The Assignment

Captain Von Delgo is a man who is lost. He is known as a turncoat, a hero and a mass-murderer. He has no beginning, and as far as he can see he has no end. Which makes him just about the most dangerous man alive. After the completion of his last job Captain is on his way out to receive his payment and rest up. His plans are delayed when a religious sect known as the Ravens pull him in with an offer. Captain faces a dilemma, he has never once failed in his assignments. But accepting this one and succeeding would change the way of the world, change everything that everyone has ever known, plunge it into chaos. But he has also never once turned down a job, and with his life quickly descending into a chaos of its own despair, he can see no reason why not to accept. After all, how hard can it be to kill an immortal?

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6. Chapter 6

On the first night out, alone and in the cold, unsure of what the morning would bring, 01 heard something crawling around the bottom of his tree. Its eyes glowed green with a faint hint of purple. It was covered in fur, but so mangy it could hardly be said that it was covered in fur. Its muzzle was elongated, and it opened it to show the night its pointed teeth, slavering mouth, and brown tongue. It put its head back and howled.

The sound that emitted from its throat was high enough to cause a strange chill to run down the man's spine and then back up again so it could start over from the beginning. 01 looked down, pushing away some of the branches and leaves to create a clearer view. The BioWoolf heard the sound and raised its head up higher to try to catch a look at its prey. It could see the man in the dark through its own night vision, but then the man was not all there. He was half-gone and fading fast even as the BioWoolf watched.

There was the sound of rustling leaves and a heavy thud behind the creature. It turned. In the bushes behind it was something else. It forgot about the strange creature in the tree, there was something else that was on the ground, which would be easier to get. It growled, baring its teeth, ready to attack and tear what was in the bushes in half.

It was torn apart instead. Strong hands gripped its head and with a yank, pulled it from the body leaving a gaping hole, which spilled blood. The invisible hands dropped the head and then one by one it pulled the flesh covering the BioWoolf's legs until bare white bone remained. Somehow, the BioWoold was still able to howl in pain, a delayed reaction as its vocal cords had not been disconnected when its head had been torn off.

There was a shimmer in the air, and 01 in the tree appeared next to the BioWoolf and picked it up. 01 looked at the decapitated body lying in pain on the ground. He did not know much about other creatures, so he was not sure if it was supposed to still be alive even though its head was in his hands.

Bending down 01 stuck the head back on. Instantly the BioWoolf became fully alive. Its eyes snapped opened, burning red with rage. Its jaws opened, head turned before 01 could step back, and clamped down on the man's arm. There was a snap and crunch as the steel jaws bit through the flesh and broke the bone. Blood spurted and spilled onto the ground, but 01 did not make a move or make a sound. He could feel everything, its razor sharp teeth, the feeling of losing blood, the shards of bone piercing his skin from inside, the feeling of numbness that washed over his body as his legs turned weak, the tear of the skin as the animal ripped his arm from his body. However, he did nothing.

The creature's eyes continued to gleam brightly, happy that it had its turn to take apart some of the living thing that had attacked it, even though it was puzzled. Unlike it, the thing he was biting into now was not crying out in pain, as it should have been.

01, using his free arm, reached out and touched the BioWoolf's chest. He felt the coarse skin, felt the mangy, rough hair, within he could feel the beat of the animal's heart. Nothing happened for a moment, and then suddenly the BioWoolf yelped as 01’s hand sunk into its chest. There was a growl, and then the man yanked his hand out. Inside his closed fist, he held the BioWoolf's heart.

The BioWoolf ceased moving and fell limp on the ground. Dead at last. 01 stood up and pulled his other arm out of the BioWoolf’s jaws. He stared in puzzlement at his hand. It was bleeding, and so was his stump. He brought his decapitated arm up to his stump, there was a spark, a sizzle, and the two ends joined as if they had never parted.

Hearing more howls in the distant forest, the man turned away from the body on the ground and headed in the opposite direction from the BioWoolves

After a while of walking, he reached a patch of forest that had been burned to the ground. Stumps of trees lay spread around the black grass, and smoke still lingered in the air. It was a different smell to the ones he had smelt before and he breathed it in deeply. His face contorted in pain as he began a series of hacks and coughs as he tried to clear his lungs from the foulness. Pain shot through his body, it felt like he was burning from the inside. His eyes blazed red in the night and he roared fire with his last burst of coughing. The fire flew from his mouth and burnt the sky purple.

He gazed in shock and astonishment at what he had done. He kept finding powers he never knew he had! It was magnificent, but he was frightened of them. He hadn’t been scared at the BioWoolf, but at the things he could do and did.

The sun was coming up and lighting the sky with its red rays. The purple fire in the sky had already started to fade. The man made his way along a burnt out path that was still slightly visible on the ground, to an old shack that had somehow survived the fire. The door was ajar so he pushed it all the way open and walked inside. He didn’t know why. It was just there and he had never seen it before. He hadn’t seen a lot of things, when he thought about it, but this was different. Unlike everything else he saw which was just there and did nothing for him, this called to him. He was still tired as the tree was uncomfortable for sleeping in, he was also alone, afraid of the things he could do and things he would do in the future, and starving with pain and hunger. It seemed like a good idea to enter.

The room he entered into was painted in black and red. Carpets, curtains, tables, seats, walls, were all in the two colours. The room was empty, an empty shack. It looked like that from the outside, but on the inside, it was like a room in a palace. More rooms led off through doors and the man hastily explored every inch of the place with excitement. He had never seen anything like it in his whole life that he knew of, amazement swept over him and began to drown him. This place a like a heaven.

Like a heaven? Did that mean there was more than one? How do you know if there is more than one? There might only be one heaven so how do you know? True there could be thousands of them, but to have thousands you would need thousands of to believe in a different god for each heaven. The world surely is not big enough to have more than one. So correct it and make it: the place was like heave. Why should I? He replied to his own thoughts. I do not know anything about this place and neither do you. Do not tell me what to do because we both know only what we have been told if we have been told anything.

It was his voice inside his head asking the questions, and it was his voice inside his head telling his voice off for asking questions. With a moan, he fell down onto one of the red seats. The cushions that sat on the seat rose around him, covering his body from view. They were soft, and squishy, and for a moment, they made him forget his argument with himself in his head. However, when he rose off the seat, the cushions went down and his thoughts returned.

Questions, questions, questions. He needed to find answers to them all; he could not keep asking himself things he knew not the answer to. Why should he know the answers? It was unfair that the questions should think that he would know the answers for them.

He moaned again. His head was hurting. Too many thoughts for things he did not know, he wanted to try but tears would not leave his eyes. His eyes were dry and red, face smudged with smoke that still floated in the air outside. His clothes were town from wandering through a forest at night and not being able to see his way, even though everything appeared as though it were day, because he did not know what would harm him when he went near it or what wouldn’t harm him. Blood was caked and dry on his clothes and arms from a wound that wasn’t even a wound anymore because it wasn’t there to be what it was.

He found a bathroom with a bath, and after examining every inch of it he worked out how it worked. He ran the water to a temperature that suited him and felt right. When the bath was overflowing, he turned off the water and hopped in. More water cascaded over the edge and flooded the red and black tiled floor. His clothes were also soaked instantly as soon as he sat in the water. He couldn’t wear wet clothes so he pulled them off and threw them to the floor.

In the tub, he found soap and a brush. After a couple of false goes, he found the right way to use them and used it to rub the dirt and blood from his body. Stuff from a plastic bottle labelled something he couldn’t understand go in his eyes and burned when he tried to squirt it onto his hand. Water and a piece of his clothes helped to wipe the pain from his eyes.

The water turned cold and he sat slowly freezing. A door with towels hanging from it caught his eyes and he heaved himself from the tub and walked into the room. Picking a large, cream towel, he rubbed his body dry. He soon got warm again with the rhythm.

The towel dropped onto the floor and he stood there naked while he looked about to find something else he needed to do to finish the cleaning process. He had never cleaned himself by himself before so everything was new to him, but he knew there was something that came after you dried yourself with a towel. What is it? A question wanting an answer, but he felt confident he knew the answer to it.

He gazed around the room again. Doors led out of it, and doors led in. He opened all of them and looked inside. Inside one, he found what he was searching for. There was a sliding door on one side of this room and behind the door were racks of clothes. Clothes for the top of your body and clothes for the bottom of your body. There were things that went on your head and things that went on your feet. He tried all sorts of different things to find what suited him best and what didn’t. On one of the walls was something that reflected back his image so he used it to help choose his clothes. He had never had such a large amount to choose from, his clothe before had always been picked for him from two different sets.

He finally decided on a pair of loose grey paints, a black shirt, and a long green coat. For shoes, he found an old pair of boots down the bottom of the closet and he tried them on. They fitted, so he kept them and walked back into the bathroom.

The floor was no longer covered in water; in fact, the whole room had been cleaned. 01 shrugged his shoulders, he did not care. On a table with a sink and mirror was some kind of knife. It was long and thin, its handle made of burnt wood. Walking over to the table, he picked it up and ran his finger along the blade. It sliced through the skin as if it was air, almost painless. Dropping the knife, he stuck his finger in his mouth and sucked. He could taste blood, his blood. Some of it dripped onto the floor; there was a grey tinge to it.

Ignoring the cut on his finger, which had already started to heal, he picked up the knife again and looked in the mirror. There was strange stuff on his face, he hadn’t noticed it before but now that he had he hated it. It was rough, and felt like the hair on his head. He thought of the knife, and how easily it had cut his finger, and an idea slowly formed. Raising the knife to his face, he dragged it down. Blood poured from the new wound on his face; it dripped down his chin in lines leaving red marks. His blood fell onto the bench and started to pool. He watched calmly at the mess on his face, he had applied too much pressure and rather than just slicing the hair, he had carved his face.

Spying a bowl of water on one side of the sink, he washed the knife and laid it down on the bench. On the other side of the sink sat another bowel filled with white foam. Dipping his fingers curiously into the foam, he pulled some out and sniffed it. It got on his nose and cheeks and made his sneeze. Looking at himself in the mirror again, he thought about the things spread out on the table and what they might be used for. After a while, he applied more foam to his face. When he was done he brought the knife back up to his face, and this time, lightly dragged it down his cheeks. It cleaned away a line of foam as well as all the hair on his face. He repeated the process repeatedly, occasionally cutting himself, until his face was clean and free of hair. When he was done, he washed the blood from the table, cleaned and dried the knife, washed his face and dried it on a towel, and went to re-explore the house.

Leaving the bathroom, he found a kitchen. The cupboards were full of tins and many other things to eat. So much food. Could he eat it? It was possible that he could, but he wasn’t sure how. Having been fed through tubes in his body he hadn’t needed to eat as such because it was already in his body before he knew it was time to eat. But you never knew until you tried.

He found a tall, rectangular box, which was frozen in the inside. One of the doors on it opened, on a shelf inside the door was a carton with some white stuff in it, it was drink and therefore he knew he would be able to digest it. He guzzled down almost half the bottle before the taste registered on his tastebuds. It was cool, and soothing on his throat, and a taste he couldn’t identify. After the drink, his throat didn’t feel as dry and raw as it had before. He drank some more.

Cracking open one of the tins in the cupboard he found it full of liquid with orange, half-moon, pieces inside. Pulling out one of the pieces, he stuck it in his mouth. It was sweet. He knew enough about food that some would be sweet and some would be sour. This was not sour, it was not foul, and he didn’t feel like throwing up, his stomach felt fine, therefore it was good. He ate some more, and finally finished the tin.

Placing the empty tin on the floor, he bent down and went through the cupboards. By the time he finally left the kitchen he was feeling full and content. So many flavours, he knew what went together and what did not. Though really he did not care what went together as he didn’t care. He had never tasted anything like the things he had tried in the kitchen, so he just ate it all and enjoyed it to the fullest that he was capable off.

A small door led outside of the house and he walked through it and walked around the house. It was only small; the word shack did suit it quite well. It was only five meters long, four meters wide, and three meters high. It had a total of four windows, and one front and back door. The roof reached up into a point with a chimney. It was normal. What would he know about normal? Everything. He is normal. On the other hand, what he considers normal is normal because he doesn’t know anything else, anyway. He headed back into the house, his mind thinking no further on the fact that the house could not possibly fit what was inside. Once inside he found a bedroom and lay down to sleep.

Waking from a peaceful slumber, one he only ever had when he was under sedation, the man woke up. He blinked his eyes and rolled over, yawning. From behind a curtain in his new bedroom, the sun was in the act of setting. It was pretty. Red fading into black and gold stars so far away that you would die before you even got close to realising that there were not enough lives for you to live to reach any of them.

Rising up he opened the curtain, walked back over to his bed, and lay down. Day two of being free was almost over. The best time of his life had been today. Better than yesterday. His thoughts drifted back over to the day previous and his heart fell apart as he remembered the sad things that had happened. But he remembered the happy things and his heart fixed itself back together. He remembered that no matter how many bad things would appear and ruin his new life, they would never be as bad as the things he had already suffered thought. Those things were so bad they had scared his body beyond repair. He tried to repair himself, but you can’t repair what was impossible to have been broken in the first place.

Anger swelled up inside his body, burning to break out and destroy the world for what it had done. No! Not the world, the man who lives in the world! Ruin his life and make him like me! The man’s thoughts thought and fought away inside his head, like an ocean roaring and pounding away against rocks and sand. Burning waves of water. No, not water, lava. Burning everything in its path because nothing could get out of the way.

Outside in the now dark of the departed sun, and the rising pale light of the moons spread out like butter on bread in the sky, a star stopped in its light across the sky and lasted a mere second before disappearing. If the man had seen it, he would have just stared and marvelled at it. He did not know that on some planets, like the ones only ever mentioned when you couldn’t think of anything else of interest to say, they wished upon stars. Fairy-tales. Wish upon a star and one day your prince will come. The man didn’t want a prince, but that wasn’t it. With upon a star. Wish. Feel or express a strong desire, or hope, for something that is not easily attainable. Want something that cannot, or probably will not, happen. He would have wished so hard had he known and seen it. So hard upon every star in the sky for his dream to come true. It would take away all the misery and pain that he felt and replace it with a spark of happiness so bright that to touch him you would burn.

However, for what he hates, it would mean the end of the world for some and the dawn of another for the rest. Therefore, in a way it was good that when you wish upon a star your dreams do not always come true. Even so, be careful what you wish for, you just might end up getting hurt.

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