4-03-2001

Yup, yet another teaser. <ducking barrage of thrown objects> It's all Amy-chan's fault! She keeps egging me on. <snigger>

SYNOPSIS: A missing Duo. Serial killers. Mysterious deaths. Police corruption. Enough said! ^_-

Disclaimer: (Full Disclaimers at the end) Gundam Wing and Spawn are copyrights of their respective creators and all distributors of their work and used without permission.

********** WARNINGS ********* WARNINGS *********

Alternate Universe, DARK-fic
Mature Themes (violence, torture, abuse, non-consensual sex, etc.)

YAOI (male/male relationships)
LEMON/LIME (explicit/implied sexual content)

A special warning for possible GORE and ICK content.

********** WARNINGS ********* WARNINGS *********

Pairings: 1x2/2x1
Rating: NC-17 (adult content/mature themes)
Archive: www.madamhydra.net/GW-DARK.html, www.fanfiction.net

NOTE 1: This fic was inspired by the "Blood and Sutures" story arc in "The Curse of Spawn" comic book (issues 5-8), which has been reprinted in volume 2 of "The Curse of Spawn" trade paperbacks. It's a terrific story, so check it out, if you like Spawn-type stories! ^_^

/.../ represents mental and/or subconscious dialogue

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THE ULTIMATE SIN
A Gundam Wing ALTERNATE-REALITY / FUSION fic by Madamhydra
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Part 1
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Overkill, enough is enough
There's nothing left of me to devour
You've had your fill, I'm all I have left
What can stop your hunger for power

'Cos you took advantage of things that I said
Now the feeling is dead
And that's the ultimate sin
And that's the ultimate sin

* * *

There's no point in screaming
'Cos you won't be heard
Now that tables have turned
It was the ultimate sin

I warned you then and I'm warning you now
If you mess with me, you're playing with fire
Winds of change that are fanning the flames
Will carry you to your funeral pyre

It's pulling you down
It's your final descent
It's too late to repent
When it's the ultimate sin

-- "The Ultimate Sin" by Ozzy Osbourne
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It is often and truthfully said that war exposes the worst side of human nature. But even when outright military warfare comes to an end, man's inhumanity to man continues.

After the winter of AC 196, it seemed that peace had settled over the known universe....

.... but humanity's war on itself goes on, neverending.

In the largest cities and the most remote outposts, two-legged predators continue to stalk their unsuspecting prey. Cannibals, feeding on their own kind.

They assault. They wound. They torture. They kill.

Not necessarily in that order.

They want, so they take.

All they care about are their own selfish desires, oblivious to the human wreckage they leave behind.

The misery of others meet with deaf ears, blind eyes, and lying tongues.

So the violence continues....
The brutality....
The cruelty....
The suffering....

Enough. ENOUGH.

Pain has been given a voice.
Retribution has been given a body.
Vengeance and Death walk as one.

An eye for an eye. A life for a life.

As you sow, so shall you reap.

It is time for debts to be paid in blood.

It is time for the hunters to be hunted.

It is time for the killers to die.

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A crystalline violet-blue orb gleams in the dim, uncertain light.

It is such a beautiful eye.

And so brave, too, to stare unblinking at the long, curved needle that hovered just above it before plunging downward to pierce the pale, silken skin just beneath the lower eyelid. A gentle, but firm tug, and the needle exits, leaving behind a single, neat dark stitch.

The delicate, chestnut brown thread goes taut, binding the edges of the bone-deep gash together.

A soft, tuneless croon fills the room, soothing as a mother's lullaby, as flesh is rejoined to severed flesh.

One stitch done. So many left to go before a jigsaw puzzle of muscle and bone is again made whole.

But the gods are patient.

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The Gundam pilots had each gone their own way after the Mariemeia incident.

Trowa had returned to the circus, but he was gradually spending more time with Quatre.

Wufei had gone to work for the Preventers and seemed reasonably content, although in his email messages, he frequently griped about THAT woman.

Duo had traveled extensively, roaming from place to place as his whim took him. One month, he would studying classical music at the famed Academy in Strasbourg. The next month he might be on an marine archeological expedition, helping to excavate an old shipwreck. It wasn't hard to figure out the reason for Duo's behavior. For the first time in his life, he could learn and do things that weren't directly related to his immediate survival or a mission.

As for Heero, he had finally accepted a position on Relena's security detail. The first three months had been tense and uncomfortable, much to Dorothy's obvious amusement. Relena had clearly expected their relationship to become more intimate, but eventually, she seemed to realize that Heero simply had no romantic interest in her whatsoever. With that realization, the tension between them quickly eased and they settled down into a companionable working relationship. Relena learned to give Heero space, while he learned to tolerate her occasional, but well-meant intrusions into his personal life.

Duo rarely called, but he wrote Heero regularly. Every two or three weeks, another letter would arrive, full of funny jokes, witty remarks, and fascinating details of Duo's experiences. To his surprise, Heero found that he enjoyed Duo's messages very much. The American definitely had a talent for description and wry humor. He had already been to some of the locations that Duo visited, but Duo somehow made those places seemed new and completely different. Heero made a point of answering every letter. Unfortunately, his replies were usually short and terse, because he couldn't think of anything to say, but he hoped that Duo would understand what he was actually trying to say.

He kept every one of Duo's letters and constantly reread them. It took him several months to figure out the real reason why. He was looking for some hint that Duo felt something more than casual friendship for him. Unfortunately, the letters failed to give him any clue as to the American's true feelings.

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[ September 23, AC 198 ]

Relena stared impatiently at the telephone and wondered where the hell Duo was. She glanced at the clock and frowned. His shuttle should have arrived hours ago. At this rate, Duo was going to going to be late for his surprise dinner with Heero.

When an hour went by with no message from Duo, a decidedly irate Relena grabbed for the phone and called a now familiar number.

"Hilde! Don't tell me that Duo missed the shuttle! The dinner's in two hours!"

There was a long silence from the other end of the phone.

"Hilde? Hilde?"

Finally, Hilde Schbeiker answered, a decidedly uneasy tone in her voice.

"Relena, Duo left for Earth over a week ago."

"He WHAT!?" Relena squawked, as she jumped to her feet.

"Duo took the shuttle to Earth over a week ago. He said he had some errands to do before the dinner. Surely he's gotten in touch with you by now!"

"No, he hasn't."

".... maybe he forgot."

"When Heero's involved, Duo forgets nothing. You knew that as well as I do."

".... yes, I know."

"Why didn't he get in touch with you when he reached Earth?"

"I knew he was going to be real busy, so I told him not to worry and just drop me a postcard after all the dust settled. Relena? Relena!?"

"Do you have his flight information?"

"Yes. Here it is. Polaris, flight 3621, due to arrive in Neo-Angeles at 3 PM on September 14. He used the name 'Solo St. Helen', just in case Heero was keeping tags on him. Relena, I SAW him get on that shuttle."

After scribbling down the information, Relena said, "Thanks, Hilde. I'll have Noin check this out. And there's still time. Who knows, we might be panicking over nothing. He could come waltzing through the door at any time."

"I guess so. Let me know when you find him, okay? And give him a good smack for scaring me like that."

"Of course, Hilde. Talk to you later."

-------------------------------------------------

Nearly two hours later, Noin shook her head and said, "He got off the shuttle and picked up his bags. We found a hotel reservation for 'Solo St. Helen' and confirmed that Duo actually checked in two hours after the shuttle landed."

"And...."

"His luggage is still in the hotel room. And housekeeping informs me that the bed apparently hasn't been slept in for the past nine days."

"Didn't they find that odd?" Relena demanded.

"Not really. As long as someone's paying for the room, hotels don't really care if the customer actually stays there or not. I've told them not to touch the room until someone checks it out."

"I don't like this. I don't like this at all," Relena muttered, anxiously drumming her fingers on the desktop.

The two women exchanged worried looks. They both knew Duo was probably an expert at disappearing, especially in an urban environment, but there were no conceivable reason for him to do so now. Relena knew there were no outstanding warrants on any of the pilots. And even if he had been arrested or was running for his life, Duo surely would have found a way to get in touch with her, Heero, or his other friends.

That only left a few possibilities, all of them very bad. Noin ticked them off on her fingers.

"One, he's gotten stranded somewhere. Two, he's been severely injured. Three, he's been abducted or captured, and is being held incommunicado." Noin took a deep breath before continuing. "Four... he's dead."

Relena started to shake her head, as if in denial, then stopped. She bit her lip and said, "Have you called the hospitals?"

"I've made inquiries. Nothing so far, but I'm still checking. I also had some of my people checking with the local law enforcement authorities."

"What did they say?"

Noin scowled. "They say that they don't have any information."

"They... 'say'? You don't believe them?"

The older woman shook her head and said angrily, "Something's not right. It took them way too long to give me that answer. First, they keep running me around in circles, bouncing me from precinct to precinct, to various offices and divisions, and when that doesn't work, they started to get defensive. They practically refused... refused!... to even start an investigation because, and I quote, 'What do you expect from a teenager alone in the big city for the first time? He coulda picked up some girl or some dope on the street. The kid's probably too busy partying to call home. The police have more important things to do than babysit some irresponsible teenager,' endquote."

For a moment, Relena was too outraged to say anything. Finally, she sputtered, "Of all the stupid, callous things to say...!"

"I know. They're lazy and incompetent, or...."

"Or what?"

"Or else they're stonewalling. But if that's true, the question becomes 'why?'" Noin's expression indicated that she was all too aware of the answer.

Relena inhaled sharply. "Because they have something to hide. Or they're protecting someone." She abruptly stiffened. "Wait a moment. I think Une recently sent me a report on police corruption recently. And wasn't Neo-Angeles at the top of the list of suspected police departments?"

"That's right. In fact, she said that the problem might serious enough to warrant investigation by the Preventers."

"Noin, keep checking for more information. I need to speak to Une."

-------------------------------------------------

Later that evening, Heero entered Relena's office and instantly knew from the tight, stoic expressions on their faces that something very serious had occurred.

Relena placed her hands on the desktop, took a deep breath, and spoke in even tones.

"Heero, Duo's missing."

He stared at her blankly for a moment. It was the last thing he had expected to hear. Finally, he said in a voice stripped of emotion, "How do you know?"

"Because he was supposed to be here this afternoon. He wanted to surprise you. But he never showed up. There was no message. Nothing. I thought he might have missed his flight, but we know that he arrived on Earth on the 14th. The last confirmed sighting was nearly ten days ago, when he checked into his hotel in Neo-Angeles. His bags are still there in his room, but there's no trace of him."

"Hospital. The morgue," he said flatly.

"We checked, Heero. So far, nothing. But...."

"What?"

"Certain units in the Neo-Angeles police are being... less than cooperative."

Heero's eyes narrowed ominously.

Noin said curtly, "Something rotten is going on over there and I've got a nasty feeling that it has something to do with Duo's disappearance."

"Acknowledged." The cold, flat tone was all too familiar to both Noin and Relena.

As Heero turned and headed for the door, Relena called out, "Heero, wait a moment!"

He paused in front of the doorway and waited as she ran up to him. His face was set and expressionless, but Relena sensed the angry impatience running through his body. She thrust a data disk into his hand and spoke quickly.

"Here's all the information we've gathered so far. I've already spoken to Une. Wufei's already in Neo-Angeles in an official capacity. He's on temporary assignment at the regional Preventer office as a special investigator. He's supposed to be assisting the police department with tracking down a possible serial killer. But his real assignment is to look for hard evidence of corruption within the police department. He'll be waiting for you."

He nodded once.

Relena bit her lip and added quietly, "Heero, this can be very dangerous. If the police have something to hide.... You're going to have to watch your back all the time."

"I know that."

"I've also asked Trowa to meet you there. If things are as bad as we suspect, you're going to need all the help you can get. And if there's anything we can do for you...."

"Understood."

She grabbed hold of his arm and said softly, "Heero, I want you to know that this meeting was very important to Duo. He really wanted to see you again, in person."

Heero stared at her. "He spoke to you? About coming here? About... me?"

"Yes. Duo and I... he needed to talk to someone who knew you. Over the last year, we've spoken many times. But he didn't want you to know."

He was silent for a moment, then said evenly, "Why was he coming here, Relena?"

"Duo wanted to tell you something very important, Heero. And I think you know what I'm talking about," she said, releasing her grip on his arm.

Stepping back, Relena added, "Heero, some people in Neo-Angeles will probably try to convince you that Duo's run off with another lover or something like that. Don't believe them. This wasn't some casual impulse. This was a decision that was nearly two years in the making. He wanted to be with you more than anything in the world. No matter what others say, always remember that."

"...."

But before he exited the room, Heero paused and said softly, "Thank you, Relena," then left before she could reply.

She slowly walked back to her chair and sat down. Glancing up at Noin, she said, "Well?"

"That was very kind of you, Relena. I know that you had hopes regarding Heero."

Relena sighed. "Yes, I did, but I eventually realized that fantasy would never come true. Heero cares about me, but he doesn't love me. Not that way. And I owe Duo. The listening... it went both ways. When I needed to talk to someone, when I needed a different perspective on a situation, he was there for me."

"I didn't know."

"It was a surprise for me, too. I always knew Duo talked a lot, but I never realized how well he listened." Relena sighed. "I hope we did the right thing, sending Heero to Neo-Angeles."

"With Duo involved, you never would have been able to stop him."

"I know."

"Under normal circumstances, I'd be reluctant to set three angry Gundam pilots on anyone. But if someone in Neo-Angeles is responsible for hurting Duo, then they deserve everything they get. I sincerely hope the guilty party rots in hell." Noin looked at Relena and added, "I know you probably disapprove of my feelings, but...."

Relena shook her head sharply.

"In this case, I agree with you completely."

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[ September 23, AC 198 ]

Centuries may pass, but man's need for an extra bit of storage never changes. In an industrial district on the outskirts of Neo-Angeles, Jasper Purvis-Greene -- a skinny, nondescript middle-aged man -- shivered as he carefully locked the door to his dingy storage unit. He then turned and flung his arms open wide.

"Hello, my beauties. Have you missed Papa?" he said, a wildly happy grin plastered on his bony face.

No one came running into his outstretched arms. Twenty-some severed heads, each neatly stored in its individual clear plastic jar, stared in his direction -- eyes wide and staring, faces contorted in expressions of utter terror.

He giggled softly to himself as he gleefully admired his collection. Reaching into a pocket, he pulled out a foil-wrapped sweet and crooned, "I have some candy for you. So who wants to be nice to Daddy?"

When he received no reply, Jasper unzipped his pants, pulled out his flaccid penis and waggled it playfully in direction of the jars.

"Come on! Don't be shy! What about you, Cindy?" He smiled benevolently at the dark-haired head of a ten year old girl. "Oh dear. So many eager mouths. How will I choose? How will I choose?"

He pointed a skinny index finger and chanted, "Eeny meeny miney moe, catch a rooster by the toe...." At the end of the rhyme, he was pointing at Cindy.

Actually, that was no surprise. He had planned it out that way. Cindy was his current favorite, but he didn't want to make the other children jealous.

Jasper picked up the jar and held it up to the light as he ran his fingers lovingly over the thick, crystal clear plastic. When he could no longer stand the anticipation, he unsealed the jar and reached into the clear preservative fluid -- guaranteed to stay that way for at least ten years! -- to pull out Cindy's head. He held it over the container for a moment or two to allow the liquid to drain away, then carefully patted it dry with a stained towel.

"You know what to do now, don't you Cindy, my girl? Oh, don't look at me that way." He inserted a damp thumb between the dead girl's lips, and carefully tried to get her mouth to open a bit wider.

"My, you're still stubborn," he muttered. The preservative he used always made the muscles contract, so he often had to work the jaws loose before he could have his fun. But he didn't want to use too much force. Breaking the jaw joint would simply ruin her, and he hated the thought of losing her. Cindy was such a talented little thing.

"Say, 'Aaaaahhh....' That's a good girl, Cindy-lou."

He had just stuffed his cock into the severed head's mouth when a bone-chilling wind swept down the front of his body. He blinked in confusion as he stared downwards, unable to understand why Cindy's head was now rolling around on the dusty floor.

It took him a second or two to realize that his hands were also lying on the ground... and his cock, too, still crammed between Cindy's pouty little lips -- the same lips that had attracted his attention in the first place and made her such a prized addition to his collection.

As blood spurted from his forearms and the stump of his penis, he sucked in air so he could scream. But the shriek stuck in his throat as he stared at the pale, nearly nude apparition who had suddenly appeared right in front of him. It perched on the table with uncanny grace, and stroked his Adam's apple with a viciously serrated knife. Nearly two feet long, the blade was a pure, matte black, but now, it glistened wetly with his own blood. His bulging, terrified eyes skipped from the knife to the face of his attacker.

The wild mane of long brown hair failed to obscure the masculine beauty of the face or the icy violet-blue eyes that glared at him with feral intensity. Like a leopard or panther, the stranger was all fluid grace and deceptively sleek muscles. His only clothing consisted of thin, bandage-like black strips wound about the arms, legs, hips, and torso. But they did nothing to hide the complex patchwork of meticulously stitched scars that covered every inch of his body like some arcane tribal tattoo.

Demon and angel in one, the wild, knife-wielding stranger was both terrifying and glorious to behold. But Jasper Purvis-Greene -- husband, father of two, serial murderer of over twenty children over the last seven years -- was in no condition to appreciate the sight.

"Please... don't... don't kill me... pleassssseeee!" the serial killer gibbered madly. The stench of voided bowels filled the stale air of the storage unit.

His attacker finally spoke in a low, husky tenor -- a voice filled with a terrible purpose. As the tip of the knife flicked upward to prod the corner of Jasper's mouth, it said two simple words.

"Say, 'Aaaaahhh.'"

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The roof of the storage compartment groaned and creaked as the body of Jasper Purvis-Greene slowly swayed back and forth in mid-air, suspended by a myriad of strands of heavy duty nylon fishing line.

Jasper's mysterious attacker contemplated his work for a moment. Something important was missing.

He cocked his head, as if thinking, then bent down to pick up the serial killer's favorite trophy. Handling the child's head with tender reverence, the scarred young man removed the remains of Greene's penis from her mouth and contemptuously tossed the lump of flesh aside. With slender, long-nailed fingers, he gently closed the little girl's mouth, brushed the dirt from her face, then carefully placed her on the table so it faced the mutilated corpse of her killer.

He gently stroked the small head one last time, as if to reassure Cindy that her suffering was finally over, then turned his attention back to the suspended corpse. He retrieved the severed penis and ruthlessly stuffed it down into Greene's throat. Pulling out a threaded needle, he then set about sewing the child-killer's nearly severed jaw securely back into place.

He worked carefully, but quickly.

The serial killer called the 'Head-taker' was only the first.

There would be many more.

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(end Part 1)
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Author's Notes:
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If you want an idea of what Duo looks like in this fic, you can find
offical images of the original Suture at:

http://www.madamhydra.net/images/TUS-suture.jpg
http://www.madamhydra.net/images/TUS-curse-spawn-28.jpg

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Keeper of Duo's Dark Side ~~~ Duo no Seishi
Co-Keeper of Duo's Scythe & Bat Wings (w/ Death)
Co-Keeper of Little Grim Reaper Duo (w/ Kitsune)
Saitoh no Koibito ~~~ Corruptor Extraordinaire
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madamhydra@aol.com /\/\/\/\/\/\/\/:E
http://www.madamhydra.net/
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The Full Disclaimer
All rights and privileges to Shin Kidousenki Gundam Wing are trademarks and property of Sunrise, Bandai, Sotsu Agency, and associated parties. All rights and privileges to "Curse of Spawn" and "Suture" are trademarks and property of Todd McFarlane, Image Comics, and associated parties.
The characters of these works are used WITHOUT permission for the purpose of entertainment only. This work of fiction is not meant for sale or profit.
Original portion of the fiction included here is considered to be the sole property and copyrighted to the author.
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