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Temperamental Manipulator

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            Where the Batter was a calm and collected soul, a being of stoicism and succinctness and relative silence, his Player was not. His Player was a loud and temperamental creature, prone to fits of rage and bouts of sour and vibrant language, inarticulate sounds and wild gesticulations. Of course, because they were mute, he was the only one aware of the rainbow of their vocabulary. Thus, given the frequency and severity of the outbursts that came into his mind, the Batter was grateful that he was the only one privy to his Player's near-constant commentary of the events around the two of them.

            Naturally, it was inevitable that, upon their first meeting, they would end up butting heads with the most temperamental being in all of Zone 1.

            The encounter seems to take place rather uneventfully, at first. His Player has a few minor protests to the way the Guardian speaks to them, the Batter can feel them itching at the back of his mind, words wanting desperately to be spoke but not quite being given the chance, but nothing particularly worthy of the gift of being given the form of vibrations in the air.

“Listen good. I'll make this simple.”

            Both Puppet and Puppeteer tense up, staring expectantly at the mole rat like man before them.

“Get outta here and take your goddamn specters with you, or I'm gonna kill you. I hope that's clear enough for ya.”

            Privately, the Batter appreciates the warning doled out by their quarry. It's quite sportsmanlike of him, giving them a chance to get out instead of attacking them outright. Of course, the warning would go entirely ignored, but it was still a gesture he quite liked the sentiment of.

However...

“If I see you again... You're dead.”

            Within the span of a heartbeat, something changes. An inarticulate scream of rage, heard only by the land's Purifier, disrupts his train of thought, causing the man to physically cringe. Dedan gives pause. The question of “The fuck's wrong with you?” is only scarcely heard above the din now klaxonning around his mind.

'WHAT DID HE JUST SAY WHAT THE FUCK DID HE JUST SAY WHAT THE FUCK DID YOU JUST FUCKING SAY TO ME YOU LITTLE BITCH?!'

            They take a step forward, stopped only by a bat outstretched in front of their torso, held to the side by the user and namesake of the device.

'Player, please, calm yourself, he is not wo--'

'NO. NO. DON'T YOU FUCKING DON'T TELL ME TO CALM DOWN I'LL THROW A FUCKING DESK AT YOUR FACE.'

'Our retribution will c--'

'LET ME FUCKING AT HIM I'LL RIP HIS FUCKING FACE OFF.'

            Externally, the battle seems to be fought in silence, the two forms frozen as sculptures, one man with his left arm outstretched, gently pressing back a slightly indistinguishable figure with a tool commonly used in American sporting events, their hands resting delicately along the instrument's edges. The sight is enough to cause the Zone's Guardian to hesitate, curious as to what sort of dispute is taking place. He clears his throat to get the attention of the two, then nods towards the Player.

“The fuck's with them?”

            The Batter's soft inhale of a reply is cut short by another outburst.

'LET ME BATTER JUST FUCKING LET ME I'LL KILL HIM I'LL FUCKING STRANGLE HIM WITH HIS OWN GODDAMN COAT TAILS!'

            Despite the violence of their words, their gestures are gentle as they slowly push the bat downward, toward the floor and back to their charge's side. Abandoning the idea of acting as a fence entirely, the Batter instead steps directly in front of his Player, deciding that a wall would likely be a more efficient barrier. Dedan snorts.

“Trouble in paradise, eh?”

            The tone of his voice causes even Batter's carefully-maintained facade to slip slightly, a soft growl coming through. The man sounds so goddamn smug, so self-assured, on top of the ball now, like he's gotten everything figured out. His Player's hands tighten on his shoulders, their internal encouragement coming in a soft whisper now.

'Just let me go at his face I'll take his eyes out with my thumbs and you go for his knees come on he won't expect it we can do this come on we can fucking do this.'

“And here I thought they were the one holdin' the damn leash!” The laugh is harsh and metallic, a jarring sound that cuts through the air like a knife. He doesn't like it.

“Fuck's sake, kid, control your bitch.” Even as the words left his mouth, everyone present in the room knows the Guardian senses his mistake the instant he's made it.

            The Batter slides to one side a split second before he can feel his manipulator about to force him into compliance. He can sense their surprise over the shared link, a fraction of a moment, then savage glee floods into both of them. The Batter's face splits into a grin, too wide and with too many teeth. He doesn't need to see his Player to know they're wearing the same feral expression.

            With a scream of rage that he happily vocalizes on their behalf, the Player launches themselves over the desk separating the two parties. The Guardian reacts a minute too late, suffering a blow directly to the teeth before he can manage to teleport himself elsewhere, presumably to his office in Alma. With nothing stopping them now, the Player's momentum carries them careening into the wall behind, the impact hard and with almost no reduction in speed from the punch. The full force of the hit only becomes apparent when they leave a crater behind before slumping to the floor.

            As quickly as it happened he's there, at their side, helping them into a sitting position to check them over for wounds. Apart from a few bruises and their hurt pride, they seem to be fine, already back to spouting off profanities in his mind.

'DID YOU SEE THAT DID YOU FUCKING SEE THE WAY HE JUST FUCKING RAN WHAT A FUCKING COWARD WHAT A BASTARD I SWEAR'

'Player--'

'THAT LITTLE FUCKING BITCH HE'S GONNA FUCKING PAY FOR THE SHIT HE SAID TO US THE WAY HE TREATED US HE CAN'T JUST GET AWAY WITH THAT HORSE SHIT'

'Player.'

'I SWEAR TO YOU HE'LL PAY I'M GOING TO MAKE HIM FUCKING BEG GRIND MY HEEL RIGHT INTO HIS NECK AND MAKE HIM LICK MY SHOES I'LL'

'PLAYER.' He doesn't like having to yell at them.

'WHAT?'

'Are you hurt?'

'… No, I think I'm okay.'

'We should move on then.'

'Yeah. Probably. Ugh.'

'Ugh indeed.'