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Most users ever online was 29 on October 1st 2013, 12:09 am

    Pain: João's Greatest Hits.

    Bad John
    Bad John
    Freelancer Operative

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    Location : A box in the United States.

    Pain: João's Greatest Hits.

    Post  Bad John on April 27th 2016, 3:47 am

    Author's Note wrote:An anthology of the most painful moments in the life of João Nunez Reyes, including emotional trauma, deaths, and injuries to the body and soul.

    Most will not be funny. This one is actually pretty difficult to read, and goes into the difficult, adversarial relationship betweden Jo and Sylvia.


    Blue light filled the otherwise dark room as a movie played on a small screen. João grinned as, on screen, a man with long hair was beaned in the forehead by a coffee cup. His present company, Evelyn and Evan Thompson, had rather mixed responses to the film.

    Evelyn laughed in earnest as The Dude was tossed to the floor by the sheriff. Evan watched, completely deadpan.

    "I don't get the joke." Evan folded his arms across his chest. He was painfully elbowed by his sister. "Ow. What? I don't get it."

    "It's not a joke, it's the situation that's funny." Jo wiped a tear from his eye as he looked over at Evan. "I mean, look at it. Lebowski can't catch a break!"

    Evan shrugged his shoulders, leaning back into the couch. He took solace in the fact that his movie was next; a thoughtful foreign film that provoked intelligent discourse. This absurdest humor clearly wasn't his thing.

    The door opened on the far side of the room, and Jo looked over his shoulder, his eyes widening slightly. It was Sylvia; Codename, Sylphide. A powerful ally, she normally spent her time out and about. Her water powers offered the fringe benefit of shapeshifting, if she put her mind to it. With a little practice, she could take on any face and slip into a crowd undetected; unlike Jo, who was often recognized in public rather easily, along with the other Rockettes.

    Jo turned back towards the flatscreen, giving a quick wave of his hand. "Hey, Sylvie."

    Evan and Evelyn went rather quiet as Sylvia took a seat nearby, looking at the screen. "What are you guys watching?"

    Evelyn spoke up, breaking some of the tension in the room. "The Big Lebowski. It's really funny."

    Sylvia nodded, and watched. Her eyes occasionally flicked towards João, focusing on his right arm. He was sporting a muscle shirt and sweat-pants; his neck and shoulders were on display. Most notable was his right arm, which was wrapped in a black cast from the forearm to just below the shoulder. He still didn't have his full range of motion with it back.

    It had been torn off two days ago; a wound that proved fatal shortly after.

    Evan nudged Evelyn, and the two stood up. Clearing his throat, Evan presented their excuse to leave.

    "We're going to get something to drink. Do you two want anything?"

    "Coffee would be nice," Sylvia said. Jo wordlessly held up a bottle of water that he already had. With a few hurried steps, the twins were gone from the room, an uneasy tension settling with their departure.

    Jo watched the screen without saying anything, hoping the conversation wouldn't happen at all, but Sylvia's blue eyes locked onto him. She tied back her hair, and coughed; an affectation. She had complete control over her anatomy, she just wanted his attention.

    "Are you doing well, João? How's your arm?" She smiled, as he turned towards her with a rather flat face.

    "A bit numb. Joint hurts when I lift things. Should be fine in the morning." Jo adjusted in his seat. The most uncomfortable part of the injury was the blood loss. He still felt rather weak and sluggish, but his strength was slowly returning.

    Sylvia smiled, and looked around. The twins had shut the door, so she picked up and placed something glassy and brown on the table. It was a square bottle of rum. "Maybe a drink would make you feel better."

    "No thank you." Jo quickly dismissed the notion, turning back towards the television. He took a swig of water, as Sylvia leaned forward.

    "It'd help you loosen up. I know you could use that; Evan's movie is next, no?" Her accent lilted her words; though she hid it well, the word "no" brought the french out in full force. "Just one glass." Sylvia slid the bottle across the coffee table; her arm elongated until it was in front of Jo, who kept staring ahead at the screen.

    "It doesn't help, and I'm not supposed to drink until I'm back at 100%." Jo grasped the bottle and scooted it away. "Thank you, though."

    The two sat in uncomfortable silence for a bit. Jo grasped the remote and paused the movie. Sylvia hoped he'd talk, but Jo didn't say anything; he was pausing it for the twins sake, not to begin a discourse.

    "...You heal from a lot, but we both know what being dead that long does to you." Sylvia leaned forward, clasping her hands together. "I just want to help, mon amis." Sylvia grasped the bottle and moved it back towards Jo, who gave it a rather contemptuous look. "Keep things...how you like to say, 'copacetic.'"

    "Yeah, alcohol doesn't tend to work that way." Jo placed his foot on the table, and slid the bottle as far as he could without moving off the couch.

    Sylvia picked up the bottle and set it aside with a sigh, leaning forward and putting her hand on her chin. She stared straight at him, boring a hole in the side of his head as he looked at the frozen image of Jeff Lebowski in the back of a taxi, his hand on his head.  After a moment, as if by miracle, Jo turned and looked over at Sylvia to say something.

    "I want to be friends again, I do, but you only show up when something bad happens, and it feels like you're just around out of...I donno, pity. Especially after the way things ended last time. So I'm sorry if I'm being an asshole, I just don't think you're doing any of this in good faith."

    Sylvia's brow furrowed, and suddenly the hair tie on the back of her head fell off as her hair entered a semi-liquid state, flowing around it, soaking it, and leaving it on the couch behind her as she stood up. "Good faith? I leave an assignment in South America to bail you out, and you get yourself killed rather than accept an assist. I bring you your favorite brand of liquor, at no small price. I blow off a night doing whatever I want to see you when you're down, and you doubt my good faith?"

    "You see? That right there. I was honest with you, and your reaction is to make it clear that hanging out with me is beneath you, and you could be doing something more interesting." Jo turned away, staring at the screen and propping his feet up, trying to act cool. His left hand shook slightly; he did not want this confrontation to go sour, and he was hoping Sylvia would calm down.

    "Ta gueule! You always have to turn things around and do things yourself. Can't you just let someone besides Saffore in?" Sylvia leaned forward, folding her arms across her chest. She took a breath, walking towards Jo and placing a hand on his shoulder. For a moment, Jo didn't move. He then stiffened and stood up with a slight amount of difficulty. His leg bumped the table, and the legs ground as the low table was knocked forward a few inches.

    "Don't touch me." Jo put his finger in Sylvia's face, standing his ground with a stern, angry look on his face. Tension turned to outright hostility. "Booze and pity sex on a shitty couch do not count as opening up. I'm being honest with you right now; you're making me uncomfortable."

    Sylvia had a hurt look on her face. It was hard to believe they'd ever been friends.

    ...I may have taken it too far. Jo's stern look deflated slightly, and he looked rather guilty. "Look, I-" He faltered when he saw a rather nasty glare on Sylvia's face, turning to fury.

    "Pity sex? You thought that's where this was going? Perhaps you should get over yourself a bit." She took a step forward, and Jo retreated two steps in turn, holding his hands up defensively. "You...Va te faire foutre, you tear apart everything I try to do to lend you a hand, when you're the worst off of anyone I know. You're like a hedgehog; you prick everyone who gets close!"

    "Okay, I was out of line. I'm sorry, reall-"

    "Maybe it's just women in general that bother you. You constantly go out of your way to disobey Saffore, you avoid Tara, and you stonewall me constantly. You used to be such a nice guy. Where did someone go wrong?"

    Sylvia was actively chasing Jo now. As he stepped back, she moved forward, until he was against a wall.

    "You know, come to think of it, maybe it's her. The one woman who's always God in the eyes of a man." Sylvia smirked. "I didn't know the original, but I've seen pictures of the adopted one; the one you actually knew before she died."

    At first, there was only confusion, until João realized just what Sylvia meant. "...You wouldn't." Jo's fist clenched as Sylvia's physical form warbled slightly. "DON'T." Jo honestly wanted to hit her, but when her face finished changing, Jo simply turned and covered his eyes, unable to look for a second.

    "Turn around. See if I got her hair right." Sylvia's voice was slightly distorted by the change in appearance; Jo could tell by her shadow who Sylvia was imitating, and he couldn't bring himself to retort.

    Sylvia had taken the shape of his adopted mother, who was likely spinning in her grave.

    This was worse for João Nunez Reyes than a hundred deaths, and it showed. His shoulders slumped and he put his forehead against the wall, as Sylvia, for the first time, started to question what she was doing. She took a step back, a bit mortified, as the door swung open.

    Evan and Evelyn stood behind Saffore, who hit the lights. Saffore's eyes widened, and her brow furrowed. Sylvia quickly transformed back to her normal appearance. Before she could speak, Saffore lifted a single hand. "I don't want to know, and I don't want any excuses. Both of you are seperated until you learn to get along. Period."

    Sylvia nodded. There was a rather choked sound from João, who gave a rather shakey thumbs up with his good arm. His face covered with his hand, he went and had a seat on one of the easy chairs, putting his face in his hands.

    "...Jo, are you alright?" Evelyn tried to take a step towards him, but Saffore lifted a hand, stopping her.

    "Just...need a minute," Jo murmured. He kept his voice straight. "Could you guys just...like...leave?"

    Saffore nodded, and harshly gestured towards Sylvia, who stepped out the door without a word. She had the courtesy not to defend her case, and was now just wishing she could take back what she'd done. She stopped, and spoke. "Je suis désolé, mon amis. Je suis vraiment."

    Jo, on the verge of a nervous breakdown, sharply turned towards her, tears in his eyes. "Here's a hot news flash: I DON'T FUCKING SPEAK FRENCH, DUDE."

    Sylvia nodded and kept walking, as Saffore closed the door, leaving João alone. He looked up, spotting the bottle in front of him. Grasping it, he hurled it at the wall, watching it explode into shards and sharp smelling liquid. He couldn't help but laugh as it dripped down the wall.

    Laughter soon transitioned into tears.
    Bad John
    Bad John
    Freelancer Operative

    Posts : 1224
    Join date : 2013-01-17
    Location : A box in the United States.

    Re: Pain: João's Greatest Hits.

    Post  Bad John on April 27th 2016, 1:31 pm

    Author's Note wrote:This isn't an official part of the Pain series, nor is it canon. I wanted to get a feel for writing an ultimately sympathetic villain, so I've fabricated a hypothetical meeting between Jo and Lucifer, in which João has been captured, and Lucifer is deciding how to dispose of him.

    It is rather painful though.

    João crouched in a state of contemplation. Even with his strength, the restraints on his arms and ankles were too well anchored for him to unseat, and too strong for him to snap. On one knee, he shut his eyes and thought; he could feel air flow in the room, but it was pitch black. Without his glasses, he couldn't see in the dark, so he had little concept for his location.

    That is, until the door in front of him opened. The light was blinding when he looked up, and he quickly shut his eyes. Soon, the light faded, and the door shut behind the man in the room.

    "Mister Reyes. Hello." The smooth, calm voice wasn't haughty, or conceited; Jo couldn't tell why. Lucifer had all but won. The meta-human knew damn well that even if he could get loose, fighting this Demon, the apex in terms of physical power, would end in failure. What niggled João the most was the tone of Lucifer's voice.

    "You sound...concerned." Jo looked up; he could see Lucifer's silhouette. Tall, proud, and straight. The man stood with his shoulder square and his hands behind his back. "Not particularly common, in my line of work. The few times I've been caught, the enemy always sounds pretty damn pleased."

    "There is nothing pleasing about this situation." Lucifer's shoes clicked against the metal floor. "I had hoped the enemy of my enemy could be my friend."

    "Silly mistake, Lou." Jo smirked. "The enemy of your enemy is just that. The enemy of your enemy. I'm starting to worry that you're not as smart as you sound."

    Lucifer actually laughed at that. The footfalls stopped, and there was a scraping sound as the Demon pulled out a metal folding chair. The man had a seat on the far side of the room. Likely a precaution. "...Let me ask you something. Why do they call you 'Roach?'"

    "Probably because the species is so damn survivable. I never much cared for the name. Also, for my first couple assignments, I wore a dumbass headset that looked like a pair of antannae. WOW, I've got to say, you're really easy to talk to." Jo was playing for time, but there was a nugget of truth in those words. Something about Lucifer made the man feel...approachable. Amiable even.

    "I think there are many more words that would be more appropriate." Lucifer interlocked his fingers across his lap. "Revenant, perhaps. Maybe...Lich. You persevere despite lethal wounds, and for good reason. All it takes is a few minutes of regeneration and a pair of defibrillator paddles to bring you back from the dead. I suppose that makes Dr. Saffore your...phylactery of sorts."

    "Fan of Dungeons and Dragons?" Jo leaned back, crossing his legs.

    Once again, Lucifer gave a sensible, brief chuckle at the jape. "I dabble."

    "What did you do to the Doctor?" Jo wanted to ask about the Twins, or the Rockettes, or his new compatriots, but asking Lucifer about them, if there was even the possibility that the Demon didn't know about them, would be tantamount to turning them out.

    "No unnecessary harm has come to any of your comrades. You'll be pleased to know that most of them are still free. I only wished to deal with you, before having a civil conference with them." Lucifer leaned forward, his chair groaning. "...Surely you've had the discussion regarding your redundancy. Granted, your martial talent and singular valor are impressive, but your teammates are far more physically powerful. Your many deaths are...unnecessary, when you could take on an advisory role, and live in relative peace."

    Jo thought back on that exact subject. Words he'd shared in confidence with the Twins, Evelyn and Evan, when he considered quitting.

    I don't need this. You don't need me.

    "Never even gave it a thought." A transparent lie left Jo's mouth.

    "I know you have. The fact that you dismissed that thought and kept fighting makes you that much stronger. That much more...frightening. A Roach scurries off at the first sign of danger. A dog bares its fangs, until he's wounded or faces overwhelming force. But a MAN knows fear, and makes it his own." Lucifer leaned forward, eyes shimmering red despite the absence of light in the room. "You've fought and died, been abused by your own allies, been turned out and rejected by those you protect. Why continue, when someone else can take your place?"

    "...Because every hit I take is one that they don't have to." In truth, Jo didn't have a real answer; he just said what felt right. "Surely you know, I won't be joining you, Lucifer. Just because we have power doesn't mean we get to decide what the world is. It means more rules apply to us; it means we're beholden to the people we can help."

    "And who needs more help than our people? The gifted. The meta. We have these blessings, and the greatest government on earth rounds us up and butchers us. Why? Because they see us as dragons." Lucifer sighed. "I do enjoy fantasy, so consider a creature with me. A giant. They're a sad race, driven feral by a constant need for food that the world cannot satisfy. Hunted and fearfully butchered by common soldiers and seemingly noble knights." The Demon's fists audibly cracked as he continued, growing more passionate in the metaphor. "Lain low for the crime of possessing strength; strength that could better the world. Victimized by his own power, when a guiding hand could make his mind and body just as erudite, clever, and giving as any man! Tell me, is that justice? Were the men who killed your birth parents, and your adopted family acting for justice?!"

    Jo's teeth ground. "Leave that subject alone, or I'll kill you. Final warning." The meta-human's threat seemed empty, but the straining of his bonds and the fury on his face made it clear that he wasn't joking.

    "...I should have known better than to bring them up. My apologies, Mister Reyes." Lucifer shut his glowing eyes, and stood. "...I will not ask you to fight for me, Jo. I cannot, on good conscience send you to die over and over, and I haven't the resources to rebuild you when you fall. Besides that, you're unwilling; I'll not compel a noble man into unwilling service." Lucifer turned towards Jo, and gave him the bad news. "But your know-how and martial prowess are too dangerous for me to allow you leniency."

    "So, what, you'll kill me?" Jo rolled his eyes. "Get on with it then, you dick."

    "No. I have no intention to slay you in cold blood. I intend to help you." Lucifer turned his back to Jo. "I've taken your broadcasting equipment, and as you likely remember, I removed the tooth in your jaw that concealed a hidden microphone. I dug out the trackers in every limb on your body, including the one in your scalp. Doctor Saffore will not be able to find you."

    "...So, what, you're locking me in here?"

    "No. I'm no deranged Montresor." Lucifer turned and looked Jo over. "I have a contact who will temporarily wipe your memories. The effect will last one year; I wanted more, but your brain repairs even synapses at a remarkable rate. I will leave you at a small monastery in Napal. The monks will take you in and prevent your detection by outside forces. There, you will take a long needed rest. You will be safe from physical harm and personal tragedy. When your memories return, I hope you choose to remain there; getting home will not be easy for you. It will buy me time to find a civil way to handle your comrades."

    Jo, rather stunned, suddenly jerked his titanium restraints. He managed to warp one by a millimeter, but it wasn't nearly enough. "You...motherfucker." Jo stared at the profile of his adversary. "What the HELL is your problem?! You're gonna brainwash me and put me in a Buddhist day-care camp?! That's...that's quite possibly the most twisted thing anybody's ever did to me!"

    Lucifer sighed. "I ask you as a fellow meta-human. Don't return to fight me. Don't return at all, until you're ready."

    "Ready for what?"

    Lucifer turned, and was engulfed in his liquid fire; he grew several feet, illuminating the room with blinding orange light.

    "To take back what you're owed. To inherit the world."

    Lucifer's voice boomed as he spoke. He turned and stepped out of the room, grasping the door handle.

    "I'll let the others know you're safe, Mister Reyes. I'll give them your best."

    Lucifer shut the door, to continue with his machinations.

    One more noble hindrance was out of his way.
    Doctor Jensen
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    Re: Pain: João's Greatest Hits.

    Post  Doctor Jensen on April 27th 2016, 2:10 pm

    This is great stuff, man. Keep it up.
    Freelancer Operative

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    Re: Pain: João's Greatest Hits.

    Post  Manny on April 28th 2016, 1:06 am

    Says this isn't funny.

    Has a play on words in the title.

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    Re: Pain: João's Greatest Hits.

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