Lenore was slipping up. Executor was driving me up the goddamn wall, feeding me images through Prosper's eyes of Lenore's beaten form. Soon, soon, soon... That's all I could say. That post before, it was because of this. Because of a lot of things, really. I hope it was obvious both messages I was sending. I spent hours trying to concentrate on this. I'm just undone.
So here I go, telling you a story that might be my last for a while.
I heard a MASC soldier calling to Brood about a proxy standing just outside of the wards. I got off the floor and went to investigate just what all the ruckus was about. It was that kid, Proxy 85. He was wearing a plain white mask, flat, completely expressionless in appearance. Mr. Sunshine gave a small growl from beside me but calmed on his own, not appearing to be threatened by the kid. I looked over at the soldiers and Mr. Sunshine, "Stay here."
"Don't call me that." I retorted with a glare, "Just cover me if you really feel the need. If a trigger is pulled early I'm letting Mr. Sunshine rip some throats open. He's been dying to do so since the Avatar." I took off walking across the grass, confronting Proxy 85 as he remained immobile. "What are you doing here?" I questioned as the distance began closing. He was silent. "Is there something you want? Did your master bring a message?" I continued questioning, eying his tattered attire over once halted a few feet away.
Proxy 85 turned halfway, pointing North. "Lenore is out there." I looked into the direction, completely alert now. "I can take you to her." My attention turned back to him skeptically.
"Did Executor set this up?"
"What he doesn't know can't hurt him." The boy responded with calmly.
I lifted a finger, signaling for him to wait there. I went into the mansion, grabbing some matches and a portable tank of gasoline, as well as my gun. Knives already being on my person at all times. I motioned for Mr. Sunshine to hold down the fort as I began pacing back to Proxy 85. Joshua argued against it, two soldiers following directly behind him. I glanced back, "Get inside." I growled and turned, walking forward towards the boy. Joshua persisted and grabbed my arm. I dropped the gasoline, grabbed the gun and took aim at point blank range, "GET THE FUCK BACK INSIDE." I tore my arm free from him and signaled the MASC soldiers who took him from either side.
"This could be a trap! Don't let revenge blind you-" He yelled, pulling loose and grabbing hold of me again.
I shoved him back at the men, "There are monsters out here, Joshua."
"Like you?" He glared, secured by the soldiers.
"Yea, like me." I waved for them to escort him inside. "Lock him in a windowless room, two men stationed inside, two outside the door. I don't want him leaving the premises."
"This is my problem too, @#%$%^&^!" I could hear Joshua scream. Creevey's damage done, I could feel my body preparing to pivot and fire upon them all. Freedom from the cage I demanded to be locked within was bringing me no relief. It wasn't smart to delay. If I have to play the bad guy in your eyes to keep you safe, so be it. Had to leave, lest more die.
I picked up the gasoline again and walked to Proxy 85, switching the safety off the gun before tucking it away. "Let's go."
Proxy 85 offered his arm and I took it, vanishing from the mansion and landing in a new area. Grass, a lot of it. We were at a small cabin, behind it actually. He was staring at me the entire time I took in the scenery, I noted. Patiently on stand-by. "Prosper is watching." I caught the warning in his voice.
"Right, the whole asylum girls bullshit of his." I scowled looking away a moment. "I'm not doing this for him."
"He knows." He said and when I looked back he was gone.
I pulled out one of the knives that was on my person as I slid up against the cabin. Quietly (because by now I've noticed how well she hears shit) I came to a window and peeked in, finding the open cabin abandoned and empty of life. I could hear whispering ahead, near the front of the place. I nearly smirked at the fact we were completely isolated, and for once she was not in control of a scheme. Glancing around the corner of the cabin I saw her pacing, talking to herself. The three dead mockingbirds still rotting away where they dangled from her wrist. The arm I snapped twice, and that was shot plenty of times, was in a shitty sling made out of her jacket. It was torn from what I could see, wrapped poorly in bloody bandages. Prosper no doubt attacked that weakness continuously. It would be amazing if it healed properly.
"Have to complete. Have to silence. Have to work. HARDER, HARDER. NOT ENOUGH." She shrieked, throwing a fit one moment and the next calmly pacing. "Broke her. Broke her again and again. Killed her. Not complete yet. Not finished yet. Have to finish. Silence. Silence everything." Road Runner was limping somewhat, she looked like a complete wreck. Still human, even if she didn't want to be. Her mobility looked fucked up, which finally made that smirk surface. Open season, Lenore? I think yes. "He silences. Give him information, he silences many. So many. Wonderful. Beautiful. Powerful, keep watch. Must kill at some point. Pity. He'll kill her. Completion in order. Not complete yet. NOT ENOUGH!"
I tested the weight of the knife a moment then took aim once she stopped, having taken long enough to study which leg was injured the most. Had to weaken the other one. I lined up the shot before throwing the knife, impaling it in her more stable leg. She screeched bloody murder, teleporting for not even a second before reappearing a few feet from where she was, stumbling until she collapsed. I left my post and she looked up, her mask still gone leaving her true appearance revealed. Her long chestnut hair, mid part, no bangs, weaved over her shoulders and down her back. Her pale, round face was smudged and lightly scarred in a few places, as was her neck, arms, hell every viewable place. Her eyes were wide and filled with surprise and madness, mulling over the situation at hand.
I leaned forward into her direction and mouthed, "Found you."
Lenore ripped the knife out of her thigh with a grunt, pulling herself up she teleported again but failed, stumbling across the lawn and nearly collapsing. A frustrated shriek formed in her throat as she pulled herself up by one hand. She had little issues sucking up to the pain by normal human standards of movement, but anytime she tried to teleport or use that advance speed her legs gave out. It was lovely watching her try to be anything but normal. She teleported again, landing in front of me and swiped the knife, it cut open some of my shirt and scratched me a bit, but I wasn't concerned. She had a lot of bark but her bite was weak. I grabbed her wrist and squeezed, watching as she gritted her teeth as I twisted her arm until she dropped the knife.
"You know... I remember every bit of training I went through now. Muscle memory is a wonderful thing, knowledge plus my body already being familiar made for an easy reteaching." She looked at me as I continued to converse with her casually. "I grew up learning boxing and wrestling from my dad and my mother's father, unreal as they were and all. Was taught only some Mixed Martial Arts for shits and giggles from a professional friend, it was fun. Training with guns due to military service kin. Explosives, same kin, and a professor in the family who assisted in human anatomy studying as well. He made science fun! They were all fun, while alive. Course none of them are left, and we both know why. But back to it, what I've always favored was street fighting. Much more free. Course, it's also gritty, personalized," I looked her in the eyes,"and bloody." before headbutting her with a laugh, shaking my head as I reached down and grabbed the knife. "But Lenore..." I called as she stumbled back, looking up at me with minor alarm and fury. She lifted herself up quickly, chucking a rock at my head. It hit, cutting open my forehead by a bit. Oh yea, that stung. I wiped the blood before it could reach my eye, looking at her as she fled inside. I pursued her, slamming open the door as she shut it on me. "I'LL FUCKING CRIPPLE YOU!"
Road Runner turned, flinging a side table and smashing the lamp to the floor in the process. I blocked myself with an arm, kicking it back at her once it fell to the floor. She just missed it and came at me, fist ready. I took a few hits, granted, but subduing her was easier than what it used to be. Her body wasn't built for long term hand to hand, one free arm wasn't helpful either in her condition. Sure, it would have been harder if her legs were in better condition but why should I care about playing on a leveled playing field when she never did? Lenore is incredibly lanky, all her strength came from her speed. Velocity, the likes. Remove that and she's just some skinny woman with mental issues."Wrath." She hissed, seeing her speak in that same dual voice whisper was eerie. The bitch grinned which made it worse, freeing herself from my hold but not expertly. I grabbed her hair and swung her into the wall without a goddamn care for her face.
"As I was saying, Lenore," I began again, watching as she pulled herself from the wall and stumbled across the room. "I'm not here to fight you."
Curiosity crossed her face, "Wrath wishes not to fight? Wrath initiated the fight."
I smiled, "I'm not here to fight." I shook the knife, "I'm here to kill you. I don't give a fuck about fighting, no foreplay, Lenore. I'm going to kill you and that's it." Lenore pulled her arm from the sling and lifted it in a pathetic attempt to show she wasn't allowing that. "Am I going to have to break that thing all over again?"
She attacked me once more, screeching and snarling like the animal she was. Insanity: It's doing something again and again and expecting different results, right? Ha, Lenore is the definition of that at least. She wouldn't stop trying to teleport and speed about, it tired her further and made her angrier. While it was effective to make her furious punches a bit more potent it also reduced her precision. Sloppy work. Attempting to choke me from behind led to being elbowed in the gut, which was followed by being thrown over my shoulder and landing upon the hard wooden floor (something she most definitely could have avoided if not in such a state, tsk). She hissed, pulling up onto all fours and I landed a kick to her face, which reminded me of punting a soccer ball. The crack against my shoe was satisfying. The gushing blood from her nose told me I was right in breaking it. Every murderous look thrown was followed by a grin, wider than the last. "Wraaath..."
"No, Lenore." I scolded as I circled her, watching as she clumsily pulled herself to a stand. "If I allowed myself the privilege of releasing my wrath upon your flesh and blood body, there would be nothing recognizable left." I pulled out the gun as I walked behind her, safety already off. "I'd gladly rape your soul... But I won't, because I'm a decent human being. So instead I'll settle with this." I fired at the bone of her ankle, unprotected by her low cut shoes. She screeched, immediately taking weight off it as she hopped to remain up. I took aim and fired at her other ankle which earned another blood curdling screech. Lenore fumbled to stand but failed, landing on her knees as she rocked slightly, trying to take her mind off the pain. I landed in front of her, kneeling down to take a look at her light brown eyes.
"I'll never die." She whispered, grinning as she tapped the side of her head. I gathered her meaning, mentally, in memory. How cute.
"And I'll never stop killing you." I whispered, firing the gun again on one of the knees she rested on. She leaned to the side a moment, catching herself as unwilling tears streamed down her smiling face. Balancing on a single knee as best she could, somewhat determined to die with her head held high it seemed. I put my gun away, finding it not as satisfying anymore. My fingers traced the handle of my knife, seated in my belt once Lenore decided she wanted to fight back before. During the time I decided to humor her. "I don't believe hate is a means to an end, but you really are the only exception." I shook my head, tsking her quietly. "You always knew how to bring out the worst in me."
Lenore laughed quietly, her breathing heavy. "It was there long before I arrived. I made it flourish. Almost complete. Almost, Wrath."
I flashed her a smile before pulling the knife out, in a swift motion I dug it into her stomach and dragged it across before pulling back. She instantly wrapped her arms around her midsection, eyes wide and wild. I backed away from her, watching as blood slipped passed her tight hold on herself. "Got two options: A) hold in your organs and bleed out, the slower option. Or B) let them pour out with all that blood and die a little faster. Either way, it's going to take a bit." I sat down on the floor a few feet away, enough distance to not get too bloodied up. Making myself comfortable I leaned back slightly on my arms, "I'm not leaving till I see the life drain from that hideous mug."
Can't say how long we were there for, until she began losing it. More-so than before, I should say. But the entire time I sat watching her as she stared back, grinning like a maniac. What color was left in her face slowly drained over time, unable to support herself on one leg she fell over onto her side and continued clutching her stomach. Her eyes lost their focus momentarily before returning to meet mine, "A little suffering is good for the soul. Hate is a means to an end. Hate breeds revenge, revenge breeds wrath." She chuckled lowly as I continued to stare indifferently. "Wrath makes you do craaaazy things. Like murder." I was scowling at this point, catching onto her meaning. Lenore started cackling, reaching a bloody hand towards me which only allowed her organs to begin slipping from her abdomen. "Your turn." She died laughing through her tears, grinning crazily even as the air left her lungs. When her body finally fell silent.
After sitting, staring at her body for a few minutes I got up and inspected it with my shoe. Kicking her head to the side, snapping the neck of the corpse. Urge to go into overkill subsided at the sound of the bone breaking. Satisfying. I left the cabin and went outside to where Proxy 85 and I first landed, I retrieved the gasoline from an overgrown shrub and brought it inside only to be surprised by the visitor waiting for me inside.
Prosper was on his knees, cradling Lenore's body loosely as he looked over her face and idly stroked her hair. I leaned against the door frame, scowling as my finger impatiently tapped against the canister. He looked up, head cocking to one side before looking back down. Seeing his hulking form cradling her lithe one, intestines and the likes spilled across the floor, it wasn't pleasant. It only got worse when he pushed his mask up and licked the blood from her throat.
"If you're going to fuck the corpse at least let me leave first." I spat, he grinned and dropped her body with a sudden loss of interest. Pulling himself up he stepped over her lifeless form, carelessly walking across her organs until he reached me. I slapped away his bloody hand when it came too close for comfort. "What the hell is going on with you? Are you not taking orders from your precious master anymore? It's like you fell off the grid."
He didn't answer my questions, chuckled a bit beneath his breath as he looked back Lenore. "She was always troublesome. We didn't want her, didn't need her. She was a persistent reject. Always selfishly trying to use you for her own purposes. Never did realize there are bigger purposes than her own." It was surprising to hear him speak that much. "Besides, what fun would it be to kill everyone?"
"That doesn't answer my question, jackass."
Prosper sighed, almost dramatically. Before I could react his hand was on my throat, forcefully tilting back my head to look directly at him. "Executor never liked Lenore. She knew too much and when she didn't she found out what she wanted to know. Kidnapped and tortured plenty of his subjects, partially why he stopped relying on them. They didn't know anything useful, they never do, so she killed them all. Left their corpses out to be found. To make matters worse she began giving away proxy locations to Thuggee."
I punched his arm, he didn't budge. My air wasn't being cut off yet, but that 'yet' is exactly what concerned me. "Can't imagine Executor was happy about that."
"He wasn't. Lenore belonged to none, her own agent of destruction against all factions and innocents. She manipulated proxies into killing each other, he had enough. One night he cornered her in a warehouse, having set a trap that used his own proxies as bait, the last remaining ones he had control of. After she slaughtered them he appeared and attempted to drill his way into her brain. She resisted and laughed in his face before fleeing from the warehouse. The Executor turned to me and the boy, his mask dropped from his face and his ears bled from what he had heard within her head. Constant screaming and laughing, one soul torn asunder."
"Then call me mercy." I jeered, not feeling pity for either parties.
Prosper's grin quirked back up at the corner of his lips. "The moment she met you the screaming became louder, I would imagine. You damned her further. Once she discovered the truth about you her goal became the impossible. You led her on a suicide mission. I said Lenore belonged to none, but she was influenced by one. You gave her madness purpose and made it flourish further, just as she made your wrath surface. You took away her ability to murder further by taking up murdering yourself. How does that feel?"
"I think I could go for a round two if you'd like to find out just how I feel." I scowled, not amused in the least bit.
His head cocked to the side as his hand tightened on my throat, "Do you really think that is wise?"
"Do you?" I retorted, the tip of the knife digging into his shirt directly where his heart was.
Prosper grunted and released me with a small push back, gaining some distance between us. "I favored Lenore unlike the Executor. I give credit where it's due, it would have been interesting had she come out the victor. I am his pawn, however, such could never be allowed. Despite my own curiosities." He picked up part of her intestines and examined it before tossing it aside. "I was hoping you'd release your restraints and leave her shredded instead of tactically disabling and killing her swiftly."
"I didn't care to fight her, or beat her. She was broken as it was and just needed to die." I slipped the knife into my belt loop once more, resting my hand on it just in case. "You'll learn when I hate someone I will not play with them. Every move will be to hinder and cripple them until they realize they are going to die." I sighed, "Lenore deserved to feel loss, though. She loved her speed, so I took her legs. I was tempted to let her live as a cripple but that still wouldn't have resolved anything. Someone else would have killed her and I wasn't going to give anyone else that privilege."
"Do you feel relief now?"
I jiggled the gasoline. "Not until I see the bitch burn." His head bowed slightly, glancing back at Lenore's corpse before back my way. He pulled the mask down, preparing to leave. "Prosper." His eyes met mine. "I know how to kill you." I said referring to why he had backed off before. The knife had cut past his comfort zone. Mystery's notes on being able to eliminate Prosper's kind were coming in handy.
"Then I should be so fortunate to not engage you on this day." He chuckled as his arms extended out on either side, giving a small bow before vanishing from where he stood.
I frowned and began pouring the gasoline through-out the place. Tossing the can at her body I walked back to the door, lighting a match and set it down before stepping back outside. Watching as the place burned, I can't describe how it felt just watching her body catch aflame. I checked my phone and I pulled up a map, estimating the time it would take for someone to notice the fire. Given the remote area, lack of patrols, private land, a while to say the least. It brought a smile to my face, the temperatures would rise enough and cook her to ashes over the estimated time frame. Or at least beyond identification. Evidence would erase itself, perfect. I leaned against a tree, giving myself a few minutes to watch as the cabin became engulfed.
Situation resolved. No more information being given to Thuggee. One less enemy hindering us. It may mean the Executor has one less distraction but fuck it, worth it. Watching as the structure began to collapse in on itself, knowing she was burning away in there, that was worth it. It was worth everything. That was for Billy, for fucking with my kin, because fuck her.
I managed to make my way home afterwards, walked in the front door of the mansion and looked at Joshua who was apparently released thanks to Brood.
He had only one thing to ask, "Is she dead?"
I found myself grinning pleasantly at him before leaving to my room in the cellar to clean off. Silly Joshua, I wouldn't be home if she wasn't dead.
Ding dong, the bitch is dead, folks.
Hopefully you all will stay safer than her,
Congrats, Lenore. You won. I'm everything I tried to run from.