Sometimes even bad men get favours. For Caleb, it was the fact that he managed to successfully land on his feet. Not only that, but when he did, he discovered that nothing had broken. His old bones may have been rattled, but they had failed to become shattered. His boots made a satisfying thunk as they made contact with the cold metal floor, his now almost effervescent eyes burning their way into the hearts of all those who just happened to be in the way. For the men of the ship's boiler room, who had already been suitably impressed enough by Caleb's dramatic entrance, it was almost enough to make them panic. It was his voice that proved to be the clincher.
"What are you all looking at?" he growled in a deep low voice, making it clear that he was offended. Everything got on his nerves now. Everything but pain. The boiler operators blinked. The apparition did not go away. In the darkness that pervaded the space, the intruder's eyes shot out like beacons. Beckoning them to where they did not know, but for everyone who was assembled, it soon became clear that it was not anywhere that they wanted to go. For Caleb as well it was the workmen's eyes that stood out, frightened large and rimmed with white. The room seemed to be lit up by them. "Time to dim the lights..." he commented, before reloading his shotgun.
Two of the burlier operators jolted out of their shock and rushed forwards in an effort to force his weapon away from him. Caleb effortlessly brought the first man down with a swift movement of his boot, first winding him with a powerful kick in the gut, and then pinning him by bringing his heel down hard on the man's back. This accomplished, he fleetly turned and raised his weapon against the other assailant, unleashing the full stopping power of the sawed-off into the man's chest. From below his boot the other man whimpered. "Ah, no one wants to play with me..." Caleb moaned mockingly, a horrible squelching sound coming from below his foot as his boot found its way to squishing the man's head.
"What... what do you want?" his captive screamed, his voice only slightly muffled by the fact that his face was being shoved into the floor. Caleb laughed. There was nothing else for it. He put his head back and shrieked with glee, his cackling feeling as if it could shake the room. Upon setting it right again, Caleb finally noticed something. The others were making their way to the door. They were getting away. With a sickening crack he finished off his prisoner, and headed off after them. He was not going to let them go this time, not today. He caught up with them next to the main boiler, and went to work on them. Sweat dripped from their bodies in the sweltering heat, soon to be mixed with the crimson tinge of blood.
"Crudux cruo!" something called out from somewhere behind him. Caleb turned slowly, very slowly, and gazed at the source. The Cultists had finally figured out where he was and had at last caught up with him. Caleb simply smiled at them.
"I've got time to play with you..." he replied venomously, right before reaching out a hand and flicking the switch that lay to his right. Hot steam was released from all possible outlets as the pressure in the room rose, the fire going full bore from inside its cage. Several of the robed men were scalded by the vapour release, which sent them reeling back and hollering out of the room. Those that were not burned rushed forward, only to be met by a hot grill to the face as Caleb swung open the main way into the boiler. One Cultist did manage to circumnavigate even that, but Caleb was still able to overpower him and shove him into the hot coals, slamming the grate closed behind him. The smell of roasted meat and burning cloth then met everyone's nostrils.
"Time to make my exit" Caleb observed to himself just as one of the gauges burst. The pressure was now completely out of control. He strolled out of the room with an explosion at his back, the main boiler finally having blown. In an act of almost predestined fate, providence had provided him with just the vessel he needed for his escape, a small motor boat perfect for his needs. He boarded it, more explosions ripping apart the world that lay behind him, and powered his way off the steamship. In among the explosions came screams, some of them in cultic and some of them not. Caleb did not much care anymore. He had sacrificed them all on the altar of his own unhappiness, his own bitterness.
"Something you always force and shove away, something that would allow you to express your own humanity..." Caleb recollected to himself, remembering one of the lady's final words just as his own actions commended her body and that of her husband to the deep. "There is very little of me that is feeling human tonight Johnny." His mind resting on that thought, Caleb motored away down the river. His work was finished here for tonight.
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Some might recall that I had previously made mention as part of the Blood Wiki's sixth anniversary that I had plans to once again invest some of my time in an area of Blood fandom that I had formerly been quite involved in. To that end I present Scroll, a story I originally began in the summer of 2008 as a kind of retelling of the story behind Cryptic Passage in an attempt to bring it further in line with the main Blood canon. Designed to be published in multiple parts, I shall endeavour to release a new instalment of Scroll every Sunday from March 9th on until the story is complete.