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[personal profile] magic_metal
I think laughter may be a form of courage. As humans we sometimes stand tall and look into the sun and laugh, and I think we are never more brave than when we do that.

It always fucks with them when he laughs, and Chet McCabe loves nothing more than to fuck with people, especially human servants of the Darkness.

Well…maybe he loves a decent steak and a cigarette more. Christ, he wished that he’d waited a few more weeks to decide that he’d give quitting a try…

Something pops in his face as the faceless teenager in front of him delivers another right cross, sending him to his knees for the third time that night. The Strip is awash with light and laughter, but in an alley between the Mirage and the Treasure Island, it’s so dark he can hardly see. Even for the desert, it’s freezing cold, and the air is a void, sucking away all life and oxygen. He lost Channing a good twenty minutes ago, and he’s barely holding on.

Still, he stands up again, laughing as slowly as he takes to his feet.

He’s only thirty two, but arthritic change screams through old breaks and strains in muscle and bone, torn sinew and ruptured tendons healed not through science, but through the power in his veins. He welcomes the pain, the heat it brings to give him back mobility.

His tongue sweeps over his lower lip and he tastes blood. He’s pretty sure his jaw’s dislocated, and confirms it as he reaches up to pop it back into place so he can smile. It’s cold and vicious, but it’s enough.

“Chester, will you please just kill him and come help me already?!?”

He knows he’ll die tonight, but he believes that he’ll live. It’s not much, but it’ll do.

“Be right there.”

His only regret is that he can’t see enough of the kid’s face to watch him gape in horror. Power has corrupted him so much that his features are smoothing away and fading in his head. He’s decked out in leather and chains, sporting a studded bracelet Chet decides he’ll take for himself if it’s clean…but he’s so far gone that there’s no longer anything about him worth remembering.

His body screams as he spears the kid to the ground. The kid screams as Chet takes his head between his hands, knowing what’s about to happen.

The air rushes out of him quickly, so abrupt Chet can feel it where he’s sitting on the kid’s chest as he snaps his neck with a brisk, clean twist of his hands. He feels nothing but relief…well, that and heat, light, hope.

Channing’s right in front of him, caught in a grip like the one he just had on his own attacker.

His last burst of adrenaline is used to rise to a crouch and dive at the other guy’s knees. Another sickening crack soon fills the alley.

“Thanks, Chester.”

“Any time, Chiefette…you good to go?”

Channing nodded, managing to clamber to her feet with her usual dignified grace. “Good enough to want answers. Let’s find out what the Darkness was using those two goons to protect.”

Nodding, he helped her the rest of the way to her feet and followed her further into the alley, where they’d first found the pair of human servants gathered around a service entrance on the side of the Mirage.

Chet was prepared for a lot of things, a lot of horrors that the Darkness could have held in such high regard…but the one thing he wasn’t prepared for was the sight of a soft pink blanket sitting on the steps, puffing at one end as the tiny feet of an abandoned baby girl kicked placidly inside.

Muse: Chet McCabe
Fandom: Original Character
Words: 595


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Chet McCabe

March 2009

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