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Marriage or Death (Conclusion)

It was later than Henri had realized when he had gotten off the ship after the captain had made all his preperations to disembark, but it was no matter. He still had a bit of time to kill before the appointed meeting time.  The voices in Henri’s head had been silent for the most part ever since he had made all his plans with them, though he was sure they were there and watching.  He went through the streets and within the first few minutes of setting foot onto Babbage concrete again he saw his first victim, a traveller from the look of him that smiled and bid him good day.  Henri slowed down a bit and then raised one of his guns, fired, and saw the man fall over dead. 

Henri laughed as he passed the man by.  All that rest had done him a lot of good, all that lack of sleep had really impared his aim till now.  Perhaps that’s why they had been quiet last night, if they hadn’t been and he hadn’t slept on the ship he might have failed to hit the man just like all those other people he’d intended to shoot.

The sound of a gun shot had caused a crash around the corner, smiling because he’d either found a fight or another victim.  Henri ran towards the sound and found a urchin fleeing.  He ran after them and waited till he had caught up to shoot them square in the back.  He didn’t need or want hostages anymore. 

He could hear more people scrambling around as people had found the first victim and had started shouting, and now they had come to see his newest handiwork.  He turned and fired a shot, but they had the common sense to have been hiding behind the alley walls when he’d done so.  They were now running and some were calling for the militia, except those who already had weapons and were trying to get them out.

He heard things shouted at him, like ‘You fiend!’ and other nonsense.  Henri laughed at them all.  Hadn’t they known that this was coming?  This city had declared war on him, and he was now just returning their favors.

—-

Maddox Sinclaire was dazed, Lionheart had just proposed to her and he had gone to make the arrangements as quickly as possible.  So many things were happening all at once, her wedding was within the hour, she had just seen her first patient, and she didn’t think that getting married would stop Henri at all.  However, she couldn’t think of anything else she could do.

She was really cold, she realized.  She’d just been sitting there with the men guarding that man who’d been caught with the dynamite; Mr. Havey, who had been indisposed most of the day and was resting upstairs, and Arnold and Sonnerstein had only just come back.  She was about to ask Arnold to turn on the steam vent when a party arrived to escort her to her wedding.

She wouldn’t find out till later that their arrival had just saved their lives, as she made her way to the gardens beside city hall.

—-

Henri felt like his time was running out for some reason, a sense of urgency had overtaken him as he was making his way across the city, shooting anything that came into his line of sight.

“Luner-tick!” someone cried from behind him.  Laughing, he turned and opened fire on the new urchin but this one fired first.

It was true that steel armor could deflect some bullets, not always of course, but a curiass only protected his torso.  Blood exploded from a grazing on his arm, and he laughed as he gripped his wound in pain for a second and then returned fire. 

Whoever it was had the sense to duck out of the way, and Henri turned and continued to run down the center of the road, that was until he took a detour that ended up leading him back to the graveyard.  Hadn’t he done this dance yesterday he thought with another laugh.

Whoever it was that had shot him didn’t want to leave it at that, but he had much longer legs and he soon outpaced this pursuer.  Henri raced along the tracks instead of going through the graveyard again, unaware that right above him the last Sinclaire was going to be married soon.

The sailors that Mr. Harvey had employed had been set to look for more traps that might have been set.  Questioning the man they had caught hadn’t done much good so far, but if this continued they would take him somewhere else where Harvey couldn’t hear and let that man Ashiko had left to do what needed to be done.

One of the sailors didn’t know where else to look in Huxley Hall when he looked down at that fog or steam machine in the center, whatever it was, and thought perhaps someone had hidden something in the grate.

He opened it up and while he did he accidentaly activated it, and it was going off a lot faster than it was supposed to.  The second it touched his skin it started to burn, and so did his eyes as they instantly watered.  His lungs felt like they were on fire and he started to cough uncontrollably as did everyone of the poor souls who had been inside Huxley Hall.

One of them managed to make it to the lift and get it to the hospital before he too decended into coughing fits and uncontrollable convulsions that were now killing everyone else in there.

He was only able to choke out the word steam, but it was enough after a moment.  They saw the steam starting to seep through the lift and the guard quickly sealed the airlock protecting the hospital, trapping them inside.

Henri had become a little lost now that he’d been shot and he was sure he was in the wrong area…this was the place with all of the canals. He turned about searching his way when another gun shot went off and pain exploded in his side.  He didn’t know if the bullet had gone through his armor or not, he didn’t have time to tell.  He didn’t feel like he was dying yet from it alone, he still had feeling in his arms and legs.  Perhaps it had stopped it enough to just be a minor wound.  He still was forced to his knees clutching his side, and turned to find the militia had caught up to him again.  She was approaching him cautiosly…her gun still pointed at him.  He laughed and returned fire from his positon and she too had the sense to seek cover.

Henri forced his body to get up, adrenaline and madness alone were the only things allowing him to keep going, pushing towards his goal.

She didn’t leave it alone though and she chased after him, shouting that he had no chance and to give himself up.  Henri laughed at her, because she couldn’t understand that he couldn’t give himself up.  It would have been easy to do of course, but that would hardly please his audience.

When he turned the corner he came upon a fat child, who hadn’t had the time to properly get away.

He was going to shoot the child as it blubbered for him to not kill him, but another gun shot behind him caused him to just push the child out of his way as he turned to more important things. 

The fat child screamed as he fell into the canals, shouting that he couldn’t swim.  Henri laughed at the child and the militia woman as he fired at the wall she was hiding behind and then ran off.  After a moment he realized that no one was following him anymore.  Had she stopped to save the child? Henri laughed at how these things worked out sometimes as he took a small moment to reload.

They let everyone know not to turn on the steam vents in the hospital just in case they had gotten to those as well, it was a good thing this hadn’t happened at the party next week or else who knew how many more people could have died.

Harvey was also very glad he’d kept the diving suits in the dressers.  They were from the previous hospital he had added before he decided to do a full redisign.

Now someone would have to open that door and go shut off the machine in one of them.  One of the guards volunteered and opened the door quickly, and then made his way down safely, though they did seal the door again after he left.

Henri shot an inebrieated man, who’d tried to run in vain, with a laugh.  He’d lost count of how many people he’d shot by now, or how many times he had been shot or hurt making his way through the Gut.  He’d left the sword that he’d gotten from the captain in someone at some point he was sure…it was all a blur now.  His vision was already starting to go fuzzy, and he knew he was already a dead man.  He reloaded again, his fingers fumbling everything since they were wet with blood and he couldn’t see straight.

He made his last short run to the Bucket and stopped outside…he’d made it.  He smiled to himself and knew that the moment he opened that door he might face up to twenty men all ready to shoot him. 

That would be perfect he thought as he kicked open the door and opened fire.  Sadly there wasn’t twenty people here, but he did hear the scraping of a chair as the people inside moved about seeking cover.  A monkey and cat screeched as they both darted for cover as well.

“Great…” a female voice said, he couldn’t be sure of anything now.  He had already lost too much blood.

He ran towards the fireplace, looking at who had invited him to this trap.  He was slightly disappointed to only see two people here, and none of them was Sinclaire.  He opened fire anyways, perhaps they would kill him anyways, or else he’d keep going till he found someone who would.

From their hiding spots he vaguely thought he heard them talking to one another, “He’s wounded already.  This should be easy.”

“Hono…dart at him, and be swift with it…”

Hearing that and seeing the man’s sword, Henri stepped out and into the open and took his shots.  He could have remained hidden if he was trying to live, but that wasn’t why he was here.

This Hono man slid from behind the hearth and came by his feet while Henri shot at him and missed his head.  His vision was so blurry and his hands were unsteady, it was no wonder when he couldn’t react in time and the man impaled him just below his armor in the lower abdomen.

Henri fell over, his life coming to an end.  He could barely hear what the woman was saying now, something about causing trouble for the family and to finish the job.  He could feel satisfaction as his blood seeped onto the floor of the Bucket.  That mischevous voice spoke again, it had been silent compared to all of the others for some time, but now it asked him if perhaps they had not just wanted him to die so that all of them could just feast on his blood some more.  As the thought occured to Henri he began to laugh uncontrollably as he was being dragged away.  He didn’t stop laughing till the moment his life ended.

If that was what they hoped for though the chance was mostly ruined as shortly after his body was looted, burned, and then it exploded due to the dynamite that had been left on his person, leaving no trace of the man but a black scorchmark.  If it had ever been anything more than an insane man’s lie to himself.

—-

A few people with above-normal hearing at the wedding heard the explosion during the vows, but they didn’t know what it was for sure, so no one present was able to tell her that Metier was dead before she said, “I do.”

—-

They had finished venting Huxley Hall and the tubes, but it needed to have been done a lot faster.  There were a lot of patients who needed the hospital’s services.  At least there were enough doctors in town…somewhere.  The one question of course was how had he known how to do that?  One person knew the answer to that, and he spent the next few days cursing himself.

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9 Comments

  1. Henri Metier Henri Metier July 23, 2011

    ((Thanks everyone who took part for making this come out, behind the
    scenes at least, so smoothly even though the IC outcome was anything but
    that.  I hope that you have enjoyed reading or playing along, and hope
    that we have not upset anyone along the way.

    Yours sincerely,

    Jean Awne-ree Crappaud.

    Or whatever it is Jedburgh calls him in chat.  *chuckles*))

  2. Maddox Sinclaire Maddox Sinclaire July 23, 2011

    ((This has been fun, but now what to do about that wedding, I wonder. XDD))

  3. Yang Moreau Yang Moreau July 23, 2011

    ((Thrilling story! It was fun to be a part of it!))

  4. Bookworm Hienrichs Bookworm Hienrichs July 25, 2011

    At least I managed to save Tubby.  Goodness, was he hard to haul out of the canal…

    • Junie Ginsburg Junie Ginsburg July 25, 2011

      ((I have to say, I’m quite enjoying that the boy is making cameos in various places!))

      • Mr Underby Mr Underby July 25, 2011

        He’s been getting more play recently than some actual residents.

        • Sky Melnik Sky Melnik July 25, 2011

          He is a really popular little fella. Knows how to throw that weight around… :-P

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