Method To Madness


cardinal_icon.gif logan_icon.gif

Scene Title Method To Madness
Synopsis There is method to Cardinal's madness. Or. The other way around. Spooky shadow voices follow Logan back to his home.
Date February 28, 2009

Logan's Apartment

Where Logan's office had zebra print on the floors, paintings and the walls and chiffon draping the windows, his apartment does— not. It's both unlived in and cluttered, a place to store his life when he's not there - ordinary, small, and almost dreary, lifeless of character. His bed seems perpetually unmade as well as untouched - neglected, might be the word for it. Dust settles onto furniture - an antique dresser, a metal filing cabinet - and hazy sunset light angles its way into through horizontal blinds.

Well then, he thinks to himself as he steps inside, locks the door after himself. Welcome home.

Shoes, jacket, these things are shed and left carelessly behind as the pimp shuffles inside, puts a small paper bag into his bedside table, which brings him directly in line with the mirror. "Bloody hell," he mutters, at the sight of himself - blood loss has given him a paler edge than normal, his visible eye squinted, red for reasons not to do with injury, and of course the bandaging, an obtrusive swatch of white over his right eye, taped and bandaged in place. Swallowing back some fear, John Logan moves to stand more directly in front of the mirror, begins to pick at the sides of the bandaging. May as well see what exactly that bitch did to him.

A routine check into the depths of the Happy Dagger found a certain cell empty—and hours later it remained empty, long since its previous inhabitant would've been finished with her healing at the Pancratium and returned to her four walled room. She'd been moved, clearly… or something had gone very, very wrong.

He was trying not to think of what may have been bloodstains on the floor.

The proprietor's shadow garnered a vengeful stowaway, therefore, when next he left the building and headed home, to the surprisingly bland surroundings of his home. As he stands before the mirror, Cardinal watches in silence, delaying his intent to speak for a few moments. He's rather curious what happened to that eye.

Strips of bandaging are drawn away, unwound from the loop around his head, though the swatch of bandage over his eye remains taped in place. He delays, fixing his hair a little, staring at a random mark on the mirror about a foot below where he should be looking, his face drawn and gaunt, lacking the sparkling amicability of a criminal businessman. "Oh get it over with," he mutters to himself, as if perhaps he were aware of an audience - which he isn't, not in the slightest, too absorbed in his own world to really care if a shadow is deeper than it should be.

The tape is picked away, gauze pulled aside, dropped down onto the dresser's surface. Unlike Deckard, there's no gory empty space of black and red. Abby never managed to get rid of his eye, it seems, but— perhaps it would be better if she did. It's still red, shockingly so, a deep, bright crimson surrounding an iris that has become distorted, white where it should be, and colour almost leaking to the side. It's a mess, and Logan grips the sides of the dresser as he stares at it with the one eye that can see, blinking a little, painfully, as he tries to come to turns with the darkness and blur of the right side of his vision.

Then, the furniture he's leaning against suddenly shudders as he shakes it once, violently, the wood backed mirror connecting with the wall with a crack, though nothing breaks, and he hunches over for a moment, breathing through his nose.

In the silence that follows, a voice intrudes; a sibilant, echoing whisper of hollow voice that stirs out of his own shadow rather than from a pair of lips and a voice box, or even a hidden speaker. The tone is dry, tinged with hatred beneath the surface, derisive and cruel.

"John, John, John… how did we let things get so far? They're falling out of control. So are you."

And suddenly, he's not alone. Despite the strange nature of the voice, Logan turns abruptly, the dresser shuddering from its sudden release as he turns, expecting to see something. Not nothing, that's for certain, both eyes darting back and forth to try and find the source of the voice as the sentence comes to a close. Heavily, he leans his weight back against the dresser. Fear is obvious through the lines of tension in his body, hidden mostly by the soft fabric of a red, silken shirt that's seen better days.

His hand reaches for the drawer, hooking long fingers into the old, brass handle, gently drawing it open as if to try and not make a sound. Perhaps whoever is here is hidden in the bathroom, or— something. Under the bed. He can't tell. He just hopes he's not going insane. Insaner. "Who's there?" he says, a whining edge on his words.

A hollow, humorless chuckle answers that question as the other man looks about, reaching - no doubt - for a weapon of some sort. As he moves, the shadow twists against the light to keep behind him at all times, ensuring that the voice, if it can be pinpointed at all, will always be from just behind his shoulder.

"You know who I am," observes that voice, "I'm you. And we've really fucked things up this time, John."

He turns, again, when the direction of voice shifts, alarm spiking up into something like panic, and now he doesn't even try to be quiet. Yanking the drawer open, Logan rummages around until something silver and metal is extracted, checked - an almost old fashioned looking revolver, as affected as most of everything else about him - but no doubt it can put bullets in someone as needed.

As long as there is a someone to put them in at all. "Yeah, well," he says, voice now wavering, anger and fear and panic all worn on his sleeve as he backs up from the dresser, gun in hand and pointed down at cheap carpeting. More of a security blanket than anything else. "You're only as good as the idiots you're surrounded with, right," he says, the uppercrust kind of English accent dropping in favour of his natural Cockney. No one to impress here, except his alleged self.

There's an attempt to twist that faux-english accent a bit back at him, though Cardinal isn't the absolute best at such things—then again, that might only make the mockery more effective. "We give the orders, though, and made these decisions," he notes derisively, "Can we really say that we didn't see this coming? Bloody hell, do we even know -what's- coming? What the cost is? First the eye, but tomorrow…?"

Maybe if he starts shooting at everything, things will start making sense. He suspects that's a stab in the dark, though, gun hanging loosely in his hands and a kind of hopeless laugh making his shoulder shake and giving him a Cheshire cat smile. Not drunk enough for this, but close. "Tomorrow's a new day, innit," Logan says, with that quiet hyena laughter that doesn't communicate mirth in the slightest. He staggers back, sits down heavily on the side of his bed, a hand up to grasp his forehead as his headache curls tight knots of pain in his skull, laughter trailing off into a whine. "It doesn't matter," he says, voice miserable. "Deckard's gone anyway and Muldoon can deal with his little healer princess. No one can blame me for anything." At least he's not saying us.

"You don't think they know, John? They know it was us," the voice replies mercilessly, "They know the who, the where, hell, even the bloody why probably! Muldoon's got that whole god-damned arena full of monsters to bar the way in front of him— what do we have? Who can we rely on? Anybody? They had inside information— you know it. Who's the bloody traitor?"

"I… Muldoon," Logan insists, head bowed and staring down at the gun in his hand. His other hand comes up to cover his bad eye with the heel of his palm, forcing it closed and groaning a little as the pain shimmers through his nerve endings. "'ve got Muldoon, he won't let anything happen to me." The traitor. Who. Good question. He runs a thumb over the hammer of the revolver, pulling it back with a sharp, metallic click. "I dunno, someone must've— come in and— maybe one of the girls said something… look, what can they do? Abby was an accident, and the police can't touch me. No one can."

"Muldoon?" A caustic bark of laughter, "You think he'll protect us? Come on, John, you know better. He'll sell us up the fuckin' river in a heartbeat if he needs to— hell. Maybe he's the one who sold us out, tired of all the accidents and all the attention we're drawing." There's a moment's pause, and then he asks flatly, "No one can touch us? Look in the mirror and say that again, John."

There's a long, drawn out silence, Logan's knuckles going white around the grip of the gun as he glances towards the mirror. He can see a slice of himself, his injured eye a shocking interruption, and the fact that he looks to be on the verge of tears isn't much better. With a small whining sound, he lifts the gun, aims, and fires. It's not a clean shot, the bullet passing through the edge of the glass and making it shatter, blowing apart the beautiful, classic wooden frame and finally resting into the cement wall. "Then they'll know what happens if I try," Logan mutters, drawing the hammer of the gun back again, getting to his feet. "Now Abby's got bullets in her leg and a missing tongue, doesn't she. I'll kill all of them if they get near me, understand? And fuck you," he adds, louder, voice cracking as he points his gun, swinging its aim from corner to corner. "You're not me, so fuck off." Accurate, maybe, but it doesn't change the fact he's still losing it, trembling.

"Then who the fuck am I, John?" A mocking twist to his voice, "You know we've never been fuckin' stable, and with this? We can't hold this shit together. Look at what you just did. Do you see any bloody metaphor in that? You just shot us." There's a moment's silence, before that shadowy voice growls, "The dogs have the scent've our blood now, John. We're weak."

Logan shakes his head in denial, but says nothing at first, still turning, still trying to find something to shoot. There's nothing. Nothing but shadows. Finally, he lowers the gun, switches the hammer back into place, and tosses the weapon aside. "Then I'll be stronger, won't I," he says, almost too quietly, moving to kind of just sit down on the carpeted floor, back against the dressing table he'd just ruined. His right leg extends awkwardly from him, not folding up as easily as his left, which he circles with his arms. "I… I'm just having a rough week."

"Of course we are," the disembodied voice purrs, almost soothingly, "We'll just have a bit've tea, smack around a few whores, and feel strong again." A weighted pause, "O'course, when they kick in our doors, or when the traitor's gun pushes up against our neck, and Muldoon forgets he's our friend… well, what then? Maybe they'll take another eye. Or a hand. One piece at a time, until there's nothing left of us… or our business…"

His head shakes, again, never been confronted with this much alleged self-hate. Quite the opposite. The notion that this is his own voice saying these things is a bit like a spouse of years tearing you down, all of a sudden. "Well have you got anything useful to say?" Logan bleats out bitterly. "Any suggestions? Apart from lay down and die and wait for it to all crumble down around us? Me." Fuck. His skull connects back against the wooden support he's leaning against, and hisses out a breath when that proves to be an incredibly bad idea, groaning in a sick sounding response to the pain of it. "Just go away," he says, voice trembling once more. "I don't want to hear it."

"I don't know," the voice murmurs ever so softly, this time from just behind his head where it rests against the support, "I thought you had a good idea earlier. I don't think you're ready to accept it just yet, though. Just like you're not ready to accept— " It cuts off, "— well. You know."

At the sound of the voice so close, Logan tenses, but doesn't move away. As if frozen in place. Shoulders bunch a little beneath red silk, his hand grips the fabric of his pants just below his raised knee, and he tries not to shy away, or scratch his neck, or react at all. "What do you mean?" he asks, quietly, voice once again taking on that whiny quality, teenage-like despite his age.

"You won't believe me. It won't be real if I say it, will it? You don't want to believe." The voice soft, so very soft, barely a whisper, "Think about it. There's only one path for us, John. Only one way to check out of here strong."

It's gotten darker since he entered, the sun lowering itself quicker and quicker beyond the horizon, making shadows stretch, and he hadn't turned on a light. The angles of darkness make it seem claustrophobic, suggest that beyond the door there's similar nothingness. "You're right," Logan says, eventually, barely above a whisper. "I don't believe you. Go away. Please go away."

"I'd love to. I wish I could. There's nothing I want more. But… there's only one way that I'm going away, John." The all-welcoming darkness speaks to him sadly, though that melancholy tone holds that undercurrent of hatred, "And we have no-one to blame but ourselves."

It's all too possible that maybe this is why he's broken. The part of him capable of self-loathing, guilt, objectivity, perhaps it did break away long ago and a stab in the eye was what it took to bring it back. Logan could almost accept this. There's a vanity in the notion of such a narcissistic conversation, as ugly as it may be.

"I've got everyone to blame," he argues, through gritted teeth, childishly flinging the blame away from himself. "Everyone in the whole world." He gets to his feet, an awkward movement as his right leg refuses to work as it should, but ultimately moving to collect up his jacket, to put his shoes back on. He can't stay here anymore, that much is clear. He'll have to drug himself into a stupor where he feels safe and that isn't here, not at all.

He decides to pick up his gun, too. For the wolves at the door. He yanks open the drawer, too, to collect the bullets, and casts a glance at the destroyed mirror. "People've got enough debt to pay off before I do, understand?"

A heavy shard of the mirror, still stubbornly clinging to the frame, looks back at him. That hideously wounded eye, his own expression. But the voice doesn't answer — doesn't say a word. Perhaps it was never there after all.

There's only shadows now, and their secrets.

It's almost worse this way, and Logan lets out a huff of air through his nose, a panicky kind of snort when he gets no answer. He stays still for a while longer, before, finally, he collects his things, leaving his bandages where he dropped them, but taking out that paper bag again, filled with painkiller. Its stuffed into the pocket of his coat, the other pocket containing the revolver and ammunition.

Finally, the room is vacated again, leaving behind shadows that don't talk back to him.

There's only one that does. And it clings to him as he departs, a silent passenger on his journey.

The line between sanity and madness is a thin one, after all… and Cardinal's curious as to just where it lies.

February 27th: Mutual Assured Destruction

Previously in this storyline…
Poor Thing

Next in this storyline…

February 27th: Why Don't You...
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