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Author Topic: Hunter, Hunted, and Mystery  (Read 1000 times)

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Offline OberTitanTopic starter

Hunter, Hunted, and Mystery
« on: August 24, 2016, 02:50:45 PM »
One of the prompts I received in my introduction thread (For the record, I'm still unapproved at the time of this post) was the following.
What happened to all of them?

"Last year in the U.S. alone more than nine hundred thousand people were reported missing and not found... That's out of three hundred million, total population.  That breaks down to about one person in three hundred and twenty-five vanishing.  Every year... maybe it's a coincidence, but it's almost the same loss ratio experienced by herd animals on the African savannah to large predators."  - Jim Butcher, Dead Beat

Come up with an explanation for these disappearances.  Is it some kind of otherworldly predator?  A secret clan of mutant ninjas?  Aliens?  Something else?

Sometimes, when it had been a couple of days since the last job and he'd once again lost the struggle against the bottle, Mark wondered if he really was one of the good guys. Those were the bad times, when all the faces came back to ask him why. Once or twice he'd even called his handler, looking for some sort of promise or reassurance that he wasn't a bad man. The asshole was notoriously unsympathetic and usually just told Mark to suck it up. But there was one time, one moment when the handler said something that Mark could cling to like a desperate man who'd take anything if it meant survival.

Just because it's not right doesn't mean it isn't necessary.

It wasn't much, but on those bad days, it was often enough. It had been enough to get him moving today, when the call came in less than twenty-four hours after the last one. They'd found another. Mark was closest. That made it his problem.

Sometimes he wondered how they found these people, who they were that would give them the ability to locate anyone in the country at a moment's notice. Maybe the world? His handler, another mystery, had once mentioned there were thousands of people like Mark, but maybe there were a lot more. And the woman he followed certainly didn't have any signs of being out of the ordinary.

She seemed like any other housewife. Husband went off to work. She took the kids to school. Went to the grocery. Went to yoga. Went to the library. Went home. Took care of kids and husband until the next day. Mark watched her for two days and didn't see anything that they might have noticed. But they'd never been wrong yet.

Sometimes he wondered why the police never came for him. Mark was a big guy and he drove a pretty old van; these days, that meant literally everyone was suspicious of everything he did. But no one ever stopped him or came for him, not even when he messed up and somebody screamed or was seen on a security camera. But it meant he didn't need to try and come up with elaborate plans, or spend days preparing. Two days after he got the call Mark just pulled his van up to her front door when he knew she was alone, and knocked. The moment she answered he hit her with the syringe. That was another question. They always gave it to him, and it seemed a little different each time, but it always knocked them out.

Sometimes he wondered why they insisted the bodies be as intact as possible. Other people might have had problems, but Mark had big hands and it was never very difficult to wrap those hands around someone's throat and squeeze.

Sometimes he wondered why he always took the time to pull off their clothes and see for himself. They'd never been wrong before, nor were they wrong this time. He found it on the small of the woman's back, a pair of large bandages that covered up the patch of black, sharp scales. The patch was in the shape of a perfect square, turned on its corner to form a diamond shape on her body. The skin around it was dry and peeled, human skin flaking away to reveal something entirely inhuman.

Sometimes he wondered who and what these things were. They never told him why, just where. The only clue he had was the photos they'd shown him when he'd gotten the job, of what happened if no one stopped them. The hulking, armored brutes covered in spines that became of the men. The quick, venomous creatures that the women became.

He didn't like to think about what happened to the children.

Sometimes he wondered what these people thought. The woman lying still in the back of his van as he drove away hadn't seemed worried, or concerned, or afraid of what was happening to her. She hadn't been paranoid about someone coming for her. Even when the syringe failed or he couldn't get it all in, he'd never seen them do anything but run or hide or plead for mercy. Did they know what they were? Did the people at the drop-off point know what they were? They'd never told Mark.

Sometimes he wondered why, for all the stories they'd told him about the horrible deeds these things did and the threat they posed and the massacres they'd committed, he'd never heard about any of it until they hired him.

Sometimes he wondered why, no matter how long it was between his getting the call and completing the kill, that the target's behavior never changed or anyone in their family ever noticed anything wrong.

Sometimes he wondered what would happen if he didn't take out a target right away and just kept watching them.

Sometimes he wondered if the photos they showed him were real.

Sometimes he wondered if he really was one of the good guys.

Those were usually the times when the bottle came out.

Who is Mark? Who is he working for? What are these creatures he hunts? Why are they here? Where did they come from?

I dunno. But I kind of want to find out. Anyone interested in exploring this with me?

Offline tangela

Re: Hunter, Hunted, and Mystery
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2016, 12:46:17 AM »
I think it could be fun. The power dynamics between the man, his handler/the organization they work for, and the ones hunted could be fun. I'm getting a very Dollhouse vibe from it.

Offline OberTitanTopic starter

Re: Hunter, Hunted, and Mystery
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2016, 12:50:44 PM »
That was the basic idea, yeah. Right now it admittedly needs quite a bit of fleshing out before it can be a proper play, but it feels like it could be really interesting with the proper setup. It especially needs to be worked out, at least in broad strokes, what the hunted are, how much they're aware of it, and whether they're actually as monstrous as the organization paints them.

Offline devish

Re: Hunter, Hunted, and Mystery
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2016, 07:15:45 PM »
Ooh, I like the idea.  I just finished Stranger Things and this reminds me of the show a little bit and Dollhouse as well.  Count me in, if you're still accepting people.