Scavenger's back, and this time, she's killing! Before we start, I'd like to suggest that you read my oneshot Supply and Demand before you read this. It's not strictly necessary, but it does give a nice introduction to the character. Also, I could use the readership... *ahem*
Be warned, this gets dark. Although, the film upon which it is based isn't exactly lighthearted, so... Anyway, enjoy!
Her footfalls rang out painfully loudly in the silent alleyway. The silence was as disconcerting as anything else. Close to the city centre, the streets were never truly quiet, you could always hear traffic, sirens, the occasional scream. A sort of background noise that mostly went unnoticed. Until it was gone.
There was a low murmur of a breeze, but nothing more. For Mina to have wandered so very far away from home was…worrying, to say the least.
For the past hour she had fought to quell the anxiety blooming in her gut, pushing it deep down with silent reassurances, one of which had become her mantra.
I should be home by now. Someone will come for me.
And she believed it. Someone would notice that she was gone, someone was bound to come looking. She realised, in a moment of clarity akin to the calm before a holy storm, that all she needed to do was retrace her steps.
Mina turned on her heel. In the gathering darkness, however, all streets looked alike. It was impossible to say from which direction she had come. She walked a few uneasy paces in the direction she was facing, but nothing looked familiar to her. It all looked the same, and it all looked strange. The same crumbling walls plastered with peeling, faded posters advertising Zydrate support groups and, pasted carelessly over the top, endless ads for new and fashionable surgeries.
Replace your face!
See the world through new eyes today!
Get Amber Sweet's latest fall look!
Zydrate is extracted from the dead –
Reading the posters provided only temporary respite from the fear clutching like talons at her insides. She was lost. It was dark, and growing darker by the minute, there were Repo Men and worse on the prowl. Mere hours ago she had been walking home. The idea of a shortcut had seemed a beguiling one, at the time, especially in her heels.
Now, she was going to be fortunate to survive the night.
"I should be home by now," she intoned in a cracked whisper, the words doing nothing to soothe her now. "Someone will come for me." It was almost a plea now. Somebody had to come and find her soon. Or else…
Or else she didn't know what she would do.
She remained where she was, pacing restlessly, arms locked tightly around her middle. She probably looked half-mad, muttering to herself and blinking back scalding tears every second, but she no longer cared.
Someone will come for me.
Someone will come for me.
"Please…" The tears she had fought for so long to hold back finally pooled in her eyes and began to drip down her pale cheeks. The wind had picked up, cold and forbidding, searing the damp tracks on her face and making her shiver. A sob burst from her lips, unbidden, and she pressed a shaking hand to her mouth and fell back against the wall. Her panic at long last overwhelmed her, and she wept.
"Are you lost, my dear?" The sudden voice startled her, and she glanced up, her vision veiled with tears. She blinked them hurriedly away, and came face to face with a stranger. A woman in a long black coat, with dirty hair of indeterminate colour half-hidden beneath a moth-eaten baker's cap. Her appearance was strange, but her demeanour was friendly enough.
"Y-yeah." Mina wiped her eyes with the back of her hand. "I m-must've gotten turned around or something. I have no idea where I am." The woman made a sympathetic sound low in her throat, and placed a gloved hand on Mina's arm.
"It's easily done. These streets are a veritable labyrinth." She pulled Mina a little closer, and lowered her voice to a dramatic whisper. "Especially in the dark!" The dread that had dissipated when the woman first made her appearance returned. With a vengeance.
"But don't worry," she continued, without missing a beat, "I know my way around this city. I can point you in the right direction."
Mina swallowed. Something about this woman was most definitely off, but at this point, what did she have to lose? There was no way she'd be able to find her way back alone, and her chances of running into someone equally friendly were decidedly slim. Eventually, she nodded.
"Right, then. Follow me."
It occurred to Mina shortly after the fact that she had never actually told the woman where it was she intended to go. She moved quickly regardless; it was an effort to keep up. By the time they eventually stopped, Mina was breathless. And still just as disoriented.
"Where are we now?" The woman flashed a brief, placating smile.
"I just have a quick errand to run."
"Oh," said Mina. That was all she said. It was all she had time to say, before the woman clamped a rag over her nose and mouth and she was suddenly and jarringly dragged into darkness.
The Scavenger braced as the girl went limp; she was heavier than she looked. Swift, warm breaths tickled her neck. Her hair smelt of cherry blossom.
Shifting the girl's weight into a more comfortable position in her arms, the Scavenger began to walk once more. She had a long night ahead of her.
There was no shortage of quiet spots to harvest a few organs in Crucifixus, but the Scavenger preferred to do most of her work at home. It was safer for her, and it reduced the risk of contamination.
Indeed, the small basement room (colloquially referred to as the dungeon by her colleagues) was spotlessly clean. The only light in the room came from an uncovered ceiling light, making the light strangely harsh and dull at once. A rickety old freezer loomed in one corner, shelves lined with vacuum-sealed organs and bags of blood. Half a wall was lined with various tools in varying states of disrepair. Her scalpel, her true blade, was always on her person, always ready to be used.
In the middle of the room was a gurney, infamously swiped from the nearest hospital. On that day, it had been loaded with small medical supplies, sutures and gauze and the like, and draped over with a white sheet.
Now, all it held was an unconscious Mina Lee.
Every so often the girl's eyelids flickered, reminding the Scavenger that time was of the essence. She hated it when they woke up.
She had taken a good look at the girl already. She was pretty, and seemed to be in good health. Her body, beneath her smart clothes, was devoid of scars, aside from a pearly appendectomy scar on her abdomen. Her hair was a glossy chestnut shade. She knew a handful of scalpel-sluts who'd pay a pretty penny for such a scalp.
Her eyes, behind those trembling lids, were a startling, yet wholly natural shade of cornflower blue. Her cheeks and nose were sprinkled with a few cinnamon-shaded freckles.
Her lips were pink, and shapely, pulled up slightly at the corners, giving her a perpetual look of contentment, even in a choloform-induced stupor. These, the Scavenger kissed, savouring it, before she began her work.
She slit open the girl's silky white blouse, in a flawless parody of what she was about to do to her flesh. Her eyes lingered for a fraction of a second on the girl's small, perfect breasts (petite was the current trend, she'd heard) before all of her attention was focused upon her task.
Her blade, keen as it was, cut effortlessly. She could probably manage a Y-incision with her eyes closed. Blood flowed freely, painting her senses with the scent of the slaughterhouse. She breathed steadily; her stomach did not roil.
There, protected by the curve of her ribcage, was her heart. Still beating, falteringly. A few tiny cuts later, she reached in and plucked it, easy as picking a flower.
Next, the lungs, pink and fresh and unmarred. Her hands were awash, but her work was not yet complete.
The liver and kidneys followed suit, glistening.
Miles of intestine.
By the end of it, the girl's shell-pink lips were blue, her skin an ashen grey. By the time her body was cool, her organs had been sealed up and stored away.
The Scavenger kissed the girl's cool, dead cheek, murmured a near-silent thank-you. Briefly considered taking her eyes – they were a hot commodity at the moment, but thought better of it.
Her colleagues dealt in life-saving; they did not pander to the people's vanity.
Once everything was cleaned up and squared away, she dragged Mina Lee's stiffening body out into the slowly-brightening streets and left it there, to be found by whoever cared to look for her.
I'm considering turning this into a series, by the way. I really like Scavenger as a character, and I've already had an idea or two which might be interesting. It might be chronological, it might not be, we'll see. If you have any ideas for how you'd like to see a fic series continuing on from this to go, please let me know via a review, or drop me a PM. Either way, I hope to hear from you guys, and I'll see you next time!