Thursday, April 18, 2013

Niccolo Croatoan: It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.

San Francisco was doomed. In fact, it was already dead. Every single living thing- even the birds, rats, and insects- dead. And my name carved into the power line closest to the city's center. That should throw him off. The anonymous detective, L. They say he's the best in the world. I'm almost honored that he's after me. I would be, if he weren't a heathen like the rest of them. Everyone deserves to die. Mevolent will bring the Faceless Ones back to this Earth, and I will kill each and every living thing that stands in his way.

Why do I always end up in Manhattan when I am tired and weak? What is it that draws me here, time and again? Aretha. Of course. But why? I should distance myself from her, because I know she'll only come looking for me. I cannot burden her with my problems. I should just kill myself now, while I am still sane...

That homeless person in the corner- I bet he doesn't believe in the Faceless Ones. I bet he doesn't even know they exist. Look at him there, shivering pathetically. And how he begs- for money, food, shelter, even an extra penny. Does he honestly think any of it matters? He can't keep living like this. One more meager meal isn't going to help. But he deserves to die slowly, for not believing in the gods. I'll just place a filter over him- he will appear completely invisible to everyone passing by, and he'll die believing that no one in this entire city cares enough to spare him a coin.

My God, there are so many people suffering. Is this why she became an assassin? So that she could save them all? Well, she always seemed to feel like she had to somehow save the world. I swear, she cares about everyone. She'd die to save a complete stranger if presented with the opportunity. I need to make sure that she survives this war. Somehow, I have to make sure she's alright, even long after I'm dead. 

On this street, there's a lost little girl. So innocent, so helpless. Completely irresistible  I'll bet she doesn't know about the Faceless Ones either. I'll lead her to an alleyway and smash her skull to pieces, then leave her to rot. She'll be picked on by the local scavenging animals, and by the time her parents come for her, she'll be unrecognizable.

I killed a child. A child. By God, I've killed a child. Is there still time to heal her...? Oh, thank the stars. Her skull was rather easy to re-assemble, as was her brain. And she's lost a lot of blood, but she's still breathing, if only barely. I'll call an ambulance for her, and then leave again. I ought to lock myself up somewhere where there are no people. A place I can never get out of, where no one will ever find me.

Ooh, now I've thought of something really good. Really, really good. That Aretha girl has caused Mevolent enough trouble in the past- attempted espionage, escaping, helping her friends escape, and general resistance of the Faceless Ones. She deserves pain. Heaps of it. And for the first time I had a reason to thank what I consider to be my weakest side. He knew exactly what would make her scream.

"Oh my God," I muttered in disbelief, once I'd finally come to my senses and stopped just gaping. Oh my God. What the Hell did I... Aretha stood several meters away from me in Central Park, her face more completely dead than I had ever seen it- more so even than when her aura disappeared- and between us was Marina's broken body. She had died back in Ireland, and it hadn't occurred to me that Aretha still didn't know... And good Lord, the things I had done to her body- it was so torn apart and disfigured. Almost unrecognizable. But that was Aretha's best friend; it didn't matter how mangled the body was. She knew. She knew. And in about three seconds, she went from unfeeling to more furious than I had ever seen a living person. Ever. I could practically feel the heat coming off her in waves. Her eyes met mine, the eyes of some savage demon wearing her face, and I knew it didn't matter how powerful I was; she was going to kill me. And I would let her, for as long as I could. I deserved it. I needed it. She lept at me like a lion, and when she dragged me to the ground by my neck and dug her claws into my eyes, it didn't feel like pain. It felt like justice.


  1. *Stares gaping at screen*
    *Bursts out in tears*

    Yeah, I killed a child once, on a plane...
    *Doesn't care to wipe eyes*
    Aretha, don't you dare hurt Niccolo. Niccolo, leave. Now. There is something out there for you, someone other that Aretha. You need help. Mevolent has... He has...
    *Starts sobbing*

    1. *shushes gently* Death, you shouldn't cry like this. Least of all for the likes of me. I did read the message you left for me, in Blogland. And it was really quite lovely, actually- you're kinder to me than anyone has been (other than Aretha when she's had the opportunity) in centuries. And I really do appreciate that, more than I can say, but you're still missing a piece. I am not 'hard and uncaring'. I have never been hard, or uncaring, or particularly strong. In fact, I am surprisingly average (if you consider I was born before America existed). The person all of you brilliant people came to know through this story was never me. That was a crazy mix of all the deranged serial killers and, later on, a few decent and even outlandishly good people whose names I've stolen over the years. This, right here, is me. That meager broken thing Aretha tried to comfort in an alleyway- that was me, too. The only bit of myself that has shown through even a little is how I feel for Aretha, and even then some of the other names (weaker ones, but still) admire her. Oh, and she'll be fine, by the way- it's true I've never seen her so angry, but I know she'll come out of it. If I didn't have such a headache, I would try to calm her down from inside her mind, but I'm afraid I'll pass it to her if I try that. Of course, I will have to leave, because the other names will blot me out again. And I know full well what Mevolent is doing, but I cannot prevent it. He has my name, and so too the essence of my being. But if it gives you a reason to keep fighting, please, try to help me.

  2. Bloody hell......ok I hope Mevolent doesnt send Niccolo to Mamhattan...I like life. I really do..

    And now a message from Javier:
    Niccolo I swear take a step into New York I WILL kill you. - Javier Fyreheart

    1. God, I am so sorry- I can't believe I... I.... *eyes gleam* Actually let you go after causing so much pain. I could've made it worse, you know. Mevolent called me away too quickly. Well, you can send a message back to your Javier- I have been in New York. In fact, just the night before this I was right outside the Sanctuary. And last night (when this was written), I was in New York again. But tell him not to feel too bad- it's not like he could ever kill me, anyway.

  3. Can I join in this seems really fun. I totally understand if you say no.

    1. Well, we will take this into consideration! Thanks for showing an interest!

    2. Should I write a piece to help you decide or something?

    3. You certainly don't have to, but if you want to, go ahead.