Just Rewards

From the Story Arc: Grim's Gamble

Previous Story in the Arc: Best Laid Plans by Astra Kyne Murdock (Saturday, November 11, 2006)

Next Story in the Arc: Starfall by Aedan Murdock (Thursday, November 16, 2006)

(posted Monday, November 13, 2006)

((Originally written and posted by DoctorInju on RPC Forums))

Having finished what he viewed as a rather pointless conversation with Vickie, the Grim Gambol lazily floated in the direction of Garvey’s laboratory. His evening had been mildly amusing, at least. Even if he hadn’t captured the Murdock girl, he had hurt her in ways no hospital could heal. The sight of her shaking in terror would give him reason to smile for many years to come. Her arrogant father had managed to snatch her away from Grim, but the ghost had managed to tear a clump of hair from the back of her head in the commotion. Perhaps Garvey would pay him something for the gory trophy, since he’d been interested in the blood of the boy. His simple mind filled with dark thoughts of crushing the life from the Murdock family, his trip passed by without him even noticing.

As Grim had hoped, the scientist was interested in the blood of Astra. Garvey took the sample and placed it in one of his numerous apparatus, making comments about it that Grim could not hope to follow. The ghost floated impatiently in the midst of the technological marvels of Dr. Garvey, anxiously waiting for his employer to get to Grim’s reward. “…lead to further developments. But, I digress. As you did not procure the actual twins, but just their blood, I cannot justify giving you the entirety of your promised compensation, but you may inhabit one of my numerous clones of Aedan and take it as your own. It will not last for long, so you would be well advised to be do with it what you will immediately.” Grim accepted his payment happily and left Garvey’s hideout on foot, walking in his new body. The school bus could wait until after he set his plan for his new body into motion.

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Roughly an hour later, the clone of Aedan walked casually into a small park in Cap au Diable and suddenly crumpled to the ground. A dark shape flew from the unconscious body, soaring through the sky and into a nearby store. A few moments later, it returned to the clone’s body and entered it, but not before depositing a paper bag on the ground next to it. The body jerked once and stood upright.

The Grim Gambol looked down at his feet, locating the bag he had brought back. He carried it to a nearby table and sat down happily. From within the sack, he drew a plastic tumbler, a quart of milk, and a bag of chocolate chip cookies. He filled the glass with milk and tore the package of cookies open hastily, spilling them across the top of the table. Grim quickly grabbed a cookie, dunked it in the milk, and was about to enjoy the first thing he would taste in 70 years when a cold grip crushed the heart of the clone. An instant later, Grim floated above the corpse of his payment, watching the milk he had stolen drip slowly onto the ground. On either side of him, the ghostly figures of two Longbow nullifiers hovered, glaring at Grim with hatred.

Grim sent them back whence they came easily enough, but the encounter was quite odd. Typically, his victims appeared as ghosts immediately or not at all. Why had these two taken so long to appear? He had not the time to consider the matter, for the floodgates of the afterlife were torn down and his many victims poured back into the world of the living. He tried to fight them, for a time, but they were too many and would eventually overwhelm him. So, he fled.

He flew faster than his spectral pursuers, but they were everywhere. They faded back into the ether when he gained too much distance, only to emerge in his path and begin the chase anew. For nearly 18 hours, the other ghosts hunted the Grim Gambol; but, he managed to make his way to the only place they would not chase him. His trips to the lower planes were by necessity brief, but he knew that if anything could hold an army of the dead at bay, Baron Samedi could. The task proved to be within the Baron’s abilities, but he demanded a heavy payment from Grim. To escape the spirits of his victims, the Grim Gambol would have to victimize others for yet another century.

Free of the constant assault of the other ghosts, Grim was at last able to slowly turn the matter over in his mind. After a pitifully long time, he finally decided that this curse must have been laid by Victoria Victrix, that it was perhaps what her talk of magic was all about. She had denied him the use of his human body and she would die for doing it. Her death would be slow in coming, terribly painful, and Grim would only allow her to expire when she had suffered enough that she prayed for release. Yes, he would have his revenge on her, but first he would ensure his safety from her magic. If she chose to hold to their bargains, he might find just the right foci of evil to do just that.