Mortal Kombat - MK Round 4: Daniel vs Rose

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Description: "Of great notice are those who battle at the edge of their perseverance, each and every time. I've always found a battle where a soul is the prize to be amongst the most exhilarating. The afterlife shivers imperceptibly, almost as if it hungers. ROSE, and DANIEL JACK. Do battle in the Pit, for the title of Serpent."

Things have been surging forwards in this battle. It has an air of the apocalypse to it, though Rose has not been able to say exactly why.

She can make a good guess, of course, given the presence which she has felt, silently stalking her, but held at bay by the malachite pendant she is wearing. Rose is aware who and what THAT probably is.

But you have to keep moving even when you are entering a pit. The wind tugs at her hair, the crooked shock of that lock of hair that drapes over her face swaying as she steps out onto that bridge, pursing her lips as she looks left, then right.

Familiar, she thinks, touching that stone for the umpteenth time. It is resting comfortably on her collarbone even now. The green shard of souls has not done much of anything, Rose thinks, wondering silently further what would happen if she had gotten one of a different hue.

Rose is silent on the bridge for several moments more, before she raises her head and takes a deep breath. Letting it out, she then says as she looks over her shoulder, "I know you're there, aren't you? Come out, if you can."

"I suppose we must play to the end of this great game."

I am not dead.

The presence on the bridge slithers around. It wasn't a stench of death, it was a presence of death. The black mist that coils around the stone bridge, clinging to corners, to edges, underneath. It was stalking her, as it stalked every figure that came across the bridge. It was never there before. It was here now. A hunger, a murmur, a whisper, a promise. A rattling call that tugged at the very back of subconsciouses. A resolve, a drive. A simple phrase.

I am not dead.

As Rose takes in her breath, and makes her call, it was almost an audible shutter. A wind howls. It does not blow away the black mist. It magnifies it, giving it life. The black mist snakes up from the bottom of hte bridge, collecting before the psychic. A murmur become a cacophony, and the cacophony becomes a howl. Corrupt energy floods before her, as the black mist boils and swims, the miasma building. In the midst of the cloud, a singular red light burns bright, piercing through the blackness. And then, the bones scream into shape.

Solidifying in the heart of the cloud, a skeletal form begins to form. Screams of agony erupt, first psionically, then audibly. It was being reborn, reformed, forced into an unnatural state. As the bones collect, a kind of black, sluglike shape begins to wind around the bones. The skeletal frame soon grows flesh, the black mist turning into muscles and organs. And finally, skin. As the last of the clothing drapes over the figure, it forces out of the mist, yellow eyes burning as it speaks.

"I am not... dead."

The revenant form of Daniel stands fast, clad in the tatters of orange and purple silk. His skin was more grey than black now. The spectre of undeath hung heavily over him... along with the countless voices around him. Possession. The ruby gem in his palm burns brightly, as the howl of souls begin to scream around him. His eyes burn yellow, and his shark-like teeth bared. But there was pain in his voice as he chokes aloud. "I...."

I am not dead.

"..... I....."

I am not dead.

"... I challenge you to Mortal Kombat." The detective growls, as a shadow overtakes his frame. HIs features fade into abyss, leaving only glowing yellow eyes and white fangs against a unfathomable blackness. "I serve to fight. I serve to destroy. I am... I am not dead..." The detective struggles. Something struggles within. But there was only one voice now coming from the detective.

The voice of Shang Tsung.

It slides, it moves... It forms together, screaming from the corrupt energy into bones, words, pain, clothing, yellow eyes, and finally a voice.

Rose stares ahead. Is such a thing possible?

It must be, she thinks, after an inner search to see if she is being tricked. And if it is not, this power is far beyond anything I could manage. She slides one heeled foot forward, saying as she does, "I understand." Her brow furrows for a moment as she raises her arm; her familiar yellow scarf snakes forwards, wrapping round her forearm like a snake.

"Show me your power!"

His power.

Daniel Jack groans as energy flares around him. Of within, black mist mingles with orange chi flashes around him. The gem, embedded in his palm, flows out with crimson tendrils of energy, the soul gem's force. The howl of souls come out. But within? Within, there isn't even the parasite's voice. It was a cold clarity. He was fighting for Shang Tsung.

That's all there was.

Daniel shudders before he sweeps his arms. The detective falls into the defensive stance of Todoh-Ryuu, his martial arts a familiar memory. But this was unnatural, all unnatural. He strides towards Rose, approaching her as the storm of energy swirls around him. "My power, scuzzy?" Daniel asks bitterly. "My power isn't my own anymore." He seeths, as he surges in. Black mist trails him as he flashes, his form blurring with the cloud-like form. His palms lash out, and he attempts to grip the woman by her arm. Should he get leverage? It would be a... surprisingly opening for the detective. A pivot, a twist, and then, a hip throw, aiming to toss her straight into the parapets alongside the bridge. Not over the edge.

But just into it.

COMBATSYS: Daniel has started a fight here.

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Daniel           0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Daniel equips a vibrant Rose Soul Shard.

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Daniel [E]       0/-------/-------|

COMBATSYS: Rose has joined the fight here.

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Rose             0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0       [E] Daniel

COMBATSYS: Rose equips a gleaming Malachite Soul Shard.

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Rose [E]         0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0       [E] Daniel

COMBATSYS: Rose blocks Daniel's Strong Throw.

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Rose [E]         0/-------/-------|-------\-------\0       [E] Daniel

"It isn't?" Rose says as Daniel approaches, sinking as he does into Todoh-ryu stance. It is not the first time Rose has seen it, and she does not resist his approach, even as he lunges forwards and grips her arm. She twists into the hip through, tumbling forwards and...

Off the bridge. That was brief.

No it wasn't. Rose's scarf had whipped out with its semi-autonomous speed and wrapped round one of those lanterns. Whether through simple leverage or some other art, she throws herself round and lands in a roll, shedding sparkles of blue and green and violet light behind her as she rises up to her feet, slightly dishevelled but not much the worse for wear.

She does not speak in reply, pushing herself up swiftly and leaping to vault over Daniel's head. Her hands come up to rest at his temples or perhaps cover his ears - not to muffle his hearing but to send a joint of that sheer Soul Power through him as she stays above him, defying the malicious pull of Kombat - and Gravity alike.

But will it strike home?

COMBATSYS: Rose successfully hits Daniel with Soul Drain.

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Rose [E]         0/-------/----===|===----\-------\0       [E] Daniel

It does.

Daniel's instincts were supersceding his mind. For all purposes, he was acting as a thing, not as a person. As the scarf lashes around, she pivots, and surges back into the detective as he stands fast. On those same instincts, Daniel brings up his guard, attempting to catch the blow by the wrist. And for that, he does manage to catch the wrist. That part works.

THe problem was, that wasn't the attack.

The sudden surge of soul power floods him and-

What am I.

What is happening.

Why is this happening?

- And he gets a glimmer through him. A break in the vile cloud. A beam of sunlight, of humanity. The briefest of moments... before it is buried under the haze of necromantic magic. Daniel Jack saunters back, stunned and devoured. He grabs his ears, grimacing in pain. "I serve... Shang Tsung... I am not dead..." He repeats, struggling, fighting through the foul power within. Growling back, that is the best he can muster through his strings. The detective roars back at the woman, swinging his leg around. Todoh-Ryuu is known for many things. Kicks aren't one of them. But at the very least, he follows Kasumi's lessons at heart. A snap straight kick is unleashed, as the detective continues to act as a mere vessel.

A mere shadow of himself.

COMBATSYS: Rose dodges Daniel's Light Kick.

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Rose [E]         0/-------/----===|===----\-------\0       [E] Daniel

Rose answers that kick by leaping back and out of its range, which is perhaps maddening to the vessel of Shang Tsung's will. (Especially that she's doing it in heels.)

"Perhaps these things are true, perhaps these things are false," Rose says. "It is difficult to tell in the heat of the moment what matches the facts, the objective world in which we are said to live." Her scarf swirls as she twists round, drawing it momentarily taut.

"But it is you who must look at those visions - you, in the end, who must decide!" she declaims, voice raising. Commanding? Chiding? It's hard to say but there is a strange sort of authority in it. Maybe she is defying Shang Tsung himself.

Either way, what she says next is: "SOUL SPARK!" And that scarf is snapped forwards, sending a shimmering streak of that polychromatic light screaming outwards, aiming it towards Daniel's center of mass. The light has a synaesthetic quality to it if touched, which grows more profound if taken dead on - but perhaps, to Daniel's soul, so barely exposed, it will have a more dramatic impact entirely.

COMBATSYS: Daniel blocks Rose's Soul Spark.

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Rose [E]         0/-------/----===|=====--\-------\0       [E] Daniel


Daniel knew this was true. He would never 'decide' to accept this. As the kick comes, the detective catches nothing. She was agile, that was true. But Daniel didn't even properly register her as a woman at this point. As the woman's voice rises high up, with the swirl of the scarf, he widens his eyes. The blast of light is unleashed, and Daniel.... Daniel lashes out. Or rather, the soul. Daniel's raw nature was more exposed than ever. It was terrifying. And while he barely bulwarks against it... it sends him reeling, staggering, stunned steps backward. A feral growl rises in Daniel's throat as he dares to surge back.

And Daniel stops.

"I..." He trails off, fixing his feet. Shang Tsung's will. The Butcher's will. The Soul Gem's wills. Countless wills were pouring into him. Saturating him, flooding him. But that last spark... deafened his ears to them. It was pathetic. Daniel knew it. "Life... death... What am I? What am I doing? I'm just a shadow." He sighs. "I am not dead. But that's all I am now." Daniel Jack transfixes those yellow eyes, as he builds a tower of energy around him. Black mist reforms across his body, pulling back together the corrupt necromantic forces that brought Daniel here. "I was once brought back from a beautiful woman like you. Fio Tessitore. Again and again, I was brought back. I'm so used to being brought back by beautiful women, it's almost an addiction, dying. This time, this isn't. If you live..."

"Would you tell Fio that I'm dead?"

"So she can help me?"

COMBATSYS: Daniel Jacks it up a notch!

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Rose [E]         0/-------/----===|=====--\-------\0       [E] Daniel

Rose lets out a breath - not quite a laugh - as she is given that complement by the dark shadow before her.

"I will," Rose promises as she sweeps back her scarf. "I promise."

If I cannot do it myself, Rose thinks but does not say - it would be ill, of course, to argue with a man who is pulling himself together in this manner. And of course, that may be putting the cart before the horse. Either way Rose steps forwards a pace, heels clicking on the stone of the bridge, closing the gap.

But unfortunately, Kombat cannot be denied. Seeing that Daniel has gathered himself, Rose aims a snapped up sharp kick towards the side of his leg, her foot and calf flashing subtly with glimmering light as it flies. Maybe more of that, more of the Soul Power, will make him all the more vibrant, Rose thinks.

But then again, hope can be a lie.

COMBATSYS: Rose successfully hits Daniel with Light Kick.
- Power hit! -

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Rose [E]         0/-------/---====|=======\=------\1       [E] Daniel

It was a promise.

Rose makes her move. The heels clicking with every step. As the sharp kick comes, Daniel moves to evade it. He fails, which shouldn't be too much. The flash of energy, though, wasn't expected. It floods through to the very being of the creature, discorporating it for a moment, before Daniel reforms in a howl of agony. No, a chorus. Every soul in it feels that pain, that agony, that suffering. And Daniel, seething, glares back. And for a moment, you could see his face.

"Bad Move, Scuzzy."

And he explodes straight back at Rose.

A staggering palm strike with the left, a bone shattering hand chop with the right. The timeless combination, tempered by fell magic and the blessings of the Outworld. The relentless assault chains with waves of energy, black and orange and crimson. As a rising palm comes from the left, the energy waves dare to accelerate. And with it, Daniel unleashes a slash of chi point blank, followed by a second, and then, a third. Cleaving, hacking slashes, attempting to overwhelm and tear across the mystic. Kombat could not be denied. It would not be denied.

Not the least from the a monster like this.

COMBATSYS: Daniel channels the strength of the killing fist.

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Rose [E]         0/-------/---====|=======\=------\1       [E] Daniel

COMBATSYS: Rose fails to deflect Ragtime Riot EX from Daniel with Soul Reflect.

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Rose [E]         1/-------/=======|=======\====---\1       [E] Daniel

Rose spirals around. She brings up that scarf. She starts to shout out something in reply as the swirling energy gathers around the thin yellow cloth --

Green and blue and violet can't match black and orange and crimson. The blast and the carving rips into her, sending her staggering back, skidding, almost tumbling aside, veering herself towards the center of the bridge on blind reflex alone. By the last cut she's got her arm up, enough at least to spare her disfigurement, but perhaps vanity is a poor strategy here.

"Gh!!" is about as far as Rose can comment right now.


The thought has a certain appeal, a certain of primal love and desire and pleasure and delight. A bitter, wretched joy as each rending slash overwhelms the woman. As the grunt of pain comes, a wave of esctasy overtakes the detective. That part was still there. That part, the necromantic magic couldn't, wouldn't take. Delights upon delights.

And it wouldn't stop there.

For the moment that she was stunned, Daniel Jack explodes forward. Once again, he dares to take a woman on his ride. The detective would slam his fist hard for Rose's gut. And should she not avoid it or stop it, Daniel fire away, carry her across the bridge with a jetforce of burning chi. Contrails of black mist and fire would burn around him as he would drive it harder, harder, harder into the mystic's gut. And the flight would only end when Daniel would let it end: With a singular, seismic impact straight down to the stone of the bridge, to crater her hard with a blast wave of energy.

What new sounds would she make this time?

COMBATSYS: Daniel channels the strength of the killing fist.

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Rose [E]         1/-------/=======|=======\====---\1       [E] Daniel

COMBATSYS: Daniel successfully hits Rose with Fantastic Todoh Punch EX.

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Rose [E]         1/----===/=======|=------\-------\0       [E] Daniel

The fist hits her gut. It sinks in hard enough that Rose thinks she feels something tear. Blood flecks fly from her mouth as she is thrown back, and they become droplets when she's smashed into the bridge with a geological protest from the stone itself.

The sounds she makes are melodic, perhaps, to the ear of Kombat. To those with more conventional sensitivity they would be horrifying, perhaps, but not necessarily to Shang Tsung himself.

To him they would likely be quite sweet.

And yet.

As Rose strikes the cold stone of the bridge, the gem around her neck gleams. That green light may seem like a sun ray through a tree's leaf, or perhaps the glint of the almighty dollar - it is hard to say. Rose hits the ground, yes, and there is a sense of skeletal thud and shuddering flesh.

Rose does not get up.

Rose snaps her scarf round, though, and sits upright despite the blood in her mouth, shouting as she lets her soul rise in concord with that crystal: "ILLUSION SPARK!" Before, Daniel has felt the touch, the brush of that Soul Power that wells from deep within Rose. Now he will, if that scarf coils up round his arm as Rose intends it to, experience the full feeling. Not a sipping drink, but the full hose.

COMBATSYS: Rose channels the veins of the burning blood.

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Rose [E]         1/--=====/=======|=------\-------\0       [E] Daniel

COMBATSYS: Rose channels the strength of the killing fist.

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Rose [E]         1/--=====/=======|=------\-------\0       [E] Daniel

COMBATSYS: Rose channels the glare of the vicious eye.

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Rose [E]         1/--=====/=======|=------\-------\0       [E] Daniel

COMBATSYS: Daniel channels the fortress of the steel will.

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Rose [E]         0/-------/------=|=------\-------\0       [E] Daniel

COMBATSYS: Rose successfully hits Daniel with Illusion Spark.

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Rose [E]         0/-------/------=|=======\===----\1       [E] Daniel

It was beautiful.

A shudder comes over Daniel, a light in the darkness. The cruelest parts of him still endured. Hurting people. He needed to hurt her. As the climax comes at the end of the charge, a grin stretches over his face. "You're... doing... good." He sighs, gasping for air, as he hangs over her prone form. Hunger. A deep hunger was coming over him. He could feel the light.

But it wasn't his own.

As the scarf comes around, the crimson light envelopes him. A scream of screams explodes around him, the souls wrapping around him. He remembered this. From zach, from Honoka. From the little girl. He remembered this power. But he didn't remember it being this... pure. This strong. This impossible. He could feel the rush of soul energy carrying him away. Stretching him across the bridge. Tearing him from his own body. His form collapses, falling into pieces as it is flattened into a smear of black mist on the surface of the bridge. The screams are silenced, as they are consumed by the blast. For a moment, there is a silence.

And Daniel rises again.

The tenacious spirit still remains. The iron resolve still remains. But the red gem was dimmed. The energy was waning. The spark consumed the lingering souls, driving them to whatever void they were pulled from. Once again, Daniel was alone.

And once again, he was pushing forward.

The detective was moving with staggered steps; his form was not whole yet; the black mists cling to his form, keeping his flesh just whole. Daniel Jack snarls as he hurls out a palm strike with his left, a hand chop with his right. An elbow thrust with his left, a kick with his right. A chain of assaults is poured out like slime, a fury that regenerates Daniel with every blow. A hand chop. A rising palm. A hand chop. A palm thrust. The relentless assault only ends as the detective lashes out with his hands, to seize the woman with both hands, to grab her by the arm. To stop the lashing scarves. To stop the endless soul power, to free him. This pain, this suffering. If he made her hurt, if he grabbed her and WRENCHED her arm from her shoulder socket, if he got that scream and moan and sweet song of suffering.

It might end.

It all might end.

COMBATSYS: Rose blocks Daniel's Harlem Sunset.

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Rose [E]         0/-------/-----==|==-----\-------\0       [E] Daniel

Iron, of course, is quite key to blood, and to Mars alike. Rose straightens up in the moment of peace that comes from her semi-obliteration of Daniel, sweeping the back of her wrist over her forehead and letting out a breath with enough force to mist slightly before her.

And then he comes in. Oozing frwards. Rose throws her arm up, the swirling streak of her scarf expanding outwards like a shield, a spiralling bracer - but then she's grabbed by the arm, and Daniel pulls.

Her upper arm slips from the socket of her shoulder.

Rose does not scream but her face tightens in agony, writ on the fair features there like brush strokes on a canvas. It may satisfy whatever is inside Daniel.

Satisfy it long enough for Rose to move without impediment! Her scarf bursts to life again as she leans forwards, despite the agony in her arm, sweeping round to try and scoop him at the abdomen level and leap off the bridge with another shimmer of that surging force. "Hahhh--" And from there, a hurl downwards in a screaming burst of purple and pink and green! Hopefully.

COMBATSYS: Rose successfully hits Daniel with Soul Throw.

[                    \\\\\\\\\\  < >  /                             ]
Rose [E]         0/-------/--=====|=======\===----\1       [E] Daniel

As she shows sweet agony, Daniel is flooded with the sweet nectar. It feeds a creature inside that hungers constantly. All was under the boot of Shang Tsung. But urges still ran raw. Daniel chuckles darkly as she pivots. As the scarf comes to life, he brings his arm up... and realizes his mistake, as he blocks the scarf... and lets it wrap around him. He is whipped around, and with the deft motion, is -slammed- apart on the bridge stones. Not into. Apart. The parts spread across in remains on the stones, much further than before. The mists fall silent. And then. And then.

And the body reforms.

It wasn't Daniel. Not yet. Not just yet. He does not rise just yet. But the black mist crawls together, reforming the bones, the flesh, the body. Formless masses, vaguely in the shape of a human, collapsing in pieces and pain. It was a cursed form. A cursed state. And still, he forces in. He was going to keep fighting like this. Forever and ever. He could see it. And if he tried to stop... he couldn't. He couldn't ever stop. The fight with Honoka, with Rose, with everyone, replaying over and over and over again. He could feel it. He could see it. He could taste it. And he couldn't stop it. The formless figure raises what could best be described as a head, with yellow eyes burning against a void. And he rasps, as he drags himself together.

"Kill Me."

Rose's eyes narrow as she feels the weight of that pendant around her neck. He wants her to kill him, Rose thinks.

HE would kill him, and grow stronger, Rose thinks; bloat himself on power, as he did.

But I am defined, Rose thinks as she steps that one little bit closer, by my antithesis, aren't I?

Rose raises her right hand and reaches for Daniel's-- head, for lack of a better term. That gleaming force of Soul Power, curiously expulsive, curiously synaesthetic, is there beneath her skin, a thrumming feeling which may augur his imminent and complete destruction.

"I must apologize, sir," Rose says. "I will not be contacting Fio Tessitore on your behalf. For you see, what you were bidding her to do will not be needed..."

Rose raises her left hand and places two fingers on the malachite shard at her neck. Her right hand tenses. She breathes in again, her chest swelling -- and then it all comes out, and while there is that same tingle of the Soul Power, the transformation is not nearly as dramatic, as emphatic as the bursts and plays of light and force she had thrown around like buckets of paint on the canvas of life.

The Soul Power is a mere carrier for the gathered force. And a catalyst may be all that is needed.

I'm not dead.

Daniel Jack was going to rise back up again, he was going to kill her. Or try. And then he would be splattered again, and then he would come again. And again. And again. And again. Until he was dead. He needed to die. Becaues all there would be would be endless death and destruction and service under the necromatic arts and cursed desires. He was cursed. He was damned.

And Rose was his angel.

It was another purification. Not the first. The second. When Honoka sought to put him out of his misery, it was similar purifying energies. But where that brought about death, this was... life. The energy flows through Daniel, into him, throughout him, across him. The black mist suddenly shudders. The purifying light paints over him, pouring across him like a baptism. The black mist washes away, the grey flesh washes away. The yellow eyes and fanged mouth remains, but the body was entire. IT was complete. It was alive, and mortal. And Daniel was....

Daniel was not dead.

Tears well in his eyes. He sits there, on his knees, hands on the ground. He was trembling. The voices were, all around him, quiet. It was back to normal again. It was back together again. It was real. He looks up at Rose, face becoming wet. He was alive again. "Th-.." He tries to thank her. He can't make the words. He just loses it, jabbering as the state of his situation sinks in. "I'm back! I'm back! I'm-"

We're back.

The expression of elation fades swiftly. In its place was a mask of dread. Daniel Jack's jaw was slack, his eyes wide. His hands trembling. He stares at the hand, now full of bones. Real bones. He wiggles his fingers, his clawed fingers. And the -urges- come back. The hunger. The cacophony. The desire. The hate. The bloodlust. It all flows back. Daniel Jack falls to his elbows, grabbing the side of his temples. The darkness returns over him. And he can only speak.

"I'm... I'm gonna try and kill again."

He says it with the purest reality. The detective rises up. She didn't break the curse. At least, not the one that Tessitore blessed him with. The voices were all coming back. The urges, the darkness. You can almost feel her like a wet glove, can't you Daniel? "You should have killed me. You should have killed me..." He was going to attack people again. And he wouldn't stop, until he was satiated. And then, he would attack again. Honoka stopped him. And Lotus. And Rose. But who would stop him next? As long as he had... as long as he had... He was a traitor. He was a traitor to humanity. And until he... until he stopped... he would be a threat- "I must... I must...." He babbles, turning towards the mystic.

And Daniel raises a palm out.

The crimson gem burns brightly in his palm. "I'm gonna start killing again soon. ANd I don't know if I can stop. But if you... if you have the soul charges.... then I won't be a threat anymore. I won't be cursed with the voices. I'll just have one voice. Ad I can control just one. Take them. Take them. Please! PLEASE!"

And the souls flow from him into Rose.

The voices die out, one by one, as they transfer into a new host. You think that's going to stop me, Daniel. We have a second chance. You might not be able to kill this one. But there are always more people to torture. Maybe that fine ass Daisy is on the island looking for her. You think if we work together, we can crack that smile? Daniel Jack shakes his head, gripping it. "I'm going to run. I'm going to run, as far as I can. Don't tell anyone, don't send anyone." Daniel Jack turns away from Rose, ready to run, ready to flee.

And no.

No no no.

"No, wait." Daniel pauses, turning back towards Rose. He thrusts a finger at his savior. "Tell them... Thank you for saving my life, but tell them.... tell them that Daniel is alive again. And he doesn't want to hurt anyone anymore. Tell them... don't try looking for him. Daniel Jack's gone. He's real gone." Daniel Jack faces across the bridge. "All that's left..."

"Is the Lady Killer."

Log created on 17:23:26 12/17/2016 by Daniel, and last modified on 04:47:02 12/21/2016.