Timelined after 'No Turning Back'
<Venom> Arriving back at the motel, Eddie cast his motorcycle helmet and the files he'd acquired onto the bed, pulling off his coat and hanging it over a chair. Approaching the dresser, he stole a doughnut from an open box, biting into it as he glanced at Hope, waving at her as if he'd only just noted her presence.
<@Hope> Hope waved back, dropping the map she was looking to move over to the bed. "Any luck?"
<Venom> "All of it." Eddie responded, having swallowed his first mouthful, "Ran into some trouble. Fixed it, too." he nodded to the files, "We can use this to pin-point 'em."
<@Hope> "...if we weren't both taken, I would profess love to you right about now." Hope grabbed a file and stared looking through it.
<Venom> Eddie sat down on the bed also, chewing as he raised an eyebrow, "...'taken'? Pretty sure I'm never seeing Liza again after this...I-I miss her but...I can't stop now. This is the right thing to do..." he nodded to himself, "....it is."
<@Hope> "Well, half of us then." Hope sent a tendril out to grab herself a doughnut, keeping her eyes on the file.
<Venom> Finishing his own, Eddie smiled weakly, "Yeah...sorry. I don't mean to be...mmn." he watched the tendril, smiling a little wider at it, "Useful, isn't it?"
<@Hope> "It really is, man. I've been trying to practice with your power... how do you deal with all the chatter in your head? I mean, I cheat and drop the power... but yeah." Hope took a bite of her doughnut, glancing over at him.
<Venom> "It...i-it's not easy." Eddie gulped, shrinking a little bit, "Or...it wasn't. Because I argued with it. I didn't like the anger because I was scared." he sighed, "I-I was weak...and I ran from it."
<@Hope> Hope wasn't so sure that made him weak, but she just nodded. "So... I'm not a cop... and a lot of this is just... I don't even know... what should I really be focusing on here?"
<Venom> Lifting the files, Eddie flicked through a few, handing her one, "Take a look at this: it's a few notes on known cultist areas. Take the map, take a pen, mark off the ones they've found. You're looking for patterns..."
<@Hope> "Thank you," Hope sent out another black tendril for a pencil on the dresser, then got down to poring over the file. "This would have been so helpful 2 weeks ago," she laughed dryly.
<Venom> "Could've, would've, should've...." Eddie remarked, flicking through a different folder in his hands, "It'll be over soon Enough."
<@Hope> "As long as we're in time..." Hope trailed off, sighing and marking off a spot on the map.
<Venom> A few moments passed in silence before Eddie pipped up again, "Huh..." he frowned a little at the paper in his hand, blinking at it, "....oh. Oh....shit."
<@Hope> "What?" Hope glanced up from the file she was working on, taking another bite of doughnut.
<Venom> "Nothing." Eddie blurted, far too early to sound convincing before shaking his head, "Seriously, it's....nothing. Nothing at all."
<@Hope> "Don't like to me, Brock. What is it?" Hope swallowed, steeling herself for the worst.
<Venom> Eddie shook his head at her, "Hope, you....do not want an answer to that." he bit his tongue, "....ok. Ok, ok....Johnny's alive. At least....this suggests he is..."
<@Hope> She stared at him, the weight of that sinking in. "What suggests he is?" she asked him softly.
<Venom> With hesitation, Eddie offered her the papers, "T-there's a er....there's a website URL here. I didn't know what it was at first, but I read the summary..." he shook his head, "...he wouldn't. Like, unless....if he had to do it...."
<@Hope> Hope shot Eddie a look as she took the papers. Wouldn't what? She pulled out her phone and punched in the URL, waiting impatiently for it to load.
<Venom> "Hope, don't." his hand grasped for hers, "Seriously. I don't wanna see it, and neither do you..."
<@Hope> "Then don't watch," she told him coldly, swallowing as the video started. It took a moment for her to adjust to the lighting, taking in the dirty background. And there was Johnny! Alive! And Jamie! And oh hell what was he doing?! He sliced through Jamie! Hope's mouth just fell open, her ears not processing the screams.
<Venom> Grimacing also, Eddie turned away, letting out a low, bestial growl. Every noise amplified his hate ten-fold, "Stop watching." he commanded her, grasping her hand and pulling the phone away.
<@Hope> Hope's eyes looked into Eddie's as her hands shook. She released the phone, still able to hear the Jamie dupes crying out as they died one after the other at Johnny's hands. Her Johnny. Her sweet, carefree Johnny who wouldn't hurt anyone. She had failed him. As much as Eddie wasn't Eddie anymore, neither was Johnny now. Wait. There was another voice. She shot a tendril to snatch the phone
<@Hope> back, staring at the screen again. Him. This man. He was the one behind this.
<Venom> Eddie grabbed the phone, throwing it aside and locking Hope in an embrace, "Hope, we're going to FIND THEM." he affirmed, squeezing her tightly, "And we're going to kill them. I promise you, we're gonna kill every one of them."
<@Hope> “We will fucking KILL them.”, Hope shuddered, holding onto Eddie. "That fucker... is MINE."
<Venom> Tensing a little as he heard her voice, Eddie nodded, "Yeah. Yeah, we will. And you can have that one." he stroked her hair, "It's alright, Hope. It's alright. We're gonna do this." it almost sickened him to think he'd second guessed himself now, "For Cassie. And for them..."
<@Hope> Hope snuggled into Eddie a bit, scared of actually crying if she let go of him. They were going to end this once and for all. That much, she could be sure of. "For them," she echoed.
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