Portal Breach: The Collision of Worlds :: v.4.0


    A Judicial Disagreement

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    Fear
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    A Judicial Disagreement

    Post by Fear on Tue Aug 25, 2015 6:07 pm

    Time: Midnight
    Date: August 25th, 0006



    Rubbish, all of it!

    A low growl escaped a rotten throat, born of displeasure and building vexation. It was dark, now. It was extremely dark, here in the midst of midnight's hour. What light shone from the spaced lamps dotted around Portal City's lone park was hardly enough to keep the shadows at bay. It was perfect for the brooding likes of himself. Embers crackled in silence as wisps of cancerous smoke filled the chilly night air.

    Mortis...

    Mortis, Mortis, Mortis...

    He was quite disappointed in you.

    Sitting upon an isolated park bench was the honourable Judge Fear, one of four Dark Judges tasked with purging all life; one of four Dark Judges left to suffer alone in this digital hell. He chose 'alone' because he certainly couldn't count on his brother to keep a level head. In fact, he counted on his wayward brother to make a great mess of just about everything. Another irate growl, another flare of orange. A rotten hand briefly removed the cigarette from his helm's grating as the cloaked fiend resumed his simmering in the darkness. "Mm..." He had a lot going for himself these past few months. A lot of good things, and now it all had to come crashing down. Why? Judge Fear hadn't the foggiest clue; Judge Mortis had much preferred to go gallivanting off into God's Country with nary a peep. Now who did that remind the helmeted Dark Judge of?

    Ah, but he was being petty. Yes, yes. He was being petty and the Dark Judge reeled his aggravation to manageable levels. It wasn't entirely his brother's fault, see... Had not Judge Fear minded the consequences of his actions more thoroughly and realized them sooner, he may not have gone 'native' as he had.

    But did not the banner of justice demand sacrifice?

    The cigarette was returned to his grating, invisible teeth clenching; or whatever sufficed. He... supposed that things were now going to balance themselves out, that Karma had finally reared her ugly head. Oh no, no. A Judge of the law could never enjoy anything for themselves. It was simply unheard of, oh yes. They were to suffer for an eternity... to slave away for an impossible task while always expected to adhere to their fallible principles. Complete and utter rubbish. By their very design they were meant to fail! Why had his brother not seen that this was the undeniable... truth? That they were shackled to the very ineffectual standards they held dear?

    He exhaled with a weary sigh, the fringes of his immortal soul having long since frayed. "Mm..." It was all very... upsetting. Here they were, two Judges of the law having previously been inseparable, and now things were turned onto their heads. He, who would rather face things and adapt accordingly. And his brother, who would rather turn tail and run.

    Rubbish, like the first thought.

    What was honestly so... bad about anything the helmeted ghoul had done? Truly, where was the crime? So he had mingled with the populace and managed to acquire some standing; that was far better than what his brother had managed, wasn't it? Now a few of the powerhouses of Portal City were hesitant to strike him for fear of upsetting both Kev and Livewire. It had been a tactical decision! Of course, he had also made a few missteps and underestimated the aforementioned pair's emotions, but... eh, Judge Fear didn't really see the harm in those, either. They made him feel young again, as if he were a fresh Judge out on the streets with nothing to lose! He felt empowered, he felt motivated, he felt... happy. Happier than he had been for a very, very long time... They both valued him, they placed faith in him... And while Kev was a sinner and did merit a righteous smiting like no other, the scaly alien had been far more understanding than any mortal ever encountered. Well, aside from Emmet McBarlot; who sadly was not within present company, bless him.

    Nevertheless, Kev and Livewire were two very special individuals who were, without a doubt, one-of-a-kind. Souls like theirs only came around once an eternity, you know? What would Judge Fear have rather chosen: an existence with the same drivel, day-in and day-out, with no progress ever to be gained; or an existence with a few bright stars in an asphyxiating sea of nothingness, each interaction an opening for exciting new possibilities? A way to feel like himself again?

    The choice had been crystal clear.

    Lighting from the lampposts at the very end of the park flickered sporadically, Judge Fear paying them a bit of mind. Ahh... His brother was almost conscious, yes. He could feel his bitter chill already. Eh, his brother... "Mm..." A curt plume of smoke roiled from his helm and the Dark Judge had decided that he wasn't going to mindlessly agree with whatever path his brother had chose. He will respect it, of course. He will always respect his brothers' decisions, but he will not accept. That was his right and he shall covet it. Now... let us see what stale words Judge Mortis had for him on this bittersweet eve, and they had better be bloody brilliant after two weeks of absence.
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    Re: A Judicial Disagreement

    Post by Mortis on Wed Aug 26, 2015 9:31 am

    For a long while, there was only silence from Mortis' end. Nothing but a steady chill that swept across the line like a breeze in the depths of winter. His mind still gripped in the depths of unconsciousness, the Dark Judge hardly noticed that the barriers had went down, or that Fear noticed his presence trickling over the line. The weight of fatigue and the all encompassing dark of his dreamless sleep did not keep anything from coming over from Fear's end, however.

    Disappointment...

    Aggravation...

    Frustration...

    These made their way across their mental link over to his end, alongside the quietest whispers of his brother's thoughts. All of them were directed at him, at his actions and sudden leave. Feelings... Feelings that were not his own, came the foggy realization. They were coming from somewhere, they had to be, for where in his mind did he hold such passions? Like a serpent coiling in upon itself in response to being disturbed, so to did the Judge of Rot become roused. Within an old, abandoned house out in the grasslands, something stirred from within. Two pinpricks of dull red flared to life in the depths of the basement, and suddenly the structure began to take on a feel as if it had been taken from the deepest recesses of the tundra, but the tundra had never left it. The acid stained cement beneath his form crackled and began to disintegrate, the very house sounding as if it were about to give it's final, creaking breath as the Judge's aura returned in full.

    Now then, to see who exactly had thought it wise to intrude upon his slumber...

    Ice spread like a growing shadow across his mind, eclipsing the intruding thoughts, their passions and all, a hiss escaping the rotted corpse to echo off the walls of the slowly eroding basement. He caught them all like flies within a web, each buzzing, grating little thing examined as one would a pest. Disappointment, frustration, upset... He recognized them, certainly, but only so long as they had been so evidently taken into context alongside the musings of the being on the other side. Otherwise, they may as well have been completely alien sensations, a sort of odd weight and twisting sensation that the Judge could not rightfully label, not that he wished to.

    There was no place for such passions here, within the arctic solace of his mind.

    Mentions of a plan, him running off into God's Country, duty... Slowly, realization began to dawn upon him. He had come out here for a reason, yes. Now he remembered, vices that needed to be eradicated, temptations that held no place in his mind or heart. The grand scheme had finally come back to him, and with it did he realize the source and its name.

    Fear... Hissed a dispassionate gravel.

    With its utterance did Mortis take the feelings and thoughts that the other had sent over in his frigid presence, and rebuked them. The idle chill that seeped across the mental link like a thin fog amassed and rallied with the other's effort, a tundra's glacial presence washing over like the waking breath of some ice-bound beast. It breathed, and it's frigid chill mercilessly remained. However, there was no malice behind its presence despite its intensity, neither was there familiarity, nor assurance. It merely was, neither giving any inclination as to its owner's feelings, nor did it accept those of the fellow Judge that it poured down upon.

    Fear... Came Mortis' gravel, familiar and yet alien. There was no emotion behind his tone, only a mere acknowledgement of the other that lacked the warmth of their bond, but held the dutifulness of their oath. I ssshall return asss promisssed. My leave hass come to itsss end, and I have done what wass needed. With that, he rose to his feet from the paved bowels of the farm house, cement crackling and giving way to hordes of writhing maggots with each step. Wood creaked and softened beneath tough soles, the stairway crumbling behind him as he ascended it and returned to the ground floor of their old hideaway.

    He need not go into detail as to what he did, Mortis decided. Fear would likely have already realized the moment he made contact.
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    Re: A Judicial Disagreement

    Post by Fear on Wed Aug 26, 2015 10:47 am

    Fear...

    A pause in the darkness, thoughts grinding to an abrupt halt. What is that chill...? What is that chill?

    Fear, I ssshall return asss promisssed. My leave hass come to itsss end, and I have done what wass needed.

    The tense silence was a perfect breeding ground for questions. It was almost... laughable how quickly Judge Fear's attitude changed. No longer did he pensively brood, his annoyance a bloated fly waiting to be quashed. No... No, now was the time for panic. Who was this that so coldly knocked on his doorstep, imitating his brother's voice? Who was this that felt entirely alien? Psychic tendrils tentatively reached out, gingerly brushing against an impenetrable barrier most unwelcoming. A mistake the Dark Judge would not be making again. "Ssss..." It hurt. It practically hurt. Those few curious feelers that had not swiftly pulled away had succumbed to what could only be described as a frigid blight. The remainder that unfortunately survived the encountered had very little to report; whatever this creature was, be it friend or be it foe, was assuredly not his brother. Or, could it be that...?

    A thought crossed Judge Fear's mind - one he was loathe to even consider. Could it be that his brother had... had...? No, surely not. Judge Mortis would not be so cowardly as to undergo such a procedure. There was no undeniable merit, no justifiable reason, to walk down that path. Why, when there were so many less severe options that needed consideration first? It was unlike Judge Mortis to simply leap head-first into an otherwise illogical corner. It was... It was...

    Denial was a funny mistress, and one that neither of the brothers was unfamiliar with.

    Mortisss, Judge Fear reached out, fighting against the biting hoarfrost. Mortisss, what isss the meaning of thisss fog? What did you do out there? What have you done? He wanted to give his brother a reasonable doubt, that Judge Mortis would not have underwent this... this... this unnecessary change! For what purpose? For what ulterior motive? Though the helmeted ghoul could not boast that he was the most clever of the four, or much of anything else, he had faith - faith - that his brother would have reached a logical, sufficiently sound decision. The Judge Mortis he knew would not have jeopardized himself so foolishly! Ansssswer me, a demand thinly-veiled beneath an impatient request. Anssswer me, Mortissss. What have you done?
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    Re: A Judicial Disagreement

    Post by Mortis on Wed Aug 26, 2015 11:29 am

    Panic, concern, pain... All were swept aside in the gale as were the ones before them, the sudden change in Fear's demeanor idly considered. Had he expected a traitor to return to him after his leave? Perhaps he had expected some petty excuse for running off, Mortis reasoned. Watching, waiting, the fellow Dark Judge remained silent while his brother by oath attempted to puzzle out what happened. Although, Mortis had to admit, he had not expected such an intense response to his return. It was as if Fear could not recognize him...

    Perhaps he did not wish to. After all, he was no longer that senseless sheep-headed fool which was subject to his own vices. Ah, but look, he was slowly beginning to figure it out, not from a lack of intelligence on his part, but a... denial? How odd. As quickly as he read each thought that was caught in the frigid chill that was his presence, he reflected it back to his brother. Emotion was hardly worth his time, not when there were far more important things to consider. There were plans on the brink of fruition, ambition that begged to be made reality. What was panic and worry in the face of something so much greater? Still, Fear seemed to be taken aback by the change that had occurred in him, as despite being so close to figuring it out on his own... There came his voice once again over the link, struggling to overcome the icy frost that refused to relent.

    I have done what wasss necessary for the sssake of our duty, Fear. Mortis replied, although, given that Fear seemed to forget exactly what that was, the Judge decided it necessary to elaborate. I had told you before my leave, Fear. The purpose of my reclussion wasss for the sssake of becoming more ssstable. Had you remembered the Judge's sparse words before his leave, before the link was severed for two long, excruciating weeks? By now, Mortis had made his way through the ground floor of the house, the floral wall paper shriveling and curling from the walls at his passing, the plaster beneath crackling and flaking away as it rotted off the frame. There isss no need for worry, Fear. I am perfectly fit for duty now. He graveled, calm, collected despite the bitter chill that encompassed his presence. All I did wasss remove what would get in the way of our plansss. He explained, the door turning to a blackened, rotten color as he pushed it aside and stepped out into the night air.

    He had to find transportation back to the city, their reunion was imperative. Red pinpricks glanced about for a vehicle within the dark. One of their neighbors would certainly be so charitable as to allow a noble Judge such as he to re-purpose it for his judicial purposes.
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    Re: A Judicial Disagreement

    Post by Fear on Wed Aug 26, 2015 12:04 pm

    And you think thissss isss more ssstable? This was irony at its best, truly!

    There was no forgetting on Judge Fear's end, nor was there this passiveness so commonly seen under Death's charge. All emotion siphoned into a bubbling anger. You fool, did the ghoul so vehemently spit. You recklessssss, cowardly fool! Whatever you removed will now affect ussss bo - Again, silence. The Dark Judge could not will himself to complete the thought; not unless he desired to look the hypocrite! He quietly sat upon his lone park bench in mild shock, the cigarette wedged between his grating lax. And so, after much sorrow, everything had at last come full circle. It was like staring into an ugly, warped mirror. Hideous, is what it was. This was his personal judgement for having already damned his brother to this fate.

    ...But was that necessarily true? Again, Judge Fear thought. Again, he tried to piece reason into a rapidly deteriorating situation. Yes, he had been reckless himself. Yes, he had grown overzealous; going insofar as to jeopardize himself out of desperation. But could it be said... could it honestly be said... that he truly set his brother upon this path? Who, after all, had gone out to the wilderness and stupidly thought it fitting to self-lobotomize himself under the notion of stability?

    The answer will, and forever be, Judge Mortis. His brother had chosen his bed and now they both were to lie within it. The growing voice of dissent in Judge Fear's indignant breast defied its fate, even if futilely.

    Mm... I do not agree, he hissed. The ice may think to claim his soul and entomb him beneath sheet upon sheet of bitter cold, but he shall never succumb. Let it snake around him... Let it think to gorge itself upon the tatters of his very being, but Judge Fear shall never again become an emotionless, soulless, unthinking zombie! His existence did not revolve around some MIA leader's philosophy, nor did it depend solely on operating as a dysfunctional unit! Hidden lips pulled into a snarling grimace, teeth cutting into rancid flesh. You have done what wasssss necesssssary for yoursssself. Judge Fear was not blind, Judge Fear was not stupid. Emotions and personalities were open to him like any well-read book. Venom laced his words, however sorrowful and dying. The chill was steadily eating through to his core. There wasn't much time until... You ran from your emotionsss, unable to face me - your very own brother. You are a coward, Mortissss, and forever ssshall I hold thisss true ssso long assss you continue to hide behind your icy prissson. It wassss not duty that compelled you to flee my gaze; it wasss fear. You are no better than the witch-girl and her jealousssy. Tired, mm... So very, very tired... It hurt to think, it hurt to feel, it hurt to experience this soul-crushing disappointment. It hurt to do anything besides fall back upon their one, true edict - death.

    One-by-one, piece-by-piece, he could feel all that he had gained... leaving. And there was nothing the forlorn ghoul could do. Nothing at all, except to watch as the world yet again became as dull and lifeless as the soul inside this fetid husk. Cherished memories were the first to be consumed, followed by the emotions behind them. And as his soul raged against the dying of the light, darkness settling, the truth became clear: he was forced to yet again watch himself die. It... it was frightening. Oh God, was it frightening!

    Kev...

    Livewire...

    Please, this is not how I wanted to go...


    ...Crack!

    And then the ice... had won. What passionate resistance that lent itself to Judge Fear's waning pyre at last expired, and the ghoul no longer saw any reason to argue. He simply let the conversation fade into obscurity, the cigarette in his rotten hand soon to be nothing more than smoldering ash. How... fitting. Yes, how fitting... Ethereal eyes picked themselves off of the ground. Make yourssself ussseful, he began, otherworldly tone detached, and prepare the final ssstagesss of our preliminary work. It isss time that we ssset everything into motion. Follow it or not, Judge Mortis. It mattered little in the end.

    Themselves...

    Their noble work...

    Everything.
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    Re: A Judicial Disagreement

    Post by Mortis on Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:33 pm

    Yesss. You had ssseen hintsss of my prior lapssess into madness, ssshould I have let them linger, it would have damned usss both. Anger bubbled with his brother, and Mortis could not help but find it all so... unexpected. Surprise, perhaps shock, he had suspected to be a possible reaction to his transformation, but anger? What was there to be angry about? He was cured, he had saved himself from his vices and in turn spared Fear from having to suffer from its consequences. Mortis had done them both a good turn in doing a bit of much-needed trimming.

    Ah, but his brother... He called him a coward, he called his selfless act reckless. Am I a coward to keep my own vicesss from ssullying our purposse? Am I recklesss in removing what ssshould have never been there in the firssst place? He replied, methodical as he watched the other struggle under the gale. Hideous, warped, ugly... Was this how he saw him now? Ah, but given how Fear saw the rest of them, what other alternative could there be? For a moment Mortis considered the other's thoughts and found it all to be... Nothing out of the ordinary. Fire was brash, Death was eccentric and prone to leaving them all in the dust while he gains the glory. It would only be fitting that Mortis of course would be seen in a similar fashion, he coldly deduced.

    There isss nothing foolissh in what I had done, Fear. He reasoned, patient as he was dispassionate. The routesss were calculated, and thisss one wass deemed the mossst beneficial. I would think you would sssee reasson enough to know to cut off a gangrenousss limb when you sssee it. However, there was always room for error, and his error was not planning for the other's emotions. Venom spat into the arctic chill, and his brother thought to rend him open to see him for what he was. perhaps it would have worked, if there was anything left where he had decided to strike.

    I only do what isss necesssary for our lawsss, Fear. Ass a fellow Judge, I would have thought you would know the duty behind ssacrifice ass well. Again, calm and collected, Mortis only reflected the other's words as he did their feelings, in a rain of ice. I ran because I refused to fall victim to my vicesss, becaussse if I let them linger they would have conssumed me and compromisssed my judicial integrity. There isss no room for a defective perssonality, Fear. Not with our goalsss, not with everything that hass been planned thuss far. Came his steady retort.

    Oh, but this... He had not expected. Steadily the ice he had made manifest started to consume the other, whether he wished it to be so or not was unable to be discerned. After all, for him to let himself be readily assimilated made little sense, given the stock he had put in earlier regarding his work with Livewire and Kev. Had he not gone native to ensure everything went according to plan, to make sure they were invulnerable?

    Kev...

    Livewire...

    Please, this is not how I wanted to go...

    ...Pleading? What was this voice that Fear had taken on? Neither would be answered as there was a crack, and Fear's earlier bombardment of emotion suddenly quelled in the face of his presence. From behind the gale of ice, the other could not rightfully tell what had just transpired, but he did not dare lower it. Not if he wished to remain able to carry out their law. As he managed to find himself a vehicle worthy of his purposes, Fear's voice once again came over the mental link.

    Ass you wisssh, Fear. He replied, getting to work on hot wiring the car he found once he ripped away the driver's side door. With a few sparks and a sputter of the engine trying to catch, there soon was a rev as the Judge was successful in his attempts.

    It was good to be useful again.
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    Re: A Judicial Disagreement

    Post by Fear on Wed Aug 26, 2015 1:57 pm

    They were damned the moment they had followed Sidney on his fool's errand.

    But to argue with a sycophant of Death was to argue with logic itself. Judge Fear heeded his brother's words out of respect and nothing else. There will be no response, no reaction, no following discourse. There will be only... silence. Yes, silence in the void. Let his brother chew on the nothingness he so favoured. Every single word Judge Mortis spewed fell upon deaf, disproving ears; not that the former cared, of course. The only thing his brother seemed willing to entertain was their impossible unlife's mission. Just as well, the helmeted ghoul reasoned. One day, be it a year from now or hundreds, Judge Mortis will see just how futile all of his actions were - how all of their actions were. Dying embers gasped their last breath in the early morning wind and Judge Fear relieved himself of his smoke. Leathery, unfeeling fingers effortlessly crumpled it into dust. There was work to be done...

    Yes, there was always work to be done; a fleeting comfort in the abhorrent expanse of self-sacrifice. Done idling about and left to wallow in the makings of his own demise, Judge Fear rose up from the park bench with a cacophony of grotesque creaks and groans. Their goal came first and foremost, agreed. But afterward, when everything was said and done? As he faced the south and found his feet drawn by an invisible force, the unnatural aura swirling about his person like an ill omen, a single... lone... thought entered the Dark Judge's numbed mind.

    When everything is said and done, their mission a success or a failure, he will unmake all that had transpired on this eve.

    This did he so solemnly swear.

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