I have left Massachusetts. What was I doing there? I went to visit Elaine. Seeing as she posted about our events I take it that she's well enough for me to say where I was and what has happened. I wasn't around for the beginning so I can really only explain from when I first saw Prosper and what led me into this brawl.
I drove straight Massachusetts, traffic was a nightmare but managable with music. I forgot how long it has been since I've listened to anything, my thoughts usually made music all their own for hours on end. It was nice to just sit and drive mindlessly. When I came into the town (which I will not specify on) I drove for a bit looking for the right place, which wasn't easy. When I cam to a red light I found a familiar figure standing next to the park entrance to my left, it was Prosper. He was wearing a new mask, same as the old one. He moved down the sidewalk like a ghost, unnoticed by people. I followed with the car until he turned off at the last park entrance, I managed to pull free from traffic and park before pursuing him through the grounds. He fled into the woods and I chased, ended up losing him but found my way out.
I ended up driving a few blocks until I came to the scene. I caught sign of Prosper teleporting and parked before getting out with the axe. He appeared before Jake (who I was surprised to see there with Elaine), there was a gun barrel to his forehead and I knew he was about to teleport. After dealing with this jackass for so long you pick up on the smallest bits of his traits. I ran in from his right, threw all my weight into ramming him from the side and knocking him over a few feet away. I got a glimpse of Elaine to check her condition before charging Prosper, who was kneeling on the ground. I swung down the axe and he teleported, he moved behind me and I was kicked forward. He was gone again.
I pulled myself up and saw Jake was in close quarters, and considering he was not one of Prosper's asylum girls he'd be the target. Considering what I walked in on that was indeed the case, Jake was the first to be eliminated in Prosper's view. I ran over to them and managed to get my axe between the two of them. I could hear the wood cracking further, I had duct taped the shit out of the handle but Prosper is a strong bastard. His serrated blade kept digging into the tape, shredding it bit by bit until Elaine stabbed him from behind. I dodged as he lurched, blade narrowly missing me, I was lucky just to be grazed. Elaine had Prosper from behind and I took the opportunity swing the axe at his thigh, it was an awkward little swing but it impaled him nicely.
He was NOT happy. Prosper seethed and tore himself off her knife, the back of his fist hit me in the side of the head and I was knocked to the ground. Jake began to open fire, pushing back Prosper and distracting him. My arm hurt like hell still from healing, it was stupid to even be doing this shit I know but whatever. I grabbed the axe after pulling myself up and hopped onto Prosper's back, sliding the handle of the weapon under his chin in yanking back. I dropped my weight, not even trying to stay on his back. It made Prosper arch backwards as I landed on the ground and planted my feet, keeping him awkwardly bent and wide open for an attack.
Elaine charged Prosper, slipping out blade hidden on her person and stabbed him three times. One blade to the throat, another to the heart, the last carving open his stomach. Jake took aim, once she had pulled aside he fired a headshot that stilled Prosper. I could feel his body grow heavy and fell backwards as his weight came down, the axe lost in my grasp when I hit the ground. His body dispersed and became nothing, I blinked a few times and found Jake standing over me, his hand outstretched. I took it, he smiled but it wasn't pleasant and it was too late when I was yanked upwards and pressed against him, blade to my throat.
"Who are you, then?" He asked me, a low and dangerous voice emitting from his throat. "Another one of the crazy bitch's faithful hoarde, here to save the day?" I stare at him, watching as he winks at Elaine and can feel the blade as it digs in by a fraction. A fine trickle of blood running down, this was definitely not a time to play games.
Jake is trained, he's not like a proxy that's plucked out of a home and handed a weapon to play dirty with. I remained as still as I could muster to not alarm him, my mind going over every part of him that was touching me, how strong his hold was, possible weak points. This angle I was being held at made it difficult, delaying what he was itching to accomplish was a better bet, hopefully Elaine could help while I did that. "It's Shady. We talked a bit before Prosper ever stepped into your life, remember?" I forced myself to be calm, my voice didn't betray me and for that I was glad. I inched my hand closer to my pocket where the switchblade was while speaking to him, "Can't save the day, Jake, just trying to keep you both alive. Especially after what that fucker did." So maybe I could direct his anger towards Prosper and off of Elaine and myself. Anything to take his attention off of us.
"It's as much her fault as his." He borderlined purred in my ear, my sprained wrist caught in his hold and twisted around my back. I growled at the pain that shot up and into my bad shoulder. So much for getting the knife. "Shady. It's so good to finally meet you. If she hadn't gotten in touch with you, Prosper never would have found us. It will be a pleasure to see you bleeding out into the pavement."
"Leave her out of this, it isn't her fault, Jake. You want me, come get me. I'm weak and broken and useless. Your favorite kind of prey." Elaine called to me, baiting him to her.
I moved my upper body, trying to lessen the pressure on my wrist, "It wouldn't matter, my involvement or not, Elaine was always his third." I glanced to Elaine from the corner of my eye, giving her the cold hard truth. It didn't matter really since Jake would probably kill me just to hurt Elaine but he needed to hear it. "What happened to Cam, to you, it couldn't be helped. I hate to say it. He has been watching since the asylum, since before then on my behalf. What makes you think he wasn't doing the same for you, for Elaine?"
That hit a nerve and he growled, "No. If it weren't for Elaine, he'd be safe. We'd be happy. The two of us together, like it should have been." Jake twisted my hand with a cruel gleam in his eyes.
"Killing her won't solve anything. He's gone, Jake. We got him. The three of us. You and I could be great if we worked together, Jake, we both know that." I could hear Elaine as she took a step closer.
I clenched my jaw as he twisted my hand further, "He gone... For now only. If you want revenge for Cam then you should help us for when he comes back. To find a way to end him completely."
I can hear Elaine moving forward and glance to see her stumbling about. My eyes narrowed skeptically, she wasn't that hurt, was she? It could have been the adrenaline before but it didn't stop the concern. If she was really that hurt she couldn't defend herself, it would be suicide to beckon Jake like she was. But Elaine isn't an idiot, she's a clever woman and I held some faith she knew what she was doing. "Come on, Jake, Cam wouldn't want you to do this."
By Jake's smug smile it looked to be working. "Cam would want to be alive. He never wanted any of this. You two killed him. You don't have a damn pit of say in this."
I can't get out of Jake's hold, by then I had come to that conclusion. I could distract and delay but Elaine would have to make the move to get me away or get Jake to loosen the hold. Quite frankly I was running low on patience to play hostage, especially since I dislike people touching me to begin with. And this... This wasn't helping. "You're going to kill people who are trying to avenge Cam? You don't think he'd want his friends to stay alive, to help end his killer?" I bit out with some annoyance.
"Prosper's dead. We all saw him die. People don't just come back from the dead." He snorted. "Don't bullshit me, bitch."
That was the moment it happened. He moved his knife in a gesture and I knew that was all that was needed. Elaine bolted quickly, her push was all I need and I dodged to the side with it. Elaine landed on top of Jake, knife turned and stabbed directly into his chest. I pulled myself up and grabbed the axe, using it as a walking stick as I came near Elaine. I looked to Jake who laid gaping and bleeding, the knife square in his chest. I would have questioned medical attention but there wasn't any point, not with that wound. I glanced to Elaine, "You alright?" It's obvious she's in pain when she moves to sit on a hood of a nearby car.
"No. But now you have proof. Elaine is dangerous. A killer. Don't trust her. Make sure everyone knows she killed me. Don't let her lie."
I glance to Elaine who is frowning before looking back down at him, "I'm sorry, Jake. You can tell Cam that too now." I muttered before pulling myself up and moving towards the woman, had to focus on her survival now. "How badly are you injured, do you need medical attention?" I asked her while glancing over her wounds. Personally, she needed it, but runners have a tendency to be stubborn with hospitals.
"... Broke a couple ribs. The shoulder may be broken, may just be dislocated. Probably have another concussion. Yeah. Hospital's probably a good idea." Her eyes flicker to the body briefly, "I can become un-missing. Tell the cops Jake was the one who kidnapped me. Two birds, one stone."
I nodded which cracked my neck, wincing I rubbed it a bit not expecting that in the least. "I was going to ask if you wanted to do anything with the body next. That works, though." I glance over her briefly, my mind digesting the situation fully. "We should probably get medical attention done quickly. Prosper will be back in a couple days at most. Better to get a head start."
"Right. Call 911? I think I'm about to pass out." Elaine stoically says despite being lightheaded.
"On it, just relax there." I pulled out my cellphone and dialed up, giving the report to the operator as I watched Elaine, making sure she didn't faceplant onto the pavement. I waited there until the ambulence pulled up in the parking lot and disappeared. Watched at a distance with my axe as they got into the vehicle and took her away. I couldn't have my information taken in, it was bad enough making the call considering the time span I had if MASC was trying to actually track me. Worth it, though, at the end of it all.
I went back to the car and patch up, wiped the blood and smudges away, switched shirts briefly from the bit of blood. Couldn't draw unwanted attention when I snuck into the hospital. Which I did, effectively. I looked around for Elaine's room for a bit, finding it I entered and pulled up a chair. Did nothing but wait for some time for her to wake up, dodged a few nurses when they entered. That was fun.
It didn't take long for Elaine to stir, I was happy to see the drugs working to keep the pain dulled down. She tried to adjust herself and move around, bad move, let her figure that out though for herself. She has to know her limitations, I waited patiently for her to notice me which was pretty damn quickly. Perceptive as always. It was adorable, really, she blinked at me with a small, "Oh. Hello." which amused me despite recent events.
"Hey." I leaned back in the chair with a half smile, urge to yawn rising. "How are you feeling? Drugs helping?"
Elaine eyed the IV a moment, "Yeah. They must have me on the good shit. I feel fantastic."
I found myself chuckling at the look on her face, priceless. "Good, good. We should probably get to why I came here, though. Before anymore interruptions come around." Straight to business now that I know she was doing pretty alright considering things. "Asylum. You mentioned in an email about us being from the same one."
"... Right. What did you want to know? We only overlapped for a bit."
"How well did we know each other?" I asked her.
"Not horribly? I mean. I'm older than you, and you came in towards the end of my stay. But we talked, some."
"We talked about feeling guilty for killing people and not knowing why, mostly." Elaine gave a shaky laugh before adding, "We have that in common, I guess." I quirked a brow but stayed silent, letting her continue. "It's. It's been a long time, and that part of my life is hard to remember, but we talked about that, and some friend of yours vanishing, and a man in a mask... And some chick named Lenore? You didn't like her."
"Friend vanishing and a man in a mask, I can get that. Lenore? I don't--Wait, I have a file back at the house about a girl named Lenore." I looked to the wall with a scowl, thinking. Lenore, yes, I most definitely had a file about a girl named Lenore. The friend vanishing was Mr. Sunshine and the man in the mask Prosper, those things connect. Now Lenore would have to be discovered and sadly that would have to wait till I got home. "What were you in there for?"
"...Did you not read my post?" Elaine laughed lightly, "I thought everyone knew by now. I killed people as a kid. Thanks to Slendy, I think. Still not sure. Can't remember it-or most of my first two years at the asylum."
"Sometimes people don't mention everything to a group of strangers." I calmly retorted with my eyes intently watching Elaine, body language says a hell of a lot and I was not going to ignore hers. "What do you remember from those times?"
"The times I talked to you? About as much as you’d normally remember of conversations you had ten years ago?" She paused before adding, "You didn’t get there till after I was back to myself."
"So I arrived fucked up right before you left then basically?" I smirked lightly.
She nodded while laughing, "Well. I still spent a year or so in the asylum the same time as you. Not exactly right before."
"Considering how fucked up time is when you're not sane it seems short in comparison. But damn... A year still? I don't remember you at all." I swung my legs over one arm rest of the chair and leaned back against the other one. "Do you remember meeting this Lenore?"
Elaine shrugged with her good shoulder, "Nope."
"So we've got a ghost. What about Prosper back then. He worked at the asylum, the 269 tattooed on the underside of his wrists. He made masks for other patients, you remember that at all?"
"Yeah, I do. I remember him." It sounded more like she didn't want to. "Creepy motherfucker. He mostly left me alone, at least when I was 'awake'." I was about to question that when she added with a shiver, "Loved you, though. No real surprise there."
"What do you mean by that all?"
Elaine blinked, "Well. I dunno. He’s always been creepy. I couldn’t stand him, and he avoided contact with me. From what I gather that wasn’t always the case, I'd see him lurking out of the corner of my eye." I shuddered at the idea of Prosper doing such to children. “I just never touched the masks, so he left me alone, I think.” She shrugged. “You, he followed. And that one other girl... Fuck it's hard to remember. I don't know if it's the drugs or just a bad memory."
"It's alright. Having something is still better than having nothing at all. Just conversing about it might trigger something later on too, if not immediately." I flashed a reassuring grin, "We've got time. Why not tell me what happened today instead, what did I stumble into earlier?"
"Jake’s been trying to kill me.” She answered flatly. “Me and everyone I care about. For revenge. Because of Cam.” It shocked me to see this change in Jake but at the same time it was understandable, even if not reasonable. "Prosper interrupted us fighting."
"It's sad it turned out that way, I'm sorry you had to lose both of them because of this." I muttered while rubbing the back of my neck, "He just interrupted, he didn't give you anything or say, hell, do anything to tell you something?"
Elaine shook her head, "No, he just cut in when Jake just about had me. Would’ve died if he hadn’t interfered."
It quirked my interest to hear that. Prosper wasn't in the business of saving lives. "So he saved your life and gave me his cracked mask that Road Runner broke when he went to visit her. This is weird. He didn't try and attack you?"
"Well, yeah. He gave me all this crap I’m in the hospital from. But only after I attacked him.”
AFTER she attacked him. Was that something significant? "So Jake was attacking you, Prosper saved you, but hurt you when you attacked him?" I snorted, "Maybe he was keeping you out of the way?"
“Possibly? Maybe he wanted me for himself?”
That made better sense. "Considering how possessive he is of his asylum girls I wouldn't be surprised. And it's like him to jump in at the last second."
Yes. That made a lot more sense but pieces were still missing.
I sat with Elaine, dodged more nurses and the doctor until morning. She had company come which eased me, I didn't want to leave her alone and injured like that. It was nice to speak with her, to put a face to the text I've been reading. Elaine, I'm sorry for your loss. If you need anything just drop a line, feel better.
I split ways and headed off to my next destination which was another days travel, day and a half almost with the fricking traffic. I write this to you now from the outskirts of the large area I'll be exploring. I'm glad to have had Trinity's computer skills put to work before she left, MASC, if you're trying to track this you'll have to try a bit harder. I'm so tired, excuse errors. Been a long couple of days already.
Oh and MASC: I read what happened to Lullaby, what Mystery reported as well. That was unwise. Very unwise. You are lucky it was only Mystery there.
Also, interrogating Mr. Sunshine, really? HA! Made his day.
My companions back home: Be careful, dears.