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Square One

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Square One

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 01, 2012 7:56 pm

The man at the desk sighed. The sigh quickly turned to a yawn, as his arms, meticulously cradling a pen and a small, leather-bound notebook, fell to the wooden surface, and made great, bounding semi-circular arches through the air as he stretched, and made a wayward, tired glance up to the clock. Marcus Frostbrook, owner of the clock, arms, pen, notebook, and yawn, grumbled to himself and shook his head, standing up to stretch proper. "Only four?" He turned to the window; the pale light of the Amestrian mid-afternoon still pierced the windows and illuminated the room. He sighed once more.

The days were getting longer, and more intolerable. As Marcus looked around, he realised that he was back to square one, more or less. In the six months he'd been working for the Yakuza, until they'd been abolished not a few days ago, he'd made only twenty-thousand in excess of what he needed to buy himself a slightly nicer apartment than he'd had, and replenish all his belongings.

He was in a nicer part of Central, now, and had some disposable cash, but in his gut, he felt guiltier than ever. He was no closer to finding Leon again, and, even if he'd made himself some cash, he was truly back to square one, emotionally. All the development he'd made socially, all the headway he'd made on meeting new people... all gone. And Mako? Most of all, he hurt for Mako. Everyone in his family, everyone in his life he'd ever been close to, had just up and left, or been forced out, whether it was voluntary or not. His parents, his siblings, his friends... his son.

Though this was partially his fault for opting for such an unstable choice of career. Now, all he could do was set up a shell account and republish under a new pseudonym, and hope to God that Esparez wouldn't find out. He glanced back down to the notebook, pen's nib pointing at an angle over the pages as it hovered, resting against the edge of the leather binding, pointing into the sky and almost piercing it. 'The pen is mightier than the sword'? Pah. Pens weren't going to save Leon.

So, things had changed. He'd tried things out and they hadn't worked. If he'd taken anything away from the Yakuza, it was the mindset that, well, sometimes... sometimes, stuff happened for a reason. And, other times, it just happened. Maybe whatever divine powers that sat up there were testing his mettle; or maybe he'd just pissed someone off really, really badly.

He had changed a little, though. What with the turns his life had took, on his last day at the base, he'd helped himself to a Walther P99 from the Kiyoshino armoury - he'd had to. With his assurance that Mako and company would help him otherwise, he hadn't needed to rely on weaponry; but now, he was alone, back in Amestris, and had faded though still very much existent ties to the disbanded Aerugese crime syndicate. Marcus hadn't done anything to cover his tracks - so the gun, loaded and with another four magazines sitting in the drawer of that very desk, wasn't anything but a... well, an insurance policy.

That, and he still had ties to some dubious characters, with whom he had paid off his bets, but with whom he had a reputation as something of a pushover. So, that was just incase they tried to push further, said he still owed something. But Marcus was living in fear, in paranoia. The Yakuza had only stopped his depression's downwards spiral momentarily; now it was back to the same, if worse. He was guiltier than ever before, and the fright wasn't doing anything to help his situation. It would fade, soon, but for now? The door was locked, bolted, the chain drawn, and he had one of those little eye-holes put in just in case. Though if someone broke it down, he didn't know what the fuck he'd do.

And, at the top of it all, the cherry on top, as he pounded his face against the wall repeatedly, Marcus knew exactly why that pen wasn't pressed against the notebook's paper and scribbling madly; his inspiration, in all these dire circumstances, was shot to absolute shit. He had no muse, no flourish, and, best of all, thanks to Esparez, absolutely no writing. He didn't know how he'd get republished. Like he'd said... back to square one.

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Re: Square One

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:39 pm

All was quiet at Central Station as the train pulled in to drop another load of passengers off. Most tourists, some wore the signature Amestrian military uniform, but one stood out among the rest. A young man with white hair fidgeted in his seat waiting for the despicable machine to come to a full stop. His feet seemed to slide opposite the rest of his body at first when he stood, but he quickly steadied his posture. A lot of good it did, as he went down into a deep slouch.

"Here to sight see, stranger?" The conductor asked as the last of the passengers sluggishly made his way by to the door. The kid just stopped, taking his time before turning his head the man's way. He then flashed a huge, jagged smile and let out half a giggle before responding.

"Something like that..."

Randolph Styxx had caught a glimpse of genius a few days prior. If his hunch was correct, it was possible that the man, if not men, that created him were being held in the military prison here. The lab seemed ambushed, unprepared for whatever had occurred. It was still just a hunch, but he had to keep moving.

The worst part of the trip was keeping his blood lust under control. A kid had gotten a nose bleed during the ride, and it nearly drove the chimera up the wall. Just the slight sign of blood was enough to give him hunger pains now. It was as if nothing could sate his appetite. Come to think of it, he hadn't eaten in a while now. Regular food just didn't do it for him anymore. He needed to find a new prey.

As he walked down the steps of the station and into the city streets, the noise around him grew more annoying by the second. Lifting his hooded coat up, he tried to keep his eyes on his boots.

Heheh... I got these off that old coot back in...

Randolph quickly shook the thought from his mind, looking frantically, hands in pockets, for anywhere to be alone. He had to calm down. This wasn't good, especially not in a place this heavily populated. If he let the beast slip now, his mission would be compromised.

Turning off down an alleyway, the monster found himself climbing up a ladder. A fire escape would have to do right now. Hopefully no one would look out their windows as he ascended, or decide to stroll down the same alley. His climb progressively got slower and slower until he came to a stop, mid-ladder.

Inside the small apartment was a rather portly man. Late thirties, the chimera supposed. He was just laying there on his fold-out couch, watching television. What a sad sight. Randolph couldn't let this poor fellow suffer under his own weight any longer, and he couldn't let himself wait for a meal. It was time.

Quickly he slung himself through the window. Breaking into a roll, he leaped back to his feet just in time to grab the jumper by the throat. He smiled again. It wasn't the same smile he gave getting off the train though. This was his killing face. His feeding face.

"Wh-who are y-" Before the poor guy could even finish though, he found himself flying through the open bathroom door, and onward through the wall from there. Although most of the walls were composed of brick, the restrooms were hollowed out for pipe space. Randolph simply stepped through the hole he had left, ignoring the water spraying every which way, and looked down at the bloody man. The new surroundings made this meal a little more bearable in his mind.

"What do you know... pigs can fly." He then broke into his insane laughter, pulling his hand up in front of his face and abruptly stopping. His nails seemed to glisten in the setting sun as it shone through the window, and drool made its way down Randolph's chin. "I could have worned you I suppose, heheheh... I like to play with my food."

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Re: Square One

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 01, 2012 8:58 pm

As Marcus stood up to pace from side to side, he heard the grumpy voice of his obese neighbour, Mr. Jensen, ring out and pass quietly through the hollow walls between his bathroom and Marcus' bedroom. This design oversight had been noted many times since Marcus' had moved in - especially so late at night, when the fat man had decided he wanted 'company', and paid for them to spend the night with him in his apartment. Marcus had often mused about recording the pig-like man's squealings on a tape recorder when he couldn't get to sleep at night, and then slipping them under the door with a blackmail note, weary-eyed, in the morning, but he'd never delivered on it. "Wh-who are y-"

CRASH.

"HOLY FLYING FUCK!" It's strange how you resort to your native tongue in times of ecstasy, and fright. Marcus screamed, yelped, and jumped back as an obese man came flying through the hollow plaster and sprawled out into his bedroom. His head slammed along the bed's railings, and the writer went pale, falling down and desperately scrabbling for something. "I could have worned you I suppose, heheheh... I like to play with my food."

Jensen was bleeding from somewhere. Blood was welling up on his two-hundred-dollar carpet, and seeping deep into the fabric; the initial impact had knocked him out cold, and Marcus hadn't yet noticed Randolph. His vaguely psychopathic statement had been drowned out by both the crash's echo and the alchemist's shock; however, working for the Yakuza had taught him something. He dove straight back for the desk, sliding into it and smashing his shoulder against the heavy mahogany, and his hand went to the brass handle of one of the draws, dropping in and fumbling haphazardly within for his insurance policy, the P99.

It took him another ten seconds to get it, his pallor frozen white and sullen with fear, arm crashing against every corner of the drawer repeatedly before thumb and forefinger grasped the pistol's hilt as if he were picking up a back of dog shit, or some other equally undesirable item. However, Marcus gulped, and slipped the pistol into his grip - and, finally, he noticed the boy standing there.

"HOLY FUCKING SHIT!" He screamed again, and kicked the air, scrabbling back and pushing himself up against the bed as he fumbled with the gun once more. Then, he realised just how close he was to Jensen, the possibly-dead obese man, and further adrenaline flooded through his veins. All thoughts of regret, remorse, guilt, Mako, the Yakuza, Leon... all of them had long-since been dampened by the epinephrine, and were as good as gone. Now, it was just fight or flight. And, for once in his life, Marcus was considering the former.

The shout rang out a third time as he processed Jensen, and, like a jumping monkey, he scrabbled aboard the bed once more, suppressing nausea and pushing up against the wall as his grip on the pistol finally became firm, and steady. His finger snaked through the trigger guard and over the slender piece of metal, and his thumb moved up, trembling, to flick the safety off with a distinctive snap. Finally, that very same appendage drew back, and slipped over the gun's hammer a couple more times, before easing it backwards ever so gently with a solid, resounding click.

The boy's words finally came to mind. What language had he spoken? It took Marcus some time to fully process it properly within his polyglot mind - for once, intelligence wasn't helping him. He sighed, and tried to take deep breaths, but just felt ever more sick, then trying his best to just align the pistol. "I... who... what..." He looked down to Jensen again, and felt like vomiting once more. The stench of half-chewed food and blood filled the air. The pistol fell limp in his wrist, and spun, before Marcus closed his eyes, collected himself, and grasped it again. "Get... who... I..." He couldn't bring himself to form a coherent sentence, and was now just spouting random babble in the hope he could say something, anything.

He cleared his throat, inhaled and exhaled a few times, before opening those pale blue-grey pools, and focusing on Randolph as best he could, in spite of his double vision, courtesy of the adrenaline, and the figures only appearing as blurry - his glasses were still folded up and left on the desk, but he could make out the boy's basic figure and structure. "W-what do you w-want?" He stammered - but with Jensen in the room, the question may as well have been rhetorical.

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Re: Square One

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:21 pm

Randolph's head snapped over as he noticed the other man. He exclaimed some sort of gibberish, a language he had heard before in passing by, but didn't quite understand. At least, he had heard one of those words before. Usually in anger or regret.

The chimera's smile somehow managed to grow, and his laughter became a silent undertone to the scene as he managed to continue watching this fool fumble around on the floor, grab a gun of some sort, and then leap back on his bed. What was that look in his eyes? Something akin to fear, yet sickness as well. Was he going to vomit from just this? Pathetic.

"Hush now," he started, trying to suppress his laughter, if only a little bit. Randolph then continued, "Shh, shh, shh, this is obviously something you aren't used to. Allow me to explain."

Flipping his white hair from his eyes, along with the drool from his face with his sleeve, the young man pulled his gun out slowly. He then dropped it upon the floor, his smile turning into a slight smirk, mouth still open.

"I don't mean you any harm, man. You're just in the wrong place at the wrong..." He then stopped, looking down at the behemoth of a man he had hoped was already dead. Gurgling sounds came up from the body, and his legs twitched. That wouldn't do. A quick stomp to the gut put an end to it. "...time. Heheh."

He then moved over to Marcus' desk, skimming over a page with his finger. There was hardly anything written here, but it seemed as if it was planned for discarding. Randolph turned his head again, smirk still present, before giving a quick chuckle and a look from the desk back to the fellow.

"An author? Quite the respectable occupation, hmm?" Licking his lips, he stepped away from the desk, his hands twitching a bit before another chuckle arose. "It would be a shame for such a talent to end because of a false move, wouldn't it?"

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Re: Square One

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:40 pm

"Shh, shh, shh, this is obviously something you aren't used to. Allow me to explain." The boy's voice was giddy. Entrancing... almost nursery-like. Marcus had to shake his head to keep the tendrils of noise from snaking into his head through his ears and wresting control of everything. He shook his neck vigorously and raised the pistol once more, adamant; his heart beat still in his mouth, and he opened his mouth to respond but only released the makings of a snarl.

"I don't mean you any harm, man. You're just in the wrong place at the wrong... time." Marcus winced gingerly as he stomped on the gurgling obese man's gut; Jensen sprawled back into unconsciousness and he felt sick again, paling and going whiter than ever before, almost zombie-like. However, he processed Randolph's words, and cocked his head, a stroke of colour flushing back in. How was he in the wrong place... if it was his apartment?

He'd seen things like this in the Yakuza daily, yet still he felt ill when greeted with the sight of blood. Jensen was bleeding on his floor pretty badly - and Marcus did NOT want another death on his hands. He'd have to- Randolph moved. He swung the pistol around to follow his movement, snarling again weakly once more. It didn't seem to stop the man as he drifted over the notebook, and slipped his finger through the pages. If he so much as touched that thing... Marcus felt anger begin to well up within him alongside the other cocktail of explosive and mainly negative emotions the day had thus far been composed of. This wasn't how he'd seen himself spending this afternoon. "An author? Quite the respectable occupation, hmm?"

He stammered once more. "S-step away from the book..." He swallowed. His Amestrian was cracking, his accent fading, and his true Cretan voice ringing through, hoarse and parched, his throat drying as if someone had just poured a kilogram of salt down it. "I don't want to..." He couldn't finish the sentence - but at least, now, he was speaking coherently.

Randolph broke him off, and he tried once more not to look at Jensen as his stomach settled a little bit more, the adrenaline suppressing the vomit, hopefully. "It would be a shame for such a talent to end because of a false move, wouldn't it?" The kid was still berating him. Marcus' brow furrowed as he recalled Mako's teachings; by now, the air would've been whistling through a hole in this kid's head if he'd broken into Makoto's apartment, or even Marcus' Edo penthouse. God, why did this have to happen to him!?

He took a slow, deep breath, and gulped once more, swaying the gun down to the floor towards Randolph's nondescript black pistol, then back up to his face. "No-one has to die," He commented, trying to gain some control of the situation, as undoubtedly weak as it would be. "J-just..." His voice was shaky, his breathing haggard, his heart pounding in his ears, his hands clammy and hot. "Kick the gun over to me." It was an order - Marcus was surprising himself with the authority his voice held. He felt something darker, something more substantial rise within him, flare back up like the flame at the top of a wildfire, then diminish, shrink back down, not a moment later. A moment of solidarity, a moment of actual control. "And... we can... let's just... talk about this." And that solidarity and control had vanished as quickly as it had arrived, with Marcus' party piece, the good old fragmented sentence four-in-one combo deal. Great. Why him?

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Re: Square One

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 01, 2012 9:57 pm

"Kick the gun over to me."

Ohoho! The guy had a pair after all! However small Randolph could presume it was, this man was getting braver by the minute! His full smile returned, and he gave the human his wish. Placing his boot on the firearm, he quickly slid it over next to Marcus' bed.

"...let's just... talk about this."

Talk? That was actually a new one for Randolph. Most of the time this was the point when whoever was present ran for their lives or began to beg. The author was full of surprises! This peaked the chimera's interest quite a bit to tell the truth.

"Alright, sir, you've sparked my curiosity." He then looked down at the now deceased among them, and gave a toothed sigh. "My meal can wait I suppose."

Grabbing the chair at the man's desk, Randolph spun it around, quickly taking his seat, elbows on his knees now, hands crossed below his chin. His back didn't touch the chair at all with his massive slouch, but there was a feel of deep thinking illuminating from him. Turning his head just a bit, he attempted to drill into the very core of the man with his crimson eyes.

"Before we discuss names, let's get something simple out of the way." He then looked down at the pool of blood that was now forming. "My favorite color is red. Deep red. A color of life's very essence, and of power. A color of rage, yet... control." A giggle. "What's yours?"

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Re: Square One

Post by Guest on Sun Jul 01, 2012 10:28 pm

The gun slid over to him, and Marcus' heart settled, dropping back halfway to its original rhythm. At least he had the power in the situation now - or, so he thought. He picked up the pistol, keeping the other firmly trained on Randolph, and sighed as he slid his grip around the other, holding both up and aiming them, his hands still quivering slightly. "My meal can wait I suppose."

'...meal?' Just who... what... oh, god. Marcus began to feel nauseated again. The guns began to tremble ever more vigorously; his throat began to feel salty, and he felt an acidic burn begin to rise at the very back of it all. He tried to put it off with a smile, desperate to do anything to keep himself from vomiting - that included setting one of the guns down and grasping the headboard as he spiralled into a fit of hacking coughs.

"Before we discuss names, let's get something simple out of the way." Hnng... he didn't really want to discuss anything with this bastard, apart from when he'd leave him the fuck alone. A snarl of sorts, and he let the man continue, holding a hand to his mouth as the smell of blood hit his nostrils and he gagged. "My favorite color is red. Deep red. A color of life's very essence, and of power. A color of rage, yet... control." He tried so very desperately not to look, but a wayward pale-blue glance fell upon the pooling blood around Jensen - he threw his gaze straight back up towards the cracked paint of the ceiling in a split-second, but he still felt more ill then ever. Antsy, he shuffled up, as Randolph offered him a question. "What's yours?"

Heh. The irony, asking the alchemist of colour what his favourite was. He could confuse him with all the talk of pigmentation... or, attempt to... or maybe just settle on one ultimately. As he settled back down and aimed once more, trying his best to steady his readily-shaking hand, he sighed and looked off past Randolph, focusing on the wall, his glare affixed, as he tried his best to concentrate. What was his favourite colour...?

"White," He found himself speaking involuntarily, the words voicing themselves clearly and with a far sterner tone than he was used to. "It's the end and beginning of everything," He knew this much from his alchemy; draining pigmentation left only a blank, endless, gaping void of nothing but a crystal-clear white. The voice had an absent undercurrent, as if Marcus wasn't quite there; daydreaming. His pupils popped and thrummed amidst a pale blue-grey oasis inside a desert of bloodshot white flesh, and he continued to speak. "Add enough colours together, and eventually, you come to white," His head moved, ever-so-slightly, though his grip on the pistol remained firm.

His stomach began to settle, and he sighed, before finishing. "And the opposite rings true, as well. White... take every colour away, and it's the only thing you'll be left with..." With that, he finished his spiel, and snapped back to the real world, that little apartment, the dust and powdered plaster flooding the air in miniature boring yellow-grey mushroom clouds, pale-yellow afternoon light illuminating the room in horizontal rays which pierced the Venetian blinds... his grip faltered once more, and it became very clear that whatever personality had momentarily left had rushed back into Marcus all-too-quickly - that sickening feeling rose once more in his throat, and he paled more than ever before. He began to shake and tremble unsteadily again, and that quivering tone returned to his voice, all-too-aware of Jensen's body lying there.

"S-so, uhm, when are you leaving?" He continued to stutter, almost kicking himself from how much of a moron he was coming off as - why did he care, so much, though? This guy was obviously a random serial killer... and, apparently, a cannibal. Marcus felt sick to his stomach once more.

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Re: Square One

Post by Guest on Mon Jul 02, 2012 1:50 pm

White? Not such a bad choice, if only it were truly a color. Noble to say the least though. The man's words rang true to Randolph. White was purity, and the absence of everything thereof, yet everything together at the same time. Something which the chimera despised. His lacks got the better of him, and his needs even more so. The shark's thought process was a complex one at that.

"S-so, uhm, when are you leaving?" Marcus asked him. Not one for company it seemed. Of course, who would be after having their apartment's wall destroyed?

"In due time. I thought we would have a bit of a chat, seeing as you wanted to 'talk'." At the last word, Randolph put a bit of pout into his voice, and then laughed giddily. Calming himself, as much as he could anyway, he rested his face upon his hands once more.

"You see, I find you humans interesting. Well, some of you anyway..." He then paused, thinking of what to say next. "It's a habit of mine, hopefully you'll understand. When the opportunity, or, more importantly, the right person, presents itself to me, I can't help but try and see how they tick." Another chuckle. He'd gotten off track now.

"My name is Randolph Styxx. You may call me Mr. Styxx, if you would be so kind." Putting on a show with an over-dramatic bow, the laughter lasted a bit longer this time. Sighing and waving his hand through the air as if to get on to the point, Randolph then leaned forward, his jagged smile spreading from eye to eye. "What might your name be, author?"

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Re: Square One

Post by Guest on Mon Jul 02, 2012 2:34 pm

"You see, I find you humans interesting. Well, some of you anyway..." A chill surged down Marcus' spine and the gun quivered ever further. The weight of the pistol on the bed beside him, not just in its physicality, but the gravity it held in this particular situation, and what it symbolised, hung heavy in the back of his mind. Jensen stirred for a moment more. Hopefully, he wouldn't have a murder in his house. That would really suck. And that wall was going to be expensive to patch up...

"U-us humans?" He kicked himself immediately for wording it as a question. Don't ask questions you don't want to know the answer to them. That was something the first Marcus Frostbrook had taught him; his grandfather. Randolph continued to speak. "It's a habit of mine, hopefully you'll understand. When the opportunity, or, more importantly, the right person, presents itself to me, I can't help but try and see how they tick."

From what little he remembered of A-Level Cretan psychology, this guy definitely fit the bill for sociopath. Though, his insinuation that they weren't the same species... now, that was something else. Perhaps this was evolution in play? He wondered idly for a moment before the situation and its importance smacked him back down to Earth. Of course the kid and he weren't exactly the same. How in the living fuck did a kid that size have enough power to turn a man of over three-hundred-pounds into a living torpedo?

What Randolph was saying was vaguely psychological, too, but it seemed like his foray into discovering 'what made people tick' was slightly more literal, and would probably involve vivisection of some variety, or an 'in-depth cranial analysis'. In other words, his speciality was carving people open. With scenes from various serial killer horror movies smacking into his mind like a searing and psychologically damaging hailstorm, Marcus tried desperately to suppress another wave of nausea, and attempted to concentrate on the pseudo-human's words. "My name is Randolph Styxx. You may call me Mr. Styxx, if you would be so kind." Styxx. His name was Styxx. Like the river...

Randolph spoke again before he could. "What might your name be, author?" The silence hung uneasily between the pair as Marcus wrested once more for control of the situation. Queasy waves of rising vomit were bubbling angrily in his stomach, and singing the lining of his throat as they began to rise through his oesophagus. Already, the foul, acidic taste in his mouth became enhanced tenfold, and a lingering non-present smell of vomit crept into his nostrils.

"Leon Marcus Frostbrook the Third," He chanted from his days of being the rich child of a once-prestigious family that hadn't heard from him in shy of two years. "J-just call me Marcus," The shakiness returned to his voice once more, and memories of a better, happier time flashed before his eyes. "You should probably l-leave, now," He tried to hint, without being rude... but either way, it wasn't going to go well for either of them if he stuck around.

That, and, he desperately needed to vomit.

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Re: Square One

Post by Guest on Mon Jul 02, 2012 3:16 pm

The third? A family with naming schemes for their first sons perhaps? Would explain Marcus' style for the most part, seemingly sheepish and used to a rather refined lifestyle. Still, Randolph felt there was something he was missing out on here. Something with which he needed to be able to fully understand the man sitting in fear, yet holding his ground, before him.

"You should probably l-leave, now," Marcus stammered out. Randolph looked down at the corpse, and back up to his 'host'. Then once more before blinking as if just realizing his surroundings.

"Yes, I suppose you're right. Overstayed my... well, I was never truly welcomed here." Chuckling as he rose from the chair, giving a stretch to his legs before slouching again. Randolph then slowly moved toward Marcus, and snatched his own gun from the man's hand, slapping Marcus' away from him in the process. "Hopefully our next meeting will bear more fruit, hm?"

The chimera then grabbed Mr. Jensen's leg as he pocketed his pistol back within his jacket. Dragging the man across the room, he then hefted him up, tossing the tub of lard back through the hole which he'd made. Smiling and snickering, Randolph then hopped through himself, leaving Frostbrook to his own devices. It was time to feed and then sleep. The sound of bones breaking and tendons snapping filled the air.

Popping his head back through the hole, Randolph smiled evilly before whispering, "G'night... neighbor..."

END THREAD

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