be like this. You were supposed to get last words, a last request, a token of love from some long-hidden crush, something before you died. But there was none of that. Only a desperate, futile gasping as he watched his frothing blood pouring onto the dirt. He shivered violently. So cold. So painful. So helpless. He couldn't speak, couldn't crawl, couldn't even move from the defeated posture he was crouched into.

His once-strong arms gave way, and he flopped, senseless, into the crimson mud.

M26: Jerry Aarons: Deceased
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Lord_Shadow
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Michael was on auto-pilot the entire time. He scarcely believed what he had done, let alone that HE had done that. It was more like he was reading his books and watching some powerful warrior do it. It wasn't something he had thought was possible for him. There was blood all over his scythe, and quite a lot on his clothes. "Holy... crap. Did I?" He surveyed the carnage. "Yeah, yeah I did. Oh shit." He placed his free hand on his head and started moving back, shaking. It couldn't be real, couldn't be true. He hadn't just killed a guy for no reason. Sure he tried to take his weapon, was going to use it to kill him...

He looked at the scythe. "No... way..." A smile slowly formed on his face. He began to chuckle. "I, I did it. I really did it. I'm alive. I'm not dead. I'm the Grim fucking Reaper!" He started laughing, shaking his head in disbelief. He, Michael Maxwell, was actually alive and killed the guy who tried to kill him. "YES! THIS is how the Program is supposed to be!" He moved next to Jerry's body. He knelt down next to it. "Nice try man. Next time, don't go up against the Grim Reaper. You'll live longer. Though I guess that doesn't matter to you anymore." He chuckled to himself.

He noticed Jerry's 'weapon' out of the corner of his eye. His grin grew wider. To think that stupid little thing almost made him lose it. Funny how things work out. He walked over and picked it up. Death had to be cool. And if he was Death, he had to be cool too. And what's cooler than taking a trophy from every idiot stupid enough to go up against Death. He tried looking for a camera. He couldn't find one but it didn't matter. "Don't know if you can hear me, but I just want you all to know that I'm done. This is real life, this isn't fantasy. And reality is this: I'm the Grim Reaper. I'm going to win this thing, just you watch and wait. I'll reap all you bastards."

"Don't mess with Michael Maxwell. I'm your worst nightmare. And that's reality." He smiled. "Yeah. No more living in fantasy. I'm the Grim freaking Reaper."

((Michael Maxwell continued in War and More War))
Edited by Lord_Shadow, Apr 28 2011, 01:04 AM.
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