Friday, July 20, 2012

Jack of All

My right arm is in a sling. My shoulder is bound. That drone with the claw managed to break it.

Did you know that it takes 12 weeks for a broken shoulder to heal? I don't have that time. I have two months left before whatever it is that Ophilim and Mad Ricky are planning comes to pass, and I can't even move my dominant arm.

Can't afford the hospital. Instead, I ended up bedridden in a cheap-ass motel. As if that wasn't enough, a couple days ago, I started noticing that the skin around my shoulder was turning purple. And green. And there was a lot of yellow pus leaking out.

Judas, doing what the Dying Man does best-- chemically wrecking my body, twisting it, malforming it.

But there are silver linings (aren't there always).

Firstly, my shoulder doesn't hurt. I think it may have something to do with the whole deformity thing. Maybe it's Judas' idea of helping?

Secondly, I finally met him.

In the end, Jack of All found me. I just woke up one morning, and there he was, standing at the foot of the bed, watching me.

He appeared as a man getting on in years, dressed in an old, tattered suit, with a long black coat. A strap hung over his shoulder, with a flask attached to it, hanging against his side.

When he saw I was awake, he waved at me. His hand was red. Literally. His skin was red, and his finger nails were overgrown, yellow, crusty.

"I hear you were looking for me."

I was quiet for a moment. "Yeah."


I would have shrugged if I could move my shoulder. "I gotta a Dying Man fragment that says I should, and an Apostle and Drone that are planning something big. Seemed like a good idea."

He smiled and took a drink of whatever was in his flask. "I see. Tell me, how much do you know about me?"

"You grant wishes. You make deals. And the people you do so with always regret it."

His smile got even wider. "If they live."

Jack walked over to the motel room's chair and at down on it. "I open up avenues of opportunity for people," he said. "Like say, if someone were to claim that he would sell his soul to make it in business, I'd offer him the chance. And then he would take it. He'd become so successful, so powerful, that an entire town would belong to his company. But every time an emissary of a god, no, a devil, came by, he'd have no choice but to accomadate him."

I stared at him as my mind slowly processed the information. "You mean... RossCorp?" I asked. "It's success... it depends on him making Them happy?" I didn't need to specify who I meant by "Them". We both understood. Call Them what you want. Gods, demons, Fears, PREs, Fossils, whatever. It's all the same in the end.

Jack just grinned at me in response. "You know, that shoulder of yours looks pretty bad."

I almost agreed with him, but then I realized the trap. "I don't need your help with it," I said, choosing my wording carefully.

His grin widened. And then... he was simply gone. No puff of smoke. No flash. Just... gone. Like he was never there at all.

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