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Iggy, the Arsonist

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Iggy, the Arsonist Empty Iggy, the Arsonist

Post by Iggy on Thu Jul 25, 2013 5:08 am

DOSSIER: DEMON

Iggy, the Arsonist 2gkq Iggy, the Arsonist 42lt Iggy, the Arsonist 1293
You don't live til you're ready to die.

BASIC DETAILS

NAME:
Ignis

ALIASES:
Iggy is his favoured and only moniker, though as a human, whilst he has forgotten his name, his serial killer name was "The East Coast Sizzler", or simply "The Sizzler".

AGE:
Died at 29 in 1954, which makes him currently 58.

APPARENT GENDER:
Male.

HOMESPHERE:
Forlorn Ashland by birth.

PICTURE: DEMON:
Spoiler:
Iggy, the Arsonist Yej9
Iggy, the Arsonist Wm7h
Iggy, the Arsonist 9oc7
Iggy, the Arsonist Bwe8
Iggy, the Arsonist Hqys
Iggy, the Arsonist L49c
Iggy, the Arsonist 9moi
Iggy, the Arsonist L3lt
Iggy, the Arsonist Gq82
Iggy, the Arsonist 3yqq

PICTURE: MORTAL:
Spoiler:
Iggy, the Arsonist Qkjc
Iggy, the Arsonist Ziri
Iggy, the Arsonist Nunl
Iggy, the Arsonist Xawc
Iggy, the Arsonist X39n
Iggy, the Arsonist Sc7q
Iggy, the Arsonist 6o7v
Iggy, the Arsonist 8us4
Iggy, the Arsonist Mswg
Iggy, the Arsonist Rv7e

*********

PERSONAL DETAILS


DEMON DESCRIPTION:
The famed visage of the East Coast Sizzler is one not so easily forgotten and one that his spirit retains even in this plane of Hell. A black-coated humanoid appearance but with mannerisms far from it. Silence. Utter silence. A plain white mask carved with impossibly triangular accuracy into two eyes and a jagged grin. And then a painted crimson lightning bolt over the right eye, connecting perfectly at either side of the gap. Hair of the deepest raven black sheen, covering ears and a good portion of a pale neck, usually in itself obscured by an upturned collar. And the rest of what the Sizzler wears is dark. Oh; so dark. Gloves, boots, trousers, socks, undershirt, even probably down to boxers: black.

MORTAL DESCRIPTION:
Iggy himself is far more lackadaisical in appearance though similar. The obvious difference is that he, in this form, conceals the notorious mask of the serial killer he once was. Additionally, speech - in spades - flows out from his mouth in a deep Brooklyn drawl. The same black clothing coats his visage and figure, except now his posture is nowhere near as exceptional and rigid; generally, Iggy in his Mortal Form appears a bit more... messy, but more or less identical in stature to the Demon Form, standing around a solid 6", more or less dead on. Every now and then maybe a half inch or so taller.

PERSONALITY:

UNMASKED

Without a mask Iggy himself is the prime example of an extroverted and outgoing though completely unhinged individual. His arsonist tendencies are clearly apparent from the moment he comes into view; and with an eternal cigarette hanging from his mouth and an odd compulsion to keep playing with the flint on his Zippo, scratched to fuck as it may be. The obsessive side of this personality is clearly present; and though his actual abilities lie in the Demon Form - the form with the mask - almost oddly, the only thing that Iggy can bear to think about when constrained in a mortal sheath is the one thing he can't create en masse. Fire.

Talkative and openly mocking, Iggy's persona is the more manic side of insanity that's shown here; for in himself the Sizzler represents very well two sides of the same coin. The metal is insanity; and whilst tails is the stoic mask that the serial killer dons so very much, heads is the grinning bare face of the man behind the Demon. "Ignis", so he has taken up as a moniker in Inferis, or so he has been branded; "fire". No, he bore not the mark of the inferno or the conflagration; but simply of the petty flame. The spark. The light from which all else stems.

Once a serial killer absolutely fixated on the aforementioned fire, little has changed in the past fifty or sixty years for Iggy - his adoration for it forms the foundation of his dubious and very much shaken insanity. Infact, this "love" for fire, this obsession, borders on addiction. Being near to it will repress this and keep it at bay, but not for long - there's one true path to flame and wreaking havoc through it. And that's the mask. So for Iggy, it stands as a symbol. A symbol for what he wants. It's almost an addiction in a sense - but the mask can only come out to play, as much as he may desire it to, sparingly; so that he may feel the brush of infernal release. It's an addiction, just as much as cigarettes or alcohol for humans: flame and destruction for a Demon of the utmost sin.

His relationship with flame is, oddly enough, something of note. He treats fire as a continuous and ever-present entity; and indeed that every creation of such a chemical phenomenon is binding together a spirit, and just re-summoning an ancient, primordial, essence of "flame". Not re-creation; simply calling upon the ancient powers of the fire god again. It sounds very much unhinged and insane, and it is - but Iggy worships fire at his very core. He's sycophantic. And part of this all started with the voices in his head, way back in the forties and fifties along the east coast of the USA - voices in his head represented only by a single tendril of liquid flame.

Through this obsession there is a light shone on Iggy's truly unhinged personality and the damaged parts of him which have only been accentuated and highlighted since his descent into Inferis proper. And he's depraved; but his actions in the Mortal Form are not solely restricted to hyperbolic and overactive mania. No; that dark grin and that shining conviction in his eyes, that red glint in amongst the blue - there's a harrowing dementia lurking beneath the surface. And when his tones go from jovial to gravelly you know that the mask's presence is near - the gap is very soon to be bridged between the two personae.

However, for a lot of the time, though the thought of the flame and his desperate worship of it, Iggy appears a very casual and lackadaisical being. He sleeps and eats quite a lot, enjoying the base and bodily pleasures that he forsook when he left behind the mortal coil. In amongst a touch of immolation or the odd forest fire. He enjoys a good joke and to hang himself over chairs casually with idle chatter - he can be very personable, just the fact that the off-centre and asymmetrical aura that surrounds him is very much present. If you can bear it, Iggy's odd nature is often simply just part of the package - he's good conversation, even though he occasionally just laughs at things that aren't funny.

Iggy, being a Demon who was rendered infertile, isn't incredibly sexually charged, and wasn't in his later days as a human, but does seem to draw some sick pleasure from sadism - not sexual inherently, just generally enjoying watching torture and doling out pain - and claims to be something of a masochist when his ventures do lead to the bedroom, though, in this form, he tends to prefer more willing females than unwilling. All the biting and screaming in so-called "defense" can get pesky.

MASKED

Masked, the beast known as Iggy is absolutely and completely different from all else everyone knows of his public appearance. For starters, in stark contrast to the loudmouth talkative unmasked persona who likes to brag about how he'll "burn you to a crisp" or "torch your entire family and basis of friends and maybe your dog", and pretend to be evil, the irony is, unmasked, Iggy is completely useless, however: when he dons the white disguise of the East Coast Sizzler... he becomes lethal, yet quiet. Oh, so very quiet.

With the disguise taken on, Iggy is almost completely silent. He speaks as a Demon of few words; occasionally an utterance of victory or sheer absolution will spill forth from behind the mask, gleaming pearlescent teeth from behind an open gap in the mask proper - but for the most part the smile behind will simply be without words, simply haggard breathing and grunts of triumph. And many consider this almost feral persona far more intimidating and fearsome than the other not only for its ability but for this: the fact that there's no bragging, no outlandish claims of ability or of murder - masked, Iggy is silent save for an announcement that his mission is complete.

The mask bestows him with no more sanity than he possesses in the other form, simply infact degrading him further. His voice is changed, lowered, corrupted; haggard and almost broken. His heaving pants are primal and animalistic. Whilst there is still an air of semi-tactical knowledge - Iggy's spontaneity always a risk in both forms for common ground - and an ability to aim attacks and deal with group assaults deftly, his intelligent communication makes him very difficult to work with when in this feral masked form for all but a choice few.

The mask appears to hold a very sacred and ceremonial value to Iggy, even in his Demon Form; he protects his garb with a highly vigorous and overdefensive conviction. Attacks towards his mask will be taken as a personal strike against him and will send him into a rage; vindictively he will strike at any who come near him for a good few minutes or so, which suggests that the mask is a point of reverence, glowing lightning strike and all. It's presumed to hold a significance to the "flame God" he seems to mention every now and then; and is infact of relic or artifact tier for him as well as being highly symbolic, and the conduit through which his Apparatus is accessed.

There is a knowledgeable common ground between Iggy's masked and unmasked forms in the sense that he still shows a baseline appreciation for the same things; obviously he's incinerating left and right without any real regard, but their personalities correlate in what they enjoy. The masked persona simply expresses it in a different manner; sycophantic immolation of said target, or perhaps a more feral rearing towards it. Animalistic devotion to flame, in a very primal and unchained way.

Of course; as the manifestation of the innermost harrowing horrors of a serial killer, his true inner persona, the one that doesn't fuck around, a lot about masked Iggy is far from funny; but even in this form, he shows something of an unspoken sense of irony, and the same for arrogance. It really is based on the situation, but sometimes his attacks will be ironic or haughty in origin; perhaps he'll heat up something in preparation for targets to close up, and detonate it at the last moment with a triumphant, unintelligible growl - or fry a sea monster on the edge of an oasis.

As a bottom line, the masked persona Iggy carries and dons every now and then is something that weighs on his shoulders; cause it's not just a manic, demented, unnerved social outcast - no, not even just your regular breed of psychopath. Iggy, at his very core, allows the mask to coax something out of him. A monster. With a heart as black as coal and a soul as cold as ice.

HISTORY:
There's not a lot that the Demon known as Iggy does remember of his mortal life and the world he used to inhabit. The memories are fragmented; images flickering before his eyes in futile and fruitless yet invigorated cyclical attempts to access a corrupted string of sequential memories.

There's no wild recollection of a bloody, screaming birth emerging from the undercarriage of a woman he no longer recognises nor remembers, sadly enough; it begins in the Aleutian Islands in May 1943. Part of a large American defense battalion moving through Attu working to recapture it, it wasn't long after the docking on the beach that Iggy and six of his comrades were split off from the main group after a Japanese ambush. The Pacific Theatre from there on out was ruthless on the seven remaining; it took them another seventy-two hours from being split off to find civilization, in which two of the seven perished to frostbite. One of which was the group's commanding officer.

It was at this point that the man who would later become the East Coast Sizzler took up charge; chain of command dictated that, after the split, he was the XO; and with the death of Staff Sergeant James "Jimmy" Errol, Corporal ████████ "Iggy" ██████ was the next in line to lead the troops. Of course; he'd been drafted straight out of high school - barely nineteen now in 1943, but he'd been reputed for being a young, charming, audacious and well-mannered individual who'd always dreamt of a future in the military. Many of his superiors foresaw a long and fortuitous path in front of Corporal ██████ in the United States Army - and yet how wrong they were.

By the time they reached an evacuated village on the northern coast of Attu, two of the men under his command were gravely ill, their bodies all but having succumbed to frostbite, leaving only he and two Privates, barely six months younger than him. Iggy did his best to keep the troops in good morale, but it was a fruitless endeavour. They all knew they were going to die in this place. They set down the bodies of the hyperventilating frostbite-ridden walking "dead" in one of the ample, abandoned houses, and took up refuge in another, deciding they would stay for the night. It was only with a whistling in the later hours of the evening that the heads of the three conscious men shrouded in hastily-woven blankets of itchy grass panting and unable to sleep, well in the grasp of hypothermia, all looked to the sky. But by the time they even recognised what it was, it was too late to do anything. Only the Corporal spoke with a degree of sullen recognition in a Brooklyn drawl. "Mortar."

The blast was followed by three more afterwards. Further investigation would lead the armed forces to discover that the Japanese strikes were infact accidental. The Attu village was abandoned and had been for months yet, the indigenous populace within having been kidnapped by Imperial forces. But in the early hours of the Aleutian morning, it was truly a sight to behold, as the juvenile teenage Corporal opened his eyes to watch, with the sun a couple of hours from lying on the horizon, his breathing haggard and jagged. The village had been completely obliterated. The remnants of the house he'd sat near the entrance to on guard had been smashed apart; the impact of the first mortar had sent him flying off to the right, and a peppering of howitzer shells had ground the two gravely ill men into a bloody mulch in the building opposite. Probably a quicker end than just giving in to the frostbite.

As to the other two, in better health as they were, they had both immediately been torn apart by the explosion; Iggy looked over to them frantically - before then realising that he was under a particular quandary himself, trying to pull himself up desperately. The ruins of the Attu village were illuminated by rings of roaring flames; the thick brush had been engulfed in a slow-moving inferno, and though the snow upon the ground was halting the progress, an orange flickering gave the night license to birth a ground for a single man trapped beneath the remnants of a hand-forged bookcase, pinning down on his torso and keeping him well and truly stuck.

The frost kept the flames at bay for a short while, but the conflagration was persistent. It moved along the stones; slow as it did, the impossible heat charred the very Pacific rocks beneath its grasps. And slowly, as if it could sense the Corporal trapped beneath, it moved closer. And closer. Inches at a time. Iggy just able to see the progress if he exerted his spine enough. The fire was creeping closer. And closer. And he couldn't just fall asleep and embrace his demise; adrenaline coursed through his veins, helpless as he was - he needed to resist, as he had been trained to. But as much as he tried to lug the bookcase from his gut with all his might, it was a helpless affair. He was pinned to the ground as the flames encroached. Slowly. Ever-so-slowly.

It was another two hours til sunrise, and another after that before a search party happened upon the village. It was from a new US deployment on the Attu beaches that had come up; they'd been dispatched to look for the site of the mortars to see what the Imperial forces had been firing upon with such vigour, and when they got close enough to hear the harrowing screams, the spine-chilling sobs, the whimpers of a grown man as his skin and flesh was scorched without abandon from the forces of nature that he'd so resigned himself to by accepting existence upon this world... they wasted no time. But they had been late enough.

Iggy had been lying there as the flames slowly ate and chewed at him for three hours as the sun rose.

Wishing for death and openly accepting the cold grasp as the reaper as he was hallucinating, tugged from the flames, the Corporal was carried out on a stretcher; and what little could be done with limited salves was on-site, but with all the haste they could spare, the badly maimed and scorched man was carried back, catatonic and near-silent, to the beaches, and shipped back to main base in the Aleutians, straight to the infirmary. The diagnosis came moments after Iggy was anesthetised; a glum-looking doctor in a lab coat tugged the mask away and waited for consciousness to return.

Third-degree burns covering 70% of his lower body below the waste. Luckily, above his hips, nothing had been touched; and the majority of his right leg was fine. But his left leg was completely scorched. And the skin of his groin was warped and almost completely destroyed. The grafting process begun soon enough; and Iggy was kept on-site for the next month or so as he regained consciousness after falling into a coma for a few days - the brunt of the operations were complete, painful as they were. Sepsis had been dealt with. The doctors told him he was "lucky to be alive". And as stoic and silent as he was, having been in a state of catatonia since he was fetched from the Aleutians, he certainly didn't fucking feel like it.

It was one day that one of the doctors entered that he took a deep, jagged breath, and for the first time in months managed to form a single word. "D-Doctor..." He spoke, breath shaky, words catching in his teeth as he sighed, eased in and out breathing, the morphine IV still well and truly hooked into his system, a sheet covering the unsightly grafted skin of his lower body. The Corporal rose a trembling finger to gesture at the afflicted parts of his body. Specifically between his legs. "A-am... am I g-gonna be able to... y-y'know... have... kids?" Iggy had seen the state of his pecker. And it wasn't looking good.

The shake of the doctor's head came moments later, before he exited the room, leaving Iggy to wallow in silence and self-pity. Remorsefully he rose the mask once more, put it back over his mouth, and descended back into a blurry, anesthetised, artificial sleep. He dreamt of better things. Of high school sweethearts. Of freshly-cut grass on a summer's day. Of Brooklyn. Of the parks and the buildings and the walk to school and the basketball arena and the place where they hung about and smoked cigarettes and talked about girls and motorbikes. Of anywhere that wasn't the fucking Aleutians.

But all of that was a world away now.

The receiving of a Medal of Honor was nothing to him. Roosevelt presented it to him personally and shook his hand as some PR bullshit. And so he smiled for the camera; but inside, the man who had survived with "such bravery" and "true audacity" but really just dumb luck whilst the rest of his squad were eliminated it was promoted and peppered with enthusiasm and adoration. It was... suffocating. It was disgusting. They even promoted him to Major and gave him an honourable discharge on medical grounds; fuck, for a year after the accident they had him walking on goddamn crutches.

But by New Year's 1944 he was back in Brooklyn. Reunited with a family he no longer remembers. The welcome "Major" on his return tour home. His mother had died before he'd joined the army; only God knew where his father was. He had his friends. And his sister. But they didn't help with the nightmares; the re-experience; the sleep disturbance, the hatred, the aggression, the curling up into a ball in the corner of the room and rocking back and forth - hell, he even went to these new "psychiatrists". All they told him that it was shell shock; they threw drugs that didn't work at him and told him to come back in six weeks. They didn't know shit. They hadn't seen what he'd seen. Been through what he'd been through.

And everywhere he turned, it was there. A man lighting his cigarette on the corner of the street. A lantern as he walked through the snowtopped street in the January night. An open hearth; the flickering flames; the orange tendrils; the radiating heat... everything... coming forwards... moving closer... getting further...

Since he'd come back, it was three times he'd been to see his sister. She had gotten into drama whilst he was away. Opera. Acting. She had an award mounted on her wall; a mask, like you saw in those renditions of Greek tragedies. Plain and white. Two triangular chips for the eyes; a sharp curvature for the mouth - ample space to hold the nose; it was a working mask, overall. It was light; fitted well to the contours of the male face. And every time he came round he found himself staring at it, with the crimson lightning bolt she'd daubed over the eye to differentiate it from the others. And sometimes... sometimes he picked it up. And wore it. Once was at her command. Another when he used the spare key to get in before using it. Again when he was trying frantically to cheer her up, unhinged and staring a thousand yards off into the distance as he was, when her boyfriend left.

That night he stayed over. The next morning, he woke up and she was filling up her car for some odd reason at 4AM. Iggy came downstairs a few minutes later. There was a red jerrycan, half-full, of gasoline in the corner. The mask he'd left in her lounge, his sister having toyed with it, sat on top. The last thing he remembers from that morning is reaching out to put it on.

*****

The first victim was a young girl's skeleton they found. They never identified it, but due to missing person's reports, the presumption was that she was Jeanette "Jeanie" ██████, with a shellshocked brother who'd returned home from the Pacific. It was a few weeks through the war had ended; and she'd been found pretty far from home in '45, stripped down to the charred remnants of her scorched and blackened bones, just off I-95 coming out of New York headed up towards Connecticut. The homicide wasn't followed up by anything else for the next two years in the same vein - the police promptly forgot about it, left it to become a cold case until the next, almost identical, arose in January '47, but days after the Black Dahlia affair.

This was disguised as an arson attempt. The entire building had burnt down - but the coroner had determined after a couple of hours' examination that the full-body third degree burns had been a cause of death around an hour before the fire report had come through proper, and there was still kerosene residue on what remained of his skin. Jackson Fettel had died long before the house in central Newark had even began to turn to the charred inferno it was. His missing wife, Michelle Fettel, was discovered in a motel room two miles south of the Massachusetts border killed in exactly the same manner sixty hours later, bind marks around her wrists. The 1945 cold case of Jeanie's murder was opened the next day - but no-one heard from him until May '47, when another ritualistic murder found a family of an attorney, Michael Gelden, his wife, and their 16-year-old son bound, gagged, and torched in exactly the same fashion as the Fettel couple. The case burst into life - and the news of the "East Coast Sizzler", as he was dubbed nationally hit the papers.

He was smart. His profile said exactly that. He was meticulous. Gone long before he started the delayed, improvised incendiary charges to detonate the houses and keep the authorities on their toes. He was remorseless. And fire disposed of whatever evidence he couldn't. To start with, Jeanie had been enough; the dam had broken. Two years. Then he killed again. The Fettel couple. That kept him going for another three months. Then the Gelden family. That was six. Five of which had happened in the space of such short a time. And he kept this pattern going. Up and down the coast he'd move, lurking in a city as he carefully chose and monitored his targets, before disposing of them after a few weeks of close surveillance. All of it... all the time it took... it all lead up to that one juicy climax... that final orgasmic squeeze. The flames. The big fat kill.

It became a federal case not long after; but no-one heard from the Sizzler til November '47, when he ruthlessly immolated a nurse who was having an adulterous affair with a doctor twenty years her senior. Here his modus operandi changed; for he had been watching from afar as they took their time and scanned through the cities in their blacked-out vans. They never found him - they never knew it was him they were looking for. He never approached to taunt or to "assist". He just watched. The hunted studying his hunters from the shadows. But Miss Matthews and Doctor Cornelius had been new ground for the Sizzler. Their desecrated bodies had been stripped naked after he tranquilised them. Tied together. And when they woke up, drenched in gasoline before he slit a cheek of each of them, and in their blood, painted on the mirror, daubed in crimson ichor eight letters:

"P L A Y T I M E"

In their embrace the married resident and his little plaything had been scorched away and the Sizzler's killcount went up to eight. But here was where they found the first clue; and made headway on the case for the first time since it had been officially opened as a federal investigation. Special Agents Martens and Cole were leading the case with the assistance of any state police departments in question at the time; and when they found a half-burnt matchbook, after a few hours of analysis for the six letters they had in the area, they pinned down a Boston Irish bar. "PADDY M" quickly became "PADDY MOLLOY'S". And the bartender said he remembered a shady-looking bloke coming in around that time - but in a dingy Charlestown Irish pub it was nothing. And no-one talked to feds in Boston anyway. So they watched from the shadows, just like the Sizzler did his next victims, and waited for his next move.

February '48 gave way to another perfect set of kills; a lesbian couple trying to prove a point in Vermont. Megan Anderson and Irina Petrova. Strapped to beds and immolated in the same manner. No further message; but the house hadn't been burnt down around them - it had taken three days for the stench of burning flesh to become so unbearably pungent that the people in the dingy apartment above had brought in local cops to investigate. Martens and Cole were there three hours after it'd been called in. But as always, it was too late.

And then in July 1948 came the biggest breakthrough in the case yet.

Declan Phelps was a meat packing plant worker. And drunkenly staggering back home to the trailer park where he used to take his women after meeting them in horrid bars. He was a tall man; and he loved the whiskey. An Irish immigrant in Boston - where the Sizzler had returned after so long - he was to be kill number eleven. However; when tall, dark, and murderous cornered him and tranquilised him before dragging him to a pre-ascertained clearing, he wasn't aware that the Irishman was waiting for a girl in the trailer; who was peeping from the window and saw one thing before the murderer disappeared into the fringes of the woods, and from Boston again for the second time.

A white mask.

The forest fire took a couple hours to subdue; but watching from afar, the feds presumed that the Sizzler saw... something. Because the headway on this case was starting to creep forwards, slowly as it was. For six months no-one heard from him. In January 1949 he returned and set fire to the woman Declan had been about to come home to - a burlesque dancer named Martha Sven - escaping unscathed and rapidly immolating a pair of mafia peons who, it seemed, had cornered him in an alley the very same night. Wrong man. Wrong night. A chloroform strike to the face of one, a broken wrist when the other tried to retaliate, and he was tranquilised moments later - a fresh few litres of siphoned petroleum and the killcount rose to fourteen.

The feds could only draw one conclusion. The Sizzler was getting proud. Assured. Arrogant. They were getting closer. Baby steps - but steps all the same. He knew his skills and he was starting to gestate. Mutate. He was playing with them; retaliating, showing that he held things personally. The rumours were they found Sven next to a box of dead rats. It was a deterrent. To set an example to anyone else who thought they'd "shed some light" on the good murderer.

August '49 brought on another rampage through Portland, Maine. Things got gruesome. A family of five. Busted gas main took out the house hours after. A reminiscent kill. When they found them, all five were strapped to a ring of chairs - two parents, the uncle, and a pair of kids in the upper end of their teenage years. This made nineteen. And that was when the boundaries of the East Coast Sizzler were established. As being promptly non-existent. Martens and Cole were on the case again; and it was around this time Cole began drinking for fear that they wouldn't be able to catch this son of a bitch.

Another registered pair of Sizzler kills came in December '49. Regina and Cameron Samson. Twenty-one. March '50. Harley Ross and David Slate. Twenty-three. September '50. Brothers Giorgio and Vittorio Falzone - pissing the mafia off just as much as the cops. Twenty-five. January '51. Mary-Anne Valo. Twenty-six. June '51. Lenora and Michele Provonost, just off the Quebecois border. Twenty-eight. November '51. Robert Chen. Twenty-nine. February '52. Blanca Delgado. Thirty. May '52. Samuel Morris. Thirty-one. August '52. Svetlana Koriskovya. Thirty-two. And in December 1952, in Syracuse, New York... Nina Smith would have made thirty-three.

But for the first time in a five-year killing spree... she survived.

The neighbours had smelt the burning and called 911. An extinguisher in their house had been ferried over - they put out the roaring building first - and then went in. It seemed the Sizzler had strayed somewhat from his typical formula - time had been tight tonight. Dousing her in foam as she muffled her screams through the gag around her mouth, they slit her binds open and spluttered through the fumes of charred flesh and wood mixed in indiscriminately. But for third degree burns covering seventy percent of her body - Nina Smith was alive.

The hospital came immediately. 11:46PM, December 23rd, 1952. By 6:30 on Christmas Eve, Martens and Cole were there, hungover as the latter was. For Christmas the Sizzler had sent them the greatest present of all: a live one. An eyewitness. Once her condition was stabilised and she surfaced from the induced coma, they let her talk - and as hoarse as her voice was, as painful as it all had been, she had survived for a reason - Agent Martens knew it, even if Cole just smelt of whiskey and Marlboros. By 9:00AM, the FBI knew more about the Sizzler over an hour than they had over five years.

He always appeared three times, was what she'd said. Dispersed sightings of a man in that same mask had come all over the nation; especially the east coast. The Bureau had presumed that it was just speculation and people who were in it for the fame; but they'd never realised that it was some ominous... symbol. Or that it was present at all. A flash in the windscreen mirror. A reflection on a cold night you knew you saw, but told yourself you didn't. A vanishing glimmer in the corner of your eye. For Nina the first "visit" had come two weeks before the fire. The second, two days. The third, two hours. Then at around 11:00PM, she felt his gloved hands clasp around her face. The inhalation of sharp alkaline fumes. Chloroform. Then she woke up not long after to the stench of the gasoline. And he said one thing through all of it. One word as she sobbed. As she whimpered. As she cowered.

"Burn."

FOOM. And with that he set the charges for her house and ran; but the gambit was not foolproof this time. He had not waited. He had become impatient. The release had been so close; he hadn't stopped to ensure she was dead, as he hadn't similarly with the past few. The East Coast Sizzler was slacking. Cole and Martens came out of that hospital room smiling like they hadn't in years. They had him. They had him, dammit! The Sizzler was here. They started plotting out a radius - and set up blockades at every major highway or interstate taking that he could have been going on. But nothing. For hours, they sat diligently by the radio. No word. Nothing. They searched and pulled over thousands of people and almost caused an international traffic crisis on Christmas Eve. For nothing.

The morning of the 25th, they had to take the blockades down. It was Christmas Day. And it was then that the Sizzler got his present. He slipped through the gaps. Somehow, he'd known; he'd been one step ahead - and then... he vanished. Like a spectre on the wind. A phantom. He disappeared. No-one heard from him for a month. Then for three months. That was unusual, but not unheard of. Six months. They waited every day, Cole and Martens; occupying themselves with menial tasks and cases in the meantime; and then - after nine months, in September 1953, the Director came to the team personally - and told them if they made no progress by the end of the month, he was officially closing the East Coast Sizzler case.

So where did they start? Where could they start? There was no connection, dammit; this guy was a ghost. He left nothing behind. And for six and a half years he'd stayed to the book; when all of the breaches of the criminals' code for staying undiscovered were what made the others slip. He kept that release inside. And he lived a free man. And to Cole and Martens: it was just infuriating. They tried bringing in outside help; and all of them had nothing. The sightings continued, of course; but there wasn't a single immolation-related murder along the East Coast for nine months. Aside from awful copycat murders which were uncovered within a week - but none of those had happened since March. America had forgotten the Sizzler and his little rampage. And that was just the way they wanted it.

Until someone told them. "Look to the first."

The brother. The man at the beginning at it all. Six and a half years ago he'd been missing; Major ██████. One-time recipient of a Medal of Honor. But what could they do? To pursue a veteran with nothing but suspicion? At the time, they hadn't considered it. But they returned to Brooklyn all the same - and about this man they began to ask around. Query. Poke about. By October they found the psychiatrist - in a little practice outside of Queens. She remembered the Major clearly. Shellshock. A distant gaze. The thousand-yard stare. Combat exhaustion.

For the first time since 1947... Cole and Martens had a lead. They compiled a dossier on this kid; high school, work records for barely a few months; family - all gone now, Jeanie had been the last, and she had no kids - old girlfriends. They all said that before the Pacific, he'd been a standup guy. Charming. Handsome. Funny. Chivalrous. But once he'd come back from the Aleutians - they'd heard nothing from him. So the FBI went to the army. Of course - the records weren't readily available without a long-winded warrant process, but a couple of weeks of poking about now the war was over, and they found a doctor whose arm they could twist, with the Director of the Bureau still dogging at his heels - and he explained everything. The reason why the Major had been honourably and medically discharged. The reason why he'd been given the Medal of Honor. The reason why he'd come back a year early and promoted so quickly.

The burns.

A cocktail of survivor's guilt and shellshock later - and the entire thing made sense. Finally, after almost a full seven years - everything had come together. The pieces of the puzzle slotted into place. Cole and Martens sidled back into their car in early November - and they picked up the nearest boxwell they could, dialing straight through to the Director on an urgent line. "Mr. Director, we've found something amazing-"

The stern bark came back through almost immediately. "I just got off the phone with the SECDEF! He's complaining about our budget already and how we're not already dealing with the crisis with the Soviet spies!" He barked. "I'm taking you off this case, Martens! You and Cole! You've had nothing to show for it for years! You're both being reassigned. From now on, you'll be working with the bureau!" A harsh slam and a dial tone. Sullenly one agent looked to the other and set the phone back on the receiver and delivered the news. Case closed.

For two months the pair of them dealt with the cyclical and repetitive mulch of interviewing Russians and Ukrainians and Serbians and Bosnians and anyone whose surname ended with an -ov or a -ski, anyone who showed any vague knowledge of the Cyrillic alphabet. It was bullshit. A bullshit job with bullshit people. Martens and Cole had been assigned to different desks in different buildings; autumn 1953 was a sullen time for the pair. And then, one time, on the streets of Chicago - Martens working there - he bumped into Cole. The pair of them went for a drink. Got to discussing the old days. The Sizzler.

And Cole had been compiling facts into the same dossier even though the Director had reassigned them both - and there had still been no murders. It was Friday evening - and over a couple of whiskeys the pair of them looked over one final thing. It had been Jeanie's summer house. Up in Vermont. Out in the sticks, real rural. Her father had bequeathed it to her in his will; closer analysis suggested from old pictures that it was a family ritual. The album had a picture of all four of them in front of the building every year; through from 1923 when Jeanie was born all the way through until their father died in '38; then just her mother and the dashing young man her brother was til she died too in early '43. That was the last one. After that... the place had been forgotten. For eleven years.

Well, Cole suspected, ten years. Until Christmas Day 1952.

That weekend, the pair of them took a trip up to Vermont. Through Route 91; high up into the reaches of America, closing up on the Canadian border, they found it. Jay State Park, Vermont. Six miles south... was a tiny cabin. Bottles of gas and a woodcutter's axe outside. It looked pretty cosy. All but the fact that it was winter - and there was not so much as a single flame in sight. Cole and Martens drew up outside the door. They pulled out their Colts. They eased back the hammers. And they rapped their knuckles on the door, sternly barking: "FBI! OPEN UP!" Silence. "FBI! WE WILL BREAK THE DOOR DOWN!"

Nothing. Not even a silent scurrying. No rats or mice to be found. Cole holstered his pistol. "Maybe he really isn't in, Martens." The other detective kept his .45 aimed down at the lock continuously for a few more moments, before letting himself relax. Cole had a point. This guy was abhorrent; but he was still human. The lease was still under Jeanie's name - no-one had sold it - but this could have just as easily been a squatter. Well, the only think they could do now was to sit around and just wait til someone came back - there was definitely a person living-- THUNK.

The woodcutter's axe split Martens' cranium open like a watermelon. He stood there, suspended, as the pale hand clutched the handle, for what felt to Cole like an eternity. By the time he thought to react his blood had chilled and the crimson-stained head of the axe had been yanked with reckless candor from the back of his dead partner's skull as the whites of his eyes became present and he slumped down against the wall of his cabin. Now he knew. This was the East Coast Sizzler. The second homicide detective went to reach for his gun - and did so. The first shot rang out into the air as the shirtless murderer pushed his arm away. The head of the axe split through his ribs moments later and Cole toppled down into the long grass, blood running into the snow. The Medal of Honor recipient turned his back to the fallen pair, ready to turn and get some gasoline - oh how long it had been... how long it had been since he'd smelt the scorching of flesh-

CRACK.

An unfamiliar pain in his back. Cold. Yet hot at the same time. But it wasn't a heat he appreciated. No... no, not at all. "G-got y-you now... CRACK. Another. This time a little lower. "Asshole..." He faltered. The crows parted above - any that were still left after the first shot, anyway. The Sizzler dropped to his knees. The pistol fell from Cole's hands and the second of the detectives died. It seemed... it seemed that he was dying here, today, too.

Iggy collapsed. And this time, there was no-one around to save him.

*****

It wasn't long before he woke up, however.

It had felt like the longest sleep for a while. With a yawn, he blinked a few times and reached up to rub the grit from his eyes; the first thing he smelt was... ash. And it smelt... well, fuck, it smelt good. It took him a couple minutes to get up and get rid of the sluggish feeling in his head and in his muscles; and it took him a while to realise that... well, he was wearing his gear. The coat. The boot. The gloves. And at his waist sat... THE MASK. With another look back over the wide, open, flat expanse in front of him; he could smell only burning; see only rocks and ash; the ruins of places past; hear only the gentle rumbling of something deeper, something lower, something abhorrent below. Worse even than him.

Maybe here he could kill? Cause whilst he had a good suspicion about this place - he didn't yet know. A harrowing chime amalgamated from the shadows underneath a rock face and he spun around, ready to react; but the towering stone beast only moved past him, ignoring him like he was some speck of dirt. Scratching the back of his head - he decided to follow. It wasn't long before the creature descended a mineshaft - one, apparently, of many - and joined a convoy which Iggy soon found himself rushed along with. The sentiment became all-too-quickly-clear. This was Hell, he was dead... and this kingdom belonged to something called an "Archdemon". Beelzebub.

The guy seemed to enjoy setting fire to shit almost as much as him. He was a pretty cool Demon, all in all - apparently, that was now what Iggy was, too - explained the lay of the land to him. And then asked his name. Before he could even think to reply - "Ignis." It was a language he was unfamiliar with yet spoke with alarming fluency. Though why hadn't he called himself ████████? That was his name, really. No; perhaps... on further thought, it wasn't. He abandoned it with haste. "Ignis". It was one of the few choice Latin words he remembered. "Flame". Fitting enough. And let him keep his moniker. ████████ was gone. Ignis had arrived. "Butcha' can call me Iggy, if ya' want." Yet Iggy remained.

For a while, he worked for ol' Zebby. That didn't last long, though. Too much political bullshit with the other Archdemons due to all this fancy "respect" and "sentience" he held. He left a while back. The pair of them left things on decent though tentative terms. Zeb had always been understanding. A couple years back he found an odd bloke called Takatori. Seemed like a weird name. He had about as much tolerance and regard for life as he did. Iggy liked that. So he banded together with the bloke - took up a secondary position in this thing he called "Nevermore". They said he could burn all the people he wanted to.

For Ignis, for ████████, for the East Coast Sizzler, for a servant of Beelzebub and for a member of Nevermore, that might have been adequate. Adequate opportunity.

But for Iggy?

It was fucking brilliant.

*********

FACTION:
Nevermore

SKILLS:
[ ASBESTOS ] - Through working with it and having experienced the devastating effects that fire can cause first-hand of his own body, Iggy is resilient to flame more than any of the other primal elements. Which is handy in Inferis.
[ DEPRAVITY ] - Being a serial killer doesn't net you much in the long run, but an additional emotional hardiness when it comes to certain sights is something most have from birth, or their "rebirth", so to speak. Iggy is no different.
[ SOLAR-POWERED ] - Iggy is, when in the presence of not even Inferis' supposed "sun", but any light source in the plane itself, anywhere from flickering bulbs to fire, which he's under consistently for a drawn-out period of time, will keep him energised more or less indefinitely.
[ UNIDENTIFIABLE ] - Iggy's Demon Form wears a mask and some pretty nonchalant dark clothing, which makes all but the most perceptive of beings unable to identify him by voice, face, or even whether or not he's a Demon, that simple.
[ A TOUCH OF ARSON ] - Iggy's great with anything that results in flames. From explosives to incendiaries to flamethrowers to gas mains to even just flint and fucking dry wood, he knows his shit with it.
[ THAT'S FLAMMABLE ] - Can sniff out flammable and explosive gases in the immediate vicinity fairly adeptly due to having a great knowledge of them from his previous life.
[ BERSERK BUTTON ] - If an enemy aims an attack at his mask, Iggy will, in his Demon Form, fly into a completely feral rage momentarily, becoming a tactical behemoth, moving insanely fast and with an incredible spiritual conviction.

WEAKNESSES:
[ WINTER'S CHILL ] - Doesn't function well in cold or wet environments. Due to the fact that, naturally, his Apparatus is less useful, and... well, heat's just really quiet nice.
[ FEAR OF THE DARK ] - Whilst not so much a fear, the eponymous Iron Maiden song definitely applies here. Iggy is much less powerful in the presence of shade; if there's still a nearby light source, that will keep him invigorated, but fighting for extended amounts of time in complete darkness will not only be difficult for him, but will exhaust him incredibly quickly.
[ PYROMANIA ] - Iggy's depravity hand-in-hand with an addiction to setting things aflame often makes him unpredictable for his teammates, and can cause him to go slightly overkill on barbecuing lesser enemies, meaning that he thinks less, as is to be logically divined, about the engagement at hand.
[ SPONTANEOUS ] - Iggy's spontaneity is renowned. He is just as likely to up and sprint away from the battlefield howling like Zoidberg for the fuck of it as he is to stick about and keep immolating people - he's completely and utterly unpredictable.
[ INCOMMUNICABLE ] - In his masked Demon form, which is the only form in which he can truly engage in combat, to all but his closest and most experienced teammates - other Nevermore veterans such as Takatori - Iggy is near-impossible to talk to or interpret.
[ MANUAL OVERRIDE ] - If the mask is broken significantly - other than a few base cracks - it can regenerate over time, but it will send Iggy back into his Mortal Form for a good few posts at the very least.

COLOURS:
> Iggy speaks the inherent language of Demon (indianred) along with a good knowledge of a Brooklyn dialect of American English (darkturquoise).

TRIVIA:

> Presence not really appreciated in the Darkroot Domain due to the flammability of most trees.
> Laughs at his own jokes.
> Finds things that aren't meant to be and are seemingly completely pointless absolutely hilarious.
> Missing the little toe on his right foot thanks to frostbite in Attu Island in May 1943.
> Lower body badly scarred.
> One-time recipient of the United States Army Medal of Honor.
> Thought to be the inspiration for 1994 Jim Carrey movie The Mask. Claims so boldly.
> Not quite so quick to claim rights to the 2005 sequel. Fucking sucked.

*********

USER DETAILS


ALIAS:
Ross

OTHER CHARACTERS:
Lazarus Carter, Lucifer, Damon T. Ruger, Bastian van Staade, Dante Alencar, the Employer, and Akrasiel.

ROLEPLAY HISTORY:
7 years.

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Code:
[b]DARKER THAN BLACK[/b] :: [b]HEI[/b]

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Iggy
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Iggy, the Arsonist Empty Re: Iggy, the Arsonist

Post by Lazarus Carter on Sun Jul 28, 2013 6:05 am

Archive date is August 7th.

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Iggy, the Arsonist Empty Re: Iggy, the Arsonist

Post by Alice the Chopper on Sat Aug 03, 2013 12:55 pm

Approved!

Did I ever tell you the definition of insanity?

Because you've captured it pretty well. Well done.

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