It’s Not Murder if You Enjoy It

Remember last time when Theronidas killed the assassin he hired?

Plyrx was all “reveal with Theronidas could have been executed a little more subtly.” And I thought… what if it wasn’t subtle on purpose? What if Theronidas was just being a large (albeit murderous) ham?

Then I ran with the idea and this story happened. I can’t tell if this is hilarious or horrifying. Even if it’s both at once, the fact that it could go either way is hilarious. Or horrible.

Also, is it obvious I like the word “obfuscate”? Such an awesome word. Obfuscate. Awb. Fuss. Kate. Mmmmm.

-=-=-=-

Theronidas watched the first assassin slip silently through his bedroom window. He was barely able to stop himself from squealing in glee. This was going to be so much fun!

His room was almost completely black. Only the slight external ambient light filtered in through his open window. He had carefully arranged his bed to make it appear as if he was sleeping in it, complete with thermal packs he designed himself. Even when scrutinized in the thermal range, it would still appear to be a sleeping elven body.

You never know, with these assassin types. An unscrupulous lot.

Theronidas himself, of course, was attached to the wall above his window, quite literally invisible in the limited light. That wouldn’t stop a thermal reading, if his assassin had bothered to look up.

Which he hadn’t.

His would be assassin approached the bed, slowly drawing a sword as he did so. With a practiced thrust, the assassin stabbed the sword into what he thought was Theronidas’ chest.

Theronidas dropped from his hiding place, slamming his window shut, and remotely activating the lighting to his room.

The almost simultaneous crash of Theronidas hitting the floor, the window slamming shut, and the very sudden appearance of bright lights caught the assassin completely flat-footed.

“Fool!” Shouted Theronidas, reciting lines he had practiced. “Only now do you realize the totality of-”

“Eyes dick damn it fuck what fucking shit cock my eyes!” the assassin wasn’t exactly paying attention.

Theronidas frowned at him. “Uhm, yes… Fool! Only now do you rea-”

“Shut up you damn eyes fucking I can’t see you shit shitting fuck! Where are you?! I’ma cut you so bad!” The assassin began flailing around, still temporarily blinded.

Theronidas sighed. Of course. He shouldn’t have expected that all his assassins would have access to advanced engineering goggles with polarizing features. Such a pity.

“Fine. I’ll just kill you then.” said Theronidas. He expertly bypassed the blind assassin’s guard, slicing off both arms, then slamming his elbow into the assassin’s face, knocking him over.

The assassin blinked rapidly, only now getting used to the new lighting. He stared dumbly at his arms as they lay on the floor, then looked at Theronidas with mild confusion. “You… cut off my arms… that wasn’t very fair…”

The assassin lost consciousness, falling into a rapidly growing puddle of his own blood.

Theronidas frowned. That wasn’t very fun at all. That was… awfully anticlimactic.

Maybe tomorrow night.

-=-

“Fool!” Theronidas shouted. “Only now do you re-”

He was interrupted as assassin number two launched herself at him, her oversized daggers stabbing for any and all vitals.

He fended her off, armed as he was with a long sword and a shield. She was good. She was fast. Her blades were obviously tipped in extremely lethal poison. She was focused.

Unfortunately for her, Theronidas had all those advantages too, as well as being stronger and, to put it plainly, by far the superior fighter.

“Hey-” he said as she attacked him again and again. “Could you just-” The sound of a dagger clanging off his shield. “Hold on, I’m-” A scraping sound as he effortlessly parried another set of attacks. “I have all these lines-” A loud crash as Theronidas used his shield to push the assassin into his night table, causing her to stumble backwards and the night table to fall to the floor, scattering its contents.

“Would you stop for a second?!” He shouted at her. “I have all these lines prepared for you before I kill you!”

The assassin growled at him and stabbed his fallen night table.

“Oh come on! Not the night table! What did my furniture ever do to you?”

She picked the poor night table up, hurling it at him. It bounced harmlessly off his shield, but it burst apart when it hit the floor. She leapt at him, once again stabbing with all her worth for his vital organs. “Just shut up and die!” she screamed at him.

“Okay, right, no, now you’ve made me angry. My mother made that night table.” Theronidas was upset now. He had been very fond of that table. One of the few things he had left of his mother. Time to end this.

He disarmed his assassin easily. One dagger he simply knocked out of her hands by slamming his shield into her wrist. He simply cut off her other hand when she tried to go for his kidney. Firmly kicking her in the stomach, he sent her reeling back into the wall. He followed through immediately with his sword, impaling her to the wall through her chest.

He shook his head. “You assassins aren’t nearly as fun as I thought you’d be.”

Snarling at him, she retrieved another dagger from somewhere within her cloak Pushing off from the wall, she forced her body down the blade and stabbed at his heart with her one good hand. The dagger sliced through his shirt, only to snap off when it hit the heavy plate armor he was wearing underneath.

She gazed at her broken blade, then turned to him. “So now what?” she asked, her speech slurring slightly as blood loss began to take its toll.

Theronidas moved several feet away, and sat on the floor. “Now I watch you as you slowly die, impaled to my wall. That at least should be fun.”

To her credit, she did struggle, putting on quite the show for him. She lasted a good few minutes before slumping over his sword, unmoving.

He stroked his bare chin thoughtfully.

Maybe he would grow a goatee.

And wear a cape next time!

-=-

Okay, the cape idea wasn’t so great. It was absurdly hard to fight in one, they kept obeying the laws of physics and getting in the way every single time he tried to move around. He supposed there could be some very serious tactical power in using a cape as an obfuscating weapon. It would probably be pretty easy to disguise where one’s body actually was, to say nothing of using it to obscure movement telegraphs.

Assassins three and four had been damn bloody affairs. Messy, nothing even remotely controlled, just utter cape related chaos. His bed had caught fire at some point while battling the fourth assassin. He was unsure why that had happened.

-=-

Revised conclusion. The cape was a terrible idea for fighting. However, wearing it just long enough to throw dramatically to the side after he revealed himself was definitely a huge plus. Assassin number five was even suitably impressed to mutter “Wow.” after witnessing it.

To be fair, assassin number five had actually said “Wow, you are seriously fucked in the head.” Theronidas chose to ignore that last part.

Theronidas sat on his bed, watching assassin number five struggle to breath with two punctured lungs. “Maybe I haven’t developed the cape thing as well as I could have… It’s just not that dramatic, you know? It is pretty dramatic, but it could be more, you know? More dramatic!”

He smiled in bemusement, looking at the fallen assassin. “Any suggestions, mister respiration failure?”

The assassin lifted one arm weakly, a single digit displaying the assassin’s displeasure.

Theronidas laughed. “Good input. No seriously, it’s a little confusing. What am I missing? What little thing do I not have that would make…” He snapped his fingers. “Of course! A giant fan! On demand dramatic winds! Why didn’t I think of that before?!”

He stood up, positively beaming at the assassin. “You’ve been a big help.”

-=-

The fan was a smashing success. It was a little bit too loud, maybe there was such a thing as blade silencers for industrial sized fans? Still, that was just a minor annoyance. His cape and hair fluttered gloriously in the artificial wind, and there was even a full moon out this time giving him the perfect silhouette.

He stroked his new goatee as he cleaned up assassin number six’s blood. It had come in very nicely, he could not have asked for better facial hair. It accentuated his cheekbones and chin very nicely.

Carefully cutting the body into easily transportable pieces and storing the pieces in a couple large bags, he wondered if he should grow the rest of his hair out. He suspected if hew grew it too long, the fan would blow it in his face, which would be exceedingly unfortunate. Or maybe… he could just tie it back? Foxtails were all the rage this year, that could be a good route to go.

He carried his newest victims out to the Low Docks, idly pondering whether or not he should bother with highlights. Probably not, that was more a girl thing. Green was the new fabulous color, he couldn’t fathom why. Why did blue highlights go out of style! They looked so good!

He found the mid-sized clipper he was looking for.

“Captain Foot?” he called.

An old, surly looking blood elf emerged from somewhere below deck. “Huwha? Whozzat? Oh… fuck me sideways, it’s Fergie! Howzzit goin’ these nights Howard?”

Theronidas shrugged, dropping the body filled bags onto the dock. “Could be better. It’s not bad, it’s just not quite as fun as I’d imagined. Need a proper audience, I suspect, for it to really be fun.”

Captain Foot nodded. “That be true, Foward. What sense is being actor when not anyone watching?” The Captain hoisted the body bags, tossing them into an open cargo bank on the craft. “Well, what do I care anyway? I get paid no matter who you kill or who you kill them in front of.”

Theronidas chuckled. “Always good to know I’ve got a sympathetic ear, Foot.”

“I’ll lizzen to anything you say so long as you pay me. Did I mentioning the paying me part?”

“I get it, Foot. Just making small talk.” Theronidas handed him a much smaller bag, the unmistakable clink of gold coins emanating from within.

The bag vanished somewhere into the folds of Foot’s many jackets almost immediately. “Always a pleasure doing bizness with you, miss Boiler.” With that, Foot lurched back onto his ship, pulling a huge draught from the massive bottle of rum he always seemed to possess.

Theronidas turned and walked off, pondering the nature of the body disposal business.

Captain Foot was, technically, a legitimate serviceman.

The aftermath of the Scourge had left absolutely huge numbers of corpses literally everywhere, to the point where just piling them up and burning them was no longer an efficient option. So, boats had been hired to simply load up on corpses and drop them off somewhere out in the ocean. It took longer than burning them, but the obvious advantage of the city not reeking of burning flesh was just too good to pass up.

Then there were people like Captain Foot, who were more than happy to take any body and dump it, no matter the source of the body, for a not exactly small fee. Foot was the best of these, as he was always drunk. He never remembered anyone’s faces or names and was almost always far too drunk to be helpful to any officials who thought something shady might be going on. Even while sober, his quality as a witness fell dramatically when he could barely recount why the flying murlocs had tried to drown him in engine oil.

It was impossible to know how much of this was actual drunken buffoonery, and how much was deliberate obfuscating stupidity. It didn’t really matter. You could show up with your father’s corpse, knives sticking out of him, and Foot would take it without question. Maybe offer you a swig of rum if you were feeling torn up about the knife you couldn’t remove from the skull.

Theronidas wondered how far his little hobby would reach, economically speaking. He knew he couldn’t be the only serial killer who’d come up with the genius idea of hiring people to come get killed for his pleasure. Maybe he was the only one who thought of assassins? Oh, probably. Hiring prostitutes to rape then kill was probably the norm.

Theronidas shuddered at the thought. What kind of sick psychopath would do that? At least kill the poor girl first. No need to mentally scar the poor things.

Still, he mused, he must be having some effect. By constantly hiring assassins, he was creating demand, then simultaneously removing the supply. Plus all the inevitable scary stories of various assassins just vanishing without a trace… market prices for assassins-for-hire would have to go up.

He would probably have to start looting their bodies and selling whatever he found. Otherwise his father might get suspicious about what he was spending all this gold on.

In any case, time to go hire some more assassins. This Theronidas Theron person was proving very hard to kill.

He smiled in the darkness. Good thing he was his own hiring agent, a third party might have gotten suspicious by now.

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9 Responses to It’s Not Murder if You Enjoy It

  1. Delerius says:

    “A taste for the dramatic” HAHA I’ll say. Such an enjoyable villain. He is the villain, isn’t he? It’s hard to tell 😛

    Or is he being “noble” by killing assassins so they don’t kill others? He’s just such a likable character to be evil!

  2. Chawa says:

    oh very well done! A brilliant and enjoyable account of the evolution of a serial killer’s first steps, be it costume choice or his failed attempts at getting his “lines” out!

    • Euripedes says:

      Some people don’t know what to do with their lives. Some people struggle to decide what to have for breakfast.
      Some take hours to decide what color cape would look the best in the moonlight so they can look cool when they murder someone.

      To each their own.

  3. Plyrx says:

    I liked the bit with the cape.

    You ended up taking what I said, doing the complete opposite, and still manage to keep me mesmerized through the entire post despite the whole thing contradicting my opinion. I salute you.

    • Euripedes says:

      Well, I was originally thinking about fixing it. Rewriting it a bit to make it a little more intimate, a little more predator versus predator. More stealth and mind games.
      That derailed immediately when I imagined the scene if Theronidas had suddenly shouted “No! It is I who is Theronidas!” and fired off some fireworks.

  4. Dawnoffire says:

    A captive audience is always best for one’s musings, especially if they die shortly afterward.

    Wonderfully done.

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