[center Sirens sound in the distance. Horns blare. Stoplights flicker, dim in the coming dark. People rush by on the sidewalks while cars cruise by, rumbling over dry pavement. The world is at peace.]
[center And yet it is not. A dark power crushes close, insinuating itself among humankind secretly. Velveteen claws are curled into places of security and power, sheathed only until they can strike once and decisively. Every institution has been infiltrated. The intruders are everywhere, hidden in plain sight. Until the claws are unsheathed and the trap snapped shut, even the infiltrators do not know what they are. Human in appearance, human in nature, in every way, from memory to appearance, a perfect replica of those whom they have replaced. ]
[center There is no secret organization to oppose them. There is no resistance to be had against that which does not exist. Those who discover the truth cast their eyes aside and claim they did not see, for to admit to have seen such horror is to admit insanity. ]
[center Their patience is boundless. They have waited for generations, for millennia, watched humanity claw its way towards the unknowable beyond, but now their waiting is almost done. The coil bends, the pressure plate dips, the spring is compressed. And when the trap is sprung, nothing will be left of this Earth but ash.]
The black goat's thousand young are among us, perfectly disguised, preparing their final assault upon the Earth. When the thousandth child arrives, then will their disguises be cast aside and Earth's dominion shall be transferred to those beyond human understanding.
We play a pair of humans who have been upset from their homes by imposters who are, impossibly, identical to themselves in every way, down to the very memories. My character has been displaced for some time, while yours has only just been replaced. In this time of confusion, your character finds themselves drawn to mine, and mine offers yours guidance, hope, and a way to fight. So long as all thousand are not on earth, the trap remains unshut. And we two are the only two who know, the only two who can oppose them.
I want this roleplay to be dark and mature-themed. The black goat's young cannot be told from ordinary mortal humans until after a vital blow has been struck. There will be paranoia, fear, uncertainty, and surest of all, death. This is a long, hard battle with no certain outcome, where anyone and anything might turn against us at any moment. This roleplay is strongly influenced by Lovecraft, as you might have guessed from the title. The black goat's young are beings that defy human understanding, but they can be killed, or at least sent back to the dark realm from which they come. Romance is not necessary, but I would prefer a heterosexual or mxm relationship, if you desire it. I am very much open to any suggestions you might have as to where the plot might go.
Feel free to ask questions. Please pm me the skeleton below once you are ready to apply. This is not first come, first serve.
[center [b Name: // Age: // Gender: // Personality: // Bio: // Physical description: // Picture: (illustrated) // Sample post:]]
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Baby goat. Another worthless critter. Bell sighed out. Where was Spot? Spot was usually good for a fight, if nothing else. Good for a fight, and in the bedroom.
Fuck. He shook his head at himself. Those had been weird days.
Daniel moved through the shadows. Bell followed at a small distance, enough that anyone who glimpsed Daniel might miss him if they weren't looking close. Cameras glinted in the darkness. Unlit floodlights threatened to flick on. The warehouses were well-guarded. Plenty of legit merchandise to protect, he presumed. Nothing they wanted, though. Just the Immortals.
Bell watched all around him. No one was coming their way. The street was empty aside from him and Daniel and Daniel's weird menagerie of pests. He flicked Daniel another jealous glance. That raven looked so cool on his shoulder. The rat wasn't nearly as cool, but the raven, the raven was just... ugh. He was jealous.
Ominous. Bell could feel it. The weight of the fight to come. He inched closer. Every footstep was carefully placed. Daniel pointed to a building and held up two fingers. Bell nodded. He understood. Two guards, that building. He inched closer, toward the corner, and got a peek. Neither of the guards looked impressive. Skinny men with heavy pockets. Guns. Probably hand guns. Bell snorted. That wouldn't be any use against him. But Daniel... he'd have to be careful. He held up his fingers like a gun so Daniel could see, then drew back.
"Think we could send the little goats in there ahead of us?" he whispered. "Get them to poke around and see what's inside there?" If it was just drugs, or drug manufacturing, or something of that ilk, they could take out these punk guards with no worries. They wouldn't have combat-ready Immortals inside, just merchandise and weak idiots working the grunt work. On the other hand, if it was the new headquarters, then they'd have to tread lightly and stealth their way through. Take them out one at a time. Make sure no one shot those loud, annoying guns.
Being used as a flipping bird-rest wasn't as cool as Bell-boy made it out to be, neither were the claws trying to pierce through the layers of fabric. Daniel felt a pull, but it wasn't the goatling's. After a moment's silence, a man appeared from the shadow's depths of a nearby warehouse. Daniel squinted to try and make out the guy's face, but he didn't feel a threat. It felt familiar.
No emotions, but there was a buzz in the air. The high-pitched chitter of the goats talking to one another. Or whatever it was that they did to convey thoughts.
Bell-boy stepped in front of him. Daniel realized he'd been spacing out.
"It's... alright," he started.
The man shifted, black coiling into increasingly smaller shapes, until fur covered its leathery skin and the limbs twisted into something recognizable. A rat.
Daniel nodded, "Yeah."
"Not to me," he started.
The goatling started from his shoulder, fluttering at a casual speed towards one of the warehouses. Daniel followed at a slower pace, keeping to the shadows, close to the corners. Some of the buildings had cameras and if the Immortals were any shade of clever, so would they. It'd be easy to disable them, but that too would create a mess.
One of the buildings had lights on.
Daniel could hear the crunch of a car echo between the buildings. Lights danced across the opposing walls. He held still for a second. They were close. So fucking close and these guys were letting them.
"It feels ominous," Daniel hissed under his breath.
Like the air was laden with expectation.
Images flashed before his mind's eyes, almost startling him with their intensity. A car, pulling up. Headlights flashing in front of an entrance. Two guards, pulling the large door shut. The car vanished. Daniel recognized the building from that angle. He pointed at it, not making a sound. They'd done their share of infiltrating, but their targets were hunters then, not Immortals. If their little guards were goats or hybrids themselves, there was no way they could make their entry a quiet one.
He raised two fingers at Bell-boy, then pointed to the building again.
Somehow, they'd have to lure them away from the rest and take them down first, before entering.
Daniel drove. He was being such a leader today. Honestly, Bell didn't hate it. It felt good to just laze back and let Daniel take control. He'd probably hate it later, but for now, it was fine.
"Nice," he sighed, not quite with it yet. Guy got picked up... Oh! Oh right, the gang members. "So he is an Immortal," Bel concluded, sitting up in an effort to make himself be a little more with it. Midday naps were harsh oh being awake afterwards. It was dark, too. Everything was telling him to just go to sleep already and snooze away the night.
He glanced over and caught Daniel looking at him. He didn't quite recognize the look in his eye, but he smiled anyways. Definitely a good look.
They pulled into a run-down part of town. This district was industrial, big warehouses and old factories piled on top of each other. It looked right. Bell grabbed his pipe as he climbed out. This looked like a place for a fight if he'd ever seen one. It was absolutely the kind of place a bunch of Immortals might settle down.
A rush of wings caught his attention. Bell spun in time to watch a crow settle on Daniel's shoulder. "Whoa, badass, dude," Bell said, amazed. It was like something straight out of a fantasy movie. Where was his cool companion animal?
He grinned and raised his pipe. "I'm ready. Just point the way." He looked at the goatling expectantly. Surely they weren't supposed to case the whole district?
It waited, though, silent and still. Bell glanced at Daniel. No dice? How annoying. He sighed out. It was impossible to expect too little of this stupid little goatling.
After a few beats, a man appeared out of the dark maw of a nearby warehouse. Bell stood completely still. His hand tightened on the pipe. Was that an Immortal?
The man approached them. His face looked oddly blank. Expressionless, even.
Wary, Bell tightened his grip on his pipe and stepped between Daniel and the man. Something about this wasn't right.
The man shifted. His body squirmed and reshaped into black, and then into a rat. The rat scurried up to them and crawled up Daniel into the man's pocket.
"Is that... baby goat?" Bell asked, looking at Daniel's pocket. How weird. Was it hiding in the Immortals? He frowned. That was a risky maneuver. He and Daniel might've killed it by accident without realizing it. "Did it say anything?"
No? Daniel raised an eyebrow, but didn't hold his gaze on Bell-boy for long. Somewhere between here and there, he was trusted to drive fine, but Daniel didn't feel like bringing that up right then. Fingers grappled at the seat, knuckles white, but then Bell-boy caught himself and slowly regained some composure. Nightmare, right.
Both of them suffered those at this point. Nothing they could do about that. Daniel steered the car down the street, following the car with the goatling's vision. It sent him images, lazily, he felt. They'd failed its plan and Daniel wasn't sure whether there would or wouldn't be repercussions for ignoring the goatling's will.
"Guy just got picked up by two others," he explained.
Hazel eyes flashed a look at Bell-boy, who seemed sleep-tousled, if anything. Bell-boy looked cute like that and it sparked his interest in the way they'd been interested in one another last night. Now that he'd had a taste of Bell again, everything in him was on edge and waiting in suspense of a next time.
Bell-boy was right though; it was time to kill something.
They drove for a while, through the suburbs, out to the edge of town. The buildings got more forlorn, more industrial and he could smell water. Like that of a harbour. Daniel didn't get any more messages from the goatling, so he found a good spot to leave their car and go find the goatling on foot.
"It's around here somewhere," Daniel put out. He cut off the engine and grabbed the pipe. As an after-thought, Daniel grabbed the handgun from the glove-compartment. Might as well be as armed as he could be for this. If they did face some human Immortal, it'd come in handy. Or if they wanted to free up some goats and add to the chaos. Whichever worked.
Cold air rushed up at his face, but didn't quite manage to penetrate the layer of clothes he wore. Daniel tightened his grip on the pipe and took a deep breath. From above, the goatling came down in a gush of wings and feathers. It landed on his shoulder and appeared to make itself comfortable. Daniel spared Bell-boy a glance. He couldn't use the shout this time. It'd hurt Bell.
He was in an alleyway. Another one. Bell pulled his jacket tighter and looked around. There'd been a dumpster here earlier, he could've sworn it. Surely they hadn't moved the thing. It was so huge!
His stomach grumbled. The hunger was a living thing, cold and vicious. It gnawed at his stomach as if trying to break free of its fleshy prison. He hunkered down. [i It'll pass. It'll pass. It doesn't hurt. It doesn't hurt.]
"Hey, kid. You alright?"
Suddenly, he was tiny. Small and helpless as a mouse. Bell scurried for the wall to escape, but big hands scooped him up. "Why don't you come with me?" a deep voice grumbled.
He grabbed at the fingers and began to climb, feet scuffing over footholds. When he came to the brink of the man's fingers, the man's other hand was already there, caging him in. Bell climbed again, but it was endless. He couldn't move faster. The man was always ahead of him, always one step beyond what his little body could manage.
"You're not looking too good."
The voice was Daniel's. Bell looked up, startled. Somewhere in the clouds, he could barely make out Daniel's face. A huge finger pointed down, down, down, pressed against his chest and nearly poked him through without even trying. "Look. You're falling apart."
His arm sagged toward the floor, only held on by back strands. Black crawled up his chest to his neck and down his stomach, black as rot and just as soft. It came apart without him even touching it. His arm separated from his chest and plopped heavily to the ground. It sagged, wet and soft as old wood. The urge to vomit caught in Bell's throat.
"Have you ever thought about what happens when you get too old to hunt?"
Bell startled awake at Daniel's touch. He grappled at the seat and hauled himself upright. "No!" he shouted.
A car. Darkness. He rubbed his face. Right. They were going to follow the guy. Now, apparently. "I... bad dream." Long nap, too. He wouldn't be able to sleep tonight. Bell yawned and scruffed his hair. Oh well. "Let's go kill something."
A good idea? When was the last time one of his good ideas got them places? Daniel winced as he realized that was a defeatist-Lenny attitude to have and sighed out. It was a good idea. So why not?
Bell-boy climbed into the car, saying he was fine. Daniel followed after a second's thought, tempted to see through the goatling's eyes, but after last time he decided not to. It wasn't worth being caught again. Trapped in a coma. Though at the same time being the goatling without the risk of his human body being damaged had been pretty liberating.
He sighed and surrendered to his curiosity.
"I'll keep an eye out," Daniel agreed to Bell-boy's afternoon nap.
He didn't really want to keep walking about with his ribs this sore anyway. He watched Bell-boy for a while, then inched down in his seat too, resting, lazily watching the house through the goatling's eyes. The kid came out at some point, shouting and they played for a while. Some sort of ball-game with rules Daniel was sure the kid made up where he stood.
The father played along.
He didn't recognize the man from this distance.
The goatling landed on the roof and straightened out its feathers. No one cared to notice it. Until the man looked straight at him. Unlike him, the goatling didn't react and let its bird-brain take over. Simple and natural, it hopped a few inches to another side, turned its tail and smoothly fluttered onto the chimney.
A car drove up to the house. The kid shouted something Daniel thought to make out as 'mom' and the woman that stepped out greeted the guy. They seemed to talk something over and went inside. Nothing yet. Maybe the guy wouldn't leave tonight.
Darkness came swiftly in the fall days. Cold crept up, startling Daniel back into his own body. Daniel flicked the car's ignition to see the time. He'd give it a handful more hours before giving up. A nudge.
Daniel saw a flash of what the goatling saw: another car. The man exited the house.
"That's our cue," Daniel muttered and nudged Bell awake. He started the car. "Look alive, the guy got picked up."
Squinting, Bell looked at Daniel. "He better not be a goat." He remembered that one time a goat was a kid. It was shit. He didn't want to go through that again. Besides, if they killed a kid, they'd have to skip town. No option. Things got way too hot when a middle-class kid vanished, much less if they vanished under mysterious breaking-and-entering style circumstances.
"Ah, shit," Bell said, as the realization hit him as well. Daniel was right. [i So that was why the goatling led us here in the middle of the day.] It made sense now. Of course. It wasn't being completely useless, it was just being really hard to understand.
[i Classic goatling.] Even when it was useful, it was useless. He rubbed his forehead and shook his head. So... no hunt tonight? Sometimes there were nights like that. Not lately. And certainly more before Daniel. But it was still possible. Then again, the goatling was hanging around, so they'd probably be hunting something, if not whoever lived in the house.
He pointed at Daniel. "That's a good idea." They needed to find that damn base. He wanted to get over with it already, and the fastest way to do that was to burn the whole thing down at once. Let the goats and goat-bits out and let them sort each other out. Or massacre them all. He didn't care. As long as they all died as viciously as possible, he was fine with whatever.
"Huh? Yeah, I'm fine." Bell shook his head and climbed into the car. He was fine. As long as he didn't think about it, he was fine. Bell breathed out and shook his head. "I'm gonna take a nap until that guy wakes up. Unless you have something better to do?" He peeked at Daniel, then rolled the seat back and closed his eyes. There was time to kill, so he was going to rest. They'd eaten, he was warm in the car, everything was good. His arm still kind of hurt, so maybe napping would help. Or maybe he just wanted a nap. It didn't matter.
What good was a break whereby he'd be leaving Bell-boy alone? Daniel shook his head, dismissing the suggestion. The only way out was through. Daniel picked off his last few fries, taking his time to really slather them in the leftover sauce. Since the facility, there was at least some consistency to his hunger. He finished the meal and left some cash on the table before getting up. His ribs pulled at the motion, but eased once he got a rhythm into his step.
Outside was crowded with kids. School was out then, huh?
He watched with a detached gaze as the children sought their way to waiting cars and homes. In another reality, he'd be one of those parents himself if he hadn't suffered the mental illness he had. It felt weird to think about that time as in the past.
Bell-boy's expression was strange. Daniel was about to ask, when Bell suggested they get back to the car.
He opened his mouth to say something, but then just shrugged and let Bell-boy guide them back to the car. It wasn't far.
A kid? Started from his thoughts, Daniel looked up to see a child enter the house. It'd been a problem before and he'd dealt with it then. Bell-boy hadn't wanted to. Not that Daniel believed he wouldn't, if it was just him alone.
"Let's hope the kid's not a goat," he said casually.
"Actually," Daniel went on. "We missed our window of opportunity."
Fuck. The kid had been at school. He wanted to bet the wife was some place else. Maybe work. Which meant the guy had been home, waiting for his kid to get back from school. Alone. Tomorrow ought to be another school day. New chances.
Unless they went back into town and sought their fortune elsewhere.
"Plenty of game around, doesn't have to be this guy tonight." He shrugged, winced and sighed out. "We can wait until the guy heads out, follow him and see where we end up at?" The Immortals hadn't been at their old base. Learning where their new one was could prove important information.
"You okay, Bell-boy?" Daniel pitched.
He still hadn't figure out what that look on Bell's face was just a while ago.
Bell shook his head grimly and picked another few fries off his plate. "Too many." How'd they recruited so many guys? The same way as any other gang, except also immortality, he supposed. It didn't sound like a bad deal. Sounded great, except he knew what they meant when they said immortality. Death and a facade to replace them was more like it.
Nothing keeping them here, sure. Sure. The goats were never going to let them off that easily. "Would if I could,"he muttered. The problem with having his boss live inside him was that he never got a day off. Barely even got a free second, honestly.
Bell shrugged. "I mean, you could probably go take a break if you really need to." The goatling was a useless asshole, but it wasn't a slave driver the way the goat was. Daniel had had entire weeks where he'd done nothing to kill any goats, with no--well, no goatly penalties, anyways. The goatling was many things, but driven was not one of them. Not compared to his goat, anyways. Or maybe it was just more flexible in its timeline or something. He didn't know, but he did know that the creature was a lazy bastard.
Yeah, Daniel was right. They didn't have a real chance to rest. Either of them. "Let's get this over with and get to that ocean,"Bell agreed. Usually the goat gave them a little free time after a wild success like taking out the entire gang would be. He'd have to just count on that and hope the same rules still applied.
By the time they came out of the shop, the sidewalk was full of kids on their way home. Bell felt like a giant compared to them. So little. And he hadn't been much older when he'd taken to the streets. They looked like babies, some of them. Weak, helpless babies.
"Let's go back to the car," he requested abruptly. He'd never looked like that. He'd never been weak and helpless. It wasn't possible. [i No wonder you got targeted, idiot,] he chided himself silently. He'd thought he was such a badass. It was embarrassing. Stupid and embarrassing.
He watched the house as they drew closer. To his surprise, one of the kids jogged up to the door and let themselves in, then locked it behind them. He looked at Daniel. "Dude's got kids." That was going to be a problem.
Lunch turned out to consist of a steaming chicken tender filled sandwich, fries and salad on the side, topped off with a fizzy drink. There was some sauce on the side and Daniel liberally applied it before biting in.
"Chicken," he said in between his food.
Daniel didn't stop Bell-boy from stealing some of his food though. He doubted the whole lunch would suit him today. Not after having already had breakfast and a pretty big dinner the other night.
"Nah, doesn't seem like a likely place, huh?" Daniel agreed. He looked out at where the goatling had taken to perch on a nearby tree, eyeing the food in the bin. As a crow, it'd be easy to uproot something scrumptious to eat, but Daniel figured he might just save some leftovers for the goatling to have. He licked his fingers and washed some of the food down with the coke.
Like this, they almost fit in.
"I wonder with how many they still are," he put out there, picking at his fries in between bites of his sandwich. Some pieces of meat, he put into a napkin, together with a few fries and some of the vegetables from his salad. A lunch packet for one, so to speak.
His ribs were still giving him grief. Daniel sat up straight after finishing off the sandwich and stretched out a little. A pained expression crossed his face for the flicker of a second. Sadly, he'd gotten somewhat used to this. Impatience made his leg tap against the table. Soon they wouldn't just be picking off one or two strays. Soon they'd run into an ambush and then what? Daniel sized Bell-boy up.
The man was hurt. Or he'd never had the time to heal. One or the other. Should've just left town.
"It's not too late to decide to just leave?" Daniel tried.
"Nothing keeping us here, really."
The goatling, yeah. And Bell-goat. But he didn't think they'd kill one another, so technically they were more free now than they'd ever been. At the same time Daniel knew some of his decisions and hunches weren't his own.
Daniel shook his head and looked back outside, then slowly folded the napkin of food closed. Sure. And cows flew.
"I say we just get this over with quick as we can."
Daniel was in charge. The man took the lead again and showed them into a burger shop. He had to admit, it wasn't all bad. Daniel was awake and alert enough to lead the way, no longer lost in a fog of medication. It felt like everything was normal again. Besides, it wasn't bad to follow every now and again.
He checked the lunch special when Daniel ordered it, but tasty as it sounded, he was more in the mood for a big, beefy burger. "I'll have a burger and fries, please, and a soda," Bell ordered.
He sat down at the bar and leaned his head against his good arm. He felt tired already. A nap was in order. Bell let out a sigh and watched Daniel from his low perspective, head tipped against his arms. The flourescent lights made the other man look paler and more tired than he was, but he was still cute. Bell smirked happily and closed his eyes. "Wanna go to the beach already," he mumbled. Finish off these Immortals and take a little break.
The schoolkids shrieked at something. Laughter filled the air. Bell glanced over. What a peaceful neighborhood. "You'd never know an Immortal lived here," he said. It didn't seem like the kind of place a gang member would live. It was too fancy. Too expensive. Not that he thought crime didn't pay, but at the same time, the peaceful middle-class suburbs didn't really seem like the kind of place a crime lord would live. Maybe it was a survival strategy. If no one expected them, they could sneak by under the radar.
"Got a burger and a special," the cook announced.
Bell sat up in time for a steaming hot burger to slide in front of his face. He grinned and reached for the ketchup. "Smells great." The crime lord did have decent taste in burger places, if this little shop had factored into their decision to live here at all. Not that he thought it did, but still. "What'd you get?" He reached out to pick a little of Daniel's food off, curious.
"No, I guess they'll notice. Maybe it's time they did," Daniel said with a bit of fierceness to his statement. They'd flown under the radar, half-heartedly pursued by the Immortals and had been getting their way pretty easily. Not that he was looking for an all-out war, but at the very least they ought to be recognized for the threat they were. Unless there was something they didn't know about.
"Yeah, let's get some lunch," he agreed at long last. He didn't really feel hungry or care for the food that much, but it'd give his ribs some reprieve.
A burger, huh? Bell-boy's hunger boded well; evidently the goat was still healing him. The man's melting and now bruised arm hadn't quite left his list of things to worry about yet. It'd seemed unnatural. Sure, they'd never had to regenerate entire limbs before, but at the same time, bringing out Bell-goat was usually enough for an all-cure.
Daniel followed Bell's face to find the goatling lazily circling in the sky.
"Probably," he acknowledged. It didn't care to help, but wasn't averse to putting them in danger either. Bell-boy's head-shake was rewarded with a quircked eyebrow, but neither of them felt the need to dive further into what the goatling did and mainly didn't do.
"Let's eat there," Daniel ventured.
The strip-mall had a few places to eat and they had a choice of places that served burgers. Daniel figured that as long as they served coffee as well, he was fine with either. Without hesitation, he stepped inside. There weren't many people there, but it wasn't empty either. Some truck-drivers were enjoying lunch, some school-kids were having fries and were mucking about in a corner. Probably skipping school or whatever.
Daniel looked at the menu.
He could do with some fries, maybe an egg or two. Their lunch of the day didn't look half bad either.
"What'll it be?" the lady behind the counter started with a complementary smile.
"Coffee and the lunch of the day," Daniel pointed at the sign.
So normal. He almost felt bad for mucking it all up by killing someone in their peaceful little neighbourhood. No. If they got lucky, it'd be a missing person's case, wouldn't it? Daniel sighed out. His fingers were itching. He didn't want to wait until nightfall.
He sighed out. Hopefully hybrid-Alice was happy. The child Daniel almost had. The one he and that woman had wanted so badly, who had only just kind of come to life. And him, with the child he'd never wanted that he couldn't get rid of.
For sale. He eyed up the house. There were plenty of big windows and fancy doors. It'd be easy for them to get in. "Could give it a try, once it gets dark." He wasn't averse to spending another night indoors. It was always better to be indoors than out when it was this cold out.
He tipped his head toward Daniel. "You think the other Immortals wouldn't notice? If he's a higher-up, won't it be more likely they'll notice sooner?"
They walked past a school. Bell gave it a dispassionate look. [i What a boring shithole.] It still felt like yesterday that he was locked up in one of those soulless cinderblock prisons. If there was anything he'd gained by taking to the streets, it was definitely not having to spend so much of his life in a shitty school like that. He almost pitied the kids stuck inside, getting their souls crushed by power-hungry adults.
The house loomed up again. Bell led the way over to their car. He was hungry, if Daniel wasn't. "Lunch?" he suggested. "I could kill a burger right now." Daniel was never as hungry as he was, but hopefully the injured ribs would keep the guy hungry for now. Keep him eating like a normal human being.
He glanced up at the goatling. Circling like the shadow of a vulture, a looming raven. Ill portent for that house. "Think it'll keep an eye out for us? Let you know if anything happens?" That'd be convenient. It did do that kind of thing, too. Sometimes. When it felt like it. He shook his head at the bird. It was so useless. It coudln't even keep Daniel healthy. It kept him sane, at least, but still. Couldn't it be a proper goat and dodge bullets, or something useful?
It could take care of itself. Daniel liked to believe that was true. He didn't know why he suddenly worried over its plight. Maybe because of that fucked up period he'd spent in Haven taking care of it.
Alice. Shit, yeah. Hybrid-Alice.
"It might not be Alice no more, it was always just a fiction, a desire, wasn't it? There was never a child. I hope she's happy," Daniel reasoned gentle. It was undecided whether 'she' meant his fiance or hybrid-Alice. In this case, it didn't matter. They were far removed from that reality. Literally worlds apart.
"Hah, well... abandoned, no, but one might be empty," Daniel pointed out a 'for sale' sign in the yard of one of the houses. There was no car on the driveway, but that didn't have to mean much these days. He shrugged. After having spent a luxurious night in a house, with food and everything, they could survive one outside. In this type of neighbourhood though, they were bound to run into trouble of a different kind.
"Might be able to stay a while if we kill the other guy," he suggested half-heartedly. A school loomed up. No kids played outside. They were all indoors, seated in neat little rows, a teacher in front of most of them. So plain. So innocent.
He scratched his head and sighed out.
"Let's do another circle and go back to that place. See who's home, watch it for a while," Daniel decided. He already started to walk down the street, away from the school and the picture it painted.
His ribs were starting to play up to the point where Daniel didn't feel it was healthy to ignore them any longer. They could park the car some place near or fetch some lunch from a drive-through and just stick it out for a bit. He doubted it'd be a terrible moment to engage the guy. The goatling wouldn't likely lead them into a trap like that and he didn't feel anything holding him back.
The parking lot loomed up ahead again. He walked by it on the way to the house they'd crossed earlier. The one that still had the goatling looming above it, relatively unnoticed. There was no movement from the house. If they rang the doorbell, would it still be unexpected? The number of Immortals they'd killed...
It couldn't have gone unnoticed. Their presence couldn't have gone unnoticed.
A little cold weather was all it took to get Daniel to give in, huh? He grinned. He couldn't complain, honestly. It was what he'd wanted from the start, so it worked. Their peace wouldn't last for long, he was sure, but he wanted to take advantage of it while it lasted.
He stared after the motorcyclist. Couldn't be them. Oh, well. Plenty of other people it could be. With a shake of his head, he continued on. One foot in front of another.
This was what life could have been. Not this fancy, maybe, not this nice, but if he'd worked hard, gotten a job, been a real human being, maybe he could have had this future. A quiet house near a city. Children playing in the yard, a mother with her kids, minivans and corporate jobs. He twisted his lips. Yeah, it sounded nice, but not for him. He understood why Daniel had run from it, looking at it like this, well fed and with a shelter at the ready. It wasn't really living. It was life, but none of these people were truly alive the way he and Daniel were, day after day, struggling to survive.
"Ugh. Don't remind me," Bell muttered. It was a nightmare come true. He'd never wanted a kid. At least this one mostly took care of itself, and ran off when it wasn't being useful. He breathed out through his nose and shook his head. "Probably. It's a goat. It's not some helpless human child. It can take care of itself."
He walked along in contemplative silence for a few seconds, then nodded at Daniel. "And you've got Alice. Wonder what she's up to. Your old... wife? Girlfriend? Probably has her hands full, whatever ended up happening there."
They'd both ended up with kids in the end. Even though it'd seemed impossible, here they were. A boy and a girl. [i Would it be incest if they got together?] Bell wondered. Not physically, right? And it wasn't like either of them was going to grow up together.
A shiver crawled up his spine. [i Might not want them to meet.] Whatever was formed from the copulation of a freaky goat and a hybrid... it was bound to be a monstrosity.
"Wish one of these houses was abandoned," he threw out there, to distract himself as much as anything else. It'd be nice if they could stake the place out and be warm at the same time.
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