Howdy there. Fracture here. So I have marvelous news. I look like a cowboy. Isn't that awesome? Like, I hadn't even noticed it before but after I donned a black cowboy hat for what I was pretending was a hollow round up rodeo, I realized I look like a spiffy fucking black and white cowboy. My lab coat plays well as a white duster, I wear all black under that with black books and a black belt when I working, and my hair (while white as fuck) has the lengthy untamed look thing going for it.
So when I put on that hat, blam! I look like a fucking cowboy.
Its awesome. I may never switch back to my black baker cap again. Although I will miss looking like a Nazi. Why don't I own any less conspicuous clothes? Then again, anything but blacks and whites makes my extremely pale complexion stand out like a sore thumb.
Fun fact, lions probably can't see me. I'm like a zebra to them.
Going back to my outfits, why the fuck does my choice in hats seem to mean all the world of difference in what I appear to be? I'm trying on a proper chief hat right now and I look like a chief.
Hmmm... I look like a detective or a mobster in a black fedora. I can just be whatever the fuck I want in the most conspicuous fucking ways possible. This is amazing. I might have to get a smoking pipe and play albino Sherlock.... zebra Sherlock. Zerlock.
I have never been sadder to have been too busy with this whole hollow breakout thing to enjoy Halloween. It would have been the perfect time to play with this.
And that, is a great transition to jump back to the serious topic of the Hollow round up.
Its done, for New York at least. Many 'thank you's to local volunteering proxies and the handful that drove or Pathed in from out of town. You were invaluable. I was surprised to see the high response I got from people who don't even have an account with the Free Market, although I can't be to flattered. It only serves to better keep them hidden if hollows aren't out going wild in public in mass numbers creating a scene.
None the less, all volunteers will be receiving a proxy point boost assuming I got a name or identity to assign the reward to. Enjoy.
We also enjoyed some aid from the government. Yay men in black and their party vans. While I don't suspect we'll ever see those hollows again, I have to know they're being studied and dissected in a better place.
I must assume so because they have cooler toys than me. Or rather, had cooler toys than me. We actually managed to recover one of those vans. And I do mean recover, it crashed. Based on the butchered bodies we found in the van, they were doing the dissecting on the spot while driving. I recognize some of the quality professional grade incisions we found on them as being similar to some of the cuts we found on hollow corpses out in the woods. I do believe they were placing the bodies out there to obscure their involvement. Cleaver.
I wonder if the party vans really are government though. The men in black look screams government agency but its also a bureaucratic proxy favorite and I haven't heard from the New York Division in a while. Truce or not, they don't trust me. It wouldn't surprise me if they tried to swoop in to figure out if I was doing something unique to my hollows. I wonder, I wonder...
Either of their involvements would certainly stand to explain why I'm not seeing any hollows locked up in cells. Both of them have the kind of clout you'd need to see hollows being pulled out of cells and into their hands before the arrested hollows even made it to the station. Which suits me fine I guess, it saved me lots of money and favors I'd otherwise have had to part with if I'd had to get them released myself. Getting anything done in this town is such an expensive shit storm.
And now for a little something to rattle Picasso's cage. Only a tenth of all the hollows lost were recovered as a result of many being claimed by rival organizations and influences, many dying from various predatory and mundane circumstances, but mainly as a result of many showing up across the U.S. and apparently the fucking world with a contact from New Zealand informing me of some showing up in the woods outside of town over there (My contact recognized my mark on them as a fair hint to how they knew they were my hollows showing up).
But of that tenth, Picasso sweety, Duckie was among them. We found him waiting for us, outside of that crashed van that I mentioned before, surrounded by the corpses of dead agents that had apparently originally survived the crash before he was done with them.
He was guarding a boy, Moth. A confused little boy with a chipped mask who was desperately hugging Duckie's arm.
I was surprised to find that the little boy wasn't a hollow. At least, he wasn't one anymore. The markings on the inside of his mask imply he was one before... but he could have just as easily of gotten one of those masks from the small collection of downed hollows in the van.
The poor frightened thing freaked out when Duckie stood down and took to a kneel for us upon my arrival. Guess it wasn't good enough that his protector trusted us if he didn't trust us. He took Duckies knife and held it out at us.
"No, no, no! St-stay back! I'm not going back!"
"Going back to what, little one?"
"Going back to that f-fucking... that..." he said trailing off his thoughts and adopting a more vacant stare as he desperately tried to dig up an answer.
"Well? Spit it out."
"Sh-Shut up! I... I-I don't know okay! But I'm not!"
"What can you remember exactly, boy?"
"... I-I... I remember I'm not going back!"
"Enlightened." A response he did not like one bit. I could see something vicious in the boy. Fear shedding to giveaway to hate directed right at me for my snarky comment. Good qualities.
"Can you tell me what happened with... all this?" I said directing his attention around to the bodies on the floor and the crashed van my men were digging through.
"I... w-well... I woke up. Woke up in... there somewhere," he said nodding towards the woods."Woke up as they were hoisting me from the ground and into the van... I couldn't think... I just knew... knew we were going back."
"Back to what?"
"I don't know alright! Back to somewhere. I-It made sense at the time! But the people, they started cutting us up one by one... and when they picked me up I... just started s-screaming... kicking and screaming." And then he backed up to Duckie again and held his knife up firm confident. "Then this one stopped them. He saved me. He dragged me out of the van and cut up the bad people that followed us and I'll cut you all up to protect him from you!"
"So why exactly are you still here then? Why didn't you two go?"
".... He said to wait."
"HE said to wait? HE did? Wait for what?"
"I-I don't know."
"And you're sure he said that?"
"Y-Yes! Wh-Why wouldn't I be?"
"Duckie deary, your sister is alive. Father hates you. Ember is living in a shell of eternal torment.... I don't know kid. I don't think hes in there. Any one of those things would have merited a rather violent reaction if he was."
"St-stop trying to trick me! C-Come on!" said the boy desperately tugging at Duckies arm. "Th-They're here and they're gonna get us!"
"Duckie, to my side please."
The boy kept tugging against Duckies arm trying to get him to stop for about half the tip over to me, at which point the boy abandoned Duckies arm in favor of returning to a defensive frightened stance.
"Wh-What did you do to him!"
"Nothing. Duckie works for me. I'm who you were waiting for."
"LIAR!" declared the insolent little fuck as it tried to turn and run for the woods. Unfortunately for him, Maggot had managed to quietly make it's way around him and was quick to disarm him and shove him to the ground.
I think it took Maggot entirely off guard when the boy started screaming and tackled Mags to the ground. He made the unfortunate mistake of making a grab for Maggot's mask, which earned him a good sock to the face. Pained and whining, Maggot took the opportunity to pin him down.
I knelled down in front of him. "I'm not your enemy, boy. I'm not your friend. But I am his friend," I said motioning to Duckie. "And hes coming with me. I'm who he was waiting for, I can promise you that. And we're going somewhere safe. And if you like, you're more than welcome to go with him, okay? Because even if you can't trust us, you can trust that he'll keep you safe can't you?"
"N-No! You're a lier!"
"Am I? Lets see..." I said reaching out and giving the boy a painful pinch on the cheek. "How's this feel?" I asked as I jerked his head back and forth.
To which my faithful hollow Duckie tackled and pinned me down, pressing hard on my throat.
"S-See, boy," I said popping out of Duckies arms and landing back on my feet. I took a moment to straighten myself out. "Friend or not... he has certain things he simply won't let me do. I think its clear to see, one of those things is harming you."
The boy, at this point, started struggling again. I made a motion and Maggot let him out of the pin. He darted back over to Duckie and hugged Duckie's arm once more, rubbing his sore cheek, and glaring at me.
"So are you coming with us then?" I asked the boy.
"No..." he said. "I-I'm going with him."
"Close enough I guess."
And with that we started walking away from the crash site.
"Oh. By the way boy. Whats your name?"
"Yeah... your fucking name. I'm Fracture. Thats Duckie. The kid that tackled you is Maggot. WHO are YOU?" I asked stopping.
"I-I'm... Ji... Ja... Je...Ju..."
"You're name is Jack. Remember? Don't forget it."
"R-Right.... Jack.... I'm Jack..."
"Yeah. Right. Sure. Why not? Come on Jack."
And then we brought him home. You should have heard him scream when he hit the path. I'm not sure hes gonna be leaving us for a little while. He didn't seem eager to cut back through that.
And with that I do believe I've covered all the interesting and relevant stuff.
The Lord Guardian Fracture out.