Lost Boys

Cast: date: '2 September 2012'
place: 'Hyde Park'
participants: 'Cedric, David, Gideon, Jack'
synopsis: 'The Watch (and Gideon) take to the tunnels to discover the cause of some disappearances among the homeless population; unfortunately, they lose one of their own in the endeavor. '
log: "It takes a couple of hours to be sure they have the pattern down. The joined parks of Hyde and Kensington, at this time of night, have a handful of guards on the premises; two on foot and two on golf cart. Two in Kensington Gardens, two in Hyde Park. There's a window of about twenty minutes to get from the street to the manhole and down into the tunnels where they believe the missing men had been taking shelter. \n\nThe night is dark and damp, and the Serpentine's water has a thick bank of fog settled upon it as the three men make their way to the manhole cover closest to the street where they've left Jack's car. They're equipped with chalk to make sure they can find their way back to the start of what promises to be a bit of a maze below, torches to see in the dark tunnels, and whatever weaponry suits each of the operatives' style and fancy. \n\nThe golf cart's lights can be seen growing smaller in the distance before disappearing completely. They have at least fifteen minutes now before the guard appears again.\n\nJack's in black. It's shocking, but true. Layered too, against the chill. The bulk possibly suggests some kind of vest beneath the multiple black hoodies. The combat trousers he wears have been modified a little with extra long side pockets to house the two M9 SDs that are loaded up and ready, while long knives are accessible from the pocket of his outermost top. The look is finished off by an overly large pair of sturdy Army boots.\n\nNotably, he doesn't have a torch, relying on those curious eyes to see in the dark as though it was daylight. Seeing him in the dim light gives him an almost catlike appearance with the yellow eyes, although they don't exactly glow.\n\nHis shadow is restless as they wait, tapping its foot and making exasperated gestures while the man concentrates on the pattern of the guards. \"Right then.\" he murmurs to his two fellows, \"You slags ready?\" It's a rhetorical question, apparently. Given that he's already moving into the opening and making progress toward the tunnel entrance.\n\nDavid is dressed in a suit provided by the Watch to make himself less visible while in the dark sewers, black armored suit. He doesn't have any weapons on him aside from the ebony black blade he had crafted from some nearby shadow. He looks down into the hole that use to be covered by the manhole cover, using the torch in his hand to light the darkness below, peering inside. \"Ready.\" He says to Jack before he follows him into the sewers, giving him a few seconds lead as to not step on his hands.\n\nEdgy all day, Cedric is now remarkably quiet on the drive, though the telltale smell of cigarette smoke is thick on him. He's dressed in a beaten grey long-sleeved T-shirt good for nothing but the rag pile, black jeans in a similar condition, an old, stained black hoodie over it, and similar army-issue black boots. They seem to be his own clothes rather than those provided by the Watch. In a move that only Jack has seen before, he's wearing glasses, not horribly thick but that glint in the light of the lampposts, with thin black rims. Bluntly, he looks a bit nerdy in them. \n\nHe's carrying a backpack with him, a good-sized one that holds a rolled change of clothes, a small towel, a couple of energy bars, an extra torch with spare batteries, and a bottle of water, along with a pair of black leather gloves. The case for his glasses also made it into a pocket in the bag. \n\nHis weapon of choice is a curious one to be sure - strapped to the backpack is a blade about three feet long, curved in the Japanese style. He says nothing at Jack's comment, only follows the other two in.\n\nThere's one more person sitting down near the tunnel's entrance, in dark jeans, a black t-shirt and a black jumper with a hood drawn up to conceal his blond hair. Gideon Parish came after all. He's got a torch in his hand (off at the moment) and a small backpack slug over one shoulder, and all he says, as the three men of the Watch join him is, \"Ah, I knew he was with you blokes.\" Cedric, the 'he' in question, gets a small chin-jerk angled in his direction.\n\nDown the rabbit hole — the manhole's ladder drops them straight into a sort of antechamber where they can stand upright for now. Below ground, they can hear the trickle of water from the Serpentine that runs above ground. From here, the only way to go is down the tunnel that branches off from this antechamber. The corridor is long and dark enough that they can't see the end of it, even shining their torches along the seemingly ancient bricks. Locals know they're not ancient, but may as well be, at about 300 years old. The tunnel arches above head and is just wide enough for two of them to walk abreast, just tall enough that those above six feet have to stoop a bit if they don't want to graze their heads along the bricks above head. \n\nThere's no sign of the men they seek, though here and there are traces of workmen who've come through this way — a wheelbarrow, caked with cement, leans against one wall; unlit lamps dot the walls at regular intervals.\n\n\"There's a surprise.\" Jack remarks of Gideon's appearance, rolling yellow eyes at the fellow before dropping down into the chamber below. Once out of sight and away from the eyes of guards and mundanes he drops into a more relaxed posture, mainly due to being able to draw his pistols.\n\nTurning in place, he casts the uninvited guest another look before considering the ladder and the layout. Bending, he marks the ground with a bit of chalk to indicate this is indeed the way they came down. \n\n\"Given our ineffective nature, figured you'd have just solved this on your todd by now.\" he mutters after straightening. \"Since you seem t'be following us though, I'll tell you one thing. If you fuck up and get these geezers injured or in trouble, I'll 'ave your guts for garters. That's for certain, right?\"\n\nDavid makes it to the bottom of the ladder and into the antechamber, moving aside to let Cedric have room to come down. He looks around the room, using the torch to see where he's looking, the beam of light reflecting off the curved walls a bit. While Jack marks the direction out of the sewers in chalk, he glances towards Gideon after he had made his presence known. \"Hey Gideon. What are you doing here?\" He asks since he wasn't there previous, so is unaware of what happened or even who was there.\"\n\n\"Later,\" Cedric says shortly to Gideon, keeping his voice quiet in the confines of the tunnels, where sound carries far more than up above. \"Sound carries down here.\" The man has been affable and polite if somewhat reserved in previous meetings; now he is withdrawn and quiet, his voice rough. Watch members will know that he is relatively new to the Watch, having been with them about six months or so, and that this is his first field mission; he normally sticks to the internal side, maintaining the Watch's computer and communications systems.\n\nSilently, he makes a note of the wheelbarrow caked in cement and its relationship to the chalk line and ladder marking the exit above, then fishes the black leather gloves from his pack and puts them on, looking up at the manhole above before following the others. \n\nGideon follows the others down, tsks softly and waggling his finger at Jack after he flicks his torch on. He keeps his voice low as he speaks. \"Now, now, if I did it all for you, how would you ever learn?\" For the team leader's warning, he only arches a brow and smirks obnoxiously. \"Oh, I'm properly intimidated, now. Well done, you. Ought to try scolding the Others like that, I bet you won't even need to use those pistols.\" To David he adds, simply, \"Paddy's a friend.\" As if that explains everything. And to Cedric he says, \"Nothing more needed. Didn't know. Now I do.\" He falls quiet, however, perhaps because sound does indeed carry or perhaps just because he has no more to say.\n\n\"Listen, cunt. Keep patronizing me, see what happens.\" Jack has his serious voice on. \"You want to trail along with us then keep your fucking mouth shut, else I will shoot you in the kneecaps.\" There's an edge to his voice, a tone that brooks little argument. It's the voice used when backing up a claim on the street, facing down the blokes who plan to steal your hard earned thievings. The manner of speaking that comes right before things get cut. \"You don't like our business, then fuck off. Do it on your own. No one forced you to come with us, but here you are. So please. Keep the self important twatbaggery to yourself.\"\n\nTurning on his heel, Jack moves along the tunnel toward whatever awaits them. \"David, up with me. Cedric, keep an eye on Gideon behind. You two in the back, make sure that markings are kept up to date.\" Little more than a whisper now, the cockney is most certainly irritated already which isn't a good frame of mind for facing off against the Others.\n\nDavid raises an eyebrow slightly at the words Jack has for Gideon, but says nothing about it. He moves up next to Jack as indicated, shining the light from the torch ahead of them, opposite of where Jack does so they can see more of the tunnel ahead. As Jack moves forward down the tunnel, David is right there next to him, remaining silent with his eyes scanning what he can see ahead of them.\n\nAs Jack gives orders, Cedric replies, again tersely and quietly. \"Right.\" Having nearly forgotten about his own torch in his pack, he fishes it out and the stick of issued chalk from a pocket as the group moves further into the tunnels and flicks it on. He says nothing in response to the back-and-forth among the rest of the group, demeanor withdrawn and spring-taut as he flicks the torch from wall to wall. To the extent possible, he keeps it away from puddles and pointed downward or at the walls. The chalk stays in his off hand.\n\n\"Show an ounce of civility if you want any in return,\" Gideon replies. \"For fuck's sake, it isn't rocket science.\" He lets Jack and David move ahead, falling back and beside Cedric. \"Chalk's clever,\" he murmurs as they move past the mark, \"I'll grant him that.\" He holds his own torch low, shining it on the floor and letting the men ahead illuminate the way.\n\nThe straightaway of this tunnel doesn't give them much, but then, who really expected it to be that easy? It's a long few minutes, their feet plodding in the puddled water slowly getting drowned out by the louder trickle of water ahead. The air grows damper and colder the deeper they go, as they're likely under the Serpentine proper by the time they get to the end of this first tunnel. Ahead, their torchlights show a wall that's been rendered in concrete for extra support. Another short corridor hooks to the left in an L turn, and then another tunnel branches out from there — this one much shorter than the one they just came from. Here, they'll have to bend quite a bit to walk, or opt to crawl. \n\nHalfway down this tunnel, however, is the first sign they're on the right path. A tarp sits on the ground one side of the tunnel; a wine bottle and a styrofoam to-go container sit there, empty and long since emptied. \n\nThe men can feel a sense of nagging worry, weak but hard to ignore. The signs begin to manifest — the hair standing up on the back of the neck, the clammy palms, the sick feeling in the stomach. The shadows from the torchlight start to seem more ominous. The trickle of water begins to draw to mind grisly possibilities, like the dripping of blood. \n\nA rat scurries by, its shadow made huge, foreboding, on a nearby wall thanks to the tricks of light.\n\nThere's no further reply to Gideon this time, and Jack ignores him in favour of concentrating on the task at hand. Everyone else has torches, while he keeps his guns in hand with the fingers of one hand also gripping a stub of chalk against the handle. The marks he makes aren't works of art, but they're functional enough. Even with no turns or junctions, he makes regular markings, just in case.\n\nHaving adopted a calm expression, he wears it like a mask. Clearly he remains annoyed and those unnatural feelings are not helping matters at all. The quiet scraping of paws and the massive shadow draw the tracking of one weapon and his finger almost starts to squeeze the trigger. Not quite though.\n\nAll of the focus required means there's little left to be mindful of his own shadow, which doesn't help matters by dancing around in exaggerated movements. It catches the eye before delivering insulting gestures to those who are drawn in by it. Even Jack himself gets occasionally distracted in looking down at its stretched out indistinct limbs acting as though they're trying to trip him.\n\nDavid moves through the tunnels with the others, keeping silent as he searches the area around them. He crouches down when necessary, trying to not touch the ground with his hands if it can be helped. Otherwise, he keeps pace with Jack, pausing only for a second as he sees the large shadow of the rat before he focuses the light on the tarp and other items, studying them for a moment. He tries to put the nagging sensations behind him and not let it get to him.\n\nChalk in hand, as Jack starts making marks, Cedric checks them for accuracy in silence. The presence of the backpack means that he is dropping to one knee in places, and his jeans quickly become wet, but he too keeps his gloved hands and his torch dry and flicking around. He shakes his head at the shadows in front of him, and if he was withdrawn and taut before, he becomes more so, his entire mien spring-loaded, retreating further into his tense silence.\n\nGideon walks quietly, watching the pools of light ahead of them. As the hair begins to stand up on his neck, he draws in a soft, slow, steadying breath. \"Here we go, then,\" he whispers so quietly he's mostly just moving his lips. It's actually Jack's shadow, with its crude, almost playful antics, that offers a moment of distraction from the growing unease, and Gideon huffs a soft laugh as his turn to be silently insulted by the thing comes around.\n\nThe tight squeeze of this tunnel might be making the men feel a bit claustrophobic, given the case of nerves that suddenly afflict them. But the end comes soon enough, the round portal opening into a much larger room. They can stand upright again, but the open space seems too big, too wide. Their torches can't light it all at once, and whenever their light shines on one corner, the blackness of the rest of the room seems to loom like a creature creeping in on all sides. \nSomething scuttles on the ceiling, something that sounds much too big to be a rat. \n\nA sickening scent begins to tickle the nostrils and sicken the stomach — a scent that all of the men know in some way or another. The scent of Death. \n\nThe acrid scent of fear begins to grow as well as the men's bodies react to the fear that is growing as large as the darkness seems to. Their hearts begin to race as adrenaline begins to pump through their veins. Legs tremble with the urge to move, to run, to get out of this place, or to attack whatever it is that's in here with them. Without a doubt, every single one of them knows that they are not alone. There is something Other here with them.\n\nWith the damp of the tunnel floor clinging to his clothes, Jack scrambles out of the narrow confines as though being chased (which in some ways, he is, although his shadow is far less intimidating than what's actually in the room). It's perhaps a case of knowing there are people blocking the way out and just wanting to be away from the press of old stone and dripping water, despite the fact that what he's fleeing towards is just making that gut wrenching feeling increase. \"Fuckin' Nora.\" he breathes, starting to shake a little.\n\nFrozen in place for a moment, even his ephemeral companion becomes still as they both seem to look up toward the ceiling. The battle wages as blood runs faster, a breath catching before something.\n\nIt seems that fight is on the cards for this one. \"Get some light on the bloody ceiling.\" This order isn't so much spoken as screamed at, right before he dissipates into a cloud of shadow. Appearing just a few steps ahead, there's more to him than there was before, with two five foot lengths of dark matter extending from beneath his clothing. The prehensile shadows slip knives from his pockets and he lets rip with a hail of bullets toward the beastie. Breaking into a run, he vanishes once more, appearing up on the ceiling and attempting to slash the Other before with another poof cloud of darkness he's back on the ground.\n\nDavid starts to shiver as the feeling of fear starts to build up in his, his eyes quickly searching the area around him. The steady stream of light shaking along with his hand. His breathing starts to become heavier and sharper. \"I— I- I I don't like this…\" He says, his voice quivering slightly as the feeling grows even more. At Jack's shout, he shoots the light up towards the ceiling, frantically searching for something.\n\nAs the case of nerves floods him, Cedric takes several calming, deep breaths, closing his eyes, seeking the calm center of mushin - but it's no good as they enter the room, the fight/flight response coursing through him with unnatural speed, but manifesting in him as something else entirely. The breaths stop, and quicken instead, but his expression oddly smooths from taut tension to … something utterly cold. \n\nChucking the backpack to a dry patch of floor near the entranceway, katana and all, he removes his glasses with one hand and speaks without looking at Gideon. \"Gideon. Hold these .. and get away from me.\" There's a tremble, a low guttural snarl, and something wholly evil in the usually good-natured IT admin's tone, something none here have ever heard before. Ignoring his own weapon, he shines the torch up at the Other, simply … hunting for it, and fixing on it, eyes gone cold as ice.\n\n\"Ah, fuck,\" Gideon exhales under his breath as they step into the larger room and the feeling of unease blossoms into something much more like terror. As Jack shouts, he flashes his light up to the ceiling, gaze snapping about for whatever it is crawling about up there. \"Dunno Ced,\" he murmurs as he accepts the glasses with slightly shaking fingers. \"Just at the moment, I'm thinkin' near you might be the safest place to be.\" Hey, when one has to choose between the devil they know (or, at least, met three times in passing) and the devil on the ceiling making them want to pee their pants…\n\nLights reveal, for a second, clinging to the ceiling, someone — no, something — vaguely human, but with elongated, disjointed limbs. Its naked form is a silky, grayish white mottled with black veins. The head is angled toward the men below, and its face is nothing but two huge black eyes and a mouth gaping in a perpetual but silent scream. \n\nThe shots don't hit it but instead blow holes in the bricked ceiling, sending bits of mortar and brick crumbling down like rain. When Jack's shadowy form launches at him, it scuttles away to a corner out of the reach of the torch, moving much faster than it seems possible, its swollen and distended joints not a handicap in the least. The fear in the room is now almost palpable; each man's pulse pounding in his ears. \n\nThe scuttling can be heard again and soon someone's torchlight hits it, right above them. The creature's dark eyes seem to settle on Jack, closest to it, for a moment before it scurries away to another shadow.\n\nHitting on the first time would make it all seem too easy, but Jack is not deterred. No sooner does he pop back into existence on the ground, he's moving again and rapidly closing on emptying his magazines, in all likelyhood mostly into the ceiling. The dark tendrils whip about him, as though wary of the ceiling collapsing and readying to brace for impact above his head.\n\nKnowing that he can't stop now, he takes a running leap into the air and once again attempts to materialize in striking range of the beast. The adrenaline fuelled cockney popping into being nearby and immediately there's the click of suppressed weapon fire and a pair of knives streaking toward the beast before he's gone again and back on the floor, ever in motion.\n\nThe look from the Other catches him off guard somehow, almost appearing to give him pause before he initially looks more energized. Loping across the darkened chamber, he fully unloads one pistol and scrambles to complete the difficult maneuver of reloading them while running lest the shadows take his heels. Oddly though, part way through this activity he starts to slow a bit. As if maybe it's not such a hurry after all.\n\nThe fear continues to grow within David as the light shines on the creature on the ceiling, his eyes widen at what he sees. His lower lip trembles as he takes a step forward. \"Rachel? Rachel, is that you?\" His voice soft, almost disbelief. A few moments past as his eyes widen slightly. \"I… I couldn't do anything. I'm so sorry. I would have saved you if I could. No. It's not my fault. There was nothing I could do.\"\n\nHis voice starts to become louder and louder until it's almost a shout, his feet back peddling as he tries to get away from what he sees. \"Why are you saying such things? I loved you. I would have died for you. It should have been me! I'm so sorry!\" Tears begin to stream down his face, the torch he holds in his hand drops to the ground, cutting off the light as it breaks. \"No. No. Don't. Please! I'm so sorry! No~!\" He cries out as he turns on his heels and runs down a tunnel as quickly as his legs will carry him, his cries echoing down the tunnel.\n\nAre you sure about that, Gideon? Without answering, Cedric hands off his glasses and steps a couple of paces away, crossing his arms across his chest and bowing his head. Giving in finally to the instinct he's been fighting much of the way down here, that the fear in the room has dragged to the fore and given ascendancy, his very form swells, blackens, and … changes. \n\nIt's a disturbing process to watch, and he screams in pain as muscles stretch and tear into unnatural positions, hands become barbed knives, the chiseled face becomes a massively oversized /thing/ with a maw full of fangs. The clothing tears off, left in shreds on the floor, and the torch clatters to the floor as he drops it, sending light spilling across the floor. An extra set of arms sprouts, just below the first set, tearing through his skin, and hands become chitinous barbed knives. His skin takes on a black sheen and hardens.\n\nWhen the process is complete, where Cedric stood now stands a monster that could be straight out of the Gloom, some eight feet in height, a grotesque mix of demon and insect … and it moves with frightening speed on powerful legs, towards the wall … but it can't reach it yet. Or can it? Crouching, it jumps /up/ to where it thinks the creature is, fully extending, trying to reach up with those barbed knives it calls hands and drag it back down to earth.\n\nYep. Quite sure. Gideon watches as Jack continues to pursue the Other except… something goes odd because the driven man suddenly starts to slow down. And then David's having visions and running out of the room and Cedric becomes huge and terrifying and yet still, not the scariest thing in the room. That's saved for the beastie scuttling on the ceiling. Gideon swings his lantern around, trying to catch the creature with his light again and get a good, proper look.\n\nThis time, one or two of those silenced shots from Jack's guns hit the thing, and it still doesn't scream. Instead, the pale creature hisses as it falls from the ceiling to the floor. Cedric's knife-like grasp does leave its mark though, leaving a long gash along the creature's haunch. The thing's claw-like hands and feet scrabble across the bricks to try to get out of the way of another attack from the men. Black fluid oozes from the shots to its shoulder and the slice along its back end. As it backs into a corner, those soulless black eyes grow larger, and the black void within the huge 'o' of its mouth seems to undulate and swirl. \n\nThe men begin to feel less fearful, but at a cost — the draining of the fear leaves them feeling numb. Tired. Even bored. \n\nDown the corridor, David flees a hallucination only he can see. The face of his late fiancee on the body of the Thing that faces down the men in the other room. Suddenly, on his way toward a ladder that would bring him up to the surface, a black cloud of seething insects flies in from the other end of the tunnel, wrapping around him. Covering his eyes, flying in his ears and his mouth, enveloping him — it drags him away, and his cries echo along the brick walls. By the time the cry reaches his colleagues, it is far, far too late. He has been claimed, once again, by the Gloom.\n\nThe snap of the second magazine into the pistol has Jack almost coming to a halt, but not quite. He manages to continue moving for now, even as the sound of David's screaming reaches him. It's really hard to care about the man. There's stuff to do in here and things. Like. Important stuff. He's sure of it. If only teleporting around labyrinth tunnels and trying to stab things with tentacle arms while Mr. Hyde goes to town on a creature of nightmare was more exciting.\n\nLess of a run, more of a jog, he takes advantage of the slowing wounded critter backed into a corner to take some pot-shots. Like shooting fishman in a barrel. It's too banal to be interesting. That could be a yawn there. Jack's shadow is unamused, shaking ineffectual fists in the air while the man tosses his head about, trying to ward off the urge to just lie down a bit. Maybe take a nap. Cedric seems to have it all in order. Just lazy run in that direction, in case something actually worthwhile happens. Bam. Bam. Barely taking the time to aim.\n\nThe demon/insect creature slows as well as the creature's mouth opens. It's not really processing the scream right now … not when its prey is before it. But … it's helpless. The scent of blood fills the thing's nostrils. Cowering. At its mercy. Approaching the creature, looking for all the world bored, looking to corner it … and perhaps toy with it. There's time. Almost casually, it pokes one of those barbed knives at it, stabbing at it, seeking the pleasure of tearing them free….\n\n«Sssssssssssssss» the creature hisses at the lazy shooting, shrinking away but collapsing a couple of feet away at best — there's not enough energy to try to scrabble away from the curious prodding by the Cedric-beast. Those eyes grow blacker and the mouth opens wider, if possible; the blackness within that maw is like a black hole, threatening to suck everything into it. Each man feels the will to fight drop away. The will to live seems a distant memory. There's no reason to care, no reason to make this effort at all. \n\nAnd then the creature collapses, black eyes closing but its huge mouth still agape — instantly, the blackness within fades away and in its place, a gray toothless mouth — harmless. \n\nWith the creature's death, the apathy doesn't fade entirely. Taking a nap no longer seems the best idea, at least. The memory of their mission returns. And now that their lives are not in danger, they can see something in the far corner — what looks like a pile of rags or sleeping bags, perhaps.\n\nJust to be on the safe side, once faculties start to return, Jack pops closer next to Cedric and gives the beast a nod before laying out a final bullet into that black hole of a mouth. After ensuring that no other hell spawned things are about to make a meal of them, it's time to relax a little.\n\nFinally coming to a standstill near the sleeping bags in the corner, the mechanic looks heavier. The shadows about his feet thicken, clinging to his boots and pulling him down while his own casting appears to wrap about his feet in a not at all pleasant sort of hug. The next step looks as though it takes serious effort, in crouching and stowing one pistol while using the long suppressor of the other to poke aside the items to see what's within.\n\nAs apathy, as all will to continue leaves the demon/insect, the knives lower. Not even this game is any fun anymore. It just seems to stare at the creature … even as the Other being dies. Silently, it stands there for a good minute….\n\nAnd that bit of apathy, coupled with the creature's death, is a moment of opportunity for the real Cedric to seize control again. The beast shifts again, the skin lightening, the knives retracting, everything shrinking. As before, it is painful and disturbing to watch, and when it is done, Cedric, now completely starkers, crumples to the stone below, losing his footing and splashing in a puddle of water strewn with the thing's blood. Shivering, he curls up in a fetal position, murmuring to himself in a broken voice. \"I'm not that monster … I'm not that monster … that's not me….\" \n\nGideon blinks slowly, gradually becoming aware again as the thing is killed off. He gives his head a shake, moving the torch to shine his light more properly around the room. It settles on Cedric and the blond man takes slow, laconic steps over to where the quiet IT fellow is curled up in the buff. He shrugs out of his black jumper, draping it over Cedric's shoulders. \"Hey, mate,\" he offers. \"Hey. Fine trick, that. On your feet now, right? Did what we came here for. Time to go.\"\n\nNot sleeping bags. Not rags. These are the bodies of two dead young men, the source of that sickening scent in this chamber. There is no sign of violence, except for where their flesh has been fed on by rats and insects. Their bodies lean lazily against the wall, and they've been dead for at least several days. It might be a relief — later, that is, when they can feel enough to care — that while they were too late, it wasn't by just a few hours. There is no guilt to be had, here. \n\nLater too, when they have the ability to care more, the living might feel some hope that their mission wasn't pointless, that the next transient who makes his way here won't be killed in this way.\n\nBodies are quite boring. Once confirming that they're both dead, Jack nudges the rags back over the top of them. Not really in a respectful manner, just to get them out of the way as he stands. Turning, he notes the naked man on the floor which also just gets a somewhat bland look of disinterest. He doesn't even rise to needle Gideon. Instead he just stows his weapons and after heaving out a sigh, tries to gather up enough focus to push the shadow back down. It takes longer than usual, standing there, staring vacantly while mustering up something that vaguely resembles willpower until the shadow limbs collapse and disperse.\n\nCedric seems upset, but there's no compassion. Just slow, heavy steps toward the tunnel to crawl out. \"Puts some clothes on, or you'll freeze your cock off once we're back outside.\" Someone else can deal with this shit. Like the clean up crew. People were doing markings on the way. They're probably fine. So Jack starts to crawl back out of the chamber.\n\n\"Yeah.\" Cedric's body is toned and defined from head to foot, a japanese kanji on his right arm near the shoulder, easily high enough that a T-shirt or polo would cover it. The response is shaky at first, then becomes almost bored, although the sweat does stop him from shivering briefly. Why is he that upset, anyway? It's done, right? Maybe later it will come to him. \n\nGradually, he pulls himself to his feet, seeming unbothered by his own nudity, and grabs for the jumper, handing it back. \"I brought clothes.\" Someone was prepared, but it's almost by reflex - and orders - that he gets into them, not bothering to towel off first. The boots are gone, and he goes barefoot. \n\nOnly when he is dressed and has collected his torch does he peer over at the dead bodies. \"Balls.\" Half-hearted at best, he slings the pack and turns to follow Jack out of the chamber. \"Reckon David ran off or something.\" \n\n\"Oh. Right then,\" Gideon says, accepting his jumper back and shrugging it on again. \"You want these?\" Cedric[s glasses are held out before Gideon moves a bit closer to the two bodies. \"Hmm. Well. That's that. Only…\" canting his head to the side, he asks, \"Weren't it three that had gone missing?\"\n\n\"Clean-up can find the other body.\" Jack replies, not seeming to care. \"Or you can go look, since up to this point you've been as useful as Anne Frank's drum kit.\" There's no real heart in the reply, already moving into the tunnel. \"P.S. Go fuck yourself.\" is tacked on the end without conviction.\n\nWith no torch to hold onto, he crawls easily into the dark without worrying about needing light. \"Dave's probably around somewhere.\" comes the muttering a little later, but sadly the cockney is all out of shits to give at this point, and figures that the other man can find his own way back.\n\nAbsently, Cedric takes the glasses and puts them back on. \"Yeah, thanks.\" No longer wound taut as he was when he got in here, he now seems to be moving on reflex. \"Right. Let's get out of here.\" Slinging the backpack with at least some care for the katana, he mutters halfheartedly, \"Don't know why I dragged that damn thing down here,\" as he turns his back on the chamber, looking back to see if Gideon follows.\n\n\"So is that standard Watch policy, team leaders being insufferable pricks, or is that a skill you cultivate independently of the organization?\" Gideon asks around a slow yawn as he trails the other two out. Glancing at Cedric, he adds, \"Dunno why you bothered with it, either. I wouldn't of, I could grow into a giant beastie with knives for hands. Seems sort of redundant, innit?\"\n\nJack can't be bothered to acknowledge Gideon's existence any further, nor Cedric for that matter. He keeps following the marks back to the exit, pulling up his layered hoods ready to brave the surface world and escape back to the car in silence.\n\n"

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