2011-01-28: Repercussions



Special Guest - Nero

Summary: Nero makes another attempt to get Travis to fully submit to him.

Date: January 28, 2011

Log Title: Repercussions

Rating: R

Africa - Nero's Camp

Where the camp begins, all other life ends. Hard dirt with muddy puddles fill the road as it grows close to Nero's camp. This dirt road is much more commonly used than the rest. The gate is closed with cyclone fencing, and wooden watch towers look over the forest, guarded at all times by soldiers.
Inside the fence several stone buildings can be found. Trucks and LAV's move about, soldiers training at most hours of the day. Complete with running water and electricity powered by a nearby wind plant, it could be called the one trace of 'civilization' here. Nero's home away from home is here as well, a large mansion of a building with its own sets of guards to protect the warlord when he comes to visit. A helipad can even be found near the palace, his common method of entry and exit.

The last few days have been merciless. The lack of food is enough to drive a person crazy, though after the first couple days, the hunger leaves as the body starts to eat itself. The mutants have been forced to perform different tasks when they aren't chained up. All of them seemed bound for failure, and failure means physical pain. To top it off, one of the mutants seems to have been beating the other two for food consistently. His reptillian skin isn't affected by the neutralizing drugs, so while the others have no powers, this one still has enough resilience to win most of the competitions. Hence, he's much better fed.
Today collars got passed around, one for each neck of the enslaved. All three of the others are starting to have the same urges to please their captors. They plot ways they can succeed at the impossible so that they won't be beaten. But the two who aren't eating have a second plot. The reptillian man is named Diabuno, and he is sleeping in the corner. With the collars on, their cell is theirs to roam now, giving a certain attachment to the collars. The collars mean freedom, in a sense.
Abadom and Abaeze are the other two mutants. All four have just come back from different tasks. Travis' task was to paint one of the buildings. Only he wasn't given enough paint to finish the job. The two other mutants huddle in a corner, talking about something and casting a glance occassionaly toward Travis.

Travis hasn't been like the others, he hasn't been fighting over food and he's been mostly trying to keep to himself. He's sore and the collar is uncomfortable and just over all wants to be done with this place. He sits there with his knees pulled up to his chest and just stares at the two talking since they seem to keep glancing towards them. He doesn't trust anyone in there with him, prisoner or guard alike and right now, he has a bad feeling about those two.

The other two motion for Travis to join them. Neither speaks English, but they seem to want to communicate something to him.

Travis gives the two a weary look before pushing himself up and walking on over. He's on his guard as it waiting for one of them to do something. "What do you want?" He asks them even though he knows they can't understand him.

They makes motions toward him, pointing at his arms. They point at the sleeping Diabuno, and then smash their fists into their hand. A motion of food entering their mouths, and then they point at Travis. It seems they aren't happy with the way the food has been distributed, and want to do something about it.

Travis closes his eyes and shakes his head. "If you two want to fight go for it, I'm not getting involved." He says before turning his back on the two and heading back to the other side of the cell. He pushes his dirty hair back out of his face and goes to sit back down again, tugging on the collar to see if there's a way he can get it off.

The others don't seem satisfied. They make another motion of eating, and point at Travis, trying to indicate that they want to feed him. They can't overpower Diabuno by themselves, though. They've tried.
It's at this point that they spot something to cause them to be silent. They scamper back to the corner of the cell at the sight of who has arrived at the door. It's Nero again. "Liam. You will come with me." The door is opened, and a single finger waves for his cooperation. Nero hasn't shown himself to Travis since the incident with the boy. It has been other soldiers who have been forcing the labor upon the group. Something must have changed if the warlord has come back himself.

Looking up at Nero as he approaches, Travis does stand up but he doesn't move forward. "Screw you." He says to man in charge. "What so you can have me do another impossible chore and just wail on me when I can't get it done? How about we just skip the chore and just go straight to the beating? Make things easier on us."

Nero arches his brow. "I think it was a mistake to beat you when you fail," he says calmly. There is a smile on his face. "You shall not be beat any longer." There's clearly another shoe to fall. "Now come with me." The penalty for refusing is not spoken, but his tone drops the playful demeanor.

Travis crosses all six arms of his and after some hesitation he finally takes a few steps forward. He just stares daggers at Nero the entire time but doesn't say anything, just holds his tongue for the moment.

Nero produces a small notepad from his shirt pocket, and a golf pencil to go with it. He makes two hash marks on the first page. "Have you ever been in command, Liam?" he asks. No explanation for the hash marks. "It is a very difficult thing. So many people think they can do better than you, but then behave like fools." Nero begins walking across the compound, and a soldier nudges Travis in the back with his rifle, indicating for the six-armed man to walk with the warlord.

The warlord nods. "Assistant Captain," he echoes. He doesn't know that Travis is talking about football. "That is not a title we have here. But maybe something I should look into. You see, as a leader, you must be able to motivate your subjects to follow your commands. You must enforce discipline." He stops. "But do you know something? Not all people can be disciplined the same." He holds up a finger. "I have you beat, but you do not listen still. Even after you saw that poor boy die because of your insubordination." He decisively brings up the issue. "But I understand that you did not have a close tie with him. He was not important to you, which is why you did not value his life." The death is being pinned on Travis now, something to torment him with once the warlord is gone.

Does Travis feel guilty for that, yes, he can't get the image of the boy dying out of his head but at the same time he's used it to fuel his hate for the man. "Don't you -dare- try to blame that on me. You're the one who needs to feel powerful killing kids. I'm sure it must make you really brave and powerful to be able to pull the trigger on a child."

"Could you do it?" Nero asks, since Travis seems to think it is a light feat. "I will give you a gun now to show me how easy it is. You seem to know so much about death!" An obvious mockery that Nero makes. He was witness to how Travis became unglued. "You are left alone with my children? Would you do it? I will train them up to be like me. It is better to kill them now, yes?" For all of the sarcasm, there is no smile on the warlord's face. Another hash is placed on the page.

"No." Travis responds short and simple. "I'm not like you. And your children…one away from this place they'll be able to be themselves, just like that one kid, Hosea. He left you and he's nothing like you."

Nero sneers at the name. "Hosea Ikbuku. Hah, he is the reason you are here now, is he not? He has returned to Africa, and brought you with him." Nero lets out a belly laugh. "You have not seen what he has done. He killed for sport, without even being given command by me! He was a wild dog on a leash. One that was almost fatal to me. He had the chance to kill me three years ago. A gun to my head, I was defenseless." Nero looks back into Travis' eyes. "Ask yourself this, do you wish that he had?"

"No, death is a horrible thing and murder is worse. It just shows that as much of a 'wild dog' you turned him into, he couldn't actually do it at the end. Your conditioning to make people who you want them to be isn't as absolute as you think. You're nothing but another power hungry asshole."

"Everyone dies. The will to kill another person is inside each man," Nero states. "You do not understand this because you live in a world where you have never been pushed far enough to kill. But there is surely something that is worth taking a life to you, even if you do not know it. The one thing that will push you to do whatever it takes to protect or gain it." From his left pant pocket, Nero pulls a small lock of hair, bound by a piece of string. "She is quite pretty," the warlord taunts. "I have never seen hair like hers. It is so soft, like her skin."

Travis is about to talk back to Nero when he sees the lock of hair and he recognizes it. It's not many people here have that shade of red hair. He stops as he realizes that he's been in contact with Rashmi. He lunges forward to grab a hold of Nero if he can as now a real blaze of anger courses through him. "I swear, if you do anything to her…anything to harm her, I will find a way to make your life a living hell." He growls at Nero then, if he can, attempts to punch the man.

Nero, it would appear, didn't simply manipulate his way into power. He was taunting, and fully anticipated a physical response. He also didn't get to his position by fighting fair. As Travis grabs him, a knee comes up straight for the teen's groin, followed by a slug to the injured arm. He takes the punch square in the face. While Travis is taller than Nero, Nero has a definite weight advantage, and he plants one foot to pivot, a body slam in motion. Of course, even if it doesn't work, there are three armed guards just behind Travis to intercept.

Travis isn't that hard to over take especially since he's been practically starved for the last few days and barely had any water. He's slammed to the ground curled up in the fetal position waiting for the feeling in his groin to subside a bit. There's a few tears in his eyes from his injured arm getting hit as well as right now he's just trying to get past the pain.

Nero rubs his jaw, and picks his pad of paper up from the ground where it was dropped during the exchange. He picks up the golf pencil. He then strolls up to Travis, placing a heavy black combat boot on his shoulder to roll him on his back, and then place pressure on his collarbone. "You see," he says calmly. "Everyone has the heart to kill." He presses hard again Travis' collarbone, and then releases it. "You laid twenty-five fingers on me," Nero says, marking that number of tallies on the page. He tears it free. A total of twenty-eight has been counted.
"Take this to Rashmi Franklin's cell." The page is handed to one of his guards, who runs off toward the palace. "Every order you fail to obey from now on will result in her suffering." Nero snaps. "Now give me your shirt, dog." He steps back from Travis. "But do not worry, you will soon have the opportunity to set her free." A statement to bring him a little hope back. "Only if you obey, though."

Travis wants to spit back so many things to Nero right now but he figures that if he says something it's going to be worse for Rashmi so he just lies there and looks up at him. "I hate you." He spits out at the man as winces from the boot on his collarbone.

Nero makes another scratch on the pad for the comment. "We shall save that one for next time," he suggests. "Shirt."

It takes a moment but eventually Travis starts to unbutton his shirt and hands it to Nero. "I swear, everything you do to her you will pay for Nero." He says as he starts to push himself up off the floor. "If not by me, someone else will make you pay."

There is another scratch on the pad.

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