Beating Heart


ethan_icon.gif monster_icon.gif

Scene Title Beating Heart
Synopsis And other kinds of beatings ensue.
Date March 14, 2009

Pancratium: The Room

"Not so fucking tough are you now, you little cunt."

A wet thud resounds through the dark corridors as a fist meets flesh. Several men are circled around one shirtless man, on his knees in the ground. Barely conscious, it would be hard to tell if he is even aware of the beating he's taking. But since it's Ethan Holden, he probably is.

All the men that encircle the Wolf are the men that Ethan has met over the past couple weeks while he has been a guest at the Pancratium. All men he has beaten on, bruised, and bloodied. Each of them with a black eye, a scarred lip, or several bruises to attest for Ethan's bad behavior. And as one of the prized fighters, he has been untouchable, until now. And so these men have a few parting gifts for the Brit before they haul him off to the dark depths.

"Grab him. He's had enough. Let's throw him in and get the hell out of here."

Hauled to his feet, the man watches his surroundings go by at a surprising surreal rate. His eyes are fogged over, his hearing is dull as if there was a pillow sanwiched over his ears. Everything is numb, the wounds in his arm, his neck, now his face. He can barely feel anything. Except for his heart.

It's still beating.

Light bulbs that emit a dirty kind of hazy light flow by Ethan's bleary vision when his head tips back, as he's marched down the corridor like so much dead meat. Even through the numbness pain can bring, the air is starting to change. It's starting to get colder, wetter, as he's manhandled down stairs of concrete. Firm hands latching onto his limp arms keep him from simply tumbling down. A new voice rings out, echoing thinly off the walls, from somewhere below.

"Eh! Who gave you permission to push him through the meat grinder?"

The man at Ethan's left gives a sneer that pulls at his scarred mouth, jostling the Wolf once in a gesture of disgust. "He was like this when we found him," he mutters. "You're so surprised? This one fought the Midtown Man, ya know, and he— "

"I know fresh bruises when I fuckin' see 'em." The man spits on the ground, casting a disdainful glance at the group that had struggled Ethan down here. A small room, concrete walls with rust stains leaking from metal piping, and then more overtly, just before him, a steel door with an elaborate lock. The man holds a rifle, the strap loose over his shoulder and the muzzle pointed to the ground. "Whatever. The fresher the better, remember that for next time."

Ethan is propelled forward, two steadying, rough hands still on his arm, one on the back of his neck. "Yeah, yeah, just open the door. I hate this fucking place."

The rifle-wielding man doesn't need encouragement, twisting open the lock, metal grinding against metal as the pressure is released. There's a sudden thud as a body impacts against the other side of the door, making the rifle-wielder jump, hesitate. Even with the door parted just a fraction, the smell of blood and rotted human flesh is quick to seep through.

A loud wet cough emits as Ethan is jostled forward, blood dripping from his mouth. It's hard to breathe through his nose because it's somewhat broken. And it's hard to breathe through his mouth because of the obstruction. Doubling over in a coughing fit, blood leaks from his lips as he tries to rotate his head around. He is vaguely aware of the scent, his brows would narrow if he was less a corpse and more lively. But it's all relative, he's a quick healer, and after all he's been through worse scraps than this.


"'over is in there can't wait to see me." The Wolf says with a bloody, crusty smile, a smile that is barely decipherable as a smile. His words are garbled, which makes sense given that his mouth has been pounded on so frequently by his new friends.

Oh, and also because he's hiding a knife in there.

"Yeah, he's been going hungry," the man just behind Ethan sneers, strong fingers squeezing the nape of the Englishman's neck. "The pretty pretty princess's been making feeding times a rarity. Now that she's gone, well…" Ethan is shoved forward. "…maybe you shoulda won your fight. Open the door, already."

And the door swings open into darkness, the lights that do manage to slant inside show stained bathroom tiles - blood and other bodily fluids, the sharper scents of urine, vomit a subtler undercurrent to the smell of death. Whatever else is in there, that made the door shudder so, has retreated to the darker shadows, although the wheezing sound of breathing starts to sound.

"In you go, sweetness." Another shove, expecting Ethan to topple on through, and the rifle-wielding man still pointing his gun away, more focused on shutting the door in a hurry and whatever lurks inside.

And Ethan does topple on through, Landing on his knees, he collapses forward onto his bare chest, blood, spittle and a knife dropping out into a small puddle in front of him. He takes a moment to orient himself, to see through the own fog in his vision, to see through the dim lighting. To go past the vomit and urine scents, and to listen for anything more sinister. With all his years of training, all his skill, all his natural talent it is still difficult to get past all the damage inflicted on a person to be so perceptive. But one thing he is always aware of, his heart's still beating. And he intends to keep it that way.

"Wonderful." He mutters. "I'll be out to kill you in just a minute darling, don't waste too many of those bullets, I'm going to need them." The Wolf says as he pushes himself to his knees. The switchblade is taken up, and the knife flicks up. Now the real show begins…

The door groans shut around the time the little blade of the knife jerks out of the hilt. A grind as the lock is sealed once more, and the darkness fills the room as thick and oppressive as a blindfold. That sound of breathing, a continual and reedy indication of life, takes direction - the corner to Ethan's right. A shuffle, something getting to its feet, and the rasping nature of the breathing is edged with the sound of an older man. There's a gentle, incoherent murmur, in no language Ethan could recognise if it was even a language at all.

Then, the slap of bare feet against the slippery tile, the angular body of the Monster blindly ramming into the kneeling man, hands reaching to clasp, to manhandle to the ground. An alarming amount of furious strength for something that sounds— and smells— so sickly.

Ethan rolls his eyes, opening his mouth a soft incoherent murmur of his own is let out, mimicking the first sound but in a more ridiculous sort of way. Once he is done imitating the first whispers, he watches the subtle changes in his environment. "You're the beast." He sounds rather unimpressed, and perhaps a little disappointed. Narrowing his brows, Ethan quickly tries to determine a game plan. The thing is obviously crazed, so threatening with the knife might be out of the picture.

As he is rammed into, Ethan easily keels over, going back onto his back, but not without reaching to clasp onto the man's arm, and as rolling back attempts to use the thing's own momentum to send it hurling back behind Ethan and towards the door. Using his knees as a lever, the Wolf quickly spins around on his back to prepare for a second attack.

There's a thud that should, by rights, buckle the attacker, but as soon as he hits the door, hits the tile beneath that, he's moving again like a thrown animal might, desperation filtering into the way he breathes. Outside, a crack of laughter sounds out in response to the noises of a scuffle. Apparently, they're still out there. Still waiting.

Hands, feet, these things hit the tile as he moves, scrambling to get to Ethan, breath coming out in short bursts and gasps. A cold hand manages to grip Ethan's arm, trap-like, ragged fingernails pressing into and catching on flesh.

As the hand clamps around his arm, Ethan lets out a growl. "I need you to shu'up, old man." His free arm flies up at the man's throat, as Ethan throws himself up, pulling powerfully down on the arm that is seized by the Monster. Throwing himself up, Ethan attempts to twist the two bodies and get the ravaging creature pinned on his back.

"If you can still 'ear things, I'll get you out of 'ere. If you stop acting like a fucking retard, alright? I 'ave a date. And I don't want you making me look any less presentable. So calm the fuck down, and you can eat plenty of pricks on the outside."

The so-called monster struggles still once pinned to the ground, fists beating against Ethan's arms, shoulders, in blows that would probably hurt but ultimately… Ethan's felt worse. His actions die, slowly. If he understands Ethan's words, they are not given a verbal response - the only response is the fact he stops struggling. Perhaps because the other man has shown his dominance and there's a language he can understand. Weathered hands rest on Ethan's arms, thin breathing made thinner by the arm at his throat. He goes still. Waiting.

Straddling the other man, Ethan slowly and testingly lets up the pressure on the throat, waiting to see if he will start going crazy again or not. Then, Ethan just waits. He doesn't see a host of corpses and bones laying about, so hopefully these people clean up a little bit. And when they do, there will be hell to pay.

Waiting for a long moment, Ethan slowly and hesitantly goes to dismount the man, keeping an eye on him closely before penetrating the distance between the two. Placing his back against the wall by the door. Waiting.

With a soft groan as he's released, the man rolls onto his side, gets to hands and knees, but nothing more than that. No place is completely dark, really, and eyes start to adjust. For all his raw strength and energy, the monster seems almost frail, hair gone longer than it should be and lank with grease. The lines in his face speak of old age, his clothing spattered and dirty, torn in some places from last minute struggles. Unkempt, neglected, like an animal in a cage in a particularly cruel circus.

Apparently a running theme in these parts.

Long minutes pass, and the man mostly ignores Ethan completely, picking at his fingernails and murmuring to himself. The muted sound of conversation beyond the door is barely audible, but present, and finally, foot steps come closer, and the door's heavy lock is undone, the door whining on its hinges when pulled open. Light comes flooding, lighting up the pale blue of the monster's eyes with vivid intensity.

And as the door slides open, so does Ethan's foot. Jarring the door back to fully right, it's only a split second before the switchblade is embedded in the guard's throat, his warm blood squirting out onto Ethan's hand as he gives a twisting motion with the blade. And then he's quickly going to strip the rifle of the man. It takes little less than a few seconds all together. Back still pressed against the wall, Ethan flicks his gaze to the monster.

"If the men 'oo were just 'ittin me are still out there. I recommend you run. Quickly."

A glance is given to the monster, before Ethan gives a little whistle as if calling a dog, motioning with his head to the now open door. He waits for a moment, letting the caged animal find freedom first.

In the heat of the moment, a second can stretch forever, and it does, the man huddled where he is as he peers up at Ethan almost balefully, lips peeling back to expose yellowed, crooked teeth in a gesture of mistrust, and for a moment, there's true fear in his eyes as he looks back at his prospect of freedom.

But then, he's moving with far more speed than a man his age should have, tearing out the door to the horrified cry of one of them out there. There's a fleshy thud as someone is felled under the monster's pounding, tearing fists, and a higher pitched wail when teeth find flesh.

The rifle is quickly checked and examined before Ethan himself fills the doorframe of the former cage. His eyes take in the three men, one of which occupied by his new pet monster. A bullet fills the brain of the second, his body dropping unceremoniously to the ground. Then the rifle swings to the third, a bullet going straight to the kneecap of the man.

"'ow do I get to the Irish woman from 'ere you little fuck?" Ethan growls as he walks out towards the man, glancing over with a little disgust at the monster. Though he goes mostly ignored, they're on the same team after all. Sorta.

The man with half his head now spattered on the wall makes not a sound when he goes down. In contrast, the man with a blown apart kneecap gives a piercing shriek, giving choking gasps as he goes down, clutching at his leg. "Oh my god oh— oh god my leg," he babbles, throwing a panicked glances towards where his friend seems to be getting crushed beneath fists, blood running freely as the monster…

Well, as the monster feasts upon the damage he creates.

"Please don't let him kill me, please," the man starts to beg, looking up at Ethan. "The Irish… she— same place she always fuckin' is, man, what do you want, you gonna— what're you gonna do they'll kill you man!"

Another shot rings out as another bullet enters the man's other kneecap. "Wot do I fuckin' look like, a walkin' GPS? Fuck me, I don't work here, you arrogant little fuck. Granted, I'm a little discombobula'ed with you beatin' the 'ell out of me. I need directions, give me a fuckin' break you insignificunt." Ethan growls as if the man had just tried to cut him down.

Ethan glances over at the monster. "Wow. That looks like it will really 'urt, mate." The man murmurs, "So you give me a map, and you tell me where I can find Kain Zarek and…" He gives a shrug. "I'll kill you. 'ow does that sound, bruv?"

A keening whimper, this time, is his reaction to his other leg being shot to hell, eyes unfocusing, fighting nausea. "She… upstairs," he finally states, voice coming as a croak. "Upstairs, 'til you get to the— the metal stairs, go left instead down the corridor. 's the door at the end. Oh god, I don't know Zarek, okay, I dunno who that is. I'd tell you if I could," he glances to the gore fest to the left of him, where the monster is getting to his feet, the crumpled corpse lying broken on the ground between them, "I fuckin' would."

Ethan gives a little sigh, looking down at the man as if having a very hard time on deciding what to do. The rifle hangs at his side slackly as he rotates his head around giving a 'hum'. Quite the predicament. Finally Ethan gives an 'oh alright' look down at the man. "Alright, I believe you." He concedes, raising up the rifle to aim at the man's head.

"But— "

"You did 'it me an awful lot, didn't you? That was unnecessary. Just consider the next few moments of your life, your final lesson in.." He tilts his head back. "Oh what's it called?" Stepping over the man, the shirtless Ethan goes for the stairs, going to shoulder the rifle on his shoulders as he leaves the bleeding man to his new best friend.

"Oh, right. Karma. That's it."

Ethan's footsteps echo as he moves back up the concrete stairs, leaving behind the bright lit room behind, and the man's frantic begging and pleading, and for all that the monster is crazed, he understand what to do now. A symphony of screams ensues as Ethan leaves the scene, wet smacks, breaking snaps, the sound of pain filling the room even beneath the screams of agony.

Monster has to get his own back too.

March 14th: The Weakest Link
March 14th: Honorary Blonde
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