Puppets of Flesh

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Puppets of Flesh

Post by Charon on Thu Jul 21, 2016 12:59 am

Ever since making a deal with the Red Diamonds, things were going well for Charon. Father honored his promise and gave Charon the weapons he had asked for. He had made sure not to be too greedy, requesting only enough handguns to arm all of his men while asking for a few automatic weapons should things get a little too heated. For a gang Charon's size, it wasn't even putting a dent in Father's budget. Now that they were working together, their jobs were also going much more smoothly. More money was coming in for the gang, and most of it went to Charon himself. Most of his cut was usually spent reinvesting in the gang, but Charon also needed some personal things for himself from time to time. If he was going to start associating with the Red Diamonds, he needed to look the part as best he could.

"Yes this is very nice" Charon said to himself as he looked over the suit that he was trying on. He glanced over to the tailor and gave a nod. "It's a perfect fit, I want two in black and two in grey please" Charon said before pulling out the money necessary and handing it to the man. The man was thankful, especially since Charon actually decided to include the tip. After changing back in to his normal attire, the tailor informed him that it would be a few more days till the rest of his orders were ready. "Either I'll be back or one of my friends might come pick it up for me. I'll call you if they come in my place" Charon said before taking the one suit that was finished. Carrying the bag over his shoulder, he turned to leave the store.

The mall was a large and crowded place, especially on a weekday afternoon. Because of his mask Charon was used to the strange looks and stares he got from many people here. However, he always made sure to never brings weapons or anything illegal in to the mall. He had been stopped before because of the mask, only to have to explain to one of the cops why he never took it off. Charon didn't take off his mask, he just showed his real injured face to the officer so he'd stop being blocked at the entrance. Even so, the usual customers always stared at Charon, all of them wondering why he'd wear the mask at all.

It was because of this that Charon didn't realize that a particular set of eyes was following him more thoroughly than everyone else...
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Re: Puppets of Flesh

Post by Vexation on Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:15 am

Three hours prior
Air. He needed air. The world was spinning, and the floor, the very floor beneath him was betraying him, causing him to sink into the earth... He was drowning, drowning in color and sound. He paced back and forth the hall of his home, groping the sides of his head with his sweating palms... The noise, the noise, the Rancid Noises were back, whispering and yelling in his ears. He needed out, he needed escape, he needed freedom. Freedom. From what? He did not know. He needed out.
A loud screech suddenly brought him back to reality. He froze, and everything went still; the room was no longer spinning, the Rancid Noises ceased. Everything was still and silent as he waited again for the sound. It came again, a loud, inhumane scream. He sighed in relief; Caramel, his six-legged beauty, was getting restless, nothing more. Food. He had to feed her. Getting food for her would get him outside. Yes. Outside. There's air outside. Air always helped clear Sinew's head. Walking. Walking would help.

Present
Sinew walked through the shopping mall, his backpack full of fresh beef from the butcher's. He walked with a bit of a bounce in his step; it was a good day, despite the roughness of his episode earlier in the day. Once his head was cleared, he could think again, and thinking was important. He had to get home and feed Caramel, and then he had to go and see for himself if--
He froze. Something in the crowd stole his attention. A man, a tall, white haired man walked through the crowd as though greater than all around him. Many stared at him, at his mask, but he took no notice of them. But Sinew took notice of him. Of his mask. What sort of man would cover his face in such a fashion? What man has to hide his flesh in such fashion? What lies beneath the mask? Sinew thought to himself. Show me... Show me...
"Show me..." The thought pushed its way out of his cranium and into his mouth. Sinew had to know, had to investigate. He followed the man, never blinking, never stopping, not noticing the people he bumped into and pushed out of his way to always keep the masked man in sight. "Show me..."
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Re: Puppets of Flesh

Post by Charon on Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:21 am

Losing an eye when he was young meant that Charon quite literally had a blind spot. Of course, the man was also following Charon from behind and in a mall this crowded Charon had no way of knowing that he was being tailed. A mall like this was largely considered neutral territory. No gang worth their salt would ever attack a place like this. Too much collateral damage and too risky for civilians and the police to get involved. Charon naturally had his guard down in a place like this, and there was no way for him to know that someone had their eyes locked on him.

After rounding a few corners, Charon walked through the automatic doors that led outside, starting to cross the street and make his way back to the East District. It was a bit of a walk, but Charon didn't like riding the bus. He felt too enclosed and he hated all the staring. So he walked, continuing on as if nothing was happening.
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Re: Puppets of Flesh

Post by Vexation on Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:26 am

Sinew pushed his way through the crowd and followed the masked man outside. He sprinted across the street, almost getting hit by a car as he did, but he had to know. He was interested, but more importantly, he was inspired. This man could be like him; an artist whose beauty was incomprehensible to the world, whose face held secrets that the world did not want to see or know. "Show me..." He muttered to himself. With no more crowd, Sinew allowed himself to slow down, following the man by about half a block. "Show me... Show me..." he kept repeating to himself over and over. "I have to see, I have to know..."
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Re: Puppets of Flesh

Post by Charon on Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:31 am

Charon continued on his way, turning down an alley to take a shortcut through a more dense part of town. As Sinew walked down the alley he'd see Charon turning a corner through an alleyway that cut through, pulling Charon out of sight for the time being. As Sinew rounded the corner Charon grabbed him by the face, stomped on his foot before pushing him in to the nearest wall. A moment later, Charon pulled out a blade and held it right against Sinew's cheek.

"You picked the WRONG guy to follow today buddy" Charon said before starting to apply a small amount of pressure to show Sinew that this blade could cut flesh with just a bit more strength from Charon. "Now I highly recommend you start talking, who do you work for? Who sent you out here to kill me in a place like this?"
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Re: Puppets of Flesh

Post by Vexation on Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:36 am

Sinew let out multiple cries of pain as he was stomped on, grabbed and whirled around into a wall; his thick glasses flew off of his face and he let out multiple panicked sounds as his face shifted into one of fear. It was clear that he had absolutely no experience in this kind of situation. "I-I don't--! I-I, I, please! Don't hurt me! I just... Please... I just want to know... I need to know, I need to see... Show me, that's all I want! I just want you to show me!" He blathered, his voice high-pitched and panicked, tears streaming down his face. "Just... Don't... Kill me... I just wanted to know..." He continues babbling incoherently like this for a while, slowly decreasing in volume until he's doing little more than whimpering.
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Re: Puppets of Flesh

Post by Charon on Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:40 am

Charon just stared at this guy, his red eye seeming quite intimidating from up close. His eyelid narrowed as he looked the guy over. He didn't seem to have any weapons on him, though you could hide almost anything if you were smart enough about it. Still, if for whatever reason this guy was some civilian Charon didn't want this kind of heat on him. "Okay...okay, now I need you to relax and tell me what it is you want to know and see. If you tell me, I can put the knife away and maybe we can talk this out. IF you don't...I'm not very patient" Charon said quietly.

"Now, tell me what you want"
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Re: Puppets of Flesh

Post by Vexation on Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:46 am

The Rancid Noises were starting to come back; Sinew was panicking, and they could smell it. He continued muttering as the man talked, but then he heard "Tell me what you want."
Clarity.
Sinew's demeanor did an about-face. He stopped blathering and crying, and said in a quiet, but calm voice, "I need to see... The mask. Beneath it. I need to see. I need to know... Show me... Show me..." He raised his eyes to meet the man's; it was beautiful, crimson, a see of blood, a dissection in progress, the color of passion and hatred, the color of the blood of life and start of death... He stared, holding eye contact with the man, suddenly no longer the babbling civilian but an obsessed fanatic, an artist who needed his muse.
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Re: Puppets of Flesh

Post by Charon on Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:49 am

That was....rare. When most people looked at Charon they struggled with where to look. With only one eye that looked like this it unnerved most people. Even a trained fighter in a gang like Sam had a hard time looking at Charon directly. This guy though, there was something interesting going on here though Chaorn had no idea what it was yet. It was interesting though, far more interesting than most of the people that Charon ran in to.

The request though, it wasn't possible.

"Sorry buddy, but trust me when I say there's nothing under here you want to see. You'd regret it the moment it happened" Charon said before stepping back and pulling the knife away so that it wouldn't cut or harm Sinew's flesh. "Just go home, believe me when I say that some things are better left unseen. In the old days when they'd make maps, they'd always say that anywhere undiscovered had monsters....they weren't wrong"
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Re: Puppets of Flesh

Post by Vexation on Thu Jul 21, 2016 1:58 am

Sinew collapsed to the floor and grasped at his throat. Air. He had air again. "Beauty... BEAUTY!" He screamed, looking back up at the man. "Artists know beauty! But some of us, some of know it well, too well, and the world sees it and screams... It cries out and recoils, pushing back against that which created the beauty..." He scrambled to his feet and stood near enough to the man that he could smell his stale breath; it was clear Sinew likely hadn't used a toothbrush in at least a week. His voice was lowered to a whisper. "You say I do not wish to see it because the rest of the world has cried out against you, against the beauty etched into your skin and tissue... But I am not part of that screaming world... I, too, see beauty incomprehensible, that the world pushes against me as well... And on this day it has pushed us together... Pushed you to me so that I may see it, I may bare witness to the beauty and be inspired..." He slowly reached his hands up, reaching for the sides of his mask. "I need to know..."
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Re: Puppets of Flesh

Post by Charon on Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:06 am

Charon actually took a step back as the guy started to ramble on about beauty and understanding the world. Geez, and Charon thought that he had problems. What is with this guy? If he's an assassin, he's definitely the strangest one I've ever seen. What would an assassin get out of seeing my face though? Nothing, the mask I wear alone is enough for people to know me. I'm more recognizable because of it. So he's...being sincere?

Charon instinctively reached up and pushed Sinew's hands away, not liking when anyone ever made a move to take his mask off. If it came off, it came off as Charon's decision. "Look....you're going to regret this, but I have a soft spot in my heart for people like you" Charon admitted. "So one look....and that's it. Alright?"
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Re: Puppets of Flesh

Post by Vexation on Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:09 am

Sinew's eyes lit up; he would see it! He would have his answer, he would know, he would see, he could see beauty fashioned by another, not just fashioned, but worn. A man so dedicated to his art that he bore it in his very flesh. He had to see, he had too.
Glasses.
He needed his glasses. He quickly dropped to the ground, scrambling to find them. Once found, he slid them onto his nose, adjusted them, and turned back around, facing his muse. "Show me... Please." Sinew whispered, his lips twitching upwards into a smile.
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Re: Puppets of Flesh

Post by Charon on Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:14 am

They were pretty far away, so if anyone else was affected by this hopefully they wouldn't be able to link it back to Charon. This dude though...he was in for a pretty bad trip. Charon reached around and unclasped the mask, slipping it off and lowering it. The flesh was badly burned on the right side of his face, his cheek caved in and discolored beyond repair. Along with that, his cheek was also partially exposed to the point where Sinew would see Charon's teeth and the inside of his mouth.

This all being said, Charon's power was now activating as he looked upon Sinew, and the man would start to become monster more than muse...
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Re: Puppets of Flesh

Post by Vexation on Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:27 am

The man's masked slipped off and Sinew had no time to comprehend the beauty before he fell to his knees, clasping his ears. The Rancid Noises were suddenly back, impossibly loud. They were clawing. Clawing. Clawing at the inside of his skull, scraping off bone, pushing outwards, ever outwards, peeling his scalp off as they escaped him. Surely the man could hear them too, he had too, he had too. How could he not? In reality, all Charon would hear would be Sinew's panicked breathing.
He wasn't reacting to the Rancid Noises. How was he not reacting? It was impossible. His skull had cracked wide open, the noises were yelling, whispering, blinding, hissing, they were... They were... They were, they existed as plainly as the grass... The grass... It was winding its way up his legs, binding him to the earth. No, no, no... He wasn't reacting, the man wasn't reacting to ANY of this! It was him, it was him, he was controlling the Rancid Noises, the grass, the sky that fell, the world that pushed. Run. He had to run. Had to escape. He pushed backwards, breaking free of the strands of grass that tried to bind him, crawling backwards, staring up at the man until.... It all went quiet again. It was just the man... Standing, twenty feet away from him... His mask off. His face, his face... Was fascinating. Slowly, Sinew stood and ventured closer. Almost immediately, the Rancid Noises returned, their horrible stench clawing at the back of his eyes. Not now, not now! I have to focus... I have to see... The noises persisted, the grass tried to trip him, but he had to see. He stood in front of the man again, gazing up at his face; it was caved, corrupted, twisted, discolored... The map of tendons and nerves leading from one body part to the next trailed on the surface plain for all to see. It was the skin was night, it was ash, it was roses, it was death and decay... He pushed himself onto his toes, pressing his face almost within an inch of the artwork, his eyes tracing each individual tendon. The Rancid Noises were numbingly loud now, clawing out of his skull, dripping out of his ears, pushing out of his mouth, tumbling out of his nostrils, but his eyes... His eyes saw only the beauty. The sculpted perfection of the horror in front of him. He reached one hand up, hoping to trace the lines better with one of his talons before the Noises gnawed it off.
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Re: Puppets of Flesh

Post by Charon on Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:34 am

Yeah, Charon had a feeling something like this would happen. The moment the mask was off he could start to see the effects in Sinew's eyes. The fear, the struggle, it was all so clear to him. He was just like all the others, so curious to see until he did and then immediately regretted it. And yet...something about this one was different. He pulled far enough back that Charon wasn't affecting him anymore and yet continued to try and push forward to continue and see.

Most people weren't like this. Fight or flight was a common mentality that people had, but very rarely did people purposefully expose themselves like this to the fear. What was this man? What was he? Charon didn't know, but he didn't like the way this man was looking so closely now. The moment he tried to lift his hand to touch Charon again, the gang leader stepped back and pulled his mask back up. "You got to see what you wanted...now you can go, that was what we agreed to" Charon said seriously. No one had ever touched his face but him, it was something he didn't allow anyone.

"Forget about me and forget about this. As I told you, some things are best left on the forgotten parts of the map"
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Re: Puppets of Flesh

Post by Vexation on Thu Jul 21, 2016 2:51 am

Sinew stood frozen in place for a moment when the man pulled the mask back up. The Rancid Noises had vanished; his skull was intact, the grass was just as it had always been. The mask was up, the beauty was gone. He stood, his hand still hovering in the air, reaching to touch the stars. "I... I..." He stammered. "I know now. I know what is needed. I can see, I can..." He suddenly jolted from his frozen posture, staggering backwards. "Y-you're wrong..." He whispered, then repeated again, louder this time. "You're WRONG! The map is meant to be explored, filled in. The world wishes to hide it's corners, but the corners must be seen, be known! You're WRONG! I will NOT forget, I CANNOT FORGET WHAT I HAVE SEEN!" He was yelling loudly now. "I have seen beauty written on your face, but the fear carved into your heart... The world has destroyed you, artist, it has DESTROYED you! It has terrified you so much of that which is etched into your own SKIN that it has scared you to the crossed-out corners of the map... But still you exist, and the world must see... The world wishes to remain blind to it, and wishes to blind all who see it, but I am not blind... I am not blind!!"
A maniacal smile was on Sinew's face. He knew what he had to do; the world saw him as a deviant for what he did to a dog, an abomination for what he did to his parents, and a danger for fashioning them into Caramel. He had let the world push him down, push him into the dark... Just like what it did to this poor man, this fragmented, pitiable shell of a shadow of a man... Sinew would not become this man. He would not let the world dictate to him what was right and wrong for he knew in his heart that he was right and they were wrong; he had the power to create LIFE out of the ashes of DEATH! Those powers were the sort that had to be used and displayed, even if the world did not want to see...
"I am not blind..." he repeated. "My eyes are in my head, not to be plucked by the prejudice of the world... I will fashion, I will shape, I will sculpt... And you..." He stepped towards him and cupped his hands gingerly, reaching out to the man. "Will be my muse for it all. You are my inspiration... I will not forget you. I will not forget today. And I will fill in the map..."
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Re: Puppets of Flesh

Post by Charon on Thu Jul 21, 2016 5:43 pm

This guy was just getting further and further down the rabbit hole wasn't he? Charon wasn't sure if he should be worried about the guy, or call for an asylum. Either way, Charon had to admit that perhaps he had a point. The world was changing every day, and there was no telling how it was going to affect everything else. However, as Sinew accused Charon of being afraid, the blade he had threatened Sinew with suddenly came back out as he pointed it towards the man.

"I am not afraid of the world, it's the world that should be afraid of me. Some things exist in the darkness because it's where we wish to remain, it's where we thrive and where we go strong until we're ready to be seen" Charon said sternly. As the words left his mouth, he realized how much he was overreacting. He put the blade away again as his eye fell on Sinew. "I don't know what it is you plan on doing, but trust me when I say I have a strong feeling that you're going to see me again. I have my own plans for the world, and they are not going to be ready for me, of that I can assure you"

Charon turned down the alleyway, away from Sinew. "And what of you...what exactly do you plan on doing with me as your inspiriation? It must be something quite...drastic"
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Re: Puppets of Flesh

Post by Vexation on Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:03 pm

"Some things exist in darkness because it's where we wish to remain." The words echoed in Sinew's head, reverberating like a name called in a canyon. Darkness, hiding in darkness. Cold and dark, deep in the abyss. Some things belonged there. Some things were there. Somethings needed to climb out. Sinew was one of them; this man, he wanted to... But he still hid behind his mask.
When asked what he was going to do with his inspiration, a million thoughts flew through his mind at once; designs, plans, sculptures, life. "What will I do with you?" He asked, a wicked glint in his eye. "I... will fashion art. Art that the world will see, will fear, will hate, will love and embrace..." He adjusted his backpack, still full of fresh beef. "And you? What will you do? Skulk back into the shadows, the unfilled corners of the map? Or will you be more... interesting?"
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Re: Puppets of Flesh

Post by Charon on Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:07 pm

Art...alright. Well, there were worse things to do with one's time. Charon was never really interested in art, though he personally felt he had a talent for drama when it came to how he handled his life. Everyone loved a good story, that and a happy ending. Charon just had to make sure that in his story he was the hero that triumphed at the end of the day. After all, history always sided with the guy who won.

"Me, I think I'm going to paint my own picture" Charon remarked as he turned back to Sinew. "I must remain in darkness for a little bit longer, but I do believe that I won't have to be there for much longer. Even today was a big step for me, and I only plan on taking more in the next few months" he explained. "Believe me, the shadows have been a tremendous tool for me, but I won't need them for much longer"
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Re: Puppets of Flesh

Post by Vexation on Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:21 pm

Sinew's smile twitched involuntarily; his muse was going to climb out of the abyss... It pleased him. The beauty had to be shared, to be noticed and displayed. And the more that could share it, the better. "Good... Then I hope we can share art sometime in the near future..." He blinked, and his eyes dropped slightly, staring past the man; his mind suddenly shifted to why he went out in the first place. "Caramel." He blurted out. "Caramel..." She was hungry. She was home, alone, cold, in the basement, in the dark. He had to get home, had to feed her. She was waiting, and she was never good at waiting. Mother and Father were, but Caramel seemed to have forgotten that. Seeming to forget the man's existence, he sprinted forward, running into the man, more bouncing off of him than barreling him out of the way due to his small size, but Sinew hardly noticed. He continued running home, muttering "Caramel" To himself as he ran passed the man, all the way back home. In the midst of all of this, a brief thought occurred to him, but did not stay long: I should take my meds when I go out...
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Re: Puppets of Flesh

Post by Charon on Thu Jul 21, 2016 6:27 pm

"Perhaps we can, it'll be interesting to compare I'm sure" Charon said mainly to be polite. As strange as the guy was, Charon still had no idea what kind of a man he was. He didn't examine or look for the man's fear once he realized that he wasn't a threat. Charon only did it when he felt it was necessary for his safety or benefit. For this guy...Charon felt a strange feeling for him. A mixture of pity and understanding, Charon was also greatly looked down on when he first started his work in his own gang. It had taken him a long time to get to where he was.

He watched as Sinew ran off, leaving Charon to just shake his head. "Strange guy, but guess I'm no one to judge" Charon said quietly before turning back to head to the East District as he originally planned. He had a feeling he'd see Sinew again, though he didn't know if he'd be happy for that day to come or not.

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