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the truth burns

Discussion in 'Pandora, Year 1 - 7' started by Lift Reyes, Jan 2, 2018.

  1. Lift Reyes

    Lift Reyes The Stormlight Archive

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    DECEMBER 6, YEAR 7
    EARLY EVENING | AROUND 1830
    @Johnny Blaze & @Reaper



    This is dreadfully undignified, mistress.

    The spren's voice sounded in the back of her mind, sounding totally annoyed, as Lift hefted the large, brightly silver wrench in one hand, comparing it to the normal one she held in the other. The Shardwrench was way too elegant for a wrench, with lots of flowing symbols down the handle, and it glowed faintly white along the edges. It glittered too bright, as well, like it had been polished a million times.

    "Stop whinging," she said. "You're always complaining over being a weapon. Ain't it better being a tool?"

    I... suppose... Wyndle sighed. But how many times must we do this? I think you must have summoned me as every metal tool in this garage by now.

    Lift shrugged, letting the Shardwrench disappear into mist as she dropped the normal wrench back onto the tool bench. Wyndle reappeared next to it, a coil of vines that somehow managed to look exasperated. "I was curious how much different stuff ya could turn into," she said carelessly. "Might as well have done summat while waiting for Johnny to finish."

    She'd been there for a couple hours - ever since she'd turned up in the town to say hello to the guy - stuck waiting around while Johnny worked on some car or whatever that was taking longer to deal with than he'd expected. He'd said he'd teach her how to ride a motorcycle when he was done, and she was so impatient for it that she'd ended up just hanging around and peering at all his stuff. After a while she'd started summoning Wyndle as various different types of Shardblades. Hammers, wrenches, screwdrivers, all sortsa stuff s'long as they was metal. Made her wonder why all the Radiants were warriors. Why not have crafter Radiants who just made stuff with really cool legendary tools?

    Plopping herself down on a stool and wondering if she'd've been better just staying in John's hill a bit longer and coming here later instead, she hummed tunelessly, turning bright white eyes up at the ceiling, scuffing her heels across the floor. If she had to wait much longer she'd just go outside and find out what he was doing. Surely it couldn't take this long to fix a hunk of metal.


     
    #1 Lift Reyes, Jan 2, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 2, 2018
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  2. Johnny Blaze

    Johnny Blaze Marvel Universe

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    Ghost Rider//Mechanic
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    46
    Lift, sadly, didn’t necessarily understand when Johnny said he had some work to do before he could just laze about with her. And so he explained, to the best of his ability, to the girl that he had to fix this car engine before 3:30 today. But if he got it done fast, he’d take her on a motorcycle ride.

    In truth, he was glad she texted before she arrived. He’d also been working on her own Christmas gift, which was situated under a sheet in the back of the garage. Hopefully the nosy girl wouldn’t peek, but even if she did he’d explain it away that it belonged to a client. She would be none the wiser that the little red motorcycle that still needed new tires and a new fuel line…… was actually hers.

    For now though, he tinkered away at the engine, listening to Lift talk to herself in the back room every once in a while (hopefully staying out of trouble…. It was a vain hope). And listening to good ole’ Johnny Cash on the radio…

    ”…Just poor people, that’s all we were
    Trying to make a living out of blackland dirt.
    but we'd get together in a family circle singin' loud

    daddy sang bass (mama sang tenor)
    me and little brother would join right in there
    singin' seems to help a troubled soul
    one of these days and it won't be long
    i'll rejoin them in a song
    i'm gonna join the family circle at the throne…”


    Johnny himself happily sang along to the bridge, even going so far as making his voice go high and squeaky at ‘mama sang tenor’. Probably enough that if Lift was listening, she’d make fun of him for it…..

    As such, he was having such a good time all on his own, that it was only the soft warning growl in his head that caused him to turn around, realizing that someone was watching him from the tree line that surrounded the garage. As Johnny Cash kept singing merrily right along, Johnny put down his wrench and hesitantly scanned the tree line. Meanwhile: Zarathos only growled harder. Something was wrong that caused that demon to get all fussed…..
     
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  3. Gabriel Reyes

    Gabriel Reyes Overwatch
    The grave cannot hold me.

    Posts:
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    It had taken some digging around, but Reaper had finally put two and two together, the mystery of who Ghost Rider really was not as hard to solve as he’d originally feared.

    After Amelie had grown calmer, more collected, she’d provided him with a photo of the man she’d been hired to assassinate. Reaper had been surprised to discover the man was a fairly nondescript blond. A dime a dozen, in Reaper’s books. But Amelie’s employer had clearly known who the man was in advance, had wanted Amelie to take him out before he could become Ghost Rider, and had failed to actually warn her of the man’s identity beforehand.

    After a thorough interrogation that had left the employer missing some key body parts, Reaper had finally gotten a name out of him: Johnny Blaze. He’d heard the name from somewhere before, though. When he’d dug around a little more online, he’d discovered that the man lived in Misty Hollow, and had a mechanic shop to boot. Which had brought to mind Lift’s sole other contact in her phone, the one she’d nicknamed flaming skull head he’d called once, though he’d hung up almost immediately.

    At first, he’d thought the contact in her phone was just a coincidence. He’d been suspicious, sure. But he’d just brushed it off, ignoring the paranoid voice in the back of his head. Hell, there were a fuckload of weird people roaming around this world, people who weren’t even people in the strictest sense of the word. It’d seemed stupid to think that Lift knew Ghost Rider well enough to have him as a fucking contact. He’d have to have a hell of a long talk with her when they met up again tomorrow.

    But first... first, he had some vengeance to deal with.

    He donned his disguise to get to Misty Hollow through the portals, then discarded it and blended into the shadows the way he always did. Tracking down the mechanic shop had been child’s play after that. Once Reaper found it, he slinked behind a tree, watching balefully.

    There he was. The asshole who knew his real name. The bastard who’d fucked Amelie over. He was right there, tinkering away at a car engine. So close, so exposed. Reaper’s anger seethed like something tangible, wisps of smoke rising from his arms and shoulders, urging him to act.

    No, the circle won’t be broken, Johnny Cash continued singing in the background, even as Reaper allowed his body to melt, his mind to fragment, feeling himself sink into a pool that was bottomless, endless…

    Reaper reformed behind Blaze, bones snapping into joints and muscles knitting into tendons, shotgun already in hand and pressing against the top of Blaze’s spine. By and by, Lord, by and by, Blaze’s namesake sang, just as Reaper pulled the trigger.

     
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  4. Johnny Blaze

    Johnny Blaze Marvel Universe

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    354
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    Male
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    Ghost Rider//Mechanic
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    (Super)human
    Age:
    46
    Close calls, squeezing by the skin of his damn teeth, was a constant in the life of Johnny Blaze. Even Ghost Rider himself got into some close calls when heavenly weapons came into play (Johnny wouldn’t forget that one heaven-forged bullet that one asshole priest used on him any time soon, he was pretty sure his skull still had the bullet hole if anyone bothered to look close enough).

    But as a human? Lots of villains figured out pretty quick that human Johnny was a soft nougat center wrapped in leather and old man skin. Lots of them tried to pick him off before he could go Ghost Rider. Shit: some of them got close. Too close at times….

    And as for this time: Johnny felt the gun press against his back, the black powder burn his skin, just as Zarathos took over and essentially saved his hide yet again. The bullet melting in hellfire as the Rider turned and threw a burning fist into Reaper’s face. Letting out a roar like a lion.

    Whooooo boy. Johnny breathed in Zarathos’ mind, We gotta get him away from the damn garage! Ah Jesus, Lift!

    They had to get him away from the garage. They had to get him away from Lift, who was messing around in the backroom innocent as can be to the danger. Ah well: she was a smart cookie. She’d maybe peek and see the fight, slide out the back, go get help….

    The Rider grabbed Reaper by the front of his clothes, using supernatural strength to throw him out towards the drive way. Rushing towards where he was thrown like a bull rushing at a bull fighter. Just keep pushing him away…..

    Once they were a safe enough distance, they could fight freely.
     
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  5. Gabriel Reyes

    Gabriel Reyes Overwatch
    The grave cannot hold me.

    Posts:
    527
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    Male
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    Mercenary
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    Human
    Age:
    50s
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    Chaotic Neutral
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    link

    Too little, too late seemed to be the motto of Reaper’s life.

    Even as he pulled the trigger, the nondescript blond man was suddenly surrounded by fire and there Ghost Rider was, in all his hellish glory. Reaper didn’t even manage to put some distance between them before he felt the specter’s fist connect with his mask. He growled, stumbling backwards and pressing a hand to his mask to make sure it was still in one piece. But then he felt himself swept off his feet and hurled into the air.

    The air rushed around him, whistling in his ears. But just as Reaper was going to crash into the ground, he wraithed instead. He became a mass of smoke that unfurled harmlessly over the concrete and even over Ghost Rider, who’d been towards him like a bull who’d singled out a matador de toros.

    “It’s your turn to pay for your sins,” came Reaper’s voice, even as he reformed several feet behind Ghost Rider. Perhaps fighting the specter head-on was a foolish choice — scratch that, it was strategically unsound; he’d been counting on taking Blaze out when he’d still been human — but it was a choice he wasn’t willing to back down from. Not again, not when the cost had been so high.

    “You should have stayed away from her, Johnny Blaze,” he added, opening fire.

     
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  6. Johnny Blaze

    Johnny Blaze Marvel Universe

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    Ghost Rider//Mechanic
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    Johnny’s entire mentality was to keep Reaper away from the building. But the man clearly had other plans in his twisted brain. At least they were far enough into the parking lot of the building that he could start maneuvering him out into the woods and then….

    Reaper wraithed then, causing the Rider to skid to a stop. Watching as black smoke like dust filtered up and above him like that one scene from Willy Wonka with the TV kid. God he wished he had his weapons. This fight would feel ten thousand times easier.

    And then Reaper said his name, started opening fire. Johnny felt his stomach drop: well settling down in one place had been fun while it lasted. But it seemed like the threat of Ghost Rider was not enough to keep the villains away. The question of course was ‘who was her’???

    Cause Reaper was under the impression that he remembered all the evil assassin ladies that he’d ever penanced stared.

    Zarathos, meanwhile, happily took over the fight. And saw a particular opportunity, started to rush forward as Reaper opened fire. Ignoring the bullets that hit and the ones that missed, the ones hit only impacting his speed a little. ”You are a deluded monster, Gabriel Reyes. You blame others for your sin…. When you loved to kill and harm innocent people long before you met us.”

    When he reached Gabriel, he grabbed the shotgun in his hand, the metal twisting, the hellfire potentially burning the man’s hand to let him let go. Using the element of surprise, he used the butt of the shotgun to slam into Reaper’s face.

    ”And now you will pay for them with your soul… just as you will pay for threatening my host.” He growled, grabbing Reaper’s front again and pulling him close. ”Look into my eyes….”
     
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  7. Lift Reyes

    Lift Reyes The Stormlight Archive

    Posts:
    737
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Thief / Knight Radiant
    Race:
    Human - Surgebinder
    Age:
    15
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Directory:
    link


    The sound of a single gunshot cracked through the air so suddenly that Lift jumped, spinning around on the spot and staring towards the entrance of the garage. Almost immediately it was followed by a roar that sent shivers down her spine. What...

    It took a moment to realise that the noises had come from right outside the garage, where Johnny had been working on that car. Johnny! Storms! For a couple seconds, Lift was frozen to the spot, not really sure what she could do when she had no idea what was going on. Then she clenched her jaw, and grabbed the remaining half of a sandwich she'd been munching on. Stuffing it all into her mouth and chewing as fast as she could, coughing as she tried to swallow too much in one go. She had awesomeness already, but it was always better to get more if she could.

    And then she ran out of the garage, intending to distract whatever threat was going after Johnny. With the car in the way, she saw nothing, only heard a familiar growling voice saying something she couldn't quite make out through the pounding of blood in her ears. She rounded the car, drawing on Stormlight to make herself awesome until white vapour trailed thickly off her skin.

    Then she froze, her still-white eyes widening at the sight of Johnny's flaming skeleton buddy and Reaper, both of them grappling with each other.

    What in Damnation...

    Shaking herself, Lift dashed forward without thinking much. There wasn't much to think about. She wasn't gonna sit by while these two hurt each other, or worse. Whatever storming reason they had for squabbling, she was gonna storming make sure they stopped.

    Sure, one was a fiery skeleton and the other was a half-dead wraith. But she was a Knight Radiant.

    Lift sprinted between them, moving so fast that even before either of them knew she was there she had already used her much smaller frame to wriggle between them, completely heedless of fire or guns or fists.

    "What the storms are you two playing at??" she yelled, twisting herself to the side and planting one palm against Zarathos' chest and the other against Reaper's. And then, drawing on more awesomeness, the vapour of her Stormlight curling up between them, she used all of her strength and heaved, shoving both of them away from each other with a strength no teenager should have managed.


     
    #7 Lift Reyes, Jan 7, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 10, 2018
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  8. Gabriel Reyes

    Gabriel Reyes Overwatch
    The grave cannot hold me.

    Posts:
    527
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    Male
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    Mercenary
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    50s
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Neutral
    Directory:
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    Johnny Blaze was a stupid name, probably not even the man’s real name at all. It was the only name Reaper had, though. But even if Blaze slipped through his fingers, it was no matter. He knew the man’s face now. Blaze could change his name and move towns all he wanted to, but Reaper would still find him no matter where he went, no matter where he hid. Blaze was a marked man.

    But the Ghost Rider advanced, ignoring his shotguns. Oh, the bullets hit him, all right. They just did very little in slowing him down. Reaper snarled, his lips peeling over his teeth, his fingers practically a blur on the triggers. Deluded? It wasn’t the first time he’d been called deluded, or paranoid, but he’d been right. He’d been fucking right to see enemies in every corner, in every shadow. How the fucking hell did the Ghost Rider know so much? It had to do with that stare, that... demonic energy... that surrounded him like hellfire.

    “Gabriel Reyes is dead!” he roared, tossing aside his spent shotguns to pull out a fresh pair from the darkness that always pulsed beneath his skin. This wasn’t about him, goddammit. This was about what the Ghost Rider did to Amelie, and he was going to empty every single fucking bullet into that son of a bitch he could in her name.

    A surge of energy crackled in Reaper's veins. Death Blossom was close, so close he could taste it. But then the Ghost Rider was suddenly there, grabbing one of his shotguns. Reaper hissed, his grip slacking on the sudden iron hot weapon, and grunted when he felt it connect with his face.

    Blinking to clear his vision, his eyes fell upon the skeleton’s gaping eye sockets, empty of all light. No, not empty... there was screaming, there was... Reaper’s teeth gnashed together, a pain building up in the back of his head that was unlike anything he’d felt before, and...

    Suddenly, he was pushed backwards. Reaper stumbled, almost failing to catch himself, his eyes blessedly tearing free of the Ghost Rider’s long enough to feel his head clear. Shit, that asshole almost got me, he thought, a tightness welling up in his throat. And then his eyes fell upon just who’d pushed him aside, the words he’d heard earlier finally registering.

    “Lift?” he demanded, straightening. Fear washed over him, but he wasn’t sure whether it was over her safety or something else. His grip on his shotguns tightened, his arms raising to target the Ghost Rider again before he got too close. “Get the hell out of the way!”

     
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  9. Johnny Blaze

    Johnny Blaze Marvel Universe

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    Age:
    46
    Ghost Rider did not care about Reaper’s anger. About his delusions and paranoia. About his attitude that you were allowed to do something awful to someone, but they were not allowed to claim vengeance back (as he had done with Widow…. And he would do to Reaper if given the chance).

    And he did have the chance, he gazed into Gabriel Reyes’ soul and found the innocent lives he had taken over the course of his long life. And he brought them to the surface, and would have succeeded in the Penance Stare if not for the feeling of a tiny body wiggling between himself and the fiend.

    Zarathos stopped, almost immediately, if only for the fear of the Penance Stare being fewed by the innocent. Johnny immediately started yelping in his head, Holy shit holy fucking shit get her the fuck out of there…..

    She said something then, something about what the hell they were doing, and used her stormlight to push the Rider away, as well as Reaper. But it wasn’t that which panicked both Johnny and Zarathos (which was saying something, as the demon was usually not panicked). It was watching as Reaper said something, and lifted his shotguns….

    …. Pointing them at Lift and demanding she get out of the way.

    The Rider rushed forward, using supernatural speed to grab Lift’s arm and pull her behind him, using his body as a shield against any oncoming bullets from Reaper.

    ”Run Lift. He will kill you if you stay you must run…” Zarathos growled, frustrated, as he turned his attention back to Reaper. Ideally he should be on the ground soaking in his own filth muttering about all the horrible things he’d done. Now he had to get close again. Hopefully Lift would listen this time. ”The Host is safe. We stopped Gabriel Reyes before he could kill him…. But we cannot fight and protect you as well….” He explained, thinking perhaps she stepped in to save Johnny as she did when he protected her from the knife-wielding man.

    How wrong he was of course…..
     
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  10. Lift Reyes

    Lift Reyes The Stormlight Archive

    Posts:
    737
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Thief / Knight Radiant
    Race:
    Human - Surgebinder
    Age:
    15
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Directory:
    link


    Both of them staggered backwards away from each other as she shoved them. From the way both of them stiffened, she gathered that they were pretty storming surprised to see her getting in the way of them. What did they expect, that she'd just storming sit back and let 'em duke it out? What did they even have to fight about in the first place? She had no idea they knew each other!

    Reaper told her to get out of the way - of course he storming did - but before she could do more than roll her bright white eyes, Johnny's skeleton pal had rushed forward, and she felt a hand closing around her upper arm, pulling her backward and practically dragging her behind him, shielded by bone and fire and leather.

    A shield she didn't storming need.

    Zarathos' words gave her pause then. At first she almost laughed at the warning that Reaper would kill her, and then the skeleton mentioned a name she had never heard before. Gabriel Reyes. For a moment, she was close to point out that she didn't know no Gabriel Reyes, but in the context, it was pretty storming obvious what he was referring to. Not like Reaper was the guy's real name, any more than Lift was hers.

    We stopped Gabriel Reyes before he could kill him. Reaper had tried to kill Johnny? But... why? For a second, Lift just stood there behind Zarathos, confusion on her face, before she shoved her way past him and once more put herself directly in between them.

    "I don't need no storming protection," she snapped, still holding onto her awesomeness, the Stormlight continuing to drift off her skin like steam, ready to push 'em away from each other if they went for a scuffle again. "Reaper wouldn't never kill me, and he wasn't tryna kill Johnny neither. He wouldn't. There's some misunderstanding or summat." Maybe he thought Johnny was someone else, some bad guy he needed to sort out. She wasn't naive enough to reckon Reaper hadn't been trying to kill, because she could see the guns in his hands, and she knew he'd killed people before, but it was bad people he went for. People what deserved stuff like that. And he always did it in self-defense, he'd assured her of that when they'd first met.

    She turned her head to look up at Reaper, cocking her head slightly with an expression that plainly said: "Right?"


     
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  11. Gabriel Reyes

    Gabriel Reyes Overwatch
    The grave cannot hold me.

    Posts:
    527
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    50s
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Neutral
    Directory:
    link

    Ghost Rider’s hand closed around Lift’s arm, and Reaper almost opened fire right then and there. But he didn’t want to risk a stray pellet striking Lift, and he hesitated when Ghost Rider shoved her behind him, as if... as if he was protecting her. The sight of it made jealousy burn in Reaper’s chest.

    “Stop calling me that!” he snapped before he could stop himself, a host of emotions raging within him. Smoke began to coalesce around him, rising from his limbs. A physical manifestation of his emotional state, which only served to stoke the flames of his fury.

    Worse still was that Lift had heard his name — no, it wasn’t his name anymore, it was the name of a dead man, damn it! — but she didn’t seem to react to it. She called him Reaper, and stepped around Ghost Rider, claiming she needed no protection from him. Some of the tension bled out of his rigid stance... until Lift insisted that he couldn’t have been trying to kill Blaze and that there was some mistake.

    Reaper’s eyes raked over Lift, the tightness in his throat growing worse. It battled against his fury, which ultimately won him over when his eyes returned to the skeletal figure, empty eye sockets — eyes he doggedly refused to look at — glaring back balefully.

    “He hurt someone I care about,” he ground out between clenched teeth, refusing to lower his shotguns. “He tore into her mind, made her — made her hurt.” Amelie flashed through his mind again, the memory of her curled up on the sofa sobbing her eyes out making his heart clench and his rage burn.

    His eyes fixed on Ghost Rider again. “She’s suffered more than any person should over the last nine years and you just made it worse!” he roared. The fact that he hadn’t opened fire again was nothing short of a miracle. Only Lift still standing between them was what stayed his hand.

     
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  12. Johnny Blaze

    Johnny Blaze Marvel Universe

    Posts:
    354
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    Male
    Occupation:
    Ghost Rider//Mechanic
    Race:
    (Super)human
    Age:
    46
    Ghost Rider let out a frustrated sound that sounded much like a growl as Lift insisted on remaining in between the two opposing sides. Insisting that it was a mistake, that ‘Reaper’ would never hurt Johnny or her. But the Rider knew better. The Rider snarled as Reyes spoke first, insisting the Rider had ‘hurt his poor friend….’

    A liar. A manipulator. A sinner. Reyes would manipulate his way through this innocent child’s mind until he had what he needed from her, and then abandoned her.

    It made the demon strangely furious.

    And so, while Johnny pleaded for him to leave the scene. Do something to protect Lift, Zarathos did so. But not the way Johnny wanted. He used the worst tool against Reaper and that was the truth. ”Your friend tried to kill Lift.” He growled lowly, having seen that particular sin on the woman’s soul. ”She tried to kill the Host….. She had successfully killed hundreds of other innocent souls, and I cleansed her soul of her sin so that she may start anew.”

    …. Uh maybe tone it down a bit, Z? Johnny muttered awkwardly, but the demon did not listen.

    Then the skeleton lifted a finger, pointing at Reaper, ”Just as your so called friend has killed hundreds of innocents, so have you. You, Gabriel Reyes: I have seen the marks of their innocent blood upon your soul. You are drenched in it…. And you enjoy it….”

    The Rider gestured at the girl, ”Tell her the TRUTH!” He roared, fire sparkling off his body. Lying was a sin as well, perhaps one even worse than murder….
     
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  13. Lift Reyes

    Lift Reyes The Stormlight Archive

    Posts:
    737
    Gender:
    Female
    Occupation:
    Thief / Knight Radiant
    Race:
    Human - Surgebinder
    Age:
    15
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Good
    Directory:
    link


    When the accusations started flying between them, Lift felt like she was in a cold ocean, caught in a current that buffeted her first one way and then another. First Reaper accused Zarathos of hurting a friend, of making her suffer, and since she'd only ever heard the guy talk about one woman, he musta meant the one he had the hots for, which made her look around at the flaming skeleton as though for reassurance that he hadn't done no such thing.

    Only for him to hurl accusations of his own. When he growled that Reaper's lady-friend had tried to kill Lift, the young Radiant blinked and blanched as though one of 'em had just punched her right in the nose. It was a feeling of being thrown off-balance that only got worse when the skeleton's accusations kept coming, now referring directly to Reaper.

    Killed hundreds of innocents. Enjoyed it. The blameful words hit her on the way to Reaper with a force like being kicked in the stomach. The sudden roaring of Johnny's pal made her jump, but she slowly looked around at Reaper, who stood stock still in the face of all the finger-pointing. She couldn't even see how he was reacting 'cause of that stupid mask.

    For a moment she just stared at him, her hands curling into fists and then uncurling again, without her even realising they were doing it. She wanted to accuse the skeleton herself, of lying, but she already knew that the weird fiery creature didn't go after innocents. He, too, had told her he only went after bad people who deserved it, just like Reaper had assured her. So who was the bad person here?

    "Is it true?" she asked Reaper. She felt like a rug had been pulled out from under her, making her roll head over butt down some stairs. "He's lying. Tell me he's lying." If one of them had to be lying, she wanted it to not be the man she had allowed herself to connect with more'n anyone else, who she had lived with for months despite her own discomfort with sticking in one spot with anyone. She had trusted him with her life when she'd been kidnapped. She was supposed to be forgiving him for the crem he pulled with the hanging, too. They were s'posed to go back to normal.


     
    #13 Lift Reyes, Jan 11, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 11, 2018
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  14. Gabriel Reyes

    Gabriel Reyes Overwatch
    The grave cannot hold me.

    Posts:
    527
    Gender:
    Male
    Occupation:
    Mercenary
    Race:
    Human
    Age:
    50s
    Alignment:
    Chaotic Neutral
    Directory:
    link

    Reaper’s rage was a fire, a fury. If he could just find Ghost Rider’s soft spot, kill him where he stood right now, it would solve everything.Could he perhaps wraith into Ghost Rider’s body? Kill him from the inside-out, decimate him cell by cell? Reaper hated wraithing into people, hated how invasive it felt and how he came dangerously close to losing himself. But if that was the only way he could take Ghost Rider down, he’d do it. He’d do it in a heartbeat, for Amelie.

    But then Ghost Rider started to speak, claiming he’d cleansed Amelie’s soul of sin. Reaper almost laughed, just because it was all so fucking ridiculous. “She was a victim,” he snarled, his hands on the shotguns starting to shake. “She’s been nothing but a victim all these years and now she won’t—”

    He cut himself off, knowing the words would fall on deaf ears. What would they matter to a creature like the Ghost Rider? Worse, what would they matter to Lift? Reaper had never told her about Amelie’s situation, had only ever mentioned Amelie to her a couple of times in passing. And now Lift knew that Amelie had tried to kill her. There was nothing he could say to soften the blow of such news, to salvage the situation.

    Ghost Rider raised an accusing finger, pointing it at him. It almost felt like staring down the barrel of a gun, Reaper’s vision narrowing to that single point. Blood pounded in his ears, his throat tightening so much that it actually hurt. But the hurt was nothing compared to the way every word that passed through the skeleton’s teeth slammed into him worse than any of Winston’s punches ever did. He didn’t want to stare at Lift, didn’t want to see the look he knew would be in her eyes. It would be the same look she’d had after he hanged himself, the same hurt and betrayal. No, it would be worse. Fuck, it would be so much worse.

    He was silent, not trusting himself to speak or look at Lift. The words hung between them in the air, nothing but the crackling flames of the fire continuously rolling off Ghost Rider’s body filling the silence. Reaper’s eyes finally tore away from Ghost Rider, inevitably... inevitably falling on Lift. On how she was standing there and staring at him with... not with hurt, not with betrayal, but need in her eyes. So much need, and desperation, and faith.

    It made something twist in Reaper’s insides, something thick and putrid rise up to his throat like bile. Stop looking at me like that! he wanted to scream, but he couldn’t bring himself to utter the words. All he could do was stand there, frozen. Because nothing he said would fix this. If he lied, Ghost Rider would fucking call him out on it. If he lied, he’d push Lift even further away, make her think even less of him than she already did. But if he said the truth, he’d push her away anyway because he’d led her on, because he’d made her think that he wasn’t a heartless killer who got off of killing people.

    He’d lose Lift no matter what. No, he’d already lost her.

    Grinding his teeth together, Reaper let a shuddering breath pass through his lips and the shotguns he’d been clutching so tightly vanished in puffs of smoke. He was all too aware of how Lift was staring at him as he dropped his hands, of how such a simple action like making his shotguns disappear was as good as admitting the truth of Ghost Rider’s accusations.

    Say something, you idiot! he told himself. But what could he say? What could he do? He couldn’t bring himself to say anything, or do anything, or... fucking hell. He tore his gaze away from Lift, hands balling into fists by his side.

     
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  15. Lift Reyes

    Lift Reyes The Stormlight Archive

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    The talk about Reaper's lady friend stayed at the back of Lift's mind, unimportant. The news that she - whoever she actually was - had tried to kill Lift was surprising but ultimately, Lift didn't really care about that. It wasn't the first time someone had tried to kill her - or even the third - and it probably wasn't gonna be the last neither. 'Sides, chances were she didn't even know Lift knew Reaper. That was the part that didn't really bother her.

    No, what bothered her was everything about Reaper. Everything that she was waiting to hear was a lie from Johnny's pal. She stared at Reaper with the kinda faith in her eyes that she had avoided putting in anyone for most of her life ever since her mama had died. She felt desperation, hope that the one lying was the weird-ass flaming monster, that Reaper would assure her that he'd always been telling the truth about only ever going for bad people in self-defence. She had never trusted anyone in the way she had him. She needed to know it wasn't all for nothing. That that trust and faith in him wasn't a lie.

    He said nothing, but the way his weapons suddenly disappeared in dark smoke that was so similar and yet so opposite to the white mist that marked her own weapon was as much an admission that Flame Skull was telling the truth as if he'd said the words. No, as if he'd screamed the words right in her face.

    She felt a lump in her throat that made it hard to swallow, and prickly heat start up in the corners of her eyes. Her bottom lip trembled, and she bit down on it, hard, not caring about the pain. Her eyes shone with tears that she worked hard to hold back. Same as with not more than a few days ago, she refused to show him how much he could hurt her. Only this felt like way more pain than what he'd pulled in the jungles had caused. She could excuse that as desperation. But this? Finding out that he had killed hundreds of people, innocent people? That he'd enjoyed it? She felt sick. The lump in her throat grew bigger.

    "I..." Her voice was hoarse, sound almost like a choking sound from the tears she tried to hold back. Anger bubbled inside her, anger at herself for being so stupid as to ever put her faith in anyone when she had spent her life avoiding such things, and anger at him for lying to her all this time. It bubbled up so high in her chest that she needed to vent it. Her hand curled into a fist, Stormlight drifting from her skin and thickening in the air as she pulled on more of it from deep within her body.

    She was already close to him where she had positioned herself between him and Zarathos, so all she had to do was pull her fist back, and then - using the very training Reaper himself had hammered into her - she slammed it into his midsection, ignoring the pain as her fist connected to his body armour. The Stormlight-powered blow would send him flying several yards, and when she pulled her fist back, the knuckles shone with blood where the skin had split from the force of the blow.

    Shaking her hand as the skin quickly healed, Lift stared at where Reaper had landed. "I don't know you." Then she turned around, not looking at Johnny's demon pal, and took off into the forest, a blur of white vapour as she made herself Slick to go as fast as possible away from both of them.

    Wyndle had been sitting silently as a waist-high tower of vines with a face on top nearby. With Lift gone, he made himself visible, crystalline eyes on Reaper. It was the first time Johnny or the demon would have seen him, but he didn't care. He just focused on Reaper. "You should have left her well enough alone when I told you to," he said coldly, before disappearing from view again, zipping off after his mistress into the darkness of the forest.


     
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  16. Gabriel Reyes

    Gabriel Reyes Overwatch
    The grave cannot hold me.

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    Fucking say something! his mind screamed at him again, but he just couldn’t bring himself to. His hands kept balling and unballing into fists by his sides, his throat tight with emotion.

    A part of him knew that he ought to feel something at all of Ghost Rider’s accusations, at having killed hundreds — maybe even thousands, considering just how many armed conflicts he’d taken part in — over all these years. But all he felt was... a cold dread washing over him at how he could feel Lift’s eyes on him, something dark and sinuous squeezing around his chest so tightly that every breath he drew felt like a struggle.

    It didn’t matter how many he’d killed up until now, or how much he’d enjoyed it. It did, but he felt nothing for them. He’d killed them all — innocent and guilty alike — and that was that. Not even Angela’s words, returning to him to accuse him of finding such enjoyment in killing, could move him. He knew it was wrong, somewhere in a dark corner of his mind — knew that who he’d once been would be horrified, disgusted, at who he was now — but he just couldn’t bring himself to care, not really.

    But what he did care about was Lift. He knew that she was still staring at him, her voice soft with pain and disbelief. He couldn’t meet her gaze, but he knew. It was so easy to imagine her eyes welling with tears, her lower lip trembling. He ought to say something, do something. He ought to be feeling something more, damn it. They were supposed to patch things up, not... not burn bridges. Not this.

    Say something! his mind screamed again. Say something, you fucking coward!

    Reaper’s throat tightened even worse when he realized just whose voice those words sounded like, his hands balling into fists by his sides again. It wasn’t his voice as it was now, deep from vocal cords that had burned and reformed in fire and smoke. It sounded more like who he’d once before he’d died, before he’d let himself be experimented on. It sounded like Gabriel Reyes, and he clamped his teeth together and squeezed his eyes shut, sucking in a shuddering breath.

    When he realized that Lift was standing in front of him, his eyes fluttered open. White mist coalesced around her arm, drawn back as it was, and he suddenly knew what was coming. He could wraith away, turn himself into smoke and allow her fist to pass through him harmlessly.

    Coward, his mind hissed, its voice still a dead man’s.

    Lift’s fist swept him clean off his feet, making him sail through air until his back slammed into Blaze’s car. Reaper was only dimly aware of metal twisting beneath him, white-hot agony washing over him. His back brace, connected to his spinal cord as it was, had shut down. Shadows billowed around him, his muscles paralyzed by pain. Lift’s words pierced through his haze then, more painful than his current agony, even wracking his body as it was. He could barely bring himself to speak, let alone move. But no... she really didn't know him, did she?

    A groan passed through Reaper’s lips, his fingers forming claws as he gripped ruined metal beneath him to steady himself. His back brace sent a shock through his spine as it rebooted, some of his pain finally starting to ebb away. Only some of it, he thought grimly as he half-rose, his eyes unable to find Lift.

    But they found Wyndle instead, visible only to whisper words that made Reaper hiss. He tried to rise, as if to follow Wyndle, but his limbs were stiff and clumsy. Instead, he wound up rolling off of Blaze’s car, falling onto his side next to it with a sharp gasp before he could catch himself.

    This pain was less than he deserved. Far less.

     
    #16 Gabriel Reyes, Jan 14, 2018
    Last edited: Jan 14, 2018
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  17. Johnny Blaze

    Johnny Blaze Marvel Universe

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    Male
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    Ghost Rider//Mechanic
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    (Super)human
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    46
    The Rider stayed silent during the exchange, the flames dying down, quieting as Zarathos calmed. And the demon watched what his truth had wrote with satisfaction. This…. Attitude that Reyes was some soft teddy bear who could do no wrong had to end. He was a villain, no better than a serial killer or a mass murderer in his ambitions and rage. While the penance stare would have forced him to see this, watching a girl he’d come to love as his own daughter reject him for it was sweet Vengeance as well.

    How many people must reject you before you changed? Before you realized the problem wasn’t them, but with yourself?

    Zarathos watched as Lift slammed her energy fist into Reaper, sending him flying into the car. Damn girl! Johnny whistled, Can throw a mean punch, good for her….. ah damn it he dented that car, didn’t he?

    He did, dent the car. Johnny would have to take a pay cut on that damn car. God fucking damnit….

    A strange plant thing appeared then, Johnny was taken aback, but really in the scheme of things. There was Reaper. Sitting there where Lift had left him. In the indent of his car.

    Okay well I think he’s gotten enough punches lets go after Lift-what are you doing?!

    Zarathos started stalking towards the garage, his empty sockets on Reaper. This was a perfect opportunity, to put an end to this. To finally force Reaper to see all the suffering of others-

    What the fuck- No! No Z don’t kick the man while he’s fucking down shit-

    ”Gabriel Reyes…. It is time for your penance…..” There was something disjointed about the words, before they growled with even purpose. Now it was like two voices were separating on the Rider’s tongue:

    ”You will….. Z don’t…… feel the pain…. Jesus stop it….”

    The Rider let out a snarl of annoyance, his words cutting off as he held his burning skull in his hands. Shaking his head repeatedly as inside his soul: Johnny fought for control for the first time in many years as the Rider.

    ”Idiot…. Get yourself… killed….” Zarathos growled out, before relinquishing control. The Fire dying out and revealing the old man whom Reaper had tried to kill earlier. Johnny let out a wince, feeling the sudden painful powder burn on his back, lifting his hands. ”Truce! No shootin’….An’ I won’t go fire and brimstone again.”

    Zarathos was still on edge. It would take only a twitch towards a shotgun for the Rider to take back control.
     
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  18. Gabriel Reyes

    Gabriel Reyes Overwatch
    The grave cannot hold me.

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    Reaper’s body trembled, muscles spasming as they struggled to ride out the pain caused by crashing into the half-repaired car. Shadows swirled around him, and a harsh laugh made its way past his lips before he could stop himself. Lift had known that his back brace was a weak spot from all their weeks training together, perhaps one of his only weak spots. She’d known, and swept him off his feet with her punch so that he’d land on his back anyway. A part of him was proud, despite how much he hurt. But for the most part he just hurt, his limbs wobbly as he tried to rise to his feet.

    He’d made his bed when it came to killing people, and had gladly lain in it. It was a fact he’d accepted about himself long ago. A high price to pay, but a price that was worth it to see his goals to an end. Only...

    Only, he’d led Lift on, made her think otherwise all these months. Maybe he hadn’t really accepted such a fact about himself. Maybe his gut, twisting and churning as it was, was from guilt or shame. Maybe, though he was pretty sure that he didn’t feel a shred of remorse for the lives he’d taken. No, all he felt remorse for was... was lying to Lift, hurting her like this.

    He should have been honest with her from the start. But no, she would have never had anything to do with him if she’d known. Reaper had suspected that from the first moment he’d met her, back when all he’d wanted was to keep her from running to the authorities about him. Back when the only thing that had stayed his hand was that she was a child, and he refused — refused — to hurt a child.

    But he’d hurt her anyway, and more than once. He’d hurt her by lying, and he’d hurt her by desperately, selfishly, hanging himself a week ago so that she’d be forced to heal him. Because at first, all he’d wanted was to find a way for her to heal him again. He hadn’t really cared for her back then, not the way he did now. Her attempt to heal him hadn’t worked the first time and it hadn’t worked the second time, either. He’d begun to make his peace with that fact that it would never work, because he’d somehow, beyond all expectations, grown to care for her, but now? Now there was nothing he could do to fix things, to salvage whatever was left between them.

    Because there wasn’t anything left, was there?

    Reaper rose slowly, only vaguely aware of Ghost Rider advancing on him. Hell, he had half a mind to let that son of a bitch grab him so that he could stare into those empty eyes of his, if only because Reaper couldn’t feel a damned thing about all the lives he’d taken. He should feel something for them, shouldn’t he? Maybe if he let himself be penance stared, or whatever the hell it was called, Lift would...

    Maybe Lift would come back.

    It was a stupid thought, really. A stupid sentiment. A thought that was quickly driven out of his mind when he realized that Ghost Rider was suffering some bizarre sort of internal struggle. Reaper’s eyes flickered over his shoulder, using the mangled car as he was for support, watching as Ghost Rider vanished in another burst of flame only for Johnny Blaze to take his place, hands raised in supplication.

    Reaper barked out another laugh. “You want a truce now?” he demanded, voice rising in tandem with the smoke that started to seep around his feet. “Now that you ruined one of the only good things I had left in my life?” It would be so easy to kill Blaze, now that he was vulnerable again. So easy, and yet... Lift’s face flashed through his mind again, making his shoulders sag.

    “Why don’t you just fucking kill me and get it over with?” he demanded, pushing away from the car on unsteady legs. “I bet your alter ego or whatever the hell he is would fucking love that.”

     
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  19. Johnny Blaze

    Johnny Blaze Marvel Universe

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    (Super)human
    Age:
    46
    Now it would have been easier if Johnny just stayed the Ghost Rider. His back wouldn’t hurt like it did right now, that’s for sure. He’d be a lot more protected against the likes of Reaper, right now Reaper could light him up like a damn Christmas Tree. Except for the demon riding shotgun, he was basically just a normal human.

    But nothing that was worth doing was easy. He thought about telling the man that as he lay on his dented in car, looking quite sorry for himself as he got his ass kicked there by a half-pint. He also thought about telling him to fuck off and leave him alone. Instead, Johnny took a deep breath and stayed away from both being cheesy and being an asshole.

    ”Well yah haven’t really given me a chance in the matter.” He pointed out, sounding more calm than he felt. Which really he was right: Zarathos had been the most interaction Reaper had had. ”Sort o’ just…. Showed up and tried to shoot me in the back. Rider’s been the one you’ve been dealin’ with: and clearly he ain’t the type for a sit-down conversation of reasonableness.”

    Johnny decided not to mention that he was being a tad bit over dramatic with him ‘ruining all the good things in his life’. Reaper shared some responsibility in that: walking around with Lift and making himself out to be some kind of hero when he clearly wasn’t. Reaper had shoveled that hole, and now he could deal with it in his own time, own business.

    As for his other emo dramatic moments, Johnny took a careful step back as Reaper pushed himself away from the car and demanded he kill him. ”The Rider doesn’t kill people.” Johnny told him, firmly, ”If you have a death wish you’re gonna have to find someone else.”

    He was careful to dodge around the issue at hand. The several big fucking issues at hand. He was always shit at this kind of stuff anyway. ”Look: Lift’s a kid. Kids forgive, they get over shit like lying to them.” He pointed to the ground, as if stating a point: ”But you and I both know that if we kill each other, or if I let the Rider penance stare yah, Lift is never gonna forgive either of us. So yah: I think in this case a truce is kinda necessary.”
     
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  20. Gabriel Reyes

    Gabriel Reyes Overwatch
    The grave cannot hold me.

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    Reaper didn’t care about anything the man was saying, letting the words wash over him. He didn’t care because it didn’t matter, at least not anymore. Not that what the bastard did to Amelie didn’t matter -- that mattered the world and more -- but he couldn’t stick to his original plan of killing him, not now.

    Not now that Lift knew what he was.

    He fucked up. He fucked up and now he had to live with the consequences. Live because Ghost Rider didn’t kill. Reaper almost doubled over, a harsh and bitter laugh escaping him. Not like killing would even be permanent in his case, but the temporary oblivion before his body slowly and painstakingly reformed would be welcome. Would be better than feeling this, feeling... he didn’t even know what to call this feeling. How righteous of Ghost Rider to be above killing. No, he just fucked people’s brains up and left them worse than dead.

    But Blaze kept talking and slowly... slowly, Reaper turned. Smoke was still rolling off of him in waves, responding to both his pain-riddled senses as well as his emotional turmoil. Blaze spoke of forgiveness, of children being able to forgive any lie. It almost made Reaper laugh again, but he knew if he started, he just wouldn’t stop. Forgiveness was such a small, innocent word. A word that held weight, that held power. It was the one thing Reaper wanted more than anything else, but...

    But if Jack couldn’t forgive him, what hope was there in Lift ever forgiving him?

    “You’re right,” he finally managed, voice low with strain. His gaze flickered back to the man, the man who looked nothing like Ghost Rider. “She won’t forgive either of us.” She won’t forgive me, he added silently, grip on the car lessening as he straightened. There was no point in staying, not anymore. Blaze might call it a truce all he liked, but Reaper knew it for what it was.

    He took a few steps forwards, shadows wafting off of him like ink wafting through water. Standing there for a long moment, gaze fixed on the line of trees Lift had vanished into. He wanted to go after her, but... but he was too afraid to, coward that he was.

    “Take care of her,” he said, not looking over his shoulder.

    It was easy to let himself go, to let his thoughts wander and his concentration slip. To let go of his solid form, to become nothing but smoke, but mist. A pity that letting go of his physical form did nothing for his thoughts, his fears, his guilts. They stayed, like always.

    In the end, they were all he had left to him.

    THE...END
     
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