"This place looks like shit." Were the first words that came out of my mouth. Hands on my hips I gazed around the place that was to be our base. Let me explain what I meant... The broken down mansion covered in green, completely overgrown, was fucking amazing but ultimately a mess. I stopped my leg from bouncing where I stood and turned back to Mystery with a scowl, "If you expect me to do all the slave work on this shoddy place you'll get my boot up your ass."
The woman opened the trunk and pulled out the wheelbarrow, "I'm don't. Mind giving me a hand?"
I shot a suspicious look back to the mansion before heading back to the car and opening the backseat door. Mr. Sunshine laid on his side, arms and legs off the seat. He was tattered, dry blood staining the dark sweatshirt and jeans, his hands bare were just covered in faded red. His mask was on his person, but off his face. As well, the hood he wore which had black see through fabic to hide the masked face, was also pulled off from earlier. Crappy stitching makes me think he did it himself. We pulled up the wheelbarrow to the door and I went around to the other side, Mystery (being a giant compared to me) was able to reach over the wheelbarrow and pull his legs while I pushed the fellow's shoulders. Let's just say we managed to get him in with little bruising and only a bit of humiliation on my part... Mystery tugged his legs while I was pushing and I sort of landed awkwardly. Very happy he was unconscious... Very, very happy.
Punched her for laughing so hard.
We wheeled our friend into the building and gave a quick looksee as to where he was going to go, eventually choosing the sunken down part of the house. The kitchen had collapsed into the basement at some point in the past, there was a nice slope that led right down to the dimly lit place. We brought him down there, the lush of green welcoming his body as we pretty much dropped him out of the wheelbarrow. Bound his wrists in some shackles and linked chains to wrap around the base of the tree. Together we secured him in a spot that would surely be of comfort when he woke up. I was hesitant to leave but did so anyways, the two of us had much to speak about during our time of silence.
We went up to the first floor and I sat down, needing to take some weight off my leg finally. Mystery took a seat nearby, the moonlight making her more visible to my curious eyes. She was pale, probably more than me. Her hair was rather curly, tied back within a pony-tail. No makeup, unless you count some minor bruising that was starting to show. I glanced to her shirt which read "Books is good" on it, nearly facepalmed for that not being the first clue to let me know who this was initially. To say I was surprised Mystery was female is only partially true, what bothered me more was the fact I was not informed despite the time spent building such a kinship. My mind reeled over her expression when the axe began down on its path to her skull, I could feel my hands on the verge of shaking.
I took in a deep gulp of air and released it slowly.
Not an enemy.
My eyes remained heavily set upon the woman across from me, I repeated the words within my own head. She was not my enemy. Not the enemy.
"Are you alright, Shady?" I blinked a few times, focusing once more and nodded.
CRACK goes her skull!
We have a winner, folks!
I leaned forward, my good leg pulled up for I could prop my arm against it and rest my forehead within the palm of my hand. My fingers wrapped around my bangs, lightly tugging at the images that continued to nag my thoughts. The axe brought back the knife I used to murder those two proxies with, children of other families lost and gone. Families which brought on the thought of my own, whom I still haven't seen since I've been back. I wondered how they were, if they were even still alive. Fucks sake... Almost two weeks with a fake, one of His, what the hell should I be expecting even?
"Shady." I stopped tugging at my bangs and looked back up at her. "Talk to me. You aren't alone."
I shifted slightly, "Yea." was the only thing muttered for the first minute we began into the conversation. "I'm just... Tired." I could feel my left hand itching to tap, already jittery and flexing on the ground.
"You just spent days with the Executor and his goons. On top of that a week walking back home, tired isn't the only thing."
What the hell was I supposed to tell her? Where did I begin? How did I begin? I fidgeted, this was different. Comforting others was something I was used to but what the hell did I know about it when it was in reverse? "Sorry." Is what came out next, a heavy sigh huffing out.
"You don't have anything to apologize for."
I nipped my lip, really wishing now the rubber bands were still on my wrist so I had something to distract with. "I know. But still."
Just start talking. Take your own advice and just start rambling.
Right. Rambling, I was good at that.
"They came during the night... The Executor, The Advocate, and Proxy 269... Prosper." I began into the retelling. I didn't cry, I didn't shake until the mentioning of Mr. Sunshine. The stay at the place, dark, smelling of hell on Earth. I told her how they had to drag me out, eventually knocking me into an unconscious state. The blurry awakening into unknown territory, strapped down with three shadows surrounding the cold metal table. The violence that ensued between us all. Trying to wretch free from the bindings only to have my skull slammed into the table, the process beginning immediately with the Executor. The mental war raged from that early morning till the afternoon. No intermissions, Advocate slipped into place when the Executor felt finished for that time.
I told her about blacking out and hearing the Caged One screaming for hours as Executor tried to break through the barrier. I explained to how I was awake and aware when the Advocate played his games. With only one thing to go on, one whisper from a forgotten past: The pain is nothing compared to the memories. And while I can't remember fucking much I told her I believed it true. That little reminder and I held onto it when Executor began blinding me from the outside world.
I explained the short hours I had to sleep, how I spent a majority of them just tugging at the shackles, mind coursing with different plans of escape. And how 269 would be watching through the small slot on the door as I did so. A silent taunt, a silent threat to not even try. I would glare at him for hours as I did so until I fell asleep, only to be woken up by begin dragged back to the room for another round of fighting and pain.
I told her how I would shout at them, "You can't tame me! Can't tame me! Can't tame me!" when the drugs began fucking me over. Twisting in the bindings as I laughed hysterically at them. At the sour expression Executor wore. They tried harder and I adapted, and I laughed through the unwilling cries.
Then there were the memories ripped forth, I told her the sequences seen, everything that was felt. How they tried to use it against me, but they were my memories. Mine. Events I couldn't remember, and everything they tried to add to the memories were all just lies. Pretty little elaborate fucking lies. And I told them, I told them they were being retarded and Executor slapped me hard for it. Leaving me just with the Advocate who had a smile in his breathing and a grin to his words.
I told her of the new ones that came because of my resistance, how I watched them more than I watched 269. How I listened to them when they spoke when the Executor wasn't around. How I learned they were gone, for they were murderers before they came to be His. Of the girl who I killed through the underside of her chin, with a blade found at any kitchen section of a store. Gutting the second backup until he was dead upon the floor, then tangoing with 269 when he nearly broke down the door. The feeling of the knife parting the meat of my leg to scrap against the bone of my thigh. Then to be carried to another room I had yet to see and have my leg wrapped enough to not bleed out. The entire time my upper body chained and then restrained by 269's crushing hold from behind.
Dealing with Mr. Sunshine as a child, when the Executor made the elaborate little pocket inside my head. Where I was imprisoned for what felt like months when it was only nearly a day. Time... It has a cruel sense of humor. I always thought it, but that experience really hammered it into place. He kept me there, opening more time to try and break me within my own head in a setting I thought to be reality. Only when he treaded into the locked away memories, when he pulled forth Mr. Sunshine did all hell break loose. I explained to Mystery the best I could about feeling like I was being pulled, a new weight latching onto me. It was her, the Caged One, and we blended together harmoniously for the first time, or at least from what I can remember. We crumbled his sphere of lies, past and present working as once. But he would not have it, the breaking sphere collapsed upon us and I woke up back within reality. At least, I hoped it was reality for a long time... Questioned it until I made contact with Mystery. I explained how I couldn't remember the moment we blended together, but I just remember we just... Were, there, as one, and I never felt so close to being whole. About how it took time to even remember what the hell happened within that bubble he created.
I told her how Executor showed me Sunshine and I at a younger age, and him trying to drown me within the waters we grew up nearby, for reasons I do not know of yet. How he drowned me in a filthy tub until I was barely conscious before pulling me out and throwing me the ground. How I choked on the disgusting water and he thought kicking me in the mid-section would help. And I felt my eyes grow warm with pent up tears at the confusion and how unbearable it was to not be able to remember a fucking thing. About why someone I was close to would betray me, what led to it, what made me survive it. About the boy I couldn't reach in time to save and how much he must hate me for it.
Every minute spent with the Advocate. Every cut made into my skin, every needle under the nail, every bit of plastic thrown back up after he shoved it down my throat. The sheets of ice melting beneath my skin, the beatings, both verbal and physical. The horrible way he spoke so merrily about us in the room together while performing such criminal acts. The nonchalant way he stood next to the table and played with the blood colored ring he wore, right middle finger. How, unlike the Executor, everything I did and everything I said he took with a grin. Sadist. He took everything, like I did, and tried to reuse it. Only difference was, he liked the abuse. I didn't bother trying to adapt to him, only the pain he delivered did I work against.
And Executor... When he cleared the room the day before, had me face down against the metal table and sat on the side of it. Humming quietly and scolding me while he held a lighter up to a knife, my pocket knife which he had sharpened himself just to add insult to injury. And he heated the blade for minutes on end before leaning down and digging it into my bad shoulder. Carving that fucking well known symbol, making sure it would forever be scarred there. Singing quietly "You Are My Sunshine" all the while, knowing how quickly my blood was turning to poison just by listening to it come from him.
Or when he dug too far into my mind... And I saw him. I told her, I saw him, where he was. How I am going to apply that to finding him someday soon, and make him experience all the shit he's caused to so many.
And the mask... The fucking mask I took with me. How they bound my arms and legs and on the mask during my times of sleeping. Squirming to try and wretch it off my face, cursing and swearing and just fucking screaming. The silence with it on was the worse. And Prosper, he just watched.
The escape... I remember being loosely bound and hearing something scrapping across the floor. Peeling open my eyes to see a key, and when I looked to the door I saw no shoes, no one out there. I grabbed the key and tested it on the shackles, one by one they all unlocked. I moved to the door, stumbling some for I had been mostly dragged or carried from room to room. I tested the key upon the door to be surprised it even worked. The place had a master key and I was holding it. I left, 269 wasn't near. I made my way down some halls, no real idea where I was even going. Found 85 and strangled him from behind till he was unconscious, just a kid... He was just some kid. Fifteen? Maybe a little older. Left him there alive, couldn't go through with it. Moved further, found the exit and unlocked it. 269 found me. Mauled me from the side and smacked the crap out of me, threw me against a wall down the hall. Caught his arm, I remember snapping it back behind him, dislocating it, and then breaking the lower portion of his arm. I shoved him into the wall and took off, breaking out of the torture house and running. He kept coming; he kept chasing me until I couldn't see him. Until I was just free.
I spent the week trekking back home, I told her about sleeping in the woods. How He appeared and left when I threatened my own life. Hiding from 269, who has been appointed my new tormenter it would seem. Tuning into you guys when I rested my leg every few hours, or during the night when it was so hard to sleep. Worrying over Mystery's disappearance and then resorting to breaking into houses for food and to clean up while families were out during the day.
Meeting a Doctor who was helpful, if not slightly off. I barely spoke to him but he offered much assistance. Patching up my wounds were the top priority, I wasn't going to take advantage of anything more. But... He went to the kitchen and I told her how all hell broke loose. I went to see what was happening and the Advocate was there, I couldn't see the Doctor but the way that bastard spoke made it sound like he was alive. It was enough, I attacked him. There was surprise in his body language, in his breathing, that I didn't run in my condition. And I told her how he jumped back, grabbed a chair and threw it at me as a diversion before locking himself where the Doctor was. I could hear him killing the man, I tried to break down the door but it wouldn't budge... The noise just fell silent, and the Advocate was laughing about how he wanted to play more games. I told her... I told her I left, and could hear him screaming after me about how we had to talk on continuing our fun.
Then coming home. To them. To just all of this.
My hands were in my lap by the end of it, one leg curled in, bad leg still straight. I tried to keep my hands together, to stop them from their pattern making. I had enough crazy for one day (or almost two weeks), I didn't need to feel like Monk and House had a baby and I was it.
"I thought he was dead. It hurt so badly... All I wanted was you on the ground with that axe impaled into your neck. And you know what the most fucked up thing is about that? I barely even know why I felt that strongly, heh..." I muttered to her as my hands just locked together tightly, shaking lightly. "Then you on the ground... Your face, your scream... Hearing that felt natural. It felt-" I shrugged, a smile faintly touching my lips but I felt like shit and it was nothing close to being happy. "-so natural. I'm not a good person. Trying to do good, but not a good person. How the hell does that work, Mystery? I've studied this, I've learned, observed, years upon years... I know this stuff so well. So why the hell can't I apply it to myself? What the hell made me this way? I don't... I just don't even know who the fuck I am anymore and it's unbearable."
I rubbed my eyes that were growing warm again, swallowing what wanted to leak out. I didn't want to be seen by anyone. I didn't want any attention drawn to this goddamn vulnerability that was beginning to show. No, I didn't want the world to see me. I didn't care if this was natural to be feeling so shitty after what I just experienced. I don't like not being in control, I don't want my body to shake and feel the need to cry. I'd sort it out later. Story told, I used my free hand to wave her on, to tell her own story. I just didn't want to focus on me anymore. I didn't want to think about it right now. I wanted to hear she was alright, that her condition -which looked much better than my own- was not deceiving me into believing otherwise. As long as she was alright I could bear things better and we could move along in the next phase. So I listened as she told me what happened.