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

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"Don't shout", Frank tried to say in a mellow tone, but only his husky voice came out. He aimed his revolver at Marcus, this time he chose his right chest. He pulled the pin back and fired another shot. Dan could be heard in the background crying, "Who the fuck are you" he asked Frank.

Marcus fell back and remained in a state of shock long enough for Frank to notice a faint green light glowing near his bleeding wound. "Good", Frank said, throwing the revoler to the ground, "Treat yourself and help Mister Mark", he ordered Marcus to act. Fank walked back to the left corner and sat back down on an armchair, "Nice office", he said to the dying man.

Marcus raised his head, coughing up blood as he did so, to see a faint green light hovering just above the dark stain that was spreading from the hole in his chest. The pain was almost blinding, and Marcus had to struggle to keep himself conscious. He didn't have much time.

"Treat yourself and help Mister Mark"

"What do I do?" Marcus gasped.

Frank placed his elbows on his knees, lowered his head and rested it on his hands.
"Jack told me he would think happy thoughts. He said that being lost in a sea of warmness, of love, would stop the darkness.", Frank sighed and looked back at Dan. He began crawling towards him, still bleeding. "When you help her you need to imagine the wound healed" he said. He continued to follow Dan crawling around the desk.

Marcus did his best to focus through the fog of pain on the wound in his chest. He imagined the wound healing, the bleeding subsiding. Nothing at first. Marcus had to try harder, he had tunnel vision now and he knew he must be close to losing consciousness.

...............................................................................................

He was dazed, not quite aware of what had just happened. Steam obscured his vision, and broken glass littered the back seats all around him.

Looking out of the smashed window, Marcus could see the wreckage of another car entangled with their's. It's horn was sounding, one constant, drawn out note, and yet the sound seemed so far away to Marcus, as if it was calling out to him from across an ocean.

It was only now Marcus realized that he was upside down. It was strange. He couldn't remember how they had got there. He had been crying because they'd left without his favorite toy and Daddy wouldn't go back for it. Daddy had yelled at him, turning his head to face Marcus so he would listen, and then everything had gone dark. He couldn't see Daddy anymore.

Marcus was getting scared now, he wanted to go and look for Daddy, but he couldn't get his car seat undone. It was then he noticed movement from the front of the car. Mommy was still here, it was alright.

"Marcus." she said in a weak, trembling voice. "You be brave for Mommy ok?"

She was crying. Marcus hadn't noticed before because of all the red lines down her face. He watched her close her eyes just as the sound of sirens filled the air.

...............................................................................................

No! It's not true, it wasn't my fault! C'mon, try harder!

He visualized again, in more detail this time. Just in time his vision started to clear, and then Marcus screamed in pain as the bullet was pushed back though the hole and out of his body. His breathing eased as the blood that had been filling his chest cavity drained away. Finally, Marcus watched as his muscle and skin stitched themselves back together, leaving almost no trace of a wound there at all.

Marcus still felt faint, and it took a surprising amount of physical excursion just to get himself to his feet. He stumbled over to Mira, removing the scarf he had just used, and focused again.

It happened faster this time. The bullet squeezed out, the bleeding stopped, and the hole closed. He could hear Mira's breathing getting stronger, and relief washed over him when he knew she was going to be alright.

Mr. Mark next. Marcus picked up his severed hand from the desk, now a sickly grey color through loss of blood. Mr. Mark yelped in pain as Marcus grabbed his wrist, and then held the hand next to it. There was a crack as bone came together, as if the two broken ends were magnetized. Then, from the inside out the rest of the limb reattached. Marcus knew it had been successful as the hand started to turn back to it's normal coloration, meaning that blood was flowing again.

He looked at Frank, with a mixture of shock, anger, and fear.

"What now?" he asked.

Why... Mira thought out as she writhed on the floor. She had tried to heal Mr.Mark but there was simply no way. The bullet hit her with the speed of a boxer's punch. She tried to hear Marcus' words but all she could hear was a ringing. Her vision began to dot as the blood-loss set in. Mira tried to move but it was difficult, breathing was too.

Then Marcus healed her. The astonishment of how it was even possible shocked Mira more than Frank opening fire on her. All her career she was trained in trying to save lives with what was assumed to be technology's best but now the fact that Marcus successfully sealed and healed her bullet wound left her speechless once again. After Marcus was done she brought herself up and looked at Frank.

"What are we?" Mira whispered in part shock and part astonishment.

Dan laid on the floor next to the now fully healed Marcus. He launched himself at the thrown revolver and turned around, facing Marcus's back and Frank. "Now we get shot", Frank said nonchalantly, and only a moment later Dan fired his revolver, emptying all four remaining bullets into Frank.

Frank let out a shout and stood up. He walked towards Dan as he got up and began running away. Dan ran past the door, but then fell back as the bleeding body of Frank suddenly appeared in front of him. A blood trail could be traced between the armchair and Dan. "I don't need traitors", Frank said. "Please, no, stop!" Dan screamed and tried to crawl away from frank.

Frank crouched down and put his right knee over Dan's genitalia, pressing it against the floor. His right hand glowed in an ominous red, and he punched his gut, puncturing it. His clothes caught on fire and Dan continued to scream. Frank held his head with his left hand and simply waited. The others stood in awe as Frank took out a cigarette with his right hand, lit it and began smoking it. "I will give you anything... please... Help... Doctor" Dan's pleas continued even after his fate was already sealed.

Frank took a deep, long breath and inhaled the smoke. His blood covered all of his clothes and began tickling down on Dan, blending with his. "Take the documents and go home", he ordered his two employees, "Be quick". Frank raised his leg up and pushed his knee into Dan's genitalia again, this time much more violently. Dan vomited a combination of blood and his stomach contents, letting all of it drip on his face and upper torso, extinguishing the flames that went toward his neck. Frank leaned towards Dan and whispered something in his ear. "We gave you life. Now you squandered it".

Frank finished his cigarette and stood up. He turned back and disappeared, leaving only a trail of blood behind him.

Spencer was listening to Brendan and Evey's bickering from the other room. The door was open, and the walls were thin. It was entertaining, but there was something else on his mind.

He waited for the conversation to quiet down before speaking up. He noticed that Adrian also returned, and was now lying down on the couch, muttering to himself.

"Do you think there's anyone out there looking for us? The police, or... the mortuary? Sure, a lot of people die every day, but six bodies disappearing at the same time, just after their deaths, isn't something that would go unnoticed. And that's just assuming there's only six of us."

Marcus Thought he should probably be shocked and appalled by what he had just seen, but it was as if he had expended all the emotion possible in one day. He just felt empty as he stared down at what was left of Mr. Mark.

"Well," he said, turning to Mira, "as first days go, at least it wasn't dull."

He picked the documents up off the desk, crossed the room and held the door open, waiting for Mira.

Ben listened to Spencer's question, it was fairly good, but Ben thought that the null hypothesis was much more likely.

"I don't think so, if they managed to resurrect us, I think they'd have the resources to manage to keep it quiet. A couple individuals paid off, maybe some bodies faked. There is no reason that the police are looking for us. Unless one of us tipped them off. Hell, I don't even know if I even had a paramedic even declare me legally dead, and from her story, I'm pretty sure that Evey here didn't either."

"We're alone in this world now, in the end, we should be banding together rather than infighting. We all have different personalities and different ways of handling the situation. In the end though, we will want to keep together, we're roomies now, and chances are that we will be doing missions together. The big question that I have is are we constantly being listened to by our new employers?"

"The big question that I have is are we constantly being listened to by our new employers?"

Adrian didn't move from the couch or show any signs of alertness. His voice sounded eerily dreamy as he spoke.

"I would be more surprised if they WEREN'T listening in on us right this moment. They were able to provide us with complete information on our targets. Frank showed up at just the right moment to turn the tide of the situation."

He coughed roughly. It was difficult for him to talk while lying on his back but it didn't stop him from trying.

"We could be either a great asset or a huge liability. They are going to be watching."

Mira followed, gingerly. When the pair left the building, away from the dark halls and blood spatters of what was Mr.Mark. She still couldn't believe or fathom what Frank had done and his brutal nature. She felt sick, woozy to the stomach.

"Excuse me..." Mira said as she ran off to the side and emptied her stomach into a trash can. It felt horrible. Tears ran down her eyes and she gagged up what was left. She coughed sporadically.

"I'm sorry... I just needed to..." Mira coughed again as spit out a few chunks of her stomach contents.

"Hey, it's alright." Marcus said, putting his hand on her shoulder and adopting the same soft, understanding tone that he'd learned comforted people during his later years at the orphanage. "You've got nothing to be sorry about. Today's been, well, today's been a bitch, and I'm not going to pretend I know if it will get any better or not, but however bad things get, I've got your back. So whenever it get's too hard, just think 'I'm not alone in this. Someone has my back.'"

Marcus didn't know if mere words were going to cut it this time, but it was the best he could do. Whatever else he may be, Marcus had always wanted to help people, even if it came at his own expense. Something about him (maybe it was his tendency to keep his emotions under wraps, and to always think before speaking) Meant that people often came to him when they were in trouble. Sometimes, even the people who were completely indifferent to him, or outwardly disliked him, would come to him when they felt they could ask no-one else for help; and Marcus would have been lying to say the thought had never flattered him. The thought of being the one person everyone trusted to be there for them when they needed it, even when they barely acknowledged his existence half the time, was one of the few parts of his persona he was truly happy with. The only problem was, he was so keen to play the part of the listener, or the protector, to these people rather than open up to then about his own problems, while he may have had their backs, he wasn't sure if anybody had ever had his.

Gently, he helped Mira to her feet.

"We need to get back. Are you going to be ok?"

"Thanks..." Mira sputtered out. She was sure that there was no more to cough out and rubbed the gunk that was on her hands to the walls of the building parallel to her. Mira appreciated Marcus' tone. Without David in her life, Mira had trouble finding someone who she could share the same emotions that she would with him. Mira found friends were too casual and boyfriends were too intimate to when it came to things like that. She never could find that middle and throughout her life she had looked for that middle ground.

"Yeah...God...I haven't puked like that since college." Mira joked to try and make light of the situation even though she had no idea if Marcus appreciated humor at all. "We should probably get going... back to the apartment. Let's see how the others did."

Frank found himself sitting in an alley, his back pressed against the wall. His torso brandished four gaping bullet wounds and he was gasping for air. His hands shook as he tried to reach for another cigarette from his pack. It was the last one. He slowly placed it in his mouth, but this time went for an inner pocket in his jacket and took a small lighter. He opened it and ignited his cigarette.

"That's rough, Frank", Frank heard a sweet, mellow voice. Alice entered the alleyway. A beautiful woman in her late teens, with flowing long black hair and deep blue eyes. The well endowed and thin lady walked towards Frank in her red high heels, her red short skirt teasing him. She stood next to him and bent down, letting Frank see more skin than what he would usually see from her revealing red top. "You used your lighter. What's wrong?", she asked him softly, though her posture suggested she was teasing him.

"I saw Jack", Frank said as he lit his cigarette. Alice looked confused, "Jack is gone, Frank. You know that. Eighty two. You of all people ought to remember", she tried to comfort him. "And never forgive", Frank added as he took another breath of the sweet tobacco he held in his hand. Strong green lights came from his chest.
"How was the Larkin residence?", Frank inquired. Alice straitened and and looked away towards the street.
"Home invasion. Husband down, ran to the kids room and killed them. Grabbed the wife and played with her a bit", she said without any emotion.

"But I never touched her like that", Frank said, his wounds began to heal themselves.
"Had to put in some flavor. Higgins was easy, the man killed himself", Alice continued with her report.
"Higgins?", Frank stopped Alice, "He was a veteran. He wouldn't kill himself for anything in -" as he continued to ask himself why Jeremy would kill himself, Alice provided the answer. "Me. He wanted me to show up. I won't be surprised if the last thing that remains of him is my memory. And you-", Alice smiled at Frank.

Her smile was beautiful. Her thin lips stretched just enough to give a perfect view of her pearly white teeth. "That accountant was a mess. I had to remove everything. Missing man.", Alice continued, "What did he do?", she asked him. Frank pointed at his now almost healed wounds, "Smith and Wesson. Four shots. Marcus... I saw Jack in that kid... He had the gift", Frank said, his thoughts drifting to his past.

Alice whistled and looked up to the sky. "Do you think the rest can go past level one?", she asked Frank. Frank looked at Alice and she looked back at him. Both of them smiled. "I can try", he said.

Frank stood up and looked down at his clothes. His blazer had two holes in them, besides being covered in blood. "Love", Frank said, "Do you want to go on a date?", he asked her with his husky voice, trying to sound as soft as possible.

"You know I don't date smokers, Frank. You know."

The ride back was quiet, but not in the same tense way it had been just a few hours, yet a lifetime before. This time it was calmer, as if they were saying to each other without uttering a sound 'We made it though today; and with any luck, we'll make it through the days that follow.'

However, Marcus still couldn't shake from his mind what he had seen during his brief time in limbo. The images were less substantial now, coming in flashes, out of sync. Yet he couldn't shake them. They had nestled themselves into a deep, hard to reach level of his consciousness. Like a tumor that could never be cut out.

"You be brave for Mommy ok?"

Get a grip! Marcus scolded himself. You were too young to remember. That wasn't how it happened. Your mind is screwing with you, that's all!

It was possible, certainly, maybe even probable, that what he was telling himself was true. Yet deep down he knew that wasn't why he was saying it. He just couldn't bear the thought that their deaths, and the life he had had since as a result, could have been his fault.

As they ascended the stairs Marcus noticed that he and Mira's clothes were once again covered in blood. Not that it mattered, if the others had had experiences similar to theirs then Marcus wasn't betting on any of them coming back alive. However, they were all present when he opened the door.

They looked how he felt. Exhausted, and all bearing the signs of trauma etched into their expressions. Whether physical or emotional, Marcus couldn't be sure.

"Well that certainly wasn't what I normally expect from a night out." Marcus remarked, hoping to raise the mood a little.

"Well that certainly wasn't what I normally expect from a night out."

"What, your guy didn't offer you a drink?"

Seeing them both alive and in one piece lifted Spencer's spirits. It meant their little group actually had a chance in this line of work. It was only then that he noticed their clothes. They were soaked in an unspeakable amount of blood. He couldn't make out whether that meant the job was a success or a critical failure.

"Are you alright? Whose blood is that?"

"A little bit of mine and a little bit of someone else's..." Mira said. She was exhausted and not only in the physical sense but also in the mental sense. The toll of seeing what had happened earlier cost her movements to be slow.

"How did it go with you guys?" Mira asked Spencer. But one thing he really wanted to ask her is if they had known that they had such powers or if it was them. She kept that question lingering in her mind though, ready to unleash it if someone brought it up.

"Well, in a way, we got the easy one."

Spencer felt the letter opener in his pocket, as if trying to prove to himself what happened to them was real.

"He tried to attack us with a letter opener, but Evey managed to calm him down. He committed suicide, although I think he didn't mean to. He believed Alice would save him. He was like us. Dead, but alive."

He didn't want to go into any more details. The whole experience was behind him now.

"Did you guys get any resistance? And... where did all that blood come from?"

Spencer eyed both Mira and Marcus. There were no visible injuries on either of them, and yet Mira said it was her own blood.

"Did you guys get any resistance? And... where did all that blood come from?"

"It's a long story." Marcus replied. "Short version? It went ok at the start. We had the guy prisoner and he was taking us to the information we needed."

Marcus held up the blood-spattered file covers, as if reciprocating the gesture Spencer had made with the letter opener.

"Then Boss showed up and all hell broke loose. Our new friend got his hand cut off, Boss shot us for no reason, and then he made me, well, I'm not entirely sure sure how to explain it. He made me, 'heal' myself."

He paused a moment to let his words sink in. Spencer looked confused, yet if Marcus had to guess, he wasn't exactly surprised either. Marcus could relate. After today he wondered if anything would ever surprise him any more...

"Anyways. I figured out how to do it just in time, and then I did the same to Mira and Mr. Mark. Not that it made any difference. You don't want to know what happened to Mr. Mark after that."

Marcus was too tired to even bother with making space for himself on the sofa or the table. He just slumped in the corner between the wall and the marble worktop. It wasn't too bad, he'd crashed in worse places.

Healing. Spencer rubbed his temple with his right hand. Resurrection. Pyrokinesis. And now healing? Apparently Evey and him were the only pair that hasn't witnessed a miracle today, aside from their own resurrections. After a day like this, Spencer was sure nothing could surprise him anymore.

"You... healed yourself. You healed yourself?"

The words were coming out, but the meaning still didn't sink in.

Why can Marcus heal, and not Mira, who is a paramedic? Could he do it again, if necessary? What's in the bloody file? Do they all have some sort of latent ability? And if they do, what's his?

"...never mind."

He had so many questions, but he finally decided not to ask anything. The last thing he wanted was to put pressure on Marcus and Mira. Their job seemed to have been the hardest, excluding Brendan, who died once more.

"By the way, now that we're all here, we should probably take care of the sleeping arrangements. I have no problem with sleeping on the floor, but there are two unused beds in the next room and I'd hate to see them go to waste. I suggest Mira and Evey take them."

He sat down and closed his eyes, resting his head against the wall.

Ben eyes snapped to Marcus and Mira as they explained their story. They healed themselves? How? Ben needed to know.

"How did you do it? Heal yourself, it would make all of our lives easier if we know to. And who knows, we might be able to manipulate it to discover new talents.

"Anyways, I'll take the floor, as well, it looks like Adrian has the couch. I'll have to make a run back to my old apartment tomorrow, to pick up a bedroll. Other than that, I suggest we rotate through the beds. Sleeping on hard surfaces doesn't give you the best night of sleep. And we're going to need to be well rested if we're going to be continuing on what we're doing."

Ben finished his water.

"Anyways, I'm taking a shower, I still have a bit of blood on me from when that dog killed me."

"Well that explains your curiosity about healing then." Marcus remarked dryly. "I guess it was something I had from the start, because this green light appeared over my wound before I even knew what was happening."

Marcus was unsure how to tell the rest of the story. How much could he say without drawing too close to what he had seen when he blacked out?

"Boss told me to think of something happy,but I don't think it's as simple as that. I think it's more just something that you have a powerful emotional reaction too. Something that reminds you what's at stake, and makes you fight harder to live than you would otherwise. After that I just thought about my wound repairing itself in enough detail for it to happen right in front of me."

Marcus paused for a second, then decisively changed his tone.

"Whatever. It's useful to have, but I plan on needing it as little as possible. Even if it doesn't kill you, being shot isn't fun I can tell you. You'll be better off with something that makes you better at avoiding getting hurt in the first place."

As for where he slept Marcus didn't care that much. He often found that he preferred roughing it and sleeping wherever he could. It had made a refreshing change from the pampering he had received at home. He had had no place of his own before. Moving from friends house to friends house, sleeping on floors and sofas, desperate to avoid having to settle down and let go of the freedom that comes with uncertainty. It was something he had discovered on the many trips to exotic locations he and his school friends had made during holidays late in their school careers. He liked nothing better than to go out in a strange place, never being sure where he would wake up or who he would wake up next to.

Marcus kept the files under his sweater. His suspicion of the others had waned, but these documents were still his responsibility and he wasn't going to just leave them lying around.

Mira felt light-headed, either from the vomiting or the thoughts that went through her head concerning what exactly what they were brought back from the dead for.

My head's pounding... Mira went past Marcus and the rest of them and she wandered to the sink where she gave her face a quick bath in the tap water which was not the best of her ideas. The after taste in her mouth caused her to recoil back in disgust. Then the words finally began to process as she caught what Spencer said.

"No, it's fine really. I think Marcus needs the bed more than I do..."

Ben grabbed a towel and a pair of new pants and headed for the bathroom. He stopped and rolled his eyes as people tried to argue out of taking the bed. He turned around.

"Ok, Mira and Evey will split a bed, let Marcus take the other one, Adrian takes the couch, and Spencer and I will take the floor. How does that sound? Let me know if anyone important shows up."

With that, Ben headed for the washroom, closed the door and stripped. Blood was caked onto his chest and legs.

"Fucking dog."

Ben turned on the cold water and got under it, scouring away the red crust and watching the floor as the water turned red and went down the drain.

It seemed the decision had been made for him. He was grateful for Mira's chivalry, although he still just wanted to find a quiet corner where he could be on his own for a while, but it seemed that such an amenity was never going to be available here. He felt overwhelmingly tired. It was a kind of exhaustion that seemed to emanate from his very soul. He half stumbled across to the bedroom and collapsed on one of the beds. He'd wash when he woke up. Marcus barely had time to hope that his dreams would carry him far away from the events of the last 24 hours, before he was asleep.

Everyone spoke but the words blurred together. Adrian's eyes drooped heavily as he struggled against sleep. Part of him was terrified to let his subconscious run free since the events of today seemed to invite the dark presence of nightmares.

The struggle was futile of course. Adrian was emotionally and physically drained. All that was left for him to do was surrender to whims of the sandman.

His sleep was deep but troubled. He tossed and turned fearfully on the couch, almost like he was trying to escape some specter that was haunting his dreams. But there was no respite from his night terrors.

There would never be any escape.

Frank had been sitting outside of the apartment door for over two hours now, listening to the conversation within. He had put his newly acquired cigarette packs in his new Jacket's inner pocket, after having it repaired and washed. All of the residents had fallen asleep, and Frank entered the apartment through the unlocked front door.

He saw his employees, some sleeping on the couch or on the floor and quietly took a chair and put it against the opposite wall. He sat down and closed his eyes, trying to fall asleep. But he couldn't stay asleep. Frank felt uneasy, and as his subconsiousness drifted away, he saw Jack.



The fire progressed quickly. It caught on to the walls and continued to burn through them, moving upwards. Frank was lying on the wooden floor. Filled with holes, he couldn't even begin to try and heal himself, but Jack was on the other side of the room, hunching on top of another team member. He screamed at her in french, shouting she has to live on, for the sake of her art. For the sake of her memory.

Frank laughed. Blood came gushing from his gut. There is no memory. Their lives had been lost in war. He could hear the Germans scream orders outside. They are too scared to enter. They'd figured that the fire would do the trick, since they had already filled most of them with bullets. But something was wrong.

.

"We need to go", I scream at Jack. He doesn't look back.

That young boy, at the ripe age of 15, had been through unspeakable horrors, yet he managed to salvage himself and keep his sanity intact, saving the lives of others to boot. The french woman screamed at the boy. She ordered him to flee. She ordered him to at least try and help me. She knew that if I were to get on my feet, I could run out with jack in my arms and avoid the Germans. But then I would leave her alone.

I can hear new orders. The Germans are going to send in a squad to finish us off. I can barely move. I have no cigaretes left, and the fire makes me feel nauseous. She pushed Jack away, cursing his name. As she stood up, Jack walked over to me. Somehow, the fire didn't scare him. The bullets didn't scare him. The hounds didn't scare him. What did scare him was not seeing his mother again. He went down on one knee and looked into my eyes.

"I can see her again", Jack said. His green eyes mirrowed the strong flames in the room. The fragile boy only wanted to be reunited with his family. "The Rabbi told me...If I die, I meet my mom", Jack continued. He held his hand forward and opened his palm, revealing three pieces of butterscotch candy. His favorite. He got his left hand over my belt. He took my grenade.

I can't let him do it, but I can't move. He put the candy in my mouth. I can feel the energy. She tries to stop him, but he runs to the exit ignoring danger. As he walked to the door with the grenade in his hand and his eyes closed, he said something out loud.
Something I never understood. A language I had never heard before. I came to a man after the war and asked him for help. He told me it came from the bible.
.

Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.



A rude awakening expected Frank. Dawn came, and with it the end of his dream. He woke up screaming for Jack to stop and soon realized the mistake he had made. He stood up,walked to the sink and washed his face. The others will wake up soon.

"Jack... There was no place to go to", Frank whispered as he leaned against the sink.
"You just died", he could barely complete his sentence. A drop of salty water fell from his face and reached the sink. Just one.

Spencer's sleep was interrupted by a shout. Even with his eyes closed, he could recognize the hoarse voice he heard in the darkness.

Opening his eyes, he saw the stranger, holding onto the sink and whispering something to himself. Spencer had no idea how long he'd been in the room, or why he was shouting. He stood up and stretched. There was no sound coming from the other room, and Brendan and Adrian were still asleep. He walked to the window and looked outside. His eyes were suddenly stung by the sunlight filtering through the buildings. He could hardly believe he managed to sleep through the entire night. Still a bit sluggish, he tried to speak as little as possible.

"Good morning. More work?"

Marcus' hopes for peaceful dreams had not been granted.

................................................................................................

He was screaming. Why wouldn't they go back? He loved that toy, and right now he hated them.

"It's alright dear, we'll get you a new one."

Marcus screamed harder.

..............................................................................................

No! not again. Enough, I've had enough.

..............................................................................................

"MARCUS! For God's sake it's only a toy! Now stop being such a bab-"

Darkness. Then noise, steam and broken glass...

..............................................................................................

Stop! Please just stop, it isn't real...

..............................................................................................

His mother fading in front of him. Her golden hair stained with blood.

"You be brave for Mommy ok?"

The sound of sirens...

..............................................................................................

I'm sorry, I'm so so sorry. Don't leave me!

..............................................................................................

"We have a casualty... male, thrown from the vehicle... massive head trauma... nothing we can do."

"We have a woman trapped in here! She's unconscious, I can't find a pulse..."

..............................................................................................

Make it stop! Please make it stop!

..............................................................................................

"Wait... Jesus Christ! WE HAVE A KID IN HERE, HE'S STILL CONSCIOUS!"

..............................................................................................

NO!!!!

The last shout had escaped Marcus' nightmare and pulled him out with it, panting and sweating, his eyes filled with tears. He looked around, panicked at the thought that he had woken everybody else, but neither Mira or Evey stirred.

Marcus buried his head in his hands. Their was no escaping the detail in the dream. He had killed them, and all because of a stupid toy. It was all his fault. At that moment Marcus hated himself with every fiber of his being. His hands balled into fists and his whole body shook. He wanted to scream and beat down the walls. He wanted to make so much noise that it would travel across all plains of existence until the noise found them. Anything to let them know he was still here, and that he was sorry.

But he couldn't, he mustn't. He had people relying on him now, and besides, he didn't think he could take the shame of anyone knowing what he had been responsible for. His nightmares, his guilt, must remain his and his alone.

"It was your fault. You killed them." He whispered too himself, letting the words crash over him. "Now this is the price you pay."

It was then he heard a noise from the bathroom. Someone else was awake. Fearful that they might come in and ask what was wrong he quickly pulled back the covers and closed his eyes. Within a few minutes he went back to sleep.

"Not yet", Frank answered Spencer, "Get yourself ready". He slowly walked towards the chair he slept in and sat down. He took a cigarete pack out of his blazer's inner pocket and placed a cigarette in his mouth. He moved his hand never to the cigarette and snapped his fingers, causing the cigarette to light on fire.

Ben heard Charon speak, it seemed someone was up. Ben wiggled his toes and stood up. The demon's scream had woke him up, but he had stayed laying on the ground, waiting for someone else to go to the demon. He put his hand against his lower back and pushed against it, hearing cracks pop down his spine.

"Damn floor. Good morning, Charon- I hope that the name's alright, considering that you haven't exactly given us any alias to go by. Morning Spencer."

Ben was fully alert now.

"Have nice dreams?"

Mira awoke from the recesses of her dreams. She brought her self to the side of the bed and ran her fingers through her curly hair. She hadn't straightened it since David's funeral and the curly loops of her hair was showing reaching down to her shoulders. It looped and curled like waves reaching the shore, about to wash onto the beach. She looked to Evey and Marcus who seemed like he was still asleep. She took her zip-up sweater that was still caked in blood. She was hesitant on putting it on seeing as she only had her t-shirt on with a hole where the shoulder used to be. Finally she zipped it up and went outside where she heard voices of what could be her employer.

How right she was. She looked at him straight in the eye but she couldn't make it last long. She leaned on vacant wall space until the others began to rise. She awaited what the man had to give them.

Adrian's body was spread stiffly over the couch. His eyes were locked on the ceiling as the first rays of the light of the day began to pierce the dusty apartment. A yell from the other side of the room had started him from his shallow and troubled rest. To be honest, Adrian hadn't minded being awakened even if it did cause his heart to attempt to jump from his chest. It was still preferable to the visions that had haunted below his eyelids.

Four shadowy figures had stood before him in his dreams. At first, it had been obvious that they were just coexisting peacefully and joyfully. The two smaller silhouettes had been cheerfully playing while the larger two had been their arms interlocked affectionately. All had been good...but as one would expect, it soon turned for the worse.

A bright red light shot through the specters one at a time. An ear shattering scream accompanied the first beam as it pierced the one of the children. Then the next fell in a display of pyrotechnics. The slighter of the two adults tried to run to comfort the bodies of her fallen kin when it was torn apart another ray. The last figure stood defiantly against the source of the violence but fell without any sort of real struggle.

Adrian had stood over the bodies in horror as they dissipated into shadows and reformed before his eyes.

The bodies...they were...

It was then that the scream of the smoking man had pulled him from the scene.

Adrian finally sat up on the lumpy couch and looked around the room. It looked as though Brendan and several of the others had also been awakened by the noise and were already beginning to move about. The geologist rubbed his eyes hardily.

"Another day in paradise..."

Marcus didn't sleep for long enough to dream second time around. When he opened his eyes Mira was just leaving the room. He could tell that something was happening over in the living area, as there was a lot more activity than when he had woken up before. He rolled over to see Evey still asleep. At least he wasn't the last on out of bed then.

Groggily, he got up and changed into a new pair of jeans and a new T-shirt, swapping his hoodie from the night before for a black leather jacket. Keeping the files to hand he went to see what the activity was all about.

He wasn't really surprised to see Boss there, but it gave him a sinking feeling nonetheless. Who would they have to kill in cold blood today then? A Charity Worker? A Brain Surgeon?

"And here I was thinking we might get the day off." Marcus remarked grumpily.

Frank continued to smoke his cigarette. The flame was unnaturally slow and he savored every moment of it. "My name is Frank. I'm here to see if you have any questions", he said without raising his head.

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