He had fallen, he remembered that much. Blood on his hands, the flop of Moloch's head with the pretty hole through the forehead, the sudden explosion of lights and fire as the police bellowed below from the megaphone and he spun in that circle of light in shock. He was startled, breathed a hiss of rage, and then exploded, almost frenzied, almost panicking.....

Almost.

"No, no, no, no! Stupid, stupid, stupid, stupid," the words flew out as an invocation as his groping hands slid over the counter, and the possibilities of escape burned through his head. He was caged and growling as he felt the cold metal canister against his palm, snatched with a tilt of his head.

He remembered the acrid smell of the gas from the stove, the small inferno propelled from his palm, the flame of hell held in his hands as the door crashed under the thump of boots and men, how they all spilled to the floor, all around him.

They had shouted, recoiled, expecting the madness of a cornered animal, but not the fire. He smelled the tinge of burning skin, the smouldering ash, the inferno around him as he leapt high and fell harder. Bones ground into the concrete, he lay, splayed by the blinding pain and the numb torpor he choked back with a snarl. Through his smeared vision, he saw the wall of uniforms crashing over him like an ocean wave.
He vaulted out of the heap of humans like a deer, only to be snatched mid-leap and thrown down to the concrete again. He belted, kicked, pivoted and swung harder. He heard the snap of bones, the grunts of pain, the curses, a sizable number crumbling. The shouting grew to a roar, the blows fell harder as he grew more numb and furious, the world blurred when the first club collided with his skull.

No, no, no.... The words were spat out as they swarmed over him, kicking, punching, snarling, a mass and net of arms and clubs and brutality sweeping him down until he was flush with the concrete. He felt a knee shoving his jaw to the cold pavement, felt so many hands on his quaking back. He roared, and tried to rise, but he was swept under the malestrom of feet, and fists. A boot heel across his backbone, another to his face, grinding his cheek into the pavement like an unwanted bug. Blood dribbled from his lips, he felt the cheekbone cracking under the unrelenting pressure on his skull, his breathing was growing ragged, his voice scraped out and raw from the shouting and the snarls.....

He heard his name spat, the mocking laughter, and felt the splintering ache of wood as the billy club slammed into the back of his skull. He lingered there, in the dizzying chaos, woozy, and furious and fighting the grunt of pain that finally burbled out from his clenched jaws. He fought the encroaching blackness with a hiss, but finally collapsed into a limp pile of twisted trench coat and blood.

The news that they had brought the legendary Rorschach down was met with glee as they chained his limp wrists in handcuffs and dragged him through the grimed street the short distance to the waiting squad car. He was tossed, bleeding and unconscience into the back, officers riding flank with guns drawn.
It was a short ride to the max, peppered by their chortles and smug congradulations as they waxed poetic about the various means of mutilation and torture that prison shanks and solitary could deliver. The words slurred into his unwilling ears.

He heard his death being casually discussed, passed off as a sentence, and a shrug. He said nothing, not particularly caring all that much himself. Existance was a casual thing, anyway. He always knew his would be miserable and short....

Thoughts drifted into obscurity, words sounded around him, he grunted at a stray blow, and winced at a touch. The brakes of the squad car squealed loud and long before the car groaned to a halt. He was pitched forward, and flopped downward, still too dazed to do much else but grunt.

Hands on his wrists, dragging his dangling feet over the curb, lifting him into a stumbling lurch as he nearly fell face first that was halted by a cruel grip to his throat. Somebody struck him in the temple, scarlet gore poured from his busted eyelid to his lip in an irritating trickle.

"Walk, damn it!" The cop barked the order as he thudded the prisoner, and stood him on his dangling legs again. He grit his teeth, forced his dragging feet into a fumbling pace. His head was bowed, his body shuddering, and he was only upright because of those fists clenched over his nearly dislocated shoulders. It hurt, it all hurt. He swallowed it all down with an indifferent sneer, and a languid blink.
It was all he could do, now. His eyes narrowed, unseen by the mask. He was grateful that they had left him relatively untouched, aside from the blows and the beatings. That pain was familiar, the bruises would heal.
His gut lurched when they jerked him to a stop in front of the holding cell, while the guard smirked at him,
unlocked the iron door with a sharp clang. He could not stop the flinch when he heard the loud bellow for reinforcements, nor stop the smug satisfaction that he was so feared....

They lifted him high, and flung him into the holding cell like unwanted trash, allowing his head to crack against the concrete. Orderlies donned smiles and gloves. He could only blink and watch as they threw him down, twisted his arms open, ripped the trench coat away, yanked his arms free of the material. He sucked back the cry with a hiss as they smirked down at him, and peeled away the grimed shirt, nearly choking him when they tore the high collar away from his neck. He could not stop the shiver from the sudden cold, since his battered torso was now only clad in the filthy tank top. The nurse warily leaned in to survey the damage from the beating, almost timidly pulling up the edge of his shirt to view his side and stomach. His breath quickened when the material was slid away from his stomach, and nearly to his shoulder. He heard a low, feral whistle of astonishment, and would have slugged them for their violating vew of his scars...if he could. The nurse's palm was warm against his ribs as she clucked when she felt the convex angle of his rib, and the spasm that gripped his back as he tried to inch away. The grip on him tightened until he was nearly numb from the lack of circulation and the pain.

Dully, he heard the nurse whispering and saw her shake her head down at him, frowning, her fluttering hands working fretfully as she binded up the broken ribs. His eyes seared into hers as she dabbed the disinfectant over a few of the bigger cuts over his busted lip. His breath quickened involuntarily when he heard one of the guards sneer how fun it might be to get the ugly little bastard into a prison uniform. His eyes flickered to hers, and she shivered. She quickly checked the binding to his ribs, panting, and rose, scooting back. The clack of her heels sounded loud against the floor.

The violation of the glaring floursecent bulbs seared his retinas, as he felt invasive fingers curling over his quaking throat and jaw, linger as he heard the dribble of chuckles. He was panting, the cloth over his mouth burbling upward and growing more erratic with his terse breath. So many hands palming his forehead to the cold concrete, so many filthy hands clawing at him, as if he were nothing more than a carcass in the gutter for the vultures to consume. The flinch was bone-deep when he felt at least three sets of nails hook themselves underneith the hem of his mask, and yank.

It was only the removal of cloth, but it felt like they were peeling away his flesh. He could not stop the wince of shock when he felt the concrete slammed against his cheek. the sudden blow to his busted ribs made him clamp his mouth shut with a grunt. The world rippled back into view, their chuckles roaring into his ears as the ring of fat faces merged into one hideous whine of violating touch. He grimaced when a mocking hand pressed his head back to the floor, and forced his chin upward into a tilt. He snarled, blinked, tried to arch his back and fling them off.

Laughter dribbled down and drowned him. He was stripped of everything and staring upward as one of them waved the mask over his naked face, the sick cackles and the touching writhing all over him. His limbs were slammed down and bent and broken under the weight of boots and bodies. His brain curdled against his skull when another fist slammed into his temple, and he tasted blood, hot and salted and choking from his busted lip.

It took nearly six of them to keep him down long enough for the fretting little nurse to give the shot of sedative. Even after three syringes full, he still snarled and bucked like a harpooned fish, though his thrashing wilted to a dull, defiant twitch. He heard the nurse coo his name, attempt to soothe away some of his rage with a caressing hand through the unkempt thatch of bright could not stop the wince, as she withdrew her hand as if burned. Distainfully, she wiped the sweat from her palm on her skirt, and they all gawked at him as he wilted from the sedatives, his muscles growing slack and his thoughts going fuzzy. The last sight he had was the mask flapping over his face like a banner. He tensed in rage, and then went completely limp as he was finally engulfed by the dark.

The guards chuckled and congradulated themselves, grunted and nursed grudges, as the prisoner lay limp and bleeding, his face covered with spit and sweat, and gore. None of them dare relinguish their grips on his body until they were sure he was completely defenseless. His state of consciousness was gleefully confirmed by a brutal kick to the ribs that was only met with a strangled groan, and the crack of bone.

"Well, boys, let's get the princess into her dressing gown, eh? While he's out?" The suggestion was agreed to by the chorus of cackles and thud of billy clubs on his spine.

Dully, he heard the nurse whispering and saw her shake her head down at him, frowning, her fluttering hands working fretfully as she binded up the broken ribs. His eyes seared into hers as she dabbed the disinfectant over a few of the bigger cuts over his busted lip. His breath quickened involuntarily when he heard one of the guards sneer how fun it might be to get the ugly little bastard into a prison uniform. His eyes flickered to hers, and she shivered. She quickly checked the binding to his ribs, panting, and rose, scooting back. The clack of her heels sounded loud against the floor. She looked down at the prisoner, and swallowed. "I would just leave him here and lock the doors, gentlemen." Her voice was soft as she shook her head. "I don't think it's worth the risk."

She heard the disperaging snort of dismissal behind her as one of the guards tapped his club against the prisoner's temple. "What's the matter, doll, you don't think we can cage the runt? Ya afraid of him?"

Her lips formed a grim little line as she swept a hand wide, encompassing the room, the seven guards, the orderlies, their collection of bruises and busted bones. She drew herself up, with a scowl, her voice shrill in the room of men. "It took over six of you to hold him down, and that was with three shots. Yes, gentlemen, I'm very much afraid of him. As you should be."

She turned on her heels in a huff and left.