Lies slipped into the room with his helmet tucked under his arm. It was a long drive back to the current base for their operations, but he figured it was worth the kill tonight. He had made sure to make quite a mess for some soul to find whenever they actually entered the house. With any luck, it would be after the Network realized that they're location was revealed. However, from past encounters, Lies had realized that the secret agency had already failed in many areas of intelligence, and this matter might fall into that rather large category.
Still, one could hope for the challenge.
Placing his hand in an open position near the polished table, the brunette easily stopped the container of greasy Chinese food that was pushed his way. A nod of thanks was barely acknowledged by the blond who was digging into his own box of noodles with a pair of chopsticks.
"You knew, didn't you?"
"Knew what?" The question was towards some unknown factor, so Lies wasn't able to answer properly. Instead, he fell upon the mutual, silent agreement that the brothers had: questions were neutral ground; therefore they could imply lies or truths that they couldn't in a statement.
"Forgotten sent a message. 'Masks come off.' Ring any bells?"
He smirked. "No."
"Damn it Lies!" Truth slammed the box onto the table. The mass of noodles flew up about an inch, and as it came down some spilled over the edge, hanging by the tangles they formed with the rest of the food. The oil and grease and other ingredients gave them a glowing shine under the light from the lambs placed throughout the room. "Why?"
Should I bother defying my nature for this? The assassin just looked into the blue eyes. "Hiding in masks doesn't change the plan."
Truth's eyes seemed to try and pierce him, but he managed to hold off on his own. After a full minute crawled by, Truth broke the gaze. "It's revenge, isn't it? Them seeing all the people who were supposed to be on their side strikes the kind of fear you love to deal in. And they already know that some of us are involved, just not the extent. Why not make it funnier for us? Besides, we've been eluding them for years, so why not add a challenge?"
Lies frowned out of habit. "I wasn't thinking that."
Silence settled between the two as they ate. Background noise called for his interest, which he allowed himself to listen to and make observations and guesses from. Someone was running outside, breathing raggedly as he attempted to get a workout. Or maybe he was running from an enemy, with fear pasted to his face, wondering about how to escape, maybe tinted with the idea that this was how he was spending his last moments alive before-
"Do you think he's there?" Truth asked.
Lies didn't bother asking who the other man was referring to. "He's not important. Why would they bother?"
A grim expression settled on his brother's face. "I was afraid of that. You think he'll change after he wakes up from the coma?"
Lies felt the expression mirror on his face. The truth of the situation wasn't something either really wanted to face. However, it was the unfortunate reality that they were trapped in. There was no changing it. All he could do was comfort his brother with the lies he often disillusioned himself with.
7 Years Ago
Frank leaned against the back of his chair, filling out the crossword without much thought towards the puzzle. It had already past his interest, but it made him look like he was doing something, which was what he was aiming for as thoughts filled his head.
The correct term for what he supposedly suffered from was "dissociative identity disorder." To oversimplify things, it said that Snake was not another person. It was still him, but just a different part. The idea had been playing around his mind on and off sometimes. This was one of those "on" days.
Was Snake really him? It was a curious question to consider. Since the other personality had appeared, Frank felt as if he was being guided. But, as expected of him, he first rejected the notion of becoming a killer, himself or otherwise.
So what made Snake a part of him before the change?
The truth came as he penciled in some letters. Indifferent to death and dear old Fenton Hardy.
There was no point in lying to himself at this point. They both shared the dislike of Fenton (despite Frank's continuous attempts to gain some positive attention) and could care less for death. Frank only lived at that point to protect his brother. Snake lived to rub it in faces and kill more.
Frank penciled in more letters as his mind continued to wander around. It was another question that might as well be asked: Did the old Frank Hardy have a killing bone in his body? It felt like a stupid question with a simple answer: no. He was too structured to defy his father at that point in time.
But wasn't suicide just like murdering oneself?
Had it developed then, in those moments where he was willing to take his life when he thought it would protect his brother? Did he realize at that time that he had suddenly changed his life into what it now was? Hiding away in the woods with the blood of many men on his hands and the addiction to tell only lies and dream of deaths.
Of course, there was the fact that he was now connected to the Assassins.
And as if on cue, the cell in his pocket vibrated to inform him of a text. He pulled it out and allowed the message to flash up on the screen before quickly deleting it. Joe had made his choice permanent. He would relay this little fact to the others before planning their disappearance with Jackie. It was only a matter of time.
He loss himself to actually finishing the puzzle, and completed it quite easily. It was only minutes after he finished that the doorbell rang, filling the silent house with noise for the first time.
"Guests?" he muttered. He sat himself straight up on the couch, subtly making sure that the blade he had tucked away would stay hidden. It was hard to hide the revolver, especially with Fenton around. Their father (as much as the title pained him to say) would probably easily have noticed, which would ruin the lies Frank had built up. A blade, on the other hand, was able to stay hidden a bit easier yet still lethal when properly used.
The fact that the victim would die a more painful death was another attraction, but that one was kept at the back of his mind.
Fenton was already at the door and greeting the two people as Frank got up. As the trio of people walked into the living room, their eyes met for a second, which was more than enough to tell the teenager what he needed to know. The man still did not trust him. It was beyond his caring or abilities to try and gain it back. Frank had already accepted it and moved on. The question now was could Fenton understand.
"Frank, this is Eugene and Cassandra Gray. They're Arthur Gray's kids."
"A pleasure to meet you." The lie rolled off smoothly. "Your father is an amazing person from what I've heard."
"Thank you," Cassandra said in a soft voice. The gun on her hip seemed to mean nothing to her confidence. The young woman seemed timid. Her brown hair was pulled back for the purpose of convenience while the eyes of similar color seemed to jump as a way of exploring the room.
Eugene, on the other hand, had a confident stance. His eyes dared people to question him. But there was something else
His face seemed to possess whatever Arthur Gray's face had when the picture of him was taken. A single picture, but nonetheless very telling.
"I heard about the split personality," he got right into saying. Frank kept the smile plastered on his face to hide his emotions. Part of him or not, this man probably didn't deserve to talk about Snake at all. But he let him be, allowing the almost silent footsteps of Jackie's ascent to Joe's room calm him down slightly. "You feeling better?"
"Better than before," the brunette lied again. "The psychologists are the main help. But it's weird. Do you know anything about personalities suddenly disappearing?"
"Not much," Eugene admitted.
"Well, it's a long road to recovery. I'm just glad I'm returning to my normal mindset."
"Well, it's all a nasty business. I'm glad the treatment is helping."
"So am I." By now, Frank was aware of the footsteps from the stairs. The two other teenage occupants of the house made their appearance, He bet Joe already heard the lie, but that didn't bother him. The fact that two people in the house could truly understand what he was thinking was more than good for him.
Fenton noticed the teens after what felt like forever to Frank. "Joe, Jackie. Meet Eugene and Cassandra Gray. Eugene, Cassandra, this is Joe, and this is Jackie."
"Charmed," Jackie replied automatically. Already, the brunette could see her trying to distance herself from the guests. As far as they were concerned, they were going to try something. It was only right for them to be able to retaliate.
His younger brother took a more direct approach. "It's something with the Assassins, isn't it?"
It was amusing, to say the lease, to watch Eugene try and size up Joe. However, the blond wasn't going to back down at all. He was compromised, if only to end the stalemate. "That was why we were allowed a bit of leeway with the corrupt guys in ATAC. And we assume that Dad would get notice if the second group was captured. It's logic."
Logic. Simple, pure logic. If only the world worked that way sometimes.
Frank's eyes caught someone coming up the walkway. Unlike the other two, he felt that she was on a level that was above them at the moment. She had some kind of power that could easily crush those in her way. But to be hiding it all from the world
there was something else going on.
Even lying to himself wouldn't fix what was to come.