Title: One of Us

Author: weird_katharine

Rating: PG

Warnings: None.

Genera: General.

Summery: The story of what happened to the health inspector from Dethsources. Because I'm sure you were all dying to know g

Disclaimer: I don't own any recognizable characters or ideas.

Over the scratch of his pen, Charles heard footsteps enter the room and then stop. He only looked up from his work when a moment passed and no one spoke to him. That was strange.

The stocky, scruffy man from the Health Department was standing in the middle of his carpet. He was staring at Charles with intent but unfocused eyes. His arms hung at his sides, clipboard dangling carelessly from one hand. He looked like he'd been hit in the head with a brick, or like he'd witnessed some unspeakable atrocity. Those were, in fact, two of the most likely explanations.

"Ah, good morning Mr. Roachmacker. Is there something I can help you with?"

"No. Every thing's great!" Charles winced. Oh, yes, this man was one of those people whose voice seemed to be stuck in a permanent half-yell. "Anyway, here's your health inspection." He tossed the clipboard onto the desk.

Charles leafed through the forms. "I see. This is completely blank, did you know that?"

"Oh. Yeah, I guess I did." He shrugged his sagging shoulders. "That's okay though. I'm passing you guys anyway."

Charles folded his hands and smiled a little, although smiling was not his strong suit. He was beginning to think he knew what was going on here.

"Well, I'm very glad to hear that. I like to think we run a pretty tight ship here at Mordhaus." Tight did not necessarily mean safe, but there was no need to mention that. "And you appear to have lost the band, is that right?" He added.

Mr. Roachmacker's eyes darted around the room as he noticed for the first time that Dethklok was no longer following him.

"I guess so. Huh. Metal!"

Oh yes, he had seen this before. Some poor soul would try to argue with them, reason with them, or just be forced to listen to them for an extended period of time. The force of their . . . unique personalities would relentlessly erode the other person's mind. They ended up wandering around like Mr. Roachmacker, the word metal swirling through their brains like a whirlpool, cutting off and answering every thought. Charles himself had been able to remain immune, even after years of exposure, but of course not everyone could be that strong.

"Yes, very metal," He agreed. Now, is there anything else I can do for you today?"

"Well, now that you mention it. You wouldn't happen to be hiring around here, would you?" He looked down at the floor, a little sheepish, as if a small part of him realized that all rational thought had disintegrated in a blast of heavy metal radiation.

"Of course." As cynical as he was, Charles felt inclined to be gentle with someone who had obviously just had his brain broken. A little perverse pride in the effect his band had on people didn't hurt his mood either. "We won't be starting another training cycle for a few months, but you can fill out these forms, here, and send them to Human Dethsources. He paused thoughtfully for a moment. "You found your way all the way up here from the basement, did you say? Hum. I'll make a note of that on your file."

Months later . . . .

The music roared and pounded, the crowd, jacked up on rage, pain, fear, and triumph, roared and screamed. As the brand came down, his eyes bulged behind the mask. He raised his fists in the air, threw back his head, and bellowed, "Metal!"

The man holding the branding iron kicked him in the head, hard enough to knock him over.

"Simmer down, newbie," He hissed, "It gets lots better than this."