Author Topic: FACE OF CONTUSIONS [backstory oneshot]  (Read 74 times)

Offline 𝐜𝐚𝐭𝐚𝐥𝐲𝐬𝐭

  • 「 p a r i a h 」
  • Board Mod
  • Posts: 333
    • They/Them
    • View Profile
FACE OF CONTUSIONS [backstory oneshot]
« on: January 03, 2019, 11:16:22 PM »
//big tw/cw for violence, gore and murder as well as alcohol and misgendering

They were fifteen years old when they tried alcohol for the first time. Fifteen years old when they took their first lives.

There was this little town situated not far from where Mourningstar had made their headquarters, a (semi) lawless congregation of people that couldn't make halfway decent lives anywhere else. There were only three things that you weren't supposed to do there: take anything without giving something in return, harass any of the girls (or guys), or mess with the Constable. The Constable was some British fellow that had arrived just before the blackout began, and had been quick to capitalize. He'd made himself leader of the little town, though the only rule he really cared about enforcing was the third (second if it was his daughter getting harassed; Cat was pretty sure she was the main reason the rule existed).

The main attraction of the town for the Mourningstar cultists was the bar; the moonshine was nasty but it got the job done. Most of the older fanatics didn't bother, as they knew what good liqueur tasted like, but the youths? They loved it. Three in particular: Gerald, Honey and Louie. All of them were at least a bit older than Catalyst, but they treated them like they were a god. Well, to them, they were. And they weren't all that interested in destroying the illusion.

So for the most part, they kept aloof, declining every invitation as it came to go into town. But one night, they just said fug it. They didn't want to feel so distant anymore, they wanted to get drunk and pretend that these people were their friends, not their twisted disciples. It helped that Susie, the Constable's daughter, was often working in the bar.

She was a bit older than they were, and she was a sweetheart. She never treated them like they were a freak or a god, but she entertained their delusions of grandeur in just the same way they did, making her one of the few people they actually thought might be their friend. She was also the scariest person they had ever met, even to this day. They still had quite a few lingering theories about what secrets she was hiding, each one more unseemly than the next, many involving the meat cleaver that hung from her hip at all times.

Not to mention there was her father, the Constable, who would gladly eviscerate whatever was left of anyone that messed with Susie.

Sure enough, on the night that Catalyst went with the young cultists, she was there, serving drinks and chatting with the customers she'd deemed non creepy (which was most everybody, either out of decency or fear). She shot a smile at them as they entered, but it was a few minutes before she came to take their orders. The menu was pretty short, which was rather good for Cat; they could hide their inexperience with alcohol better, since they could just angle their head towards Louie when he ordered first. The others did, so it wasn't out of place.

It wasn't too long before the first round was placed on the table, then the second, then the third. The moonshine tasted like piss, but they drank it down anyway until a nice warm feeling filled their body and a cloud covered their thoughts. As their companions got progressively drunker, they got progressively more boisterous. Gerald pointed across the room, at two people talking in hushed voices, heads bent towards each other. "Whatcha think, Cat? What are they up to?" Apparently he'd noticed Cat watching them.

They rolled their eyes, leaning back against their seat, waving a hand to signal to Susie that they didn't want another drink. "I can't read minds, Gerald." He looked disappointed, even a bit disillusioned. "I don't need to; I can read people well enough and you should be glad I can't see your thoughts." This was actually true.

Honey ran her arms up and down her arms, and while they couldn't know for sure, they were pretty sure they knew what she was remembering. Her, puking her guts out, them, making sure she knew quite well that they knew about her doubt in them. "Don't listen to them. They fucking know." Catalyst hadn't told anyone about the incident (though Derick was the one that informed them of her disbelief and knew that they were going to take care of it), and they didn't imagine that Honey would as well.

Susie was walking towards their booth with the next round of drinks, big hoop earrings swaying a bit as she wove her way through the crowded bar. They angled their head in her direction. "Not me. Her." They'd let the others think they had ESP if they wanted to, but really it was just deduction. Susie had been serving the two men drinks and might have overheard something.

"How's it going?" She asked, setting the next round of drinks on the table. Her gaze lingered on Catalyst for just a moment, silently questioning why they'd brought the entire table's attention towards her while she walked over.

Louie grabbed his drink and started on it immediately; of everyone, he was the keenest on alcohol and even came in when no one else wanted to. Everyone in Mourningstar knew that this was the best place to look for him if he was ever missing, and he went "missing" quite a lot. Gerald and Honey didn't just yet, looking between Cat and Susie intently.

"Those guys over there. What are they talking about?"

Susie glanced over her shoulder at the people they pointed at. "Is this some kind of cult thing or are you just being nosy?" Her answer made their lips curl in amusement;

"It's not a cult!" Honey hissed, a note of desperation in her voice.

Cat lifted a placating hand. "Leave it. She'll see the darkness eventually." That sounded edgy even to them, but the cultists ate it up. Susie not so much.

She scoffed. "You're so over dramatic. Scoot over." Much to Louie's annoyance, Catalyst obliged, letting her sit down next to them and forcing him to move. "They were talking about the strategic importance of this place, and how much they stood to make if they could control it."

Catalyst frowned, and Louie actually set his drink down. "They gonna challenge the Constable?"

Susie shrugged. "I dunno. I think they might have something else in mind." Despite the grim implications for her, she didn't seem that concerned. Louie seemed worse off, as a matter of fact, his face betraying the horrible situations he was imagining with someone else running his favorite place. Honey was too inebriated to really understand, and Gerald's eyes were alight. Great.

A grin slowly spread across Gerald's face. "You totally knew. You came even though you don't normally, and you were looking at them for the longest time! You totally knew." He leaned forward, far too into it now. "What are you gonna do?"

"What am I gonna do?"

He nodded eagerly. "Yes! It's fate, you've got to stop whatever they're planning."

Sometimes Cat hated that his only peers (aside from Susie, of course) were cultists. "They can't try anything that me and my dad can't handle. You don't need to get involved, Cat." They didn't want to. They really didn't want to.

But Gerald, Louie and Honey were all looking at them expectantly. They weren't really sure if tonight was a "fug it" night or if it was the moonshine making the mistakes easier. They reached into their pocket and withdrew a bullet - they didn't have a gun and had only brought it to pay for drinks - and set it on the table in front of them. Susie stared at it, lips thinning. "A round of drinks for the gentlemen at the bar, on me." Susie glared at them, but picked up the bullet and stalked away. The cultists were grinning, certain that it was part of some big scheme (maybe it was; Fate was guiding their hand in ways they didn't understand yet) and thrilled that they were taking some sort of action.

For a moment, Cat let themself smile too. Then Susie set fresh mugs of moonshine before the pair, and after exchanging a few words, five eyes turned towards Catalyst. Hmm, one of them was missing an eye, and was wearing an eyepatch. The men didn't touch their drinks, instead glancing at each other before rising to their feet and walking across the bar. After a moment's hesitation, Susie followed, her hand dropping to her hip, lightly touching the handle of her meat cleaver.

"Good evening." Cat greeted, ignoring their companions for the moment. They were frothing like hungry dogs, eager for them to smite these bastards. They sighed inwardly; every now and then they had to do something to keep their belief in them alive, an exertion of control or a display of power. Any opportunity that came up that they didn't seize was suspect.

"You paid for our drinks?" He had a thick accent, one that Cat couldn't identify. They had dark hair and eyes (well, eye) and hands that couldn't seem to keep still. His companion was a red head, with a thin mustache perched above a thin lip, his tongue snaking across it every few seconds.

Catalyst nodded. "Would your friend like some chapstick?"

The red head looked as if he was about to say yes, but the first man shook his head. "You're very generous, boy." They bristled a little, but said nothing about it for the moment. They were playing at diplomacy first, if for no other reason than to assess them and any potential weaknesses. "You don't come around here much, do you?"

The calmness never left their face, aside from the slight bristling. "If I did I'd expect you'd have seen me by now." A quick glance past the men at Susie revealed their guess was true. They came around town plenty, but they rarely hung around in the bar (on it was a different story). "So is there something I can help you with? Did you just come here to thank me in person?"

This seemed to annoy them, and the accented man stepped forward, getting quite a bit closer than Catalyst would have preferred. "I don't know what you and your friends think you're doing, but knock it off." He muttered in a low voice, eyes glimmering in what he surely thought was menace, though they were unimpressed.

Infuriated, Gerald slammed his hands on the table. "You just gonna take that, Catalyst?"

They slowly got out of the booth and stood up, forcing the dark haired man to step back in line with his fellow. "No, I don't think I will." They'd been in a few fights, but most of them didn't end well for them. They couldn't back down though. (Could they? Maybe they could, but the alcohol had them convinced of otherwise. Even if it hadn't, Gerald and the others were watching.)

"Do ya think you're special, kitteh?" The second man asked, finally breaking his silence.

They didn't need to answer. Behind them, Honey sounded furious. "They're a god!"

This elicited scoffs from the men, and Cat crossed their arms. "You're not from around here, are you?" Between the accents and the clear lack of familiarity with the Constable and Susie (and Mourningstar too), that was easy enough to guess. "You're up to something, probably wanna claim some level of power, right? Well you've picked a pretty bad place, friends. You think you can fug with the Constable? You can't even fug with me."

"You don't know shit!" The redhead spat, glaring daggers at them. Whatever semblance of friendliness they'd been faking drained away. "We ain't fucking with anyone!"

But the other man shook his head, hair falling into his eye. "No, we're fucking with this brat. He needs to be taught a fucking lesson about respect." Ironic, since they'd been nothing but graceful for these fugheads, and they'd been the aggressors for most of this.

"Bud, he's got friends here. We don't." There was actually a note of apprehension in the thin-mustached fellow's voice as he placed a hand on his companion's shoulder. The corners of Cat's mouth twitched upwards a hair at that.

"What makes you think my friends are fighting my battles?" Gerald, Honey and Louie rejoiced at that answer, not because they wouldn't have to fight, but because to them it seemed like a display of power just in itself. Everyone else knew better of course, but they were too deep into their own bullshit reality to realize that.

For the first time since the men walked over, Susie stepped in. "If you're gonna fight, take it outside. The only messes I clean up in here are my own, and I'll make a fuckin' mess if I have to." The strangers exchanged a look and then headed for the door, apparently not concerned with making sure Catalyst followed. They'd have to leave eventually, right? (There are other exits they don't know about, but they certainly weren't backing down now that the challenges had been issued.) While the cultists scrambled to get out of the booth, Cat headed for the door, but halted when Susie grabbed their wrist. Nose wrinkling a bit, they looked back just as she pressed something into their hand. "Don't get yourself killed for me and my Dad. Do what you gotta do." The object she gave them was long and thin and decidedly sharp. A dagger. Small enough that no one would notice they had it until it was too late. They turned around and shrugged off their jacket, passing it to her wordlessly.

The men were waiting outside, the red head was smoking a cigarette and rubbing his hands together, the other was rolling his shoulders. Susie and the cultists followed them out. Her face was grim, and her arms were crossed with their jacket pinned to her chest. Gerald's eyes were bright and wild, and there was a savage grin on his face. Honey seemed to just now be realizing the severity of what they'd gotten into, but aside from a hint of concern, there was nothing that indicated she'd have it any other way. Louie had brought out his drink (and Gerald's, from the looks of it) and was trying to take sips as he walked, guided by Honey. It wasn't really working out for him, as she was also pretty drunk.

They cast one last look at their companions, then turned to face their opponents. For a moment, the knowledge that this was a terrible idea got through their addled mind, but it was far too late to turn back now. They strode forward, forcing their face to be blank lest it betray the twinge of fear the sane part of them was feeling. "Since there's two of you, do I get to take the first swing?" They asked.

The answer was no. The red-haired man lunged at them, fist raised to deliver what would be an undoubtedly painful blow. They ducked and spun out of the way, only to be caught by the one-eyed man, who pinned their arms to their sides. The audience cried out in dismay, and Cat tried to tune them out. In the darkness, it was difficult to see, by the glowing butt of Red's cigarette showed his advance. Then came three blows to their stomach that stole their breath, and one to the face that would have snapped their head back a lot more if One Eye hadn't been right behind them.

"Come on Catalyst! What the fuck!" Gerald, of course, sounding horrified by what he was witnessing. His god couldn't lose, couldn't get their arse kicked. It was impossible. Well, regardless of whether they had people counting on them to win, they certainly weren't willing to lose.

Red had retreated a few paces, the orange glow remaining as he came back, this time with some momentum. Cat drew their leg up and lashed out, aiming for the cigarette. The light vanished as Red let out a strangled cry. One Eye's grip was too strong to escape, so Cat went limp, using their weight to drag him down with them. Halfway down he let go and delivered a kick to Cat's ribs, but they were free, scrambling back. They got to their feet and wiped the blood that was streaming from their nose away from their face, glancing between the men. Red was gagging, momentarily distracted by the cigarette that had been shoved into his mouth and possibly down their throat, but One Eye was still on them.

Their companions were cheering now, Gerald wildly requesting that Cat "fuck them up". They pushed them out of their mind, focusing on One Eye. He was advancing, but Cat moved faster, leaping at him and driving their thumb into his eye. The slimy sensation was one that they'd never be able to forget, nor was the man's screams. He shoved them away and clutched at his face. It was at this point that they withdrew the blade Susie had given them from their pocket, and they glanced over to see what Red was doing. He'd stopped gagging, and was turning his attention back on Cat.

He swung again, and this time Cat wasn't fast enough to fully dodge, the punch landing on their shoulder and knocking them off balance, nearly sending them to the ground again. Before they could recover, Red grabbed them by their shirt and lifted them up and slammed them against the wall. Cat wasn't about to to stop fighting, though, and drove the dagger into Red's side, wherever they could reach. He gasped in pain, but it wasn't enough to make him let go, so Cat pulled the dagger out and stabbed him in a different place, twisting and jerking the blade as best they could from the weird angle. Red shrieked and let go, letting Cat fall; they landed on their feet and ripped the dagger away from him before he could pull it out and use it on them.

The next few moments were a blur; their vision tunneled and they could hear their blood roaring in their ear, the strangled screams of Red as they stabbed him over and over and over until he fell were weirdly distant and muffled. Then they turned on No Eye, attacking him with the small dagger until he too fell. It was only then that they realized that their throat was sore from screaming, that they were covered in blood. One of the men was still moaning from pain, and the other was still. They threw down the knife, suddenly feeling very numb. There was noise, people shouting, but they just stared down at the men, silent. Someone grabbed them, taking their arm while someone else grabbed the other and forced them into the air. This brought them back to reality, and they almost jerked away from Susie and Gerald and Honey and Louie, but they didn't, letting them guide them away from the scene. The cultists were cheering, screaming their praises into the night. They let themself get caught up in it. A victorious scream ripped its way past their lips; and for a moment, they let themself enjoy their victory.

Gerald was positively losing his shit, and to a lesser extent so were Honey and Louie, who had both managed to sober up. Susie's face was expressionless, but there was a light in her eyes. "Nice job." She muttered, and they grinned. Their ribs and nose hurt, and they were soaked in blood, but they grinned, they cheered. Somewhere along the way they forgot what they were really feeling underneath it all.

//hey so if you made it through all that (3.3k words) you deserve a fucking medal and uhh feel free to track and leave comments
Spoiler: IF YOU DONT KNOW NOW YOU KNOW && INFO && 01/03/19 • show
GENERAL   welcome to the end of eras, ice has melted back to life
⇥ Given name is Scott Mathew Darrow ⇥ Goes only by Catalyst or Cat
⇥ Assigned male at birth ⇥ Agender ⇥ They/Them pronouns only
Twenty-one ⇥ Born 11/27/17 ⇥ Sagittarius ⇥ Real time aging
Top Dog (leader) of the Badlands ⇥ Ex prisoner of the Badlands
⇥ Ex cultist (Mourningstar) ⇥ Ex member of the Young Rogues

RECENT EVENTS   done my time and served my sentence
⇥ 01/02/39 ⇥ Helped fight off Sheogorath's captors
⇥ 12/31/38 ⇥ Discovered Sheogorath's journal
⇥ 12/30/38 ⇥ Held their first meeting, which can't be summarized briefly
⇥ 12/29/38 ⇥ Confronted Jeremy, their old captor
⇥ 12/27/38 ⇥ Took over as leader of the Badlands

APPEARANCE   dress me up and watch me die
⇥ Catalyst is 6'2" tall; they possess a lean and muscular body, one that has a variety of old scars adorning it. They have two piercings, one in their tongue and the other in the cartilage of their left ear. They typically dress in dark colors (favoring jackets with some sort of writing on the back), and their hair is black. They're not all dark, however, as they have pale blue eyes that peer out from beneath medium-sized eyebrows.

PERSONALITY   if it feels good, tastes good, it must be mine
⇥ Catalyst is ambitious, with the cunning and ruthlessness to reach their goals by any means necessary. They can be brutal when they feel it is needed, however when it's not they won't bother. They tend to be rather aloof and apathetic to most things and people, with some very rare exceptions. Provided those around them don't cross a few specific lines, they're content to leave them be, though they've been known to take an interest in some people, which seldom has a positive end for whoever their interest is in. They can be manipulative, and will often encourage people to make bad decisions. Those that stick by them will be rewarded, but those that do not will be cast out, as they've been outcast for their entire life and have learned to appreciate loyalty wherever they can find it. Even during the most stressful of situations, they usually keep a firm grip on their temper and keep their calm, though when they do snap and lose their temper, it is uncontrollable. They're remarkably observant, often able to deign much from subtle clues in what people say, how they say it and how they act.

RELATIONS   dynasty decapitated, you just might see a ghost tonight
⇥ Molly Darrow x Austin Darrow ⇥ No siblings
Pansexual/PanromanticSingle ⇥ No crushes or maybe crushes
⇥ Not looking but not not looking ⇥ Rarely forms romantic attachment
⇥ Holds most people at arms length and doesn't get close

INTERACTION   i'm taking back the c r o w n
Hard physicallyHard mentally ⇥ Doesn't let their guard down
⇥ Is most comfortable with close ranged-weapons ⇥ Dislikes guns
Brass knuckles ⇥ A variety of knives ⇥ Blunt objects like bats
⇥ Will kill/capture/maim in certain circumstances
⇥ Will leave things be in others ⇥ Will start & finish fights
⇥ No kill/capture/maim without permission
⇥ Peaceful powerplay allowed but they may react negatively
⇥ Dislikes almost any sort of touch unless they initiate or agree to it
YOU GOT ME COMING BACK FOR MORE
I'VE NEVER DONE THAT BEFORE

Online finny.

  • Moderator
  • Posts: 11946
  • "what is up with finny and daddies" - crows
  • A badge for members who were here during Bearbones' second year! Art by Hootowls. A badge for members who were here during Bearbones' first year! Art by Hootowls.
    • View Profile
Re: FACE OF CONTUSIONS [backstory oneshot]
« Reply #1 on: January 03, 2019, 11:35:16 PM »
o damn
this was really good tho!!
you don't get thick skin
without getting burnt HUB

Offline BEATLES

  • ✧・゚
  • Posts: 2300
  • A badge for members who were here during Bearbones' second year! Art by Hootowls. A badge for members who were here during Bearbones' first year! Art by Hootowls.
    • View Profile
Re: FACE OF CONTUSIONS [backstory oneshot]
« Reply #2 on: January 04, 2019, 12:21:32 AM »
holy shit
YOU KNOW I'M SUCH A FOOL FOR YOU
YOU GOT ME WRAPPED AROUND YOUR FINGER

Online Bryne

  • 「 formerly known as pyre 」
  • Senior Moderator
  • Posts: 12277
    • She/Her
  • A badge for members who were here during Bearbones' second year! Art by Hootowls. A badge for members who were here during Bearbones' first year! Art by Hootowls.
    • View Profile
Re: FACE OF CONTUSIONS [backstory oneshot]
« Reply #3 on: January 04, 2019, 12:45:04 AM »
ah ty <3
you like? ;)
in city, i feel my spirit is contained, like neon inside the glass, they form my brain, but i recently discovered it's a heatless fire, like nicknames they give themselves to uninspire, begin with bullet, now add fire to the proof, but i'm still not sure if fear's a rival or close relative to truth, either way it helps to hear these words bounce off of you, the softest echo could be enough for me to make it through, folina, sahlo folina, sahlo folina, sahlo folina, i created this world, to feel some control, destroy it if i want, so i sing someone, folina, sahlo folina, sahlo
INFO & STAFF LOVE & CHARACTERS & LINK HUB

Offline darky

  • Posts: 447
    • They/Them
  • A badge for members who were here during Bearbones' second year! Art by Hootowls. A badge for members who were here during Bearbones' first year! Art by Hootowls.
    • View Profile
Re: FACE OF CONTUSIONS [backstory oneshot]
« Reply #4 on: January 04, 2019, 12:48:25 PM »
well that was intense
I need to save you, but who's going to save me?
characters ++ staff ;p

Online Bryne

  • 「 formerly known as pyre 」
  • Senior Moderator
  • Posts: 12277
    • She/Her
  • A badge for members who were here during Bearbones' second year! Art by Hootowls. A badge for members who were here during Bearbones' first year! Art by Hootowls.
    • View Profile
Re: FACE OF CONTUSIONS [backstory oneshot]
« Reply #5 on: January 04, 2019, 01:04:50 PM »
did you expect anything else
in city, i feel my spirit is contained, like neon inside the glass, they form my brain, but i recently discovered it's a heatless fire, like nicknames they give themselves to uninspire, begin with bullet, now add fire to the proof, but i'm still not sure if fear's a rival or close relative to truth, either way it helps to hear these words bounce off of you, the softest echo could be enough for me to make it through, folina, sahlo folina, sahlo folina, sahlo folina, i created this world, to feel some control, destroy it if i want, so i sing someone, folina, sahlo folina, sahlo
INFO & STAFF LOVE & CHARACTERS & LINK HUB