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Matthew West

"Whatever happens, Jaz. Remember to duck."

0 · 704 views · located in Terra

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

Description

Rise Against wrote:It kills me not to know this
But I've all but just forgotten,
What the colour of her eyes were,
And her scars, and how she got them.

History

>/loginuid: westmatt

[[[ID ACCEPTED. COMMAND:]]]

>/start endynecor.exe

[[FETCHING SERVER INFO]]

>/serverinfo 132.121.67.8

[[PATCH IN?]]

>/y

[[[PATCHING endynecor.exe AT 132.121.67.8]]]


>Loading files...
...
..
.
>Files loaded. Loading images....
..
..
.... [[[ERROR- IMAGE CORRUPT]]] Reconnecting...
>...
>..
>Reconstruction failure. Attempt re-reconstruction? Y/N
>/n

>Image Upload cancelled.

[[...Hacking...]]


[[...Decoding...]]


[[...Validating...]]


Username: [[telsayj]]
Password: [[*******]]

>Logging in...

=-=-=--=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

>Welcome, Dr. Telsay! What can we assist you with?
1) Current Projects
2) Endyne Corp Relations
3) Last Page Visited
4) Corporate Ladder

>/3

>Loading Subject Smite... Please wait...
>Loading files 142/142 at 123 kb/s.
>....Done

[DETECTION ALERT: ISOLATING SOURCE]

>/init actscan

[[[DETECTION NEUTRALIZED. ACTIVE SCAN INITIATED]]]


>Project Name: Matthew West, ALIAS: Smite

Specialization: Long Distance Reconnaissance/ Retrieval team, SSGT.

Credentials: The BK400 Project, The Defiance project, squaredid23 squaredid28, and ***CLASSIFIED*** project.

Successful Missions: 42/42

Retrievals: (89) Retrieved, (1) pending

Biography: Special Agent Smite was born on January 26th, in the year XXXX. Currently employed at Endyne Corp as field agent specializing in retrieval of runaway projects, currently tracking project 0000136. Was a sniper in US Army for three years, honourable discharge. Residence unknown. Parentage unknown. Public Identity: Matthew James West, accountant, British Columbia.

Appearance: !ERROR, IMAGE FILES CORRUPT. PRESS C TO CONTINUE

>/c


>Whereabouts: Currently unknown; out of country. Smite has special ops training in every climate, including tundra/arctic camoflauge training. Subject is considered dangerous.

>!WARNING: The following files are CLASSIFIED to all subjects below seclevel 8.2B. Enter passcode to continue.

>/init passcd.exe/burner

[[DESCRAMBLING PASSCODE...]]
.
.
[[[...DONE. PASSCODE 18023571996]]]

>/ 18023571996

>Passcode accepted. Seclevel clearance ALPHA Granted.

> Warrant: Currently a Warrant out for Smite’s arrest into Endyne for breaking regulations regarding hunting and capture for experiment 0000136, under law ZETA-GAMMA, stating capture within FIVE (5) months. User being tracked with total of 6 RECON teams, all under orders; shoot – kill. Commanding officer one Bridges, Julius A. Commander, RECON State alpha. Bridges personal tie to Subject Smite, better results expected.

> Equipment: Smite utilizes Sniper Rifle, X-32 Caliber, Titanium Alloy. Sidearm is Kaden 5.26 mm, Melee is dual edged combat knife. Secondary weapon MP5 Elongated SMG. Total rounds of ammo: 180 (12 X-32, 18 5.26, 150 SMG Ammo)

> Uniform: Riot Helmet, marked with a gold blotch on the crown, kevlar vest, combat boots; black. Camouflaged standard thermal uniform.

> Personality: WARNING: VOLATILE NATURE UNDETECTED. Fit for combat is questionable.

>!Continue to Analysis?

>/c


>Analysis: Dr. James Webber, PhD.
Subject Smite seems too calm for normal existence inside Retrieval squad. Instead is laid back, sarcastic, humorous. Has been known to joke around and feel empathetic towards his targets for retrieval, subject’s behaviour is unerratic and professional. Injections into subject seem to be ineffective to increase anger/rage, suggest stronger dose.

>Subject Smite is one of 16 Retrieval officers. 5 MIA, 11 KIA.

>/run shutdown.exe

[[[SHUTDOWN COMMENCING]]]

[[WIPING PRESENCE]]

[[[WARNING! DETECTION IMINENT! SHUTDOWN HALTED. ISOLATING...]]]

>Thank you for choosing Endyne, Dr. Telsay. Or, should we say, Mr. West.

!DO NOT HACK US AGAIN.!

[[CONNECTION SEVERED. DAMAGE: SEVERE. POWER SAVING MODE ACTIVATED]]

----------LOG TERMINATED--------

So begins...

Matthew West's Story

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Matt walked around the edge of the bar, nodding to the police officers as he passed. "Good day, officers." He muttered, limping outside.

It was going to be a long walk home.

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"Old Haunting grounds," Matt murmured, opening the bar door for the beautiful woman on his arm. "You know, I've never really been overly fond of this place."

His big, calloused palm was clasped snugly in the equally calloused palm of the aforementioned woman, their fingers linked snugly. Amazingly, he could still remember the time when touching Jaz so casually was the equivalent to one of the Seven Deadly Sins. Now, it was most definitely expected.

"But I suppose it has it's merits," he murmured.

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Matt swallowed this slightly unusual request in stride, as he was wont to do. "Absolutely." He said, grinning at her.

The booth he chose was scored with a cigarette burn, as well as a small carving of a heart; the initials N+J scratched into the middle of it, underlined three times. His thumb fell on it as he slid into the booth, reluctantly relinquishing his hold on her hand. He rubbed the thumb over the engraving, slowly; over and over, the roughness of the wood registering on his rough skin. He quickly tapped in an order; himself, a finger of dark rum.

"What do you want? A light?" He asked, over the screen.

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"Hmmm?" Matt murmured, as Jaz says his name in that faltering way. He's distracted as the drinks come, offering up a smile toward the man as he places the orders in front of them.

"You and your tea," Matt said, chuckling. "Why did it take you this long to discover that you liked it?" His thumb continued tracing the heart, the N+J. He wondered what the two letters meant. Nick and Josephine? Were they still together? Was she impressed by his offering of their initials on a wooden grain table?

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Matt stared as a nuclear explosion ripped through his temples, painting the inside of his skull with fragmented images.

Standing outside of a white, veranda, wrap around porch, watching closely as a little boy played in the driveway. He had on a robe, belted tightly, a cup of coffee steaming in his grip as the child pushed a tricycle up the gentle slope of the drive, grinning and babbling. He then turned the bike around, sat himself upon it in large, shaky steps, utilizing his bet waist and wobbly legs to seat himself firmly on the tricycle, his feet planted, keeping the momentum at a standstill. Suddenly, the feet lifted, and the slow roll of the tricycle began, making Matt chuckle softly to himself as the child shrieked, bubbly laughter coming from his mouth as he rolled onto the grass, bumping and chattering, before coming to a stop. A slender hand snaked around Matt's waist, then, the gentle pressure of a chin on his shoulder announced her presence. They didn't say a word; just watched as a green eyed, red haired boy whirled to face them, grinning a toothy grin.

"Hi, Daddy!"


Matt's wide eyed stare broke; he blinked.

And in it's place, a slow, creeping smile started, tilting first the corners, then the upper lip of his mouth.

"Pregnant?" He said, grinning like a loon.

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The goofy grin on his face stilled into a more serious expression, though he still radiated joy. He leaned backwards, fwumping against the padded back of the booth with clear satisfaction. "I'm going to be a dad." He said, simply.

He looked at her, the smile waning a bit as he took in her ashen expression, the utter... fear on her face. He raised an eyebrow, watching her. "I know it's scary, Jaz." He said, slowly. "But this... I've dreamed about you being a mom for a long, long time. And we have that chance now."

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Matt was up and out of his side of the booth, and with a rustle of fabric against pleather, he was suddenly beside her, his arms circling her entire form and pulling her against his side. He wrapped her in him, draping over her, pressing his lips to the back of her neck as he squeezed, gently.

"Could?" He whispered near her. "If you had run on things that could've happened, avoided disasters based on the fact that you could have a bad experience, neither of us would be here today, Jaz."

He stroked her hair, letting one hand run through the curls, weaving them. His stroking was a mixture of comfort and assurance, of truth and ease.

"Talk to me."

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Matt continued stroking her hair, laying his head on her shoulder, listening to her breathe. Her concerns were valid; were completely rational. What if this was a sick, twisted game; another dig at her in order to make her suffer more? Still, he had absolute, unshakeable faith in the fact that it wasn't any corporation's doing; it was his, and hers - theirs. He hated that these people had taken it from her.

"How did we know that Endyne was going to fall? How did we know that you would stop flipping into psychotic mode? How did we know that I would survive the bullet wound? How did, what if, could," he said, shaking her slightly, "are not in our vocabulary. They never have been, Jaz. You give yourself way too little credit. You've done so much that you 'weren't capable' of.

"But me... you. Us? We're here. We're together, and we've produced this life. I'd have to say that that is no easy feat. What's a little pregnancy?" He said, injecting a bit of humour.

In hindsight, it was probably wildly innapropriate.

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His hand clapped down, hard, on her shoulder, and he spun her back towards him, keeping her right in front of him, his eyes suddenly hard. He was contrite; acknowledging the fact that the joke was off-colour, knowing that it had probably belittled her feelings.

"No." He said, flatly. "You don't storm off when you're upset with me, Jaz. You can yell at me, hit me, do whatever you need to. But you don't walk out pissed. We talk about it."

He paused. "I'm sorry. I didn't mean to belittle your feelings, and I know that it was off colour, and wrong of me to joke about. But, Jaz, you have to see; you don't know anything about this. You're speaking in certainties, but this hasn't happened before. This hasn't happened to either of us. So what makes you so sure?"

He stepped closer. "I'm scared, too. Scared for you, scared for our child, scared for me. But you just don't know. It's impossible to know. How can we make that call? How can you make that call, without being sure?"

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Matt's eyes went wider, and the gravity of the situation - the gravity of her emotions - hit him in the gut, like a sack of hammers. She did mean it. She really, really did mean it. An irrational, small part of him hated himself a little. It was his kid that had caused her to feel this way, after all. His flesh and blood that currently grew inside her, that would have a personality, a name, an innocence.

And she wanted it gone.

Fan-fucking-tastic.

He folded his arms, and his tone was no longer soothing, no longer angry. Just... dead. "Okay." He said, simply. "On one condition."

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"We get it looked at, first. To be as sure as we can be." Matt said, simply. "An ultrasound. I can get us a couple of fake IDs, we can go to the Wing City Hospital, be the whole couple in love." He waved a hand. "The whole nine yards."

He glanced at her belly, once, and felt his throat close a little, that nagging, fish-hook-in-throat sensation that he was holding emotions in check. The mask of early Matt and Jaz. He had hated that terminology.

He idly wondered if N+J ever had to deal with this.

"I know that I don't... have much right to tell you what to do." He said, the voice still dead. "It is your body. But if you could do this for me; just to make sure, I'd appreciate it."

Like a fucking business transaction.

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"Okay." He finished, rubbing the back of his neck. Times like these, in the past, he'd hold her, not being able to bear distance after any kind of fight. But now... he viewed her differently. Someone had come and taken his glasses, exchanged them for a darker colour, and he was having a damned hard time focusing through them. He lowered the hand that rubbed at his skin, and shoved both hands deep into his pockets.

"I'm... I'm going to go for a walk." He said, awkwardly, flapping an arm at the door. He studied her averted gaze and folded arms, recognizing the Lock-Down Mode Initiated warning lights that were flaring above her head.

He turned abruptly, pulling a small switch blade from his pocket and flipping it open, moving towards the table. He added a single score mark into it before turning back towards the love of his life, the woman who looked so... broken now.

He folded the knife, nodded at her.

"See you at the apartment."

His couch. Her coffee table. The apartment.

As he stepped out of the bar, the light caught on the small engraving; two initials in a carved heart, standing proud at the table.

M+J

The setting changes from Gambit's Bar to Wing City Hospital

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He never did go back to the apartment.

Two days later, he had accessed his answering machine, noting her dead, slightly bitter voice dictating place, date, and time of the appointment; the appointment that was the sole thing that keeping their child alive. His feet dragged on the scummy sidewalk, black specks of wadded, aged gum combining with soot and dirt, all swirled together in a cocktail of filth and disgust. Interesting, and also sad, that the thing to compare his own feelings to right now was one and the same that was being tread on, day and night, by all sorts of unseemly folk.

He had managed to scarf down a hot dog on his way over; not tasting anything, not feeling any better. The meat seemed to taste of ash in his mouth; the flavour crumbling and crinkling beneath his jaws. He saw her, sitting there, and the usual instinct to run over to her and hug her was beaten back by his own weariness.

"Hey," he said, his voice cracking. The first thing he'd said in two days.

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He let the silence hang for a while before reaching a hand out in front of him, leaning against the front of the elevator, curving his body to look at her face. No grin was on his features, no look of disappointment. Just a... longing, an eagerness to bridge the gap between them. When she didn't look up, he sighed, leaning back upright, pressing himself in the corner of the elevator.

"Whatever happens, Jaz." He mouthed, his face sombre. "Remember to duck."

The two of them were huddled in the small cubicle, his left shoulder useless because of a stray bullet, lodged in his upper ribs. Jaz was holding his pistol; he was holding a grenade, both weapons primed and ready as gunfire shredded the office around them. He glanced over at her dirty, unwashed face, taking in her blue eyes, blood running from his ear down to his neck, blending with his collar.

"Whatever happens, Jaz." He said, grinning. "Remember to duck."

The grenade pin was pulled. The toss was over the back of the cubicle.


History. Ancient history. God, how are they going to get it all back?

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When she said the words, he opened his mouth to repeat it when the door banged open. He examined the faces of the couple walking out; the man tall, blonde, his hand resting over his partner's stomach while he giggled, his eyes red-rimmed from the happy fluids that had been streaming down his face. His partner had auburn hair - not quite the firey red of Jaz's, but still sparkling in the sunlight, accenting her brown eyes. She was smiling softly, contently, over at her man, both of her hands pressing his further against her stomach.

It was a fist to the gut, seeing these two; the similarities knocking the wind from his lungs. It's as if we're the weird, fun-house mirror of them, he thought idly. We're the couple that gets to be grim and silent, except for shooting a whispered profession of love and retreating before it can be said back.

She was giggling into his shoulder, curled on him on the chair - his chair - while he read poetry, in a soft, English accent. He didn't recall how they had gotten there, but he knew it had been something of a challenge in her eyes, the way that she had accused him of never having to go undercover as a foreigner. He had immediately launched into an awful Sean Connery, which had resulted in her shoving him, him taking her with him, and suddenly they were kissing softly on the chair. Just kissing.

When they pulled apart, her breath against his ear. "You know, I love you," she had purred.


Footsteps carried him over to where she sat, and he sat beside her, arm pressed against the arm rest. There was a minute pause before he reached down, lacing his fingers through hers, and squeezed.

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In the moments where the question hung in the air between them, his breath had stopped. He was watching her intently, but when the word "yes" crossed her lips, he let his breath out in a harsh exhale, standing beside her. He let his hand trail up her arm slightly, drawing strength from the solidity of her arm, the warmth of her clothing.

"After you," he murmured, allowing her to go in first.

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Matt's eyes, glued to the monitor throughout the entire operation, watched the fuzzy, grainy image spark to life from inside the monitor, bringing forth an image. It was a growing life; borne without care and without worry, moving in slight twitches. He stared in silence, his wonder spilling over, watching the being that was both him and her, that was a collective of all of their pain and sorrow, a gathering of love and triumph and heartbreak, all to get here.

Here.

This is why he asked her to do this. This is why he was torturing himself and her - to see the creation inside of her before they threw it to the wolves. He didn't come her to make a case for her keeping the baby, didn't come here to manipulate her into seeing life and breaking down, keeping the child. No, he'd come here to put an image to a name, a picture to a dream, a grainy, black and white recording to something that had welled so strongly in his heart the past few years. Life, with her, was complete. It was finished. He was hers; she was his. He'd never need for anything else.

But life with her and their child was a secret flavour wrapped inside of chocolate, an extra chance at a bowling alley, a free ice cream scoop. It made the world that much brighter, knowing that she carried someone inside of her that was theirs.

If she wanted to end that, he'd understand. It'd just be a face to a thought. Picture to a feeling.

He wanted to recognize what they threw away.

When the nurse left, leaving them there in a darkened, quiet state of equal awe, he turned his face towards her, the redness of his eyes matching the couple that walked outside. His free hand moved to rest on her shoulder, his eyes wide, a tear slowly trickling down to the end of his nose, where it hung. He was silent, unmoving.

Watching her.

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Matt bowed his head, pressing his face right against hers, so that Green and Blue clashed; her orbs becoming one, a gorgeous cyclops in the dark. He kissed her nose, delicately, before pressing it against her face once again, the smudged dirt rubbing off on his own skin.

"Never." He whispered, a fat tear of his own merging with the wetness on her cheeks, another thing that contained both of them in a single entity. "Never." He repeated.

She had given him everything in this moment; analyzed both of their fears and defeated them in a single, five word sentence. He felt a weight being lifted from his back, and he smiled at her tiredly, through his own waterworks.

"You're going to look so awesome," he whispered, one hand stroking her knees. "She's going to look so awesome."

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Matt glanced at the door the nurse went through, briefly, before bending and scooping the love of his life into his arms in a bridal carry, not caring that the goop from her stomach stuck to his clothes, making his button-down splotchy with it. He also didn't care that he was tired; probably more tired than any other time in his life, and that was saying something, considering that he'd been through hell and back at a breakneck sprint. He gathered her close, gazing down at her for a long moment, just watching her here, in his arms.

"Can't have you exerting yourself," he quipped. "You're pregnant."

With that, he made his way out of the hospital.

They had a lot of making up to do.

The setting changes from Wing City Hospital to Wing City

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Matthew West closed the door to his jeep with a very delicate click, wincing as the car door creaked slightly under the strain. He had been amazed that the thing still ran, despite the crushing beating that it had taken when ramming into the ambulance a month ago. Since then, he had often toyed with and pondered getting a new car, but there were always things that he needed to do, little things that he needed to fix.

He stared at a spot on the ground, thinking about figures and zeroes, his key ring spinning around his index finger, slowly. The odd jobs he went on, he was sure she knew about. He doubted that Jaz knew precisely what he did day-to-day, but he figured she had a broad idea about the fact that it wasn't exactly a delivery service, he ran. But every time he pulled the trigger on another unsuspecting victim, he was accompanied with a warring emotion, one of equal parts self-worth and self-loathing. The money in the bounty game was good; very good. But he was still killing people; still ending lives.

And he had sworn to her he was done with all of that. He had told himself that he would buy a house with the earnings, move her, Amariah, and him out of their apartment, start life anew. He just needed a little more money.

Well, until today, that was.

Sighing, he finally moved away from the vehicle, climbed the sixty-four steps to their fourth-floor space, and opened the door, a broad smile and a bag of groceries carried with him. "Jaz! I'm home!" He called, tossing his keys into a dish (next to hers), and toeing off his shoes on the little mat (next to her own converse). "How's my baby?"