Description: Experimenting on live human beings is nothing like experimenting on controlled substances in a stable environment. Contamination can dramatically alter results. Complex systems can spawn out of nothingness, while simple systems can fail for no apparent reason whatsoever. Daniel Jack has been Dr Fio Tessitore's pet guinea pig for a long time, and after his battle with Lotus -- another product of the mad Italian's scientific experimentation -- she's ready to advance him to another stage of study.
Everything was under control.
The thought passes through Daniel's mind. It was the first thought in a while, through the white noise inside him. Everything was under control. The phrase rumbles. It had to be true, because it was the first reaction. Memories come next, as he remembers... he remembers fighting Lotus. He remembers falling to the ground, and he remembers dying. And he remembers Fio Tessitore, and he remembers... pain. Incredible pain. Pain, and then darkness. And then... this. The white noise faded. There was still darkness around him, even as he feels himself shake, as he feels himself breath. Steadily, the darkness fades.
He was just beginning to see.
Around him was marble floors of the palace. He was still in the palace. There was grey mist all around. He didn't know why. And there were the guards. But they weren't standing fast. The guards were... the guards were saying something, they were pointing at him, they were, swords and spears. Daniel felt his grip tighten. And then he realizes he has a grip. Eyes move, and he looks down. In his hand was... a guard. Bruised, unconscious, where twisted claws dug deep into the guard's arm. His claws. How did he-
And he couldn't see again.
He could feel every action as the grip is gone, and the sounds of grunts and groans come. He couldn't see. But he wanted to. He wanted to more than anything. Slowly, the vision restores as he focuses on it. He was running through the cooridors of the places, desperately running from room to room. And the mist was... following him. The dark grey mist was him, as he turns to look behind him, to the guards behind him. Was he fleeing? What did he do? He only remembered the pain, he only remembers the incredible pain, and the shrieking. Something must have happened. He must have done something, or... something happened to this guard. Who he knew, instictively, was not dead. He was escaping some how. He was retreating. But no. No he wasn't. Because for a brief moment, it hits him.
Because there was a scent.
It was incredible, the smell. It was sweat and salt and everything in a person forcing right into him. The chemical rush was so much, it was beyond any drug. Focus breaks, and his vision blurs, it dims. But he can feel. He can feel his mouth water, his tongue running along rows behind rows behind rows of sharp teeth. The incredible pleasure with every breath, every movement. The incredible rush that was coming over him soon transforms into an even more incredible craving. He was hungry. He was so incredibly hungry. Fio. Where was Fio. Fio was-
The scent was Fio.
The vision was still only a blur, but Daniel could feel himself turn around. He sees the figures, and knows they are guards. A feral snarl comes out, and Daniel realizes it was coming from this throat. Steel is smashed against stone as he feels the chi flow around him. The rush comes back as he smashes into the figures, the shapes, the prey, the victims. He feels a snap, and it plays through him in perfect detail, sensory perfection. It was more arousing that anything else. But he wasn't hungry for them. He wanted Fio. he breaks through them, chasing after the scent, the trail. Faster and faster he runs, blurring through the vague shapes, until.... she's there. She is there. Vision becomes perfectly clear in a sudden burst. Daniel Jack stares with black sclera with yellow iris, his eyes fixed upon the beautiful, full form of Fio Tessitore.
And slowly, he grins, with a mouth full of razor sharp teeth almost instinctively.
Daniel Little had a growth inside his body. Dr. Fio Tessitore had a number of theories as to what would happen if it were removed, but almost all of them resulted in patient mortality. Unacceptable losses.
No -- when she came across Daniel Little, the disease within him was running unchecked. In an average person it might have stayed dormant for much longer, but with the frequency and severity of damage Daniel subjected his body to, there was no way for it to remain inert. Left to its own devices, the malignant parasite would grow. Each injury would give it an opportunity to infiltrate further, as it responds with the body's need to repair itself.
Tess may not have been willing to remove the parasite, but she was able to put a stop to it. A chemical inhibitor was enough to keep it from responding to adrenaline, but that was not enough -- it also needed electrical stimulation. A small electrical device had been wired to the malignant growth, providing a regular electrical impulse to the infection. Altogether, it inhibited the cancerous growth from growing any larger.
Because of the nature of bioelectronics, the electrical device needed another function. Some infestations behave one way in response to a given treatment -- others respond in the exact opposite direction from expectation.
Tessitore places her hands into her pockets as she walks through the marble hallways. The beast has been awakened. The reverse trigger was employed -- and dialed up to an exceptional degree. It was a risky gamble -- an untested procedure with a mind-boggling array of possibilities. And yet -- in some measure, it worked.
The shouts echoed through the halls. Unlike Daniel, the Italian had perfect hearing -- the product of prior experimentation. But the guards will not attack her -- not since she grabbed a spear from one of their fallen numbers. Not with the way she twirls it around her finger, making her way through the destructive warpath of Daniel Little.
She had followed him for a while, though never did she run; always the smooth, casual sauntering pace of which she is most fond.
She knows he'll come back to her, after all.
When Daniel rounds the corner, her red irises are already locked upon him. A sultry smile greets him -- though with her full lips closed, as opposed to his own expression.
Eyes dilated. A light pant from the exertion. She knows he is not himself.
It doesn't bother her.
The blunt end of the spear is set down onto the marble floor with a soft sound. It's still a weapon -- but she's using it like a simple staff.
"You look more handsome than ever, Daniel." Her smile only grows; Daniel's return is a success on a number of fronts.
He didn't die. He was transformed, by the combination of the repressed infection and the accelerated impulses from her electronic trigger.
"How does it feel?"
Scientific curiosity compels her to stay close and engage in conversation. But the fact remains that the doctor could strike him down -- if necessary.
How does it feel.
The detective steps to the side, looking away from the doctor. He didn't want to. But Daniel realized that control over his body was tenacious. It was like the souls before but... where were the voices. Where were the chattering. What was the subconsciousness. Where was it. The detective was licking his lips again. That hunger, that consuming yearning, that overwhelming desire. They were surging in him like a drug. But he could only observe from his mind. His instincts were clear, he could see them, taste them, hear them, smell them, be them.
He wanted to kill Fio.
The urge was overcoming him. The cause was... what was the cause? Revenge? No, Daniel didn't want revenge right now. The pain was nothing, even as everything. He trusted Fio. Fio did what she could to save his life. The cause was because he felt like it. And what a feeling it was. But there was a question, There was Fio, and Daniel wanted to... to talk to her. Daniel needed help. He needed her. The jaw was moving. And he begins to speak. "Asgh.... Iagh... Aagh.... I...." Daniel realizes that these are his words. He was in control. Everything was under control. And finally, he forces himself to speak.
"Jesus Christ, Fio."
The man's words were a shade rough, a ragged gruffness uncharacteristic of the detective. But they were his words, and fundementally his voice. "Everything is a rush, a god damn rush. It's a hell of a high, it's the biggest high I've ever had. It's amazing Fio. It's so wonderful and terrifying, I'm not even in control. I'm riding the greatest ride I've ever had. I can see and smell and taste and feel more than I ever had. I'm so horny on every single thing, and everything turns me on. It feels like... I'm a teenager again, Fio. Especially hurting people, and fighting, and fucking, and I want to eat and everything and I'm thirsty, I'm hungry I-"
"-I can't... f-f-focus... without..."
Daniel Jack suddenly surges, moving erratically, moving -fast-. Daniel had never been this fast before, the physical change was notable. But he was rushing But straight at Fio. Grey mist trails around him as he forces himself in. The spear. Chi energy erupts from his claws, a dark grey mist boiling out amongst orange and crimson flames. The crimson energy. The souls were still there. But where were the voices? Where was the presence? The answers weren't clear yet. All that was clear was that Daniel Jack was charging at the good doctor, seemingly obliviously of how armed and dangerous she was. But Daniel knew. Daniel should know.
He just couldn't convince himself otherwise.
While Fio may have had some clue of the physical changes that were overtaking Daniel, the actual -psychology- of those changes is not something she gets a whole lot of feedback on. For most of her patients -- ones with more controlled courses of treatment than the malady unique to the Interpol agent -- the responses are incoherent screaming. It is difficult to get published in medical journals with patient testimonials of 'yeeeeargh!' and 'oh god make it stop'
That said. While she frowns at the Cthulu-esque words spilling out of Daniel's mouth at first, it pleases Fio much more to hear actual coherent words from her pet guinea pig. "Ah, I see! Symptoms consistent with adrenaline intoxication and revitalized blood flow..." Her cheeks turn a shade of purple at the implications of what -exactly- is being suggested, but not without a leering smile. It wouldn't exactly be against her principles to enter congress with the Interpol agent here in the middle of the hallway -- what principles, right?
But the analytical doctor had never fully let her guard down -- not after seeing how he reacted to the simple loss of a limb, anyway. This is more severe. And his mood is significantly more... unhinged.
With one motion, Tess twists forward. Her rear-facing hand goes for the wall behind her, the spray of spider silk from her hands happening in less than the blink of an eye. Her leading arm had flung the spear downwards at Daniel's ankles, intended to impede his charge with a sudden, violent trip.
And then with a firm tug of her wrist, the doctor would pull herself to a safer distance.
"Ahh..." she comments, one hand going to her sternum, the blood pounding firmly in her cold ribcage. "There may be a breaking-in process. You see... your body has been taken over by another."
She sighs, letting her spider silk fall limp. "It ... was the only way to put an end to the venom before it put an end to you. But now..."
The Darkstalker physician smiles hopefully. "Now there are less barriers between us. Now... there is more of a chance for us."
The psychology, ironically, was the one thing Daniel was seeing more than the physical.
The detective was not used to having a high that he couldn't handle. The words made sense though. Adrenaline intoxication. Revitalized blood flow. He was just getting a spirited rush, right? That was all. Except it wasn't. It wasn't just a high. Daniel was parked away somewhere. ANd when she says he is... not in control? Taken over by another? Yeah. that's a problem. She seemed so happy, with her blood warming from the heated passion and wow Daniel was kind of wow that's very distracting to pick up the sensations on with Fio and... and...
He needed to talk to the woman about this.
It was an eye opener, to be sure. Yes, Fio, this does bring us closer. Right now, Daniel was in NO state leading an Interpol task force. And being with Jedah, well, being with Fio was a natural fit. His instincts wanted something her. It just didn't see the difference between torturing her and other things. But right now, Daniel didn't think tightening the relationship was a good idea right now. In fact, it almost seemed like a conflict of interest. What Daniel needed right now was things to slow down, not speed up. That is what Daniel wanted to say. But if his body has been taken over by another... no, this was his body. He just needed to control himself again. And while this was probably a great moment to rekindle a relationship that was getting rocky.
But he just couldn't get the words out.
Instead there is a snarl, as both the silk and the spear entangle the detective, not only forcing him to the ground, but entangling him there. For a moment, he struggles. The detective's instincts were raw, uncontrolled, overwhelming, and most dangerously, chaotic. Whether to Fio's delight or frustration, she would be needing to tame him. Break him. The wild spirit of the detective was in full force, and Daniel had no idea how to control these newborn emotions, feelings, desires, and aggression. And that moment ends quickly, as the detective energy rips over him, burning away the silk as he pulls it free. He was hunched over, trying to shake the silk from his feet, breathing hard over cracked lips. There was a rattling sound. He could feel it. People were entering the room.
The guards had reached here.
Daniel Jack considers quickly. Attacking Fio? Useless. He knew he wanted to. But right now, Daniel needed to get things stable, and while he was somewhat suspicious of the woman's nature at this time, especially with the conflict of interest, he wasn't exactly in a position to attack her. Daniel Jack needed to get control of himself, something that he was not going to be able to do. The eyes drift from the spider woman, to the guards, and then back to Fio. He could feel that baring teeth. But the fact of the matter remained. Attack the guards. Feed on them. Hurt them.
Don't hurt Fio.
There is a heaving growl as Daniel rips away from his spot, throwing himself into the guards. The mist boils around him as he sweeps off one of the guards off his feet with a single punch, carrying him into the wall with a slam of chi and form. And there, in the corner, he disarms him, flinging his weapons aside as he forces him to the ground. Every blow, every contact satisfies the itch that Daniel wanted scratched. Words come out, in that gruff growling. "Souls. I need... Souls.... Hungry!" Was the snarl as he struggles with the guard, trying to capture his limbs, to hold him in place. The other guards hold back in the presence of Fio, looking to the doctor, and then to her. There was certain... liberties that the woman had. Certain diplomatic immunities. But right now, her pet was attacking the guards.
And that was going to cause some complications soon.
Fio's brow furrows as she stares back at Daniel, carefully gauging the whirlwind of emotions whipping through him. She can tell there is much he -wants- to say, but the intoxication of this glut of new sensations coursing through his bodies is filling him with very different urges. Familiar urges, all crashing into him at once like a full and unfiltered resurgence of puberty. The doctor's silk burns away, to her dismay, but she's already thinking a move ahead. Another strand of silk is fired off towards the ceiling: it would prove to be her escape route as Daniel Jack rampages through the guards.
The guards want -her- advice on what to do? "Well, don't wait for me, subdue him!" she snaps, mild irritation in her tone. Her arachnid limbs take over the job of securing the doctor to the ceiling line while she flicks her wrists out at the floor, practically wallpapering the slick marble substance in a sticky film.
As Tess completes her preparations, she flicks out another, more powerful strand of spider silk, this one lined with the fel red energy taught to her by her patron. When Daniel is fighting with his own mind he may be wily and crafty, but Tess has much more experience with the unhinged and feral tendencies of the recently transformed. She will have less of an issue aiming her chi-borne silken strand at Daniel's legs, to bring him down to the floor once more. "I cannot give him any tranquilizers -- I'm not even certain what they'll -do- to him in this state! But if you want souls..."
Tess frowns. "There are many, many more souls in the Living Forest! You will need to come there with me."
It was a rampge.
Daniel Jack could feel his instincts compelling him to fight. His vision was fading. He could fight them all off, yes. He knew that is what he wanted to do. Rip through them all, and run, and harry, and then come back to Fio and tear her apart and consume her. He had his grips in a placeholder prey, a temporary alternative to Fio. He could just let him go, and attack the guards that were now moving to subdue him.
But Daniel wasn't going to fight them off.
No, he needed focus on this one. Please. As the strand pulls him off his feet, he doesn't fight it off this time. Everything the detective was at right now was dedicated to hurting this man in his grips. The guards comes, and try to threaten, try to shout and stab. But Daniel stares into the man he has, who was still trying to break from his grips. Daniel places a hand on the man's shoulder, and elbow. And he begins to wrench. He begins to twist hard, gaining nothing from the man. Please, please hurt. Please do something. He could feel a sharp stab in him, as anger boils out. He only barely converts it into a jerking, to pull the arm out of its socket.
And he gets it.
The groan of pain from the guard washes over him. The haze clears as the guard finally reveals his suffering. Daniel twists harder at the elbow, focusing on the man as the spears and swords drive upon him, as the spider silk winds around him. Harder. Harder. Every inch of pain was satiation, it was filling the hungry void in him. Every crack, every snap, every shudder of pain that came from the guard was absolute bliss and satistifaction. Only in little pieces, in little moments. But every action was control, every action was just enough control.
Just enough to stop.
Daniel Jack releases the man, throwing his palms in the air. "I surrender. I- I surrender, oh god and lord in heaven, I surrender, I-" The pile of guards hurls on his bleeding body, pinning him down. Daniel Jack was in pain, he could feel the pain. But as he bleeds and suffers, he wasn't fighting back. Because he didn't need to. The urge was there, the desire was there. But it was subdued enough for him to stop, to control. "Fio! Get me there, I don't care, I just... I need to control myself. What you can do, do it! I can't stop myself, I just can't stop myself." Why couldn't he stop himself?
Because you're sharing a space with me, Daniel.
The detective's dark eyes widen in horror.
He heard that one.
Fio Tessitore is conflicted.
Part of her, of course, is absolutely delighted that her mad scientific theory was borne out, seen through the conclusion. That while the foul infestation of the Butcher was made inert by one method, the application of a charge of the opposite polarity accelerated the process. Scientifically, everything about this is a success.
Then there's the human part of Fio. The one making her vision blurry with tears, the one forced to endure the reality that she is effectively dooming what's blessed and good about this man into confinement with the target of her one and primary target. The fragment of the one soul that resists all attempt at being bound within a soul shard. And quite possibly, a secret weapon against those who may also feast upon souls.
The doctor pulls her phone out. Shaky hands fumble with the lock code, failing once, failing again, succeeding on the third try. She lifts the electronic eye upwards, focusing it upon Daniel Jack as the guards lance their spears into him, forcing him into convulsions on the wrong side of the pain-pleasure divide. The infestation may be responding positively. But the figure trapped within...
"P-progress update, Tessitore Experiment number 32-Di."
She sniffs, tugging sharply on the strand about Daniel's leg, closing a brief window of opportunity for his escape.
"Second button has been pressed, subject shows all markers of primary thesis, showing heightened levels of adrenaline exposure and increased blood flow. Marked increase in physical capabilities."
Tess keeps the camera centered upon Daniel as she ducks her head -- part of a guard (!) goes flying over her. But when the guard attempts to press an advantage, her spider limbs snap forward, tugging a second guard backwards a foot and sparing him from a grisly followup.
The camera captures the words from Daniel Jack. Why can't he stop himself, he asks. Why can't he... indeed...?"
"Patient requests relocation. One moment..." Tess coughs lightly, dropping her formal documentary tone as her spider limbs reach into her lab coat, and retrieve the remote. "I'll need to move you. But I need to be sure you won't be ripping -me- to shreds..."
There are three recessed buttons on the remote. And Tess reaches for the third.
Her voice drops again: a tonal shift back to that of a dispassionate scientist. "Commencing Tessitore Experiment number 32-e in three, two..."
The first button was the signal to begin repressing the infestation.
The second was to stimulate the infestation.
And the third, and most experimental, was to =attack= the infestation with a high-frequency sound. The course of treatment is intended to target specific centers of the infested growth -- targets most closely bound to the pleasure/pain receptors.
It might not hurt Daniel -- it might actually feel -good-.
But the other soul would probably beg to disagree, as Tess keeps holding the button down on her remote.
Tess stares on, fixing the camera on Daniel's face and upper body, such as permitted by the restraining guards.
Surprised, aren't you Lady Killer?
You know I've been waiting a long time for this. I've always known you had just the right stuff. The kind of resolve to keep going, the kind of passion that pushes you over the top, and that kind of natural hedonism that takes you naturally into sadism. You're great, Lady Killer, you're practically a son. But what did she say? You have something in you, living inside you? Well, it looks like we're just gonna have to learn, and take turns, and-
There is a screaming in his head. A shriek, of agony, of pain, of whimpering. That's what he could hear. It should have hurt, it should have been distracting. Except, well, Daniel suddenly felt too good. Far too good. He couldn't focus again, as passion and pleasure overtakes him. The detective moans softly as he feels an incredible tingle. It should have hurt. Maybe it did. As it dies down, the man's foot begins to twitch, as the guards lift him up all together, to drag him to Fio, to force him to look up at her on his knees. For her pictures. For her screencaps. Daniel's face twitches a bit. But one thing was growing clear to him.
Everything was clear.
"That's.... that's the... that's the cure." Daniel Jack says, remaining calm. "That's the cure. You're my cure." Daniel Jack breathes hard. His senses were still high, far too sensitive. Everything was twitching. He wanted her to touch that button again right now. The sheer desire for sensary fulfillment was overwhelming still. But it was something he could control right now. His body was under his control. The detective grins awkwardly, as if he was smiling for the first time. His mouth was all wrong, he could tell, as he looks up to Fio. "Fio... Fio... I can't control myself. I don't think I can. Something.. in my head is stopping me. You can make it quiet, you can... you can let me control myself, I..." Daniel trails off, as he wiggles his fingers in one hand. The other begins to glow with a red light. "I guess... I guess we're going to be a lot closer now, you're right." Daniel's awkward, half smile strains.
Maybe you should kill her, and take her SOULS and her device. KILL HER, ESCAPE! AND THEN FIND LOTUS TO KILL HER AND TAKE HER SOULS.
'Oh for fuck's sake.' Daniel thinks to himself, rolling his eyes.
Fio... actually feels kinda guilty for what she's done. It was the only thing she could think of. The only thing that would -work-, with the materials at hand. The only way to save her patient.
She doesn't know the thoughts running through the mind of Daniel Jack. She only knows what he's told her, and how he acts.
Before hitting the third button on her egg-shaped remote, he acted like he was in intense, agonizing pain.
After hitting the button, it was anything but.
His body was wracked with pain.
But it felt /good/ -- the antithesis of the negative emotions that powered the invading organism.
"I am the cure?" repeats Dr. Tessitore, lowering the phone so that Daniel can get a clearer look at her tear-streaked face.
And, a moment after, her smile. "... That's... that's right. I am the cure. I am Doctor Feelgood." She chuckles mirthlessly, nodding her head. Even when he's very =obviously= not himself, Daniel Jack still finds a way to express himself.
"But I can't do this very often, or it will lose effectiveness. It does prove that the system works, though. I'll give you another dose in a little bit, but you're gonna need to hang on for now..."
Tess nods appreciatively to the guards. "I'll... have to settle up with you gents later. But for now, I can certainly get him out of your hair."
The guards may express some irritation with that response, but from the way her arachnid claws scrape together -- the raspy, almost metallic sound of the sharpened pincers' blades -- they soon agree to Tess's terms.
She flicks her wrist towards Daniel's neck, coating it in spider silk. In moments, she has fashioned a leash for him -- enough to provide some measure of control even as the guards assist her. It does not, in itself, constrict his breathing -- but all it would take would be a simple tug of the silken strand she affixes to her lower antenniform leg.
"Let us proceed to the forest, then."
With the guard's assent, she begins to walk.
"Mmmm... Doctor Feelgood."
The words come out as nasty bitter kill kill kill boils out. It wasn't bad enough he had ONE possession, but it seemed like he was now running a whole mess of them. Though where the different voices were coming from, he didn't know. He didn't even know why he had the ears to hear them. But as the leash goes around him, he just tries to relax as a prisoner. Just lie back, and think of Majigen. "That's my nickname for you now, Fio. Doctor Feelgood. The spider doctor that eases the pain, and gives me just what I want." The guards wouldn't repeat this back to Shang Tsung, would they? The journey to the forest would... a decent walk. And the guards were cooporating. This was...
this was going to be trouble.
As Daniel is sent back and forth, he takes in the sights, the sounds, the auras, the presence, the power. Grey mist pours around him, as he takes in the sheer incredible detail. He scrunches his nose hard. "Wow, this.... island smells awful. Except for the blood. Wow, when did blood smell so great." The tone was still gruff, but Daniel felt clearminded. "I hope we can get this fixed up in the forest. We get me stable, fix this funny... mood imbalance thing, and then I'm back to saving the world. Right Fio? I'll get stable at the forest, and I can get right back into the tournament?" Something was dawning you think it was dawning what do you think will happen now that you are like this? You are cursed, you are twisted, and now, she holds the lifeline to your sanity. WHAT DO YOU THINK WILL HAPPEN. Meekly, Daniel speaks aloud, as they continue on the way to the Living Forest.
"You... can still keep neutral and help me, right?"
"I'm glad to have a reference for me that isn't stuck back in the 30s, haha."
Fio wouldn't have mentioned the name if she didn't like it. Truth be told, she actually likes a wide variety of music -- the sounds of Motley Crue were only one among many of the musical groups belted out in her operating chambers in the depths of Majigen's Italian quarter.
It's... easier for her to take the lead. This way she can keep Daniel under her yoke with the hypnotic swaying of her form. Her arachnid appendages, complete with their unnatural grafting to her spinal column. And... other forms that tend to become a bit more pronounced with the stride of high-heeled footwear.
She bites her lip, frowning. She wishes she could look the man in the eye as she strides through the palace, guided as she is by the guards.
She makes a notation to one servant of Shang Tsung's as she passes by; some words are exchanged, but it would be hard to hear from the low tone of voice she uses.
She takes note of the grey mist's return, frowning. She was fully aware of what it heralded before... now, it just intimidates her. Sure, it's one thing to have guards at her side, and a silken leash around Daniel Jack's neck, but...
Tess had been mostly quiet for much of the walk -- too much on her mind to even indulge in her stream-of-consciousness prattling. But as the pair begins to stride across the long concrete bridge over the Pit of Spikes, she spares a glance over her shoulder.
"Medical science is far from an absolute success, Daniel... I've been lucky before, and I'm lucky to have not lost you."
But she turns back towards the entrance of the Living Forest, some few hundred feet ahead.
"We are not out of the woods yet," she notes, the coincidence not lost upon her.
"But yes. I... I think I can find a way to keep myself within Lord Dohma's good graces with this operation. I will... "
She coughs, her face scrunching up as she looks ahead -- keeping her back to Daniel.
"I will help you to the best of my ability."
The arrival to the forest comes, and Daniel stays relaxed.
It is almost like he didn't need the leash. Or the guards. He was able to keep himself in place. But he was afraid, he was... he was in shock still, really. There is that lingering aftermath of 'my entire life is ruined' that he hasn't really processed. He had to hold on to something. He wasn't dead yet. He hears her tone, the soft words. Help him to the best of her ability. Daniel's going to get her killed. Daniel dimly realizes this. He was going to kill her. There was no outcome where Tess would be living now, except where Daniel was dead. Tess killed herself when she brought Daniel to life. That was a hollow truth. But Daniel wouldn't see it. Daniel wouldn't be it. He would just grin with those teeth, and respond.
"Well I'm lucky to have you."
No you aren't. You're a prisoner, and you know it. You're in chains by this woman, and you hate it. You loath it. You are frightened by it. It won't be long before you start killing your friends. Your friends... and her enemies. You know it's coming soon. You know you can't stop it. You will get that scent of blood and flesh and souls, and you will be on her like an animal. You-
Daniel Jack suddenly takes in a deep breath from his nose, drawing in the rich scent of the forest. "Oh my god, Fio, do you smell that? Do you -feel- that?" The detective begins to writh and struggle, feeling the rich sensation of blood, of flesh, or rot, of SOULS. There was life to claim, energy to capture, places to FEED. The good doctor might be able to tame the beast within, but nothing could compare to the satiation of a fresh, consuming hunger. A surge of energy erupts, as he bursts from the guards. And he charges, bolting towards the entrance of the forest... only to come short as his leash catches him. The detective tries and pulls taut for a second, before pacing around, staring at the scattered guards. "I... I need... I'm sorry... but I need..."
Daniel Jack wiggles the fingers in his hand.
Fio Tessitore is putting her life in considerable danger by simply turning her lab-coated backside towards this new chimerical monster she's helped to create. And yet, of all the creatures on this island, there is none she trusts more than the monster himself.
She is familiar with unabiding hunger -- she has had to treat the newly transformed vampires who deny their very nature. She is familiar with the barely-restrained strength of the animal hybrids she has created. She knows, from personal experience, how to map each slackening and tightening of the leash around her wrist to a corresponding action. And, all things considered, Daniel Jack appears to be winning his tumultuous personal battle against the demons within.
Until she hears him draw in that breath.
She steps aside, unwilling to be the barrier that keeps him from the bounty of souls that presents itself to him. The silken leash falls slack, only to snap taut against the chimera's neck as he is reminded of his limitations.
"Into the forest you go, then."
Faint amusement crosses her lips, as she severs the leash from her wrist, tossing the loose end into the air.
"Run wild, and feast to your heart's content."
If she needs to rebuke him for attacking the guards, her arachnid limbs are up to the task.
The spirits of the forest, though -- they call to him. Thousands of souls are there for the taking, for those willing to endure the trials of their jailors -- the murderers who have waylaid those passing through the forest beforehand.
For a moment, Daniel looked upon Fio.
He could feel the rumbling of murder, as those black and yellow eyes transfix on the woman. The voice rattling inside, even the hidden voice was rising up, oh so you can hear me. The cacophony of urges and desires. Rip her open, take her flesh and souls and blood. But Daniel Jack doesn't look at Fio with a feral edge.
He looked at her with a smile and a wink.
Humanity. Daniel was humanity, and it was spread across his face. He considers this as he runs into the forest, as the new senses overtake him. He was a predator, yes. But he was human. Pure human, pure being, pure it. He dissappears, along with his senses.
Everything was under control.
No one at the University believed in her. No one wanted her to succeed.
Then, along came Jedah Dohma, with his smooth-as-silk demeanor and charismatic words. Not only did he believe in her, he wanted to give her the opportunity to fulfill her destiny. To accomplish her dreams, and set even loftier goals for herself. The world would be changed, forever, as a direct result of her brilliance.
How could she refuse?
Fio sees the humanity reflected within Daniel Jack's eyes. She hears the control in his voice. She can even catch the slightest sense of his scent upon the breeze wafting around the mountainous island.
But she felt the tremors. The balance between the agent's mind and body is more tenuous than ever. Even at a moment like this, she may be no more than fodder, no more than a light snack for the voracious appetite of the creature unleashed within him.
The wiggling of his fingers shows Tess that she made the right choice. That, above it all, the man is greater than the sum of his parts.
"Buon appetito!" she chirps in reply, gesturing to the forest with a demonstrative spread of her hands.
As Daniel's senses overtake him, Tess continues after him with a slower, more deliberate pace. She would proceed further, until she feels a hand on her shoulder.
The needle-sharp points of her lower legs threaten the guard who reached for her.
The guard remains steadfast, resolute.
"Do not think that you are above repercussions for what happened..."
Tess withdraws her threatening appendages, her smile borne of confidence as she brushes the hand away quietly, resuming her walk to the forest.
"I'll make due once you gents figure out a bill of goods. Until then, there's science to be done."
Control was an illusion.
The thought reaches Daniel as his approach turns sharply. His legs were precise and striding, far faster than he ever suspected. Black grey mist trails after him as he grows more excited. When he enters the bush, he doesn't necessarily push through it than flow into it. He was the following the scent of something. An animal, maybe. Fio might be interested in science, but for Daniel this was.... what was this. It was terror? No, it was.... Daniel was a monster. The phrase runs cold in Daniel for a moment.
And then I speak to him.
You see, there's a lot going on right now, so I don't blame you for not keeping track of everything. Don't think of me like a parasite. Think of me as an extension of yourself. An egg coming to term, a fetus. You're the child of something who is very special to you, and soon, you'll be just as special as him. You're a baby now, and you are just learning. When you hunger, I'll be here to guide you. When you thirst, I'll show you where the water is. You have appetites now that if you do not salk them, you will die. This is a matter of life and death for all of us.
And you need to understand just how serious I am.
Don't worry about Fio. I know you're afraid for her, I can feel it. I know you want her. It's just that your spectrum of wants have.... expanded, haven't you noticed? You are worried because of all the murder rape kill you've been hearing. That's because you lack discipline with your souls. You lack control. You are just too. No, I like Fio. She just needs to be taught to be more submissive. You wonder what Jedah did? You just need to do the same to break her. She'll be our pet soon enough. And you'll never need to be afraid for her again. But for now, we have a more pressing issue.
We need to feed, Daniel.
Waves of chi energy flood over Daniel's arms as he tears into the stray wolf. Well, 'wolf' as creatures only imitate Earthrealm beasts in this island. It was a creature, it was wolf-like, and a flash of red, orange, and black floods out. The detective could only watch as his arms come upon the creature. He strangles a clawed around the throat, to cut its howls short. The other hand comes down to the creature's flailing limbs. Daniel forces it on it's back, and then... his eyes go on each limb. The hand comes to one of the paws. He squeezes, and twists. The animal spasms. And then, for a moment, his hand loosens on the throat... to let out that sweet ectasy of a scream. And then, shut tight again. Daniel watches as his hand slides down, to the knee of the creature. Another snap, and another scream, and another cut short. The beautiful agony was washing over Daniel, and it felt good. But it was not making him.... he could still smell the souls. Daniel Jack trembles as he goes down to the shoulder of the creature... and no. No no no. This is wrong. Daniel Jack suddenly takes control, releasing the creature's throat as it moans in agony. The detective seizes it by the hindquarters, and pivots.
And with a great effort, Daniel hurls the creature's form into the maw of a living tree.
The howling stops with a crunch. That was bad, Daniel. The detective felt himself rushing towards the tree. The stench was strong there, and the detective... felt himself taking a back seat again. The energy swirls around him as he begins to tear into the tree, unleashing energy slash after energy slash, bringing the tree down with pure aggression. A green mist begins to mingle around him, with crackles of purple energy. And then, he feels them. From the stump of the fallen tree, the souls rise. Souls, rich souls. Drool dribbles from the mouth of the man as he hurls himself into the souls, snapping his maw like a crocodile. He had to eat them. The red gem burns as he reaches out to the faintest image of a mortal.
That slip through his fingers.
You can see the world around you greying out, don't you Daniel? The world was greying out, as the window of perception was narrowing. You are not unconscious or passing out. You simply are wasting space. I'm taking control, Daniel. I need our appetite filled. I must fill it. Daniel Jack felt himself screaming in rage as he forces deeper into the forest. He had to find something to eat. And amongst it, the presence, the scent of Fio burned strong. She was so close, she was always a fallback. But don't worry about Fio, Daniel feels as the world around him greys, his teeth bared, the tree falling, and the rustle of the forest roaring around him.
Fio will live, no matter what.
Fio is no psychic. She doesn't know the thoughts going through the mind of the curious American who has been drafted as her #1 guinea pig.
But she does know how much he's been holding back.
Because it's obvious as hell when he -stops- holding back.
Tess stares back at the sight unfolding before her, drawing in her breath. Each foot is placed carefully in front of the other as she winds her way down the path to the forest. To the experimental scientist, caution is paramount -- moreso as she steps away from the protection of the guards.
They will only be a liability, in the depths of the devouring forest.
She frowns at the manner in which the kind, gentle, caring Daniel Little makes quick work of the fel-twisted wolf. One such creature would have shredded an unwary guard into ribbons, and yet its very attacks are countered, deconstructed, and remanufactured into a position of helplessness. The Daniel who speaks of love and understanding relishes each scream from the now-helpless wolf. The presence of the monster beneath his flesh is now dreadfully, painfully apparent.
And then, with his gem burning, he turns his attentions to the forest itself. The source of all the souls.
There are too many surging currents of chi for her to track -- even with her enhanced senses. If it was just one, two... six? She would have no difficulty at all. Her blackened eyes narrow, in a futile attempt to focus on the wildly fluctuating flows -- to no avail.
Her scent will no doubt become stronger to Daniel as she approaches.
But she will keep her distance, for now.
Jedah Dohma will likely be happy that her transformative program has been expanded to one of such fiery purpose, of such powerful will as the Interpol investigator. The vampire legion will likely be happy that they can stop having to cover for the doctor's apparent support of the enemy.
Fio should be delighted, as her guinea pig rampages through the forest, surrounded by dense clouds of mist. She raises an arachnid arm, warding off flying debris from the remnant of the rapidly-disintegrating tree.
Fio Tessitore moistens her dry, wind-chapped lips.
She tells herself: Everything will be all right from here on out.
Log created on 13:00:22 10/19/2016 by Dr. Tessitore, and last modified on 09:22:30 10/26/2016.