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St. Patrick's Cathedral Vaults and Catacombs 2-7-22 3am That tiny little thing on those whistles… the plastic… those leather half circles with the tiny piece of metal and a tambour of plastic that you could put on your tongue like a wafer and press to your palate. The high pitched whistle they could squeal was piercing, penetrating through your sinuses like a fire alarm, itching the center of your brain like whipping rain against a window of tissue paper until it popped. It was all he could think, hear, see, feel- that vicious searing sound crescendo through his every sense. Gasp was immediate, the uncontrolled reaction unusual as the world that had spiraled to a pinpoint of focus was broken by some shred of consciousness from somewhere. His hand was on fire, and the dirt floor room was vibrating, fist closing to stave the blood. He snapped the towel from around his neck and swathed it over the flames to extinguish them and muffle the blood that had almost just created something catastrophic. Breath seethed through his teeth at the first look of the split knuckles, then the ancient load bearing beam he’d been hitting. Wood was also spattered with his blood, quickly wiped off as well. His blood was like gasoline. Once he bled, his spark could ignite a firestorm. When his consciousness this time had fallen into seizure and errored, he’d no idea. Meditation was not new to him, physical training and focus were not new to him. Together, was most definitely not new; it was what gave him the intense control he had. This crack was getting bigger, and he was starting to lose longer moments of time. Under recent intense reflection, he had pinpointed it just to before the binding, before he walked into enemy territory of his own free will. His consciousness had bucked even the strongest of cuffs, and ever since then there had been a tiny leak in his brain. Enough to drip over years, testing his patience, his sanity… breaking open a crack that was swiftly destabilizing an already volatile mix of skills and magic. He could see his past so clearly before the Resonance. His hell after. Then numbness as he was a machine, and now. Now was this person he didn’t recognize. He was calculating, and angry. An angel on one shoulder, and a devil on the other. The angel he knew and still loathed, but this devil was seductive and unknown. Now as this person in the deep bowels of the cathedral where even the Vicar didn’t go, he was training again. Why? A deeply thought out plan. Physical training was at the forefront, his specialty was quiet and slick death. He needed to inflict more damage, be able to take more damage. The more damage he took, the crack would split further apart. The more he focused on it, the angrier he became, the angrier he became the more darkness flashed in his field of vision. Somewhere else, something else, and he couldn’t hit hard enough to make it either go away- or find the white rabbit. In the wane electric light of old brick, dirt floors and cement tombs, he just kept hitting, letting the fire flush up from his feet and over his form as his hands fell to his sides and chest heaved before it extinguished. Growl preceded the heels of his hands smacking together and palms thrust forward, the fierce blade of flame from his hands turning almost white as it scorched a brick wall, extinguishing as quickly as his temper tantrum had started. Knees hit the floor and he fell to sit, pushing himself back against the wall with the heels of his Tims. Elbows rested on his knees as he tried to knead the tension out of his skull. It felt like he was splitting apart, and all he wanted was another throat to cut. Or a world to burn.