Dieselmeat: Blueprint for Disappointment

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Tuesday - 6:45pm

Sharkshead Island

Location: Warehouse District

"Arachnos appreciates the information. Here, take it."

A large bulging envelope is passed non-chalantly to Chris. He places it quickly into his gym bag. "Please, I can't do this anymore. I have a family to think about."

The agent appeared to ignore his plea and soothingly replied, "Just keep your ears open and next week, your payment will be doubled." Chris turns and quickly leaves, his eyes dart around making sure no one is watching and turns to see the agent is gone.

Something seems to flutter out of the corner of his left eye. He turns again only to see the shadows wavering a bit due to the wind picking up, shaking the lamp post ever so slightly. A quiet sense of relief washes over him as he realizes his paranoia is only getting the best of him, and makes his way towards the ferry.

"I hate Sharkshead... what a sewer." he thought to himself.

During his ferry ride to St. Martial, Chris Marshall wonders if he did the right thing. Sure he needed the money. He was only a card dealer at the Giza Casino after all, but he had a wife and two kids to feed...and this money was good! Ever since a couple of the Rogue Isles' infamous had decided to visit his blackjack table on more than one occasion, management ordered him to make note of everything he might overhear and see during those times.

"Mindswipe and Nimrod... why me?” remembering the first time they approached his table. Up to this point he had only heard things, but those things were mostly from patrons that had had a few too many, but had the sense to steer clear until they had left. "Why must they always be near my table?" he thought. Those patrons mentioned to Chris as they placed bets, "Watch your step around those two! Bad news!" They proceeded to tell him stories about the two villains they had heard or seen on the news.

Seemed Nimrod was becoming more and more of a regular on Friday nights, with this 'Friday Night Fight Night' going on in the arenas. Neither ever spoke directly to him other than to place the odd bet during down time between bouts and to order drinks. Nimrod appeared to enjoy harassing onlookers and waitresses. He almost seemed to fancy himself as some sort of rock star, expecting the best treatment money could buy though he hardly ever paid. Chris would never question him though. He knew better.

Every once in a while, Mindswipe would tip Chris, but he seemed annoyed whenever he wasn't winning very much. Mindswipe would often glare or curse at Chris when he lost at blackjack. A glint in Mindswipe's eye stirred Chris to say on one occasion, "I think there is something wrong with these cards. I will get new ones right away sir!", and Chris promptly returned most of Mindswipe's losses at the whispered suggestion of his floor manager.

Almost all information about The Rogues Gallery he had received, came from listening to Marcone family members and other random, villainous characters talking about them, whenever they were gathered at his table. Only one source of any information he had received was from someone he had never seen before. He never gave his name, and seemed to be one of the observers of the 'Fight Nights'. In all, he was a rather nondescript, calm, well dressed individual who never appeared to draw any attention to himself.

"Does management or Arachnos know about this guy, and why is he passing information to me?" wondered Chris. Best not to ask or find out he thought to himself, but just pass on the info and get paid. Chris dared not tell the Arachnos agent about this source, as the stranger seemed a bit impatient during betting and was rather abusive verbally when he didn't win. He had noticed the bloodstains on this person's shoes and knew to not say anything at all, instead he would deal and just listen.

From what this stranger had to say, it seemed he sure knew a lot. Chris listened as it was revealed that The Rogues Gallery apparently secretly owned a few of the casinos in St. Martial and use them a cover for counterfeiting and money laundering'.

Apparently Arachnos and the Marcone family are less than happy about this and are looking for a way to put an end to it. The stranger also went on to drop a few names, some not even associated with the Rogues Gallery: "Mr. Rot, Mr. Mud, Nimrod, Night Blink, Unchainer, The Shape, Alpha Decay, Naughty Nadia, The Back-Alley Brawler; aka Father Carmichael', Rakescar, and many others. All these names meant to Chris was nothing more than more money in his pockets.

"I've only read about these people or heard reports on the news about them, what do I have to worry about?" he thought. He cashed out for the evening when his shift ended, and prepared for his long trip home.

As the ferry docked in St. Martial he made his way back to "The Hard Way", the neighborhood in which his family lived. "Home at last. I hope the kids are asleep, they should be at this hour." Looking up at his building, Chris noticed his living room window was open. "Jill must have burned dinner again, great." He made his way up the stairs in the two-story walk-up. Chris placed his key into the door, opened it and entered. Closing the door behind him, he placed his gym bag down on the floor, and locked the door behind him. As he entered the kitchen, he stopped in his tracks stunned and dropped to his knees. With eyes wild with fright and shock, the only thing he managed to utter was "Wha......what?!?!"

Before him over the kitchen table, hanging from what appeared to be lamp cords strung around their necks, were the bodies of his two daughters. Spinning on the kitchen ceiling fan like some macabre baby mobile, their limbs torn from their sockets, the table and walls splattered with blood. On the couch in the adjacent living room, sat a hulking figure next to which he believed was his wife.

"Hello Mr. Marshall. We need to have a chat." said a low, gruff, and growling voice.

"Why?!?! Did you do this?!?" Tears begin filling Chris' eyes. Tunnel vision began to cloud his decision making.

The huge figure rose as did his his wife simultaneously, and came into the light of the kitchen. "You shoulda' minded your own business Chris!! Was it really worth the money?!?" the voice said mockingly in a horrible attempt to imitate a women's voice.

To Chris's horror, the large figure was holding his wife's corpse by the back of the neck, motioning her head and arm as if she were a ventriloquist's dummy. Then just as quickly, it tossed her aside like a rag doll onto the couch. A thud was heard as her body slid off onto the floor.

Shaking his head in disbelief with tears streaming down his face, while looking at the figure as it approached him, his heart felt as if it was going to leap from his chest. A sense of panic overcame him, and he found himself unable to move. Chris managed to squawk some words.

"Why are you doing this?!!? Who are you?!?"

Suddenly the figure forcibly grabbed Chris by his face, as a mother would a child who had just talked back insubordinately, and lifted him off the floor. The smell of soot and sulfur filled the air giving him a horrible taste in his mouth. Instinctively, he grabbed the huge wrist of his attacker, flailing in pain from the strength of the grip. His feet fluttered spastically for something solid to stand on, while his jaw felt like it might snap under the pressure.

"You damn well better know what my name is Chris! My name is Dieselmeat, and we are going to get to know each other very, very well over the next couple of hours!!! Some of my associates are very displeased to learn about you, as I am sure you going to be of me!"

Carrying Chris down the hall still swinging in his grip, Dieselmeat opened the bedroom door. The room appeared to have been torn apart, with even more splattered blood stained on the adjacent bathroom door, doorknob, and walls. Something laying on the floor near the bedroom door Chris spotted out of the corner of his eye. It was apparent this was the lower half of the family cat.

"Jill... girls...." Chris whimpered as tears began to fill his eyes again.

At that moment, Dieselmeat suddenly slammed him to the hardwood floor, rattling his skull and teeth, all the while continuing to maintain his grip on Chris's face. Picking up a large piece of broken glass, Dieselmeat began to trace around Chris's left eye. "I would like to know exactly what you said to that Arachnos agent back in Sharkshead Island. Starting from the beginning, up until to when you two just last met! Every time you pause longer than four seconds in telling me, I will pry one of your teeth out with this." He playfully waves the piece of glass within inches of Chris's face.

"Begin!" Dieselmeat hissed. Chris's eyes widened in horror.

To be continued...

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