Description: After Ace Detective Daniel Jack is beaten in a rigged match with Chinese Mafia Gangster Tairyu Katashi, he drags himself back to the hotel. On the way there, he encounters the Ladykillers, a rough and tumble gang of hardcore criminals. Luring him to a hotel room with the promise of an special one on one meeting, the detective is sent hurtling into a trap, with his very morality brought to the test. Can Daniel explain... the Important of Being Frank? (The cover shows Daniel Jack with his chin out, walking into a motel room. His shirt is off, revealing his oiled muscles and abs. Through the window, you can see a woman in a strapless red dress, motioning for him to come upon the bed where she is laying. Outside the room, in the shadows, several thugs are looking out at Daniel from hiding, smoking cigars and arms with revolvers, waiting to spring the trap) (45 cents)
The shadows move through the hotel corridor outside, moving with a white fanged grin.
After the Neo-League finals, Daniel was obliged, after he pulled himself together, to entertain the Ladykillers. The gang of Daniel fans were doing the after party. There wasn't a riot at least; but when Daniel lost against Tairyu? They wanted closure. And Daniel was going to give it. But when he arrived? There wasn't much Q/A. No no, first thing first? There was someone in the hotel room, who really wanted to meet Daniel.
And give him a reward for his Neo-League season.
Now Daniel had his vices. And while there was a power issue at play here, between a fan and their hero, well, it was a matter of ethics. And yet, Daniel was gone in a burst of shadows, the zoot-suit wearing figure moving through the hallways to the hotel. Room 1408. They even gave a key. Daniel wouldn't need it. As he reaches the room, he slips under it, moving with the shadows. And he could feel the presence of the fan. Sitting on the bed. WAITING for him. The shape of the shadow reforms, pulling together with a grin as those hungry yellow eyes latch on the figure sitting in the darkness. And then, he speaks.
"Hi! My name is Frank! I'm a Ladykiller, and I'm one of your biggest fans."
Daniel's shoulders slumps a bit, disappointed. Yeah. Sure. What where the odds of a beautiful woman in a strapless red dress being left with him, even with his fans. I mean, if anything, he should be finding a beautiful woman in a strapless red dress for this guy. The guy was middle-aged, bearing a short, curly black pseudo-beard around his throat and neck. He was dressed in a pinstripe grey suit, with a fedora on his head. He was smiling with a missing molar, the remaining teeth stained with old nicotine. He had a combover over his thinning, greasy black hair. And he had so. much. energy. Daniel still keeps a grimlock fanged smile as he nods. "Yeah. Hi Frank. Yeah, the boys downstairs said that you wanted to see me. In a hotel room." Daniel keeps that forced grin up as he gestures. "Can I have a seat? Not on the bed of course, on this chair here." He doesn't wait for the answer, taking a seat. "So, you want an autograph, making one of those Ask Me Anything things?" Frank shakes his head wildly.
"No, no, you don't understand Daniel, I'm -really- one of your biggest fans."
He was correct. Daniel didn't understand. And Frank felt to explain in the silence that Daniel gave him. "I've spent over... 30 years on this stuff. Following the fighting scene, hanging out online. I've been kicked out of so many fighting groups. MUDs and stuff like that." Daniel tilts his head to one side. "MUD?" Frank pats a palm on his knee excitingly. "Multi-User Dungeons. Like, it's a roleplay thing." Daniel tilts his head to the other side. "I don't understand this, like it's a sexy thing?" Frank shakes his head.
"Oh not all of them."
Daniel pauses a moment. "Oh. Well." Before Daniel can finish that thought, Frank rapidly explains further. "I mean there is this one where you have like Lightning Spangles, and I mean, I played there for a while, and I have this ex-girlfriend there-" "Okay scuzzy, I'm really confused here, because I don't why I'm up here." He looks around the room, looking for maybe any place for a hidden camera. "Is this a prank?" Frank's face turns bright red, as his nervous smile fades into flickering smiles into scowls. "This isn't a prank, Daniel."
"This is the most serious thing I've ever done in my life.
Frank points a finger at Daniel, his expression flashing back and forth as he stands up. "I'm talking about it because I played you, Daniel. My life turned around when I started playing you. I can't even begin to describe how important my life became when I played you. How I was so strong and confident, how I was learning how to do Todoh-Ryuu. You know I learned how to fight like you? In real life?" Frank widens his stance, a very rough aikido stance. Raising his arms up, he makes a sudden, sharp slicing motion with both of his hands as Daniel watches silently. "That was a Kasane Ate, Daniel!" Frank nods his head rapidly. "I mean, it didn't have chi, but it's the right motion."
Daniel pinches his face with his hand.
"Look, buddy. I got time, but I don't got patience. What are you trying to get at. Like, what's the point of all this. Do you want me to train you?" Frank perks up. "Oh! Oh wow, like. Okay, I was talking with the other Ladykillers, and like, there is definitely a strong demand that you train folks in Todoh-Ryuu Kobojutsu! Like we wanted to learn more from Kasumi Todoh, but there are legal issues-" Daniel's expression is flat, but his tone hides a sheer intensity. "Legal issues. Okay. If I find out you were stalking Ryuhaku's daughter, I am going to start killing some of you, I am dead serious." Frank perks up. "Yes! That's what I want actually!" He goes back to a sitting position on the bed.
"I want you to kill me, Daniel."
Daniel shuts his yellow eyes for a few seconds, before opening them again. "I'm sorry, but -what-?" If Daniel expected another answer, he didn't get it. Frank continues, his tone continuing to remain perked up. "I want you to kill me Daniel. I'm not happy with my life. I've been doing temp work on and off for most of my life. I have had no steady, meaningful long term relationships. I've never had a meaningful sexual relationship with really anybody that wasn't online. I look outside, and I see how miserable the world is, and how much violence and terror there is, and how the wrong kind of people are in control of it. If I died tomorrow, nobody would really mind, except maybe my cat. And I talked to the other Ladykillers, and well, they would take care of Mittens. So, I'm ready!" Daniel feels numbed, his gaze drifting as he instinctively reaches for his tiny lantern. "I mean, like, scuzzy, I don't think you are better off dead..." Frank's face turns a brighter shade of red, sweat building on his face, as he leans back at Daniel, his own intensity coming forward.
"Do you know what's its to have done nothing good with your life?"
Frank holds his head, rubbing his temples. "How you've looked back, and your highlight is pretending to be other people? How its like to go to your mother and father, and tell them what your friends are, what your hobby is? And being completely ostracized because you like playing a black guy, or a little girl? Even my online girlfriend broke up with me, we were going to finish our scenes, and she just up and left me." "Was the scene that bad?" "No she was- she's been having some RL issues and she doesn't want someone toxic in her life as she works through them." "And was it like a MUD or something-" "It was a MUD, yes, like, a very niche one though, for specific tastes." "So one of those sexy ones." Franks up, his high-pitched voice squeaking loudly. "I don't need a sexy roleplay fantasy anymore, Daniel. Because I made up my mind. I talked to the other Ladykillers, and they agree. I'm not a valuable human being. I am a waste of air and space! I don't need to live. And if I live, I should live as part of someone better than me. When you eat someone's soul, they become a part of you! They show up in your fights, they help you fight, and they probably live forever too!" He opens his arms, as if that's all it takes to invite Daniel to kill him.
"That's why I want you to kill me!"
"Frank, I don't want to kill you." Daniel admits, turning away from Frank, staring at the floor. Frank continues, his voice cracking. "But you need to eat souls! I know you eat the dead, but I've talked to them! We can talk to them, Daniel, through you! So you should eat my soul! Right now! I don't want to live, Daniel. I want to be a part of you forever! I want to be one of your army of souls to fight for you! I want to be a Todoh-Ryuu master like you! I want to be a part of your darkness forever! So I'm offering you me! Am I..."
"Am I not good enough to even die for you?"
Daniel quickly looks back. "No! I mean, this is complicated! You see this?" He raises the lantern. "If I kill anybody, if I even force myself to eat someone's soul without them wanting it, like hostile and stuff? This stops working. And then I can't eat the dead. I have to only feed on the living, and that's- that's wrong." Frank nods his head along, as if this is fine. "I can die too! I talked to the other Ladykillers about that. I got all my medication, Daniel, and I can take them all right now, and you can watch over me and wait. I will be totally willing, and you can eat me as a ghost, and I will do anything you want." Daniel stands up now, staring down at Frank. "I don't want you to kill yourself for me! This is wrong, Frank! You're a cool guy, with the pinstripe suit and- and the hat and-" Frank screams back at Daniel. "I don't want to be Frank Marino! I don't want to me be! I want to be Daniel! I want to be cool! I want to be a sexy Darkstalker that gets the ladies! I want to be someone better than I am!" Daniel suddenly surges at the Ladykiller. Attacking him? No.
Daniel places a hand on Frank's shoulder.
Daniel locks those yellow eyes into Frank's. Tears were building in Frank's eyes, running down his red, pimpled cheeks. "Come on, man." Daniel says softly. "Look, I'm going to be real straight with you. I've met a LOT of losers in my life. There are so many losers out there in the world, okay. But they aren't those ladies who don't respect you. They aren't your parents, or those so called alpha males, they sure as hell aren't the Ladykillers, and buddy? Bud?" Daniel shakes his head.
"I'm sure as hell that you aren't one of those losers."
Frank sniffs, as he looks into Daniel's eyes. He sits down on the bed, as Daniel continues, lowering himself down to keep his eye level to Frank's. "You got these bad guys out there, Shadaloo. You've heard of Shadaloo, right?" Frank nods his head. "They're the bad guys. There is this dame, Honoka? She's the Scarlet Dahlia, and a Dragon Lady, and she has all these aliases. She went on and sold her boyfriend, Zach, to Shadaloo!" Frank gasps. "Oh goodness. I didn't know she was a thot!" Daniel nods furiously. "I don't know what that is, but yes. All kinds of villains. Juri. Dr. Tessitore. Lotus. Whitney. Fierce evil people, who want to corrupt the world." Frank suddenly interjects. "Wait those are a lot of girls." "Well Whitney isn't actually a girl, you see-" "Did you have sex with them?" Daniel shakes his head carelessly. "Oh not all of them. But that's not the point. The point is that you're part of my team, you're a Ladykiller. And we're a force of good, and we got to fight against those guys. You know that you got stuff infilitrating the world government and stuff, run by actual villains, that prevent real action and change taking place." Frank almost squees. "Yes! Yes! A thousand times yes!" Daniel nods firmly, feeling more and more confident that he pulled the guy from the edge of death. "That's what we're about now. That's what we gotta do together. And you can..." Daniel trails off, as Frank inserts himself in again. "You can kill me and eat my soul so you can have the strength to fight Shadaloo and save the world!"
Daniel drops his head slightly.
"Okay, like, I need you to be as honest as possible." The shade states, dreading the answer he probably already knows. "Do you have any relevant skills that would help in stopping an international criminal cartel?" "Would data entry be considered relevant?" Daniel hisses between his fangs, considering. "No." Frank nods eagerly, as he unbuttons his suit. "Then nope!" Daniel stops his hands, shaking a finger between the man's eyes. "Okay, Well I don't have to kill you. I can devour a portion of your soul. I think. Without killing you. But before we even get there, there are some important rules, and you're not the only one that's going to need to follow them." Daniel looks at his finger, and then uses it as a number. "The first one I already touched on. You have to 100% want this. You have to absolutely and totally consent to this. Any reservation, even a flicker, is going to kill it. You'll have to absolutely embrace your soul being eaten, cause if there is any hesitation? I'm not doing it. Because that goes to the second point. Getting your soul eaten sucks. I've been devoured before. It doesn't heal naturally, it heals very slowly. It makes you feel nothing, like you're in a deep dark pit." Frank nods solemnly.
"Oh, I have a lot of experience with that, Daniel." He says distantly.
Daniel continues, patting Frank on the shoulder. "I mean it. Little bites. You're having a hard time already, I can tell. And I'll be honest here Frank. When we're done here? I'm taking you down there, and I'm going to tell them the same. Ladykillers should NEVER treat each other like meat. None of you are meat, you dig? You are good people. And you got to act like good people. None of this... telling people they should die. No, no no no. If you are a Ladykiller, you all support each other, you all help each other. And yeah, if you want to help me? I'm not going to grab you guys like sacrifices. We're helping each other on this." Frank looked relaxed. He wasn't quite relaxed, but he looked it. He tightens his knees together on the bed. "Okay. Okay. I think I get it. I- I get to help you a bit, because you eat a little bit of my soul. And everyone will get a little bit of their soul- it'll be part of a special Ladykiller initiation." Daniel rolls his yellow eyes. "Yeah. Sure. I dig it. But you have to promise me you won't be thinking of yourself as worthless anymore, okay Frank? You have to promise me that. I don't want to be your idol, your sacrifice thing. I want to be your friend. ANd you need to promise me that after this, you're going to get the help you need, and you are going to keep with the Ladykillers." Frank looks back at Daniel. He breathes in hard. "And if I agree, you'll... I'll be the first one to be devoured?" Daniel nods his head. Frank nods firmly along with Daniel. "I promise Daniel! I promise." Daniel gives a smirk, the shadows spread around the room, closing in.
And then, Daniel begins to feed.
Log created on 22:33:22 04/22/2021 by Daniel, and last modified on 13:46:00 04/23/2021.