Frankie and Simon Sutler, both soldiers for the Mafia, interrogate a man linked to batches of tainted ambrosia filtering through the top Funk Mafia ranks.
(AU:FM Sweet & FM Frankie)
An isolated basement in Purple district
After The Threat
- Sweet walks along the corridor, an acceptable distance behind his boss, rattling off information about their subject of the day at him. "Goes by the name of Sander Jameson, 25 years old, works at one of those Bandito hippie clothes stores what sell drugs under the counter. Reason'bly unimportant, only recently went up the scale a bit when it was reported the bloke started sellin' Ambrosia. Right before some nobs- er, wealthy Mafia members started dyin' of unconfirmed causes. Now, could be the bloke just got a bad batch, not his fault, but could be he's workin' with some UG or DOVE member trying ter take out the FM elite... Anyway, he deserves ta' have the fear of God put into him." Something niggled, at the back of his mind. He's taken to scanning the mind waiting in the dark in the interrogation room before they enter, maybe add to some of the already growing fear, but now the mind felt... like he'd felt it before. So familiar... He keeps walking until something clicks. Oh. Of course. He stops walking, and blinks in surprise at the door at the end of the hallway.
<Sweet> I like the idea that everyone feels different to sweet <Frankie> yessssss so cool <3 <3 <3 <Sweet> it really is an integral part of how he sees people in bandito au <Frankie> I love bandito sweet so much <Sweet> their kind of... emotional stamp on Monster is what he thinks their names are <Frankie> I like interacting w/ Francis and him cause just.... soooo different than canon.... <Sweet> he calls firefly by his stamp because he can't actually talk without actively taking words from people's heads <Frankie> 8m8 <3 <Sweet> he can sync up with people and say what they're saying at the same time like in that gr8 dr who episode <Frankie> AHHH THAT WAS SO AMAZING <Sweet> bandito sweet had the worst time during the flares ;n;
- Frankie listens to the stream of facts from Simon as he tries to set his mind and body in the right state for this. It was not a matter of finding the rage, that was /so/ very easy, but of not going off and killing the bastard in the first three seconds... he's jolted from his meditation when Simon mentions the ambrosia... his eyes widen. He hadn't gotten to his own stash yet, but it had been calling to him all week. "Thank you, Mister Sutler. What can'ya tell me about this fella's state'a mind?" Anythin' I can't see fer myself, his short tone implies.
- Sweet stares in silence at the door for a few seconds more, just to be absolutely sure, before letting out a rare, sharp laugh. "Sir," he starts, as he rolls up his sleeves. "I'm pleased to tell you this man's name is not Sander Jameson. He's scared, but not as scared as 'e could be. I can't tell whether or not he knows anything, but... Him an' me go way back." Sweet runs his fingers through his hair, eyes still looking a bit glazed. "Sir, you'd make me an 'appy man if I was allowed to be a bit more... involved in this session. I've been waiting for this, and I wouldn't want 'im to blab or break 'fore I get to have a go."
- Frankie scrutinizes Sweet's body language- sometimes, he was finding, he could read the subject's state just by watching Sutler's reaction. It was all about subtleties... what he'd first gauged to be a lack of emotion was simply incredibly hidden and understated- When the laugh comes, Frankie almost jumps back. He composes himself quickly and takes in the new information. "Well ain't that somethin. A reunion," he laughs darkly. "Well, what kinda a man would I be, refusin ya a quite-possibly once in a lifetime opportunity?" The message is clear. If this man is guilty of poisoning the family, this will be an execution, not an interrogation.
- Sweet flashes a grin at Valentine and thanks him before opening the door with a flourish and lo and behold, the man sitting in the chair who's looking around frantically for the source of the noise despite his blindfold is /exactly/ who he thought he was. He looks at his boss questioningly, waiting for permission. When he gets a nod, he rips off the blindfold. "Sonny Jim!" he explains. The man's eyes widen in complete, mind-crushing surprise. "/Sweet/?" The surprise is joined by a shimmer of hope. "Oh man, am I glad ta' see you, listen I didn't do nothin', you gotta get me out of-" He's cut off by a powerfully sharp right hook to the eye. Sweet shakes his hand free of pain, practically vibrating with energy. "Wh-" "Sonny Jim! Great to see you too, mate, absolutely chuffed-" He lets out a cackle and bends to kiss the man full on the mouth, hard. Sonny Jim remains wide-eyed and frozen throughout, and Sweet can feel a trickle of fear coming back. He retreats with a loud "Mwah," and, still in his personal space and holding his head, continues: "I'm gonna rip your heart out through your throat." He stands back up and takes a step back. "But first my employer's got some questions for yeh. Sir?" steps back to make room for his boss.
- Frankie peers at the man with mild curiosity, pushing down the immediate and persistent desire to rip him to shreds. He pours himself a drink while Simon has his sweet reunion. He sips while watching the show. Enjoyable. It was rare to see Sutler exhibit this much emotion, but he really did find it quite pleasurable. The threat especially, sends his blood boiling as a shiver runs down his spine... Frankie /liked/ this side of him, he really should track down more of the people from Simon's past he hated,... that poisoned the family. Frankie sparks back into reality. "Well hello there, Mister Jim. Or Sonny? I'd ask what you prefer, but to be honest I don't give a crap. So let's make a long, tedious session short. You are fucked and in all like hood, we are going to kill you." He grins and downs the rest of his glass. "So how's business going?"
- Sweet looks on eagerly as his old friend flounders. "I-I," he starts, and Sweet laughs quietly in response. The Sonny Jim /he/ knew wouldn't act like this. Wouldn't be this afraid. It's his presence, he knows, that's making him confused, making it difficult for him to think clearly. His gaze keeps slipping to look at Sweet, even if he's in the background for now. He takes a deep breath, and seems to collect himself.
[11:41] * Sweet He looks back at Frankie, and raises an eyebrow. "Didn't know the Mafia was so desp'rate for employment. I thought you guys didn't accept Squares?"
- Frankie fills with anger. This bastard doesn't fear him. He doesn't need Simon to tell him that much. The idiot is dismissing him. Frankie's vibe builds quickly at the slight. He slaps the man without warning, restraining his vibe. No jumping to electrocution this early in the game. "What we accept is none of your fucking business. All you gotta know is that you are boned, and better start talkin right quick if you'd like to keep your motherfucking throat all nice and pretty and not ripped ta shreds. Or we could just cook ya- I'm quite good, I can keep it to a limb at a time?" Frankie refills his glass. "Or, if ya wanna be a tough guy, I can jus let Mr. Sutler here wipe every happy memory ya ever had? I'm a reasonable man. You have options, sir. But I'm afraid none'a them include anymore back talk."
- Sweet scowls when the word "Square" is mentioned. As Valentine's speaking, he saunters back over to the chair. Their subject /is/ scared, but hiding it well. Like they were all trained to do. He looks confused when his abilities are mentioned, though. "Let him /what/?" By this time, Sweet has arrived behind Sonny, and he pulls his head back harshly. "Allow me to explain, /brother/," he says calmly. "As you must be confused." He puts his hands on the man's temples and brings up his fear, inch by inch. "I was a bit of a late bloomer," Sonny Jim starts to breathe heavily, eyes looking around him for an escape. Little whimpers come from his mouth. "My vibe only developed fully when I was... Seventeen? Eighteen?" Tears stream down Sonny Jim's face and he starts sobbing, pleading, trying to jerk his head out of Sweet's hands. He's tapping into his worst fears- who knows what kind of monsters he and Frankie look like to the man now. "No, shh, shh-So that was about four years after you left, /brother/. But," Sonny Jim's screaming now, his cries filling up the room and hurting his ears so wonderfully. "I'm not a Square." And just like that, he lets go of the man's face and retreats from his mind, sending back to his normal state. The fear comes back within a second though, this time naturally. "Oh God," he breathes. "Oh, God." Sweet grins. "Exactly. Now, tell us about the ambrosia."
- Frankie 's eyes follow Simon, trying to read what he knows. It's far more informative than the carefully pushed away fear from their friend here. So much insight that body language alone couldn't tell him... and reading Simon in this state was more than fascinating. Sutler was showing as much emotion in the last few minutes as he had over a span of months. It almost distracts him from his contempt. Which is very much appeased at the screams. The man's cries of agony pulls at something deep inside Frankie, an animal thing that adored the noise. He usually tried to push it down, now that Simon accompanied him, but it was Simon himself who was inflicting it. Frankie starts laughing, softly at first, but it escalates into wild, manic crowing. He can't compose himself to ask more questions. He doesn't try. Sutler's on a roll.
- Sweet waits patiently as his old friend collects himself enough to speak, gently threading his fingers through the man's thick hair. It's a direct threat. "I, hhh, I don't /know/," he blurts out, flinching every time Simon's hands move. "I got a shit batch, I didn't try it myself I just wanted the money, Sweet, come on-" Sweet's fingernails dig painfully hard into his scalp, a clear signal to /stop talking/. Sweet smiles when the older man obeys. "Okay, I believe you. Now, who sold it to you?" He's only half-listening, knowing that Valentine's paying attention to the actual case. He couldn't give a shit, not with this goldmine before him, so he flits through his old friend's memories, trying to find useful things. Sweet "Uhm..." Sonny Jim says. "I-I don't remember, some UG bird-" Sweet sighs, disappointed. "You have a notoriously bad memory, Sonny," he says. "Conveniently forgetting important things when it's in your interest. Sonny Jim wants to leave us, so he forgets that he's the only one with an income so he can scurry off, guilt-free, assuming his brothers and sisters will turn out alright without his help." Sweet lets his hands stroke down the sides of Sonny's face. "Now, I've got a notoriously /good/ memory, so unless you start thinkin' real hard about 'that UG bird', I can relate to you my first-hand experiences of just how not alright we all turned out."
- Frankie composes himself as the screaming stops. It's like a come-down; he feels de-energized. He craves more of the man's anguish. That's not good with Simon here. He'd managed for so very long to keep his nature hidden from the kid. It was too private, that. He tries to focus. Listening to the recount of events helps. A tiny strain of curiosity makes its way through, and he wonders how this murderous, lazy drug dealer fits into Sutler's history. It becomes more persistent as Simon speaks, and Frankie starts to fizz with tiny whirls of harmless light; very uncommon. But Simon was handling things as well as he could ask... perhaps he could ask Bo for a reassignment, leave this to Simon while he handled the more physical assignments that he far preferred.......
- Sweet goes to stand in front of Sonny Jim expectantly. "I don't..." he starts, and Sweet raises an eyebrow, "I don't /know/, alright?" Fuck. The man's getting over his fear again- he can think too clearly. Simon cocks his head at him and quietly takes out and lights a cigarette, just thinking and searching. At the end, he comes to a conclusion. "He's fucking her. Oh, Sonny, you always did like your women, didn't you?" He jerks his head and brings forward a very vivid, emotional memory of a girl named Marlene King which leaves his subject gasping. He takes a drag of his cigarette, and steps back. The look he gives Valentine is pretty clear; right now is the time for physical pain.
- Frankie grits his teeth. He realizes that the man is suffering, with Sweet's vibe, but it’s so disgustingly internal, he is missing the visual acknowledgement of suffering. More screaming. He needs it. As much as he needs his electricity. He fingers his knife, restless. He wants to dig it into something, make it feel helpless and unspeakable pain, just as he did, so many, many times. Control, and justice, and - A wash of something- an incredibly dear loved one he'd almost let the monster violently devour.... Frankie's breathing comes fast. That was not meant for him. Sutler knows better. The single bulb flares back on as Frankie regains his composure. He pulls one of the knives waiting for him on the counter. Lifts the blindfold. He's shining too brightly for the man to see clearly, as usual. But he knows that the knife is visible, reflecting the brilliant light in a deadly warning. "I know ya love her. As I said. I'm reasonable. You got a choice, always. You, or her."
- Sonny Jim looks frantically from Sweet to Valentine and back again. "I..." his voice sounds wobbly. Sweet stares him dead in the eye, gaze intense. He looks back at Frankie. Oh, he's scared now. "I... don't remember who she is." Sweet laughs. Oh, that was exactly what he was hoping for. If he'd have given them her name, he would've just killed him and that would be the end of it. But now... now it would be slow. Painful. Now, he could tell Sonny Jim what he'd been missing. "Oh, I really was hoping you'd say that."
- Frankie's breath hitches. Sweet's overflowing with emotions. He can feel eagerness, anticipation- unsure if it's his own or Sweet's... It doesn't matter, he can hardly sit still. No, he can't sit still, he realizes, and paces in front of 'Sonny Jim', continuing his blinding display. IT was for the best, though. He'd learned the basics of this at a young age - forgetting to disorient the senses was complete amateur hour. He can see from each tiny twitch, that the man is terrified of Sweet. The jealousy would send him after Sutler himself, if not for the vibe emotions- what next? What agony do I have the pleasure of witnessing??? Frankie takes another drink, hands clenching and unclenching. He's never enjoyed another's work so much as tonight.
- Sweet starts to talk as Frankie starts blinding and confusing his former brother, serving to confuse him further; too much information, too much going on to pay attention to. "Hey Sonny, you remember Min?" For all accounts, he's sounding like he's in a bar with a mate, catching up. He gets sterner when the man doesn't reply for concentrating on Frankie's movements. "I said do you /remember her/, Sonny." "Y-Yes..." "Pretty, wasn't she?" "I... g-guess..." "Yeh, a right looker. Too young, then, at twelve, but if you gave her a few more years, she'd have probably met a rich bloke or summat, would've gotten 'er out... Had a crush on you, y'know." Sonny almost forgets to respond again, which Sweet doesn't like. "What happened to her?" He asks with a shaky voice, nearly stumbling over his words to appease Sweet, who smiles wryly at him even though he's invisible behind Frankie. "Started workin' street corners with Jane'n me." Seventeen and fourteen, his mind supplied. Not that it mattered, then. "We didn't like it, but she wanted to do'er bit to help the Siblings. Then she got in a car and didn't come back." Sonny Jim starts crying quietly.
- Frankie continues pacing.... like an angry wild-cat, more than a sane and civilized man. He listens to the story as if in a dream, filled with foreign emotions that he never realizes are not his own. He is furious as he asks Sonny the innocent question- Feels as if a storm is building when he follows up - it's growing, too intense to be contained- The big reveal- Frankie never knew this girl, didn't know her fate until seconds before Simon utters the words- He's hooked on every emotion. His soul is merged, and he needs this man dead, for the death of his little sister. "I am going to kill this man now," Frankie drones automatically- a memorized phrase, after too many accidents. It gave Sweet the chance to stop him or let the rage free. Sutler had complete control with this warning.
- Sweet raises a hand at his boss, to tell him to wait, just a little while. Slowly, he makes his way to his brother again, his heels clacking on the floor. When he's in front of him, looking down, he drops his cigarette and stomps it out. "Everyone's dead," he says, and Sonny looks at him as if he were a god avenging, a halo of electricity and beautiful light behind him. "All of our siblings. Except for me." Sweet reaches out and touches his hand to Sonny's face. The man chokes as every single memory of the people he left flashes before his eyes in a span of a mere ten seconds. When his vision clears again, he can see a tear roll down Simon's face. "You couldn't bring yourself to care. Goodbye, brother." Sweet turns, and nods at Frankie.
- Frankie 's muscles tense as he prepares to spring at the man in the chair- he'll rip his throat out- except a tiny tug from Simon... the hand... the tightly coiled mass of energy relaxes, and Frankie leans back against the wall. The bulb above gives one last shuttering flare and a pop. Frankie becomes the only light source. He tries to relax, gently will the thunder back down. The tiniest of vibe spills- Frankie's drowned in memories his sisters, brothers. The ones he'd never know the fate of. Then his mother. Mr. C. The Daily brothers. His crew, each as dear as blood... Worst of all, but inevitably, Poppy. He doesn't realize it is Sweet's gesture that frees him, but he comes to on the gory, charred mass that was Sonny Jim. Even as he comes to, he doesn't stop stabbing it, burning it, wishing for the apathetic monster's eternal damnation in hell.
- Sweet forces himself to watch as the last link to his past dies horrifically. It's odd, but he doesn't feel pleased. He's glad of the man's death, of course, but instead of the glee he felt when he had him in his clutches, a dull ache has filled his head. He's entirely splattered with blood; not as bad as Frankie, but still. Almost absently, he brings a red hand to his mouth and tastes it- for some reason, he feels like he has to. He watches for a while, then seems to come out of his trance when he realizes that Frankie's /still going/. He calmly walks up behind him and rests a hand on his shoulder. "Sir," he says softly, "It's done." He can't even recognize his brother anymore.
- Frankie head is filled with screaming- somehow, killing this man will make everything alright- they will all come back, or be avenged, if he can just finish this- but each stab refuses to bring him peace- Frankie whirls at Simon's touch, teeth bared, knife raised, eyes glowing golden as he throws off sparks into the crimson slick room. The hand strangling the burnt, ripped out throat relaxes. "It still hurts," he growls, filled with rage that is tugged along by the slightest touch from Simon's overwhelming vibe, and suddenly he's developed in a horror. Minutes ago, this was a recognizable human. Now what? Simply meat and ash and blood and bone. Frankie releases the corpse. Wipes his face, and rinses his mouth with whiskey before taking a gulp that goes down into his belly. "Very good, Mr. Sutler. We'll washup. I'll write the report. First thing tomorrow I'll send some'a the boys ta investigate the shop further-" He spits a piece of unidentifiable flesh out. More whiskey.
- Sweet takes a step back when he is threatened, but is not afraid. He nods politely at his boss' words but stays silent. Frankie spits out a piece of Sonny. He stares at it. Suddenly, grief takes over the anger and horror and wordlessly, he starts preparing. There's a small closet in the corner from which he takes two garbage bags. He comes back and kneels next to the corpse so he can start to stuff the remains of his brother into them. Normally, he'd be wearing gloves for this, but he finds that he wants it like this. He wants to see the blood on his hands. If it's his fault this one died, at least there will be someone to blame outside of cruel fate.
- Frankie calmly watches Simon with feelings that waver towards murderous. He's unstable- the coating and taste of blood and guts is not helping matters. Suddenly a sharp sadness. It's not his. It can't be. He didn't have these emotions for anyone new. He refuses to be this invested. Frankie rallies, turns away slowly. He's fine outwardly as he drags out the heavy containers of dissolving chemicals. He spits red again. The taste won’t leave. He sets everything down by Sweet and gets the plastic bins from the next room. His footsteps are red. His handprints are red. He spits. The flavor won’t go away.
- Sweet carefully places the garbage bags in the plastic containers, then stoops down to pick up the pieces that he missed and puts them in there as well. With difficulty, he picks up the containers and pours the corrosive material in, releasing a powerful pungent smell which he quickly smothers by putting the lids on the bins. There. He wheels the bins into the corner of the room and collects everything he needs for cleaning material out of the closet. He goes to fetch some warm water in a bucket, adds cleaning soap, and gets on his knees to scrub.
- Frankie is not a boss, not a leader- he's nothing but a lackey. A crazy one at that. He kneels down to scrub with Simon. The sooner this place was clean, the sooner he'd never have to see it again. He scrubs thoroughly, not missing a singly corner- a habit he'd developed when the cleaning actually mattered, when there was actually as law to give a damn over monstrosities like this. Now it's just him and God, and God'd turned his back long ago.... Frankie scrubs more furiously, trying to wipe out the thoughts. The main problem here is that, as he thoroughly wipes at the viscera, he simply leaves a trails of what is on him...
- Sweet keeps scrubbing until everything is clean but themselves, still covered in blood. When they are done, he sits back, on the floor against the wall, and thinks /fuck it/. He pours himself a glass of whiskey, drains it in one go, and then pours another. He then hands the bottle to Frankie. "There were about fifteen of us at any given time. Ages ranged from seven to about twenty- 'cept for Mississippi Gene, he was old as balls, like forty-five or summat. Called each other siblings because we didn’t have any real family or nothin’, and it started as a joke but... Brothers and sisters, you know?”
- Frankie sits by Simon and removes a silk glove that is now red, and really doesn't make the statement he'd initially intended. Underneath, his hand is red too. He dunks it in the bucket of red, soapy water before taking the bottle from Sutler. He lets his built energy bleed into the wall socket, and his eyes return to clear blue as he listens and pours them both a new shot. "S all ya can do here. Take who ya can fer'a family..." But they're all dead. The echo of the memory- he's stabbed by the ghost of Sonny's emotion- or maybe it's Simon's. Frankie drinks. Pours. "I know." Drinks.
- Sweet takes a long sip and lights another cigarette. Now's the time to share, he guesses. He's felt his employer's curiosity since he started working for him, but never indulged much unless there'd been a direct question, and even then. "I had parents, but they got killed when I was about eight or so. Long enough after V-day for people to start hatin' squares- my dad," he explains. "I got took to an orphanage, but... I ended up hittin' one of the kids there with a table leg, over and over until... Yeah, I ran away. The Siblings took me in. And... you know. Cold, Vibes messing up, hunger, Morris dancers, fights, kids like Min...People joined, but lots died as well. And I ain't sayin' you get used to seein' your family die, but... you kind of do. Was about five of us left when the war hit, and after that... just me. One of the skinniest, weakest kids of the bunch who'd only just developed 'is Vibe, and I survived kids like Dave Souls and Jane, and they were /well/ tough. I survived everyone." He takes a deep breath after his story, feeling... relieved, somehow. He exhales smoke, and gestures vaguely at the bins. "Sonny Jim, too, now."
- Frankie closes his eyes to shut out the room. He'd grab a cigarette of his own- Simon's habit always itched at him to join... but he knows he'll burn it before he can take even two blessed mouthfuls... He breaths meditatively in the dark, and isn't quite ready for the sudden blunt honesty from Sutler.... only eight?... The ragged man in his memory morphs into a ragged boy. He'd never known this kid. He shouldn't care. He doesn't want to care anymore. He doesn't want the idiotic, futile feelings that had sent him to war. The desire to prevent more Simon Sullivans from living a life like this. "That... that's what the war wass fer, I thought... sso no one'd have t’go through what yoush did. Wanted ta fix everythiin. Too late fer you. Too late ffer that basstard." he nods in the direction of Jim. "But we'd hoped...." It had been an idiotic notion. Especially when contained in a mind capable of.... Frankie slides around the bins. "M'ssorry kiddo."
- Sweet nods solemnly, and downs his glass. It tastes a bit like the blood that's still clinging to every inch of his skin. "Thanks, boss." He takes a deep sigh. "We didn't actually blame him or anything, though. Sonny, that is. It's just that... we woke up one day and he was just gone. Poof. Not a trace. As if none of it meant anything." He smiles wryly. Pours. Drinks. "Thought he was dead, the tosser." Sweet stands up, a bit wobbly, and turns to look at Frankie, cigarette perched in the corner of his lips. "Don't know about you, sir, but I could use a shower. We'll come back tomorrow to dump the barrels.
- Frankie had gotten the strange impression that the deaths were all Sonny's fault... He can't explain why. "That'sss what thish guy does, then, it'd sseem. What he did. Get'sa bad batch'a product, it ain't hiss problem. Problem with his family, same fucking thing. People die ffeer that kin'a apathy." He knows it's not that simple... survival, hopelessness, desperation... but the ethical problem is currently dissolving in a stew of chemicals, and not worth the headache. Frankie finishes off the bottle unceremoniously and crawls to his feet, using the wall and his knife to prevent himself from landing on his face. "Tomorrow. Yea. Ssshower now. No big fucckin hurry'a coursse- You ok there, kiddo?" he asks as he notices Simon's unsteadiness, feeling an intense protectiveness- no. It's too late. Eight year old Simon Sutler can't be saved. "Ne'er mind. Juss'a ssshower."
- Sweet is shaking a bit, whether it's because of the alcohol, the adrenaline crash or something else, he doesn't know. Frankie's emotions suddenly make him deeply sympathetic towards the man- a good man, despite what he just saw happen. That was just instinct. He pats Valentine's shoulder with a familiarity that won't come again anytime soon. "The universe is nasty, and there's no one to blame." Sweet smiles at his boss, then leads the way out the door to find the nearest showers. Right now, he just wants to be clean and sleep.