Chapter 1: The Resurrectionists
Spencer West slowly filed the fingertips of the arm resting on his workbench. He knew it would work, it always did even if nobody ever understood why. Blowing on the tips and splattering them with water to remove the metal filings he brought the metal coupling over to the centre of the bench. It wasn’t every day he was given leave from the hospital, and he was using it very cautiously. Every wire and connection fed into a disk about the size of Spencer’s hand as the tweezers bonded the connections together. Soon the arm was completely linked up, and Spencer willed the device closed. Instantly, the arm retracted and folded inwards, before the disk sealed itself again and the surface was left metal and smooth. Spencer smiled as he raised his creation. It wasn’t as grandeoise as Jude’s project, nor was it as impressive as some of his past ones, like Asher, but it’s utility was undeniable.
Unfortunately, now the device needed implanting. Spencer grimaced as he tapped the disk, revealing the arm once again.
On the other side of the workshop, Asher sat on the floor, stock still. Their only movements were to flick the Clippo lighter in their hand on. It had been a gift from their father, even if Spencer had disapproved. Giving a Pyrokinetic a lighter, in Spencer’s opinion, was not the smartest plan Jude ever concocted. But they had been transfixed, and he had relented.
Spencer softly put down the gadget he had so lovingly dubbed ‘the Hekatonkheires’ and turned down the soft music playing over his phone speaker. He looked over his shoulder to the boy, “Asher, my boy,” he quickly added, “could you come here a tick and tell me what you see?”
They stood up, the lighter still in their hand, and walked over to see what it was Spencer wanted. As they approached, they tilted their head to the side for a moment as if they were trying to figure out the right words, "An... Arm. Metal."
"well... yes i suppose,” Spencer chewed the inside of his lip, “but in other terms, it's a fully functional arm, lightweight, fully opposable and-," he picked it up and showed off the claw-like mechanism on the back of the disc, "should attach to the spinal column, allowing it to be controlled as a regular arm would,"
Spencer had been told he talked like an old man, and was thoroughly insulted. It didn’t help that when he moonlighted he went by Victor, a name nobody had been called in decades, according to Jude. Still, he was approaching his thirties and would remain indignant about this assessment of his speech patterns likely until long after they became actually appropriate.
"... Interesting." It should be pointed out, at this point, that Asher had kept a completely blank face the entire time -- Though, to be fair knowing how to properly display emotions wasn't top priority when they were first made. They really were interested in Spencer’s creation, but they had no idea how to act like they are.
Spencer sighed, “this is the last piece in the mechanism Asher,” he said, as if he’s supposed to know what that meant when Spencer hadn’t explained what he was building, instead preferring to whistle along to ‘My Name Is No-one’ while soldering wires together.
"Then it's almost done?", Asher stuffed the lighter into his pocket again.
“Why yes, now it requires but minor adjustments before implantation can begin!” he beamed, proud and eyes screwed closed by his smile, missing Asher’s own grimace, only noticing when a non committal ‘mhm’ came from their throat.
Walking along the room to the metal table in the center, and fiddling with the wires, making last minute adjustments he looked up to them, knitting his eyebrows in concern, “What is it my boy?”.
"Who will you... ah... Implant it to?"
he had to think for a second. Jude wouldn’t protest, the man was as avid as himself to improve humanity. Spencer wouldn’t mind giving the man’s ‘project’ another set of arms either, though jude would swiftly veto it. But Jude had more pressing matters and was oddly concerned with preserving his biology (to his detriment, Spencer would say).
Asher would be his next prime subject, as he knew he would agree if asked and would be happy to document it’s errors and successes. But he hesitated. The boy was 90% necrotic tissue, and the ‘Hekatonkheires’ was experimental as is. Combining it with his anomalous biology was ill advised at best.
Grant… was never a good option. The man’s near ephemeral nature made implantation of any kind ill advised. Similarly his simplicity was appreciated but ill suited to an object that could be so readily damaged.
This left a single option for Spencer.
“Well I was intending myself, though I suppose you’d also make a suitable candidate, AJ, but then I’d have to proof it for temperature changes, and I may be able to establish one in Jude, though they’ve been awfully stubborn in self-modification before,”
Asher’s almost palpable relief reassured Spencer. The boy would do anything he was asked, but that wasn’t what he wanted. In his youth, a time that seemed to be ever increasingly distant, he had read Frankenstin: The Modern Prometheus, and had a single take-away from the book. Had Victor been a better father, the entire conflict might have been averted. When Asher was ‘born’ he hadn’t the luxury of beauty other than the eyes. Asher had been dead and it showed every day. Milky white eyes stared from pallid skin and eternally clumped and grease-ridden hair. Spencer had named himself Victor to his contemporaries as a result, but had remembered his childhood and tried to do his best for the boy. He was learning, slowly, and Spencer felt fatherly pride very time there was a step forward, so to speak.
He was pulled back to reality by Asher, "I would not be a good choice. How my body burns through itself... and it's attempts at restoration would interfere with it most likely." Ah yes, another reason not to insert experimental technology into his son.
He nodded sagely, “Mhm, I thought similarly, though I will have to perform surgical manoeuvres on myself,”, while speaking, he began to bring out tools, surgical appliances and a single brass, jewel-encrusted scalpel, meticulously washed.
He lent back with his hands on his hips and cracked his spine “It does doesn’t it, though I was thinking of solutions while working, and I believe I have figured some stauntenian formulas that could assist, it would take roughly an hour and a half for a complete success though,” he sent a small smirk to Asher, “But, ah, forgive me if I would like to be thorough with my own surgery,”
"It is understandable. This does not seem like something one should be careless with."
He snapped his fingers, “Exactly, I would very much like to hear some feedback on the method of my,” he taps the disk, “wonder, May An old man explain himself?”
Asher blinked, Spencer was in his 20s, then again, Asher wasn’t even a year old, so he may have been speaking solely by comparison. "You may. Though I am not sure how useful my feedback might be."
“Alright, so,” he readied his hands and mentally apologised to Asher for treating him like a glorified rubber duck. “the nature of material reality is that a larger item cannot fit into a smaller place, this was the first hurdle, but easily overcome by a DIS matrix of my own design in order to keep the appendages inside a sort of neutral zone as bade molecules before reconstruction outside.”
Spencer was insane, but the fun kind of insane to Asher. He knew what he was talking about, but unfortunately, he was the only one. “Of course, I had to build a template for its allowance, and figure out how the positronic relay wouldn’t annihilate half of Edinburgh, but after that it was clean sailing to insert the nuclear power core and aetheric hybridiser into the relay similarly. The spinal addition was a whim but one I’m proud of as it should implant all the knowledge necessary for usage in but a few seconds of attachment as well,”
he took a breath, “Did you catch all that?”
“Yes,” They did not. Their expression is completely blank as per usual so it can be taken either way.
Spencer furrowed his eyebrows and stroked his chin, “Actually I could probably perform the surgery in under an hour if I was lucky but alas, my own regard for myself,”
"... Perhaps you should talk to Jude?"
Spencer nodded uncertainty, “As much as he’s my friend, and I value him dearly, he’s also never gotten a medical license,”
They shrugged, "I don't know what to tell you then."
“Alright then, shall we perhaps try this bugger then?” he hopped onto the table,“Would you do me the favour of being my assistant for a bit?”
Asher nodded, "Yes. That is what I was created for, is it not? To assist you."
“I didn’t create you for anything, and the idea that you’re just an Igor to yell ‘IT LIVES’ is reductive, now help me cut myself up. If you would like to gather Jude for an extra pair of hands please do,”
Asher only blinked "... I'll go find Jude."
Spencer nodded and prepared as he began to leave. The scent of surgical anaesthetic and fresh blood filled the air while the beeping of a heart rate monitor that was not there filled his ears. His back cracked and twisted, bending until it was more that of a servant than a man, until he could twist his body around unnaturally and work on himself as if he was but another slab of meat on his table. He looked less like a man and more as a great serpent twisting and rolling on the table. “Nurse will you begin applying the anaesthetic?” he joked with himself and began casting a second spell, gliding his scalpel across his body to numb himself. His sensations went numb, though only to pain, he’d need the other ones and so he waited, for his nurses would be needed to help with the incisions.
Jude Spencer was, in a word, enthusiastic. Once he had a project, he was incorrigible. And so he sat, drafting out sketches lovingly rendering the muscles of the human, or nearly human, form. Every connection, every tendon, carefully mapped and considered. His appearance, however, was not nearly as well-tended. He had a tendency to shave his head and wait until it dangled in front of his eyes before shaving it again. The stained Hawaiian shirt and cargo shorts did not aid Asher’s sentiment that he ‘looked like a middle-aged dad insisting on building a porch’. His attention completely enslaved by his sketch, Asher’s swift arrival didn’t phase him at all until they coughed from behind him, causing a small jump of shock as they began shuffling the sketch away.
"Oh, jeez. Ash, hi." He pulled the headphones down, letting a tinny rendition of whatever show tune he had been most recently listening to penetrate the air. "What's up man?".
Asher just shuffled somewhat nervously, "... Spencer needs assistance. He's, ah, attempting surgery. On himself."
“Ah, right, well”, Jude stood up, pushing his back into alignment again and pushing the chair back, “I didn’t drop out of med-school for nothing! Let’s see how he’s doing then,”, and began descending into the lab with a rather perturbed Asher following behind like a marginally more deceased duckling.
Entering the lab, Jude had seen Spencer twist his form too many times to be phased by this change. From behind Spencer, the last of their retinue, Grant, anaesthetized him to the procedure. Watching them enter, and only slightly affected by the gas, Spencer called out, “Hola!”, raising an arm, though his currently near boneless body still lay on the slab.
Jude rolled his eyes and began washing his hands, "Given the clothes I'm in, I think 'Aloha' would make more sense. What are you gonna try this time?"
“Aprons are on the left, We're putting this," he held up the disk between his fingers, "Between my shoulder-blades and connecting it to my spine!". His smile was far too wide not to be affected by either nerves or anaesthetic, and Jude could count on his fingers the times he had seen Spencer act nervous.
Fastening the apron and familiarizing himself with the tools, he merely shrugged, "Alright! Not gonna ask why, but sounds good! What do I need to do?"
"Right, well, Asher will be cutting to my exact specifications while Grant acts as anesthetist and you hold me down and/or pull open my flesh so we can jam that disk under my skin, it should do the rest,". Jude would have been offended he wasn’t trusted to cut if they hadn’t had this conversation before. The conversation usually finished when Jude’s last dog was brought up.
"Done." He put the headphones back on and got to work restraining and preparing to pull.
The surgery went remarkably well. Asher’s hands were steadier than most living surgeons, and Jude, for all his failings, knew the body's construction like no other. In dead silence, the first hour of surgery went by, apart from Spencer’s occasional instructions and the tinny release of ‘Under My Skin’ from Jude’s headphones. Within the first hour they were remarkably far ahead, regarding the surgery, having implanted the disk firmly into Spencer’s spine, now all that mattered was putting it all together and connecting the right nerves to the right spos. It took another 45 minutes to repair Spencer’s body, but a small spot of magic was enough to repair it better than it had been before the surgery.
Spencer quickly returned his body to it’s usual, more humanoid shape as he hopped off the table, stretching and readjusting to his bone structure as he did so. "Now, one last thing to do lads, Congratulations, everyone!", and thus four robotic limbs popped out of his back centred on the location where the disc was inserted in between his shoulder blades. "Excellent, no?", he made the bottom two flex while the top two impersonated Usain Bolt’s victory pose. "I take commissions!"
The other three blinked. Grant merely pinched the bridge of his nose. Asher meanwhile was peering at them, considering poking the arms to see if they responded, “...That went better than expected,”
Jude, for his part, was decidedly less interested in the robotics aspect of the arms, but still did his part to act impressed. Then, upon hearing Asher he immediately swiveled round to being defensively indignant, "Really? When has anything we've done ever gone badly?", then he wavered and semi-corrected himself, "Not like we expected, sometimes sure, but never badly."
“What do you three think though, and I do have a proposition to run by you both,”
They all shared a glance, as Spencer’s past ‘propositions’ always seemed to end somewhat unpredictably. Grant still had some scars from last time, and some of his own burns hadn’t faded from a few before. Asher refused to be the one to break the silence, just giving a pointed nod.
Spencer, for his part, was seemingly unperturbed by this hesitance, "Well, I've been considering contracting my services to some people within Jude and my little community. They’re quite lacking in under-the-table surgeries, and now implantations, after all," when their looks didn’t improve he continued, deciding he hadn’t sold the idea, "It would be a nice source of revenue and favours,". He stopped again, seemingly failing to realise that the look was more of contemplation of what could go on than analysing their future revenue streams. "and repartee, and repute, and make us a pillar of the pentac- you see what I'm getting at, right lads?".
Asher realised they would have to be the one to bite the bullet before Spencer died of asphyxiation, "I see where you are going with this -- Though, you still have not told us what exactly it is we would be doing."
"Well I think this was a wonderful argument for being my nurse, don't you think? A proper surgical team, it may even fund our side projects," The others all glanced at each other as they realised Spencer was on the verge of spiralling into another tangent, ”And I could start selling artefacts to increase my proficiency in them, I have been meaning to create a focus,"
Jude raised his hand, "How much of my time do you think this will take up?".
Spencer stopped, and shrugged, "How long was I on the table, can't be more than that,".
"Yeah, like two hours. How often is this gonna happen?"
Spencer shrugged again.
Grant nodded sagely, "I'm down, Healing is within my limited range of talents",
Asher nodded more cautiously, "I will assist with this,"
Jude shrugged dramatically, with both his shoulders and arms way too high. "I'm not saying no until we do it."
And with their approval, Spencer punched the air in victory, with all 6 of his arms.
Asher tilted their head, "How would we start with this?"
Spencer shrugged, "Well presumably I would go to the Silver Ladder and begin advertising the service,"
"What do we have that those mages can't do for themselves?", Grant snorted.
Jude and Spencer both looked back at the same time, “Moral Integrity?”, “Surgical Skill?”
Grant narrowed his eyes with uncertainty, "Yeah we have integrity, just not in the way most people want. Also, they're the Silver Ladder, you think they care about integrity?"
Spencer crossed his arms, "Objectively, yes, we value it a lot actually,"
"That's... actually surprising,"
“Piss off, Fiann,”
Jude coughed in an attempt to defuse the situation, drawing their attention, "We also have access to a sanitary space designed to do stuff like this, and there's basically no chance of reality calling you a bitch in here."
"Yeah but sometimes you need to get called a bitch by reality to be kept in check" Grant shot Spencer finger guns, "Stay humble folks,".
Asher nodded in agreement, "If reality cannot call them a bitch then most likely one of us will,".
Spencer coughed, "RIght then, since this has become a post-surgery meeting, does anyone have anything they'd like to put on the table? Suggestions, ideas? Painkillers?”
“You OK?”, Said Asher, knowing he hadn’t been okay his entire life.
“I’ll be fine,”
Jude raised his hand again, "Yeah, kinda unrelated but uh, I'm gonna need to go out and get some more materials tonight. Anyone wanna come with?"
Asher and Grant both raised their hands, Spencer scratched his chin, "I need to test the response times of my new babies, so why not!" The four arms spun like small helicopter blades for a few rotations to make a point before retracting, leaving a shirtless Spencer looking too proud of himself. “How does 2 AM sound?”
Chapter 2: Dead to Rights
Nagisa smokes in a graveyard and Ben un-haunts his building.
(See the end of the chapter for notes.)
The dead of midnight arrived, a fitting time for insomnia, a great time for manifesting ghosts and the best time for a krewe to meet up and discuss what they’d seen today. Edinburgh is an old place, which leads to many people, dead or alive either listening in or at the very least noticing if Sin-Eaters congregate. One such Sin-Eater, Nagisa Redd sat in the graveyard, having a fag during an argument with his geist, The Once And Future King. But the meeting place of the Dead To RIghts Krewe was usually Zachariah’s 'House' if you could call it that.
The Once and Future King stood unsteady on broken legs, still refusing to even sit or float his projection somewhere else, always having to show that shine of former strength. There was some shuffling underneath the heavy, slashed armour, perhaps even the movement of a jaw filled with disorderly teeth, split open through pressure, through hammers and swords. His ‘ward’ was acting unusually picky today.
Nagisa pushed his fingers violently off his temple, “You can't just decapitate someone for-” his voice deepened into a growl, mixed with sickening gargling, “Besmirching My Honour,".
NO, THAT IS WHAT YOU ARE FOR
"It is most certainly not!"
A fun time for the both of them. Many other ghosts were currently around, having known the two for a while. An older scottish man, war veteran most likely, being that his body was more or less tied to the rudimentary wheelchair he was stuck in for all eternity, and his right eye missing was watching the two bicker.
AYE, THE YOUTH EVEN KEN HOW T’ PROPERLY DECAPITATE A LAD
He snorted, "Oh I know how, but don't want to when some daft cunt yells from his car,"
THE YOUTH FROM TODAY DON'T EVEN KEN HOW TO SHUT UP A CAR YELLER" HE ROLLED AWAY BACK TO HIS GRAVE.
Nagisa rolled his eyes and took another drag before taking out his phone. It was an outdated thing, clunky, over a decade old but serving its purpose well, even through the scratches and burns. He opened it with it’s password, ‘Tale To Be Told’, and sent a text to his Krewe-mate, the only other Sin-Eater of them.
‘Oi, daftcunt, how long unt tae shift ends? gettin sick of ghouls loon like tha expec me tae gaff masel’
He sat the phone on the grass again, snuffed his fag, and lay down. He could catch a few minutes of shuteye.
Ben Waylon loved the late shift. Nobody calls in unless they were drunk, leading to some fun stories. Now, he sat at the radio broadcast station he worked at, waiting for one of his co-workers to come take over for the night so he can leave. It had been a pretty quiet night, not too many people calling in for song requests or about anything weird they had seen, so he just leant back in his chair while a mix of late 80s to early 90s rock music played in the background. Judgement's Folly attempted to hum along with the music -- but with how half the time they sound like an endless death rattle, it's had some mixed results. The gist did not so much talk to Ben as broadcast itself to him, like a tingle to his brainstem.
His phone buzzed in his pocket, a message from his Krewe-mate. It was a sleek thing, new, if not the most recent model, certainly up to date. Reading Nagisa’s messages confused Ben on most days. It took the American man a second of cognitive dissonance to understand what he was attempting to convey before typing out his response.
‘Chill out you winey bastard, I'm waiting for someone to take over now’
‘Yae act like daftcunt es insultin, is a term of endearment ya ninnie
Ben put his phone back in his pocket, hoping it would take a while for Nagisa to find another way to annoy him, and across the city Nagisa smirked and stashed his own.
Now, Feverdream Radio was less than usual. For one, as a specialist station in the supernatural, the station was staffed with those who believed. For another, it is rather difficult to explain to your co-workers that you can see, and regularly exorcise ghosts. But it doesn’t take much to convince your coworkers you are a specialist in the subject. Which is how Ben found himself being the go-to guy for weird occurrences around the office. One such coworker made himself known to Ben tonight, looking like he’d seen a ghost, but most likely his own shadow, Jimmy had always been kind of jumpy.
He tapped Ben on the shoulder, checking the mic was turned off before speaking, “Hey Ben… You good?”
"Hm?" He stopped leaning back, turning in the squeaky swivel chair to face him, "Oh yeah, I'm good, you doin' alright though? You're looking a little... I dunno, spooked?"
"Did you..." He leant in closer, secretively cupping his hand as if someone would be listening, "Did you know we have ghosts here? Like more than usual. Or I guess. More real than that, like fuck if working here means I gotta confront my own mortality-"
"Hey -- Hey," He cut Jimmy off, the chair making an unreasonable amount of noise as he got up, moving to put a hand on the guy's shoulder to calm him down, "The buildings are old here, you probably just got spooked by some faulty lights or something. Nothing to be afraid of alright?".
He swiveled the man into a sideways hug of sorts, "Heck, I can go check if you want. See what's up?".
"I...guess?? I mean hell you're the one actually into this ghost shite!" He just tried to sit down and grab the headphones, "I'll just try and get...Paid for being haunted." He let out a huge sigh, just pressing a couple buttons to change the song, and begin his shift as DJ.
"Yeah, alright." Ben was about to walk out of the room when he stopped for a second, "Where in the building did you see it?".
"You know where they keep the archived records?".
"Yeah -- Next to storage, right?".
"Right yeah, they kinda melded together last week, so don't be surprised if you step on a bag full of trash,".
"Ah, great." he winced, The place was falling apart. "Like I said, this place is old as hell and it's probably either rats or faulty wiring. I'll keep an eye out though,”.
"..Thank you, that's actually really nice of you..".
"Hey, it's no problem!" Ben said with a smile while heading out the door. Nagisa wasn’t going to be too happy about him hanging around work for so long, but the guy looked like he's about to have a heart attack at this rate. Waiting a little longer wouldn’t hurt him. Without stopping he started heading down to where the archived records are. Ben smiled, time to see what's so spooky.
Judgement's Folly was pleased with the fact that he's going to take a look for the guy instead of just leaving to meet up with Nagisa. As for seeing a ghost at work? Ben had been working there for at least 4 years to his memory -- He'd seen a thing or two before but nothing that's actually scared one of the other employees.
The archive was a tip, the old tapes poorly organised, the transcripts overflowing from the boxes. After the spring cleaning there were rubbish bags all over the floor where they had spilled from the storage room. Like the rubbish bag thrown aside, coming from an open door that was left ajar in a rush, and a mumbling hollow voice with a hint of the ‘made-for-radio’ quality that used to be so prevalent in the medium’s prime.
MMGMHGNH… NOW WHERE IS THE DANG…
CAN’T A MAN GET HIS TAPES
Carefully moving towards the source of the voice, Ben tried to get their attention, Judgement’s Folly manifested nearby just in case, "... Hey? Need some help?"
He turned around, not looking as rotten as some spectres Ben had seen in his time all things considered. The most notable feature was a caved in rib cage and a severely inflamed mouth, leading to necrosis along the lip. Other than the damage, the thing that was once a man was dressed in a suit one could describe as ‘snazzy’ and wearing clumps of hair as you would expect someone from a more prosperous time to have.
HE..HELLO THERE! NICE TO MEET YOU!
The voice was hollow, as if someone had taken an ice cream scoop and removed the most full bodied aspects, most likely due to the lung problem he seemed to possess, that being that they no longer existed. His intonation, mannerisms and stresses, though warped, inform someone as informed as Ben to the ghost’s identity though. One Richard Gunghorn, noted voice of Feverdream Radio almost seventy years ago when it was called Midnight Tuning.
I WAS JUST! HUUUUUUH…. LOOKING!
YOU SEEM LIKE QUITE THE LIVELY CHHAAAAAAHUUUHAAAP!
"Uh... Yeah, I'm one of the DJs here,". said Ben, growing increasingly uncomfortable by the wheezing of the ghost. It didn’t require breath, but nobody would choose to sound like that.
OH! A DISC JOCKEY!
"Need any help? 'Cause it sounds like you're having trouble finding something.".
WHY YEEEES! I THINK THE TECHNICAL TERM IS EXHUUUUUUHUMED!
I WAAHUUUHSS ACTUALLY OUT FOR A BIT! DANGEROUS I KNOW, BUT THE PEOPLE NEED THEIR AAHNSWERS! MOST DON’T GET OUT AND WE MISS A ROBUST NEWS INSTITHUUUHTION WOULDN’T YOU SAY? AAHNYWAY, SO I COME BACK AND MY BONES ARE GONE! AND I’VE BEEN SLOWLY STAAHHVING! SO I’M TRYING TO FIND MY LAST TAAAHUUUUUUUUUUHPE!
Ben’s mind began to whur, Okay -- Okay, bones being stolen. Fun. He'd... make note of that and tell the others, "Okay, uh... I will keep an eye out for them for you! Later. After this. Uh, so the tape? I can probably help you find that -- We're in the archives right now so it might be in one of the cabinets,".
And like that, at 12.30 PM on a saturday, Ben and Judgement’s Folly aided a century old radio presenter in finding one tape out of hundreds. It took almost an hour before something jumped out to Ben, well, to Judgement's Folly before it was pointed out. A tape, very firmly radiating off energy that Richard was holding onto. A clear sense of hollowness. On it, scribbled in graphite was almost illegibly written 'Richard's Last Weather Report'. The Absent’s last anchor.
Ben picked up the tape and gave it a once over. "Is this it?"
In its presence he seemed a little less ghastly, still hurt but more human in a sense. More pulled together and not flowing and spreading himself thin along the world of the material now that the Anchor was within reach.
THAHUUHNK YOU VERY MUCH YOUNG MAN!
"Hey, it's not a problem!" He set the tape down somewhere where he should be able to grab it -- that is, if he could (Which he couldn’t, but he appreciated the effort) "Glad I could help."
With that issue resolved he ventured back up to the studio to tell Jimmy that it was nothing -- just a raccoon that somehow managed to get in. Given his own skittishness, he’d believe it.
JimZ. Jimmy’s DJ name and actual legal name, put down the headphones and let out a half sigh of relief "Man, only a matter of time till the landlord's gonna get arrested for property neglect dude,”
Ben let out a practiced laugh, "I know right? With how much trash was in there you'd think it'd kill ‘em to actually clean up a little."
Jim’s eyebrows furrowed, "Actually I'm pretty sure the first cleanup crew did back when the other owners had it in the 70s,” he shrugged, “Asbestos in the walls".
"Huh, wow this place just keeps getting better,". He glanced down at his phone for a second to check the time, figuring he's probably kept Nagisa waiting long enough. "I'm gonna head out for the night. Have a good one, man,”.
"Don't get haunted or something!" He put his headphones back on "Helloooo People of the scary sides! Now this was something, huh? Well coming up is Ray Parker Jr.'s all time classic 'Ghostbusters’!"
Ben chuckled as he left and got into his shitty beater car that had been parked out in the lot next to the building. Not the best vehicle but it sure beat walking around at midnight. The next stop is the graveyard, ready to get chewed out by Nagisa.
Zach failed to understand why everyone used quotes around ‘home’ when talking about his house, it was his home. Zach passed the time any way he knew how since Nagisa and Ben were going to show up any minute now, so he was unable to do anything time intensive. This amounted to playing solitaire with Mum and Dad occasionally giving insightful help in between their conversation.
The complication here was that ‘Mum’ and ‘Dad’ were both victims of the Great Fire of Edinburgh in 1824. Married before death, and expecting a child at the time. Feeling cheated at not being given the chance to raise that child, and raise it well, they jumped at the opportunity when baby Zach started reaching out to them and they realised he could see them. They were both a little overprotective and always had to make extra certain that he was prepared in case of an accident since they could never help much physically. Dad had always been a bit more trusting of other people than mum, but they were both very cautious about outside influences, especially the Dead to Rights krewe he’d begun hanging around.
God damn, where were they?
Across the city, Nagisa got up off the grass the second he saw the ‘piece of shit car’ roll, or rather shudder, around the corner, yelling, “Oi! Fucko!”, out to it to try and grab Ben’s attention to The Once And Future King’s displeasure. In response, Ben, against his better judgement, parked the car and rolled down the window.
"Yeah?", he drawled.
"Give us a lift will ya,"
He leant over and opened the passenger side door from the inside, "If I wasn't gonna do that already why'd you think I drove over here?"
Nagisa shrugged "Dunno, maybe you're jus vindictive," and climbed into the passenger seat after snuffing his fag on the hood of the car.
Ben grimaced, "If I was vindictive I would've started driving off the second you got near my car."
"Consider me grateful, now can we go please, civil war era ghouls are judging' me,"
Zach, heard the distinct off kilt motor sound of Ben's car coming towards his home. Well, his father was actually the first to point it out, then he heard them.
THA’S YER NEW FRIENDS COMIN LAD
"Hm? Oh yeah, this'll be a right load of fun."
...DID THEY 'AVE TO BE ROUND 'ERE EV'RY TIME?
"Well they didnae give me a choice did they? I kno the two of yous dinnae like it but this is the safest place. Et dis ma nut in just as much, but I need to talk to some'un livin' at some point."
BE CAREFUL AROUND 'EM DEAR, YOU KNOW WHAT PEOPLE CAN BE LIKE.
"Calm doon maw, they not chuckaboos yet."
Seeming content at Zach's preparedness, his parents walked, or rather floated, upstairs to avoid dealing with whatever was going to be happening. Zach got up and waited by the door for them to knock.
Ben parked the car off to the side somewhere where it hopefully wouldn’t be seen by anyone. Last thing they needed was for someone to either call the police because they'd just walked into an abandoned building or call the police and get his car towed. Either would not be fun. Nagisa hopped out of the car and sauntered towards the door, "You're waitin' just behind aren't ya,".
Zach pointedly did not respond until Nagisa knocked on the door, and so, Zach gave a little bit of time to make it seem like he wasn't just waiting by the door, he opened it. "Good of yous to knock this time."
Nagisa patted him on the shoulder, "I didn't hear any footsteps from inside Zachie, you really were jus waitin behind the door weren't ya,".
"Am nae gonna make much o a racket jus walkin to ma door am I?"
Nagisa just laughed as he walked in.
"Alright jus get in ye fockin nusance." Zach started walking towards the living room as well as Ben snorted, finding it funny, if accurate as he walked in after them. He's not wrong.
"An ye shut yer gob!" yelled Nagisa from inside, he slumped down on one of the burnt sofas, "Rightio, where we beginin’ today gentle-mhen, “ he paused, “an where tae fock es Kyle,"
Zach sat down and started clearing up his solitaire, "Dinnae go a clue. No problems up ere an no' a word from Kyle,”.
Nagisa grunted, and reached into his bag and takes out a small trophy, "Oh genie of tae monster energy, come 'ere an do sommmat ye lazy git,"
A chill entered the room as ectoplasm began to leak from the trophy. The faint smell of protein shakes emanated from the newly emerged form. He wore a vest, stained and sweat through, certainly taking pride in it once they were alive. Chains were wrapped around his arms, and a light red glow came from their chest as it’s rattling voice, bassy and deep radiated out.
Nagisa shrugged, "ya ye madcunt, right, what we 'ere for then,"
Ben sat on the floor, not being psyched with the burn marks on everything in the room,"Well, we can probably start by going over anything weird we've seen or heard tonight."
"Right, I'll go first. three recent graves dug up over the last few nights,” Nagisa lent forwards with a grunt, resting his forearms on his knees, “thinking either necrophiliac or somebody getting attached to themselves,”
Ben raised his hand, "Yeah, I uh... Ran into a ghost earlier at work. Said someone stole his bones."
"Tha's messed up,” said Zach, “Wha's even tae point o takin' bones? Wha’ are ye gonnae use 'em for?"
CRUSH EM UP AN DO A FEW LINES
Nagisa launched forwards, "Of bones!?"
JUST AN IDEA MATE
Zach looked up at the spectre, "An a fockin bad un at that."
Nagisa smiled sickly, struggling to comprehend any piece of the wild shit he’d just heard, "Ky, k man, kdude, where d'ya think coke comes from?"
PAUL THE PLUG?
Ben threw his hands up, "Kyle, what kind of fucked up shit did you do when you were still kickin'?"
Nagisa shook his head, trying to remove the vague feeling of disgust radiating from The Once and Future King. "Alright leavin' Kyle's fuckin’ insane ideas of bone sniffin, whatta we thenken?"
Ben started blinking, trying, and failing, to remove the mental image, "Cult, maybe?"
PARTS TO A RITUAL MAYBE
"Aye maybe,” Nagisa’s face skrewed up, "aw fuck ye might be right ye mad bastard,"
I DID STEAL BOOKS ON THE SUBJECT
YEAH MATE THAT'S HOW I FUCKIN DIED BRUH
"From BOOKS," he stared at the floor, "Jeezy Creezy Kyle, you’re gonna give me a fukin’ aneurysm!"
Ben shuffled around, "Dude. What kind of college did you even go to?".
I WENT TO THE UNI MATE, WAS A DIFFERENT TIME WHEN I APPLIED
"What time, 2014?"
YEAH SO BASICALLY, I WAS IN THE BACKROOMS OF ONE OF THE LIBRARIES I'D BEEN TO BEFORE RIGHT. YOU BETTER NOT CALL ME A FUCKIN NERD RIGHT? BUT LIKE I WAS SIFTING THROUGH THE STACKS OF THE WEIRD SHIT THEY DON WANNA SHOW TO THE PUBLIC, AND I COULD SMELL BURNIN. THOUGHT I WAS AVIN A STROKE OR SUMMIN
"Did your college have a fucking CULT ROOM!?"
Nagisa made a so-so gesture, "What college don't?"
BUT YEAH I CHOKED TO DEATH BEFORE THEY PUT THE FIRE OUT
Zach cut in before they could fall even further off the tracks, "...So cults ye? Tha's wha we're goin with?"
COULD BE SOME PERV SELLIN EM ON THE MARKET
Ben sighed, "Yeah, I mean we don't have anythi-” and then his brain regestered Kyle, “Who the fuck sells bones?"
Nagisa Grimaced, for the third time in twelve minutes, spending time with the krewe was roughly the same as trying to play checkers with a dog, "don’t like the idea of some fuck stealin' and selling kiddie bones tho," he paused, "Necro-nonce-r,"
FUCKIN CLASS A MATE THERE
Zach pinched the bridge of his nose in despair, "Oh ma fockin god Nagi, ye cannae take this seriously can ye?"
"Nah but I just gotta consider all the options you know," he made a smoothing motion with his hands, "fair and balanced, Tee-Em, Trademark,"
Zach buried his head in his hands.,"Mam and Dad are upstairs by tae way. Dinnae make too much noise."
"Right then, whatever they be, what we doin 'bout it,"
IF WE SAY IS A RITUAL, WE COULD TRY AND FIGURE OUT WHAT KIND
"Ahm mair interested in who the bastards are doin it first."
Nagisa nodded leaning back again before remembering the back of the sette had been burnt off about thirty years ago, "Same 'ere, Was planning on sleeping' in the graveyard tonight,"
I GUESS IF WE GOT TO WE COULD AV EM STEAL MY BONES AN FOLLOW EM, BUT I DON LIKE THE IDEA OF SOME PERVS POKIN AROUN IN ME PELVIS
"Why you so fixated on the perv angle ky?"
MATE YOU GOTTA BE A BIT FUCKED TO DIG UP BODIES AT MIDNIGHT
Ben let out a muffled "Jesus christ." As he covers his face with his hands. This had got to be the stupidest krewe ever, and if it wasn’t he would lose all faith in humanity. Unfortunately for Ben, this was not the case. In fact, they weren’t even the worst krewe in the city, on this very night. But enough about Jon Bon Jovi and his ‘gaggle of assholes’ for now.
Nagisa nodded sagely, "Well I’m just saying I could just keep an eye on the graveyard for a few days with you, then go and do some Big Murder,"
YEAH MAN IT'D BE GREAT TO AV SOME COMPANY
"What is with you and murder being the answer for everything?"
"Because it usually is?"
"No it -- It really isn't."
Zach blinked, suddenly very alarmed and nervous, "Ye mean he dinnae jus do it tae fock wi' mae? He actually goes for murder first?"
WAIT YOU KILL PEOPLE? FUCKIN TIGHT BRUV!
"Yea!" he went for the high five with Kyle before realising he can't touch him, "Not first, it just makes an expedient Plan B, or Plan A2, or A,"
Ben shook his head, he’d stopped Nagisa’s homicidal urge quite a bit, "I've seen him try to fight people that've cut us off at a fucking McDonalds drive thru."
"Yea but them cunts deserved it, 6 course fuckin orders, Big Smoke motherfuckers," Nagisa said in the tone of a man who had not forgotten their dishonour, to the pride of his geist, "Weed smell in their focken mini, cunts"
"Yea, people are dogshite, ye dinnae have tae kill 'em though."
"Nah, he didn't kill them, he just promptly got out and tried to steal their order at the window."
He put up his index finger, "Oi, wasn't even all of it, jus the 5 orders o 20 mcnuggets,"
"You threw a milkshake through the drivers side window at them!"
"And the posho fuckin clinges diserved et!"
Zach groaned into his hands, "Ahm gonnae need tae get mad wi' it after this I swear..."
"anyway, the Necro-nonce, we stickin' in the graveyard?"
WHEN DO THEY STEAL? IS THERE, LIKE, A PATTERN?
"recents, no oldos,"
Ben furrowed his eyebrows, "What about the ghost I mentioned earlier? He died about... 70-ish years ago and they still took his bones?"
Here they are, who plays the four lads.
1. Spencer West & Nagisa Redd
2. Jude Spencer & Zachariah
3. Asher & Ben Waylon
4. Grant Frasier & Kyle
Chapter 3: Spare Parts
Everyone arrives at the graveyard for one royal ass rumble.
Also, fuck Jon Bon Jovi.
Contrary to popular belief, graveyards are rarely quiet. That is, not in Twilight. Ghosts litter them, attached to their bodies, growling, shouting, praying and pleading. Or maybe that’s just around Jude, he wouldn’t know.
The Resurrectionists arrived at 2AM. Jude had covered his face in a mask and his body in an anorak jacket, on his back a spade and a bag of tools. Spencer was dressed likewise, though with a single layer, as not to harm his outfits if he needed to activate his new limbs. Asher and Grant had multiple layers each, Asher’s necrotic tissue was identifiable on a bad day, as were the runes branded onto Grant’s skin.
Spencer, Asher and Jude walked through the graveyard looking for freshly turned earth, recent draves for fresh pieces. After all, all bodies are the property of science after the mind has departed. Grant decided to keep a bit of distance, and to scout out the surroundings for potential witnesses. This was accomplished with a bit of teleportation, broken up by some casual skulking to avoid being too obvious.
The three walkers found their mark, and in complete silence, began to dig. Six feet later, Jude hits the top of the casket. Spencer removed their backpack and gave Asher the crowbar to open the box. The body inside was regular, not embalmed, but the mortician deserved compliments from the family, given the skill of stitching together broken bones and ripped skin from the blunt trauma.
The only anomaly was a strange bulge jutting from the corpse, pressing against the skin from the inside where the heart should have been. Jude began the usual strategy of placing the body into the bag with Asher’s help, and occasional reprimands ready in case he tried to eat pieces.
Spencer would help, but there he stood, still, looking down at the blonde, 5'9 man, familiar surgical scars running along his chest. “Lyf?”
Spencer west was a surgeon, and by god did he know it. His student loans wouldn't let him forget it. The night shift had always suited him better than many, it just felt better, safer almost. It was on one such shift on the seventh of april that Mr Lyfrassir Edda was brought to the Operating Room with 13 nails in his body and multiple blunt force trauma wounds. Spencer had made a point of telling Chia he’d skin him if it turned into another eighteen hour shift as he entered the theatre.
It had turned into a five hour surgery after ‘complications’. Said complications were the metal tension cables the patient had instead of veins, the steel instead of bones, the complete impossibility of the body magnetizing the nails to the point that Spencer, who despite the insanity of his perceptions was still a surgeon, broke a pair of pliers removing one of the nails. As he worked, Spencer could feel his mind opening, and his back scarring. As his mind told him he was becoming more, his back felt like it was being burnt by a displeased slavemaster.
Lyfra-no, the thing that pretended to be Lyfrassir still obeyed his blade, and when he was done, his stitches as well. His mind expanded beyond its limits ever could have dreamed, he had seen perfection, and it’s reflections everywhere. He had held the supernal under his blade and fixed it from man’s imperfection. Lyfrassir Edda was moved to Intensive Care, and he followed, awaiting the ‘man’s’ recovery.
When he awoke, Spencer had asked what he saw, he had asked why, he had asked how and he had asked most pertinently, who. Lyfrassir Edda had given him a number, and told him to imagine being an ant looking at a clock. An ant doesn’t see what the clock does or understand how, an ant merely sees the pieces and how they move but not the purpose why. Spencer was just an ant who had seen the clock face.
He had disappeared from the hospital that night, and the nurse on duty said the door had been locked and guarded all night due to the attacks on the ambulance that carried him to the hospital. Spencer didn’t care, he knew Lyf would be there at a call. He had to know. He had to know. He had to Understand.
Grant watched from the shadows as his friends deposited their new prize into the bag, as his eyes caught what looked like an encampment left in a hurry. It was on the outskirts of the graveyard, a cheap plastic tent and a camping cooker having been left there in a rush. Walking closer, he knelt on the floor, inside the tent was a scrap of cloth, a piece of a t-shirt with, well it was a mothman with a deer hunter hat. His eyes narrowed at the discovery as across the graveyard the dead lay in wait.
Ben Waylon sat in his car at the edge of the graveyard, eating a granola bar he found in his glove box and forgot to read the expiration date of. Nagisa and Zach hid behind graves, keeping different vantage points, and eyes on the graves, and their denizens. Kyle, meanwhile, was floating nearby, the upside of not being visible outside of twilight.
From the car, Ben saw the ghosts of the graveyard grow more restless, some looking to him as a vague recognition, one with it’s jaw missing looking frantic. So, in all his wisdom, he delegated the work to Nagisa with a text.
‘Ghosts are getting a little frantic, think whoever's been digging up graves is back’
The response, ‘gotcha’ comes through a second later as nagisa began to move forward.
This was a mistake.
As he tried to make his way through the graveyard unseen, three things happened. First, his foot got stuck in a foxhole, he fell trying to get it out and then smacked against a grave. Secondly, a camera flash blinded Nagisa from somewhere, the faded sounds of 'shitSHITshitshit!!' filling the air and shuffling as someone ran away. And thirdly, he saw an obnoxiously coloured tophat, as well as a white gloved hand leaning down. The worst tophat, the worst style, belonging to the worst man in Edinburgh, "Well, someone needs to look where his feet go, don't they?" Of course, he'd recognize that voice pretty quickly, a mainstay in Edinburgh entertainment and a goddamn nightmare to deal with, the head of the Edinburgh Circus of the Dead himself, Jon Bon Jovi (No Relation).
Only three thoughts entered Nagisa’s mind, a desire to murder the man, but as a Sin-Eater, he’d come back, a desire to severely harm the man, but he was on the floor and that was unliely to help, so he fell back on the third, most primal desire of every person when viewing Jon Bon Jovi.
His shit eating grin radiated out of the graveyard. You know the grin, the grin of unearned confidence and pure, unwavering belief in his own superiority. The smug self-assuredness that had caused Nagisa to reject his invitation to the Circus of the Dead before, "Ah come on, don't you be a jerk! Need a hand, friend?"
Nagisa’s eyes just narrowed and pushed himself up, if Jon helped you, you were either out a favour, or pitied enough for him not to want one from you.
"My my, still hard nosed as ever." He fixed his stupid looking tophat, looking off to the other side of the graveyard.
“Why the hell are you here, and why won’t you fucking leave,”.
"Same as you I suspect! Been hearing things, and our circus doesn't like when people's bodies are stolen. You know, basic stuff", the patronising way he says basic, the mention of that fucking circus, it makes his blood boil.
"Ah, so you decided to send in the Clowns?"
"Oh no-no-no, those stay behind. Though, don't tell them but I think they've been planning to conspire against us if you know what i mean. No we got uh...Jimmy Fireeater and Burning Man...Fredrick the trapeze artist and the hanged queen...oh and of course me! With Loudmouth over there." His geist was projected just a couple feet above him, a grizzly looking person, a mask of bone of their face making it look like they wore a flattened and distorted skull, and right underneath...well all their vocal cords were missing, the tattered clothes indicating that this one was very very old. Nagia was almost impressed, almost, an old geist does not make a good Sin-Eater.
A disgusted, “Fun” escaped his lips. He couldn’t be bothered to argue with Jon, couldn’t be bothered to speak with him, or deal with him in the slightest. Speaking with Jon Bon Jovi is a practice in masochism, you could have everything in the world, and he’d still find a way to look down on you, to act superior, to be superior, and then to stab you in the back for a buck.
"That's....kind of our thing", he lied, the superficial appearance of joviality rarely equals enjoyment, the trappings of the Circus were a sick sort of joke like that, at least where Jon was concerned. Wherever Jon was, any trace of enjoyment died a violent death, smothered under the rancid atmosphere he gave. No wonder he was the ringleader. Nagisa decided a disgusted grunt was response enough.
"Now, are you planning to just watch? Also where's the rest of your wannabe vigilante's, mon ami?"
"Not putting all in one spot for ambush 'Mon bastardo," as if on queue, his phone chimed with another message from Ben, ‘Find Anything’, did he? No necro-nonces, no graverobbers, no magic, nope, just Jon, Jon who was actively interfering with both of their jobs.
‘A Cunt’ came the swift response, ‘but not the one we're after’
His phone buzzed again, but before he could read it, A ghost was running over to Nagisa, panicking and stumbling over herself, old guts causing her to actually trip a bit over them. The upper half of her face was missing so she was only pointing and letting out gurgling sounds to the approximate direction she heard the digging sounds from. Nagisa clamped a hand over JBJ's mouth, both as a way to keep him quiet, and an excuse to slap him, and looked over, sneaking another look, whispering, "alright lass, keep calm,".
Jon lifted his eyebrows, his lips now sealed shut. He also had to admit that his lips were weirdly soft to the touch, as if he took extra care to not make them chapped. The ghost meanwhile quietened down, only making a couple gurgling sounds
Nagisa stuck his hand up from behind the gravestone, making a motion with his hand to move around and get a better look at their robbers. On que, Zach took his way round, close enough to see a couple people who were mostly obscured and masked as to not be identified. They weren’t talking though which is the weirdest thing, but probably simply belied the fact they've done this many times before. Zach moved back over where Nagi could see him and put up three fingers, trying to indicate how many people were there. He responded by making a gun motion with his hands and shrugging. Kyle, noticing the commotion, returned to the group.
OH SHIT HERE WE GO
Kyle. How does one describe Kyle? On a purely physical level, Kyle wasn’t. On a metaphysical level, Kyle was a jock with some occult knowledge, making him the rare combination of a Goth Jock in the eyes of Ben. Kyle was not smart, and had been stealing the occult books in his personal library, and was not the most subtle of figures. So he did what came naturally.
Kyle tried to steal Jude Spencer’s wallet.
Jude felt the lightness in his back pocket as his wallet fell to the floor, but had little time to notice before Spencer had scooped it up with one of his new arms and presented it to his friend. Who took it again. "Cheers. Ghosts thinking they're funny. Let's get out of here before I actually lose it."
Asher tilted their head to the side, as if thinking, "Do ghosts exist?"
"Yeah, ghosts exist. And they don't have any reason not to be an asshole because no one can get mad at them. I swear I'm gonna flip at some point and go on an axe murder rampage against them."
Across the graveyard, Grant’s eyes snap open and his head whips around, sensing the poltergeist’s actions, seeing the Numina beyond sight, and running to his compatriots. "guys we got the ghost's attention, we should move on". The issue was, he hadn’t noticed how much noise the resurrectionists were making in their acquisition. The Edinburgh graveyard borners the forest, it’s an easy escape route and is a fair distance away to avoid discovery. So when strange lights started appearing, they all assumed the worst, and only progressed when they started directing themselves. That’s when the weirdly lanky, outdated dressed and overwhelming smug aura of Jon Bon Jovi began hopping over the graves, the most discordant music they had heard in years filling the air around them, an odd distortion as he called out.
"Hello everybody! Welcome to the show of the century! on our left, we have the slimiest graverobbers seen in Edinburgh. and on our right we have the circus! readying to stop you from taking what belongs to the dead!"
Asher flicked out the Clippo and Spencer’s arms extended on reflex, and secured the bag holding the corpse, “Nothing belongs to the dead, that’s how a will works,”.
Jude began moving backwards slowly but surely, "What'd they be using it for anyway? Why do they need it now?"
"Jesus christ you guys are ignorant What do you think gives you the right to just skidaddle outta here?”
"Our legs." And Jude just began walking quickly out of the graveyard,
"Hey! Hey what the fuck!"
"uh, that" Grant quickly followed. It had just clicked in his head that these jokers weren’t as good as they thought, all bark and no bite.
"Guys!” Jon’s arms flailed behind him with impotent rage, “stop fiddling with the lights they're escaping?!"
Mentally thanking their incompetant assailant, Spencer took off, his heels digging into the dirt as the extra arms enabled easier maneuvers around the graves. Jude and Asher pulled behind, while Grant held back, hoping to give an obvious target to the strange men.
Looking back around, a man in silks pulled up a hunting rifle, and fired, directly into where Grant’s chest was half a second ago. Grant returned to reality fur feet away, his scars glowing, one branding his side deeper than before. With the knowledge firearms were involved, Grant made the executive decision to escape as quickly as possible.
Asher flicked on their lighter, throwing down flames behind them and setting the grass ablaze. They hopped over gravestones and around marks to minimize his profile. Jude, for his part tried to help, visualising the flesh of the earth swallowing asher, dragging him forwards, but he couldn’t bring the supernal to the fore to shape it while under fire.
Spencer, however, was calm. Arms swiveling round and touching the floor, static and convection hitting the ground, letting ice spray over the grass. As they made it to the city, lights flashing over the graveyard, Spencer swiveled around, decanting Lyf’s body to Asher and Jude to carry as he yelled to the collapsed Jon.
“And you'll remember the day you almost caught Victor D'ville!”
“And why didn’t you help?” Ben sighed, debating the merits of slamming his head into the centre of his steering wheel.
“One, Jay-Bee-Jay is a cunt and i won’t help him, Two,” he shrugged, “Wanted to see what happened, mother fucker really just yelled his own name huh?”
Zach lent forwards in the back seat, leaning between the space between the front seats "Anyway, what 'ave we learned? Other than why people should be scared o' carnies."
Nagisa shrugged, “That the fucker digging people up is named Vicky? Jon is incompetant? Take your pick,”.
"An they know aboot ghosts, an one o' them has robot arms."
Nagisa choked on his own spit and Kyle reclined again along the back seats.
YEAH THE FUCKIN ARMS, MAN THAT’S CRAZY
"Were ye not payin attention before the circus came tae town? When Kyle tried tae street-urchin that guy's wallet?"
“I was busy dealing with a certain circusman, okay?”
Ben slammed his head into the top of the steering wheel, "Why the fuck does weird shit happen to y'all only when I'm waiting in the car?" He's driving away from the graveyard, doing his best to act casual so they don't get pulled over by the cops
"'cause yer always waitin' in the car in case weird shite happens and we need tae get the hell out."
"Know what? Fair enough, but seriously, clowns and cyborgs? What the fuck, what exactly happened in there?"
"Cyborg graverobbers dug up summat and ran when the clowns tried to stop ‘em,"
"... A'ight." that left more questions than answers, but he was distracted by a notification sound from his pocket. Then more, then more. Ben looked at his twitter, notifications piling up. "My Twitter notifs are goin' mad."
As he opened twitter, multiple of his followers had been messaging Ben with this article from some crackpot journalism website called Network 0 he hadn't heard about. The title read: 'EDINBURGH KILLER SPOTTED ONCE AGAIN'
It was a frantic rant that felt like college job anxiety and exploited journalistic talent put into the lengthy description of an urban myth and multiple images of Nagisa, blurry with a bright flash, as he, frame by frame fell, his knee wobbling, left to right, right to left, falling forwards into the mud
WHAT THE FUCK IS THIS SHIT
Nagisa starred over Ben’s shoulder and gave a resigned sigh, "Oh get fucked,"