ari-the-night-vale-intern asked: Hello sir, I'm the new intern at the radio station! Someone told me I should introduce myself.
Oh…you must be the new intern at the station.
My flies have been whispering about you, bored little things. And here I thought I had trained them out of such bad manners.Nice to meet you… Ari, was it? My memory isn’t always the best. I am known as the Man in the Tan Jacket, but lately I’ve preferred going by John Novak.
Apologies for the late reply, I was off doing some…
Strex will take a while to get back on their feet. It was worth bringing them down, even if only for a little while.
He sees the intern fall, and if the lump of flesh in his chest still beat it would have stilled.
No. Nononono. I will not let one of THEM devour one under my protection. This territory has been CLAIMED damn them all, and these people are mine whether they know it or not. I protect my territory, as this is all I have left.
THEY can return home. I have nothing.
"Miss Ari, come on!" He says, decorum all but gone as he offers the girl a hand, an offer to help her up and to just keep running even farther.
The creature is gaining, second by agonizing second, and he hopes that she acts sooner than later before that VILE creatures finally reaches them.
He doesn’t want to fight, not today. He’s already fought enough recently.
Ari stumbles to her feet, and she glances over her shoulder to find that the beast is almost upon them. She glances at Mr. Novak, a single, wide-eyed look conveying all the terror and pain she felt in that moment. Ari’s hands felt like they were on fire, but it didn’t seem to be affecting the man. He pulls her into an all-out sprint, her a few steps behind him, their hands still clasped together.
"Gotta hurry, gotta hurry…" she mutters under her breath, her heartbeat pounding against her ribs and her pulse roaring in her ears.
Her hand makes his own tingle slightly, the chemicals in the black goop irritating his skin. But that matters little. Flesh can be healed on his bones, can get knit back together once he has more time.
Right now, it’s simply one foot in front of the other,trying not to let go of her hand because one of them is slightly faster and the other slightly slower, because the black goop is starting to stick to the bottom of his shoes and the cracks are slowly becoming deep gashes down into the depths of whatever lies beneath the streets.
The monstrous, vile creature roars behind them, like nails down a chalkboard mixed with the dying cries of a universe and the whispers that plague the nightmares of dreamers worldwide.
And in that moment, John almost turns back to roar himself, to see that insignificant little piece of matter curl up on itself because HE is the bigger one, the ELDER, because that creature can’t even properly manifest.
But he doesn’t, because Ari needs to get away.
Because human nature tells him he can’t abandon her to face the thing.
Ari jumped over one of the chasms forming in the street, her heart plummeting into her stomach when she nearly missed the other side. She managed to find her footing though, and she kept running. Their hands were somehow still intertwined, despite the jumping and running.
The monster’s roar behind her sends chills down Ari’s back, and she shuddered. It was like nothing she’d ever heard before, yet it was so very familiar, and if she could just place it she could possibly-
No. Now wasn’t the time to think of such things. They had to think of a plan fast, because the creature was gaining on them, and the skin on her hands felt like it was literally boiling now, and it was getting harder to run from the ache in her legs and the widening gashes in the streets, and she couldn’t tell whether she was hyperventilating from an oncoming panic attack or if she was just breathing heavily from running, and it seemed like reality itself was beginning to tear itself apart around her, and- and damn it, she just didn’t know what to do…
"D-Do…do you know…how to stop this?" she asked, gasping for breath as she kept running. Mr. Novak seemed to know more about the creature than she did.
Actually, it was almost like he had encountered these things before…
"I-I might, Miss Ari." He says, feeling his heart plummet.
It’s been so long since those days, so long since who he used to be changed into who he currently was. And the only way he knew how to fix this was to go back to the man he used to be.
He had to give up his humanity that he’d somehow gained, and even if it was only briefly… He was afraid he’d never be able to get it back again or he’d come back wrong.
"I just might."He finishes, and lets go of her hand.
"Keep running, and whatever you do don’t look back. If this doesn’t work, then tell Mr.Ackerman whenever he returns that I’m sorry. And tell Dana if she ever returns that my belongings are all hers now, because I sure won’t have any use for them.And Leon gets my pets. He always liked my cats."He shouts over the roars of the oncoming beast, already turning around and facing away from Ari.
"RUN!" He shouts one more time, hoping she’ll do so.
And then something shifts slightly, like a little twinge in your neck, something shreds and he roars.
It will regret entering his territory if he doesn’t rip it into little pieces first.
He has so much anger bottled up inside, so much rage at his fellows, and now THIS ONE had crossed him. He can’t wait to see it bleed so prettily.