Harvey and Irma

Doubt

A once mighty and proud city is seen in laying in shambles before our very eyes. Water is flowing about five to six feet high on the streets, carrying various bits of debris and furniture as it drifts along without a care. A rescue boat is riding the current, where coast guards and paramedics are seen searching any and every direction for stranded survivors. Many of the search and rescue squad are equipped with binoculars, towels, first aid kits and oxygen canisters. None of them seem to have found anyone yet, but this doesn’t cease their attempts to do so.

“Recently, a hurricane had wrought terror and destruction all throughout the Texas state. This storm, better known as Harvey, reduced several buildings to rubble and took a minimum of seventy lives in its wake. The cost to repair what was lost is sharply increasing to one hundred and sixty billion dollars, possibly surpassing that.”

One crew member spots a family of four standing on their sunken automobile, pointing it out to the others in the process. Wasting no time, they turn the motor around and proceed to rush towards their general direction.

“During this time, we’ve seen the absolute worst and best of people. Despite a pastor refusing to open his church for sanctuary, several people not native to Texas rushed down to save those that were still struggling to escape. Despite the vitriol spouted over the internet and homes being looted for their goods, money is being donated by some unexpected sources in order to help them rebuild. Despite the absolute hopelessness of the situation, many were able to overcome and support each other by any means necessary.”

They eventually reach the stranded group and start helping them into the boat. The smallest one, a child that looks only five years old, is sobbing his heart out as he’s lifted aboard. When asked what’s wrong, he points out that his favorite stuffed toy is still down there. Instead of telling him to nut up and forget it, one of the rescuers removes her binoculars and dives underwater.

“With Irma targeting Florida, one fears that the damage will be more catastrophic than the last. Predicted death tolls are rising as the storm continues to get stronger with each passing day. As people start evacuating, many start to feel…uncertain about the future.”

The woman has swam into the house, immediately spotting a crudely made stuffed dalmatian floating just beside the staircase. She instantly darts over to grab it, getting ready to ease the trauma for the boy.

“As long as they carry that hope with them, they’ll be fine. The only real damage suffered from a hurricane is emotional, after all. Does this information frighten you, ‘No Face’?”

The woman grasps the doll and gets ready to head back outside. Before she does, however, she spots a small kitten floating on top of a puppy, who are struggling to stay afloat. Not wanting them to drown, she stuffs the toy in her mouth and proceeds to make her way towards them.

“You have no idea what sort of wrath you’re incurring, do you, Faceless one? Nobody would have the foolhardiness to threaten the life of my sister and walk away unscathed. You know what lies underneath this mask of mine, Hysteria told you that much. Why take the chance of forcing my hand to seal away what’s left of you?”

With a small heave ho, the lady grabs onto the small animals and proceeds to head out through the flooded doorway, attempting to keep them above water the whole while.

“You might be hurricane plowing through the Tap Room, but I’m the chaos that ensues before and after your carnage. Whatever you have caused back then will mean nothing compared to what I’ll do if you so much as lay a hand on Syndi. I will force open your stitches and make you beg for me to end it all…but I won’t. You know why?”

The woman appears back outside, toy and pets in her possession. Everyone on the boat seem pleased, surprised and worried at the same time.

“It is not within my power to kill.”

The crew urge her to hurry up and reenter the ship while there’s still daylight out.

“The lady that you’ve mutilated is still alive, albeit reduced to nothing more than a comatose zombie. Her soul is resonating through my veins, and she will not die, regardless of Johnathan regaining this form. So you can cause as much havoc and death as you’d like, but you give them a trip to Xanadu in the end. I can’t. I can only harness their souls until I allow them to return.”

She successfully boards the ship again, handing over the toy to the child and the animals to the rest of the family. The four of them are ecstatic that she managed to go out of her way and do all of this for them, despite there being no reason to.

“Irma is coming towards the Tap Room, Faceless Man, and you’re going to be forced to fight one of the most dangerous competitors in this entire federation.”

The scene seems to fade away, revealing the masked emotion sitting in a chair in a rather dark room.

“Do you wish to become like her, knowing that you’ll never regain control again? Or will you and your henchmen attempt to kill my sister, forcing me to take drastic action?”

It chuckles as the sound of heavy rain starts pouring in from the outside.

“Choose wisely and choose quickly. Nature has no time for lollygagging, not when people like you are roaming this Earth.”

The scene fades as heavy winds and thunder accompany the rainfall. If one has a quick enough eye, they can catch a glimpse of Doubt fading from existence.