A group of men were seated around a long table. Twelve men, bickering in French. The tallest one, with hair to his waist, was carving into the marble top with something that resembled a compass. He was staying quiet, keeping his eyes to the ground. He didn't want to join in.
"I'm telling you, I've seen nothing." Rene insisted, crossing his toned arms.
"You were right there!" Enrageant practically screamed. "You had to have seen something, a flash of the man's face! The weapon!"
"I saw nothing!"
Moyen sighed, finishing the sigil he was carving into the table.
Jasmin pinched the bridge of his nose. "I believe him when he says he saw nothing."
"Of course." Hissed Benjamin. "Because the detective knows everything."
"I know quite a lot more than you." He raised his hand in a fist for silence before Ben could interrupt. "We are not here to lay blame on Rene."
"We're here for fishsticks." Jalousie decided, smirking. There was a collection of exasperated groans.
"This is no time for jokes." Charles Fiable scolded.
"Sorry." The blond Necromancer mumbled, grinning still.
Poupee hit him and heaved a sigh. Jalousie kept laughing.
"No, we are here to think things through logically." Jasmin stated loudly before more arguing could happen. "People have gone missing and been killed, and we have to figure out why this has happened and who has done this, and I'm only asking your help as you are affected..."
Traq spoke up next. He was shuffling a deck of playing cards. "Well, some of us are."
The knife in Moyen's hand slipped, slicing open his palm and he jumped up with a shriek. All the others looked to him, and he apologised softly, looking to be on the verge of tears. Charles got up to help him. They discussed quietly.
It was this conversation that now played in Charles' head as he stood, feeding baby Oro in the dead of night. There was a faint wind outside, and all he could hear was the faint chatter of that obnoxious Canadian man. Then something particular came to him.
With every twist and turn there is a sharp drop or incline. As for him, a weakness is clear, apparent. We just haven't been looking in the right place.
Charles scowled, thinking. Moyen was not often the wise man of the group, but slowly it dawned on him. Every man had a weak spot, and with a little thought, suddenly the Frenchman had realised Mevolent's.
A group of men were seated around a long table. In the corner sat a very young man, only about 47. Mastered Necromancy the previous year, no interest in all the Death Bringer nonsense. He just adored death and whatnot. Even so, he was becoming a soldier. A war was inbound, and Phil, with his long black hair tied back with a custard yellow ribbon, was eager to fight against the nutters looking to end the world, simply to spill the blood.
He was an attractive young man and two blonde girls had their eyes on him, but his eyes were fixed on a man sat opposite him, younger than him but looked older. He stood as the meeting ended and walked off, keeping his head down. The younger yet older man, with dark skin, tapped him on the shoulder and instantly, a knife was at his throat. He gulped. "M-Mortis...?"
Mortis glared a moment, then put away the knife. "I don't remember your name."
"Jayden. Zebulon's brother."
"I remember. You were trying to kill her the same time I was."
"Whatever. Redhead got him in the end." He decided not to mention that the redhead and his science magic friend had taken over his house after saving his life.
"Good for him."
"You remembered my name."
Jayden bit his lip and nodded. "I'm very good with names. Redhead was called Garnet, right?"
Mortis nodded. "Well remembered."
"It's nice to see you again."
He shrugged. "Whatever."
"...I don't remember you being that friendly back then either."
"Shut up. I don't remember you being so damn attractive."
"What?" He stopped walking and turned to face the Child of the Spider.
"...You have something in your eye...it's watering..."
Jayden started walking again. "You're very good-looking yourself, Mortis."
"You what now?" He jogged to catch up.
"You heard me."
"Are you flirting with me?"
"Maybe. Depends on whether you like it or not."
Mortis scowled. "Peh."
Then the most outrageous noise came from the ruthless killer's throat when the dark-skinned man squeezed his butt, and he gave him the 'I am so going to kill you' look before pinning him to the wall...and kissing him.
Mortis remembered that clearly. His favourite song at the time was called 'I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles'. Now it was 'Beasts' by Slow Moving Millies, and that was the song that filled the dusty air from his pocket and he lay beneath the chunk of masonry, life being squeezed out of him. Nobody knew that number...nobody but Garnet Dorado...and he reached for his pocket, doing his best to get the phone into vision, and pressed a button. A voice filled the air. Singing. Joyful, bouncy singing. A rendition of I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles by someone he didn't know.
Behind him, Richard sat, trying to save Jayden from the brink of death, and Hiro stood by the glowing cradle.
"It...it's a doll..." He muttered in disbelief, and it was. It was a doll, with a face twisted in agony, painted to look like a charred corpse. He lifted it up and all the light went out, an odd ticking sounding out as though a fast piece of clockwork had just been freed to function, followed by a low rumbling. Looking around, terrified, Hiro ran for the door, desperately, running for the sound of a woman singing over the sound of a crackling record playing old music, the kind you would hear in the loading screens of Bioshock.
Mortis had not known the lyrics to this. In fact, it appeared these were lyrics added by a football club, but the sweet sounds flowing back to his ears, filling what he feared were his last moments with memories of his first kiss with Jayden Slander. Then, darkness, that blessed music playing...and silence when his eyes opened to a blinding light...