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


    Of Brothers and Lambs... and Killer Horses

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    Fear
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    Of Brothers and Lambs... and Killer Horses

    Post by Fear on Fri Jan 13, 2017 10:46 pm

    Time: Morning
    Date: January 12th, 0007



    It was forever since he visited here.

    Stiff, calloused feet walked quietly across frost-laden fields, the sound of ancient joints creaking and groaning with every rigid step. A man traveled alongside a snowy dirt road, his frame tall and shockingly thin, and his brow completely enveloped in old, worn black iron. His feet were bare, stricken with days' old rot. His hands shared an identical fate. Where he went, so too did the flies and the unsettling bitter chill of death. It was an old comfort sorely missed.

    Long before the sun shone its first rays over the horizon, before the soft pastels and pinks of the dawn sky, Fear had journeyed into the unknown wilderness; into God's country, as he liked to call it. Anything could happen at here, where there were no rules, no laws, no securities... The ensuing apprehension was almost thrilling. However, his purpose for today's barefooted excursion was not for personal enjoyment or gain. In both of his gangrenous hands, full and heavy, were two sturdy bags. The treasures inside remained hidden, for now. Soon, though... very soon. The mere thought of their unraveling made the shambling undead positively giddy with delight. And, of course, fear.

    A pensive hum vibrated throughout the air, otherworldly and grave.

    There had been a distinct... silence, since Fear had last spoken to his brother face-to-face. Over the course of several months, they had remained in contact with paper and ink; an alternative that felt far too impersonal and left the helmeted ghoul wanting. How has his brother been? What was he up to? Was he alright? Was he happy...? Such were the thoughts tumbling within Fear's expressionless helm, his anxiety sealed deep inside with the rest of the world's unspoken fears. Things had not been very... uplifting, as of late. The past years had been unkind to them both, yet Fear was determined to keep his relationship with Mortis alive and strong. Ironic choice of words, that. But, then again, their existence had become nothing but ironic.

    Ghostly eyes looked to the horizon, to a direction urged by his soul, and spotted a quaint, unassuming farmhouse off in the wintry distance. Again he hummed, again he felt restless all over again. Would his brother be home? Would his brother let him in? The possibilities seemed truly limitless. Fear silently chastised himself for being so skittish; of course his brother was home, of course his brother would grant him audience. Were they not, after all, brothers?

    Yes.

    Yes, they were. And his brother must have missed him as much as he missed his brother. The concealed gifts weighing down his hands only seemed to grow heavier and heavier with bubbling anticipation.

    Crunch, crunch, crunch... went Fear's decrepit feet on the snow. Rustle, rustle, rustle... went his bags of goodies. There were no melodious jingles of chains and traps, no taut stretching of leather or burdensome cloth. There was just him and his modest apparel for the season: a black turtleneck, black belt complete with a silver buckle, black pants, and (to show his appreciation) a decorated collar from faraway jungle lands. He chose the best one that didn't appear too audacious for today's needs. Wooden floorboards protested against Fear's weight as he ascended the homestead's porch, unceremoniously giving the undead's presence away. Well, it was now or never...

    Knock, knock, knock!

    "Mortisss, are you home?" His voice thundered inside the establishment. "In cassse you have wool in that bleached ssskull of yoursss, it'sss me, Fear! Would you be a dear and kindly let me in? All thisss frossst isss caking my hossst in moisssture..." And you just know how corpses are when saturated, brother.
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    Re: Of Brothers and Lambs... and Killer Horses

    Post by Mortis on Sat Jan 14, 2017 8:27 pm

    Winter had set in full upon the wide stretch of farmland. Every inch of land, whether it be the kept meadow or the tangled jungle of weeds and sprouts of tree saplings, was buried beneath a thick blanket of white snow. The garden's fence poked up above the icy covering, looking almost like a sturdy winter wall surrounding the trellis and bench that sat in the center beneath an equally thick caking of snow.

    Signs of life and unlife were obvious, numerous hoof prints both great and small tracked and flattened most of the gravel driveway that sat between the barn and the farmhouse. One of the lesser known denizens of his brother's home staring down at the ten acres of home thoughtfully from atop the barn roof. Ombre's pitch black feather's fluffed and he briefly spread one broad wing to preen. In all, today was as slow as the last day, and the day before.

    The condor's head swiveled to look out into the snow covered grass where she preferred to roam. The murderous mare was where he last left her; an otherwise intimidating beast was kneeling face first into the snow with her bony rump in the air, and trying her best to force her toothy snout down into a warren. He had seen what drew Samhain's attention so, all twelve of them as they darted in and out of that little hole in the ground. The rabbits of course piqued his interest too, but decided it best to let Samhain do all the work and scavenge the remains.

    Angemort was more preoccupied with the kiddie pool filled with of hay and smashed sugar pumpkin that her Master had set out in the meadow for Woolie's breakfast. Deep snow had been cleared aside to let her get at the feed easily. The ewe was standing at her side, her face contently planted into the mound of food. However, if one looked closely, it was clear she was picking and choosing the bits of sweet pumpkin meat over the hay. Angemort's snout was beside hers, nibbling at a few strands of the green grassy feed as she mimed the action of eating. Any bits of hay she did ingest readily fell out of the rot holes in her cheeks, and back into the pile.

    All in all, it was a typical morning.

    A golden eye flicked back over to Samhain, the condor's pupil dilating and contracting slightly as he resumed watching Samhain go about her attempts to dig out the warren and the small feast that huddled within it. Now she was shoveling the entrance out with her teeth, ripping up and throwing away chunks of frozen dirt and weeds. She was making good headway, as clod after clod of black earth tumbled into the snow. Ombre adjusted his position on the roof, flexing his scaly toes as he turned his attention fully upon her digging. The hole was almost big enough to stick her nose down and possibly pull up a few tender morsels. He raised his shoulders in anticipation of swooping down and snagging a fresh carcass, the feathers around his neck fluffing up and laying flat. Fluffing and laying flat.

    Then she suddenly stopped. Samhain's head lifted from her task, a chunk of frozen dirt clenched between her teeth as the stubby remains of her one missing ear twitched to the side, towards the road. Something was dividing her attention. Rising from her awkward kneel in the snow she shook her head and relieved her mouth of the gritty clump. Her head followed the direction of the stub, a low puff blowing from her mummified nostrils. Ombre's head flicked in a glance in the direction she was facing, shifting from side to side from his perch. What did she see?

    In the distance, the condor's eyes made out a dark figure that stood out starkly against the snow, walking towards the house. The bird cocked his head to the side, it looked like their master, but at the same time it clearly was not. Ombre shuffled and ruffled his feathers, waddling across the roof peak to stand at the edge that faced the road. Whatever was coming, he fully expected to get a face-full of hooves and teeth within the next few seconds.

    ...Any second now.

    ...Any second, Samhain.

    He waited a few breaths more, yet the thunder of hooves never came. There was no streak of black and putrid green that came to meet this particular visitor. Instead, there was a dull, slow drum of heavy hooves against the frozen ground as the mare walked over, ears pricked forward. She puffed again in Angemort's direction as she passed the improvised feeding trough, and Woolie's breakfast buddy picked her head up, hay hanging loosely out of the sides of her face like whiskers.

    Neither of them had seen Fear in a long, long while, but Samhain remembered him well enough without the toothy mantle and cape. He still felt the same, his aura was a familiar presence in the same sense that Mortis' aura was to them. As he came to step up to the front door, the grinning, towering mare's hooves plodded in behind him, walking over the bare footprints he left in the snow and easily engulfing them with her own tracks. Angemort slowly followed in behind her, ears pricked towards her sister as she approached this visitor and his very interesting, chewable-looking headgear. She paused as his voiced thundered and his bony knuckled rapped upon the door.

    But, as the world grew silent again, Fear waiting for his brother to come to the door, he would find the winter environment to be the least of his worries. Loud snuffing blew against the sides of his helmet, and if he chanced a glance in their direction, he would find Samhain's snout grinning into his own smiling slits. Her lips were coated in a grimly mustache of fresh earth. Angemort craned her head to look past the other's bony buttocks; from Fear's perspective her face slowly emerged just over Samhain's shoulder, bearing a dumb skeletal grin. She was obviously interested in the metallic wings that poked out so invitingly from Fears head.

    Master is here.

    Samhain replied first, her voice a hoarse huff within the undead's psyche. She gave a cursory sniff of the bags in Fear's arms before looking back at the door. Another presence prodded the retired Dark Judge, this one was icy, rotten... And a tad melancholic. The latter seemed repressed and muffled, like a subtle background noise that hummed in the back of the icy mental presence. A mental communication link was soon opened.

    ...Brother? I will sssee you in a moment, allow me to get to the door. I had not been expecting you. The sheep-skulled superfiend sounded genuinely surprised at the visit.

    Not long after, sounds of movement could be heard within the single floor farmhouse. Muffled hissing, shuffling feet, and soon, the sound of a lock clicking open and the door knob turning aside. The door creaked open, revealing Mortis in the middle of getting his overcoat on over his leathers. Though it was but a coat, Mortis felt a little more complete with it on. The partially rotten leathers he constantly wore felt more like a second skin than actual clothing since his retirement. He adjusted the coat upon his shoulders as he looked over the helmeted superfiend.

    "You are looking sssmart today, brother." He opined, empty sockets glanced over his attire. "I sssee you are wearing one of the collarsss, I am glad you are enjoying them... The lizard-folk do like their colorsss, yesss. Oh, but I am here prattling while you are in the sssnow with your armss full. Come in, Fear."

    He stepped aside, holding the door open for Fear to come in. What he would find was a far cry from the two-story farmhouse he and Mortis had used as a temporary base in the past. To the immediate right of the door was a simple coat and shoe rack fashioned from wood. From the doorway he would be able to see the family room and the border of the kitchen with its sandy yellow and clay red tiling. Directly facing the front door was the hallway that lead further back into the house. Up against the wall of it was a small table with a ceramic incense bowl set on top of it, a trail of smoke curled lazily from within the green glazed lip. Though neither of them could smell it, the grey twisting ribbon carried a heavy scent of sage, garlic, and clove.

    "You mussst have walked a long way. Ressst your feet on the couch if you like," Mortis hissed, indicating to the other room with a nod. "It isss sspaciousss enough for it- I know from experience. Ssset the bagss wherever you sssee fit."

    Even when it came to his own brother, Mortis was out of practice regarding what exactly to do with unplanned guests- or any guest, for that matter.
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    Re: Of Brothers and Lambs... and Killer Horses

    Post by Fear on Mon Feb 20, 2017 3:43 pm

    ...Oh right, there was a vulture. He looked up and stared at the overgrown turkey. Vultures... Ironically, the first animal Fear had the displeasure of meeting on Portal Breach were vultures. He had also purged them for defecating upon his judicial person, but there was no reason to mention such a thing to Mortis' latest pet. The premise was tempting, though, should Ombre get any wild ideas...

    A chilly puff of rancid air disturbed his amusing thoughts.

    Master is here.

    Ah yes, the horses. That would be Samhain, the most troublesome of the pair. Angemort was predictably silent, yet there were a few naughty ideas swimming in her gangrenous melon. Fear beat them both to the punch by rigidly about-facing, both mares squarely in his ethereal sights. "Sssamhain, Angemort," he greeted them kindly. "It isss good to sssee you again. I take it you were fissshing for vermin, Sssamhain?" Her bony rump to the sky was an interesting sight, first thing in the morning. Mischievous little tart... "You might have better luck trying a ssstick of dynamite, but that'sss jussst me." Where and how a horse would find and use dynamite wasn't a concern of Fear's. It'd be bloody good fun to witness such a spectacle, and that's all he cared about. Though, he reckoned Mortis wouldn't be happy about a WWII retelling on his front yard... Speaking of, where was that miserable old codger?

    ...Brother? I will sssee you in a moment, allow me to get to the door. I had not been expecting you.

    The icy, rotten malaise of his brother's unique aura had sorely been missed. It felt... homely, even the understated gloom. Fear pivoted back around and gladly opened his end of their psychic bond. "I got the drop on you, did I?" he spoke aloud, the mirth in his otherworldly timbre apparent. "Tut tut, brother! Thessse horsssesss have ssspoiled you." Fear of course meant this in good jest, and was delighted to see Mortis in the flesh. Well, as close enough to it, anyway. There were a great many tattered bits, see... Ghostly eyes were drawn to the other undead's coat. "And I can sssay the sssame for yourssself," he chuckled. "That overcoat feelsss very... hmm, wessstern, methinksss? Very dark and mysssterioussss; it sssuitsss you well." Coupled with a pair of revolvers, a sturdy horse, and a wide-brimmed hat, Mortis would look like quite the gunslinger in a lawless, rugged land. "Nonsssenssse," Fear limply gestured - both hands were currently occupied. "Prattle all you want, Mortisss. What isss time to usss, hmm?" He stepped inside when offered, thanking his brother, and wiped those grotesque feet of his before entering fully. Out of winter's dripping clutches and pleased to once again drink of familiar surroundings, the helmeted ghoul released a quiet, relieved sigh. "Ahh... it feelsss good to be here again." However, it also felt... different? It didn't take very long to discover a jar of burning incense.

    "Ah, that explainsss the dulling," Fear remarked offhandedly. Not that he would complain, though. A bit of dampening was tolerable. The stooped undead made his way for the family room (an interesting name, that) and took Mortis up on his offer. Fear found a couch and parked his bony buttocks with as much grace as a cadaver can allow. The creaks and groans of his host was nothing short of a cacophony. Now that he was situated, it was time to mingle and enjoy themselves. "Have you been keeping well?" he asked, setting the bags down beside his feet. "It ssseemsss quite cozy here, all by yourssself. I think you did an excellent job with the place."
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    Re: Of Brothers and Lambs... and Killer Horses

    Post by Mortis on Thu Feb 23, 2017 9:29 pm

    As Fear stared up at the “overgrown turkey”, he too stared back. Unfortunately, while Ombre had delivered Mortis’ letters to his household during the long months that they had been separated, he only had known the helmet wearing undead by his more fleshy, living form. The condor spread his massive wings, giving them a small flap to chase the restlessness from his feathers.  Given that Samhain’s attempts to dig out the family of rabbits had been interrupted, he would have to look elsewhere for breakfast.

    There was a loud whoosh as the huge bird flapped his immense wingspan - which easily surpassed Fear’s own height by a meter and then some, and hopped from his perch into flight. Ombre’s massive wings clapped as he set off in search of an abiding updraft; and was not reserved in croaking his distaste to the visitor as he passed overhead.

    Samhain and Angemort picked their heads up to watch the bird as it left, before focusing back on Fear, who about-faced on the two of them. Angemort stepped back at the sudden movement, her holey ears pinning and pricking back forward. Samhain shook her head and snorted, lifting her long face from where she had been sniffing at his helm.

    Yes, the rabbits keep teasing me, jumping in and out of their hole in the ground. I do not like the rabbits.

    Then again, Samhain did not like much of anything or anyone that thought to trespass without her approval. Angemort however flicked an ear to the side at the suggested method of getting them out of the ground.

    What is dynamite?

    Her sister had a different question, which she expressed a little too eagerly.

    Where do we get dynamite?

    Thankfully, their conversation about creative ways to deal with pests had been interrupted by their respective master and brother. His head tilted at what he managed to pick up from Samhain’s end of their mental link. Naughty girl, that Samhain. He swore she was getting smarter with every passing month, the longer they stayed connected.

    ”Yesss, I thought you would be busssy,” He replied, turning his gaze from Samhain to his brother. Compared to his jolly tone, Mortis’ own voice clashed with  subdued. ”The girlsss are very good at keeping an eye on thingsss, I mussst admit. Usssually I do not have any unexpected vissitorss.”

    Or any visitors, for that matter. Barely a soul looked forward to voluntarily braving the wilderness, and even fewer came out here to see him due to the fact that he really did not have any friends aside from his brother to speak of. But, he supposed that was to be expected when one lived so far away from the city, and his aura could readily seep into one’s soul and poison the living who were foolish enough to visit too often. Despite the situation, the undead was thankful that there were no repeats of the prior year, and the animals made fine, surprisingly attentive companions.

    At least, Mortis assumed nothing ill happened that was his fault, given Fear was happy to see him.

    He could feel Fear’s gaze being drawn to his coat, as he adjusted it to sit comfortably upon his shoulders. Dark, mysterious, these were interesting choices to call his clothing choice. But he supposed it was a massive difference compared to the sweater and pants his brother wore. Different un-lifestyles called for different attire to best match them.

    ”My thanksss. I wear thesse to keep the cold and moisssture off my hossst, I have another for when I go outssside that I put over thiss.” He indicated to the long, dark duster coat that was hanging by the door with a talon. "Ssso far there hass been little isssue with ice getting into the jointsss of my hossst. I believe the cloth might be treated for shedding water.” Mortis rasped. His tone lifted a little as he said it, sounding fairly pleased with his find.

    Next to it, Fear would find the wide-brimmed hat he was thinking about, but instead of pistols, there was a double barreled shotgun leaning against the wall next to where the coat was hanging. It’s metal gleamed and the wood of its stock carried a luster that suggested the weapon was well cared for -- and thus, well used.

    Prattle was fine and good, but the superfiend preferred to do it when his brother was inside and comfortable, instead of turning to a corpsecicle outside with his hands full. Once he was welcomed in, Mortis turned to close the door only to find that a small, fluffy creature decided she wanted in.

    Woolie trotted up the steps, weaving between the two horses as they turned to return to the meadow, and stuck her nose her ma’s spindly legs, and gave a small baa. She could smell that someone else was here, and had heard her Uncle’s voice from where she was eating behind the house.

    ”Did you eat all of your breakfassst?” Mortis hissed, and leaned out as if to look at what was currently the feeding trough. "I think I sssee a few sscrapsss of hay left.”

    The little black ewe bleated a loudly and pawed a cloven hoof at his tattered leathers.

    I did, Ma! I ate everything!

    Now let her in!

    Mortis hummed and tapped a talon to his chin thoughtfully, but otherwise knew that his daughter was smart enough to know not to lie. He was not sure she even possessed the mental capacity to do so.

    ”Alright, but wipe your feet, it isss muddy out there.” He rasped.

    Obediently, Woolie pawed at the lip of the door frame, shedding as much dirt from her little trotters as she could, and lifted them to present to her Ma for approval before stepping inside. The ewe nearly galloped into the family room the moment she touched the carpet. Among the soft tapping of the sheep’s hooves upon the floor, he would hear a chorus of bleating as she came to greet him on the couch.

    Mortis shut the door behind him and pivoted to shamble into the family room. Fear would find that there as a worn brown couch peeking around the edge of the doorway, which looked more than big enough to comfortably accommodate a being of Fear’s size, whether he was sitting or laying out on the cushions - and was soft enough that the undead would find himself sinking into the cushions upon sitting down. Just in front of it was an old black analog television sitting on a stand made of dark wood. In its center were two small shelves, flanked by either side with two small cabinet doors that took up the rest of the stand’s face. Within one of the shelves was a VCR, and a very slim, equally dark gaming console perched on top of the shelf above it. Right in front of the couch was a squat coffee table made of dark, nearly black wood. Two wide drawers took up the face of it that faced the couch. The wall behind the couch was almost completely covered by shelves, which were sparsely populated by the sleeves of movies that Mortis found worth keeping, but some looked oddly like games.

    If he thought to have a peek, Fear would find they were all some form of horror or gory slasher.

    There was another set of shelves to the undead’s right, which also held a few movies. Directly in front was a sliding glass door that gave a nice view of the north side of the property, which sprawled out in a vast field of snow that was only broken by the silhouette of a wooden fence that struggled to be seen from under the dense white cover.

    ”I had to get the place rebuilt when I moved in, it wasss in- ah, disssrepair from a prior visssit.” He seemed hesitant to bring up the subject, and quickly set to move on. ”Ah, yess... I placed that to diminisssh my aura, mossstly to deter any wandering ssspiritsss from sssettling in and to keep Woolie from coming acrosss any ssshadesss in the middle of the night. Ssshe hass yet to come to me with complaintsss.”

    The ewe, meanwhile, had pressed her head against Fear’s knee- her way of demanding pets. Mortis stepped around her, coming to sit next to his brother on the couch with a creak and a dry groan from his joints.

    ”I believe sssso. Thingsss have been ssslow, but many thingss ssslow down during the colder monthsss.” He idly hissed. ”Assside from one  odd vissit in Ssseptember, I have gone ssseveral monthsss without ssseeing another sssoul out here. If it were not for the telly and the radio I would sswear the world isss uninhabited.”

    There was of course, the visit by the wendigo and a few other uninvited mental intrusions by his personal demons, but it hardly seemed like something worth bringing up. They were nothing more than passing dramas The larger animals retreat to their holes to rest, and the deep snow deters all but the most determined of personalities. Even so, he did not mind. The less activity there was, the quieter the grasslands tended to be. The quieter it was, the happier he was.

    His skull swiveled slightly, looking around at the room. He supposed his home was kept rather nicely for it being just him and the animals. But at the same time, the sheep-skull headed undead was not very keen on staying in a complete sty, despite his decaying appearance. Mortis gave a small sigh and shrugged at the observation.

    ”I do my bessst. I do not like the idea of Woolie running around in a messsy home.” He explained. The place did not exactly gleam, but it looked clean enough that one did not wonder if their feet picked up a new,undiscovered breed of dust bunny when walking from room to room.
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    Re: Of Brothers and Lambs... and Killer Horses

    Post by Fear on Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:27 am

    "Mm..." Yes siree, leave it to Mortis to find a bigger killjoy than himself. Fear witnessed Ombre's departure with a half dozen stink-eyes. If asked, he would confess that birds made for terrible pets. What, with all the feathers and droppings left haphazardly about... Fortunately (or unfortunately), the horses made for far better conversation; and they were less rude about it, too. "Sssamhain, you do not like much of anything," pointed out Fear, in jest. It was good to see that some things hadn't changed. As for the dynamite? The helmeted ghoul could only shrug those bony shoulders of his. "What do I look like, a miner? I reckon you could find a bundle or two at sssome engineering ssshop. Doubt they'd sssell it to you, though... How are you with money?"

    ”Yesss, I thought you would be busssy. The girlsss are very good at keeping an eye on thingsss, I mussst admit. Usssually I do not have any unexpected vissitorss.”

    Alas! The subject was dropped for now.

    Fear regarded his brother quizzically, perhaps confused about something or other. "Busssy?" he reiterated, otherworldly voice echoing through the house's timber. "That'sss sssort of an oxymoron, innit?" Something something the dead have no concept of time something... Ah, but such a matter was like beating a, pardon him, dead horse. The subject of water-resistant clothing was far more interesting.

    "Ah, the sssmall luxuriesss of modern goodsss," Fear rasped. And here the helmeted superfiend simply allowed himself to get wet. What a dunce! The grave may giveth patience, but it also taketh an ounce of critical thinking. Or, in Fear's case, a pound. There was something his musty noggin recognized very well, however, and that was the gleaming luster of Mortis' boomstick. Just the sight of it hearkened back to glorious times - bloody and murderous times, but nonetheless glorious. "Not ssstandard isssue," the ghoul remarked, a smile embedded within his tone, "but neverthelessss effective. Nothing more gratifying than ssseeing a ssshower of fresssh gory bitsss." Even though both towering undeads were technically retired, that didn't mean they couldn't purge a witless trespasser or two.

    ...Or ten. No harm in upping the body count.

    The sound of bleating was a welcome distraction (as the mere thought of killing was a temptation in and of itself), and Fear glanced downward at the homestead's smallest denizen. "And who'sss thisss, then?" he questioned with resonating mirth. "Isss thisss a young Woolie coming to greet her sssmelly, old uncle?" But of course it was! Monstrous hands scooped up the lamb in one fell act and gently laid Woolie upon Fear's awaiting lap, the superfiend petting her soft head all the while. His eyes, meanwhile, continued to inspect every visible inch of Mortis' living room. An odd name, that. "Bloody hell, isss that an analogue telly? You can't even imagine how hard it isss to find one in the city. All the wretched idiot boxesss are 'flat ssscreen' thisss, 'LCD ABC that'. I missss the daysss of dialsss and knobsss." The VCR was also a pleasant sight, for today's generation seemed to fancy DVDs and little... streaming boxes, was it? Bah, it was all so needlessly complex. Did his brother seem to have one, though? There was a slim black box, but it was on its... side?

    "And, ah, what do you have there, brother?" he asked, pointing a wretched claw at the offending item. "I've never ssseen sssuch a thing before." Fear didn't regard himself as the nosy sort, but he was quite curious. He knew it wasn't a VCR for the VCR was over there; the gory movies also wouldn't fit into the other device. Excellent taste in cinematic genre, by the way. Scarface would be a great addition. Perhaps for next Christmas?

    ”I had to get the place rebuilt when I moved in, it wasss in- ah, disssrepair from a prior visssit.”

    Hmm, an... interesting shift in tone, there.

    Something was amiss, yet Fear knew better than to pry. He instead nurtured the affection Woolie so happily craved. "Evil ssspiritsss and ssshadesss, isss that right?" The ghoul swept his unwavering gaze left and right, helmet creaking. "Methinksss it would be a good idea to ward the perimeter of your land, ssshould you haven't already done ssso. There isss no harm in extra sssecurity, eh wot?" As much as it seemed how the world was uninhabited, it was, indeed, not. Again, there was something missing - something his brother opted not to reveal - but Fear kept to himself. He knew very well how dangerous the country lifestyle could be. "No harm in keeping a bible around either, I sssupposssse." But, perhaps there was already one here?

    "I think you do a fine job, for what it'sss worth," Fear praised. "Given your particular... sssupernatural qualitiesss, it could certainly be far worssse. Ironic, consssidering the living create messsssessss asss quickly asss they clean them."
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    Re: Of Brothers and Lambs... and Killer Horses

    Post by Mortis on Fri Mar 24, 2017 8:53 pm

    It was true, Samhain held very little taste for most living things, and only a fraction less of undead things. Even so, the nefariously clever horse committed part of Fear’s response to memory. Dynamite came from engineering shops, and had something to do with this... Money.  Perhaps it was for the better that the subject was dropped - if only to spare their guest from having to get any further into a conversation with two horses about dynamite.

    That sounded like a complete fever dream without having to be involved in the first place.

    ”Yesss, busssy. Of the both of uss, you have the more involved un-life.” Mortis replied, he certainly did not see much of an oxymoron about it.

    Last he remembered, Fear had a family, friends, even a part-time job. Keeping up with it all made one incredibly busy, or so Mortis thought. But even so he still managed to have time to come out here to visit. His brother did not seem so interested in discussing how or how not Mortis’ statement could be an oxymoron, and was promptly dropped. The topic of clothing that shed the weather that would otherwise force the joints of their hosts to seize was of far greater importance.

    Out here, an ounce of critical thinking was enough to get out of a tricky situation, especially when residing by one’s lonesome. Mortis followed Fear’s gaze to the boomstick that sat proudly against the wall, and a similar grin slithered its way into Mortis’ voice that echoed the eternal morbid smile that spread from cheekbone to cheekbone.

    ”Yesss, it isss incredibly effective on the local wildlife and intimidates the rowdier localsss, earlier thisss ssummer I had cut down a group of sssinnerss in a ssingle night with it.” He rocked back on his heels as he regaled his brother with the memory. ”Thievess and criminalsss, the sssort of lot that had no busssinesss being within ten miless of thisss place.”

    Yes, just him, his gun, and his rotting touch... And maybe Samhain, who had been busy covering the exits of the bar he had cornered them in for any escapees. There was nothing like finding a group of perps caught with their hands tied at a place called The Twice Tied Snake. Though there was part of him that dearly wished that there were more than merely five who came to gather and plot that fateful night.

    Woolie’s antics often made for a fitting distraction, regardless of who was around.

    Uncle Fear! Hi Uncle Fear!

    Her big amber eyes looked up at Fear’s grinning helmet, and her dense fluffy tail gave an excited wiggle. It had been months since she had seen Uncle Fear! Perhaps he would be able to tell how hard it was to stand still around him with all the excited eager energy bouncing around within her.

    The diminutive black ewe was sporting a dense winter coat, that readily swallowed her uncle’s bony digits within their fluff upon being grasped. It was much like plucking up a low hanging cloud from the floor. The ewe bleated happily- and a little more deeply than she did months ago, as she got situated upon Fear’s lap, the skeletal nature of his limbs hardly a bother. It was about the same as sitting with her Ma. Woolie’s little limbs tucked up under her wool, and may as well have disappeared beneath her. While Fear looked around the room, she contentedly leaned into the affection and her amber eyes squinted shut.

    Of all the things that were around the living- or more un-living room- it seemed Fear’s greatest interest was piqued by the TV. From where Mortis sat on the couch, he looked at the shiny surface of the black screen. Evidently such artifacts from decades past were a rarity in the city.

    While Fear was surprised at seeing the glass and plastic fossil, Mortis regarded it matter-of-factly. ”Oh yesss, that isss the sssame one from the farmhoussse prior to remodeling. The ssset wasss sssalvagable ssso I kept it. The picture ripsss every now and again but it hasss been faithful, methinksss the rabbit earsss may be the problem.” Mortis replied, "I am surprised, I would have thought you would have preferred the newer modelsss, given the better picture."

    1080 pixels, liquid crystal arrays, HDMI and crisp crystal clear sound and visuals... Mortis had heard plenty about them when the ads rolled between the evening programs. However, he simply lacked the interest to journey into the city and peruse the shops for a new one, given he was already looking at the ad with a system of his own. He could make do with a few less pixels worth of resolution to bring out the news anchor’s pores.

    His skull swiveled to follow Fear’s gaze towards whatever else caught his many, many eyes. They both paused at the odd slim box that sat above the VCR, and his brother was the first to make note of the strange device. Ah, right that thing, he often forgot he had it with everything else he did to keep himself busy.

    ”That isss a gaming sssysstem, I found it in one of the derelict homesss you and the machine purged a few yearsss back. They make for good resssource sssalvage. The place had sssome gamesss ass well and I decided to sssee why they were ssso popular.” Mortis explained, a talon indicating to the few sleeves of odd games sitting around.

    There were the warfare fields and battle fights, and a number of low-poly horror games where all the characters looked like they were haphazardly sawed out of a block of wood by a carver with attention-span issues. Mortis bent down, the discs in his spine popping loudly as he reached for the drawer of the coffee table.

    ”Thessse onesss are oddly fasscinating, I find.” He pulled it open with that statement, and revealed a whole drawer filled with brightly colored sleeves that looked as if someone sneezed a whole factory of pixie-sticks upon them. Silhouettes of dancing people stood out in stark black against the splatters of blinding color, and above them was a clear name.

    An infernal name that may as well have been regarded with the same ire as the Lake Demon:

    DDR.

    All of them were some form of the strange dancing game. Beneath it was the equally brightly colored dancing pad, neatly folded to fit on the bottom of the drawer.

    He closed it soon after, and what may as well have been technicolor black magic was sealed away once again.

    Next to him, Woolie happily received her affection, leaning into the scratches and wagging her fluffy feather-duster of a tail. As for the shades and spirits, Mortis nodded and shifted a little in his seat.

    ”Yesss, my aura tendsss to attract sssuch thingss. Perhapsss you have noticed odd happeningsss that occurred once were moved in long enough with Kev?” The undead hissed, ”No ghasstly sssilhouettesss floating around or sssupernatural occurrencess?”

    He found it hard to believe his brother would not have known about any odd side-effects of his aura clinging to the house, being the perceptive undead he was. But, he did have an idea about warding the property to keep the stranger denizens of the wild from thinking to trespass.

    ”Ssso far the property isss protected enough by myssself and the horssesss, but perhapsss sssome warding would do. I sssee no point in a bible given the range of creaturesss that roam thisss place.” Alas, Mortis was not exactly a man of the book, and did not keep a bible around on the property. He had a nagging suspicion that not all evil entities tended to revere the name “Christ” with the same amount of terror- and given his luck it would be that kind of devil or foul spirit that decided to peek in the window. ”Methinkss the ward would be a better all-round defenssse.”

    His brother seemed to be curious about something, but Mortis decided to let him keep it to himself, Fear had the ability to be forward and initiate when he wished. Instead of shifted his focus to Fear’s apporval of how well the house was kept, given its owner.

    While fear attempted to be tactful, Mortis was beyond such niceties. They had a drinking contest where Fear vomited up his own tongue that was promptly thrown at a wall by the sheep-skull headed creature next to him, remember? "There isss no reassson to tip-toe around the isssue. My touch and aura bring decay in one form or another. I realize how odd it musst ssseem that the houssse looksss asss intact and well-kept ass it doesss.”

    But the case still stood, so long as Mortis resided with one such as Woolie, he would refuse to let the house wither and toxify to the point where she could hurt herself.
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    Re: Of Brothers and Lambs... and Killer Horses

    Post by Fear on Sat Apr 08, 2017 9:52 pm

    "...earlier thisss ssummer I had cut down a group of sssinnerss in a ssingle night with it."

    A pang of envy - just a small one.

    Even if his brother had mowed down a paltry handful of five, Fear felt as if he'd give anything just to purge one. Such were the burdens of sacrifice, however, and the helmeted ghoul instead turned his emotions into a more productive state of mind. "Well look at you, bringing the law to the lawlesssss," he rasped in delight. The smile in his reverberating voice matched Mortis' inch for inch and was just as equally sadistic. "I hope you had a grand ol' time, and with lotsss of blood, ha ha!" There was no mistaking the genuine nature of his laughter. As much as Fear longed for a good bout of hunting the wicked, his brother needed the catharsis more. Blowing a few gory melons was quite therapeutic for releasing frustration and steam. And so was a bleating, fluffy lamb who demanded a generous handful of pets, of course!

    Woolie would find that her dear uncle was more than capable of satiating her need for attention. Without the niggling sensation of fatigue or strain, Fear could pet her all day and more! Rotted fingers stroked up and down the lamb's body ceaselessly. "The newer telliesss are harder for me to comprehend," the ghoul admitted. When it came to technology, Fear was not the most gifted; though, he nevertheless made attempts. "There are ssso many optionsss and buttonsss on thessse new thingsss, that I can't help but feel overwhelmed. Frankly, I think half the population doesssn't even bother with them."

    There was such a thing as too many bells and whistles.

    "That isss a gaming sssysstem, I found it in one of the derelict homesss you and the machine purged a few yearsss back."

    ...A what? If Fear thought himself struggling with the concept of a gaming system was a chore, his ancient mind was completely blown away by all the colourful, outlandish boxes strewn about inside the drawer. The superfiend's confusion seeped across their psychic bond. "And jussst what in the hell isss DDR?" It was a dance title, judging by the bold-faced titles and accompanied gamepad, but that didn't lessen Fear's impression. People actually wasted money on such... such absurdities!? He glanced away from Mortis' 'gaming' collection and did his best equivalent of a frown. "I missss the daysss of sssimple thingsss, like Pong..." he muttered. Or, you know, a good book. Whatever happened to those? Ludicrous... Simply ludicrous. The conversation thankfully shifted to something more deserving of their collective energies: dark spirits and malevolent forces.

    He shook his helmet and answered, "No, I have not. Perhapsss in the beginning, but I took precautiounsss asss sssoon asss I could afford. Other than the occasssional ssseepage of an icy cold or wandering negative thought, I remain vigilant." Their otherworldly aura was, admittedly, a problem. A big problem if left unchecked, but not completely bereft of solutions. "Wardsss are my preferred defenssse," Fear added, "but they are generic at bessst. A bible isss good for thossse following the Chrissstian dogma. Ssshould you encounter a devil or evil ssspirit, much like ourssselvesss, that are bound to itsss rulesss, a generic ward will be of insssufficient ussse. The sssame isss true for mossst of humanity'sss religionsss." Most, but not all. Fear may be knowledgeable, but even his knowledge was limited to what frequented Deadworld. When it came to inter-dimensional beings and creatures of more alien origins, however... his guess was ultimately as good as his brother's. Angelic elements still bloody smarted, though...

    In the end, it seemed that his brother delved in right for the kill, forgoing a few superficial manners of polite discourse. However, it was not the state in which Mortis kept his house spic and span, that piqued Fear's curiosity...

    His hold upon Woolie softened.

    "Brother," he rasped, "what happensss within thessse wallsss isss your own busssinessss. You need not feel compelled to explain any further." And that was all Fear said on the matter before stroking the lamb's back with renewed gusto. "I am sssimply glad that you and the animalsss are faring well. It hasss been quite sssome time sssince I lassst ssstepped foot into thessse hallsss. Many thingsss have happened, many thingsss have changed. Neverthelesssss, Mortisss, thisss isss your sssanctuary and I ressspect that." Which is precisely why Fear spoke nothing of the basement and its residual energies.

    It was time for yet another shift in topic. "How wasss your holiday?" Fear asked. "Did you and the animalsss do anything fun, relaxing? With all the sssnow outssside and the darker nightsss, I bet it wasss quite a sssight for young Woolie here." Grotesque nails scratched the underside of her chin delicately. "What sssay you, lassss, hmm?"
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    Re: Of Brothers and Lambs... and Killer Horses

    Post by Mortis on Sun Apr 09, 2017 7:12 pm

    There was a series of pops and snaps as Mortis shrugged his skeletal shoulders.

    ”I may asss well, I am the closssessst thing to law out here.” Mortis rasped, ”There wasss not ssso much blood asss there wasss rot, I threw one of them mid-decay and he exploded like a bloated fly againssst a wall. Although, sssome of them may ssstill be around, their leader sssaid sssomething about being only one head on a hydra or sssomething-sssuch” The undead superfiend tapped a talon to his chin as he recalled that fateful evening.

    So who knew, maybe Fear could find himself knocking a few skulls open himself if ventured into the right place at the right time. That would certainly ease those pent up murderous urges and indulge his sadistic tendencies. But in order to do that, he supposed that would require taking an absence from the city, and that would risk worrying Kev and Livewire- along with drawing their ire in regards to this sacrifice.

    But as pleasing and cathartic ending a few iniquitous lives were, there was something about blowing off steam that became ever more challenging when one was no longer able to feel fatigue.

    The undead glanced over to watch Woolie as she was absolutely spoiled with petting. The ewe leaned into the strokes and nearly rolled herself over into his hand to get those magic claws down past her thick winter coat. All day, without growing tired of petting? That sounded like- well, every time Woolie asked for attention from Ma, but it was heavenly nonetheless.

    Regarding the tellies however, Fear may have had a point in regards to there being too many things stuck on them lately. Mortis nodded in agreement with his brother’s sentiments with a few loud pops and crackles from his neck. Being trained for a specialization that drew the helmeted superfiend away from the latest in tech likely did little to ease this technical ignorance.

    ”Yesss, I hear of them on the adsss. Ssstreaming, recording, binge-watching...” Mortis shook his skeletal head. ”Perhapsss there isss a sssort of attraction to thosse venuesss, but I do not see them to the extent asss they are advertisssed. I do well enough with finding a blank tape and recording through the VCR.”

    Although it was damn irritating when it decided to eat the magnetic tape.

    The concept of a gaming system on the other hand, while easily overcomplicated, could just as quickly be simplified down to “disc goes in the thingy and puts a vidya game on the telly.” But, it seemed Fear was already blown too far away from seeing the small stack of dancing games down in the drawer of the coffee table. Confusion seeped across their bond, and Mortis fanned it aside with a simple explanation.

    ”It isss a dancing rhythm game. Dance Dance Ressissstance or wasss it Revolt? You ssstep on the pad that matchesss the symbol on the sscreen, from what I gathered from trying it. The sssymbolsss come up in accordance with the beat. Sssome mussic hass fasster rhythmsss than otherss, and the challenge comesss from trying to keep up.” The undead rasped.

    Of course, when one could just about jump across a room faster than the mortal eye could keep track and sidestep bullets if desired, fast footwork was more a given than a developed skill. But the undead superfiend could not help but agree that many of these things were more of a waste of money to waste even more time. Although if he did want a book, there were a few in the family room -or was it the living room?- neatly arranged upon the shelves behind the shuttered doors of an old wooden cabinet. That is, if he was fond of topics regarding gardening and sheep care. However, there was unfortunately little reading material there for dealing with their strange auras.

    The sheep-skull headed superfiend gave a small nod in understanding. He had just about exorcized the entire property before he had the house rebuilt. From the top floors to the basement, the undead had checked every nook and cranny for residual energy that could be removed before he even thought of doing anything with his home- much less have anything to do with raising a sheep.

    "Asss do I.” Mortis agreed. ”Even with the incenssse I go through the housse each week with sssage.”

    Although there were some advantages to keeping a little bit of residual energy around, pulling a shade from the walls to distract an intruder, for instance. That sure threw a wayward wendigo for a loop when he used that little trick.

    In regards to the not-so-old Bible v. Ward debate, Mortis shifted slightly in his broken down seat. ”I sssupposse ssso. The thingsss I have encountered out here do not ssseem to follow the Chrisstian dogma, however. I would sssay they are more akin to native culturesss. But that doesss not mean a demon or devil of that type could come by. All typess come through the portalsss.”

    Much like when Mortis was still in the lawful line of work, he wasted little time in going for the jugular, whether it was on a sinner or a conversation topic. But in knocking down the facade of one pleasantry, it revealed that the helmeted undead next to him was not all that interested in why the house looked as clean as it did. In the process, the petting slowed, and Woolie glanced up from her content position on his lap, licking away a strand of drool that started to drip from the corner or her mouth. Looking from her uncle to her ma, she noticed the more skeletal one of the duo gave a small sigh and leaned back slightly in the soft brown cushions of the couch.

    ”My thanksss, brother." He rasped, there were plenty of things that he would rather not delve into during this day. Things that may not be able to be understood.

    Fear was only glad that things were going well and no one was unwell. Mortis was glad that his brother did not think to stick a talon into slowly closing wounds. This house was his sanctuary, and the trio that had been there since he had it rebuilt steadily grew to be his closest friends. One of them happily squinted her eyes at the resumed petting and let her wide ears droop.

    As for the holiday, Mortis tilted his skull to look at Fear from where he was reclined on the couch. ”I bought the horssess sssome new riding equipment and treatsss, oh- and coversss to keep the fliess off during the sssummer. Woolie hasss a cloak to keep the mud off of her now and ssome ear warmerss. Ombre hass a few thingsss that I thought he would like, ssshiny thingss, a heating pad, additionsss to make the loft ssseem a little more homey for him.” He nodded towards the doorway to the hallway to their left. ”Woolie hasss a new bed, ssshe outgrew the old one. Ssshe abssolutely lovesss it, I have to wake her up for breakfassst now becausse ssshe getsss ssso comfortable there ssshe doess not want to get up.”

    And of course, Mortis decided to give himself a few gifts as well, one of which was steadily being drained from the fridge during the slower days.

    Woolie looked up from her pampering as yellow talons scratched wonderfully upon her little chin. Her opinion on the whole matter that was winter came with a happy bleat and a wag of her tail.

    The snow is really cold but I like jumping in it with Aunty Angie. Ma has been me in during the evening now for dinner since the days are shorter, he says he does not like me eating in the dark, but I also hear howling further out past the fence. I miss the weeds in the meadow though.

    All that thick white fluff just smothered the dandelions and clover completely. Although speaking of snow, that brought up an interesting memory...

    Oh! We had a visitor last week! There was a guy that looked kind of like Ma, but blue and naked running around outside the house while we were watching movies. Angie and Samhain helped Ma deal with him.

    She turned to her Ma and bleated, her wide ears pricked forward and amber eyes open wide and excited as she craned her head to sniff at his pockets.

    Show Uncle Fear the eye you got, Ma! It's really cool!

    Mortis gently eased the ewe’s face away from his coat pockets, his host rocking with a chuckle. ”Ah, yess. Ssshe’ss talking about the wendigo that came by.” The undead tilted his head down to the black sheep that was comfortably seated on Fear’s lap and patted her between the ears with his palm. ”Maybe a little later, if Uncle Fear wantsss to sssee it.”

    That placated Woolie enough to lean back into her Uncle’s attention, a small sigh huffing from her delicate nostrils.
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    Re: Of Brothers and Lambs... and Killer Horses

    Post by Fear on Sun Apr 23, 2017 8:12 pm

    "There wasss not ssso much blood asss there wasss rot, I threw one of them mid-decay and he exploded like a bloated fly againssst a wall."

    ...Ever the tasteful painter of mental imagery, that Mortis. Fear promptly went - "Mm..." - but otherwise remained tactful of his reaction. "Yesss, I heard of thisss 'ssstreaming' and 'recording', though I know not their full extent or purpossse. I sssuppossse it isss ssso today'sss viewersss may entertain their favourite programsss while juggling an active lifessstyle?" That would be the helmeted ghoul's educated guess, anyway. "Kev and I have no need for sssuch frivolousss fanciesss," he added, "but Livewire isss quite adept with the telly. Ssshe isss undoubtedly the targeted audience in mind." Ahh, the inquisitive youths of a modern era.

    "It isss a dancing rhythm game. Dance Dance Ressissstance or wasss it Revolt? You ssstep on the pad that matchesss the symbol on the sscreen, from what I gathered from trying it. The sssymbolsss come up in accordance with the beat. Sssome mussic hass fasster rhythmsss than otherss, and the challenge comesss from trying to keep up.”

    Black magics.

    No matter how simple his brother kept the explanation, Fear would never comprehend video games. "And people bother with thisss why?" the superfiend found himself asking, incredulous. The brief image of Mortis rigidly hopping and skipping like a madman to follow some frenzied beat was admittedly humourous, though. It also ended with an unceremoniously face-plant on his bony snout. "Hu hu~! You won't catch me dead on that." If Fear knew his luck (which he did), he'd just... break something. Worse yet, he'd clear the easier levels and find himself in a zealous craze to finish the entire game. "Sssuch addictive hobbiesss are better left outlawed." But only because he didn't want to develop an unintentional vice. Fortunately, both the ghouls found their minds drifting to less questionable facets of life. "A week of sssage, isss that right? Methinksss you ssshould take to growing a few ssspiritual herbsss if you haven't done ssso and can ssstomach it." Fear personally couldn't, though he managed buying a handful of packets here and there whenever needed. Arithmomania was far, far worse than any repugnant incense, but that was again Fear's opinion.

    "Native ssspiritsss...?" Honestly, the concept should not have been as foreign as Fear thought. His brother lived in the wilderness, surrounded by trees, grassy knolls, and beasts alike. If there was to be a type of spirit, be it benign or malignant, then nothing was better suited than Native American superstition. "Hmm... I admittedly know little about tribal creaturesss," Fear remarked. He hardly encountered them to properly research and counter accordingly. "I reckon one or a handful hasss given you trouble asss of late?" That would explain a few... things. Concerns, mainly.

    "My thanksss, brother."

    "Of courssse, Mortisss," he nodded. His brother's business was his own, and Fear knew better than to press his weight where it did not belong. Should Mortis choose to divulge himself and be open, the helmeted ghoul will at once lend his ear and aid.

    For now, however, the present moment seemed fine.

    A deep reverberating chuckle shook the house. "I sssee you ssspoiled your animalsss proper," Fear hissed, amused. Flies were such nasty things; the horses would undoubtedly enjoy a bit of reprieve from bites and unwanted maggots. And while he didn't know Ombre quite as well, Fear was certain a bird could never pass up something shiny. Why, just ask a certain avian doctor. "Ssshe hasss outgrown her bed already...?" If Fear sounded caught unawares, that's because he had been. Gingerly, he felt around Woolie's solid middle, corpse fingers mindful to avoid harming the ewe. "Hmm... hopefully she hasssn't grown too much," he muttered. What a plump little lamb she was!

    The snow is really cold but I like jumping in it with Aunty Angie. Ma has been me in during the evening now for dinner since the days are shorter, he says he does not like me eating in the dark, but I also hear howling further out past the fence. I miss the weeds in the meadow though. Oh! We had a visitor last week! There was a guy that looked kind of like Ma, but blue and naked running around outside the house while we were watching movies. Angie and Samhain helped Ma deal with him.

    Show Uncle Fear the eye you got, Ma! It's really cool!

    Fear's mind was suddenly filled with excited bleating.

    "Your Ma isss very sssmart," he answered, tapping Woolie's nose with a talon. "It isss not sssafe for sssuch cute little lambsss to eat in the dark, alone or otherwissse. There are thingsss where the light cannot reach; alwaysss watching, alwaysss waiting." He... may or may not have tried scaring her just then. Another chuckle rocked the living room, but it met an early and arupt end. "...A wendigo?" Oh boy. His ethereal eyes drifted toward Mortis, Fear's thoughts a delightful blend of curiosity and, well, unease. "Ssstory?" he inquired, hoping to know. Sinner's out of the bag, brother; you might as well share!
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    Re: Of Brothers and Lambs... and Killer Horses

    Post by Mortis on Fri Apr 28, 2017 8:31 pm

    Alas, Mortis lacked taste even within his own mouth! But Fear already knew this.


    His brother’s explanation of the whole streaming and recording fad seemed to align with the lifestyles of the busy denizens of the inner cities. The ability to come back home after a long day of work and still not miss a single hour of their favorite shows and the like. Mortis hummed, tilting his head at the thought.

    ”Perhapsss that isss the reasson indeed.” He agreed, his shoulders rocking slightly as his brother said how adept Livewire was with it. ”I would expect that completely from her, ssshe isss more advanced than any droidsss I have ssseen in the Mega City.”

    It was unsurprising that Livewire would take to it quickly, the femme likely could figure out how to have lengthy conversations with a microwave if she so desired. In being an advanced robot, the undead superfiend assumed that she naturally would take to most electronics and anything else she could sync and interface with. He only hoped she did not fill her head with too much of the technicolor junk.

    The things that producers let travel the airwaves could rot the brains of both man and machine like his touch rotted the living.

    His brother seemed absolutely incredulous of the idea of a game that required fancy footwork to win, although Mortis personally could not rightfully fathom why. ”They bother with it for the sssame reasson they bother with the ssstreaming boxesss and binge recordingsss. Entertainment, brother.” But he was quick to pick up on that mental image, however brief. ”You ssseem to forget how agile we ussed to be. I remember  when I had been tasssked with ssslaughtering a hossspital when Death tried to merge Deadworld with Mega City One. I certainly did not fall on my face while dessstroying nearly seven of their Judgesss when they thought to intervene.”

    He threw a rotting patient at the lot of them and charged the group head on! He swiped his claws at their throats in a whirlwind of righteous fury! He painted the hallway black with decay! He may or may not have still been trying to save face from when he had been outmaneuvered by a group of children.

    But, Fear had his points, some hobbies were better left outlawed. Though some of those forbidden fruits made for a good way to spend a rainy day. But there were other matters that made for more engaging conversation.

    Mortis nodded in affirmation, ”Yesss, each sssunday I do an additional cleansssing. I do have sssage growing in the kitchen in a pot. The weather here isss too cold in the wintersss for it to ssurvive outssside. It hassss been doing well ssso far indoorsss.” Perhaps it was due to Mortis using it often that he had grown something of a tolerance- though he wisely averted his thoughts from wondering whether his aura would take the same tolerance as well with enough time.

    Though the mental comment in regards to a counting disorder left him slightly puzzled. But, he decided it better to not say anything in regards to it. Fear had his own way of doing things after all, they would not always see eye to eye on all matters.

    ”Yessss, plenty of native entitiesss exissst out here. For inssstance there are ssskinwalkersss further back in the woodsss, nasssty thingsss. You can hear them in the middle of the night if you lisssten closssely.” He hissed, and that was likely only scratching the surface of what lurked out in the wilderness.

    Mortis was not going to begin to tell him about the half woman half owl monsters that roost in the trees at night during the warmer months, clucking and chattering in a chilling mimicry of human speech. Sometimes it was like a distant conversation, too far away to be intelligible aside from some familiar sounds and vocal tones, other nights he swore he could make out actual words from their chatter. Each time, he always saw five pairs of eyes gleaming like flames in the dark from the upper branches of the spruce trees.

    But, Fear would be pleased to hear that Mortis did not have much in the way of real intrusions. ”Only one hasss been foolissh enough to try to tresspasss, methinksss the otherss are wary of another encroaching evil ssspirit upon their territory. They can sssenssse I am not their ussual prey.” Mortis sighed and gave the ewe a gentle scratch between her ears.

    In time they would grow acclimated and become bold, he knew. But it was high time he was expecting a visit from his less savory neighbors. He would hold his own regardless. Mortis was not about to simply give up his homestead after putting the time and effort into making it as pleasing to him as he did. He still had plans for erecting a brewing house and cultivating some of the acreage into ingredients for some nice home-brewed liquor. Not to mention an herb garden for making his own tea- he already had a tea plant in the wings growing in the study.

    There was plenty to stick around for, albeit non-social. But it was an un-lifestyle that he was finding to be an acquired taste. Fear seemed fine to let the topic lie, and they moved on the matter of the animals and their gifts.

    Fear’s amusement shook in Mortis’ ribs, and the undead could not agree more in regards to the gifts. ”Yesss, and they dessserve every bit of it.” He added, though in regards to Woolie possibly getting fat, he shook his head. ”A sssheep her sssize naturally will get to a little over forty-five kilosss. Ssshe alsso isss sssimply bigger in general, methinkss around two feet in height at the ssshoulder. If I am essstimating correctly.”

    Woolie looked around at her uncle’s prodding claws, her ears flicking back slightly and then forward as she tried to comprehend what exactly he was doing with her belly. What was this about her growing too much? She licked her fuzzy lips at the notion and her sout somehow managed to sour its placated expression into mild disgust.

    What do you mean, Uncle Fear?

    She did not feel fat from where she was sitting! She grazed as much as she ran around with her auntie. If anything all that weight was conditioned muscle and wool. but there was something she lacked in playing all day with the undead horse and spending the evenings lounging with her Ma on the couch, drifting to sleep on the sounds of horror movies playing in the background. That thing, was a dose of spooky stories from her Uncle.

    The little black ewe’s ears pinned and she  looked at her Uncle despite his laughter, licking her lips at the mention of things sitting in waiting in the dark. That could not be true, she could be fine in the dark, the light, and anytime in between so long as Angie or Samhain were around.

    It is to safe, Samhain and Angemort would kill anything that tried to get me. I could eat in the dark and be fine! Ma just gets worried.

    Samhain killed the bears, she killed the wolves and coyotes, she even dragged off the occasional wandering salesman  that tried to knock on the door. Anything and everything that came without an invitation had to get through her first whether they intended to or not. One would say that the eternally grinning mare might have even taken pride in that fact. Regardless, after seeing the twenty four hands high horse take a grizzly bear by the neck and choke slam it to the ground one morning, there was little that the ewe found worth fearing while she was in her meadow.

    Her ears perked at the mention of a story, her uncle’s interest piqued at the mention of a wendigo. She gave a soft bleat, though insistent in tone. Her Ma raised a clawed hand to rub over the back of his skull, and gave a small sigh. Alas, it was two against one, majority ruled in favor of him telling the story of the wendigo visit.

    ”Well, if you inssisst. The ssstory itssself isss not very eventful or climactic.” He began, ”Lassst week while Woolie and I were watching a movie in the evening, Woolie sssaid sshe ssaw a sstrange man out through the back door.” He rasped, and pointed a long gnarled talon towards the aforementioned sliding glass door. ”At the time, I did not think anything would be out there, sssince there wasss a bad blizzard going on. The sssnow wass thick enough to reduce visssibility to lesss than ten feet. Then Angie and Sssammy were on high alert. I kept Woolie inssside the houssse while I went to invesstigate and the horssesss were ssset to patrol for what wasss out lurking. Ssstrangely enough neither of usss could get a lock on the intruder’s location on the property.”

    In other words, it was a typical evil spirit encounter.

    Mortis went on, leaning a little more in the couch as he recalled the experience, over their link, likely Fear would be able to follow along as Mortis’ mind replayed the event. The snow was deep, and fell in a brilliant white sheet that obscured the world past Mortis’ nose. From within the house, the only thing to be seen outside was the unrelenting whiteout illuminated by the outdoor light.

    His story continued. There was no need to spare his brother details. ”I ssscanned the property, there wasss a dark presssence, but it wasss not ssso bold or forward in ssshowing itssself. It preferred ssstaying jussst to my peripheralss, and made an effort in preventing me from identifying it. But, I managed to track it moving around the housse- trying to evade the horsssess while trying to evade me.” He remembered the mental game of cat and mouse well, the fleeting glimpses of its identity, the dark sinister presence that sat in the back of his mind. ”Woolie caught it asss it came by the back door again. I swiveled to look and I sssaw it ssstanding there at the door. Wendigosss are ghassstly looking thingss.” He would never understand why some thought he had turned into one a few winters ago.

    Fear would see for himself in the undead’s roused memory, and perhaps it would haunt the helmeted undead’s thoughts too.

    Ma! Ma! It’s back! It’s back! Ma!

    The ewe’s frantic bleating grabbed Mortis from his tracking, and his skull snapped in the direction of her cries.

    Then, he saw it.

    It was quick, fleeting, but clear all the same. A grotesquely tall, willowy creature had come to pause for a brief moment in front of the door, undoubtedly disturbed from its attempts to remain unseen by the sheep’s alarm call. It had to be as tall as Mortis, or at least managed to loom over him by a few more inches. Thin, ashen white hide was pulled taught across its bones, like it was wearing a people suit that was a couple sizes too small. It was completely hairless, not a bit of stubble to be seen on its limbs or upon the edges of its gaunt, skeletal face. Initially the undead had mistaken its lips for being pulled away from its teeth, until he noticed the stains of old blood that blackened the edges and pulled long dark lines down the edges of its face. He realized this thing had chewed off its own lips. Sickly red eyes stared with an insatiable hunger from where they sat sunken in their eye sockets, its face bearing the structure and proportions of a human, but whatever humanity this thing may have claimed to possess was lost long ago.

    As quickly as he saw it, the creature silently dashed back into the storm with long, unnatural strides.

    ”It left no footprintsss where it walked in the sssnow, not a trace of itsss passsing sssave for psssychic resssidue.” He hissed, letting his claws rest over the caved in hollow of his stomach. ”It reminded me of a presssence, an aura. When I invessstigated further it wass then I found it wass sssome form of dark ssspirit. I heard itss teeth chattering, the unending hunger in itsss gut, and the blood on itsss mind. Alwaysss on itsss mind.”

    He paused for Fear to digest that information before he moved on.
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    Re: Of Brothers and Lambs... and Killer Horses

    Post by Fear on Sat May 13, 2017 6:01 am

    "Oh yesss, Livewire isss quite the analytical little bee," Fear agreed. It was hard not to brag, for the helmeted ghoul was proud of how far the Cybertronian lass had come under their care, but he remained mindful of who it was seated before him. As for shielding her lightning-quick techno-organic mind from whatever aired itself over the waves? Well, sorry brother, but Fear sadly had his limits! He could only hope that Livewire had far better tastes than the stereotypical bored housewife.

    ”They bother with it for the sssame reasson they bother with the ssstreaming boxesss and binge recordingsss. Entertainment, brother.”

    All in the name of entertainment, hm? A few of Fear's eyes crinkled in mild disgust. "Whatever happened to a damn good book?" he rasped. But yes, they could be rather fleet-footed when desired, couldn't they? "I'd rather expend the effort purging sssinnersss and not wildly ssstomping my feet like a rookie Judge with hisss pantsss alight." Alas, there he went, Fear the killjoy. He was a simple man, admittedly. His hobbies were simply reading, playing with the animals and walking them, helping Livewire bake, and... oh, what else? The superfiend couldn't rightfully say purging these days... Hmm, perhaps interior decorating? Fear enjoyed making the house aesthetically-pleasing to his many eyes. "A pot of sssage in the kitchen? Hmm, that's a bloody brilliant idea..." he muttered, pensive. Fear personally couldn't stand cleansing herbs for very long, let alone stand in the presence of silver, but it was for... good reasons that his brother remain diligent. Perhaps it was best to follow in Mortis' footsteps as well? One could never be too careful. "Ssskinwalkers...?" Now that snapped Fear out of his innocuous musings.

    Fear may be a country bumpkin when it came to things far beyond his jurisdiction, but he knew enough about skinwalkers to understand the danger they posed. It was smart of Mortis not to utter a peep about the owl-women, either. "Mmm... And are you properly defended againssst sssuch maliciousss creaturesss?" he asked, unable to veil the concern in his ethereal voice. Not that he doubted his brother's prowess in combat and strategy, but even an undead spirit of the law was not infallible. They had all their shameful defeats at the combined hands of Dredd and Anderson to support the assumption. It was perhaps unnecessary, but Fear was compelled to issue a warning all the same. "You have companionsss and itemsss of sssentimental value," he spoke. "Do be mindful and call out for help ssshould you need it, yesss?"

    All fairly common sense.

    In slightly happier news, Woolie wasn't done growing! In slightly unhappier news, she may or may not fit the sweater Fear brought her. Sighing, he reached into a bag and withdrew a neatly wrapped parcel, covered in crinkly coarse brown paper and held together with a jute bow. It was sizable and seemed fairly thick. "I hope she can ssstill fit thisss, then." Fear leaned forward and offered it to his brother's fetid grasp. "Here'sss a little sssomething from usss to Woolie; a gift for Chrissstmassss."

    It is too safe, Samhain and Angemort would kill anything that tried to get me. I could eat in the dark and be fine! Ma just gets worried.

    The helmeted ghoul glanced down at the headstrong ewe and openly huffed. "Lissssten to your Ma," he said sternly, wagging a rigid finger. "Bearsss and wolvesss are one thing, but ssskinwalkersss and devilsss are well beyond a normal threat. Ssstay indoorsss and be mindful."

    Youths, alas... Always thinking they could prove their mettle against reckless odds.

    Aaaaaaaand apparently his brother too, because Mortis tried taking on a damn wendigo. If Fear had a normal brow, it would surely be crinkled with utmost disapproval. "Sssee, you sssay it'sss not eventful or climatic, but..." He simply left the thought unfinished, confident Mortis would finish the rest. His apprehension for the whole affair didn't become any better as his brother set the mood, as it were, with mental imagery. Whiteout conditions... an invisible enemy... a chilling game between cat and mouse... Hell, even seeing the psychic memory of that damn wendigo was enough to make Fear's defenses bristle. Damn him if he wasn't captivated by his brother's tale, however. "I sssuppossse it would be too much to asssk if you ended itsss malignant life for tresssspassssssing...?" One can only hope.
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    Re: Of Brothers and Lambs... and Killer Horses

    Post by Mortis on Sat May 13, 2017 8:45 pm

    One could only hope, as Livewire was certainly an inquisitive little girl. But Mortis was fine with his brother’s pride regarding her, a few years ago, he would have never thought Fear to be the type to raise a child, regardless of whether it was organic or not. In a way it was like Mortis and Woolie, though the ewe would never be so clever.

    But, speaking of technology, it seemed Fear still was not so keen on Mortis’ methods of amusement. He preferred a book, and as for the sheep-skull headed undead, he liked to keep his hands and feet busy. There was a pop and a snap as the undead shrugged his skeletal shoulders, and he let himself sink a little more into the soft cushions of the muddy brown sectional.

    ”I would asss well, but I am retired- and returning to my dutiesss would have no meaning with the nature of thisss dimensssion... Ssss, thisss place rendersss many thingsss meaninglesss.” His tone sobered on that statement, but otherwise the undead did not linger enough upon it to elaborate. ”I kill the game and whatever maliciousss entitiesss think to tresspasss upon the property. Thisss sssatiatesss me, though I misss chassing down the iniquitousss and bringing them to jussstice.”

    The screaming, the running, the thrill of the hunt. Even if it meant a greater risk to their hosts, Mortis could not help but find his talons itching to dig themselves into the unlawful flesh of the living. Although, he could not help but feel it was growing ever stronger and more frequent since he decided to avoid the city. For some reason he believed that it should have been the other way around, that keeping to the city should have increased his urges. But, he supposed when one decided it best to remain isolated, old habits began to slowly resurface with time.

    Not all of them resurfaced, however. His mindfulness regarding his aura would remain so long as Woolie was under his care. In other words, that sage pot in the kitchen was staying for eleven more years. After that, however? Mortis did not have the social circle or any loved ones that required a permanent vigilance- he did well to avoid unnecessary contact with the living where he could. There would be no point to constantly smudging and burning incense in his home when it would only be him there, for eternity.

    Fear however, had good reason to remain eternally vigilant. Mortis glanced towards the kitchen, then back to him, ”I can sshow you how to cultivate it. The plant itssself iss ssuprisssingly eassy to take care of, and thrivesss in the right sssoil. It doess not require much watering, and doesss well in a sssunny window.” he rasped, and gestured towards the doorway to the hallway to the right of the sectional. ”I collect a few leavesss when they grow long and dry them, then I wrap and ssstore them in the cabinet under the sshrine. but you mussst be mindful if you choossse to look for a plant, white sssage iss ussed for purifying, the otherss are usselesss.”

    Gardening 101 however was cut short, as Fear sudden;y was enlightened to the fact that there was more to the wilderness than ornery wildlife. Though the entities seemed very dangerous, and did indeed pose a real threat, Mortis gave a small wave of his rotted palm, dismissing it. ”I have learned that native sspiritss tend to be more corporeal, they may be powerful, but they are as vulnerable asss any other mortal to my touch and the firearm.”

    That, and the horses were very protective of both the property and him. However, he nodded in agreement to his brother’s warning. There was still potential that he would encounter a being that was more potent than his abilities could handle.

    Moving on from the matter that was the things that went bump in the night out in the woods, and Fear seemed to be uncertain about something as he reached into one of the bags he brought with him. Both Mortis and Woolie watched as a wrapped brown package, topped with a bow was presented to him.

    ”Oh, I sssee, The undead set the package in front of the ewe on Fear’s la[, ”Woolie, you have a gift, would you like to open it?”

    The ewe’s head perked from where she had been resting it against her Uncle’s leg, her eyes growing squinty from the petting. Her large ears swiveled in the direction of the gift as she took a  sniff,  then bleated softly to her Ma.

    What’s in it? It smells like Uncle Kev and Fear's house.

    ”You have to find out yourssself, go on and pull the end of the bow, here.” He indicated to the edge of the cloth ribbon with a claw, and tilted the package so she could get to it easily.

    She gave the bow another cursory sniff, before she nipped the edge of the bow. With a flick of her head, the lovingly tied bow was undone, and it fell away from the box as Mortis moved the strips of jute aside and helped her move aside the brown paper with a claw while she nosed aside the crinkly covering. She sniffed at the contents within and looked to her Ma with another small baa.

    Oh, what is it?

    Mortis unfolded the contents and revealed a full set of knitted garments for the little ewe. He saw a sweater, a hat, hoof warmers, even a scarf. Of course, this all was rendered completely moot by the thick layer of wool that Woolie already had, but it was a wonderful gift nonetheless.

    ”Oh, thisss isss perfect, brother. Woolie, your uncles gave you an outfit, If the ssspring isss still too chilly by the time I have you sssheared, thiss will come in handy.” He genuinely hissed, and held it up against the fluffy ewe to consider its fit. ”Yesss, thisss will fit fine, ssshe had sstopped growing in November. Mosst of any further growth iss jusst gathering her mature weight and growing out her winter wool. Ssshe can have a few poundsss of wool on her before it isss time to be sssheared, you know.”

    Woolie looked over her shoulder, sniffing at the material curiously. But otherwise the ewe seemed pleased with her gift. She watched as Mortis took the sweater off of her back and folded it carefully, setting it with the rest of the knitted clothing on his lap. The ewe’s ears flicked back slightly at Fear’s reprimanding, but she was not so stubborn as to deflect  his words off of her delicate little skull.

    Fiiiine. I’ll stay inside.

    She bleated and stuck her nose in the corner of Fear’s hip with a huff. Next to her, Mortis gave a small chuckle.

    ”Sssshe hass been getting more confident asss ssshe growss older, methinksss ssshe hass been wanting to tessst her mettle a little sssince the trip to the jungle.” he patted the ewe between the ears and gave the back of her head a gentle scratch.

    It was fine to test her limits with Angemort, happily having games of zoomies around the property and mostly one-sided headbutting, but Mortis would never let her near any of the dangerous entities he faced. Entities like the wendigo. His brother somehow thought the encounter to be anything but anti-climactic, though that was probably due to his brother’s way of telling the tale.

    The sheep-skull headed superfiend shook his head, ”Thiss one wass weak. It trapped itssself in the barn and I ended up having to flussh it out of the feed by pulling a ssshade from the walls. You sssee, it feared me. The wendigo jussst about ssshouted the barn down when the ssshade ssspooked it.” Mortis sighed and continued to scratch the ewe between the ears as he recalled, ”It wasss fassst, it jumped out of the way like a sspider when I tried to knock it down with a hay bale. But the ssstrangessst thing wasss when it tried to reasson with me. It thought I wasss another wendigo -it called me itsss brother.”

    He could still remember the hoarse whisper of its voice, icy as the winter wind blowing outside the barn.


    ”Trespasser? I am a wanderer, a traveler. I trespass no more than a bird trespasses through the air above your head.  I carried no intent to intrude or trespass onto your... Home. It simply was in the way of my wandering.”

    ”So, brother. If you could kindly open the door, I will be on my way.”

    ” Perhapsss I would be ssso inclined to believe you, if you actually had made any moves that sssuggessted you were sssimply wandering.You lingered around my housse, and when presssed you sssought ssshelter in my barn inssstead of running back into whatever wildsss you wandered in from. ”

    "Ceassse your sssentimental prattle. You will find no kin in me, tressspassser.”

    ”But we are. Are our auras not similar? Are we not dark, ever hungry spirits? You and I are both inhuman, Wendigo. You may look different than I, but at heart I believe we are more kin than you think.”


    ”We are brothers, I can see it in your very soul.”

    The undead gently massaged small circles into the soft fur between Woolie’s ears. A low hiss escaped him at the memory. they way that damn thing had tired to smooth talk its way out of its situation riled his nerves every much as it made his brother’s defenses bristle.

    ”It jussst kept going, trying to convince me that I wass one of them, and it wanted to know how I usssed my “magic.” Methinksss it wanted to try and appear non-threatening and fool me into a decission I would regret. But that wasss not the worsst of it, brother; it sssat itsss naked, bony arssse on one of the hay balesss.” He hissed, and paused in his massaging, and pointed up to the ceiling. ”I lunged to ssslap it off the feed, but it ducked away and crawled up onto the ceiling beam of the barn. It crawled up there and absssolutely refussed to ssshut up. I tried dominate itsss mind and pry it off the beam, and when that failed I managed to provoke it by throwing a hay bale. It leaped down from the raftersss and tried to tackle me.”

    A low chuckle shook the superfiend’s host as he looked to his brother once more, the climax of this short tale reaching its zenith. ”But there wasss where it met itss end. The wendigo wass overconfident, and when it jumped down, I sssidesstepped it and sank my clawsss into itss back. You ssshould have heard itsss ssscream asss itss back ssstarted to rot away. It wasss ssstrange brother, it wass ass if it had a layer of ice that protected itsss ssskin, I had to break through it before I could wither itsss form. But to anssswer your quessstion, I threw it through the barn doorsss and the horssess sstomped the misserable thing into a bloody pulp.”

    It was here that Mortis shifted and pushed aside the corner of his trench coat, and dipped his talons down to flip open the flap of one of the many pouches upon his belt. Two gnarled claws reached in like tweezers and gently retrieved a small, agitated red eye from the confines of the pouch.

    ”I took thisss from it before Angemort and I dumped itsss carcasss in the woodsss.” He rasped, and rolled the organ to rest in his palm for Fear to see.

    It was a sickly looking trophy, its sclera was a pus-like yellow with a blood red iris. At its center was a single white pupil that stared wide and listless into space.
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    Re: Of Brothers and Lambs... and Killer Horses

    Post by Fear on Thu May 18, 2017 6:01 am

    It was true. Fear could not argue that Portal Breach rendered a great many things meaningless. However, did that not also provide a means of achieving purpose on one's own terms? Losing everything and slowly rebuilding a new life was, in a way, therapeutic for the helmeted superfiend. While he did enjoy purging the lawless and reveling in the blood of sinners, their fears ambrosia, Fear was satisfied calling the shots. Not Death's, not the Sister's, his shots. Were they at times bumbling and erroneous? Yes, but he had the liberty to call them his own and take pride in the responsibility. Otherworldly eyes flickered at the mentioning of sage.

    "Hmm... I sssuppossse I could learn a thing or two about the proper cultivation of purifying herbsss," he rasped. The reluctance in his voice was palpable. The likelihood of Fear corrupting Kev, Marvin, and Livewire was quite slim. Almost impossible, even. Kev had gone through such great lengths to weather the undead's nauseating aura, and Marvin and Livewire were machines. Thinking machines, but machines nevertheless.

    Growing a bit of sage would be useful for the... animals, perhaps? "Eh... I loathe the presssence of sssuch inconveniencesss, but there isss wisssdom in your wordsss. One day, though not now, I will ssstop by and learn how you tend white sssage, Mortisss."

    You had better be grateful about this, Oscar.

    In any event, Woolie's gift! As much as Fear wished to chastise his brother for being so nonchalant about the supernatural beings frequenting this bizarre world, he was aware of Mortis' veteran status. When it came to strategy and dogged perseverance, no one was more capable than the sheep-skulled cadaver. Fear simply needed to have faith that his brother wouldn't bite off more than he could chew with those warn molars of his. A satisfied (and nervous) hiss echoed from within the helmeted ghoul's throat. "Sssurprissse," he croaked, as still as a statue. "It isssn't much, and I am painfully aware of the irony, but we decided to knit Woolie a lovely ensssemble for when ssshe isss sssheared." Indeed, it was a simple enough gift. The material was plush and pleasing to the fingertips, despite both of the undeads incapable of physical feeling. Woolie would undoubtedly come to enjoy frolicking in an extra layer of warmth during a breezy summer's day. "Ssshe will fit it, then? Good! Kev and I weren't sssure about her exact measssurementsss, but Livewire wasss courteousss enough to lend her expertissse." A group effort for a special little ewe.

    Fiiiine. I’ll stay inside.

    Damn straight she will. "Ssshould you ever become asss large asss Angemort and Sssamhain, I will consssider your eagernessss sssound," Fear evenly told the feisty ball of wool. Until then, however, he agreed with his brother: Woolie was to stay away from danger at all costs. Stubborn girl... It was as if she wanted to be a ram!

    And of course Fear thought the encounter was more nerve-wracking than it actually was! A dark winter's night... A howling blizzard... A disgusting monster lurking about... If a bloody wendigo had thought to shamble around his vicinity, most likely the cottage in this scenario, Fear would have absolutely gone on the rampage for it. Then again, he was the strongest entity amongst his little clan of animals, robots, and one scaly alien. The probability of someone getting hurt, even killed, were quite a bit higher. Fear huffed, "Good. It ssshould fear you, asss isss proper. Dark ssspiritsss or not, there isss a hierarchy that mussst be followed." And the wendigo bothered to present a kinship between itself and Mortis? "Bah!" The ghoul dismissively waved a rigid hand. "We are wretched sssoulsss, thisss isss true. But our intent isss far more noble than that of sssome lowly cannibal. We are no more monstersss than sssoldiersss in war." An eternal war, and one that was bloody good sport, but those were just trifling details.

    "But that wasss not the worsst of it, brother; it sssat itsss naked, bony arssse on one of the hay balesss.”

    For some reason, his brother's irritation had Fear in boisterous stitches. A gangrenous hand clutched the ghoul's chest as he guffawed to the high heavens. "HA HA HAAAA! Oh no, not your hay balesss, Mortisss! A crime to outssshine all crimesss!" Hay bales were apparently serious business with Mortis, whew~! He soon calmed himself, however, minding his manners. "Hu hu hu... The mental image of you hisssssing and ssswearing at the bloody thing over a clump of grassss isss a posssitive gem." Even funnier was that Mortis had gotten the bright idea to throw one of those precious bales, too. Outstanding, simply outstanding. Seeing the wendigo's sickly eye shut Fear's metal gob right up, though.

    "Oooh..." It went without saying that Fear was a sucker for trophies. Claws, limbs, teeth, eyes - it didn't matter what it was, only that he obtain it for his growing collection. The torn organ wasn't much, but it was enough to stoke Fear's interests. "I wonder what you can do with it?" he inquired, curious. A trinket? Maybe an ingredient in some foul potion? If nothing else, tacking it up somewhere ought to serve as a warning to other, more observant wendigos.

    Perhaps it would make for a fine piece of jewelry...
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    Mortis
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    Re: Of Brothers and Lambs... and Killer Horses

    Post by Mortis on Tue May 23, 2017 7:29 pm

    Alas, when all of Mortis’ decisions seemed to be the wrong ones, it was difficult for the sheep-skull headed undead to hold the same opinion.

    Much like Fear’s apprehension in regards to introducing a pot of purifying sage to his home. Mortis gave a small shrug of his bony shoulders, his brother admittedly had little to worry about- and it could be argued Mortis had little to worry about as well given the lack of other sapient forms of life in his home and an even greater lack of regular visitors. But, it was a habit he kept regardless. While Fear had evidently moved on, the events of the past stayed strongly with Mortis, nearly to the point of haunting even.

    ”It isss your decisssion, brother. I will not pusssh you one way or the other.” The undead’s skull clicked and creaked with every hissing utterance. ”If you do not believe the houssse needsss sssage, then perhapsss it doess not.”

    Fear would know best, as he resided there with Kev.

    As the gift was unwrapped, Fear’s rigor state seemed to stiffen further to the point where his bass crawled out of his throat in a tense croak. They did intend the outfit for when Woolie was sheared, although part of Mortis was uncertain how the ewe would actually need such a warm covering during the warmer weather of the season. At least if they went someone colder at some point, Woolie would be adequately insulated should she be lacking a protective woolen coat. Perhaps when they went to the fishing cabin at the edge of the tundra, it would come in handy. It could get chilly in the morning. Otherwise, whether or not the ewe needed an extra layer of warmth was up to her discretion.

    Regardless, Fear made it clear that a lot of care went into ensuring the gift fit the ewe comfortably.

    ”It isss a very thoughtful gift, Fear. Thank you.” Mortis hissed, ”When you return home, be sssure to give Kev and Livewire my regardsss.”

    On Fear’s lap, the black sheep in question pinned her ears slightly at her Uncle’s statement. She would never get to be as big as Angie and Samhain! With a huff she surrendered the argument, and resigned to let her slender head rest against the undead’s bony thigh. Mortis glanced down at the ewe, giving her a fond pat between the ears.

    ”Yesss, you will have to do sssome growing before I could let you out on your own.” He agreed, before turning his skull to look at his brother and addressed his thoughts. ”When I had taken her to the vet a while back, they recognized her breed asss a type that did not ssscare easssily and are very clever. That likely isss why sshe actsss ssso much like a ram, asss you consssider it.”

    Or maybe there were some genetic reasons that Mortis had overlooked. Either way, the matter regarding Woolie’s bold temperament -at least while safely seated in a lap- would be a mystery. Though in Mortis’ opinion, it had something to do with the way he let her stay overlong with the horses when she was outside. The decaying duo were not exactly normal by equine standards either.

    Returning to the matter that was the wendigo’s late night visit, Fear naturally agreed that the creature had no business being on the property, and its claims of kinship were unfounded. The events of that night certainly ensured that whatever hierarchy his brother claimed there to be was upheld. The undead merely nodded in agreement. There was little else to add to the comment that had not already been said.

    Booming laughter shook the room and disturbed the ewe from where she was curled up on Fear’s lap. With a bleat she hopped down and sought a quieter lap to sit on, as she stepped over to Mortis and jumped up onto his spindly legs instead. Evidently the matter regarding the hay was a hilarious one to him. Although, Mortis did not find the situation as amusing as his brother did.

    ”...Ssss, that hay wasss Woolie’sss feed. It isss difficult to find good roughage in the winter monthss out here,” That thing sitting upon it was comparable to an intruder clambering into the kitchen stark naked and sitting their nasty pucker on whatever Kev tended to have for breakfast. ”And the haybale I threw wasss the one it contaminated, it wasss what I had on hand asss the ssshotgun wass ssstill inssside the houssse at the time. Unlessss I find a way to throw my rotting ability from afar, I am ussselesss at a disstance on my own.”

    That fact alone was the reason why he liked having the shotgun on hand. Out here, there was a lot of space to take advantage of. He could not corner an adversary in a narrow hall or trap them in a hab-unit. Thankfully, the moment he pulled out the wendigo’s eye, his brother ceased his chortling.

    ”I already have the assasssin’sss eye you gave me, brother. It ssservess me well out here- better than my own talentsss even.” Mortis opined as he gingerly turned the eye around between his fingers. ”I do not know what purpossse thisss one could have assside from a trophy.”

    Not to mention, the last thing Mortis needed was to eventually start pulling out a big mason jar full of pilfered eyes to rummage through whenever he got into a fight. If taking eyes as trophies and sticking them in his skull was going to be a thing, it was going to be far too time-consuming trying to pluck out the right eyeball once they began to accumulate. But at the same time, eyes were an oddly handy trinket to keep around...

    Maybe later on he could figure out what would be a proper use for it.
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    Fear
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    Re: Of Brothers and Lambs... and Killer Horses

    Post by Fear on Sun Jul 16, 2017 6:04 pm

    "If you do not believe the houssse needsss sssage, then perhapsss it doess not.”

    Hm, well... as the age-old saying goes, it was better to be safe than sorry. With great reluctance, Fear yielded. For the sake of Kev and the animals, he would have to. "Ever sssince our training, Kev hasss not disssplayed sssignsss of corruption," he prefaced, "but that doesss not mean he isss impermeable. I will learn how to cultivate thessse cleansssing herbsss asss you do, brother, and I will ensssure the continued balance of our home." Pride cometh before the fall; thus, the helmeted superfiend had no desire to follow in Death's arrogant footsteps. Didn't mean Fear would necessarily like it, though... He did, however, very much enjoy Mortis' gratitude.

    "Ssss..." Admittedly, a sheep needing a wool sweater was a pinch ridiculous (alright, it was extremely ridiculous), but one never knew when they'd be needing an extra layer of warmth! "You are mossst welcome, brother," he rasped, pleased. Their gift for Woolie had been a success! "And I will happily relay your praissse. Livewire will certainly be grinning from ear-to-ear, ha ha."

    And, in his judicious opinion, the Cybertronian was due for a spot of positivity.

    ”When I had taken her to the vet a while back, they recognized her breed asss a type that did not ssscare easssily and are very clever. That likely isss why sshe actsss ssso much like a ram, asss you consssider it.”

    Now this, see, was quite peculiar. Always one to speak his mind and say things as they are, Fear was quick to point out what Mortis had already thought. "Methinksss it isss becaussse ssshe frequentsss around Sssamhain and Angemort," he hissed. As much as the undead cared for those two rotted mares, they weren't exactly the typical company befitting of a young, growing ewe. "I imagine any creature, livessstock or otherwissse, wouldn't be easssy to ssstartle if they matured around undeath." There was also the fact that most sheep tended to grow as part of a flock. As it stood currently, Woolie had no other sheep to socialize with. Perhaps that could be remedied? As the ewe hopped off and returned to her guardian's lap, Fear crossed a spindly leg and offered his brother a... suggestion. "Ssshould you ever like to visssit," began the ghoul, "you are more than welcome to bring Woolie along. I'm sssure Kev'sss flock would love to mingle with her." It might do Woolie some good! But that decision, again, lied with Mortis.

    In any event, back to his brother's captivating tale about the wendigo. "Eh...?" Fear glanced over, several of his grotesque eyes blinking. "What'sss thisss about you going after sssome monssster without your trusssty firearm?" Reckless. Very reckless. Those same horrific eyes squinted in disapproval. "Your inability to utilize long-range attacksss isss precisssely why you ssshould have a firearm on your perssson at all timesss." In fact... Fear reached off to the side, a hand disappearing from his brother's bony gaze, and retrieved a certain... something.

    Bands of gold reflected in the pale lighting of a wintry sun, glinting and traveling across the living room walls with every rigid rotation of Fear's wrist. In his gangrenous hand was none other than a gun - a revolver. Its metalwork was covered from barrel to hammer in golden plating, the former long and slender.

    The weapon almost looked too gorgeous to see much use.

    "I never leave home without it," he confessed. One of his gnarled, ancient fingers hovered around the trigger. "And neither ssshould you. Here, I brought you a gift asss well." A neatly-wrapped package found its way onto Mortis' gangly lap with a delicate plop, mindful of Woolie. It was oddly shaped and deceptively weighty... "Trinketsss like the assssssassssin'sss eye may have their usssesss, brother, but what good are they if you, yourssself, cannot fully appreciate their capabilitiesss? I hope thisss will sssuit you well; though, I am certain you'll relisssh the practice and the thrill it bringsss." Whatever could it be? Should Mortis bother to glance inside his brother's iron mind and take a peek, he will find that everything surrounding this mysterious gift was clouded. Mustn't ruin the surprise, no?

      Current date/time is Fri Jul 28, 2017 12:44 am