Marc was still trembling profusely as he was gently laid onto the table in the hidden room. Everyone else surrounded him and tried to get him to calm down.
“You’re gonna be all right, Marc,” Harwood told him as he gently smoothed out his hair.
“Yeah, bro!” Sinbad added as he stood at Marc’s side. “Don’t let something like a severed arm be what does you in!”
The others stood awkwardly off to the side, feeling useless in this time of distress. They then watched as Horse-Face’s companion ran past with medical supplies in his arms.
Blaise leaned over so that she could whisper in Dennis’ ear.
“I hate it took me this long to bring it up, but…” She then gestured toward the way they came in. “Did either of ya manage to get Mister Brandt’s arm?”
Dennis then paled, realizing that had been forgotten in the thick of the turmoil.
Once The Builder returned from upstairs, they caught sight of the severed arm that they presumably had something to do with.
“Motherfucking thieves…” They snatched up the arm, and sniffed it. Giving a little shrug, they then proceeded to sink their teeth into the flesh.
They had messily devoured most of it, down to the bone, by the time Horse-Face showed up again. He gave a heavy sigh at what they were chowing down on.
“Don’t you ever get tired of consuming human flesh?” He asked in a calm voice. Looking up at him, The Builder stuck their tongue and blew a raspberry.
“Don’t you get tired of knowing you’re a filthy rapist?” They snapped back at him, before consuming the rest of their impromptu meal. “Now make yourself useful and go find the jackass that stole what’s mine.”
Horse-Face just stood where he was, watching them stand back up and flinging bones aside. “What if I don’t have a clue where they are?”
This apparently caused The Builder to regard him with suspicion, given the way they suddenly stood right in front of him and raised their knife to his face.
“And what if you do?! I bet you know where those twits are, and you’re hiding them from me!”
Slowly, Horse-Face shook his head. “I’m telling you, I’ve not the faintest idea where they are-”
“You better not know!” The Builder cut him off. “If I find out you’re lying, I’ll cut off what’s left of your dick and eat it right in front of you!”
Then they stalked off. As they left, Horse-Face tried wiping off his mask any blood that flew out from their mouth.
He wasn’t entirely certain, but something seemed off about The Builder’s voice as they were shouting at him.
“Where’s the nice Builder taking you, Andromeda?” Ox-Head seemed rather unfazed at watching Annette be pulled through the corridor.
“Beats me, Ox-Head,” she answered him. “And it’s not like they’re going to tell us anyway.”
The Twin just kept walking, not looking back at either of them. They pushed open a door while seemingly trying to ignore moans of pain in a nearby room.
“Oh, now what? Are you and that kid going into meatball surgery now, or something? Turning this into some sort of house of pain?”
Tilting his head, Ox-Head bit his finger in confusion.
“Why do meatballs need surgery? Do they have internal organs like humans do?” His bizarre queries were brushed off.
Eventually, all three of them entered a rather empty room. What perturbed Annette was that there were plenty of machines meant to be used in a hospital room.
She recalled that all of them were meant to be hooked up to The Mother. However, The Mother herself was not there. There were marks on the floor that indicated she’d been dragged away.
This was enough to make Annette gasp in fear. But she didn’t have time to mull over the issue, for she was dragged back into the hallway to the next room.
“You’re lucky the knife cut off where it did,” Horse-Face’s companion said as he cleaned up what remained of Marc’s arm. “Otherwise you’d have bled to death in seconds.”
Marc just stared up at what he assumed was the ceiling, and gurgled something unintelligible. Sinbad now sat next to him, impatiently drumming his fingers.
Soon, the waiting proved to be too much for him.
“Will you hurry the fuck up, kid?!” He snapped at the young man. “I’d like to not have my half-brother die because some Organization XIII wannabe couldn’t work fast enough!”
“Sinbad!” Shark said in a loud whisper. “Be nice. He’s doing his best.” The young man didn’t seem too affected by the conversation around him, and just kept attending to Marc.
Eventually, Marc’s stump of an arm was bandaged up, with clean gauze. His gaze drifted to it, and breathed a sigh of relief.
Harwood grinned, and patted his other, still intact arm. “Good to hear you’re going to pull through.”
Marc and Sinbad smiled at the words, as did everyone else, before hearing footsteps approaching.
“Okay, we saw your mother’s gone missing,” Annette said to The Twin as she was pulled in. “Shouldn’t we be going out and you know, looking for her?”
Her questions predictably went ignored. She was about to ask another when she encountered the scene with the others. Ox-Head walked out from behind her and slid under the table Marc was laying on.
Sagebear was occupied with sniffing Marc’s feet. Marc himself was on his back, with Harwood and Sinbad at either side of him. The other three stood off to the side, with only Shark really noticing her come in.
“Hi, Miss Annette,” he said to her. Dennis and Blaise at least half-heartedly waved to her, though.
“Yeah, hi.” For now, Annette just shook free of The Twin’s grasp, and approached the other three. “So no funeral for Mister Brandt?”
Sinbad just glared at her, like he usually did. “No shit. But apparently you’re too blind to notice.” She just cringed at this remark, before grabbing hold of his hand.
“Yeah? I’m not too blind to notice that you have this. Which, for the record, belongs to me.”
Ox-Head could be heard gasping under the table. He clearly knew what she was talking about.
Sinbad just gave her a dumbfounded look before shaking his hand away. “No touchy, Mystique! Besides, I don’t see your name on it.”
Now Annette was getting irritated at this. She pinched the bridge of her nose, and tried not to be distracted by Marc slowly sitting up with Harwood’s assistance.
“I know you don’t want to, but you have to believe me; That ring you have there contains immense power that only I’m supposed to use.”
Sinbad still was not budging. Annette sighed and then slid her hand down her face.
“Well, I guess I’m glad it’s you and not Troy Lithgow I need to get it from.” But then Annette was taken off guard.
“What’d you say?” By now, Marc had diverted his full attention to Annette, and not his bandaged stump.
Annette hesitated a bit before repeating herself. “‘I’m glad it’s you and not Troy Lithgow’?”
Now Marc bared his teeth in anger. “Troy Lithgow? How do you know that bastard?”
Around them, everyone was looking quite nervous. Annette was the exception, looking confused.
“Wait, you’re the one who knows him in this universe?” Her answer caused Marc to wave his stump at her, clearly in anger.
“Of course I know who that selfish scum-sucking asshole was!” Marc shouted. “He was…”
Marc then faltered. His face lowered, and tears began to fall from his eyes as he said the rest:
“He was the bastard that took my Mama away.”
The connection made here caused Annette’s blood to run cold. Before she could explain, though, Marc got to his feet and started lumbering off. He could be heard crying through the hall.
“Marc, wait!” Harwood called out to him in a futile attempt to get him to stop.
“What the fuck, bro?! Where you going?” Sinbad got to his feet and started chasing after him. A few short moments later, the rest followed, even Sagebear.
Annette was then left alone with Ox-Head and The Twin, completely mystified by what she’d just heard.