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Measure By Measure, Drop By Drop
Topic Started: Feb 21 2015, 03:05 AM (354 Views)
SansaSaver
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[ *  *  * ]
((Marcus Redder continued from FEAR stands for fuck everything and run))

Marcus’ past nights in the resort had been dotted with constant tears and remembrances, only occasionally pocketed with fitful moments of rest. When Lucia came into his life, Marcus finally had hope of a good night’s rest; of proper company, of something other than nightmares and fear. But as the blackness of the evening replaced the pallid greys of the day, Marcus found himself alone once again, curled into himself in the alcove of doorways and tightly clutching onto his backpack as though it was his father’s hand. He’d been awake long before the announcements began, drifting aimlessly through the resort when rays of sunlight washed over him and the familiar crackle sounded all around.

Names flitted around him; Dee, Naomi, Pia, Nina, Paisley, all of them were gone, their flames snuffed out so easily by mere strangers, and people he thought he knew.

It barely hit him, only gently passing through the mess his mind had become. There was no surprise, no heartbreak. He’d already mourned the loss of his friends long ago. There was no chance any of them could want him anymore, and even if they did they’d die or he’d lose them before long. He didn’t cry. The tears he had left had been all used the previous evening, when he’d failed to find Lucia and knew, wholeheartedly, that there was nothing left.

He came across the casino almost incidentally, wandering into the plain-looking building whilst barely acknowledging his surroundings. He made his way through the entrance parlour, the oaken floorboards creaking quietly as he did so. There was no destination, he wasn’t looking for anything; just quietly praying that some friend, however unlikely it would be, would appear before him. Or his parents, or his siblings, or his mentor. Anybody. He just wanted somebody to be there for him. Eventually, he reached the end of the entranceway, faced with choosing between going deeper into the building or taking one of the many vacant seats in the expansive room before him. It didn’t take him long to choose the latter option, the dull ache in his legs drawing him towards the promise of somewhere to rest, even if just for a little while.

He withdrew from behind the alcove and entered the casino softly, his heart plummeting to the bottom of his stomach as he found the room already occupied; nausea quickly rising within his throat as he immediately recognised the boy seated mere metres away.

Vahka Basayev.

He paused, struggling to find words as a wealth of emotions and terrible memories hit him like a freight train, but none came. For a moment he considered fleeing the area, or hiding behind a nearby roulette table in the hopes of buying a few more precious seconds with which to figure out a plan, but by that time it was too late. Vahka had already noticed him standing there, broken and bloodied and stained with tears; the same state in which he’d been left by him only days before. It was Vahka who’d done all of this, Vahka who’d beaten him, had driven him to kill Eden, had forced away all his friends, had stolen from him everything he’d ever had.

Marcus wasn’t ordinarily an angry person. In everyday life he tried to be upbeat and positive and never feel badly towards anyone, no matter what they’d done. But now, it was impossible. There was nothing but anger and hatred that swirled through him when he saw Vahka before him. His thoughts flew back to his family, his mentor, the only ones he knew for a fact cared about him. What would they want him to do in this situation? Would they want him to run and hide and cry like he’d been doing since he’d first awoken? Or would they want him to rid the world of this monster, who’d wrecked havoc and killed and stolen from them their precious boy?

Marcus knew the answer. All he’d ever wanted was to make his family proud, and now that they were the only ones left, the only ones he knew would never leave him, there was nothing he wouldn’t do to earn that pride. It was all he had left.

And so it was with a grim determination that Marcus forced his eyes to meet Vahka’s gaze, and refused to relinquish it.
Current Characters:

The Program 2.5
M22 – Nicholas Rogers – Dark Chocolate Cheesecake
F26 – Theodora Smalls – Candelabra

Former Characters
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Kween in Yella
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Ratchet Consort of Hastur, they/them pronouns pls!
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
((Vahka Basayev Continued From Discordant))

For Sunshine: Icarus, in that crazy dress he was in, flying into the sun. Between his shoulder blades.

For Birdie: A round, hanging cage with bars made of piano keys, empty bullet casings spilling out the bottom. It'd go on his shoulder, where he shot him.

For Vince: Cracked skull calligram made of the words "Honor," "Debt," and "Death" in Russian. He liked that one. It'd go on his chest.

For Pia: Shattered pink diamond in a bear trap. That'd also go on his chest, over his heart. They'd like that. Wasn't quite her name on his ass, but he liked to keep things a little more personal.

For Reggie: Wheel of Fortune, High Priestess, Empress, Emperor, and Fool Cards presented as a Royal Flush. That one'd go on the back of his hand. Whichever one was less beat to shit by the time he got out. She'd have liked it. Maybe they will too. That one was for him, though.

He'd flashed the first drawings on camera before. Rough sketches for Ronnie, he'd said. It'd all been part of the act, another piece of the show to hook 'em in. To give the people what they want.

Now, they were his anchor. They kept him comfy during the long night, buzzing around in his head between fragile bouts of sleep. Some were just skeletons, with barely anything on the page. Some didn't even exist outside of his head yet. But one was coming along real nicely.

One half of the sketch showed a waifish boy with disheveled black hair, arm lying limp and useless at his side, ending hand broken into a bloody mess. There was fear in his eyes. He looked hopeless, terrified, out of place.

The other half showed a great, furry bear, snarling viciously out of the page. In his mind, it shone with a deep, unnatural bronze hue. Its arm was extended, swiping at the air with long, bloody claws.

In one drawing, Vahka had captured a victim and a monster sharing one skin.

In one swift, angry moment, Vahka had created both of them in one body, back at the Aquarium.

In one pair of eyes, Vahka found them both staring at him amid the sea of broken down slot machines and decrepit tables.

He stared back into those defiant eyes, so different from the friendly, innocent boy that he'd met, that he'd broken, hours ago.

"Huh," he grumbled idly. "Told ya not to make me regret lettin' ya go. Here you are. Still kickin', and the place is a few folks shorter for your troubles."

A series of sharp cracks filled the air as he stretched his neck. "Taught ya damn well, didn't I, bud?"

This time, the smile came easily.
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Without Lucia, Marcus knew there was nobody left for him, not anymore. Not a single soul in this resort who cared for him, and he couldn’t blame them, not after the sins he’d committed. All he had left was his mentor and his family, neither of whom were with him to give him the comfort and hope he wanted more than anything in the world.

So when Vahka spoke, when those words, the words that dragged up all he’d done, flew so freely from his lips pierced Marcus’ heart, he didn’t hesitate for even a second. He didn’t pause to think about what to do next, or to process why. Instead he let his emotions overtake him, unable to control himself as they flooded through him. Boiling anger, the undying hurt of constant abandonment, it all rushed through him like a torrential rain. But above all of that, there was the overwhelming desire to prove himself to his family, his mentor, the only ones who cared about him and loved him. He needed that comfort, that praise, and he’d do anything to get it. It was all he had left. And he knew that taking down this monster would surely grant that wish.

“I hate you,” he whispered quietly, body visibly and violently shaking as his face twisted in a panicked rage and his heart thumped violently within his chest; so loudly it deafened him from every other sound around him.

“I hate you!”

Marcus took a step backwards, bracing himself against the door behind him and using it to propel himself forward, angling his shoulder forward and breaking out into a frantic jog. As he closed the gap, Marcus gritted his teeth and threw every ounce of his body and strength into his movement, catapulting himself directly into Vahka’s chest.

He had to make his family proud.
Current Characters:

The Program 2.5
M22 – Nicholas Rogers – Dark Chocolate Cheesecake
F26 – Theodora Smalls – Candelabra

Former Characters
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Kween in Yella
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Ratchet Consort of Hastur, they/them pronouns pls!
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
In fairness, Vahka wasn't expecting a warm reunion, or for Marcus to agree with him, or even to make it out without having to beat the shit out of him again. Talking was just for the camera. It usually was.

What he didn't expect was Marcus to rage out so quick and rush him before he could even stand. For a moment, he was worried. Then he felt Marcus slam into his chest with a grunt, and he knew it was over.

He grabbed the smaller boy by the neck and squeezed tight as he rose from the floor, glaring into Marcus's eyes. He was still squirming, flailing, scraping. That needed to stop.

He lifted Marcus's wiggling body up over his head, and threw him down as hard as he could onto the condo floor. As soon as his back hit the ground, Vahka's foot rose into the air, hovering just over his reeling head. For a split second, he saw the bloody pile above Vince's neck.

The boot veered downward and planted itself firmly on Marcus's chest. He wasn't going to kill him. He didn't need to kill him. Marcus wasn't going to be able to kill, or even hurt, him, and he wasn't begging to be put down.

Marcus didn't have to die here. He just needed to learn another lesson.
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The intensity of his attack on Vahka proved far more than Marcus expected, the power behind the collision almost knocking the breath from his lungs and sending daggers of pain shooting throughout his shoulder and upper back. It forced a moment of pause out of him, a half-second that lacked the concentration he’d poured into every action so far. And in that moment, Vahka took full advantage; wrapping his gargantuan hands around Marcus’ neck, the monster’s grip so strong it felt as though he could crush his throat as easily as a matchstick. But even throughout, his eye contact didn’t falter, even as his eyes bulged within their sockets and his breath grew shorter. He couldn’t even lament the pain of Vahka’s defence, the adrenaline pulsing through him blocking out all but the numbest of aches. His limbs clawed and kicked desperately, scratching and attacking anything they could. He couldn’t waste a moment. If it brought him any closer towards riding this place of the thing he’d once called ‘friend’, then he’d do it without hesitation.

Then Vahka dropped him, and with a heavy crunch he landed on the floorboards.

Hard.

A splitting headache was added to his maladies, Marcus’ vision doubling and blurring as he struggled to regain his bearings and force his eyes to meet with Vahka’s once again. As soon as he managed to focus again, however, everything fled from his mind, replaced only by one emotion; fear. Vahka’s gore-stained boot was raised above his head, poised to finish the job, and Marcus could do nothing but scream, a cry of desperation and panic that died off just as quickly when Vahka’s foot moved downwards – instead placing it firmly upon his chest.

Marcus wheezed and spluttered, wanting nothing more than to close his eyes and curl into himself and scream for his parents. But he couldn’t do that. He had to make them proud, and the only way he could do that would be by taking down the giant who’d tossed him aside as easily as if he were a piece of refuse. Marcus was weak and scrawny, there was no way he could take Vahka down now, not in the state he was in. He opened his mouth, and was about to cry for help – for some miracle to befall him, for some way of taking Vahka down – but clamped it shut again almost straight away. A glint of light peeked through the edge of his vision, and he allowed his eyes to stray for just a second before forcing them away. Sheer relief surged within him once he saw what it was tucked within Vahka’s boot; the hilt of a knife jutting from within the leathery folds.

He didn’t hesitate for a moment, even as tears of utter happiness began to blur his vision. His prayers had been answered. He could do this, he could succeed, he could finally make his family proud. Taking due care to ensure that his petrified expression remained firmly affixed to his face, lest he give the game away, Marcus’ fingers clutched around the edges of Vahka’s boot. He prayed it seemed like feeble and directionless grabbing, at least until he managed to be in a strong enough position to grasp ahold of the shard of metal that contained within its length every ounce of hope he had.

Marcus gritted his teeth as adrenaline pushed him upwards in one quick jerk until he retrieved the knife and plunged it into Vahka’s foot.

Again, and again, and again.
Current Characters:

The Program 2.5
M22 – Nicholas Rogers – Dark Chocolate Cheesecake
F26 – Theodora Smalls – Candelabra

Former Characters
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Kween in Yella
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Ratchet Consort of Hastur, they/them pronouns pls!
[ *  *  *  *  * ]
Marcus seemed more or less down for the count. Shit, the way he was gasping and wheezing for breath had him damn near convinced he was dying despite Vahka heading for the half measure. How this poor, gangly kid had managed to survive, let alone kill a couple people, was beyond him.

There was time to let him settle. No need to rush at this point, with the black haired boy leaning on Death's Door, since he didn't have any intention to kill him. He'd put him down hard to knock the scrappiness out of him, and it seemed like that plan had hit its mark. He didn't have to worry about Marcus trying anything funny like last time.

That ease and comfort set in as he felt his shaking fingers creeping up along his legs, grasping it weakly and fumbling at his boot. It really was pathetic, almost pitiable, to watch. He decided to let him wear out the rest of his strength groping around and pressed down just a little harder as he glanced up at the doorway. He doubted anyone in the state Marcus was in could attract allies, but you could never be too careful.

Funny how that was his last aim before Vince's knife slid out of his boot and shoved it's way into is foot once, twice, countless fucking times, forcing a rumbling scream from his throat.

All planning, all set-up, all theme and reason abandoned him as the blade sunk into him over and over. Marcus was fast, faster than he should have been after taking a hit like that. He got in too many licks before Vahka could react.

With a roar of pain, he reeled back with his good foot and punted Marcus in the skull as hard as he could. The boy went tumbling across the floor, but Vahka wasn't paying any attention. He wasn't sure where Marcus landed, or if he still had the knife. He barely registered the metallic thump as he rolled into the coin machine. Blood pulsed from his wounds each time he lightly pressed down on his injured foot, stumbling back against the wall and wrapping his fingers around the hilt of the zweihander.

Marcus didn't get far, and it didn't look like he was up to another fight. He was down, hard.

The tip of the sword raised above his head. Vahka was going to make damn sure he never got up again.
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((GMing Marcus at Handler Request.))

Shimmering sparks, floating at the edge of his blurry vision, slowly growing closer, like shooting stars. Weren't they inside? Marcus could barely see, but he didn't remember going outside. He couldn't remember much of anything through the splitting pain in his head. Something heavy thunked against his chest as he clutched it for air.

Heavy, and metal. A knife. The knife he'd stolen from Vahka. Vahka, standing above him, with a glinting sword plummeting towards his head.

------

The swing was rushed, sloppy, driven by pure anger. He didn't so much aim as drop the blade down with as much force as he could, and to hell with where it landed. There'd be time for as many swings as it took to put Marcus down for good. He just needed to get in a good start and keep him off balance.

The zweihander cleaved through the hair between them and impacted solidly against Marcus's forehead, sinking into his skull. A wild scream echoed out into the room as Marcus jerked back to life, swinging the knife back and forth blindly. For a moment, Vahka considered letting him flail while he finished the job.

The pounding pain in his foot grew at the thought.

A thick hand snatched Marcus's flailing limb in the air and twisted it hard, bending his wrist until his screams pitched louder and the knife dropped to the floor. As he let go of his arm, a short whimper slipped out between Marcus's gasps for air. The arm flopped listlessly to the floor. He'd given up on that avenue of attack, at least.

Vahka wasn't done, though. With a grunt, he lifted his good foot into the air and slammed it down on Marcus's arm. How the boy even had breath left to scream at this point, he didn't know, but he sure let it out as Vahka ground into the joint and stomped it hard again. This time, an audible crack could be heard just under Marcus's wails.

Last time, he'd taken a hand. Now, he'd taken an arm. He could leave it at that, and walk away.

Just walk away.

The sword raised into the air once more.

-----

The edge of Marcus’ scream died out as Vahka’s sword sunk directly across his throat.

He knew there was no coming back from this; that singular thought was crystal clear amidst the haze his mind had become, overcome with terror and sheer, unbearable pain.

He continued to claw and kick, even as blood welled around his wound and his limbs began to lose feeling and his vision faded and his strength ebbed away. Because if he was dying then he'd take Vahka down with him. He would rid this resort of the monster he'd once called called 'friend'. And then, his family would be proud.

"Papa? Mama?

In his final seconds, Marcus’s fingers stretched towards his collar, hoping to hear his father’s voice just one last time before the end.

He hoped he’d made him proud.

BB5 - MARCUS REDDER: DECEASED

----

One last, clean cut, right above his collar. That was all it took to put Marcus on the ground permanently. There was no more fight. The only move he made was to feebly clutch his collar and gurgle out words that Vahka couldn't quite make out.

It was over, but he stayed. He hovered over Marcus's corpse, watching the blood leak from his throat and face slowly. Staring into his lifeless eyes.

Vahka let out a heavy sigh and cleaned his weapons on Marcus's clothes, first the zweihander, then the knife stained with his own blood. With measured steps, he staggered back to his bag, and slowly began the process of dressing his foot. His boot had taken most of the force, but there were still surface wounds and he wasn't sure how deep they went. It was a bitch to walk on. He cleaned each one out as best he could, and wrapped his foot up in bandages. That would have to do, for now.

As he gathered his things and began to limp towards the door, he paused to stare back at Marcus's corpse. He was still staring upwards, the shock and confusion etched on his cold face.

"I hate me too, buddy," he mumbled quietly. "I hate me too."

If you listened closely as he left the Casino, you could just barely hear him whistling.

((Vahka Basayev Continued In The Cold Never Bothered Me Anyway))
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