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Not a Cult?

Discussion in 'Creative Writing' started by KingInVoid, Sep 29, 2022.

  1. Threadmarks: Wean 1.1

    KingInVoid Then another horse came out, a fiery red one.

    Jul 9, 2022
    Likes Received:
    Devon had what might just be one of the worst jobs in the world. Or at least what was probably one of the worst administration jobs, especially with the recent uprising of parahumans in numbers and popularity.

    You see Devon was a prison warden for the city of Brockton Bay and if that didn’t give you a decent idea of the shit he had to put up with on the daily you might want to think more about what that entails. In a city like the bay, he constantly got bibe attempts, death threats, parahuman assault threats, and other such activities that should have had him fleeing the position long ago.

    Unfortunately, he needs this job with his family’s current needs so he was forced to come in at god-awful hours to fix whatever stupid shit the prisoners had cooked up for today.

    He was lucky enough however that today was a good day for the prison with all of the prisoners seeming to hide in their little groups for the day. He hadn’t even gotten a whiff of a fight or shanking thus far which was much better than he could expect.

    Maybe the prisoners needed days off too but while he was suspicious Devon wasn’t going to skip out on some more peace and quiet in his life. It was around then that the phone rang causing Devon to be on instant alert as his hand shot forward to grab the phone, “Warden Devon speaking.”

    “Hey, Warden it's the front desk, you remember that email you got from a kid asking to interview you? Well the kids at the front right now, you want me to send him in?” The voice of the intern stuck at the front desk spoke through the static of the phone.

    Devon took a moment to think about it trying to recall it before the memory seems to click for him just a bit, that weird email he got from the school paper kid that wanted to interview him. He had forgotten the name and had honestly nearly forgotten that he even agreed to that in the first place.

    Well maybe agreeing was a bit too strong, he had told the kid that if they had a quiet day on the day he came that he would let him interview him face-to-face. Devon almost snorts at the coincidence of the whole situation but he supposes that he has the time especially since it is a somewhat rare day.

    Ah, what the hell he was in a pretty good mood. “Yeah sure send the kid in why not I need something to keep me busy today anyways.”

    A quick affirmative came from the other side of the phone before the quiet click of the front desk as he hung up. Slowly he flicked a lighter on lighting the cigar he put to his lips not too long ago as he looked at the fairly spacious room around him. It was still a fairly new experience with the recent hit of funding that the prison got likely from the two parahumans they had held pretty well in the last few months.

    Opening a new tab on his computer he absently noted that the Protectorate got a new hero recently, he was interested in how this Armsmaster would fair. Still, he didn’t linger as he pulled up the email that the kid had sent him only taking a minute to navigate the confusing mess that was his email.

    Looking through it the kid never really talked much about what he wanted to talk about or the contents of the interview, something seemed a bit suspicious about that- then the door opened.

    The kid had lightly tanned skin hidden in a blank black shirt and red poncho that he wore over it but Devon didn’t care much about anything else as he swiftly looked for a face only to see a blank wooden sheep mask staring back at him.
    A beat passed through the office as Devon tensed his mind grinding through the information in front of his eyes. The beat passed and the information was processed to immediate action as his hand shot for the gun on his hip.
    “Woah relax Warden I’m not here for a fight.” The kid, wait no not a kid the cape said with a hurried voice as he raised his hands towards the ceiling.

    “I’m just here to talk if I wanted to do more I could have done so much more easily than stating outright that I’m a cape.” His hands still in the air the cape spoke simply with a calm tone that Devon distrusted in the time with a stink eye.

    Devon kept silent for a second as the cape appeared to be done speaking for the time merely sitting and waiting for Devon to speak.

    “What is your power, and complete honesty here I don’t want any funny business,” Devon spoke with a hard tone that seemed to do nothing to the cape in front of him as he merely stared at him through the small eyeholes in the mask.
    “It’s simple but requires a bit of action I’m going to summon something and my power is a bit flashy so it will flash purple really quick but doing so will not harm you, may I do so?” He spoke simply as he waited for Devon’s affirmation. Despite his mind telling him not to curiosity seemed to outweigh the danger, and something about the kid’s voice just seemed like it was something he would be okay if he trusted him.

    So he gave a small nod after which a purple light flashed from his hand lightly as smoke of the same color poured from the cape’s hand. The smoke swirled for a second around the cape’s hand before it pulled itself together forming a seed of that same purple color in that grainy look that a seed usually has, the size of maybe a dime in the palm of the cape’s hand.

    “This is a seed to put it simply if any person were to eat it they would gain a small almost forgettable power. Maybe they would get the ability to selectively flatten parts of themselves or take the properties of an element they are holding in a certain percentage of their body. It’s all minor things like that but they don’t stay that way instead they slowly progress maybe in a month or two growing twice as powerful as they were before then.”

    The cape spoke with certainty of things that were practically miracles as he slowly lowered his hand something that Devon didn’t care for as he was transfixed by the object in the cape’s hand, but he couldn’t help the little bit of doubt that entered him as he looked at it suspiciously.

    “So they just grow and grow without limit? I doubt that no power alive is that strong, not even the ones that Eidolon himself can make. What’s the drawback?” His voice was a bit snappish as he looked at the mask for a second before looking back at the seed in the cape’s hand.

    “Very perceptive of you devon and you are indeed almost correct in your assumption. The power from these seeds has a sharp drop-off point to where it will begin to slow in development, whereas it may take a month or two to double the power it will take a year to two years to increase the power to triple what it’s original strength.” Devon winced at the truth thrown at him as the cape continued.

    “Then it may take up to twenty for it to get to four times its original strength, that some amount being around the point where they would be able to fight a C lister parahuman, so markedly inefficient it would be.” The cape says with a slow shake of his head something that Devon caught to have a slight exaggeration to it, and he honed in on it.

    “But that’s not all is there, otherwise why would you be here if it was?” The cape stopped a bit his body language shifting to surprise as he processed the information of Devon’s words.

    “Well you’re much smarter than I expected dear Warden, you are completely correct in your assessment. Indeed that is just the first part of my power instead the next part comes when the original eater of the seed dies.” In a second the tone of the user turned somber.

    “Throughout their use of the power the seed slowly stockpiles energy growing as the power does. As the user of the seed dies the seed cannibalizes the body of the eater using the raw materials from the body along with the energy it’s stockpiled to explode outwards instantly planting itself in the area of the chest of the user and bearing from it a single fruit.” He says as he reaches into a pouch, pulling from it a purple fruit in the shape of a peach with wrinkles all around it, maybe the size of a blueberry it glowed a light purple with contained power.

    “These fruits give to the eaters a similar power to the one the original seed gave but much more fixed and focused, all of them in the middle of the pack of parahuman powers although the stronger the seed was when the user died the stronger the end power is to a certain extent.” As he said that the cape placed the berry on the counter, proof of the death of a man was on Devon’s desk.

    “Don’t worry about that one, a druggy found one of my seeds and figured it was a drug, they died of an overdose not long later. Although I wouldn’t recommend eating that one as the power is likely to be quite weak.” He said with a shrug, Devon hesitated for a second before he lightly picks it up looking at it with a critical look.

    “I’m not an idiot, I already said once that no power just gives a power so stop fucking around and tell me the drawback,” Devon noted his voice was tenser as he wondered if he was getting irritated, before wondering if he should be getting irritated.

    The cape didn’t look bothered however so he supposed it didn’t truly matter. “Indeed and I wish I could tell you the specifics but well… there isn’t anything specific for this power, the drawback for these powers is varied. They can be quite nearly anything. It can be physical, mental, personality-wise, or even spiritual as far as I can tell. I’ve partaken in a fruit or two myself and well…” the cape seemed a bit hesitant to show this but then he simply lifted his hand to his head pushing down a bush of brown hair as he tilted his head to show two small goat-like horns on his head that were hidden up until now.

    “I got these and an inexplicable ability to digest grass along with a light desire to do so from one of my drawbacks… it was uh, quite a surprise if I’m being honest for a mostly minor ability as well.” He says with a bit of a shrug as Devon blinked a bit quickly confused at the sudden shift.

    “Okay then, so the power is stronger the longer and stronger the power of the seed eater, what does all of this have to do with me?” Devon says as his focus returns to the task at hand, the cape tilting his head a bit as Devon wished not for the first time that he could see behind that stupid mask.

    “Come now Warden I know you’re smarter than that but maybe my power distracted you? Well let me boil it down to the basics, my power can only use a seed once per person and not only gives a bad power but one that requires the user to die to get the full use out of it. Meanwhile, you are the warden of a prison, a place with many people that would be willing to work for a man like me to get out, or even just for the power.”

    The implications of that sentence hit Devon like a truck as he looked at the boy in front of him with narrowed eyes, the berry in his hands clutched tightly as he looked at him closely.

    “Why would I do that? Of all the propositions you want me to willingly help you free criminals as you give them superpowers? Why in the bloody hell would you think I would agree to that!?” Devon’s teeth are bare for a second as he sneers at the cape.

    Said cape looked unphased by the hostility but spoke just a second quicker than normal, “not the super bad criminals or the ones that are in for stupid misdemeanors and shit but the ones that are the middle of the pack. Specifically the remorseful ones, the ones that know they did some shit and want to do something about it to make it up to people. Criminals, that want redemption and well… what better way to be redeemed than to fight against gangs with superpowers until you die to give someone else a better chance against those same gangs?”

    It took Devon a second to properly digest how morally reprehensible that line of thinking was and another two to fully ruminate on it. His eyes widen as his face contorts into one of confusion and disgust but then he thinks on it a bit more.
    It sounds… horrible, choosing people that genuinely wanted to be better and manipulating them to fight to the death to try and develop powers for other people to get the full benefits of. He questioned himself if there was no other alternative, but the cape cut in before he could dwell on it for that much longer.

    “No, there is no other way. You could theoretically give a bunch of the seeds to horrible people as you kill them but you need to remember that the seeds need energy stockpiled to give good powers, if you wanted the power of a weak parahuman you would need to develop a fruit halfway. Plus if seeds have enough energy then they can make more than one fruit meaning it's just more efficient to give some people weakish powers and let them give lots of people powers.”

    There were still so many flaws in his logic but… it wasn’t bad logic, was it? What was the life of a criminal if just one of them could make five heroes? The situation was just so big and complicated that Devon couldn’t help but feel a nasty headache coming on as he tried to comprehend the full scope of what was being talked about.

    In the end, however, a thought stuck out to Devon and he paused at the new emotion he felt. It was an emotion that every human was used to but felt so very foreign in this very moment especially to Devon as he thought.

    “...I want three.” He said simply, in a way that made the cape pause, something that had only happened once so far in the brief yet tense span of this conversation.

    “I’m sorry what was that, I do believe that you will have to speak a bit louder.” The cape said confusion practically plastered on his face as he waited for Devon to gather the nerve to speak once again. Devon stood up as he did so turning around as he opened a cabinet and pulled from it a few different files.

    As he turned back and set the files down he spoke again, “Every fruit you get I want to see before you use it while telling me what the original power was and how developed they made it. Then I will be allowed to take it or decline it until I have taken three fruits this way, that’s my condition for giving you a way in.”

    The cape sat in silence as seconds passed possibly thinking yet as Devon stared into the blank sheep mask that the cape had on he couldn’t help but find himself getting a bit more nervous with each second, that is at least until the cape held out a hand.

    “It’s a deal.” The voice that he couldn’t quite decipher spoke as Devon reached out a hand, shaking it with a firm but uncertain grasp.

    “A deal with a parahuman I don’t even know the name of… quite the day wouldn’t you say?” He said the hidden question not so subtly laid out in the voice of the warden.

    Devon could practically hear the grin in the voice of the teen as he answered, “the cape name is Lamb… and the day has just begun.”
    Ultimot0, Deamon, BJJPanda and 8 others like this.
  2. KenKara

    KenKara Getting sticky.

    Jan 26, 2021
    Likes Received:
    you forgot threadmark
  3. KingInVoid

    KingInVoid Then another horse came out, a fiery red one.

    Jul 9, 2022
    Likes Received:
    Woops, thank you for the reminder, it is fixed!
    KenKara likes this.
  4. Anjels

    Anjels Know what you're doing yet?

    Jul 25, 2020
    Likes Received:
    KingInVoid likes this.
  5. Threadmarks: Wean 1.2

    KingInVoid Then another horse came out, a fiery red one.

    Jul 9, 2022
    Likes Received:
    It was a dark cold night for Robert as he lay on the cold hard mattress of his cell recounting once again the train of events that landed him in the cell, to begin with. He could practically feel the burning sensation that went down his throat after the hard day of work and hear the jokes he and his friends exchanged as they watched the game.

    He could feel the hard gravel as he fumbled for his key, then a flashing light the sound of a horn a scream, before silence engulfed him. He woke up that day in a cell and couldn’t say he deserved any less.

    The tears began to well in his eyes as he thought about it again, he was happy that his cellmate was not here to hear the small choked half sobs that forced themselves past his lips. It had been a year since the night that had ruined not only his life but the mother's life which would never be fixed from that small room in the hospital.

    He brought his hands up to his eyes to wipe away the tears that flowed freely from his face, not noticing the smoke that had begun to fill the entrance of his room.

    The smoke was a grey thick cloud that slowly rolled into the cell filling the ground first as it slowly rose. It was only when a soft thud sounded that Robert stopped wiping his face to look at the door.

    The bar door that usually showed an empty hallway instead only showed a grey cloud in a dome around the front of it. In front of the door was a small figure with bushy brown hair and a skin-tight black shirt with a yellow poncho with yellow triangles connected in a ring around the front. The shirt ultimately does nothing to hide his lean muscled frame that Robert associated more with swimmers or army men than bodybuilders.

    But of course, the thing that Robert focused on was the wooden sheep mask that covered the figure's face, the mouth of the sheep seemingly locked in a flat face as the cape stood arms at its side approaching the closed door.

    Robert was up with his back against the wall the sink off to his left in such a way that he could quickly duck behind it if needed. He took a calming breath as the cape approached the door walking slowly, a feeling of fear growing in Robert as he swallowed the ball of spit.

    The fear softened when he realized that there was still a door there locked he was still most likely safe. Then the figure reached the door and stopped looking down at the lock for a second before it tilted its head inquisitively.

    Then it simply pushed and the door moved opening without any resistance as the cape stepped forward now standing fully straight. The fear that Robert felt before skyrocketed but he felt that he couldn’t move even as the figure reached the front of the bed before simply stopping.

    They sat there for a short time watching each other neither truly making a move until the cave spoke with the higher pitched voice of a pre-teen, maybe early teenager if he were to guess.

    “Robert Mark right? Gotta say I expected someone a little different when I read about you. Beard, tattoos, maybe even a scar or two but didn’t expect the average construction worker look. I suppose you really can’t judge the book by its cover, I’d have never thought that someone like you would be such a piece of shit.”

    He had been called that a lot, mostly by other inmates when they found out what he was in for but he had thought he had grown some sort of resilience or immunity to the hurt that came from those words. Even still the words hit him in a way they normally wouldn’t when they came from someone this young.

    Robert couldn’t help but wonder if the kid of his victim was this age.

    “Silent type huh I suppose it makes sense, there’s not a lot that you can say in defense of yourself. To commit a crime such as that, taking the life of another human being out of stupidity and an inability to control your alcoholism… how distasteful.” the cape said with a mocking voice as he stepped closer.

    Robert pushed further back on the wall the confidence of this cape scaring him as he wondered if he could hurt this cape, he had to have a reason to be this confident right?

    “Are… are you the kid, the one that she had…” Robert tries to talk but his words keep fumbling as he trips over word after word trying to get the meaning across, but the cape seems to understand as he shakes his head.

    “No, I am not the child of the woman you carelessly ended the life of that night. Although I imagine if I was the conversation we would have would be very different to the one I bring to you today.” He says as he slumps down, the already short boy becoming even shorter as he did so.

    Looking closer he couldn’t be more than 5 feet in height but he seemed relaxed as he took step after step closer and closer. Robert looked behind him to the cloud that blocked his vision to the hallway in a vague hope that someone was moving through it, but it didn’t matter.

    “But then again maybe I’m just interpreting things here, being unfair and harsh in a situation I have next to no knowledge about…” another step, he’s close now maybe five feet.

    “But then maybe I’m not.” Another set of steps, and that fear begins to return as Robert can see the muscles of the cape tensing as Robert prepares himself for a hit, his stomach tensing.

    “What do you think, well, that’s the wrong question to ask I suppose.” A final step and he’s finally right up next to Robert, barely a foot between the two of them as the cape lifts his head staring into Roberts's soul from behind that wooden mask.

    The cape’s hand is there in an instant not punching him but instead at the collar of his shirt pulling him down. Robert immediately pulls back, his own hand moving to try and push the cape’s body away from him.

    Instead of pushing the boy away however he felt as if he was pushing a brick wall unmovable even as he pushed harder and harder against the stone-like flesh. His footing leaves him as the cape tugs his collar, dragging his face down to meet the wooden mask, staring past it into the bright green eyes behind the mask.

    “Are you sorry for what you did? Do you feel guilt over the life that you stole, the potential reaped by a choice that YOU made?” The cape spoke, a death grip on the shirt holding Robert as he tried to pull back.

    He was in the worst position flooded with fear of this person in front of him that was inhumanly strong, to the point that he could make him helpless. He wanted to run, to get away from this monster in front of him, but he was stuck here all he could do was answer the question.

    It wasn’t hard, he had beaten himself up about his decision and the consequences thereof for a year. The only thing he could feel about the situation was guilt.

    “I- I do, I made a mistake I know-” but he’s cut off from his words by the cape.

    “Do you want to make up for it? Do you want to make your wrong right, do you want redemption?!” His voice came as the cape practically shouted at him.

    Anger welled up next to the fear in Robert as he shouted back at the cape, “of course I do, I don’t know what you think but I’m not a fuckin monster!”

    The first words he’s spoken with some actual spine to the cape in front of him make the room quiet as he freezes not daring to move a muscle.

    Robert starts to wonder if he’s made a mistake before the cape lets out an almost silent chuckle, “well then, let's see if you can.”

    In a moment his other hand raises slightly palm upwards before a bright purple light flashes as smoke pours out from the hand hanging in the air for a second before swirling inwards forming into a small seed in the palm of his hand.

    Then the cape shoves the seed into his mouth, covering Roberts's mouth as he abruptly struggles before swallowing instinctively as the grip on his shirt loosens causing him to stumble and fall back.

    His surroundings warp as information shoves its way into his head causing a headache to form, he can barely hear the words he’s left with through the pain that engulfs his mind.

    “Meet me on the west side of the prison in the forest at the largest tree, if you aren’t there by morning then you’re either a failure or a defector, either way, you won’t like the results.” The cape says as it leaves the door closing slightly behind him.

    Robert lay on the ground convulsing as the veins on his neck pulsed pounding into his mind, a small ball of fire traveling down his throat spreading the pulsing like a root. It didn’t take much more than a minute for his body to be pulsing as his muscles spasmed smacking into the hard ground.

    The ball of fire settled in his stomach as his body continued to scrape and bruise itself as branches extended from the ball spreading outwards. While it spread relief filled every area it touched causing the pulsing to exchange itself for a soothing warmth that blanketed his body.

    Finally, the pain stopped leaving a gasping Robert on the ground his head coated in large beads of sweat that he tried to wipe off leaving a damp mark on the bluish grey prison uniform that he wore.

    Sitting up he quickly felt disoriented as he saw something else, almost as if he was looking from a screen while he had his eyes elsewhere. Robert fumbled a bit as his head swiveled to try and find the source of it causing an odd scraping and motorized noise from somewhere in the room.
    In the other vision, he saw himself swiveling around taking a second he focused on his original sight combined with the sound to find on the ground a small metallic car maybe the size of his palm.

    It seemed to be based on the newest model a 1996 Chevrolet Cavalier Coupe in red on the ground. He blinked as it sat there backing up lightly causing the car to do the exact same action.

    Confused he moved to the right and it moved to his left, while his other vision had it move to its right. “Woah that is- augh,” he begins only to be interrupted by the echo he hears in a lower tone and a bit different than he normally hears it.

    Robert shakes his head and begins looking at the car focusing on allowing him to differentiate his movements from the car and he finds himself able to control it almost easily. It took him maybe a minute before he was having it do donuts in a small circle which was really fun.

    “I… have a power? I’m a parahuman, but how? Wait, that cape did he do this, that’s the only thing I can come up with but… it couldn’t be that right?” There was no cape that did that as far as he knew, and Robert was an avid fan of capes for a couple of years now, even taking a few parahuman studies classes as new as those are nowadays.

    “Well… impossible or not should I get going? Hell, should I even leave the cell? I only have roughly a year left, maybe less if I’m on good behavior.” Robert spoke with a quiet tone as he thought on it.

    “But then he said I’d be either a failure or a defector, and if I am then… do I want to risk what he does to those?” Just the memory of the hand on his shirt collar pulling him down was enough to send shivers down his spine.

    “Right then, looks like I need to get out of here.” He looks at the car focusing lightly as it moved to the door pushing it open a bit. Robert took note that the door was still unlocked as he had the car swivel rotating left than right before doing a full circle.

    The coast was clear which meant that he had to move quickly if he wanted to get to… wait where did he have to go? His mind shifted through the options he had to escape before settling on the simple one, going to the courtyard and hopping over the fence.

    He sent the car ahead as he walked out of the cell silently, tip-toeing to avoid waking other inmates up but in the process slowing him down to a bit more than a crawl.

    He gave a long gaze to the mass amount of clunky metal steps that lead from the second floor where he was down to the first, before glancing back at the minuscule amount of progress that he had made in the last minute or two.

    Focusing on the vision of his car he realized that he couldn’t even recon the downstairs as driving the small thing down the large steps would create way too much noise. It took a great amount of effort for him to hold in a sigh, this was going to be so much more tedious than it should be.

    Lamb walked out of the last cell for the night this one more of a test than the others were. John Jamieson was a shit human being that was in this prison for life on multiple cases of abuse and the murder of his son, with a complete lack of care for doing it, even drawing pleasure in stating it in multiple interviews.

    If Lamb was being honest with himself then he would rather use him as a method of training the real candidates to fight but this was meant to be a test. If John actually escaped and met with him then he would have a soldier that he could send on suicide missions without a second thought.

    If John got caught then the prison gets a bit of a reputation booster for capturing a newly triggered parahuman, likely meaning more people for Lamb to recruit. If John escapes and doesn’t show up then… well in that case Lamb gets an easy first mission for his recruits.

    Taking out a small notepad from one of the pockets sewn into the back of his shirt he erases the previously written note for how many people he gave seeds to today. Twenty people in total and he was depleted of seeds for the day… possibly the next three days depending.

    He held back a sigh questions of the validity and morality of his actions flooding his mind but then it was likely that at least one of them would have escaped anyway. The number of unpowered escapees in the last year alone was 14,307, with only thirteen thousand being returned to captivity afterward.

    The convulsing behind him had stopped given the sounds, much earlier than the others he absently noted. He gave some thought to the power that John must have gotten as he waved a hand, dismissing the small cloud of white mist that swirled over the entrance to John’s cell.

    It disappeared quickly its job of stopping the other prisoners from hearing something wrong happening was completed.

    A groan began to exit the cell as lamb turned to head towards the entrance of the prison where the guard was sound asleep. Apparently, this one was notorious for sleeping on the job, the reason the warden had appointed him to this shift tonight of all nights.

    Lamb briefly toyed with the idea of giving a prisoner one of the berries he had stored, but he quickly shut down that line of thought. The berries were for people that would be heroes, the main force of his faction.

    The soldiers trying their hand at redemption? They were nothing more than a stepping stone in that golden path to a better world.

    Besides that train of thought lead to him imagining someone like John with a fruit power, shivering at the very idea of it. It was bad enough that he had given him the power he had.

    After all an unapologetic sadist with a “Toxic” power? It was truly a match that was thought up in hell, or whatever one called Lamb’s mind when he got more creative with his words.

    He almost felt bad for Gloucester man, but the chuckles that he let out as he exit the prison showed how much he really cared for the convict.

    AN: There are plenty of amazing thoughts, theories, and questions for this, I hope this answers some and leaves even more.
    sejanus117, Ultimot0, Deamon and 10 others like this.
  6. Judge_Dragon

    Judge_Dragon Know what you're doing yet?

    Apr 4, 2021
    Likes Received:
    Watched the power is interesting and the story has potential
    KingInVoid likes this.