"… I need to find something for dinner tonight; something special…"
"… I gotta tell her before it’s too late…"
"… Damn cold, the weather is just shit…"
"… I need a fucking cup of hot coffee right now…"
"… I’m hungry. I need to find something to eat before I pass out…"
The hum in his head was something he was used to long ago. Some voices intertwined with others, dissolving in this infinite pit of collective consciousness. Other voices were as loud as real ones, confusing him at times. He couldn’t tell why there was a difference but he suspected it was connected with a power of people’s will. Sometimes he would meet people who mirrored back the same hum and they would just look at each other while passing by. But that happened extremely rare. No wonder they dug him out of his grave.
"Hey baby, looking for a few extra dollars? Maybe I can help you out."
He didn’t need to turn his head in the direction of the voice to know what was going on a few feet away. People were so predictable and so hollow. Some asshole wanted a 10 bucks blowjob and Mantis wondered if he was desperate or stupid enough to ask a homeless girl for that. Okay, that was enough to make him want to throw up, although he admitted the situation was pretty funny to witness. The girl seemed to be in need for money and despite she was disgusted with the idea she had no choice but to accept the offer. 10 bucks for a fucking blowjob, that guy certainly felt “generous”. In Mantis’ mind there was no equal sum to justify the man’s offer. Anyone who couldn’t control their basic urges were animals and didn’t deserve to be treated like humans, but unfortunately that could be said about majority of this planet’s population. If he could he would cleanse the world from this cancer because it was generating countless moral and ethic problems - a metastasis degrading the society and its greatest accomplishments without an end to see. Should he interfere and teach this idiot a lesson? For once, he finally asked himself a question instead of taking actions directly.
"…by realizing your motivations you alter your mind. Subconscious into conscious, that’s how thought becomes reality…"
Not that it changed his mind much. In fact it had the opposite effect - he stood up and followed the two around the building, already sensing the brewing conflict. That douchebag was wrong in so many ways he wanted to crack his head open and stuff it with basic morals. His morals would be more correct, however Mantis wasn’t ready to realize it yet. A tickling sense has settled in his chest but it wasn’t as heavy and as burning as before. It felt different this time, more conscious.
- You can’t fix yourself by breaking someone else.
- Sure. But I’m gonna enjoy the fuck out of it.
- … That’s what they thought too.
When he found them the man has already cornered the girl, forcing himself on her.
'So she changed her mind, huh.'
"…you’re gonna take it and you’re gonna like it. Unless you wanna see me get real mad."
While they were busy talking the agent has sneaked behind the man’s back and hit his head from above so it bounced off the door in front of him and broke his nose.
'What's wrong with just “no”? Not manly enough to accept it?'
Before the guy attempted any resistance Mantis grabbed him by the backside of the collar and smashed his head against the metal door again.
'You broke my nose you asshole!'
He let the bastard to turn around and easily dodged a few punches by disoriented man, anticipating the movements by scanning his brain before he delivered a dirty strike between the legs, leaving his unlucky opponent stretching on the snow in pain.
'You fuckers! If it's about money then take it! I don't have much anyway…'
'I've noticed. 10 bucks isn't a great deal to tolerate pathetic scum like yourself', he kicked the lying man in the stomach to keep him down. 'Let's say, you were provided a different kind of service, free of charge. Because that's what you deserve.' He stepped on his neck and rolled the helpless man over to stare him in the eyes with impervious look while the other suffocated gurgling and gasping for air, trying to shake the leg off. It probably was the most satisfying thing Mantis did for years.
The whole walk around to the back of the alley had been a long, slow walk of shame. But if she could get those ten dollars they could get something hot to eat. Jodie’s gloved hands rubbed at the sleeves of her arms, trying to use the friction of the fabric against her skin to help warm her a little. It didnt do any good when it came to long-term, but she had to try something. Either that or have Aiden help her steal from an atm or something.
But once they’d gotten there… and Jodie reluctantly lowered herself to her knees. The disgust that collected inside her came to a boiling point, rising to where she couldnt stomach it. There was no way she could go through with something like this. Yes she was desperate, but she didnt want to be that desperate. Protests came to her lips, and Jodie drew herself back to her feet. But the change of heart was not accepted so willingly from this ‘generous’ man. He had her pinned soon enough, fingers digging into her shoulders with his tight grip.
She’d been about to call for Aiden’s help when the unexpected happened.
Jodie hadn’t been aware that anyone had been paying attention to their exchange of words out front the shop. It was the only explanation as to where this individual came across their ‘hidden engagement’ here in the alley, out of sight from the other, few, pedestrians on the streets. But the man attacking her wasn’t the only one surprised when this odd stranger cut in and bashed the man’s face against the metal door not just once, but twice.
"Jesus Christ-!" the brunette gasped, taking a few surprised steps to the side, keeping her back against the wall. Whoever this guy was, he seemed to harbor a lot of anger for people akin to the man he now had lying in the snow. But the concerning part of that was the fact that this guy seemed so disgusted and bitter towards the man that he was willing to choke the life out of him by crushing his throat under boot.
"Hey, stop!" She shouted, trembling breaths tricking from her mouth in a white mist. "Cut it out, you’ll kill him!" Jodie protested vocally, yes, but that didnt mean she wouldn’t cut in on her own. Almost on impulse she stepped forward, hands outstretching to shove the potential murderer off his victim of the hour.