|Treading Softly Upon a Fickle Rift|
|What: As part of the investigation into the attack on a mutant clinic in Westchester County, Kwabena Odame has begun working his underworld contacts in the tri-state area. Unfortunately, being a hero isn't always pretty, and someone has to get his hands dirty. (Contains Dark Themes)|
Sometimes, being a hero isn't very glorious.
He wasn't proud of his past. Not in the slightest. He'd made mistakes. Big mistakes. He'd paid the price for those mistakes time and time again, and yet, there was a certain solace that could be found, even in the darkest of places. For not every mutant had ties to the criminal world like those that were still held by Kwabena Odame.
Finding that solace was a challenge as unique as any. The world he'd left behind has now been found again, and it was a world of pain. It was a world of violence, bitterness, and regret... a world of murder, pecking order, organized crime and addiction. It was a world where respect was earned by deeds so dirty one couldn't dare to even whisper them within the most filthy of confessionals. However, even in the darkest of places, there is always one pinprick of light, and it was upon that small glimmer that a young man from Ghana clung to with every missed heartbeat and gunpowder-driven decision.
A blood stained hand curled itself around the neck of a victim who, by all standards of worldly justice, deserved every moment of suffering that was being given to him. The snarling words came through heated breaths not but a breaking moment away from a wild descent into devilish fury. And yet, while violent and vengeful thoughts remained locked inside a tiny cell deep within his soul, his hand remained chillingly steady, with cool fingers curled around the cold steel of a loaded gun. Its barrel was pressed up against the victim's cheek, digging deep into a face scarred by some knife fight years ago as those snarling words came forth.
"You think dis is de real threat, don't you? Let me tell you some few things. You fear the bullet in dis gun because you do not undahstand real fear. Your undahstanding of fear is like a spoiled brat, fearing the disapproval of spoon fed, stuck up classmates. Dere will come a moment when you recognize dat your life has led you to dis one moment, dis moment -right here-..."
The gun pressed deeper into the skin, and a hammer was cocked back, bringing a preemptive wince to the victim's face.
"...where you choose to answah every question I have for you. Because if you don't?"
A face with mismatched eyes moved out of the shadows, pressing itself dangerously close to the sweating facade of his victim.
"You'll regret dat I nevah pulled dis triggah."
Trembling eyes moved to look at the barrel of a gun, before moving back to stare stubbornly at the face of his assailant. Only then, when they recognized one eye of brown and one of silver, that stubbornness melted away behind a torrent of crippling fear. Trembling lips began to form words, which barely registered as a hoarse whisper.
"Who... who are you?"
"Don't ask stupid questions, you know de answah."
The barrel pressed higher until it found its purchase beneath the trembling, sweat-stained skin of a lower eyelid.
"Say my name."
"You're... you're Odame."
"You're god damned right."
The gun was drawn away, and blood-stained hands uncurled from a strained neck. The solace was fleeting, but as it tried to escape one last time, Kwabena Odame grappled it back into his heart with ferocity. He thought of the children, the sick, the victims who'd been ripped away from the clinic by an unknown band of militants. He thought of the injustices, and dared to consider what horrible things were being done to them in their unwarranted captivity. With that solace as his shield, he fended off the twisted memories of his past and found mercy once more - mercy in knowing that by speaking the language of these criminals, he wielded the breath of a chance that some piece of information gathered might help save those innocent lives.
"And right now, Mistah Raz, you have my undivided attention."