He was tired. Outside, the darkness would have been
replaced by some lighter shades of grey by now. It had been a busy
night for him. He took a deep breath and rose to get some new coffee.
With the level of coffein he had by now, sleeping wasn´t an
option - didn´t make sense to start fighting pillows while
trying not to think.
Resisting the impulse to make his special mix, taking
the cup of warm coffe, he went back to the table. Parts of
his MAL Assault Cannon and his new Punisher SMG were systematically
laid out on the table. Technical drawings of both weapons littered
the place, while his Oyster was still calculating the changes he
had done to his design over the last hours.
Slowly he was getting it all together. The eaist part
had been the design of the stock for the MAL and the increased length
of the barrel. The silencer had been an off the shelve model. The
mechanism had been the big problem. Upgrading the MAL from semi-automatic
to full-auto wasn´t as easy as he had first thought, but it
seemed as if he had managed it at last. The calculations of the
oyster would show. He just would have to wait two or three hours
for the final results.
Best if he would use the time to get some breakfast,
or at least something similiar to dead meat. The Boiler Room wasn´t
the best place for it. He wasn't in the mood to hunt his breakfast
down before eating it. And rats don´t taste that well in the
Charlie was just crawling over the punisher parts.
The big cockroach with the urban camo pattern and the - 13- painted
on his back just loved this place. Charlie and a few others of his
kind had lived with him even before he moved to the Boiler Room.
They were a few of the things he had taken with him.
Charlie was scurrying over the table looking for some
food. Bad luck today old friend, he thought. He had to do some thing
about the steady raising number of his little bug-friends. Time
to challenge their survival again. He definitely would have to think
He emptied his cup and slipped into his RainMan Duster,
shuddering as he remembered that he nearly would have had it washed.
Bad idea, would have destroyed the style. He thought of re-assembling
one of the weapons, but let the idea go. By this time all the urben
predators would either be sleeping or trying to get some reality
into their drug abused brains. Reality ... truth ... no way they
would see it, with or without drugs.
He left the Boiler Room, locking the high, rust-eaten
and scratched doors. After all, Hellraiser had keys, wherever he
was at the moment.
A typical Downtown morning, steady rain dissolving
the thick fog on the streets while various shades of grey played
hide and seek with the bums, who did their best to take shelter
in the surrounding alleys, trying to flee from the rain. They would
have no luck. There wasn´t anything as luck, not anymore.
He wandered aimlessly through the streets, avoiding
the biggest heaps of trash lying on the street. Big and filthy,
smelling like death himself. Wasn´t very unlikly. You could
never know if the inhabitants, if you could call them like that,
were dead or trying to be it. And you could bet that everything
that had some life in it and lived in this trash was definitly very
unfriendly. Especially on a morning like this.
He moved on with the towering walls of the corporates
lowest classes housings, looming over him, giving the dark grey
streets an additional threating impression. Concrete, steel, rain
and shades of grey. And the people of Central asked themselves why
the inhabitants of DownTown got that depressed and paranoid. What
the fuck ... naturally you get paranoid if your main question to
life is "Can I eat it, or will it eat me". Not to mention
drugs, acohol, rain and murdering gangers who want to have some
fun on cost of others.
Yeah, welcome to DownTown, where life is simple and
pain lasts an eternity. Or until you got killed.
Looking around he suddenly snapped out of his thougts.
With his mind astray he had somehow wandered much farther than he
wanted to. He needed a few seconds to orientate himself. Good for
him that morning was beginning to dawn. Without his weapons and
lost in thoughts he would have been a prime target for some of the
bastards around. This was one of the few times of the day where
you were nearly secure in the streets of lower Downtown. But only
He hadn´t seen an open shop to get some food,
but perhaps he had passed some and overlooked it. He decided to
give it another try, this time keeping his eyes open. More chances
to get something to eat and stay alive. The streets were slowly
filling with people trotting down the streets to wherever they were
going. Slumped figures, blank eyes. Just the usual crowd who had
abandoned hope, trying to salvage at least some dignity. He stopped
and stepped back into one of the entrances around him, observing
the street. He was in no hurry.
Watching the slumped figures, trying to dodge rain,
trash and other DownTowners, they reminded him of his little friends
at home. Moving from there to there, seeking food and shelter and
trying to stay alive. In comparison he gave his Cockroaches more
chances to surviving than this crowed around him. At least until
he found an entertaining way to cut their numbers down, just as
the company had their entertaining ways to cut down the number of
bums and workers. Gore Zone was just one example. Recreational drugs,
bloody games ... keep the masses happy.
They were nothing more than grey shapes, moving like
the fog of the night through the streets. Grey as everything around
here. It had a surreal feeling, just standing around and watching.
He remembered his experience at Orienta. Letting the
things that he had seen come back to his mind gave him the creeps.
They had played him again. Not only him, but also Isis and Yule.
But this time they had made a mistake. Instead of pushing him over
the edge they had done the contrary thing. They shouldn´t
have told him the truth about his past while Isis was at his side.
She was the anchor, the strength and peace of mind at the moment.
Perhaps he would have shot Yule without her being at his side. But
seeing Marian die, leaving Yule in pain, made him one thing clear:
Someone had arranged her death, thereby destroying the career of
a successful employee of SLA Industries while at the same time making
himself a psychopathic killer with an attitude problem. But loosing
Marian only made him strong and - even if it was hard to say - against
all odds he had found something better, something more real.
As far as he could see it Isis was the one thing that
really mattered in his life, the rest was just survival and business.
She had made him see the truth and was there to help him cope with
it. She was the one to introduce him into Stig - at last from his
point of view.
He had lost something, but gained more; two lost souls
clutching to each other. And at the moment he even thought that
there even was a chance that it could work out.
The events at Orienta really had left her confused,
all that they had seen, all that they had done. But all three had
seen, that even if the events might have been predetermined by someone
else, you definitetly had a choice about the end. He had been right
- there was a way to break the rules. The Mantua's had proven
What confused him was the fact that the other side
was interested in him. He didn´t know why. They should be
interested in every member of Sti, but this thing had said that
only he was real, not Isis, not Yule, confusing her to the most.
But also him. She was real for him, no matter what
this being said or she thought. It was just another scheme of the
other side, and everything that they had showed them had two things
in common: how their lives had been manipulated and still were,
and that they wanted them to doubt. Doubt the things they loved,
the things they believed in, to get desperate, loosing the grip
It didn´t matter for him. He had experienced
all of this before and by now he was firm in his view of reality
and the glimpses of the truth he had. But it definitly had disturbed
Isis. Doubting your own reality was a fucking bad thing and he had
to make it clear to her. She of all should know this best.
Their games were slowly becoming very annoying to him.
He had to find a way to kick their ass big time. Pay back time was
approaching and he wanted to be the one doing the kicking.
But one of the problems was Stig itself, he tought
while starting to move home. He could forget about breakfast now.
There was no way to report all things he had seen and done to Stig
without getting shot. They were a little single minded about this.
They demanded fast and creative solutions of problems, but if the
solution got a little too creative .... yeah they knew more than
he did, but so what?
He had to think about this. He didn´t wanted
to work outside Styg, he wanted to work with and for the departement.
But there were a few rules that made it nearly impossible for him.
In Orienta they had seen and experienced important things,
but should he report this back? It would get him a new and interesting
session in Room 101. At least this had happened all the times before.
No good - this had to change. But to whom he did have to talk about
this? Would there be anyone letting him live if they knew the other
side seemed to be interested in him? No fucking way.
He increased his pace and moved back home, ignoring
the shapes around him. It was not as far as he had thought. He had
almost moved a circle, wandering around. The lower levels of DownTown
did this to one, making it easy to get lost while being only five
minutes away from the starting point.
When he arrived the door was still locked. So Hellraiser
was still lost in time and space, doing whatever it was that desperate
and schizophrenic Necanthropes do. He didn´t even wanted to
He entered the Boiler Room. It was filthy and dark
as usual, only the Oyster on the table illuminated the room. Perhaps
he would try to clean the place up some time, at least the lower
levels. He walked through the garbage and accidently took Sues little
life. Oops, not your day, he thought regretfully. Perhaps he shouldn´t
have spray painted her in matte black, but in neon colours.
He moved on, seeing that Charly stormed to the fresh
corpse of his relative. No wonder that he had survived that long.
He knew what to do to survive. Now at least one of them had something
The Oyster was still busy calculating; about one hour
still to go, he guessed, while getting down to get the new Blocker
Body Armour. He wanted to re-accustom himself to this damned thing
as fast as possible, his Shiver training too long gone. He barely
got used to the suit in Orienta. This shouldn´t happen again.
He took the armour to one of the storage rooms, far
away from all things that could break.
Time to get some bruises.
At least he could pass the time until the Oyster was