"Rigor Mortis"-The life after death RP(Started/PM for participation)-Arc 4: Closing Loose Ends

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This is your life. The year is 2011 and nothing seems out of the ordinary.
But then it happens. Without warning your mind is surrounded with blackness. Emptiness replaces your thoughts and you can't do anything. It's all gone. You must scream, but your mouth can't move. You can't feel your mouth. You can't feel anything.
But then a voice pierces through this darkness.
"You are dead, friend. Do you want to live again?"
The voice sounds low and husky, like the one of an old man that had smoked too many cigarettes in his life.
You want to scream out. You want to say yes. But you can't talk. You feel the voice pulling away. You want to call him back for your rescue. Then you finally feel something.
It's cold. So damn cold. You open your eyes and see a cigarette. Then you see a man standing over you, examining your body. He wears a grey blazer with a weird insignia on the right sleeve. You try to look at his face, but then you feel his hand moving your head to the side.
"Do you agree to work for me?"
He asks you. You just want to go back. You can't stay in the dark anymore. You accept.
You can feel the rest of your body now. It takes you a few minutes to stand up on your own. You remember your name. You remember what happened.
You should be dead.
The man that saved you stands in front of you. He looks out into the horizon and you can see a trail of smoke coming from his face. You notice he wears a brown fedora hat, grey trousers and brown loafers. His hand moves up and takes the cigarette out of his mouth.
"This is shit", he says and throws the cigarette to the ground. "I gave you four hours. The note inside your pocket tells where you need to be in four hours. Sort out your business and then get there."
The man began walking away from you.
"Dead men tell no tales"
You look at the note. It tells you to be at an apartment downtown.

Hello fellow players, the dead and the damned. Welcome to your new life and your new job. You'l reach the apartment in the order I choose, expect more description in the group chat.

Our Co-GM is Link_To_Future.

Evey walked to the door of the apartment the note instructed her to be at, worried about what might happen next.

She was dead, she was sure of that. It had taken a while to sink in, but it had certainly happened. She had died. But now she was alive again, something she hadn't expected, and now she was at the location her mysterious taskmaster had instructed her to be at.
Evey stopped to breathe for a moment, trying to calm her thoughts from the disjointed hash they were in, and looked at the apartment.
It looked fairly unassuming. Just like a normal downtown apartment, maybe in need of a lick of paint, but otherwise totally regular. Hesitantly, she knocked on the door three times and waited. When no answer came, she knocked again, harder and called out "Hello?"

The apartment was wedged between two others, comprising the third floor in a six floor brick building. These buildings were a common sight in the rundown put of the town, next to nearby factories that released unpleasant scents and dangerous chemicals into the air and forest nearby. One could hear the shouts of fans violently echoing through the stairway, coming from above. A game of basketball with a pinch of zealous roars, nothing unusual.
Evey knocked on the front door but no one had answered. She placed her hand on the knob and twisted it. The door opened. She could spot several pieces of furniture in the dark, a couple of chairs, a table, a couch in the side. There was a hallway to the left which probably lead to the bedroom. She entered the apartment and opened the light switch to her left.
She noticed two Portraits of men hanging on the opposite side of the wall and a tall brown cupboard next to the couch. The paint was peeling off the walls and the light bulb seemed as if it were about to crash down and explode into a million little shards of glass.

Evey gingerly stepped into the apartment. It looked decidedly less pleasant inside. She stepped carefully around the floor beneath the light fitting, and quietly peered around the still gloomy apartment and waited for someone to reveal themselves. When no being seemed forthcoming, she called out again "Hello?" No answer. "Hello is anyone there? I came like you told me to, but I don't understand what I'm supposed to do. How am I even alive? I was dead, and then you... You resurrected me. How is that even possible?"
This was usually the moment in a horror move where some silhouette would flit past the door, and then grab her and-No. She curtailed that train of thought quickly. It wouldn't do to become frightened now. She was alive, and whoever this person was, there had to be a reason for that. Right?

His footsteps echoed through the hall as he moved closer to his ultimate destination. A sense of dread anticipation washed over the man as he drew ever closer to a fate he could not understand.

How am I still alive?

Dr. Adrian Hardy was having a terrible day. First his mortal coil had been cut short. For most, that would have been enough. But somehow, it had been stitched back together. He had been summoned from beyond the grave to fulfill a destiny beyond what he could even fathom.

All the man had told him was to find his way to this slummy apartment before four hours had passed. He wasn't going to waste his second chance by being tardy.

He stood before the door and breathed deeply. The air was stale in his lungs...but at least it was air. Adrian noted that there was a light emanating from the crack of the slightly ajar door.

Odd...they must just want us to let ourselves in.

His hand danced across the knob for an excruciating moment before he built up the courage to enter his new world.

"Hello? Is anyone here?"

Inside the apartment stood a squirrely teenage girl. Adrian's face was covered in confusion. He had not expected this to be his greeting party. His hands pulled the hat more tightly over his mop of hair as he looked upon sickly female, quickly realizing that was likely in the same boat as he was.

Still, better safe than sorry.

"You...you aren't the one I'm supposed to meet here, are you?"

Ben sat at the bus stop bench across from the building and watched as others walked into the building.

First was the girl- malnourished, pale, with the fedora she would be memorable, easy to set up as a scapegoat. Next was the short man- much better, more invisible than the girl, better used as a weapon than a face.

Ben smiled, checking the time. There was still plenty of time left, but he didn't want to seem too tardy, third seems a better placement as any. He slowly got up, just as a bus pulled up for him, and walked to the crosswalk. He looked at the bus driver as he crossed the street and smirked as the man flipped him off.

As Ben approached the apartment he felt a shiver run down his spine as he remembered the darkness. What it had felt like, or rather what it hadn't felt like. He shook it off as he reached the door.

Ben turned the knob and entered the apartment, making as little noise as possible. He shut the door, then released the handle slowly.

You...you aren't the one I'm supposed to meet here, aren't you?"

Ben looked at the small man's back.

"No, she looked as confused when she walked into the apartment as you did," Ben said quietly, "and no, I'm not our gracious host either. You know how many of us there are?"

Ben walked over to a chair and pulled it up to the table and sat down, getting a clear view of the door.

Spencer walked up to the apartment building. It wasn't anything special. He briefly considered walking away, but he couldn't bring himself to do it. After all, everyone he once knew thought he was dead. He had nowhere else to go, and nothing else to do.

The door to the apartment was ajar, and he could hear people talking. At the moment he walked into the room, he knew they were just like him. Dead, undead, or whatever the proper term was.

The first person he noticed was the man on the chair. He was staring at the door, almost like he was waiting for someone. Is he the one that brought them here? He seemed unusually calm, and Spencer wasn't even sure he was dead.
Then there was the girl. She looked around his age, but something about her made him feel sorry for her. She seemed frail, sickly. He briefly wondered if she had died of malnourishment.
Spencer didn't give much thought to the short man. Standing at only 5'6'', he was definitely not the same man that resurrected him.

He wasn't sure what to think. He turned to the man watching the door.

"Are you the one that brought us here?"

No response. The man was either lost in thought, or just didn't care much for small talk. In any case, he didn't seem to be the one he was supposed to meet.

Spencer's mind was wandering. Who are these people? Whose side are they on? Are there even any sides in this situation? How many of them are there? What are they waiting for? He sat on the couch and listened to the noises coming from outside, trying to clear his head.

Mira walked the empty streets still wondering why she was breathing. What would be in store for her and how is this all even possible. Then Mira noticed the smoky air and smog-ridden chemical factories.

Mira remembered that a few years ago there had been a horrible chemical accident where a vat of sulfuric acid had fallen on a worker, scarring him entirely and slowly killed him. Had he been given the same chance too?

Then Mira came upon the address where she spotted other people entering the building as well to her surprise. Did they have any idea on this as well?

Mira's steps echoed through dingy hallways and eventually she came upon the door. She heard talking resonating from the room and she twisted the door knob.

Mira's presence was greeted by looks towards the doorway. Mira scanned the room as well. There was at least three people from what she could tell all with the look of confusion or anxiousness written on their faces. But none of them looked like the man that took her from death.

"I'm guessing we're all here for the same reason then?" Mira nervously said to the group.

Marcus was about to enter the apartment when he stopped, his hand hovering above the doorknob. While he had taken the news of his own death better than he would have expected and had been confident and decisive in his actions so far, now he was scared. For the first time in his life he was out of his depth. He had no idea what was waiting for him behind that door; no idea what would happen next, and he had no way out. Before now, he had always been able to put himself at ease by taking control over his own actions, but from now on his life would always be at the mercy of other people he didn't know and couldn't trust. He had no plan and it terrified him.

"That's enough!" he told himself. He had no choice, he knew that. His only option was to go through the door and the longer he stood here debating it the worse he was going to make it on himself. Before opening the door he focused on making himself stop trembling and look commanding. Whatever he was about to meet in there he didn't want their first impression of him to be weak and frightened. After all, showing weakness gets you killed.

As far as he could tell the man who had spoken to him wasn't there, but several other people were. His eyes were drawn to a man who looked a little younger than him. even though the was sitting down, Marcus could tell that they were similar in height and stature. He wasn't quite sure why, but some kind of animal instinct that he had relied on since childhood put him on edge, and told him this person was not to be trusted.

He had little problem with the rest of them. His eyes quickly passed over the short, unkempt looking man who he would have guessed was on the cusp of middle age. He was almost certainly an academic. Marcus was reminded a little of his adoptive father. There was a young girl near the back who appeared to be doing her best not to be noticed. He could relate to that. Skinny and pallid looking, something made him feel sorry for her, though he knew that now was certainly not the time to start developing emotional attachments. Another girl, older than him this time, who didn't look much healthier than the other. However, her paramedic uniform and the kind look in her eyes told him that she was the sort of person who liked to help others, and wouldn't hurt a fly if she could help it. She wasn't going to be a problem. Lastly, there was a boy slightly shorter than himself who looked to be in his late teens. The boy looked average in every possible respect, making it hard for Marcus to get a good measure of him. He decided to treat the boy with suspicion for the time being.

Marcus wondered if he should say something. No, on second thought it was better not to. If they wanted to speak to him let them make the first move, then react. That was often the better way. He positioned himself in a far corner of the room, giving himself a view of the door without having to turn his back on anyone in the room. He wondered how many more were left to come.

Spencer eyed the newcomer carefully. Judging by her uniform, she appeared to be some sort of paramedic. Her uniform was covered in blood, but Spencer's own experience with death rendered him unresponsive to that kind of sights.

The woman looked around nervously and went straight to the point, without introducing herself:
"I'm guessing we're all here for the same reason then?"

No one said anything. Spencer hesitated, but decided to speak up. The woman was obviously shook up and of no threat to him.

"Depends. Why are you here?"

Marcus was beginning to feel more at ease. With the exception of the guy in the chair, everyone around looked at least as scared as he felt, perhaps more so. He was reminded a little of the other kids in the orphanage where he grew up. Behind all of them, even the bullies, was just a scared little kid without a home. Also, he noticed he was probably the most physically capable of the group. Not that he had any intention of being aggressive, but it would be important to note any advantages that he had over the others.

He decided to try and start a conversation with the man in the chair. 'Keep your friends close, and your enemies closer' was a saying he felt was particularly apt in this situation. If he was going to have to work alongside this person, for whatever it was they had all been brought here, then he wanted to get a good measure of him. He approached the man, made a slight inclination of his head towards the large, ugly bruise he had noticed behind the guy's ear and said "What happened to you?"

"A strange man in grey clothes offered me a chance to live again. Gave me a note and told me to go here." Mira said with a winded voice. She could see the worry in their eyes because of the unique situation that they've been placed in. She felt a little content in being with others that shared the same experience. She walked to the side in case anyone else would enter and stepped to the couch where she gently seated herself.

"My name is Mira by the way." She spoke up.

Adrian became more puzzled as each person entered the dingy apartment. At first he had believed that he was to be alone in this new minted life of his. As the others continued to trickle in, a dull befuddlement began to cast itself over his mind.

What on earth are they planning?

The professor could not be sure of anyone's intentions. He had surmised that each of these people had undergone the same process that had been performed on him earlier in the day. Everyone in this apartment had been given a second chance.

But why?

Why us?

Everything was beginning to seem so surreal. Adrian couldn't even be sure if everything that he had experienced in the last four hours was anything more than an elaborate dream. He stood up and walked toward the small kitchen tucked away in the corner and turned the tap. A cool stream of water rushed from the faucet.

He quickly splashed his face and turned to look upon the others loitering around the room. In this light it was apparent that his clothes were covered in mud and a dark brown stain had worked its way to the surface of his cap from below.

"Alright, so this is a real thing that's happening...but why? Why us? We must have been selected for a purpose."

His voice was bold. Even if he was confused, he didn't want to seem out of his element to these strangers.

"If they were willing to bring us all back from...beyond...then we must possess something they want. What did you all do in your life before?"

His eyes studied each of the individuals before him, trying to sort out their demeanor and get some sort of a preliminary read.

"The name's Adrian. I was a professor before I passed."

Ben watched as the new people walked in, analyzing.
First was the second man- about his own age, quite similar in build. Excellent, a couple contact lenses and he could use the man quite well.

Next was the woman- older, but quite striking, but what she was wearing made him grin inwardly. A paramedic, she could definitely be of some use

After the woman came the blond man- fairly unassuming and almost seemed to blend into the background. Ben almost grinned, he would make a great knife in the dark. Yes, he would be an excellent tool.

He turned towards the man who had spoken to him, the one who was his own age.

"I was punched in the head, knocked me out. When I hit the floor, the resulting concussion killed me."

He listened to the others conversation, they were starting to trade names. He quickly grabbed a name in his past, no need to let the others know his real name.

"Brendan. Chemistry student" He said, after Adrian had announced his name.

He turned away from Adrian and Mira towards the unassuming blond man, the one who had addressed him.

"What happened to you to make you a member of our little club?"

Spencer observed as Brendan began talking to the newest addition to their group. He felt like he should introduce himself to someone, but he felt like he couldn't trust the two of them. After ignoring him when he first arrived, Brendan didn't really leave him with a positive first impression, and the other man hasn't even introduced himself yet.

After some consideration, he turned towards Adrian and Mira.

"I'm Spencer."

He thought about the professor's theory. It raised a good question - why them? Why not someone else?

"Honestly, I have no idea what "they" want from me. I was a student. I worked at the library. I never asked to be brought back to life. If that's what this is."

Marcus was becoming more an more convinced not to trust Brendan. It was clear from looking at the way he observed the others in the room that he too was sizing them up, but for what? He seemed awfully relaxed for a person who had been killed just a few hours before. Was he really here for the same reasons as everyone else? Alternatively, the subtle arrogance in his demeanor could have just been a front, like Marcus himself, or maybe he was just like that as a person. Either way, Marcus decided the best thing would be to play along for the time being.

"Must have been quite a punch" he remarked, deliberately allowing the faintest hint of a smile to cross his face. "My name's Marcus. Some asshole ran me down with their car, didn't even stop."

Next he turned to Adrian, the man who had reminded him of his adoptive father. "What did you teach?" he asked him politely. He had decided to avoid answering any of Adrian's questions if possible. He didn't want any of them to know anything about him while he still knew so little about them.

Ben looked at Marcus, he wasn't trusting him. He didn't need a tool's trust, but it sure helped things along when favors started to get asked.

"Yeah, the man was huge, probably a biker or something."

Ben took a long look at the professor, he recognized him, he was a prof in one of the Earth and Atmospheric Science disciplines.

"Something in EAS, from what I can remember. I passed by his office a couple times last year. I think he's in geology, but I cannot be certain. What about you Marcus, what did you do for your living? I mean, we all had to make do somehow, didn't we?"

"As for why we're here, I'm guessing that we all died at about the same time. They brought us back to do stuff for us. It's probably quite illicit, we're all legally dead, they have a hold on our lives- they could probably put us 6 feet under as easily as bring us back up, and we all have some skillset that could be helpful. I don't trust 'em, but I damn well will work for 'em, that emptiness was horrifying."

Adrian glanced back and forth between Spencer and Brendan. They were both considerably younger than he was. Brenden was likely attending university but it was hard to gauge if Spencer had even graduated high school yet. Looking around the room he realized that he was a likely candidate for the eldest person in the apartment.

Brendan seemed a little bit curt as he introduced himself. Adrian attributed it to him dealing with the frustration of being thrown into a situation as foreign as this one. He decided it was best to give him some grace until they had a better grasp of what was going on.

"I never asked to be brought back to life. If that's what this is."

Adrian curiously surveyed Spencer as he spoke those words.

"But you're here, aren't you? If you had really wanted to stay gone you could have just waited until the four hours were up and gone back into the long sleep."

He slouched against the wall and adjusted his glasses. They were his spare pair so the frames didn't fit on his face as naturally as he would have liked.

"I have given up everything so I wouldn't have to stay in the darkness. I don't think it's too much to think that you've all done the same."

"I think he's in geology, but I cannot be certain."

When Brendan had finished, Adrian nodded at Marcus.

"Yeah, I was a professor of geology. Not sure why they would want me for that though."

Mira listened intently on what the others had to say about why they were her. The question still lingered in her brain but then something answered back. It wasn't a textbook answer or clear cut decision but it was David.

She still could feel the hole in her heart as if it was still fresh despite David's passing five years ago. If she was here then there might be a chance that David might be here as well which raised a predicament. As much as she would like to live again, why would she leave the place that David now exists in?

Mira veered away from thinking into it that hard but she made a mental note of asking the man her brother. She chimed back into what the others were talking about, something about purpose.

"As you could see, I was a Paramedic and other than that I really didn't do anything else. Since we're dead, I wonder if we can see other...dead people as well." Mira asked the group not sure if they would laugh at her statement.

Forget this I hadn't realised there was a discussion thread...

Brendan's premature attempts at trying to guess why they were all here reassured Marcus. If Brendan had really been involved in what brought them all here he would not be drawing so much attention to himself. He was likely just trying to make everyone think he was particularly clever, in which case he wasn't as much of a threat as Marcus first feared. However, it couldn't hurt to keep his guard up. He knew a manipulator when he saw one, and Marcus had no intention of being used.

"Well, I was a waiter, but what I am now is anyone's guess." he responded. "It was just a temporary thing anyway. I often move between small jobs, don't like to get tied down you see."

He was beginning to get a better picture of who these people were. Brendan was still cause for concern, but nothing he hadn't had to deal with before. Adrian and Mira were honest, sincere people (he just wished they'd stop asking questions). Spencer was just a kid, nothing to worry about. The only one who still alluded him was the younger of the two girls, who seemed to share his desire to blend into the background, as she had so far made herself very easy to ignore. Perhaps there was some common ground there...

"But you're here, aren't you? If you had really wanted to stay gone you could have just waited until the four hours were up and gone back into the long sleep."

The professor had a point.

"You're right. I'm here of my own volition. I guess the whole situation just brought out the negative in me."

Suddenly, Mira chimed in with an interesting question.

"Since we're dead, I wonder if we can see other...dead people as well."

He tried to answer her question the best he could.

"I haven't seen anyone else... yet. But whatever we are, I don't believe we're dead anymore. The sensation I felt when I died, it was nothing like this. This, this is life. But if the guy we're waiting for brought us back, he might be able to bring back someone else, too."

He wondered why she asked, but decided it's better not to ask her so soon.

The others were beginning to warm up. The deafening silence that had originally filled the room was slowly chipped away. The ice had been broken.

Adrian knew from his time at the university that the true work could only begin after the initial awkwardness had faded. He had always striven to make his classroom environment as welcoming and relaxing as possible if only to encourage his students to talk. Once the fear of speaking up had dissipated, suggestions would be made; some would be surprising even to him.

As he stood in this room, he realized that something similar was happening here. People were beginning to ask questions. They were beginning to search for the root of the matter.

"Since we're dead, I wonder if we can see other...dead people as well."

Spencer answered Mira before Adrian spoke, adding to what the teenager had said.

"I agree, I'm fairly certain that we are alive again. Plus, after what I went through, I'm fairly inclined to believe anything that's dead is going to experience that vast emptiness the way that we did. There is no such thing as a ghost that walks the ear..."

He briefly choked on his words before quickly regaining composure.

"I often move between small jobs, don't like to get tied down you see."

His head snapped to Marcus, jumping into new topic.

"So are you at all worried that now you may no longer be free? I mean, they gave us a pretty strict time limit to get down here. We are basically at the mercy of their whims right now. Well...at least until we have some sort of idea what's going on."

"So are you at all worried that now you may no longer be free? I mean, they gave us a pretty strict time limit to get down here. We are basically at the mercy of their whims right now. Well...at least until we have some sort of idea what's going on."

This was true. Marcus still couldn't shake the uncomfortable feeling that he was no longer in control. However, he'd be damned if he was going to show weakness in front of a bunch of people he'd only just met, especially Brendan.

"Well, right now I'm just glad to be alive, and whoever did this to us, I doubt we're in any immediate danger from them. After all, they wouldn't go to the effort of bringing us back to life just to kill us again would they?"

He only half believed this statement, but that didn't matter. It was clear that his usual strategy of trying not to be noticed wasn't going to work here. These people were too inquisitive, too friendly (he was again reminded of his adoptive father, who, in the early days of their interaction, had frequently annoyed Marcus in his incessant efforts to 'Get to know him'). So, the only other way to keep a certain amount of control over the situation was to do the exact opposite, step into the limelight and play the Alpha male.

"Besides," he said with a smile "it may sound crazy, but a part of me is looking forward to what comes next. I'd never liked that job much and this is shaping up to be a whole new adventure. Kinda gets the blood pumping, if you know what I mean?"

"It may sound crazy, but a part of me is looking forward to what comes next."

Adrian tilted his head slightly as Marcus spoke. He was unable to tell just how sincere the young man standing in front of him was being. Marcus spoke excitedly but the words seemed to clash with Adrian's own trepidation. He simply couldn't imagine anyone experiencing anything other than dread about the ominous questions that lurked in front of their faces. Still, Adrian couldn't help but smile a little at his excited words.

"Kinda gets the blood pumping, if you know what I mean?"

"Yes, I actually do. But my heart is probably not racing for the same reason that your is."

The professor looked out the window into the run down neighborhood below. He absent-mindedly adjusted the cap on his head into a more comfortable position.

"See, they brought us back from beyond the grave. A technology like that...well, let's just say it would have made the headlines. So how come none of us had ever heard of it before?"

His voice grew soft as he continued.

"The only reason I can think that they would have kept this a secret is because they're using this technology for reasons that are less than savory. Something smells very fish about this deal. I'm just hoping that we aren't suddenly in over our heads."

Marcus shrugged his shoulders at Adrian's response.

"True enough. But the way I see it, whatever 'this' is, we're in it now and there's nothing we can do about that. So letting fear cripple us is only going to make things worse."

The reasons for him saying this were threefold. Firstly, on some level as least, he did genuinely believe it. Second, he was still determined to put on a front; and third, he wanted to make the old man feel better, as, despite himself, he was starting to warm to him.

"We have two choices, adapt or die, and I don't plan on dying twice tonight. You said it yourself, if any of us had wanted to die, we wouldn't be here would we?"

Ben watched on as the others tried to figure out what was going on. He had dropped his two cents on it and left it to boil over. Some interesting theories popped around, particularly the paramedic's. Ben frowned thoughtfully, wondering who had died for her to ask that. His eyes flicked between Marcus, Spencer and Adrian as they started to dominate the conversation. Excellent, now he would be able to learn more from them without revealing any more of his past.

Ben looked at Marcus, he seemed more reassured about Ben now, good, he would still probably be watchful, Marcus seemed like the paranoid sort, but with reassurance, his guard would slowly be let down, and with that he could start to be used.

Ben leaned back and focused on the pale, emaciated girl. She had yet to speak, and Ben had almost forgotten that she was there. Who was she? What part did she play in all of this?

Brendan suddenly remembered a couple of lines from Faustus,

"O lente, lente, currite noctis equi. The stars move still, time runs, the clock will strike..." he murmured to himself, almost out of his own hearing. Grim, yet it seemed appropriate for the situation they were in.

Adrian nodded thoughtfully. He knew that Marcus was speaking the truth. They were going to live, no matter the cost. This was not something that would put his mind at ease though. In all honesty, it almost made him more uncomfortable.

"But that's the thing, isn't it? They could literally ask anything of us and we would all be slave to it simply out of our impulse to survive."

He continued to gaze wistfully out the window. The neighbors above yelled fanatically. Apparently their team was winning.

"Fear isn't the right word for it. I'm not sitting here paralyzed. No...I am simply preparing myself for the worst."

His body turned more dramatically than he had intended when he faced Marcus again.

"I can almost guarantee that we are going to do whatever they ask of us tonight. But we have to be willing to face the fact that it will likely be...less than tasteful. If we are able to look that in the eye and prepare for the worst, we won't be surprised by what they ask."

He rose his voice so the rest could hear him clearly.

"So what do you all think? Do you think you would be able to break the law if it allowed you to keep your hands on this new life?"

For the first time, Marcus was able to answer a question with complete and utter honesty.

"Yeah, I would." He took care not to sound confrontational, but simply matter of fact. "I never had anyone to watch my back when I was a kid, I had to look after myself. So that's how I am. I'll do whatever it takes to survive, even if I have to do something I'll hate myself for later, I'll suck it up and do it, because the only person you can ever count on to do the right thing by you, is you."

He held back from saying any more. He was on his guard again, afraid his fondness for Adrian had caused him to misstep and reveal to much about himself. On the other hand, he doubted anyone would want to have an in depth discussion with him about his childhood, and if they did, he could always lie.

"So what do you all think? Do you think you would be able to break the law if it allowed you to keep your hands on this new life?"

Mira's interest piqued from hearing Adrien's question. Ironically Mira did have brushes from the law in her earlier years that was caused by stupid decisions from all parties. All it did was give her a grounding or two and an extra scolding from her parents. Even as a paramedic there was strict parameters set so that there would be no disagreement in either the paramedics or the first responders be it Firemen or Law Enforcement.

"If I had to then I would but like all things, it's easier said than done. In fact, I already broke some laws when I was an EMT but nothing too major. Mostly running red lights or curbs but it's understandable." Mira crossed her legs then leaned back on the couch. She hoped that the man would come sooner but now it was hard not to talk to the group in her mind.

Enough time had passed. Frank had looked at his trusty watch strapped to his left wrist and prepared himself for his introduction. Frank hoped that the ones he had chosen would be better than the previous bunch. Finding proper enforcers was getting tough these days, with them either asking for Jesus or refusing to do their work.
Frank stopped in front of the apartment building his superiors gave him an apartment in. He looked up and tried to asses the situation. The bricks were about to fell out and smash on the head of an unsuspecting bystander. More work for me. Frank rummaged through his right pocket looking for something. He eyed his pack for a moment before he took a cigarette and returned it to his pocket. He placed it in his mouth and walked to the brick wall of the building. He raised his hand next to the cigarette and snapped his fingers. He slowly inhaled the smoke coming from the now lite cigarette.
A minute had passed and Frank threw the cigarette to the ground, smashing the bud with his right foot into the sidewalk. He walked through the entrance and the stairway, reaching the third floor. He stood near the front door for short while, just to hear if everyone is comfortably talking. Now is the time to introduce himself. He walked to the door and opened it.
"Welcome" he said with his deep and husky voice, spoiled by decades of smoking.
The skin of his face was smooth and shaved. His blue eyes pierced through any of his employees sitting in his apartment. He appeared to be in his early twenties, but his posture and tone did not fit the one of a young man.
"I'm your boss now"

Ben looked at the man, he couldn't get a read on him. Looked young, acted old, voice was as he remembered it when he died.

He's my boss? This should be... interesting

"So, what can we do you for bossman? Need someone offed?" Ben said sarcastically. He didn't care for the man, he made Ben uneasy- even though, or perhaps because, Ben owed the man his life.

Better find a way out of this contract quick, the less time I spend working for him the better.

Ben pulled a pen and a small notebook from his pockets, ready to write, and prepared himself to run for the door in the case something got ugly.

Adrian recoiled slightly at Brendan's flippant response. He was unsure how exactly to address this new man before them but he had a feeling that casual sarcasm was probably not the best greeting.

Their employer's presence alone sent a deep shudder down Adrian's spine. There was something very off about this man. He couldn't quite put his finger on what it was about him that was so unnerving.

Might have something to do with the fact he brought us back from the dead.

The strangeness of the situation was not lost on Adrian. Although he had already reconciled in his mind the fact that he was alive, he was still trouble by the how and the why.

He knew that this man would have the answers. He sat in silence, waiting for a reply to Brendan's question.

Spencer wasn't quite sure how to feel about his "new boss". There was nothing unusual about the man's appearance. He knew absolutely nothing about him, except that he's either incredibly powerful, or has access to some very advanced technology. It was without a doubt the same man that brought him back to life.

The rest of the group stood in silence, visibly unnerved by the man's presence, or maybe by Brendan's lack of respect towards him.

Spencer tried to figure out whether he should feel fear or gratitude towards the stranger, while waiting for him to answer Brendan's question.

Marcus supposed he should be grateful. The man had, after all, brought him back from an unpleasant and untimely death, and his first words implied that he had no intention of doing them any harm. However, his presence made Marcus' blood run hot, his teeth clench, and the hairs on the back of his neck stand on end. Without meaning to he found himself clenching his fists and standing poised ready for a fight. He was back where he started. Just now he had felt like there was a group dynamic being formed and that he had a place in it. He had felt like he was back in control, but this man's entrance had shattered the fragile hierarchy, and once again he felt like a puppet, who strings were about to be pulled this way and that by a force he had no sway over and couldn't escape from. He was well and truly backed into a corner, and he felt dangerous, with ever part of his body itching to let loose his rage on the man who stood before him. So no, he didn't suppose he was inclined to be grateful.

"So, what can we do you for bossman? Need someone offed?"

For the first time, Marcus felt that he and Brendan were on the same side. Yes, to hell with the pleasantries! Marcus thought, I want answers, and you'd better have them. You want me to kill someone? Just put a gun in my hand and tell me who...

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