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Barret Calhoun

0 · 29 views · located in Wing City

a character in “The Multiverse”, as played by NotAFlyingToy

Description

://DATABASE ACCESSED: C\USERS\CALHOUNB\TRANSMISSIONS\Job1.wav

://SEARCHING FOR SIGNAL...



...FOUND

TRACKING...
ADAPTING...
ENCRYPTING...

TRANSMISSION BEGINS:


Good evening, Mr. Calhoun. We’re glad you found us.

Your initiation into The Society was, as expected, flawless. The Pantheon extends it’s hand to you to receive the full fledged mantel and luxuries a full member of our little world enjoys. In order to prove your worth, however, the Pantheon calls upon you to prove your loyalty.

Beneath your door, there lies a brown envelope, a target’s name, and eight thousand dollars. Utilizing your... skillset, do what the Society commands.

And Mr. Calhoun? Make it messy.

TRANSMISSION ENDS

://DATABASE ACCESSED: C\USERS\CALHOUNB\TRANSMISSIONS\WhateverAssholes.wav


Mr. Calhoun.

It has come to our attention that you have begun to stray from Society rulings on certain cases. Consider this a first and official warning as to this type of behavior.

Your next job is beneath the door. Proceed with caution.

TRANSMISSION ENDS

://DATABASE ACCESSED: C\USERS\CALHOUNB\TRANSMISSIONS\HereWeGo.wav


Mr. Calhoun.

It is with our greatest displeasure that we must release you from our employ. You’ve failed to comply with our earlier warning, and as such, you may consider your membership to The Society officially terminated. We expect you to tender your resignation in the form of a removal from Wing City, effective immediately. You have 72 hours to comply.

It is a shame it has come to this. You leave us no choice.

:\\END OF TRANSMISSIONS

Personality

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So begins...

Barret Calhoun's Story

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There was something about the thriving bump of the city that drove a man to distraction; the hustle and bustle of men and women, passing each other, brushing each other, and hardly knowing each other. It was the sort of city that made him furious and hungry at the same time; disgust and excitement filled him with every pulsing step that his steel-toed boots made on the wet concrete.

The fine strands of blonde hair were pushed back from a perfect face, a cigarette level between the man's lips. His hands were deep in a canvas jacket's pockets, gait easy, slow, and nonchalant. With ice blue eyes, he took in the site of a good Samaritan giving a street rat a copper. He shook his head, slow and easy, and leaned against the wall to their left.

"Wouldn't waste my time, if I were you," he said, exhaling around the white cancer stick, smoke pouring from the corners of his mouth. "Kid's a no good 'un. He'll just as likely spring up and take off with the copper than help you out."

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The man raised an eyebrow, turning to the small street rat, nodding his head to the side. "Beat it."

Turning back towards the girl in the red hood, he folded his arms over his pecs, watching her for a moment. "You're afraid of giving people money? What the hell kind of phobia is that? Could you tell me the clinical name, so that next time, when the charities come calling, I'm able to hang up due to a medical condition? Look, little girl. Wing City is a big, bad, dangerous place for gullible people. I suggest that you pack it in, go home to your dad, light a fire or something. This City'll eat you alive."

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At the sudden tone shift, the man leaned back, putting his hands in front of himself with a mocking air. "Woaaaah, hey there. Easy, short stop. Let's not get annoyed. You might sneeze at me, or something."

He chuckled at her, puffing more smoke out from the corners of his mouth, the cigarette waning down to it's last nub. "Do you think I'm afraid of you? You're going to - what, cry at me?"

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The man raised both eyebrows at the girl, propping himself off of the wall and folding his arms. "He? Um... Does he talk to you when nobody's around? Am I speaking to.. to him like, right now?"

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The man had seen a lot on his time.

He had seen men and women panic and fall over themselves when he entered a room, aware of his presence in their home and the purpose behind it. He had seen bullet wounds and knifemarks, broken bones and broken lives, he'd seen men plummet off of rooftops to avoid him and children falling, crumpled and broken, over the freshly perforated forms of their parents, siblings, grandmothers and fathers.

But a huge wolf that came at the summons of a girl certainly was new.

Still, if the wolf was looking for a portrayal of fear, the man was evidently a master of his emotions. With a casual flick, the cigarette went twirling through the air and into the gutter, and drew a six-shot snub nosed Revolver from the back of his pants.

"Digging the Teen Wolf on Campus get-up," he said, thumbing back the hammer. "Let's see how realistic it is."

With a sudden jerk, he brought the gun to bear and squeezed the trigger.

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At the mention of huffing and puffing, the man suddenly stopped, lowering the gun.

"Ohhhh. I get it. It's like a fairy tale motif. Yeah, that's right. You're Red Riding Hood, and he's the big bad wolf. Yeah, that makes a lot of sense now."

He shook his head slowly, dropping into a crouch and facing off against the wolf. "Well, I have some tricks up my sleeve, too. I'm really, really good at - LOOK OVER THERE A WOUNDED DEER THAT LOOKS DELICIOUS!"

At the hopeful distraction, the man suddenly glowed with bright red light, and vanished into thin air.

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The man who stood at the corner of the busy, car-clogged street wasn't anything special. Tan leather jacket, duffel bag slung over his shoulder, aviators fixed to his nose. He looked like the scum of the rich and privileged, idly flipping through a pocket book and nodding to himself quietly as he stood with one foot in a puddle, the other on the curb. The rain came down on him in a massive sheet, clanging off of glass and metal of the cars streaming by as the man composed himself.

A manilla envelope with his name scrawled on it, covered in blood, trembling in his hands.

Banishing the image, Barret Calhoun lifted his palm towards the stream of oncoming traffic, and hailed himself a cab.

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When the cab pulled over to the side of the road, splashing Barret's designer jeans - which had the effect of heaping more moisture onto an already flooded garment - Barret paid it no heed, as if simple jeans weren't a concern to him. Shoving the pocketbook into a back pocket, he opened the door of the cab, tossing the duffel into the back seat before sliding onto the upholstery in all his wet glory, slamming the door shut behind him and cutting off the sound of the torrential downpour.

He flung moisture off of his hands, ran fingers through the wet, long strands of his brown and blonde hair. "82nd and Barkeley," he said to the woman driving, shifting to glare out of the window for a small amount of time.

After they were under way, he turned back to her. "Let me ask you something. How much do you rake in a night?"

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Barret waved the concern away. "No, not thinking about robbing you. If I was, I wouldn't have gotten into the backseat. Too much trouble. The back seat's a lot better for executions, anyway; the mark wouldn't see the bullet coming, no time to panic. If I was going to do that, I'd have sat behind you. But since I'm diagonal to you, you have more of a chance to duck out of the way. If I tried to rob you, you could just get out, and you'd have a head start."

Barret pulled out a mashed pack of Malboro's, tapping the pack with his palm and withdrawing a single cigarette. He fished a lighter from his inner jacket pocket, sparking it with a snick, and lighting the smoke.

"I'm not here to kill you, or rob you. I have three stops to make today; and I was wondering how much I could pay you to make it worth your while. You can answer the question or no."

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Barret nodded, arching his body to fish out the pocket book from his back pocket, and flip it open again. He didn't have any writing implements, but that didn't matter as he flipped through the rain-soaked pages, glancing up to see the sign that the cab driver gesticulated at with a casual, even flippant air.

"Here's the deal..." he leaned forward, squinting at her name, "...Eight. Three stops, and I need to make them all in under an hour. If you make all of them, I'll give you five thousand dollars as a generous donation, on top of the running meter. I'll throw in a bonus if you make the ride pleasant, and a bigger one if you don't mention I was in this car today."

He flipped over another page. "Sound good?"

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A small smirk played on his lips, his icy blue eyes meeting hers in the mirror for a long, poignant moment.

"You're my kind of driver, Eight."

He glanced back to his pocket book. "One-eighteen Crescent avenue, closest intersection is Crescent and Adelaide. Four-four-one Privett, closest intersection is Dunn and Privett. And I'll need you to pull into the back alley of all three stops; this'll be a less seen, less heard type of deal."

He paused for a moment. "Ever think about dying?"

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Barret's eeybrows rose. "Walter?" he asked, in amusement, his hands frozen in mid-flip. "That's an interesting name. I like it."

He tossed the book over onto the duffel bag, folding his arms over his broad chest, watching her through the mirror for a brief moment. "I constantly think about death," he said, easily, "but what if you died right now? What if a transport truck just plowed into us, murdered us, and left nothing but mangled goo in place of our bodies? Would you have any regrets?"

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Barret shrugged. "Movie critics talk about movies. Chefs talk about creating food. It's natural to discuss your occupation with like minded individuals. But, see, this is where we differ. I don't have any regrets."

He leaned back, gazing out the windows. "There's millions of people in this city. Hundreds of people that you see every day, faces, names, dates. Nobody knows each other. Nobody has any idea of their neighbours, everything automated just so that you can walk through an entire day of your life and not see a single, fucking, human being."

He snorted in derision, reaching into the bag and pulling out a small black handle. He twirled it, continuing to stare out the rain-streaked window, watching the buildings speed by. "I hate it. I can't wait to leave."

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Barret nodded at her, cocking his head. "I've all but admitted that I murder people for a living, and you're still here. Definitely my kind of driver."

He pocketed the handle, his eyes slowly deepening to a deep, blood red. He stepped from the car, and into the rain, slamming the door behind him. He climbed a rickety metal staircase, withdrew a key from his pocket, and unlocked a metal access door, slipping inside.

There was silence for a while, but through the pounding rain, shouts could be heard. Heated, angry female tones. A loud crack.

Then, the window shattered, shards of glass raining down on Eight's cab, littering the windshield, the hood, with sparkling evidence of destruction. Through the stacatto of rain, to anyone who was listening, a woman's sobs could be heard.

A flash of red suddenly burst out of the window, starting out light pink, then slowly deepening to a darkened, blood crimson.

Then, the door opened again, and Barret staggered down the steps, wrenched the door open, and threw himself back into the backseat.

"Let's get the fuck out of here," he said, his voice a near growl, eyes rimmed red.

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Barret tossed the black handle - now sporting a blade, though it was clear of any blood - back onto the duffel bag. "What makes me smile?"

Barret shrugged, his face still serious, eyes slowly returning to their natural blues. "You thinking that I'm a gay art dealer struck me. I can see the art dealer angle - this jacket's pretty trendy. But I'm curious where you got the gay, from."

He leaned back, trying to relax. "Elaborate."

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Barret nodded, glancing out the window again as he let her voice roll over him. He smiled, the act of it almost hurting him. "You can say it," he said, softly.

He paused a moment, then glanced at her. "That sounds a little bitter, Eight. All attractive men are most certainly not gay. Did you get turned away one too many times by men with sights on the tubesteak, rather than the donut?"

He lifted a shoulder. "I'm not gay, though. I just got out of a long term relationship with a woman, in fact."

He glanced back towards the building, rapidly disappearing. "Very, very recently."

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Barret's eyes remained glued to the small wicker fence, the rain-soaked sidewalk that led right to the white front door, blue shutters banging in the gale.

"This house," he said, quietly, before popping open the door. When he looked back at her, his eyes were once again blood red.

"Go around back, keep it idling." He said, briskly, before walking up the sidewalk, his stride hurried and nervous. The screen door opened before he got to it, a man stood on the front porch, his eyes an eery green colour. The two men embraced, and Barret was shown inside.

The door banged shut.

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Suddenly, a burst of green exploded from out of the glass windows, followed immediately by a burst of red light, the shattering of one of them. Abruptly, the back door slammed shut, and out came Barret, running as fast as he could, his hair slicked back, a blot of fresh blood on his coat. He opened the door to the cab and threw himself inside, slamming the back door.

He just breathed for a moment, controlled his racing pulse, stilled his heart, before opening his eyes - once again, a clear blue.

"Take a deep breath, Eight," he said, keeping himself calm as his hand lunged for something in his duffel bag, his eyes suddenly intense, form stiff and threatening. "Don't do anything that you'll regret. Explain to me what you just saw, please. Leave nothing out."

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Barret kept his voice low, his hand still in the bag. "We both knew that was always a possibility, Eight. But the odds of it arriving haven't changed any more. Let me tell you what you saw, Eight, and then you'll repeat it back to me. Because your meter is running; you can't claim that this cab was just dropping off random fares. Be smart, Eight. Be smart, and we'll both make it out of here alive."

He straightened in his seat. "What you saw was a man enter that house. You heard glass shattering and gunshots; two, a lot of space between them. What you witnessed was the murder-suicide of Alan Freidman and his wife, Darlene Freidman. That's how the papers will report it, and should you be questioned; that's what you saw."

He continued watching her. "Breathe, Eight. Breathe. You're close to the end, now. You're almost done. Don't become a hero, Eight. Just breathe and think hard about what you saw today."

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"I'm a Sea Hawk fan, myself," Barret said, off-handedly. "But I don't find I have a lot of time for football. I enjoy it whenever I can watch it, and it's a hell of a lot more entertaining than, say, Golf. But I'm more in it for the strategy, the glory, than anything else."

He lifted a shoulder, carelessly. "Tell me how you're feeling, Eight. Please be honest. Do you feel sick? Are you worried?"

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Barret nodded, gathering his duffel bag to his shoulder, watching her for a long moment.

Then, "Turn the engine off, get out of the car, and put your hands on the hood."

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Barret got out of the car, too, looping the strap around his neck and walking towards her, standing behind her. He nudged her feet apart with his sneakers, spreading her legs, and he quickly ran his hands down her sides, over her hips, down her thighs. He massaged the flesh there, worked his way back up until he was cupping her rear. He waited five seconds, watched all around the parking lot, and then released her.

"I do apologize for that. But I suspected you were packing heat." He nodded at her, turning towards the entrance to the motel. "You're to walk right in front of me. Look happy. Laugh at something I say to you. Keep walking until we're at the front desk. If you do this, Eight? I'll let you go."

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Barret's footsteps were shaky, loose as he walked behind her, his breath notably hitching in his throat, almost a sob. "No," he said, quietly, "no, that won't be necessary."

The doors opened, and a woman glanced up, surprised to see both Barret and the woman friend. "Hello, Mr. Carrol. Didn't know that you were visiting today. Especially after the other visitors."

Barret smiled warmly at the woman. "Other visitors?"

"Yes, sir. That friend of yours - Phyllis? She arrived almost four hours ago. And two other men that I didn't allow inside - they had no identification, which is odd - and they asked me to give you a message for them. I did as you asked, Mr. Carrol, and sent their pictures to that number."

Barret grinned; well and truly at the woman. "They aren't paying you enough, Kathy."

The woman waved him away. "Hush now. Just doing my job. Who's your friend?"

Barret hesitated, looking down at Eight. "For the moment, she's Jordyn."

Kathy's smile froze, her hands gripping the countertop as her eyes widened at Eight. "Oh. I - oh. I never thought that I'd actually..."

A silence descended upon the room, and with it, Kathy's smile aborted.

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Barret met Eight's gaze, holding it as he slowly put the gun away. Kathy didn't seem affected by the presence of the weapon - or was too stunned to comment. "Kathy, why don't you take the rest of the day off? Jordyn and I need to go in."

Kathy stiffly headed around the desk, disappearing into a back room as Barret turned to look at Eight.

"You're Jordyn," he said, quietly, "and you're my wife. We have a son named Jeremy. I had a brother named Barret, but he died four years ago. It'll all become clear when... well, you'll see."

He ran his hands through his hair, sighing out explosively. "I'll let you go aftewards. I just... I need to do this, okay?"

He gestured to an oak door, worn and labelled "Carrol", telling Eight to enter first.

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As soon as the door was pushed open, Eight was greeted with the hissing and pumping of machines in the dark, twin hospital beds barely discernible in the dimmed light. On one, a man - shrivelled and weak, barely taking up a quarter of the bed he rested in. Tubes snaked in and out of his arms, chest, throat, his chest expanding and compressing with each melodic hiss that filled the room.

On the bed beside him lay a woman - much more filled out, healthier, but still leathery in old age, her blue eyes bright, feverish in the din.

"Samuel?" She croaked, quietly. "Samuel, is that you?"

Barret stepped past Eight, gripping her arm tightly. "Hi, Mom. Hi, Dad. We're here for thanksgiving. Sorry we're late; Jeremy had to be dropped off at a Sitter's."

"Oh, Samuel," the woman breathed out, quietly. "You know I don't mind little Jeremy running about."

"I know, Ma," Barret said, gesturing to Eight to come into the woman's line of sight. "But he's excited for his play date."

"Oh, Jordyn. Honey, you look wonderful. You've changed your hair - every time I see you, you have new hair. Blue looks lovely with those eyes. Come give me a kiss, honey. I'll set the table."