Description: Ace Detective Daniel "Jack" Little has barely survived his battle with the fiercesome Zabel Zarock, but does that matter? Does it really matter, when the person you love has lied to you, and decieved you, and has gone out of her way to ruin your life? You do so much for her, and for what? For her to run off to the local opium den with some two-bit jazz singer, to kick the gong around? 15 years, 15 years you are with that woman. And she has the gall to not only blame you for it, but sue to divorce? Will she just accept that she is the one who ruined this? Or will she cost you... An Arm And An Leg? (The cover shows Daniel Jack alone in his home, a one-bedroom apartment with a desk for him to do his cover art and writing at. He is sitting at the desk, a bottle of whiskey in one hand, a picture in the other. The picture shows the alluring Fio Tessitore, dressed in a strapless red gown, though her face is all different. More photo-realistic than usual, as if it was traced from an existing photograph. She is with a man who looks strikingly like Daniel Jack as well, in a yellow zoot suit, at some kind of opium den. There are pools of tears on the desk... and also on the cover, smudging the artwork of the dark apartment slightly) (45 Cents)
Daniel was having a hard time.
The detective was working through the catacombs underneath Shang Tsung's tower. The agent of Interpol had a fight with a one Zabel Zarock. The rock star had gotten infamy with Interpol when he held a concert that resulted in everyone dying. Everyone, including him, apparently. Daniel was looking at fighting a corpse. And the pair did fight, in the depths of the catacombs underneath, right by the dead pools, pits of acid over hanging chains and hooks. And Daniel fought and fought and fought and he won and with a finishing blow he knocked Zabel into the acid pits. And Zabel... and Zabel...
And it was fine.
That's what the detective was telling himself as he drags himself through the maze of stone underneath. His orange silk shirt and purple silk pants were torn, with open wounds and raw splinters still in his skin. The most important wound, however, was in one hand. That was his other hand. He had the limb cut off at some point. It was a blur now, still a blur. Daniel Jack was fighting shock with single-minded dedication. He needed to get out. He needed to get out, and find someone. Find a link. If Zabel was here, Zabel gave the suggestion, and zabel, and souls. He had to find more souls.
He needed more souls for him.
Dr. Fio Tessitore's time on the island was... a mixed bag, really! One of her creations -- Lotus -- reportedly executed a pest who had created a mild dust-up for her Lord Dohma some time back -- that's a checkmark in the 'plus' column. However, a check in the 'minus' column would be the loss of Zabel Zarock -- a noted lieutenant of Lord Dohma's even if he would prefer otherwise.
That's the word from her little spies, anyway -- notoriously untrustworthy, the spiders she's sent out are not very bright and only able to give the Doctor little bits and pieces of information at a time. It was necessary for Fio to confirm the loss for herself -- and considering the toxicity of the goo into which Zabel Zarock had fallen, retrieving his body might pose certain... issues for someone of the Italian's delicate constitution.
Even if it -is- bolstered by her lord's unique augmentations.
Now, though, she is in search of another. Here on the island, she sees no need to present a 'human' facade, so she walks with her sinuous black spider appendages exposed, her skin tinted blue. Red irises on black sclerae scan across the catacombs. The object of her search may not be in sight, but it will not be long before her sensitive ears pick up the sounds of Daniel Jack's shuffling. Or before her eyes catch sight of the trail of blood in his path. Daniel may hear the sound of her high-heeled shoes clacking down on the stonework, or possibly the clicking of her antenniform legs as they brush against the floor for stability.
She makes no attempt whatsoever to disguise the sound.
"Ahh..." she announces, as the Interpol detective comes into view.
"There you are~"
Her smile grows -- perhaps wider than the detective may be accustomed to seeing upon her face.
She stops short, kneeling down to swipe one pedipalp against the floor, bringing the blood-soaked claw close to her nostrils. "Fresh blood. How does it feel, my sweet, sweet Daniel... to -kill?-"
Daniel Jack leans into the wall as the clicking comes, turning into the stones as he curls his arm underneath. He knows that click, click, click. It wasn't like other taps, like something horrific in the depths. There was just that specific rhythm, he remembered it in his heart. She might be in her spider form. Daniel was not afraid of it. He was comfortable with it, it was comforting. He doesn't even need to look at her face, as she speaks. The detective feels warm all over. The chill was gone. He shuts his eyes tight for a moment. It worked. He was going to live. And yet, her words come like a hammer into him. He didn't kill. He didn't kill.
"I didn't kill."
The words come out hollow. But his mind swirls hard. "Death is forever for... for people like me, a final stage that you can't escape. Something like him... he can come back. He went into acid once, he'll come back again. Because there are people like you, Fio. I saw his face when I said Lord Domha. And if he.... if I did enough damage, he'd need someone like you, Fio, to put him back together. If I didn't do it, then you wouldn't have come, and if you didn't come I..."
Daniel turns away from the wall, to face her.
"That's my blood, Fio." Daniel Jack holds up his hand, and his stump. "He cut it off, I... I think. I can't remember anymore. I'm... dying. I think I'm dying now, and I just don't realize it yet. I need you, Fio, I need you to fix this, I need you to fix me, I need to..." To kill more people. Make her fix this. There are more souls. Daniel Jack lunges in hard, coming in close to Tess with starling speed. The gem in his palm flares alight, illuminating the catacomb in its strange spiritual light. Daniel presses his chest into Tess's as he stares into her, his eyes getting a strange faraway look with a strange red light.
"I... need you Doctor..."
So her information, while incomplete, was not incorrect.
Fio's fearsome smile turns a bit more friendly as she realizes the emotions coming over Daniel. She's always gotten a bit of a rush at the way in which his entire demeanor lights up whenever she enters a room, or says the right words, and--
He... didn't kill?
Tess looks... crestfallen for a moment, her eyebrows drooping as her luscious Italian lips purse. "But you..."
It only takes a moment for the Interpol agent to explain. His stammering is indicative of... Oh dear. The blue-skinned woman's expression shifts into concern at the revelation -- at the realization that he's lost a limb. To a scientist of the occult like herself, such a thing is a petty concern -- no different than seeing a child get his knee skinned for the first time. And yet, she understands the devils of blood loss and mortality and their influence upon the human psyche.
Her entire demeanor relaxes, her arms spreading. Welcoming, even, as Daniel lunges in close to her. Her spider legs click, as she's forced to lean upon them for support against the injured Interpol agent's weight.
And her arms wrap around him, consolingly.
"There, there. I will fix it."
Already, the spider silk is starting to flow from her wrist, as she loops it around into a makeshift sling. Her smile is comforting -- even in the midst of mortal peril, her bedside manner towards Daniel is as calm as can be.
"You'll... need to let me have some room to work, though...?"
Somewhere between fear and murder.
Daniel's mind was a storm of emotions and stray thoughts, driven by an inner fire that kept pushing him forward. He wanted what he wanted from the doctor. What he wanted, however, was flashing from desire to desire. What it was, it was carnal, to depraved, to innocent, to frightened, to hate hate hate. Hate her for teasing you, treating you weak and Daniel needed her help. When she says she will fix it, when that feel and smell comes to Daniel, the scent if her silk and her body and herself and her flesh and her soul. Its so strong so close and-
What the fuck??
The red light fades as Daniel backs off. "Sorry, Fio, I am just... So on edge. These people are insane, I mean, I hoped Zabel would have been, I mean, compared to the Princess, but they ate all... Murder obsessed. They worship death, and, why would your guys want anything with this?" Daniel presses his back against the wall, lowering into a sit. "Why this dog and pony show? Why the pretense?" Daniel brings a hand, the severed hand, to his head.
Before dropping it, wincing in disgust.
The doctor was used to... hunger. Fio worked around vampires all the time, and creatures much more depraved than Daniel could ever hope to be. The flickering of attitudes is out-of-place, though -- uncharacteristically so.
A symptom of extreme blood loss. It is all purely by-the-book.
And yet, while the scientist in her had come to grips with the symptoms, there was a certain element of her that felt something not felt in a long time.
Luckily, that red light fades. Was that... light... -all- that was raising her hackles? Was that really all? Apparently not, as Daniel sees the need to apologize for it.
The doctor listens, red irises contracting, flickering to assess the symptoms of her patient's physical and emotional state as she winds out spools of her spider silk from her wrist spinnerets.
"Outworld is a... utopia for some," offers the doctor in an amiable tone, as her spider limbs effortlessly pluck the severed hand out of midair, bringing it closer to her enhanced eyes -- no longer in need of her scarlet spectacles. Drawing in a disapproving breath at the condition of the disembodied limb, she nonetheless makes a grab for the patient's stump, leaving no room for protest as she wraps the loops of silk about him. One loop around his elbow. And one hanging loose.
"They find inaction as distasteful as you humans may find killing. You can't honestly tell me that Earth has been completely bereft of its... ideological differences. Just imagine an entire world where the norm for dealing with uncomfortable people is to simply kill them. There is no need for rehabilitation, no tolerance for miscarriages of justice. There is only the absolute -- the final."
The hand is roughly squared up, balanced within the loose loop. Needles are fished out of her pockets by the spider limbs, and threaded even as her delicate fingers begin kneading at the dying flesh of Daniel's wrist, searching for the major arteries and veins.
"Their land is barren. Any of us can tell that their mode of thinking is doomed to failure -- for they give no priority to the sciences, none to mending or replenishing their world. Never-ending conquest is the only salvation for their growing population."
Out of seemingly nowhere, a hypodermic needle is jammed into Daniel's arm by one of her many limbs. "... My apologies, Daniel, I will need to work quickly unless you want your hand to match mine."
Yes, the blood loss.
That must be it. Daniel was driving himself by sheer force of will. The gem just... made that easier than he expected. Daniel was worried, about how he was acting, how he was behaving. Strange thoughts were not coming into Daniel's head, it was just a moment of confusion Daniel, you shouldn't worry about it. It was nothing for Daniel to worry about. The detective falls silent for a moment, letting Tess do her work. Only as the needle comes in, Daniel winces. Daniel wasn't worried about the dosage. Doctor Tess was the closest thing to a family practice for the detective. She would get the right level.
But he had to protect himself.
Tension rises for a moment, and Daniel releases it by speaking. "Yeah, Zabel's mecca, that's what I called it. This entire place and philosophy is like a bad metal cover. See, that's exactly it, Fio. It's like, it's not even medieval thinking. It's what people in the Middle Ages would think of barbarians. I've told you my issues with Lord Dohma, but these people are on a completely different level. And if they are coming in from a wasteland..." Daniel trails off. "Oh god dammit, that means they wanna pillage our world. God dammit Fio." Daniel Jack raises up his good hand, raising up the gem. "That still doesn't explain the whole tournament show, and why they gave us these."
"Why not just invade us, and get it over with?"
The doctor's only reply is a faint smile, as she continues to go about her work. Some blood vessels are teased out, as well as muscle strands, which may be weird enough for Daniel as it is. But much more obvious to the man will be the -heat- of the solution applied to him -- like molten lava crawling all about through his arteries and veins. He will begin to feel the heat as it works its way up his arm, to the stump.
The blood which had been spilling out of him like a leaky faucet all but stops -- clogged by the increased viscosity of the foreign substance now coursing through his arteries.
And then the blood begins to flow out like play-doh instead, more freely from some vessels than the others.
"It's... more complicated than that. Outworld did not provide us with these unique gemstones."
The eagle-eyed detective may note that the Italian is wearing a different necklace than before -- a round broach-like object, bejeweled and fitted with six ruby-like stones. Each stone glows from within, though in contrast to Daniel's, the glow is dim, muted -- easily dismissed.
"These were provided by the Elder Gods. Insurance against the machinations of Shang Tsung, to prevent him from interfering with the tournament."
The doctor squints for a moment, nudging a blood vessel from the severed hand with her fingernail. The molasses-like flow from the bloody stump merges with it. And like a frog ensnaring a fly, the bloodflow snares the blood vessel and begins to tug. Tess smiles, encouraging other blood vessels to merge together in similar fashion.
"You see... Outworld would -love- to invade. Right now, as a matter of fact. But the Elder Gods will not permit it. The ways of the two worlds are too different to allow a diplomatic solution, so a formalized competition was established -- to allow the champions of Earth and the champions of Outworld to learn from one another. Ten battles, across a thousand years."
With the major blood vessels attached, Tess's top-right appendage dips into her lab coat pocket and produces a small jar. She unscrews the lid, and dips her fingers inside. The ruddy substance looks like... peanut butter.
Tess begins smearing the substance across the dying tissues of Daniel's severed hand. "Gods, of some nature, are in fact real. But in keeping with their divine powers, they insist on letting mortals fight their own battles, and that means that if one side receives a boon, then the other must as well. Only if Earth loses their tenth consecutive battle -- this one -- will the Earth fall prey to the will of Outworld."
Tess pauses in her work, even as the smaller blood vessels continue to latch on like tiny little predators, motions compelled by the foreign substance. Her crimson irises widen in curiosity. "The gem, how... how does it feel? Is it interacting with your corruption from the Butcher?"
He could trust in this healing.
Daniel Jack does whatever the doctor instructs. Whatever her whim, he was in her control. That was the role of a patient, after all. The detective listens, and observes. His eyes transfix on the gems on the brooch. If she has souls, then you should fight her. Once she is done healing you, you can ambush her. Remember the power, remember the strength. The substance comes out, and Daniel feels a little hot for some reason. Nine out of Ten. So this WAS the tenth. The pause comes, and Daniel nods, as he works very hard NOT to move the fingers in his recovering hand. "So we do have someone in this corner. Well, that's decent. I don't think I could have fought anyone without the gem..." You can't fight anyone without the gem.
Then she asks about interactions.
Daniel considers hard. The fight with Kitana, with Zabel, with what happened right now. Daniel Jack remembered the deep dark black pit from the Butcher attacks. Daniel Jack just pressed through, but he will never forget that bleak emptiness. It was a hollowness that he couldn't escape, only could force through. Until Fio kidnapped him and fixed him, he was trapped in that state of nothingness. No feeling, just a numbness in every aspect of life. And since he got that gem... he had noticed a kind of inner drive. Something inside speaking to him, some kind of deeper sastisfaction. It wasn't the emptiness, but it was... it was scary.
"It feels fine, Fio."
Daniel didn't want to say that. Those weren't his words. The detective blinks hard. "It feels just fine." He says again, a scowl coming over his face. Gritting his teeth, he focuses hard, clenching his gem'd hand. "It feels... good. Too good." There, those were his words. "When I was fighting Zabel, I think I blacked out or something; I don't remember him cutting off this hand... except I know he cut off my hand. I don't remember any pain, just... hurting him. I remember how incredible it felt, to rip into him, to send him into the acid. To draw away his souls into me. It's okay, because I didn't kill him, but.. I'm also having weird impulse controls all over the place from it, just a lot more trouble filtering stuff out. I'm not even noticing it until I think back, like just now?" He motions at Tess. "I don't know why I just grabbed you like that." But Daniel smirks suddenly.
"I mean, I have some theories.."
Tess laughs, the sound echoing discordantly against the dripping fluids of the Dead Pools. The scent of putrefying flesh is not the best accompaniment for the sound of laughter, after all.
"If the advantage is given to both sides equally, is it truly an advantage?"
Tess's gaze droops to his mouth afterwards -- she may be less skilled at reading the faces of many, but she knows Daniel. The =way= he answers the question is at least as important -- if not moreso -- than the actual words he uses to answer. Fine. =Fine=, he says, with a scowl.
Tess's red eyes cast upwards, her tongue darting across her lips to moisten them. She flashes back a broad smile to answer him.
"I have my theories as well, of course! But you're low on blood, haha. If you tried anything on me, you'd pass out within minutes! And then we'd have some real problems."
Tess's eyes lock onto Daniel more firmly. The very, =very= real possibility of her being attacked by Daniel has entered her mind. And the very real possibility that Daniel's suggestion was intended in a more romantic context was also considered. But neither would be medically viable at this state -- which is all the Doctor wanted to communicate.
The doctor scrapes her finger off on the jar -- cleanliness is not a huge concern as the jar is re-sealed and passed off to her spider limbs. The chemical compound bubbles, seethes along the surface of the severed hand, even as reconnecting blood vessels continue to pull each other shut. One of her hands is placed along Daniel's stump, while her other is placed along the sling-carried hand. One of her clawed spider appendages rests comfortably upon each of Daniel's shoulders. Her lips turn into a sympathetic frown.
"This will hurt a bit, Daniel."
Tess practically =rams= Daniel's hand back into place. The pain does not happen from the collision of bones. The pain is what happens =afterwards=, as every single nerve fiber is electrically connected back to one another. The blood vessels may have been lined up beforehand, but most of the others were... not. Some nerves were transposed. Some muscle fibers meet in haphazard fashion. But the hand is practically =teeming= with foreign substances, as the sticky unguent practically jumpstarts the hand back into life.
For a few moments, Daniel will feel like she screwed his hand on wrong. Trying to move the index finger up will make it feel hot. Trying to move the thumb down will move the middle finger sideways. The junction of hand to arm will feel like it has been dipped in acid, as the systems struggle to reattach themselves in the proper fashion -- moving as if they and not Daniel were the host organism.
And through it all, Dr. Fio Tessitore offers a sympathetic half-smile, pinning Daniel in place with all of her non-load-bearing limbs. Two pedipalps on his shoulders. The two points of her antenniform legs pressing into his hips. And her cold hands against his, ensuring that he does not pull away despite what could be considered excruciating pain.
Strained from the motion, she offers a timid explanation: "Your... body is... fixing itself. With... help."
It was going to hurt a bit?
An understatement. Orange energy surges from his other hand, as he digs his hand hard into the stone, the moment the operation begins. The wall crunches as the detective fixes himself in place. He forces a laugh, as tears come into his eyes. It hurt so much. It was- nothing hurt this much. Flickers come over him, thoughts drift in and out. But he was obeying her. His body was fixing itself, with help. That was correct. That was true. That was a lie. She is using you. She wants to see you hurt. She's a sick, lonely freak that wants you to suffer slowly hurt her hurt her make her suffer make her cruel. And it stops hurting. Red energy mingles with the orange as Daniel breathes hard. There was no pain surging; Daniel's body language shifts hard. It relaxes, the eyes stare into the distance. Was it shock again? No, Daniel was aware, he was forcing himself to be aware. The urges boil out, as Daniel looks back at the gem with a hidden hunger.
Rip her apart. Break each one of those legs, and drag her across the catacombs. Make her screams run through the entire tower. Throw her in the pit with her scum Zabel. Bring them all into the dead pools, heap them into a sea of death and decay. Rot them all, turn that into your domain. Make them yours, make their souls yours. SHE IS WEAK. YOU ARE STRONG. SHE IS MONSTER. HATE HER AND COMMAND HER AND DESTROY HER AND ROT HER. YOU ARE THE REAPER, MANGLE HER LIKE AYAME AND ZACH AND HONOKA AND LITA AND ROT ROT ROT EVERYONE IN YOUR WAY! You have to save everyone, you have to consume them, you have to BE.
YOU MUST BE.
"... Lord Dohma's gonna hop in with these invaders, isn't he?"
It was hard to think right. The flashes come and go, Daniel can barely hold on to them. Or maybe he couldn't hold on to them. It was almost a trance-like state, it was like a dream of pain, not actual pain. "If we lose again." Daniel Jack speaks slowly, each word coming with precise, steady weight. "Humanity loses. Zabel's in that lot now, isn't he. With a few of the others, right. That's why you're here. And you knew about the fight between me and Zabel... and knew that one of us was probably gonna die. And you'd need to put at least one of us back together. And..."
And Daniel shuts his eyes tight.
"Oh, oh god. And I dropped him in the acid pit. And you gotta... fish him out..." Daniel Jack leans his heads against the wall. Hate kill rend beat death death death is your beat. You can't stop murdering, you have to destroy all the enemies, to save the Earth. Ends justify it, you must do your duty. He opens his eyes. That red light was back, but he was forcing puppy dog eyes. His body language still was too relaxed.
"You're not mad at me, are you sweetie?"
As Daniel struggles against her, Tessitore's power scales accordingly -- she neither uses an excess of force, nor shows any particular weakness which would allow Daniel's fevered urges to become a reality. Her own necklace flares up in concert with the rising power from Daniel's, though...
Her expression is one of peace and calm.
The Doctor sees this sort of emotion on a daily basis. Holding back a humanoid with the raw brutality of a rhinoceros is a sadly typical task. Resisting the urges of a bloodthirsty demon, the same. The little Italian woman is not so frail -- though it would be hard to see the muscles of her lean frame tensing underneath the frockish labcoat. It would be hard to see anything except the heaving of her ribcage, or the shudder that animates her inverse-colored eyes as she stares back at Daniel.
Not even her spider silk filaments would have been able to contest the will of Daniel Jack.
After all, Tess knows where the man places the demarcation between pleasure and pain. Who better to know his limits?
He asks if Dohma is going to throw in with the invaders.
Tess's expression is impenetrable. The man's delusional -- any answer she gives right now is bound to be forgotten anyway, from how he keeps himself braced against the wall. Resistance is fading, though... the curve is unnatural for someone not given any particular form of sedative.
Her skepticism begins to show: an eyebrow is raised.
And then, the rapid-fire apologies. The nervousness, the anxiety. The very =humanity= that proved to be so appeaing about the man.
Skepticism falls away. Her red necklace begins to fade, as the pressure upon his shoulders and hips softens. "... One patient at a time, mister," she chides, loosening her white-knuckled grasp upon his arm and hand. Her wrist flicks a measure of silk onto the seam, sealing it shut like a layer of shear-resistant epoxy. The join may feel... awkward, but with the sticky silk bandage, it's not in danger of falling off again.
She measures her words carefully. "The... chemical, let's say... it provides a burning sensation to the body. Forces the slowed regenerative processes to kick in again, to fight against intrusive materials. That is to say, the..." She lets out a breath. "... Type-J blood infusion that made your blood vessels seal back up. Your nerves are mixed up, and your muscles may show some misalignment, but as long as you try wiggling your fingers every few minutes, you'll be, aheh, 'right as rain' before..."
For a moment, Fio looks back to Daniel's eyes, once more allowing her skepticism to show as she backs away. "Oh. You asked... if I was mad? Of course I'm mad."
She flashes a grin as she takes a few steps back. "I figured that's why you liked me."
"You mean Zabel, though? He..." She laughs, despite herself, looking down. "... Why don't you try out your hand, hm? One patient at a time."
Wiggle the fingers?
Daniel Jack immediately does so, when she says it. There was... a growing pain. The mind was clear not clear just waiting and he could sense the pain again. But there wasn't a pain here. Maybe it was the sedative. "There's quite a few reasons why I like you, Fio." Of course, she didn't answer directly. That was telling. Of course, she might not be allowed to tell him. It might be a shadow play. Daniel Jack would let it stay silent for now. When she didn't answer questions directly? That meant it was the answer Daniel didn't want to hear. And that meant somethign.
"So what, how many times have you put me back together now?"
Daniel Jack shrugs, keeping his seat. "Is this the second time you've fixed me? Third?" Fixing people. He remembers the Butcher's mark his gift and blessing, and there was this. What was the third? The third was... that was Sergei. That didn't count, did it? Daniel Jack mouths the words. "I can help you fish out Zabel, however I can do it. I think... I think I'm not gonna die now, so that's good. But... one patient at a time..." Daniel looks up at the doctor.
"Fio, can you bring people back to life?"
Tess isn't totally daft -- she knows he asked a question, and she knows he'll ask again. But providing a dangerous answer while performing delicate surgery often results in injuries, which she preferred to avoid.
She makes a mental note to address the issue later -- on her terms.
"I think, really and truly... it's just... " Tess looks thoughtful for a moment, now that she's at a safer distance where she can't be accidentally kicked. Or punched. Or caught in that orange chi. "... two? Maybe it is three though, I haven't really been keeping track!" She dusts her hands off -- not that it'll get rid of the blood, but it will get some of the globs of gooey gel off her fingertips. She'll just have to wash her hands later...
"... Ah... um."
Tess glances back towards the Dead Pool. "Y-yes. I'll need help... getting him out." The good thing is, there are a lot of chains available for such purposes. "... Did you break him apart at all? I imagine he's resistant to the chemicals, but it, well..."
Tess crouches down, turning her back to Daniel for a moment. A test tube is withdrawn from her lab coat, and lowered into the green muck with her pedipalp.
For that moment, she is completely absorbed in the task.
She has nothing to fear. And why should she? Daniel Jack has her back.
"... Hmm. Can I bring people back to life?" This time her laugh is devoid of actual humor, as she peers back at the green contents of the test tube, wrinkling her nose. "... Heh. No. Unlife is a bit different. Lord Dohma can. It involves some work with the soul that I can't do by myself."
Did Daniel break him apart?
The detective turns, grabbing the lower pair of legs by the crook of one knee. "Zabel ZaRock?" Daniel growls, as he turns back towards the torso, the detective swing the lower half roughly, line up his shot like a golf club. "How about I do you a favor scuzzy. Lets you and I forget about the tax thing for a real long time, you dig?" Another swing back comes, but this time, Daniel follows through. The detective would slam the lower half hard into the top half, releasing on impact to send both of them flying through the air, to land with a plop into the acid pools.
"Not... more so than you would expect!" Daniel Jack says quickly, wiggling his fingers again. "Still, I think we can use some of those chains to fish him out. I'm... mostly sure he won't be mad? I mean, the guy is wanted by Interpol for tax evasion, and also like murdering a bunch of people, but I think I'll give him a buy until he is off this island. If he's with Lord Dohma, then what, I arrest him, you blow up a prison and turn a bunch of prisoners into half-animal abominations to fight off the task force that inevitably shows up, and the net result is more dead people instead of less dead people.' Daniel had this down into a social scien
Push her in.
Daniel Jack stares as she bends over the edge of the acid pit. Push her in. Take her souls. Kill her. She's weak, you'd win this. You started with Zabel's, why stop? She's the enemy, she's an enemy, she is with the Outworlders. You can kill her now that you have been treated. Now is the opportunity, now is the chance, TAKE IT
As Fio continues to explain the soul stuff... Daniel raises an eyebrow, shaking his head, wiggling his fingers. "Eh, maybe not then. Don't want Sergei to be a zombie, guy got popped in the prelims. But you said something about soul stuff? Like, what, if I got his soul, I could just stuff it in?" Daniel looks at his gem... and ponders. "Like if the person who killed him... got his soul... I could get it back from her..."
Yes you could.
"Well, see..." Oblivious to the peril in which she'd unwittingly placed herself, Tess looks back at Daniel over her shoulder. She raises an eyebrow curiously as she sees him wiggling his fingers. Creepy -- but then she remembers she told him to do that. "Oh, that's healing up nicely..." she comments. The skin of Daniel's arm is starting to regain some of its color, from the lovely shade of ashen grey it had taken on from the blood loss. "We'll need to get you hydrated soon though. Your body's gonna want to expel the Type-J ASAP."
She blinks for a moment, then reminds herself that she If you threw him in there, he's going to need to get revived. And that takes soul power, which, again..."
Her thoughts drift off, but that's when Daniel starts mentioning Sergei instead. Is -that- what this is about?
Tess' eyes narrow, as she stands once again. The test tube is propped in one pedipalp, while her lower spider legs impress holes into the stonework from how quickly she raises herself to full height. "...Let me see if I get this straight: Sergei, the guy who took one of your ribs, threatened to kill me, beat up your partner, and undoubtedly subjected you to any number of hideous experiments?" Eyebrows part in the center as she makes no attempt to hide her sarcasm. "Yes, let's sign up to bring him back to life -right away-, hmmm?"
Tess rolls her eyes sideways with enough deliberation to bowl up a strike. "I suppose if you managed to get his soul, intact, -and- had a way of forcibly infusing it into the body..."
Absently, she begins to stroke the red necklace with a fingertip.
"...then yes, -technically- you might be able to get away with something like that..."
Her eyes cross, and she draws in her breath. She can be downright petulant when she sets her mind to it. "But you also need a considerable sacrifice in order to jump-start the body. Just shoving a soul somewhere doesn't do anything. You need power to jolt it back into a state where it can reanimate the body."
Tess begins walking towards the nearest spindle, whereby she can start lowering a hook into the putrid depths of the Dead Pool. "And what's more, the body's not complete -- you need energy to reconstruct it. I mean, Zabel's already -lost- body mass just by being in this goop. His body can regenerate itself to some degree, but the body goes into shock and breaks down if it's not at least -somewhat- intact..."
Again, she turns her back to Daniel. Even with the accusatory statement, she still can't fathom the thought of her sweet, sweet Agent turning against her.
Daniel knew that everythign he did with Fio almost certainly needed fluids afterwards. He was used to that. As she describes the soul power, though, the detective looks at his bejeweled palm. Soul power. He would need the soul, and power, and a corpse. The corpse was... was at the graveyard. The soul... would be with his killer, right? And for the power... Daniel looks back up at the doctor, her back was turned, she was so close to the edge. He needed power, he needed power.
It was time to strike.
It was a screaming now, and it was a compulsion. She was exposed, and she was innocent when it was most foolish. You never turn your back on this island. Every step comes unconscious, every meager footstep was the great boom of the hammer upon little stones upon little feet upon upon upon the woman. The souls. The power. Hot and pure energy ripe to flow into you Daniel; all that is waiting is to crack her open. The wriggling fingers reach her by her back, to cling to her, to clasp her, to end her. All it takes is the push for the power, the simplest of pushes and it will end and you will have what you need to feed your friends and bring life into death. The grip upon those shoulder will tighten, and tighten. The crimson energy builds and
Daniel rubs Tess's shoulders, as he gets the grip on. "I think the bones are good; but there are a lot of bones. Uuuuh... I think... wait." Daniel Jack releases Tess, and runs alongside the edge of the pool a short distance. He reaches a pair of boney arms reaching up from the edge. "This is him. He popped back up, after going down. He just didn't... go down all the way." Daniel gingerly pulls the forearms out.
You are a coward.
Kill her now, before she realizes what you're up to.
For a moment, she reaches up to place her hand atop Daniel's. The gesture was such a sweet one -- to feel his touch again in the midst of such a tragic and terrible place.
If she only suspected...
To Tess, the shoulder rub is over almost as quickly as it began. Someone sensitive to the flow of soul energy might have been able to sense the growing power of the soul-charged gemstone, but to the doctor...
"It's good to see your grip came back so quickly. I had expected it to take a full day for you to get the nerve situation straightened out!" So cheerful, the tone of her voice.
She turns to watch Daniel fish out the arm bones. Good cheer turns into dismay as the forearms are retrieved -- and little else.
Her expression turns to a darker frown as she realizes the implications.
"... Daniel, I... know we agreed and all, but... you don't have to help me. I need to be here, you should be up getting water or some fresh air. And if any more of that goop gets on you, you'll be making more work for me."
She lowers the chain into the green morass. With a swing of the boom, the chain begins approaching the spot where Daniel fished up the remains. The rusting machinery creaks with age as it moves.
Her spider legs curl around her like a protective cage. It is likely not even a conscious gesture -- just something she does when nervous.
"We are on, um. Different sides of the tracks and all. I cannot allow you to take him back for, er, 'tax evasion' or whatever story you've concocted."
Frustration turns up her lower lip. "I've already helped you more than I should have. Zabel will be so mad with me."
Daniel barely even suspected it.
It wasn't a conscious, it was a subconscious. Like a dream, a day dream, that he couldn't even sense. The voices were strong, but Daniel's core nature wasn't allowing it to go any further. It was a wall, and Daniel... Daniel could control it for now. The waves of soul energy was mingling with his chi. Red was a little close to orange. That line was being pushed more and more, the more power he gained. As Tess corrects him, and rejects him, he briefly felt like murdering her for her souls would be the reasonable response. Which is silly.
Which is fine.
But now, Daniel eases back away from the acid pit.
"Oh, yeah, that's why I killed him, I think. I figured it would be simpler for everyone involved. Except dumping in the acid, I, uh, hm." Daniel needed to leave. Now. "Tell him I forced you. Got real violent. Real scary. Maybe turn it around into his fault he let me win! You're the genius, I'm just the detective. I'm going, I'm going, but first, I need one last thing." Daniel Jack gives the wink, and slips in... too fast, too agile, right past that cage. It was like an attack. But instead of a palm strike with the right, a hand chop of the left? A kiss on the lips, before he slipped right back out of the legs. RHey, what happened in the Dead Pools stayed in the Dead Pools. Daniel Jack wiggles his fingers, before finger-gunning at the spiderwoman. "I'll see you around, Fio." And with that, Daniel turns to leave.
You need to see a Scarlet Dahlia about a soul, Daniel.
When she walked in, she was in charge. Now, as the bloodflow is stemmed, Daniel's manic energy -- his wonderful, animated style -- is taking control of the situation. That's why he killed Zabel? To put an end to the killing?
She is interrupted.
And yet he's moving to leave, throwing up hasty excuses.
She frowns. "I-- Well, okay, but there's--"
She is interrupted. Again.
She's the genius, he's the detective.
Redness in her cheeks. Or maybe that's purple.
"H-hey, just hold--"
It still counts an interruption, dammit. Her honed defenses are worthless against the charismatic Agent.
She stammers, standing apart from the controls of the winch.
"... Don't you =dare= forget to drink something, mister. I'm serious. You'll have monster diarrhea for a week if you don't!"
There's more tactful ways to phrase things, but not with how fast Daniel is fleeing. What's gotten into him, to make him so nervous...?
"J-just get back to the palace right away!"
Sighing, the Italian wipes her lab coat sleeve -- bloodied though it may be -- against her brow in exasperation. She spares one more look at Zabel's arm bones. The situation is more grave than humerus. And the chain moves again, as the doctor resumes the search for more of her companion.
Lord Dohma will be less than pleased.
Log created on 18:52:48 10/06/2016 by Daniel, and last modified on 12:46:45 10/08/2016.