Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Wither The Vain: Scavenger Hunt Part 3

Five Sharpened Pencils

I jerked my pencil from the neck of the security guard behind the desk. His fellows were already wading in their own blood further down the hall. I stuck the end of my pencil into the sharpener on his desk and whistled to myself. Things were going smoothly.

Wither would be amazed. I had made sure to complain to such a length that he would be certain to send me after Pox regardless. I smirked. It wasn’t an enviable position I suppose. Hunting down one’s own mad creation with the ability to sling poisons and diseases about with impunity. That didn’t matter to me though. Not now. I had a score to settle with him.

He had made me look like an ass in front of my brother and my father. To top it all off, he had ingratiated himself with the mayor in a matter of weeks. Quite obviously he had gone showing off his talents and making a spectacle of himself. He had nothing resembling honor, only the amusing little bit of OCD I had burned into his fictional little mind.

“Stop right there!”

Ah, more guards. Three of them clustered together at the end of the glisteningly white antiseptic hallways. Their adorable little uniforms all sang their singular identity as West Worthington medi-center security.

“Sorry for the intrusion mi amigos; I was looking for Mr. Saria.”

“Get down on the ground and put your hands behind your head. Do it now!”

I sighed. They were more rent-a-cops. Overweight, balding, and shaking at the idea that they even had to draw their guns. There was no pride to be had in a victory here.

“If you drop your guns and tell me where Saria is, I won’t kill you. Promise.”

Fingers squeezed triggers and I leapt over the desk. Damned annoying fools. I picked up the dead guard’s gun and turned it over in my hands. It had been years since I had fired one of these things but it would be the same as always. They were only moderately efficient, lacking in all style, and forgoing the mental anguish one can spread by using a pencil to remove someone’s eyes. It would do though.

I darted from around the cover of the desk and squeezed off three shots. Each one caught a guard between the eyes. They fell away; autumn leaves with crushed berry brains. Enough fooling around. I vaulted down the corridor for the elevator. He would be on the top floor. If he was interested in playing these sorts of games, he knew it was I coming for him. He wanted a bit of drama. Fine, he would have all the drama he could stomach.

I punched the up button on the elevator and adjusted my tie. There was a stripe of blood careening across it wildly. It added a nice bit of color to the otherwise blank white strip. The elevator doors slid open and five more guards were waiting inside. None of them had their guns drawn. More important to me though, was the ketchup bottle red of their faces.

“Break. Break you.”

“I doubt it.”

I plunged into the elevator car as the guards began to swing wildly at me. Fists connected with jaws, but none of them belonged to me. I drove a pencil into an eye and beyond. Gray matter stuck to its tip as I ripped it free. That guard fell and the four between the door and I pressed forward, arms flailing. I squeezed off a pair of shots, the bullets burying themselves in the nearest two guards chests. They sank slowly but surely as the mindless guards behind them pawed them aside. I dropped the gun and pulled a second pencil from my suit pocket. I tore open their jugulars simultaneously with a simple thrust and twist. The arterial spray further painted my tie for me. It was starting to look positively artsy.

I hit the button for the fortieth floor and whistled to myself as the doors closed.

“I’m assuming you’re watching me now Josef. That would explain those lovely little creations of yours. What was that? Some newly modified rage serum? I expected better.”

A tinny voice echoed out of the public address system. I knew it. He was watching.

“I’m a little busy at the moment Arturo. Can’t be wasting all my time dealing with your filth.”

“Busy? You? With what? Putting your laundry in the wash?”

“I don’t have time for this! Would someone kill him already?”

I frowned. This wasn’t typical. When I wrote him, he wasn’t like this. He was driven, possessed. Provoking him like that should’ve caught all of Pox’s attention. If I was being viewed as secondary…

The elevator doors open and the scene began to make more sense. Twisted badger men with masses of scabs clotting their fur were ripping the ripe tomato faced guards apart. The guards were mainly clustered behind a makeshift barricade down the hall, firing wildly into the procession of half dead Sleepers.

“As much as I’d love to come kick your ass Josef, I’m here to make a deal.”

“So were they you piece of shit! Did you lead them here?”

I snickered.

“I doubt they followed me. But if The Scavenger has any idea what Wither and the rest of us have planned, killing you should be at the top of their list.” I whipped out my notebook and started scribbling. None of the badger men had noticed me yet. That was good.

“I appreciate you trying to cause my death Arturo, but really, I’m used to this living bit by now. I don’t intend on giving it up for anyone.”

I continued to write, focusing on the words as the lead rippled across the pages. No time for spoken words. Pox wouldn’t be any use to me dead. A pair of the badger men noticed me and turned. They broke into an awkward lope as they saw me glance up from my work.

“Arturo? What are you up to? Arturo? Move you little twit. They’re going to kill you. Do something!”

“I am doing something boy.”

“Not fast enough.”

They were less than ten feet away now. But that was alright. I had punctuation. The left badger man swung wildly for me. I hopped backwards and stabbed my pencil through his paw and into the notebook paper. The words erupted from the page spun wildly in the air, leaking green fumes.

“What are you doing Arturo?”

“Fixing your mistake.”

The badger men took another step for me before clutching their throats and toppling over. Antagonized squeaks crawled from their disintegrating throats.

“I just took their immune system down a peg. Now, do you think I could have a word?”

“It had better be a good one.”

“It’s a doozy, I promise.”

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