The Messiah Complex .2They were thorough; you could say that much for the bastards.The Messiah Complex .2 in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Two jeeps drove at the front, two jeeps and a roaring camouflage fourwheeler racing back and forth like the world's loudest fore-scout, despite the four horsemen soldiers and the string of remounts trailing at the rear. They drove slow, at least, thick tires leaving thick tracks in the mud, pools of dirty water in the tread-marks. Worth quickly learned the sensation of boots sinking into inches of what used to be a dirt road, filling the smaller footprints of ragged loafers.
The first night, the night that General Good-Old-Boy rounded them all up and nicked Worth's cigs, the three of them had their wrists snapped into chain gang shackles—luckily enough, not a fatal amount of iron in them, although he predicted correctly that by the second night Conrad's arms were going to be an ugly sight. Something told him that was calculated. Dawn was already breaking over the horizon by the time that they'd stripped the RV of anyth
Up in Smoke -3-Up in Smoke -3- in Fan Fiction More Like This
In which Hanna has a whole sub plot and Conrad figures something out.
Warning: epic speeches and exposition, mostly.
The road has a mind of its own.
That's just a bloody stupid way of saying that some things are bound unravel a certain way, no matter how bad you fight it. Some things have to be dealt with sooner or later.
Worth figured that out somewhere along the way. Too many nights of trying not to look up at the stars, trying not to get sucked back into let's-remember, too many times when his heart jumpstarted like an electrocuted engine and he had to pretend that the first thought in his head hadn't been can't lose him too.
The road doesn't like lies.
That's just a bloody stupid way of saying that the truth is gonna out, one way or another, if you spend long enough trying to ignore it. But still.
The road demands to be acknowledged.
It was three o'clock in the morning, and Worth had the window rolled down as they raced through tiny streets, where sprin
Beat Still -1MassachusettsBeat Still -1 in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Three Years after the Treaty:
It was a soft June night on the New York Stateline, and Worth was working with about half an hour in the worst case scenario before Captain Goodvibes and his loyal undead lieutenant came stomping back in. Worth had woken up that evening to an empty RV, and a note on the kitchen table informing him that Hanna was out getting his marching orders from the council—although how that worked, he wasn't quite sure. Last time he checked, the great omnipotent council of delegation was still in Massachusetts , and they were all the way in New York. But whatever. He was satisfied to know that he had the place to himself for now.
Mostly to himself.
With a shoulder propped against the exit doorway, the doctor observed his ever-so saintly and even-tempered roomie seated on the other side of the tin can they called a home, tucked into the far corner of the booth at the kitchen table. Conrad had a book in his hands. The title
The Creeping Messiah ComplexPart one.The Creeping Messiah Complex in Fan Fiction More Like This
A post-apocalyptic venture in racism, plot, and suspicious bromance.
Up In Smoke universe (but prior knowledge should not be a prerequisite)
Georgia, eleven months after the treaty:
Worth had his hand in a box of ammunition.
It was a bruised, calloused hand with cracked nails and a scabbed bite mark between the thumb and forefinger. He didn't used to have hands like this, back before he turned into some kind of fucking revolutionary, odd-job man. He thought about that as he rummaged around for a .45 caliber bullet.
He wondered why the bite wasn't infected yet.
It'd been three days, three days since they last saw Hanna, three days since they left the hotel—the base, damn Hanna and his romantic tendencies—for a routine scouting mission. Three days since this clusterfuck exploded like a bombed armory. They'd been running since, outnumbered and out gunned by less than a dozen dipshit locals because it was a fucking scout mission. F
And Not MeSomewhere in New England:And Not Me in Short Stories More Like This
Not quite midnight, at just the brink of autumn. Sliver moon. The air was cool as unsheathed metal, and it curled over Doc Worth's shoulders like the delicate talons of a succubus. This he knew from experience.
And a damn fine succubus she'd been, once you got past the alien eyes and the weird boneless movements.
The doctor blew out a breath of blue smoke, twisting eddies like some nightmare creature feeling its way out of another dimension. He snorted. Clearly, he'd been spending unhealthy amounts of time in Hanna's presence, and if he was smart he'd take this as a sign to invest in a pair of earplugs next town they reached.
"This is incredibly boring," Conrad murmured, arms crossed, leaning back against the stone wall.
"An' whatcha expect me ter do about it?"
They were waiting. They had been waiting for an hour, because the man they were waiting for was mysteriously absent and there was nothing for it except to wait, wait, and hope that their masque
The Creeping Messiah Complex 4FloridaThe Creeping Messiah Complex 4 in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Eleven Months and a bit after the Treaty:
Jail is a bit different when you're sitting inside the cell.
Specifically, jail is a bit different when you're sitting inside the cell, staring at the wall, waiting for a soldier to come by and drop off something vaguely edible so you can try to grill him for information about why exactly you're in jail rather than one half a pair of corpses cooling in a ditch.
Worth turned his attention to the shuffling behind him, the slight sliding sound of hands searching out soft spots in the walls. They'd been in here maybe three hours now, and in that time Conrad had worked his way carefully, stubbornly around the room twice.
Somewhere out there, Hanna was probably already plotting to break them out, pleading with his undead guardian to let him come back while they stowed away, maybe in an abandoned house a little north of town. Maybe he'd already won. Maybe the zombie was holding out. Worth wasn't counting on either option—he'd done what h
I Know It's Crooked...FloridaI Know It's Crooked... in Short Stories More Like This
The Northern Coalition Territories
Third year after the collapse
A side effect of Hanna's massive, cancerous hero complex was that he liked to drop back in on the places he'd saved from time to time. He also liked to drop in on one or two places he'd failed to save, when he could manage to plot a course through them, probably in the hopes that eventually his accumulated misery would rupture like an overtaxed boil under pressure and annihilate itself. At least, that's what Worth was hoping. At least something useful would come of it.
Today was the lesser of two evils. Worth stepped out of the familiar, air conditioned RV and into an atmosphere that appeared to have its own built-in thermostat manned by sadistic senior citizens. Fucking Florida.
"Why th' fuck did we come to Fucking Florida in the middle'a fucking June?"
Hanna peered out of the door, trying not to look intimidated by the climate. "Does my answer have to have fuck in it?"
"Juss don' get it. Y'were
The Messiah Complex .3 "Hold out your arms, doctor. Let's do this quickly so I can go back to business."The Messiah Complex .3 in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
"Whoever it is that you're in love with, I'm sure she'd understand! Spooks don't have any loyalty, it's not like she would care if you ditched that bloodsucking faggot."
"It's possible he's still headin' down to the Wassisa, since fer all he knows we still got Nefarious McBackstabber along. I'd say that's our best bet, but y'know how Hanna does."
"Grow some wings, dumbass. C'mon, what kinda spook are you?"
"We don't have a spook infestation, honey, don't worry. It's nothing like that. It's just the Church Universal and Triumphant, creepin' around and stirrin' folks up."
"Keep your mouth shut, doctor, and everything will be fine. Listen to your cousin, he knows how the CUT operate. I'm sorry about this."
Eleven months after the Treaty:
Doc Worth made a point to keep his and John's mouths shut.
The soldier in charge of the caravan—Worth dubbed him Gene
Up in Smoke -HINABNUp in Smoke -HINABN in Fan Fiction More Like This
Summary: when the world is falling apart around you, somebody's got to hold the seams together. Plot heavy, I think. Warning, this product may contain Conworth- don't get your hopes too high though. Preslash is preslashy at most
Doc Worth lights himself a cigarette. His fingers are cold, but they don't fumble with the gears. The movement is perfected by more than a decade of practice, and the sweet little snick is the only thing that's right these days. He looks up at the stars—so much brighter tonight, there's got to be more stars in the sky than there were pages in all his college textbooks combined. He can see a stripe of dust across the center of the sky, every goddamn star in the galaxy spiraling off into space. He doesn't like them. They're pretty and they remind him of things he'd rather forget, all different kinds of things at once, ghosts of memories that press in on him from every side and turn the sky into a massive blue and gray blur.
So he thinks ab
Tip Your HandNew YorkTip Your Hand in Introductions & Chapters More Like This
Third Year after the Treaty
It was maybe eleven in the evening in the far western end of Berkshire County, and the night started beautifully. And by beautifully, Conrad meant like complete shit.
It had been fine for the first little while, after Hanna left—apparently something fairly urgent had come up, and the council wanted to amend their orders quickly. Conrad had no idea what it was, but if it was important enough to have one of the Council's telepathically inclined members go poking around in Hanna's dreams then it must be pretty important.
So Hanna had gone, to find somewhere quiet and watery for one of his scrying sessions. And Conrad had settled into the booth in the RV, in the hopes of getting some reading in before the inevitable dash and frenzy drove him utterly mad. Which it would. Because it always did.
The book was something he'd picked up in a library raid not too long ago—the RV was stuffed with their spoils to the point o