"Rigor Mortis"-The life after death RP(Started/PM for participation)-Arc 4: Closing Loose Ends

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As they ascended the cold dark stairwell (Mr. Mark in front, Marcus close behind, and Mira bringing up the rear) Marcus wondered how the others were doing. For the most part they were good people, and he was worried about them. Spencer and Evey were just kids for Christ's sake! They could all already be dead right now for all he knew. Marcus wished they could have all stuck together, and right now he longed to be back with them, even Brendan, rather than snooping around this damn place with a man who barely made sense and had nothing comforting to say when he did. A part of Marcus secretly wished he'd chosen the crushing oblivion of death over this.

He racked his brains trying to work out exactly what it was he was feeling. It took him a disconcertingly long time to realize it was sadness. Marcus wondered if perhaps he had become so well practiced at hiding his feelings behind his cold, stoic demeanor, that he had become separated from them. Unable to make sense of them and, maybe in time, unable to feel at all?

The thought made him feel even worse. While he would be the last person to claim he was a saint, Marcus knew that whatever else he was or may become, he wasn't a psychopath. He did feel things, he did regret the times he had wronged others, even if it had made him feel good at the time. Perhaps the problem was that, deep down, he felt too much. He was a victim. His life had been marked by a pain that had been too hard to bear when he was just a boy. He had always liked to think he had risen above it, that he had taken control; but now he was starting to consider a less flattering view of himself. All this time he had been running, scared to stop and let all that emotion crash over him like a tidal wave.

"Will anyone else still be around?" Marcus asked as the reached the second floor.

Ben felt the eerily familiar sensation of darkness he felt when he drew his last breath for the first time. But something was different. Instead of being pulled in deeper into the darkness, he floated and became aware. His screams did not disappear into the emptiness, but echoed through it. He could feel it again. The cold through his very soul. It felt so familiar.

Edger begged for his life. "I can't, I can't protect those murderers, if I help them others will die", Edger said. His eyes began to water. His voice trembled as he spoke, "You... You can help me stop them. I'm sorry for your friend, but you can help me put an end to this madness-" Edger continued his plea. Loud noises came from upstairs. A bloodcurdling scream echoed through the house. "No", Edger screamed and broke away from Adrian. He pushed him aside and jumped over the body of Ben, running upstairs.

"Margeret" he screamed as he run up the stairs. Another scream came from upstairs. Then another. "No", Edger screamed. He went around the corner and to the second floor. "Why", he mumbled. He walked backwards and Adrian saw him again. A hand grabbed him.

Ben was violently thrown out of the darkness. "You can never rest", he heard an unfamiliar voice tell him. "Never". Ben woke up and saw his wound was healed and Adrian staring at Edger on the second floor being held in the air by someone's hand.

"I killed them. You had to pay interest" a deep and husky voice was heard coming from the second floor. His hand glowed in red as Edger tried to break free from his grip. "Stop resisting", the voice said. Edger was dragged to the top of the stairs. Adrian and Ben could now see the person that held him. It was Frank. He threw him down the stairs and a loud snap was heard. Edger was no more. Frank walked down the stairs and noticed the dog running towards him. He raised his hand in the air and pointed at the canine. A small, red flame came from the tip of his finger and met the dog's skull. It pierced through its skull and disappeared.

"Your first death", Frank spoke to Ben, "You'll get used to it. You're done. Go home". Frank commanded the two to leave. He sat down on the bottom of the stairs and took a cigarette out of his pocket. He put it in his mouth and used the same gesture he used earlier to light the cigarette. "Piss off".

Ben looked on the carnage in stunned awe- he was alive- someone had heard his cries through the darkness, though who was the unfamiliar voice- was it Alice that said those words? There were too many unanswered questions.

Ben surveyed the scene again, so much power. He looked at Charon, this man-no thing, he was definitely not human- it would be a formidable opponent indeed. Ben wanted the power that this thing had.

"Very well, we'll leave, thank you for the intervention."

Ben turned and left the house, strolling across the lawn, it would be interesting to see the news tomorrow.

Ben entered the car and turned it on. Cage the Elephant's "Ain't No Rest for the Wicked" played over the radio, an apt song, particularly for what had been said to him during the time he had been dead. Ben pondered over what Charon had said as he waited for Adrian.

My first death? I'll try my damnedest to make it my last. I think it's time to invest in something a little bit more long range.

Higgins pressed the blade into his throat. As he fell down, blood poured from the wound. It would take several minutes till his demise, in only two of them he will be consciousness. As he laid there he looked back at his life. His now deceased wife. His greedy children. His dead comrades. He outlived all of them, but he was the most miserable.

Nothing happened. The strangers stood in the apartment of the old man and watched him slowly perish. No lights, no sound, nothing. Just silence.
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.
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"Nobody is here", Dan answered his kidnapper. He walked towards a closed office and pointed at it, "That's where I work". "Let me go and I'll get you the documents. I can't go through the files like that", Dan told Marcus.

"That's where I work". "Let me go and I'll get you the documents. I can't go through the files like that"

"Nice try" Marcus replied, almost amused rather than angry now, "But we've come too far now to just let go."

Marcus' moment of introspection had faded. He promised himself he would revisit it later. Perhaps it was his experience of death that had changed his perspective, but he now felt like it as important to figure stuff like this out, rather than just stow them away and pretend that it all happened too long ago to matter any more. However, he couldn't afford to distract himself with it right now, he had to accomplish his task and and get both him and Mira out of their current situation alive first.

"Were coming in with you." Marcus told him "You will tell us where the documents are and we will collect them ourselves. If you've been telling the truth then we will let you go once we get out of here safely. Is that clear?"

Spencer stepped back to avoid the pool of blood making its way towards him. There's five liters of blood in a human body. He heard it all before, but only now did he realize how much there actually was. The sight made him feel sick to the stomach.

It took a few minutes for Higgins to stop moving. There was no sign of Alice. Spencer walked around the body and sat on the bed. He never imagined he would find himself in this sort of situation, but if he did, he expected he would feel fear. Grief. Sorrow. But all he could feel was relief.

It's over. He's dead.

There were no sounds coming from the outside. It had to be past midnight. He wondered if the old wooden floors were strong enough to keep the blood from seeping through them and into the apartment below. He stood up and turned to Evey, who was still frozen in her defensive stance, turned towards the door. He could hear her breathe slowly and deeply, as if trying to steady her nerves.

"Perhaps we should go."

Remembering that he still had no weapons, he took a deep breath, reached over the pool of blood and took Higgins' letter opener, before walking out of the apartment. It was old and the blade was dull, but it was the only thing in the apartment that looked like a weapon, and who knew if they'd have any chance of finding something else before the next "job".

I wish this wasn't necessary.

Mira adopted a temporary oath of silence as they went through the dark office halls in search for whatever they needed to get for whoever needed it. She kept her eyes on the man but also behind her in case anything could pop out any second. Mira knew she was scared but she couldn't afford to show it to Marcus or their target.

"That's where I work". "Let me go and I'll get you the documents. I can't go through the files like that"

Mira was looking the other way when she heard those words whispered by Mr. Mark. Then as she looked towards him she heard Marcus utter his threats. Part of her didn't believe what he was saying but another sympathized with him, being placed in this situation.

"Please, just give us what we need and everything will be alright. I promise." Mira added. She wanted to slap herself for saying such a thing but at this point she saw it fit to add that last piece even if it meant she had to break it.

The syringe slipped between Adrian's fingers as the screams of the family above reached his ears. His entire body froze up as he imagined the faces of his wife and daughter. They were not involved in any of this, just like Edgar's family was in no way connected to this deal. But the shadowy man...he had just murdered them all in cold blood. The powers on display and the resurrection of Brendan didn't even fully register in his mind. Every thought he had was a thought of screaming horror.

If I don't follow orders...what stops them from doing the same to me?

He silently left the house and followed Brendan. All the color had drained from his face and made him look like a sickly ghost. Fitting really.

His eyes found their way to Brendan and he began to realize just what had happened in the house. He had been dead again. There was no way that the dog had left that psycho alive. And yet here he stood, alive and kicking.

What sort of technology is this? How is it able to bring us back from the dead and heal wounds like this?

He sat down in the car and rubbed his eyes. Tonight had been more terrifying in more ways than he ever would have imagined.

"Let's just get out of here."

"Fine", Dan walked up to his office door. It was unlocked and he opened it. Inside he saw his desk and filing cabinet. "Down there are the files and a lock-box." Dan explained to Marcus where are the documents he was after.
"You need bio-metric verification for the second one", Frank announced as he wiggled his hand. He came from the left corner of the room, his loafers and sleeves covered in blood. "Let me open it for you", he told the others.

"The fuck are you doing here?!" Marcus thought. Once again, just when Marcus was beginning to get a handle on the situation, Boss had swept the rug from under his feet. Was this always how it was going to happen? Was Boss going to keep snatching away every ounce of control Marcus had over his own circumstances. Marcus had known he was no good from the beginning, and what he had heard from Mr. Mark about Boss' employer had done nothing to put him at ease.

He glanced sideways at Mr. Mark. So far, Marcus had kept his promise. He had co-operated, and Marcus had no intention of harming him. That had been their deal and he intended to uphold it. However, Marcus had a bad feeling that Boss was here to finish things his way, which (judging by the blood on his clothes) he doubted would be pleasant. He casually took a step in front of Mr. Mark, shielding him. Marcus knew he was being stupid, but it was a matter of principle. He had made a promise, and he wasn't just going to let Boss swan in here and play judge, jury, and executioner whenever he felt like it.

"What are you doing here?" Marcus asked, his voice low and deadly. "I thought this was supposed to be our mission. Why bother sending us if you were just going to come out here and do things yourself anyway?"

Dan saw the shady man appear in his office, but he had no time for questions or staying idle. He grabbed Marcus and pushed his to the other corner of the room. He then ran forward and reached his desk. He crouched and then opened the lower drawer, grabbing the metal box and putting it on the desk. As he tried to put his hand over the top of the box, he suddenly stopped.

"Bad boy", Frank said as he held Dan's hand in midair,"Let me open it for you", he added. He pressed Dan's hand against the desk with his left hand and moved his hand above the desk. His hand began glowing in a fiery red and orange color, and before Dan could try and beg for mercy, Frank preformed a knife-hand strike and severed his hand.

The stunned Dan began screaming and fell to the floor, holding his severed arm. Frank took Dan's severed hand and pressed it against the metal box, opening it. He took out two large paperback books and placed it on the desk. He also pulled out a Smith&Wesson revolver. "See", he put the gun on the desk, "He could have shot you", Frank spoke with his two employees.

"Medic", Frank shouted at Mira, "Treat the man. I don't want him dead yet".

"Well fuck." Evey said, at a loss of anything else to say. She had been frozen in place, listening to the blood gurgle from the man's throat as he passed away, hearing the pitter-patter as the drops first hit the ground, turning rapidly into a pulsing gush and ending with his heart as a slow drip, drip, dripping sound.

Evey felt like vomiting, but managed to control herself eventually, taking deep, slow breaths. The situation struck all too familiar a chord with her own death, and as she turned toward the door, the bloody floor sent her mind back to when she mopped up the blood from her own death, almost in a hypnotic daze.

"Perhaps we should go."

Evey didn't respond, she just left, and tried not to hear the quiet schlick as Spencer pulled the letter opener from its resting place.

When they reached the ground floor, she wondered if they should call someone and tell them, as quite clearly the man didn't get any visitors, but she also didn't want to leave any evidence, and an English-American girl going missing on the same day as a man dies violently, only to be reported by a girl with an English accent would definitely appear suspicious if anyone thought to look. Not wanting to dwell on the situation, she simply turned to Spencer, and said "Let's just get out of here."

Ben pulled out of the parking space quietly, trying to draw as little attention as possible. He turned the lights back on when he was halfway down the street, going the opposite way that they had come in.

The trip back was silent as Ben took the long route back. Adrian seemed frozen in shock, terror, and guilt at what had just happened.

"Don't feel guilty about the family, they were involved the moment that he went home to them. I'm pretty sure that they were like us, and this assignment was both a test and a warning. If you decide to run, don't go back to your friends or family, as you will risk their lives alongside yours."

Ben stopped a block from the apartment, no need to announce where they were staying.

"I'll drop you off here, the apartment is a block ahead, I need to go run a few errands."

Ben left Adrian on the side of the street and headed back to his old apartment. When he arrived, he grabbed the pair of coolers in his storage space and started to clear out the chemicals there- acids, anesthetics, and basic chemical compounds, separating the fridge and room chemicals with the freezer chemicals. He dropped a several freezer packs into the cooler with the freezer chemicals, and one with the others. That should keep them preserved for a while anyway. He picked up the two coolers and shut the door. He headed back down to his car placing the coolers into the back passenger seat. Ben got back into the car and headed back for his new apartment.

Parking behind the apartment, he grabbed the coolers and headed up to the apartment, opening the door and heading to the fridge. He put the dry chemicals in a cupboard keeping the fridge and freezer chemicals in their coolers, they should keep until he could find a place to put them, and if not, well, he could cut the losses, most of the more dangerous stuff didn't need to be refrigerated or frozen. He headed back down to his car and grabbed the backpack filled with his clothes. He grabbed a black t-shirt out of the bag and replaced the one he had on with it. Grabbing the pack, he locked his car and headed back up to the apartment. He placed his pack in one of the corners, sat on the sofa, and waited for the others to arrive.

Spencer and Evey walked to the apartment in utter silence. The brutal suicide they had just witnessed left a mark on both of them. Spencer considered breaking the silence a couple of times, but opted against it.

"I stabbed myself. I was clearing up, and I tripped and just sort of fell onto a kitchen knife."

The words echoed in his head. He imagined the scene of Evey's death must have looked quite similar to the one they left behind. The cause of death. The bloody floor. Experiencing two similar deaths in the same day, one of them being her own, had to have been difficult.

As they walked, his thoughts drifted to the others. He wondered if they were already done with their jobs, or if they were even still alive. If Higgins, a man who was at least well into his fifties, had given them so much trouble, and even gone so far as to try to attack them with a letter opener, the rest of the "targets" had to have been at least as dangerous.

As they entered the apartment, Brendan was already there, along with some storage containers he didn't remember seeing before. Relieved to see someone else was still alive, but still too overwhelmed for pleasantries, Spencer almost didn't notice him. He wondered why Adrian wasn't at the apartment yet. He laid down on a bed, but sleep was out of the question. He stared at the ceiling, trying to get as much rest as he could before the next job.

The blind rage Marcus felt at Mr. Marks attempt to kill him was enough to eclipse even the shock of what he had just witnessed.

"You son of a bitch!" he shot at the whimpering, cowering wreck that he now saw before him. "I was going to let you live!"

He turned to Boss,

"You're going to have to stop saving my life like that, or I might start to think you're not so bad." He said with only partial sarcasm. "You want him alive for now? Fine. But when you're done with him, I'd like to do the honors."

Marcus picked the gun up off the desk, in was a .357 Magnum semi-automatic. Powerful, yet relatively compact. Marcus had never actually held a gun before, but he knew about them and he knew how they worked. There had been no practical reasoning behind this before; as his fellow students at school had often remarked whenever Marcus showed extensive knowledge of something he had shown no prior interest in, he 'just knew these things'. If this had been just a taster of what was to come, Marcus felt he was going to need all the firepower he could lay his hands on.

Mira hesitated at first. Part of it was her shock of her employer appearing out of nowhere and chopping Mr.Mark's hand off. Then seeing the bleeding man on the floor she ran up to him. With near no morphine, proper bandages, or anything else in her paramedic arsenal Mira improvised.

She knelt besides the man and ripped a piece of fabric from her shirt. The blood came out, nearly gushing on her or the floor. She had to close the wound somehow but with mere clothes she covered where the man's hand used to be. She pushed it tight in an attempt to close the wound. Mira applied as much pressure as she could and tied the cloth so it would impend the bleeding.

"Unless I have some bandages or morphine, Mr. Mark here isn't going to stay conscious very longer..." Mira said to Frank. She didn't take time to glance at what Marcus was doing but she did catch some of what he said.

The chilled evening air stung Adrian's face as he shuffled alone through the streets of the city. A single streetlight flickered from years of neglect and cast elegant shadows dancing around his feet. Adrian's mind drifted back to a couple of months ago when he was walking his daughter home from her piano lessons.


"Hold me Daddy...it's scary out here."

He had hoisted the girl up in his arms and smiled at her.

"Now now Sarah...there's nothing to be scared of out here."

Her watery blue eyes had met his own. Everyone had always said that she was her father's daughter and those beautiful eyes of hers were the most striking similarity.

"But Daddy, there are monsters out here."


"It looks like I lied to you sweetheart. There really are monsters out here."

The very thought of what had happened in the Larkin residence that evening filled Adrian with disgust and sadness. The smoking man had murdered at least three innocent people right before killing their target in front of their eyes. At first Adrian had been horrified by the audacity of the event. Stunned speechless by the unspeakable crime against decency that had occurred right in front of him.

But as his feet hit the pavement and the chilled air stung his nostrils, a new emotion began to bubble up inside of him.

Fear.

"If you decide to run, don't go back to your friends or family, as you will risk their lives alongside yours."

Brendan's jaded words had done little to help ease Adrian's troubled mind. In fact, they had only caused him to dwell more on the state of his family back home. There were people involved in this "organization" who were willing to slaughter innocents simply because a family member hadn't paid a debt. What would stop them from casually killing Tiffany and Sarah if Adrian even considered stepping out of line? Would they ever be safe now that he had taken this deal?

I can never leave. I must do whatever it is that they say. There is no other choice now.

Adrian had known that this was a shady arrangement from the start. That much had always been apparent. He had even prepared himself for the possibility that the jobs that they would be asked to do would put them on the wrong side of the law.

But after seeing all this...the full gravity of the situation was actually real to him.

The professor came to the apartment building and stopped. His eyes stared at the sketchy looking complex for a long moment as he decided if he really wanted to go inside yet. He had been thankful when Brendan stopped the car and had Adrian walk the rest of the way back. The geologist had almost felt ill because of the horrible silence mixing with his increasing discomfort of being in an enclosed space with Brendan. The outside aid had helped clear his mind...but he wasn't sure if he was ready to let the go quite yet.

He planted himself on one of the front steps and look out into the smoggy sky.

"What have I gotten myself into?"

"Medic", Frank shouted at Mira, "Look at me". Frank raised his left hand in the air and held his pinkie with his right hand. He twisted it in a way not humanely possible, and then his right hand glowed again, leading to Frank cutting his pinkie off. Frank crouched and showed Mira the severed finger. "You can do much better", he tried to say softly but couldn't change his tone of voice, "Look. Release your energy on the wound. Mend it. I want you to restore his hand", Frank held his finger close to his open wound. His hand began glowing in a violet color, and after only eight seconds his finger reattached itself to his hand.

"Go on, Mira. You can do it".

"Welcome back." Ben said as Spencer walked into the apartment. He watched as the younger man walked over to one of the beds and laid down on top of it.

He turned his eyes back to Evey, who was still standing in the doorway. She had grown less pale, that was good, it boded well for his own skin tone, which had turned pasty white after the dog had torn out his throat. He felt it, the bite marks were still there as scars.

He smiled at Evey, "Looks like we're both bloodless right now. Anyways, I think there's another bed in the other room, there's also the couch. If everyone survives, we're going to have to share. You can take the other bed for now. I'm going to wait up for everyone else, we'll split up who gets what bed later. Get some rest, I'll wake you when everyone gets back."

Marcus watched closely as Boss severed and reattached his own finger as if it was nothing. This had to be more than just advanced technology, this was too weird.

"How do you do things like that? he asked "What exactly are you?"

Adrian began to feel numb. He couldn't tell anymore if it was because of the frigid night breeze or if he had allowed his emotions to simmer into a state of emptiness. The events of the last day had left him completely drained emotionally and physically.

His hand covered his mouth as he yawned widely. He had been sitting on this cold concrete stair for the better part of twenty minutes and his body was yearning for sleep. He pushed his body upward with his hands and began making his way wearily up the stair towards the shared apartment.

When he opened the door, Adrian felt his heart sink. Brendan was the first person who caught his eye. The professor needed to talk to somebody about all this but he knew Brendan was not sympathetic to his plight.

Still, he had to make some small talk.

"Well tonight was something....Is anyone else back yet?"

Ben looked at Adrian, he looked worn.

"Yeah, Spencer and Evey came back a few minutes ago. But you're toeing around the question, who the hell has that kind of power? What he did... well it comes out of you would hear from stories of angels and demons."

Ben shook his head

"More importantly, are we able to access this power? If we can, this changes everything. Anyways, go get some sleep, you're worn out, if you want you can use the couch, I'll wake you when Marcus and Mira arrive so we can discuss what happened on each of our missions and figure out sleeping plans."

"I don't think I could sleep if I wanted to" Evey said, opening the window above the kitchen counter and staring out. "You've got red on you, by the way" she added, gesturing to Brendan's trousers. "Lot of blood in a human body. More in a fat old guy than in a spindly young girl though." she mused, as if reflecting on a fact she had read in a book. "Probably better that I keep- kept sharp knives though. At least it wasn't painful."

Ben turned back to Evey after addressing Adrian,

"It's all mine Sugar, the fat old man had a dog with a pretty nasty bite. Seriously, who teaches their dog kill commands? HOW do you you teach a kill command?"

Ben rubbed his throat again,

"If it wasn't for Charon, or maybe it was Alice- it was a new voice this time- I'd be sitting on a darkling plane right now. But, the power that was displayed there after Charon showed up. It was incredible, he managed to wipe out the target's family and the target in less than a minute, and managed to create a flame from his finger to kill the dog. Absolutely incredible power."

He mused at the last words Evey said,

"What exactly happened to you anyway? None of us really got any story from you when we were all here."

"Well I was clearing up after I made lunch for myself -my parents were out- and I tripped over something. I think it was the cat, because the alternative is I tripped over my own foot, and no-one wants to have died at their own hand, trust me. As I fell, I tried to catch myself, but my knife landed point-up, and I fell onto it before it tipped over. It slipped between my ribs and went right into my heart." Evey explained in one breath, gesturing with her hands to illustrate her point. "I suppose I'm lucky it was my good knife, because I keep the point on that sharp too, rather than just the blade, so it hurt less, and I guess I died quicker."

Evey took a glass from the cupboard over the sink, and hopped up the counter next to it, filling the glass as she sat. "Oh, and don't call me 'Sugar' ever again unless you want me to cook meatballs for everyone." Evey said, taking a quiet sip to hide her smirk. All she had needed to stop thinking about the violent death she had just witnessed was someone to sass-talk.

"Whatever you say Babydoll. Better than my death, I was hit by a right hook and died almost instantaneously. Anyways, how did your assignment go?"

Ben watched Evey get her drink and sass back to him. He sort of liked the girl. Sure she might be a little clumsy, at least, that's what her story said about her. But her quick response showed him that she would probably be fun to banter around with.

"Oh, just to warn you, the stuff in the labeled jars in the cupboards there isn't for drinking, unless you really want to face the emptiness again. And the clear liquids in there aren't water. Oh, I'd get away from the window, you wouldn't want a stiff breeze to carry you away."

"You know, this might be a chance here." Evey wondered aloud. "To find out what our limits are. For example, would your eyes grow back if I pulled them out." She didn't mean eyes.

"As for how it went, the guy stabbed himself in the neck hoping our angel would show up. Turns out the 'guardian' part is a one time deal, and after that you're forging things or committing fraud or whatever. I can only assume Miss Milton did something for your bloke too, maybe gave him a puppy in exchange for a jump-start on a getaway vehicle?" Evey reported. "What's an angel even doing, consorting with a wrinkly bastard like our maleficent manager?"

"I'd be careful, those twiggy arms look like the might snap if they lifted anything heavier than a piece of paper, we wouldn't want to see you hurt now would we?" Ben continued to tease the girl, she wanted banter, she would get banter.

"Honestly, I have a feeling that our guy, and probably your guy too, used to do what we did. They probably ran, or tried to back out, and as a result we were sent after them. As for what Alice is doing with Charon, well, I'm pretty sure they're connected in some way. Though considering that Alice seems to be the mastermind behind all this... well, I'm not going to be calling her an angel anytime soon."

"Oh don't worry, I'm sure there wouldn't be a lot to lift." Evey riposted. If verbal fencing was what Brendan wanted, verbal fencing was what he would get. Clearly he hadn't anticipated someone who had been a teenage girl for several years. Combat was how social circles worked. You traded blows until one faltered, or hit a tender spot. Such a practice favoured a tongue as sharp as one's mind, and the scrutinising eye to detail that came only with experience in telling the brand of someone's shoes from fifty paces.

"From what our guy said, she's the real deal. Everything but the chorus, going on what he was implying. Maybe she's a corrupt cop of the angelic host or something, but either way, I'd rather work for an angel than the demon we have now."

"Oh, you'd be surprised at how much you would have to lift. Some eyes can get really big you know. But if you're so dead set on removing eyes, there's no better path than self-experimentation. I can help you if you want." Oh this was FUN. It was not often that he got to verbally spar with someone, most people didn't appreciate sarcasm like this girl did.

"Anyways, I'm not going to be calling them angels or demons anytime soon. They're just a pair of extremely powerful beings, and they seem to be foils of one another. There's no such thing as black and white, just varying shades of grey, and Charon seems to be a much darker shade. I'm not making any calls on Alice so far, as we just have the testimony of a man who was about to stab himself in the neck who was looking for someone that was probably resurrecting me at the time."

Evey let out an involuntary snort of laughter "The first time you try to lay a finger on me will be the last time you have fingers in this lifetime." she warned "Maybe I'll make a nice trifle. It is so hard to find ladyfingers around here."

"Shades of grey or not, if this Alice is an angel then she's probably a whiter shade of grey than we could ever be, no matter her actions. I wouldn't imagine that stuff fades off your permanent record. And since when was the Big Bad Boss called Charon? He's no ferryman, just a traffic cop telling us to keep off the bridge."

"Never said I'd lay a hand on you Dollface, I'd probably hand you the knife, and stand back. Though honestly, I'd be worried that you'd trip and botch it, considering your history. As for why I call him Charon, he sent us back from death, and I'm pretty sure he could send us across if he wanted. We don't have a name for him, so I came up with one that was somewhat appropriate, Charon was the first name that came to mind."

Ben smiled, got up, grabbed a glass and filled it up. He leaned back against the counter at a 45 degree angle from Evey.

"How do you know our employer's surname anyway? Did your target tell you that?"

Adrian laid down on the couch and gently massaged his temples with the tips of his fingers. Brendan had engaged in a fairly disturbing conversation with Evey. The professor didn't mind. It kept him from having to engage in a prolonged dialog with anyone right now. Still, one thing that Brendan had brought up a moment ago had caught his mind.

"More importantly, are we able to access this power?

That monstrous display of ability that had been presented to them...did they have access to it? Or was that just another measure to ensure that they didn't step out of line?

"Who would have developed something this dangerous?" he mumbled quietly to himself.

Nothing made sense to him anymore. Too much information had been presented too quickly for him to efficiently process. Resurrection. Regeneration. Beams of energy being shot from hands. Disregard of morality. Adrian suddenly felt like he was working for some shady organization that would be found on some sort of science-fiction drama. He half expected Mulder and Scully to burst into the room and deal with them in some extravagant fashion.

But this wasn't fiction. This was reality.

Frank reached his right hand out to Marcus, "Give it", he asked for the revolver. Marcus unwillingly handed Frank the revolver. "Heal him.", Frank instructed the woman. He pulled the pin back and aimed at Mira, looking for the perfect spot. He shot her in her upper abdomen,"Maybe you can't", Frank added.

Mira started to bleed. Frank was surprised that her wound showed no signs of healing at all. "Weren't you a medic?", Frank asked her, "I tend to forget".

Marcus couldn't quite believe what he had just seen.

"Mira!" He called out, running towards her. She was still breathing, but her breaths were harsh and shallow. She was in shock. Not wasting any time, Marcus took off his scarf and used it to try and stop the bleeding. Applying as much pressure as he could, just as Mira had done with Mr. Mark, he tied the scarf round her shoulder to secure it.

"You're going to be all right." He said to Mira, "Listen to me. Everything going to be fine."

Then he rounded on Boss, with more anger than he had ever felt in his life pulsing through his veins and with every nerve in his body itching to kill. Marcus still had the knife.

"WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU!" He yelled, ready to pounce.

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