A New Chance

Hospital Heel-Face

Reaper

A dim flicker of consciousness awakens within the Reaper’s mind, a memory of a time almost forgotten. He had been a killer for so long that he had almost forgotten what it was like to be innocent and pure. As his mind wandered in a haze between consciousness and unconsciousness, memories drifted at him from out of the darkness. He remembered being a child, laughing and playing with his parents at the park, traveling to the beach and smiling at the sun. He would never smile at the sun again, not now. But perhaps it was not too late to redeem himself. He tried to remember what had happened to his parents to make the fun times go away. A door opened in his mind, and he remembered. He had killed them in their sleep. At last a coherent thought broke through the haze, and he thought, “What have I become?”

His life flashed before his eyes, and he saw with clear eyes the horrors he had committed. And now, with his terrible powers, he sought to commit even more. His thoughts became more lucid, less crippled in the grip of madness, and he thought, and muttered in his slumber, “No more death. No more.” He felt the veil of his madness lifting, slowly at first, then faster, until the voice that cried for death was only a whisper in the farthest reaches of his mind. It was then that he awoke.

geez3r

As your eyes flicker open, your eyes sense light and you reflexively try to shield you eyes, you hear a clink of metal as your arms stop moving. It takes you a moment to realize that the light isn’t hurting you. As you look about your surroundings, you note that you are in a hospital bed, chained to it with a few handcuffs. You also note two police officers with shot guns posted inside the room, and 2 more just outside. You also note that there are several flash lights and lanterns on the ground shedding light, and preventing shadows from being cast from the lights on the ceiling. On the opposite wall, looking at you are the fire mutant and the glowy mutant from the conference staring at you. “It awakens…” says the firey one, “So it does…” answers the glowy one.

Reaper

The Reaper opens his eyes, blinking in the light for a moment. He looks over to see the flaming man and the glowing dot. He asks, almost pleading with them, “What do you see when you look at me? What monster from children’s stories lies before you now? What kind of a fiend have I become. Even the sun knows it. Her searing light blinds me and burns me, punishing me for my crimes. What god would let one such as me live? What righteous god would not strike me down with the fury of a thousand suns, until even the memory of me is gone? Why don’t I die?” He cries in fury, his muscles straining against the bonds that hold him. His eyes are blinded in his madness. He screams into the air, “Why won’t I die? Kill me! Kill me, like I killed them! Send me to the cruel torment I deserve! Kill me!” Just as suddenly as it began, the madness leaves him, and he lies still, silent but for a quiet sobbing, and a murmer. “Why won’t I die?”

geez3r

You notice that just about everyone in the room exchanges looks that clearly state “Yep, he’s a wacko.” One of the guards outside the door mutters to the other “Maybe the giant hit him a little too hard…”

The blue glowy guy (Bolt, which I shall now refer to him as, because “glowy guy” is getting old) approaches about another foot closer to your bed, and speaks in a far off, echo-y voice ””Well ‘Mr. Reaper’, I have two questions for you. Firstly, why do you suddenly wish to die. And secondly, and more importantly, why don’t you speak friggin’ English!?” The second question earns a few chuckles from the peanut gallery.

Reaper

The Reaper shakes with a mixture of rage and grief. He asks the blue glow, in a quiet voice, “Do you know how many men I’ve killed? Do you know how much blood is on my hands? Hundreds of lives. Hundreds. And that was before this terrible curse. Last night I killed forty two innocent people. The ground I walk upon is stained with the blood of the innocent. And so I ask what god would let me live to bring torment and death to so many?” He pauses, his voice only a whisper as he says, “What cruel god would let me see the horrors I have done with open eyes and force me to live with so much blood upon my hands? I can hear their screams when I close my eyes. Men. Women. Children. So many lives cut short by these two hands.” He falls silent for a moment, then closes his eyes, trying to shut out the light but allowing the memories to return. “That is why I wish to die.” He falls silent, his mind filled with the screams of dying children.

geez3r

Bolt looks at you for a long while, his alien featues are hard to discern, but you get a feeling of great disgust is coming from him. He slowly raises his right arm, so his palm is facing you. A low hum fills the room, and a light or two flickers, you can smell the ozone in the air, you even hear cracks of electricity around Bolt’s arm, but nothing, absolutely nothing, is more ominous than the pure hatred and loathing that is just rolling off of Bolt. The guards and fire mutant look like they want to stop him, but at the same time want to see you fry.

Finally Bolt speaks, but his voice is no longer an echo; it is strong, it is powerful and it seems to be barely controlled. “Last night… My sister… my beautiful, loving sister… was killed… I was the one who found her… her body… had been torn to shreds… but she still had… that innocent look in her eyes… her cold, dead eyes… that would never again… light up when she saw me… she was only 8…....... I swore I would avenger her… I would kill… whatever… dog.. dared harm her…. and here I stand…. the dog before me… and I have the power…. to kill you… to end it all… But yet… I do not… As I stand here… you show remorse…. no…. horror… for what you have done… and what you now are…. For that….....

You will…. not…. die…. this day…. I am not showing…. mercy to you… I believe… that your own body…. will make a far better… prison… than any I could image… So remain… in your mortal coil…. and await… a death that will not come….” Bolt lowers his arm, and the build up of energy slowly dies away. He takes a step back from you, as if he wishes to take in the entirety of the scene in front of him.

Reaper

The Reaper thinks, slowly sifting through the horrors of the past night for relevant information. “A girl…a girl…I did not kill many girls that age last night. No more than two. One I know died almost bloodlessly, neck snapped. The other, I think I slit her throat with my claws. I’m not sure, there were several with the second girl, but i don’t think she was greatly mauled. This is…disturbing, to say the least. There may be something else prowling the nights…” He pauses, deep in thought. He then asks the glowing being, “Describe her face, in as much detail as you can bear. If I did not kill her, then something else did, and it must be stopped. I know that you have no reason to trust me, and every reason not to, but I cannot rest until I know if there is another abomination like me stalking the streets of Rainport.” His eyes show genuine concern, and just a tinge of the previous grief and guilt.

geez3r

After your little speech, for the first time, Bolt turns his back to you. He crosses his arms, as if in deep concentration. No one says a word for over a minute until Bolt makes a odd noise in his throat… he’s crying. After another moment of silence Bolt speaks in a hoarser voice “Thank you. For telling me that. I will look into the matter.”

Reaper

The Reaper nods respectfully, and says, “I thank you for listening to me. If her killer still walks free, then his life will be counted in hours if I am free to hunt him. I do not expect freedom, but if given I know how I will use it. I shall send mistress Death her own servants to join her in hell. Perhaps then when I die, there will be someone who mourns my passing.” He falls silent, trying to remember any relevant details he might have forgotten about the past night.

geez3r

For the first time in a while, the fire mutant (Inferno) speaks up, his voice sounds a bit like a hissing a crackling fire, but something about it is off, but you can’t quite place it. “It’s not on our authority that you are being kept here. We were just considered the best men for the job. I’ll let the big wigs know of what was said here. I’ll be back in a moment. If you’re not here when I get back, there will be hell to pay.” At his last words, the flames licking Inferno’s body turn a deep blood red before returning to their normal orange hue, before he flies out of the room and down the hall.

Reaper

The Reaper nods as the flaming man leaves, slightly less uncomfortable, but still irritated by the flourescent lights. Flames reminded him too much of the sun for him to be comfortable around them. He speaks, partly to the glowing orb, and partly to himself, “What monster of a man will die and have not a single soul mourn his passing? I have never feared death before, but I fear death now. Not because of what I will find; I know death as well as any living man can. I fear to die with not a single tear to be shed over my lifeless corpse. I have decided now that I don’t want to die now, alone and unloved. I want to live a life worth living, and die a death worth dying, when my time has come. Still I fear that it will never be.” He paused, brooding for a few moments before speaking directly to the blue orb. “I don’t believe I’ve asked you your name. You know mine, of course, or the only one that still belongs to me at any rate.”

geez3r

The blue orb answers “You may call me Bolt.”

Reaper

The Reaper nodded, commiting the name to memory. He then spoke, “If it is decided that I will be allowed to go free to hunt for your sister’s killer, would you be opposed to fighting alongside me? I have seen for myself that you are rather powerful, and together we stand a better chance than either of us alone. If you would be uncomfortable working with me, I can’t say I’d blame you. Either way, her killer will be found and held accountable for his crimes.”

geez3r

Bolt turns back to facing you and says “Even if you are not my sister’s killer, you are still a killer, and I will NEVER work with something as disgusting as that, no matter the cost.”

Reaper

The Reaper nods respectfully, saying, “I can’t say that I’m surprised. No matter how much it abhores me, no matter how haunted I am by the screams of the innocent, I will always be a killer. What makes the difference is who I kill. No longer will my hands be stained with the blood of the innocent. I do not ask you to like me, to tolerate me, or to do feel anything but hatred towards me. I only wish for the chance to redeem myself. When I bring you the severed head of your sister’s killer, his face locked in an expression of pure agony and torment, then you will know what I have truly become.”

geez3r

Bolt just glares at you “You really don’t get it, do you? I will never accept aid from you, no matter what it is, on shere principal. You are not even human; you are nothing more than a mistake, now stop talking and wait for Inferno to get back.”

Reaper

The Reaper sighs. “So be it.” As he falls silent, the faces return, hundreds of innocent lives he had taken. Such was his punishment, and he hoped that it would be penance enough.

geez3r

After several moments of silence between you and Bolt, you see a familiar light coming down the hallway. A moment later, Inferno reappears in the doorway, with a doctor in toe. The female doctor has blond hair, round glasses, is professionally dressed and appears to be in her late 30’s early 40’s. Inferno says “I’ve talked to the Police, and they say before we consider anything, they first want Doctor Fritz here to give Reaper a bit of a psychological analysis and get inside his head a little.” Bolt nods in understanding.

The doctor sits down in one of the chairs and looks like she’s about to start, when she hesitates and looks back at the others gathered and says “The matters of the mind are a personal matter, could you please give us some privacy?” The Supers exchange glances, and then nod, and start heading out the door. Inferno asks Bolt “Do you think you can hold down the fort while I get some shut eye?” Bolt nods, and then Inferno starts flying off to get some sleep.

After the door closes, you hear the guards muttering to one another, and a few of them walk away, something about a bathroom break and coffee. Bolt’s light is still visible under the door, but he appears to be a little down the hall.

Doctor Fritz settles in and takes out a clip board, and looks at you. “Well, why don’t we start things off with you telling me a little about your self?”

Reaper

The Reaper sighs and thinks for a moment, trying to decide how to begin. He then says, “Well, I won’t tell you my real name, as too many people would seek my death if it was known who I am. I remember little of my early childhood. I was happy enough, I suppose. I had two parents who loved me. Then one night, it all changed. I was sleeping, when I awoke with a pain in my chest. I now believe that I had some form of heart attack, but at the time all I knew was pain. I passed out, and nearly died. I could feel my life failing me, a feeling no child should ever have to feel. I struggled against it. I fought and scratched and clawed against it and I didn’t die. I awoke, and I was alive. But death would not be denied. I slept and I awoke and my parents were dead. With my own two hands I killed them, and my heart died with them. I left my home, and I lived on the streets, stealing to survive and killing to keep death at bay. Each life I took, I caught a glimpse of death, and I feared it.

Eventually, my talents for murder led me to become an assassin, and I found my way off the streets and into a trade which would keep death from catching up to me. I was an assassin for several years, until the accident. I was near the warehouse when it exploded, and I gained my powers. Now I had the power to kill with impunity, to slaughter so many that I would leave death far behind. And so I thought that I could never die.

Then, after the events at the mayor’s speech, where I was defeated by Bolt and the others, I realized that no matter how far or fast I ran, death was always there, and would not be appeased. How gladly she would take me, despite the hundreds I had sent her. Then I realized what I had done, truly realized. So many dead, and all for nothing. I could practically see death laughing at me. Worse, I could see the faces of all those who I had killed. I am lucky that I no longer sleep, for my dreams would be haunted by the screams of dying children. Death will have no more from me. I have paid my debt, paid it many times over, and with blood that was not mine to give. No more shall she feast on the blood of the innocent. None shall she have from my hand save those who feed her, like this one who killed Bolt’s sister. If I was just, I would give her my own life, but I have bought my time, and now I will make her regret she gave it to me. I cannot undo what I have done, but I can atone for my crimes. I ask only for that chance. So, Doctor, do you have any specific questions you wish to ask me now, or have I pretty much covered it?”

geez3r

Dr. Fritz listens to your speech with a blank face, her hand silently moving about the paper. Her eyes look directly into yours, never looking away, never judging, never blinking… never looking altogether human.

She suddenly stops writing. She clicks her pen and places it on a desk. She matter-of-factly places her clip board next to her pen on the desk. There isn’t a word anywhere on the page. She closes her eyes and takes off her glasses in a slow deliberate motion, placing them next to the other items on the desk, and looks back at you with eyes you know all to well. These are the eyes you saw reflected in the eyes of every victim you’ve every slain; the eyes of a killer. “No. I don’t think questions are important at this point, do you?” says the doctor as a sinister smirk curls on her lips. You do not know if there was ever any warmth in your heart, but if there ever was, her cold, harsh, desolate voice just forcibly removed it from every fiber of your being.

Reaper

“What fiend are you?” the Reaper cries, loudly enough to attract some attention. “You are a killer. I smell the stench of death on you. Begone from my presence, or I will remove you.” He musters his strength, preparing to call on the one power left to him.

geez3r

The doctor lets out a cold little laugh. “Until we meet again, my prey.” The doctor becomes more and more insubstantial until she disappears into nothingness. Just as she vanishes, several of the lights in the room emit a popping sound, and extinguish, casting shadows about the room. You hear foot steps thudding down the hall, getting closer to your room.

Reaper

The Reaper, finally freed of the hated light, decides to prove his repentence rather than just talk about it. Calling upon the powers which have grown all too familiar to him, he vanishes into the shadows and jumps to a darkened alley across the street from the sole window of the room. The sun has crawled beyond the horizon, and night has come. Tireless and well rested from his stay in the hospital, he decides to scour the city for any trace of the girl’s killer. A suspicion has already begun to grow in his mind, that perhaps the doctor was somehow involved. Her eyes were the eyes of a killer, eyes the Reaper knew all too well. He had had those same eyes, back when he was an ordinary assassin named…named…what was his name before? He couldn’t recall. The more he tried to grasp his memories, the more they began to fade. Soon all that was left was what had happened after the accident, and the faces, the faces of all those he had killed. He knew that he had killed them, but beyond that, he could remember nothing.

He did, however, remember his promise to Bolt. He began to patrol the city, looking for any sign of her killer.

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