I asked for a week without contact, and what happens? I get proxies showing up on my doorstep. I've come to realize some fuck tampered with the wards while I was burrowing beneath the sheets. It was a relatively quiet week of me, you know, laying about in bed with some boozes and NyQuil, the house on lock down.
First during the early week I got a visit from a single proxy. Sent by who? Manipulated by who? Road Runner. As were the rest. What did I say? What did I warn before? Come on my property and I'd gut you. He didn't have time to even pull out his knife, I already had mine digging into his chest. Words weren't needed, I knew what he was. I looked him in the eyes and saw there was emptiness, not the sort a killer has where they are emotionless and apathetic. This was different, far more hollow than what Graves was. A puppet, a shell, fucking zombie.
I grabbed the collar of his sweatshirt and dragged him through the front door, dropping him to the floor before slamming shut the door and locking it once more. His body twitched a while, I dragged him into the basement and left the corpse there to attend to cleaning what smears he left. It's a tedious process, but once finished I went down and tended to the body. I threw it in the freezer we have because fuck him, I was not leaving the house till the week was over.
Over the weekend was when I got a phone call from Mr. Unpredictable.
I was in the middle of packing objects up into boxes, getting ready to clear out unnecessary materials from my kin to put into storage. This house was to become something more useful than just a reminder of a false life. Since it was Saturday and the week had finally come to pass I turned my phones back on. It rang that evening, despite my obvious dislike. I answered it, waiting a moment to listen. No greeting, so I cleared my throat enough to mutter, "Yea? Hello?"
"Hello m'Lady. I hear your plan panned out. Hehe, how'd my recipe work?" I noticed it was Advocate with ease, but his sane tone was something that surprised me. If I wasn't so used to his voice it would have thrown me off. I instantly wondered what game he was playing at this time, but then lacked caring much.
With a soft grunt I responded, "It panned out." and placed him on speaker phone as I packed things into boxes. "You sound different." I commented, it was a random subject change for obvious reasons. "Why?"
"I've been busy. I'm a changed man." He said with mock sincerity. "We all have faces we put on." I could hear just then as a bus drove by, dully I quirked a brow at the background noise. "You sound different too. How are you, beautiful?"
I ripped the duct tape, sealing a box closed. I didn't care to answer his question, it was obvious enough no doubt. I wasn't caring to hide the emotional toll that I was collecting in the aftermath. "Where are you?" I asked instead, kicking the box across the wood floor to the other side with the others.
"Oh I see. My baby is feeling weighty." I heard him sigh. "I guess this is a good experience. You'll need to have some practice with ignoring basic emotions if you're going to help me in my line of work." He chuckled. "Wish I could be with you right now. But this business trip isn't something I can cut short. As for where I am, I'm at a payphone. Somewhere in Ohio. Heh. Fun, fun, fun."
"I'm not helping you." I scowled, stopping myself ahead of time from continuing. I was trying to be civil, despite the various negativity I was feeling. "Anyways," I forced the word some. "what kind of business trip?" I paused, my mind returning to one point especially as I snatched another box. "And why are you calling me from a payphone?"
“Medical business, of course. I’m making some house calls, doing some consultations, freeing people from the weights of physical pain. You know, what I’m good at.” He chuckled, amused. “Sometimes it gets gruesome though. Sometimes… You know, it’s actually a funny story how I… Misplaced my phone. My cell started ringing while I was helping a man remove some… Rotting flesh from his body. Painful procedure, and we were both on edge.” The Advocate paused a moment, I could hear footsteps passing behind him. “I was very irritated about being interrupted, but he was more so. He ended up getting so upset that he thrashed his head against my phone and broke it. Hehehe.” Obviously, by his tone he had used the phone as a weapon to club the man, and broke it in the process. It didn't surprise me in the least. “I didn’t even try to remove the broken plastic from his forehead. After breaking my phone, he decided to swallow the fragmented pieces of it as I attempted to aid him with the pain relief via high dose of pain meds and well… Hehe, I left a little after that. Strange man.” He laughed on the other end. “But back to what I was saying before, I’ve got quite a few places to visit before I can return home… I should be grabbing a new cell next stop, though. Hehe.”
My eyes narrowed, minor amusement rising. "Strange man indeed." I mused, imagining what he described (just as he described it, not the actual obvious happening). I shook my head from side to side a moment. "Well, you gotta do what you gotta do. Your job, no?" I shrugged lazily to no one. "Jersey will be a little less bloody." There was another pause. "...For the moment." I trailed, my thoughts turning onto Road Runner and the dead proxy in the freezer a moment. Snapping out of it I returned to packing away things. "So... How many house calls?"
"A little less bloody." I heard him quote with obvious pleasure. "Dear, I think you're going to be making up for my absence." There was a happy sigh, my eyes narrowed again. "Babe, you say you won't be helping me now... But remember that you still owe me plenty of darling favors." He reminded me pointedly. "Speaking of which, I've decided on what a few of them will be." There was a click on his end, I assumed it to be he was adding another coin to lengthen the call. "As for how many house calls I have to make, well at least ten more... And that's not including the spontaneous checkups."
I was scowling by then. "I'm repaying you is all. When do you plan to inform me on this list?" I inquired dully, tapping my index finger against the box a moment. The gears in my head were turning as I processed the information. I could feel a headache forming from the new dose of information coming in to think on, aside from the other shit. "Damn. Got quite the number of... House calls." I coughed lightly at what he was deciding to call it. "What's the purpose in this? Or is it just for shits and giggles?"
"Leftovers. that's what the buzz is about." The Advocate chuckled. "Deals to settle, clients to meet with, stuff for the boss. Inform you on the list? Hehe. Curious are you. Curiosity killed a bunch of cats, I hear." The sanity slipped a moment, his voice briefly returned to the insane tone I've come to find familiar. His disguise returned just as footsteps passed behind him again. "Don't worry too much, love, I'll be home soon. I promise to work extra fast, just for you." He laughed sweetly, I quietly sighed. "I might call you again later once I find a replacement cell, just so you can have the number on hand if you need me. Speaking of cats... How's the doctor?"
I tapped my finger against the box slowly once more. "Satisfaction brought them back." I retorted with dryly, ignoring his slip all together before answering his question. "Proctor is fine. As fine as someone in his odd situation can be. Physically. Mentally it isn't as easy to gather. Even more so after..." I paused, thinking about DeMii and Lullaby. "Yea." I picked up a book, weighing it in my hand a moment before throwing it as hard as I could into a vase. A mess was made but it distracted me from my rising thoughts. "Who is your boss?"
"Nice throw." He snickered. "Sheesh, right to the big questions. I thought that would be blatantly obvious by now." He sighed. "The added emotional weight has slowed your thinking a bit, babe. When I get home I'll give you a nice massage and help relieve all that pent up tension." I scowled again at how he avoided the question, I let him having no real interest in bickering. "Tell him I say... Hello. Or meow. Or mew. Or purr, whatever it translates to." He was chuckling pleasantly, a smile in his voice. "Hey beautiful, I'm running out of time on my quarter but I love you and I'll be calling you soon, honey. Hehehe." He tapped the speaker, "Hear that, babe? It's the sound of me on my way home. I'll see you and kitty very soon. We can spend some quality time alone together, eh? It'd be nice after the busy month we've both had. Wish me luck." He chuckled, waiting on hanging up. Guess for my goodbye or something.
I flinched pretty badly, tapping stopped the moment his bluntly said his little 'I love you'. I felt my hand twitch, looking at it there was slight shaking. I glared at the limb a second, "Right. Sure." I muttered with a sigh, shrugging off what he said all together. I mentally noted to get someone to watch Proctor from now on, Advocate's keen interest concerned me. "We'll discuss more when you return. Good luck, though I doubt you need it, dear." I lightly chuckled, shaking off the weight of his words and continued packing.
"I'll have my brownies bring you a secretary--Whoops, haha... Flip that." He said, but the call abruptly cut off and brought our conversation to an end.
I mused slightly, cursing him mentally for making me crack a smile. Of all people. Figures.
It was later when a surprise showed up, knocking on my door. I figured it was Advocate's so called secretary but I came to find out, nope, it wasn't. The knife came at me just as I opened the door, I shoved it shut onto the proxy's arm immediately after seeing the gleam. A window broke from the other end of the house, footsteps storming my way. A second proxy came around the bend, her finger on the trigger of a gun aimed at me. I stared carefully, my mind shoving aside all the burdens and focused on the movement alone. To cut it short, I dodged as she fired and the bullet broke through my back door window and into the shoulder of the second proxy. I kicked the door hard while turning to face her, snapping the arm of the male proxy and used that leverage to launch at the female. A second bang went off, away from me as I grabbed her wrist in one hand, throat with the other, and slammed her hand against the counter until she released the weapon. She scratched, punched, and kicked, but the twig must have missed the memo on that doing jack shit unless it has actual power behind it. I dislodged myself from her and grabbed the gun, moving to the second back door with it pointed at the female, the male already broken and vulnerable.
Staring at them I came to notice they had the same trait as the previous, as all the proxies I've encountered since meeting Road Runner. Hollow, manipulated beyond repair.
"Can people in your position be saved?"
"I am beyond redeemable." Graves spoke in her usual monotone voice as we stood out on Dia's porch one late night. She didn't believe she was capable of being saved, unaware of the spark of life still lingering inside her. "There are those worse than ones like me, too. Should you encounter them I suggest you eliminate the targets on sight. They are husks and nothing more. Incapable of feeling, thought network severed, imprinted with a single goal."
I shoved my hands into my pockets, weight shifting to one side. "How are they created?"
Grave's looked at me, her onyx eyes part of the darkness of the night. "Their souls are torn asunder. There is nothing but a shell leftover. Shoot out their legs and they'll crawl to kill you. Remove their arms and they'll bite out your throat. Any means to finish the job they have been tasked."
"What happens afterwards to them?"
"They are directed onto another, or they are killed. Mere tools, usually worthless after their first order."
I pulled the trigger, the female collapsed to the floor. I directed it upon the male, aiming at his knee and fired. There were no signs of pain, there was nothing. He tried to crawl after me, using his alright arm and opposite good leg, it was failing. I walked to my room and grabbed the rope I kept there. I returned to the kitchen and tied the male. It would have been easier to do this with the female, but she was uninjured, a swift kill was less troublesome and capturing the male was easier, even if he was heavier. I dragged him down the stairs and around back in the basement to the tool table, with much annoyance I got him on top and secured him down. After that it was a matter of throwing the female's body into the freezer as well and cleaning up the mess upstairs.
Then I had my time to access the living male. Doesn't respond to pain, unlikely to feel it. This was worse than Graves, she was capable of reacting to pain, not emotionally but being aware. Which served her well, she knew when she was too injured to continue. This thing I was standing over before was unaware, it had no limits. It continued until it died or was killed. Even tied down it continued to try and attack, its broken arm partly torn apart from his attempts. It was a pitiful sight. This was just a guy who was thrown into this shit, and the result was he was laying on my table as a husk. I pulled out a knife, less messy, and sunk it into his forehead swiftly. He became the third within the week to die on my property. The third to go into the freezer. It was getting too cramped, I had to deal with their bodies.
So I did. Not saying where, when, how, etc. because bodies or pieces of bodies have a habit of showing up in the most unpleasant ways around me. FuckyouProsper.
Cleaned up the basement. Left the house, rented a moving truck and spent the next day loading up the boxes. The basement has been cleared out, leaving the layout perfect for what this house is to become. Done and done. Everything is stored away.
I'm making changes to make the house more secure, fixing the wards as well, changing some things around. Especially with the basement entrances and exits, tch. Have to fix that. This house is ridiculously open.
Sigh. Work, work, work. My hand keeps twitching, I don't like it.
Joshua came by with dumb and dumber, hesitantly, might I add. He was surprised by how quickly I got to work on the house. I flashed him a bitter smile. He made lunch and we talked for a few minutes while the duo MASC soldiers scouted the property.
"Shady," I looked up from the sandwich I was poking carelessly. "why is there cardboard and duct tape covering one of the windows?"
I glanced over my shoulder at the window, having lacked the time to fix it. "Well, you know..." He looked blankly at me. I shrugged. "Got nothing." I took a bite of the sandwich.
"Funny, but seriously, what happened?"
"Well... There was a proxy at the back door, a diversion so one could break in from the other side of the house." Joshua looked alarmed. I held up a hand and waved off his worries. "They are both dead, it's all good."
He coughed, "How?"
"I killed them?" I retorted, throwing him a look. Was he stupid all of a sudden? Surprise was still plastered on his face, it made me sigh and put down the sandwich. "Joshua, you might know me, but there is a lot that's still going to surprise you. Hell, there's plenty that's surprising me."
"Yea." He agreed, a hard look on his face as he gave a single nod. His eyes moved away from my face to the table near the windows. "Where's the old picture and vase?"
"How the hell do you keep noticing that shit?" I groaned, leaning back in the chair. A smile formed on his face, a chuckle following, which broke out into a quiet laugh. It was weird to see him laugh.
Joshua leaned on the table, his smile half gone by the end of his laugh. "The night you got run through with that pipe, by that bird chick-"
"Lenore." I stated with a firm scowl.
"Lenore." He corrected. "You counted the rounds in my gun, you didn't have your memories then. You weren't aware of your own experiences unlike now. I have to keep up with my twin, don't I?"
I loosely folded my arms, a half smile forming to mimic his. "You underestimate yourself, Joshua. You always had the hawk eyes, I noticed what was essential, you speculate everything."
"I try." He lightly mused.
Good boy, Joshua. Get into the game, work that brain of yours so I won't have to worry about leaving you on your own. You're one of the smartest people I've ever known, about time you started showing it.
"I'll need help updating security systems." I saw him quirk a smirk, glancing at the bag he brought with him. No doubt his laptop, he always kept it at his side. "Think you can play with some different things while I hit the wards?"
"Oh yea." Joshua patted his bag, "I can hook you up with a nice defense. I looked over MASC's, I can mimic it and personalize it for this property. Wire it to some different locations."
I wagged my finger, "And the power issue, if it goes out. Back up options, I don't want just a Plan B, I want a C, D, E, F, G." He didn't say anything, he didn't need to. Joshua continued smirking as he grabbed his plate and walked into the kitchen to clean up. That's my boy, him and Billy used to fuck the school again and again with hacking into their systems. I remember they thought it was someone trying to get back at them from a board meeting, then thoughts were it was a rival school doing it, panic rose at what was fucking with their systems. Turned out that Billy and Joshua began a prank war that escalated. Joshua had a way with technology, I trust his ability to get the job done.
What has been going on since that week? Moving Joshua in here, as well as dumb and dumber, getting the property secured, being attacked in between by more husks. My Jeep is scratched and has a new dent it from those fuckers, swear to whoever it was like Left 4 Dead for a moment with that asshat.
Oh, and I've been hunting Road Runner. It was leading me nowhere until Mystery called me, alarmed. She was hunting down another one of Executor's clones when she instead found Prosper assaulting Road Runner. I guess they were doing their teleporting trick again. Executor was in the vicinity, he entered the scene and unleashed an assault upon her as well. Road Runner was apparently injured, bleeding, her arm in a sling still and looked bad from when it was broken twice. When she fled Prosper gave chase, it left Mystery with Executor. He commented on how he was going to eliminate the pest, Prosper had been hounding after Road Runner since I was impaled because of how injured she was. They were fighting long before that, but this was prime striking time.
So Road Runner is the prey to the Executor, eh? Prosper is in his glory chasing after her blood trail. Least I have a lead now to hunt them both down. Mystery is hanging in there, doing alright. Still hunting for E-Bear.
I'm returning to the mansion in a few days once everything is finished here.