September Tenth (Samuel, MAY be open later)

The swamp that is a fixture surrounding the battlefield. The swamp, like most, is quite full of trees, moss, and most notably leeches. There are some strange things that pop out of the waters; are you willing to brave into them?

September Tenth (Samuel, MAY be open later)

Postby Connal Reid » Sat Sep 10, 2011 7:30 am

It was still very early in the morning. The sky was starting to get lighter, sure, but the sun wasn't up yet. Or maybe it was, and there was just far too much fog to be able to tell. That wasn't important. What was important was that, in that early morning fog, a figure was sneaking through the swamp and away from the RED base.

Today was an important day, and would have been more so had things gone differently. Connal tried not to think about the way things might have been, how different his life could be, but it was hard. He tried not to feel guilty about how he really preferred where he was now to anywhere he might have been had he not embraced his love of fire. That was harder.

Once he was sure he was far enough away to not be interrupted, the Pyro, clad in his suit from the waist-down, stopped and set down the things he carried under his arms. His boombox, a bottle of Red Shed, a few pieces of some (hopefully) dryer wood, a couple of sheets of paper, and a worn, dirty teddy bear. He wasn't sure how he was able to keep that thing hidden when sharing a room, but he was glad he was able to. That would have brought about some questions he didn't want to answer.

September Ninth. Not normally a significant day to anyone else in the world, but it held something that made Connal want to hide from his teammates. From everyone. It was his late brother's birthday.

The man from Detroit kept a somber face as he stacked the wood and paper together. Danny... He would have turned eighteen. Old enough to vote, to smoke, to go to war... He would have been a man. All of it taken away from him so soon after he decided he didn't want to be in that stupid gang any longer.

And Connal hadn't been able to do one damn thing to stop it. He hadn't even been there. The time that his little brother had needed him the most, and- And...!

He stopped and took a deep breath, clearing his mind if only for a moment. No. He wouldn't cry. He had done more than enough of that at Danny's funeral, despite how hard he had tried to hold it back.

Next Connal set the stuffed bear on top the pile. He bought that toy with his first paycheck from that shitty paper route. The smile it had brought his then three-year-old brother... and to think the kid had tried to throw it out just six years later. "Too old for stuffed animals," he had claimed.

The firebug wriggled a hand under the edge of his suit, and pulled out a lighter. "I'm sorry for how much fightin' we did when you decided you weren't a kid anymore," he whispered, taking the lighter to the papers. Hopefully it would be enough to get the sticks and wood to light. "An' I'm sorry I can't keep good on my promise to take you up to Canada next year... But, I'm not sorry about what I did after you died. I'm not sorry about joining RED. You wanted to stop hurting people... Guess this means you really were the better of the two of us after all."

Other things in the pile were starting to catch, and the growing flames comforted Connal. He reached into his pocket again, this time pulling out a cassette tape. It shouldn't be that hard to load it up and play it. So why was his hand shaking? "I'm sorry..." he whispered again, letting himself fall into a sitting position. "I was gonna play this for you one las' time... Y'know, the tape that had the songs we could agree on. Just... Just take it." He tossed the cassette into the small fire, and gave a small grin as the tape was quickly eaten away. The rest of it would take longer to catch, and probably would melt more than burn.

The elder brother sat and watched the fire for a while, more soothed by the small hisses and crackles of the fire than he would have been of the music he had meant to play. Soon enough it reached up to the teddy bear sitting at the top, which lit up more quickly than expected. He reached for the beer he brought and popped the top off, now wondering why he had brought only one. Figuring he had said enough, Connal simply started pouring some of the Red Shed onto the flames in an attempt to share a cold one with Danny.

He stayed until the bear was unrecognizable. Then he gathered up his boombox and the rest of the booze and moved a little ways away, not really paying much attention to which direction he was going in. It wasn't as if he was planning on going back yet, anyway. Once he couldn't hear or smell the fire anymore, the RED sat down again. Not having to worry about if he was sitting on dry land or in a mud puddle was kind of nice. His gaze turned to his boombox. Oh, there was a tape inside he had forgotten about. Curious which one it was, he hit play. It took a few seconds, but he recognized Suicide Solution that was about half way through. Apparently he had been listening to Blizzard of Ozz and didn't rewind it. Connal leaned back on his hands, looking up at the sky as Ozzy sang. Soon it would start up Mr. Crowley...
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Re: September Tenth (Samuel, MAY be open later)

Postby Samuel Marston » Sun Sep 11, 2011 12:58 am

Aleister Crowley. It was a name Samuel had not heard for twenty two years. During the later months of Morella's pregnancy, she had become more and more obsessed with the occult, believing that the story for which her mother had named her did, in some ways ring true, and that by some gothic twist of fate, she could herself be the child growing in her womb, were it to be that she die before her time. Oh how accurate had her guess been...

Today, September the tenth, was have been the twenty second anniversary of her death, the twenty second birthday of their child... God, Susan... Samuel's shoulders shook as he tried not to think about them, but no matter how he avoided it, he couldn't help but imagine how his life would be different if he were a better doctor.

They would be spending this day together, sipping gently on wine as they sat about the table, listening to Susan go on about her classmates and classes in her fourth year of collage. How she felt about her latest man, how they hoped for the future, all the while he would be holding Morella's hand, nodding gently, wanting not to be anywhere but here. But instead, he found himself standing in the dusty library of the base he was stationed in, biting back tears, a shell of a man...

Taking off his glasses to rub the tears from his eyes, he sighed, willing himself to move on, to distract himself again. Focusing again on the bookshelf, he found the book that had so shaken him, Aleister Crowley's "Book of Thoth", an explanation of card reading, leather bound and caked with dust, the binding almost as wide as his palm. Next to the large volume on the shelve was an old wooden box, held together with brass clasps. Setting the book back on the shelves, he opened up the box, the joints creaking as the wooden halves parted.

Samuel would have smiled a warm smile were it not so horribly morbid to him. It was the very same deck that Morella had spent so many nights studying, pouring over, slowly dyeing.

NO!

Samuel had burned those cards. He had left those memories to the wind, their ashes gone in the sands of time.

These cards, while very nice, and of the same edition, were not the same cards. Samuel slammed shut the wooden box, and took up the hefty book of Thoth, and out from the library he went, like a streak of melancholy lightning. If Samuel could understand something that so few know, that he knew that Morella knew, he would feel better, having spent this anniversary of his wife's death bringing back a little bit of her life.

As Samuel swept out of the library, he made a bee line down the stairs, and paused only for a second to take his trench coat from the closet beside the door. He walked out onto the porch, and balanced the book and box on the hand rail for a second to sweep on his coat, the heavy nylon fluttering as he draped it over his shoulders.

Laden with knowledge yet to be learned, Samuel went out into the woods surrounding the bases. This wasn't something he wanted to do where he could get interrupted.

Finding a rather dense spot in the many groves of cypress trees, he made sure to sit down on his coat, using the thick rubber to keep a layer between him and the wet ground. Taking the deck out from the box, he shuffled quickly, and laid out three cards on his coat, and creaked open the tired pages of the book of Thoth. Fluttering through, he found the values, and read into every aspect of the cards. What each ment, what they could mean, what they don't mean, upside down,sideways. However it landed.

Again and again, Samuel redrew and read, never asking a question of the cards, but simply reading. This was a great distraction. He did not feel the tugs that this day normally brought about, until he smelled something on the wind. Melting plastic, burning paper, synthetic fabric warping (a smell he was all to familiar with), and wood. The fact that he could tell what was burning told him how close it was. And then, it started.

That confounded screeching guitar.. The bass of it all thumping sloppily through his ears, and atop it all, that horrible voice. Metal. And not any metal. Some of it could be tolerated, nay, listened to, but this... What sadistic bastard was playing this shambling desecration of "music", the same noise that had been the schism between him and his precious Susan after seventeen long years. He had tried to keep it together on this day. But no.

The memories came flooding back to him, his shoulders shaking as his body screamed to weep. But to weep would let the sadistic bastard, this one who knew the rightest of spots to strike him, win. His hands shaking, his eyes welling, he stacked back up the cards, and set them back in the box. Setting it on the closed tome, Samuel stood up again, whipping his coat back on his shoulders, and worried the blade out from it's holster along his sleeve, his face twisted in a knot of purest rage, he followed the noise to it's source.

It didn't take long. With the rising sun to his back, he found the bastard, sitting there, listening to the horrendous music, drinking beer mockingly as he leaned against a tree, the music from his boombox sounding like some stupid horror movie from the thirties. Shaking with rage, his shadow falling over the cretin, he sneered out, his rage tightening every muscle in his body, the scalpel in his hands gleaming in the morning sun, his voice a deep roar of utter hatred, "HOW DARE YOU?"
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Re: September Tenth (Samuel, MAY be open later)

Postby Connal Reid » Mon Sep 12, 2011 3:23 pm

Connal let his eyes close, trying to let the music drown out his thoughts. It wasn't quite as comforting as the flames had been, but that fire had been too small to do all that much. He decided he'd stay out here for the rest of the album, rewind it, and then head back to the base. It wasn't like he was still a child, he could handle himself.

Suddenly, everything, even his very loud music, was drowned out by a voice that at first sounded inhuman. The Pyro jumped and jumped back, his grip on the neck of the beer bottle tightening. Maybe he should just make it a point to not take his boombox outside the base. Who was this guy? As far as he knew, there only people out here worked for either RED or BLU, but that man didn't look like he belonged on either team. He didn't look like some local swamp dweller, either, especially with that scalpel.

Having no clue what to say or do, the RED didn't do anything. He stood there, tensed and ready to run or fight should he need to, and watched this man in black with a furrowed brow. If he was working for one of the companies, it had to have been BLU, which meant he wasn't yet supposed to kill him. On the other hand, if he was attacked first, then it wouldn't be a problem. Even with the cease fire, maybe it really wasn't such a good idea to go walking in what was soon to be a war zone unarmed.

The boombox, oblivious to the tense situation, continued to play, the vocals for Mr. Crowley beginning.
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Re: September Tenth (Samuel, MAY be open later)

Postby Samuel Marston » Wed Sep 14, 2011 1:33 am

Samuel glowered down at the man in front of him, the gleaming droplet of steel in his hand shivering back and forth as his arm. The bastard was red. He knew that if he were to attack him, it might set the ceasefire crumbling down to the ground. The annoying music was starting to slow down, the cheesy horror music dying. Maybe it was just a coinciden--

"MR. CROWLEY!!!!!!"Roared the boombox, the crazy english bastard inside of it rolling the words around in his mouth, trying to make it more scary than it actually is. "FUCK," the guttural click of the k sounded just as the bass started to strum after the power cord. The third slap of the bass was droned out with a second roared word, "YOU!"

The slightest of tears welled up in his eyes, and he blinked it away, and before the first line of the chorus was done, the small knife in his hand was raised, and he had taken the five long steps between him an the other man, his open hand going to grab his opponent's relatively armed wrist, to try and knock the bottle out of his grasp. He couldn't afford for him to have his own blade. He wanted this bastard to suffer, like those bastards had made him suffer.

Quickly in came his second strike, with the blade now, going for his shoulder. Not a cut that would have disabled any of his functions. It would have been enough for him to scream in pain, to feel his flesh pulling apart. Under the fat layer, but above the muscle. It would make him scream in anguish, fear, regret EVERYTHING that he's ever done wrong.
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Re: September Tenth (Samuel, MAY be open later)

Postby Connal Reid » Wed Sep 14, 2011 6:15 pm

Connal watched the older looking man, trying to figure out what he was going to do. It almost looked like he just might back down... Oh, nope, that wasn't happening. Apparently he really hated Ozzy.

Now, before, the way he would handle the situation was to flee, while only fighting back as much as needed to defend himself. It was, after all, the supposed "right" thing to do. However, he was different, had changed. He was no longer some loser from Detroit that couldn't hold a job, he was a mercenary, a murderer with a dead brother, and he couldn't have this one fucking day to himself. He was all too ready to do something that he had told himself and Danny over and over again that was wrong; to take all the frustration, sorry, and other negative emotions inside himself, and make someone else pay for it.

The Pyro planted his feet in the ground, bracing himself. He waited as long as he could, to try and keep the other man from knowing what he was going to do. First, he ducked down, pulling the bottle away from the other's reach. Then, he hurled himself forward, attempting to shoulder check the man in black in the gut. The blade still caught him, causing him to hiss through gritted teeth, but he still pushed forward. Hopefully he would at least knock the wind out of this guy, if not knock him over.
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Re: September Tenth (Samuel, MAY be open later)

Postby Samuel Marston » Thu Sep 15, 2011 1:10 am

Samuel cursed himself that he'd missed the bastard's hand. That was going to come back to bite him in the ass. The blade entering the man's flesh made the familiar tug on the steel, the effortless resistance of steel and flesh coming together like a steamed knife and butter. He wasn't exactly expecting the bastard to drive forward into him head first, but he knew how to react. Bowing down his head, he smacked the guy head on, skull on skull.

Rolling with the forward energy of this stalker, this bastard, this one who knew far to much, he pushed off the ground with his feet, using his head as a fulcrum, he rolled over on top of him, and then down, back to back, and as he came down to touch the wet ground, he snapped back with one of his heels, kicking the bastard square in the bottom, continuing on with his kinetic energy.

Whipping around, the thick leather of his coat ripping at the air, he watched the man try to recover from the kick, and hoped that he would keep on going towards the sturdy cypress stump in front of him. Shaking his arm with a sharp whip of his hand, he was disgusted by the warm, sticky feeling of this bastard's blood on his hands. It had been far to long since he'd felt the blood of another human on his bare hands....
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Re: September Tenth (Samuel, MAY be open later)

Postby Connal Reid » Thu Sep 15, 2011 3:41 pm

Now that was something. Normally people would just push back, or try to turn out of the way. This crazy old bastard knew how to really fight. Had he been less upset, he would have been impressed. He had to be a BLU.

One of the things Connal had gotten good at was keeping his balance. He only had to take two (long) steps to catch himself. Thinking twice about simply charging the intruder head-on, he instead gave a short sprint to the nearest tree, and broke the bottle against it. The RED brandished his makeshift weapon, at the moment just thankful the glass hadn't completely shattered in his hand.
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Re: September Tenth (Samuel, MAY be open later)

Postby Samuel Marston » Thu Sep 22, 2011 1:04 am

So it seemed the little bastard had collected his few whimpering thoughts together to form a single pool of an idea. How smart for a drunken idiot; use the bottle for your poison to hurt other people than just you. The way he looked at the thing in his hands, he seemed surprised it hadn't broken. Samuel couldn't help but wonder exactly how many beers the bastard HAD drunk.

Sliding the thin steel of his scalpel in his hands out to the very end of the hilt, he flipped it up in hands, once over, and then a second time, this time spinning high, rolling end over end four times before it landed with a small pat on his unmoved palm. A lunatic would have let a cheshire smile curl across his face, or let out a mad cackle. A megalomaniac would have paused to describe the rest of his plans. But a surgeon, always efficient, did what he needed to.

Taking a deep breath, Samuel ran headlong towards his enemy, the glistening blade held high in his hand as he sprinted toward the torturous bastard who had taken SUCH care to piss him all the way off. His feet pounding against the ground in 32nds of a measure, he closed the distance between him and his enemy in an instant, but instead of taking the direct attack, he lept up just meters away from his opponent.

Reaching down with his empty hand, he grabbed for his opponent's shoulder, a move that would have set his kinetic energy into an attack that would have his torturer falling flat on his back. Prime for finishing quickly.
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Re: September Tenth (Samuel, MAY be open later)

Postby Connal Reid » Wed Sep 28, 2011 10:26 pm

He didn't make a move while his opponent showed off. While the Pyro wasn't sure if he was supposed to be intimidated by the older man's juggling skills, the fact that there was absolutely no change in emotion did get under his skin. This man was focused, in a way the Michigander had only seen a few times. This wasn't going to be easy, even with the makeshift weapon.

When charged, he didn't flinch, though he did tense up. After that last attack, Connal wasn't surprised to see the man jumping up a second time. He turned with the BLU, slashing upwards with the broken bottle at his face. At the least, he hoped to disorient the stranger long enough to get in a more damaging attack. At the most, he hoped he would hit an eye (or both) and blind him.
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