Detective Lt. Mark Hoffman [SAW] (expectremorse) wrote in thehyenasbones,
Detective Lt. Mark Hoffman [SAW]
expectremorse
thehyenasbones

~ Watching SAW

When Mark Hoffman was very small his mother had bought him a batman comic and he had loved it. He didn't have a lot of friends, but the ones he did have were precious and he wanted to look good in front of them.

His apartment building was filled with bullies.

He was big enough not to be bothered. When they made a crack or gave him an odd look however, it hurt. It wasn't that however. That wasn't what kept him up at night or made him afraid. It was Hank Hoffman.

Hank Hoffman came from a military family with a father embittered over Vietnam and his own personal struggles. His father drank, his father was strict, his father was angry that the only job his only son could get was with the post office, and when he lost that he lost his self respect.

Mark Hoffman wanted a father.

He didn't know it and didn't acknowledge it however, so he contented himself with his mother who was golden and perfect and who encouraged her son as opposed to telling him to get out there and play sports and stop eating Frosted Flakes with Larry the Lion on the cover. No, batman made him feel safe. Batman and superman and all the other heroes and one day after a loud fight when his mother nursed a bruise and tended to her son-he held her and told her it was going to be okay.

"...You're my hero baby." Tracy Hoffman was a sainted figure in the realms of mothers too good for this world, "Don't you ever forget it."

He took it to heart.

-------------

He tried not to think about his mother. He was trying not to think about women and hoping, praying, that his films would offer a welcome distraction. The barge had turned into hell and he was angry that he couldn't seem to face it.

He wanted to revel in his power again. He wanted to know that he was in charge, but the way that Sarah had treated Amanda had woken something up in him.

He was jealous. He was jealous of the people who had wardens who listened. He wanted to reach out and have people to talk to. He couldn't talk to David. He had no one and his dreams had all become the same. In his dreams, Gordon was laughing at the mouth of the bathroom and he sat there and relived every painful moment. Every clench of his gut, every fading memory as he died.

And he could tell no one.

They had their own problems. Fine. He'd take care of himself. He always had and he always will. If no one loved him then he'd love himself and be here and he'd have Angelina

She understood. She would have understood what he'd wanted to do. He wanted to be a hero. The police had promised him that and failed. John had promised him that and the bitch had stolen away.

The movies had given her something. Some knowledge. He had to see it. Fuck Sarah's warnings. There were triumphs he could relive. He fingered the first DVD before slipping it into the player and settling in to watch.



2004 horror film with quick cuts and strange editing giving the viewer a front row seat in John's bathroom trap.

Hoffman had been genuinely surprised to learn that the majority of John's first few traps had stemmed from his own experiences. If he had truly been on his game he would have chosen people who had no connection to him, but Gordon had been the man's oncologist and Amanda...

Seeing Adam alive and breathing and colored was disquieting. He watched the guy scream and offer sarcastic remarks and bitch at Gordon who managed, rather stoically, to treat him almost like a normal human being. John's traps fuck up even the best of us.

He counted that damned chair as a trap, even if no one else did.

The movie centered mostly on Gordon and Adam trading barbs while they reviewed the case. When Kerry was in the razor wire room he ignored the thump in his chest. He likes to book himself front row seats to his sick little games.

--------------

I didn't expect to feel-

Righteous?

No. Remorse.

This man Paul isn't a criminal. Sure he drinks and smacks people around but the man has psychological issues. He'd tried to kill himself. Hoffman knew about pressure. He was a cop for fuck sake. He'd seen plenty of guys in therapy who'd tried to eat their gun. Meds fixed that.

A sudden shock to the system would hurt more then heal wouldn't it? He watched Mike cut himself, watched acid hiss onto the concrete. The man died alone and dirty in his boxer shorts.


He unconsciously flexed his fingers. Putting together all that wire had hurt like hell.

Tonight you will see the difference between killing and rehabilitation.

He wanted to be a hero. Watching Kerry call him a sick bastard made him shake his head. John had held his hand through the entire process and convinced him afterwards that Mike was in a better place. All wrong-doing arises because of mind. If mind is transformed can wrong-doing remain?

He had never known Tapp was so unstable. When he handled Amanda he did so with kid gloves. Hoffman berated him for it later. She could have had other information. Had he thought to actually look he would have probably found it.

And you Mark?

His little inner voice sounded almost like Angelina.

Tapp's fall reminded him of Paul. The way his face twisted, the way he'd drank. The mind had been altered but not in a positive way. He'd gotten too close to John's work.

Amanda kidnapping Gordon, Amanda kidnapping Adam. Couldn't they have at least shown his own involvement? He'd distracted Kerry and the SWAT team. He'd interviewed the "supposed" widow Gordon. Had he known that John had kept the good doctor he would have told the widow and...

No. He wouldn't have.

Gordon snapped on screen and another mind was transformed. He found himself praying the man would die of blood loss on the way out. John getting up was a nice reveal, he remembered coming back to Amanda and John holding each other. She was helping him drink tea. He was wonderful. She was sitting at his feet, The trap was genius.

No response, just a hand on her head.


His musings were interrupted by screaming. He jerked up and looked at the screen.

No! No! just one long continuous cry. You can't fucking do this to me!

"...Poor kid. "

He felt a connection to Adam. They'd both suffered, they were both innocent, and when it counted Adam had kept him alive.

Made him a cannibal, but kept him alive. Remembering cracking bones and looking for marrow, remembering being a hyena, Hoffman felt his mind twist and he wondered just what it would be like to sink his teeth into flesh...

Bile rose in his throat and he turned off the DVD.




Get it done fast.

Like a band-aid. Ironically, the film opened with a trap and Eric Matthew's informant Mike Marks. The man had ties to drugs and the street but he had only been a lure to get Matthews on the case.

Hoffman would have happily explained to John and Jill and even the bitch that the only thing which would get Eric Matthews to change would be a complete full frontal lobotomy. He'd questioned what they were doing over and over again.

He had planned to bring Eric in in his own time. He'd planned to test him, to give him the same sense of rebirth and purpose that he'd been given. Eric was just as frustrated with the situation as Hoffman had been. He spent hours trying to build cases. Amanda's case had been a blip on the radar, a dot, he'd encouraged it. The man needed the boost, he needed the help.

He was his friend.

Involving Amanda had been a fucking insult. He shook his head and watched Eric and the paint on the wall Look closer Detective Matthews. Look closer.

He watched Eric argue with Daniel.

He'd been the one to get the boy. He'd been the one to collect most of them. What they didn't show was that he had known the boy since he'd been a kid. Eric and Miranda happy before shit became too much to bear. People grow up and people change. Eric had been a good guy, eager to please and do as he was told. He'd deserved John's method.

Not like this.

The unspoken Jigsaw rule. Children were off limits. Never tested but used as bait. Daniel, Corbett, Brent- The murderer?

He had made himself scarce. He spent hours waiting in a dark alleyway going over plans and plots and wondering just what Eric would say. Would he be grateful? Would he be reborn as John promised? The plan seemed simple enough. They had even covered Rigg.

Rigg and Eric. His friends. He watched Rigg hold Eric's hand and Kerry argue for patience and calm. It was like watching ghosts.

He'd seen them, as he died.

He wiped his palms on the couch. Arguments, worthless human beings with records as long as his arm and longer, "They weren't all false convictions goddamnit. Some of them were-"

He stopped himself when he realized he was speaking to no one and watched the scenes progress right until Amanda. "I wasn't being very good to myself."

Hello Paul. Did you cut yourself because you truly wanted to die? Or because you wanted attention?

She was cutting. He knew she cut, it was hard to miss those half healed scars on her arms like some pathetic teenager (for chrissake she was in her thirties). He dismissed her weakness. John had a lot of flaws, but he never would have tolerated that. He had punished Paul. He had healed Paul. You got sick after that remember? You drove around in circles and drank a whole bottle of Jack Daniels and practically floated through the next day. Even Kerry commented and they all asked if you'd fallen off the goddamn wagon.

Paul. And it had progressed. He had been weak. Amanda had been weak.


When Rigg reached the bank of monitors he shook his head. It had to be done but the look on the man's face made him sigh. That frustration. He'd felt it before until John had freed him.l Then John had betrayed him and left to die-

He wiped his palms on the couch again. Eric threw a punch. Hoffman vividly remembered that. He had been the one who collected him. Amanda had insisted on dressing his wounds as he'd wheeled him in and the two had closeted themselves off. They talked for three hours and he was left to hold Miranda's hand and hug Kerry.

He'd been frustrated to make a pass at Kerry. He insisted she take a break, insisted on a few drinks but she'd shoved him off before anything else. Annoyed, he shoved her off and had picked up a twenty three year old academy student who saw the shield and screamed when she-

He turned back to the screen just as Amanda slammed into Eric with a needle.

Hello, Eric. You probably don't even remember me, but you changed my life once. You sent me to prison. I was guilty of a lot of things, but not the drug charge you framed me for. You wouldn't know the things you lose when you're locked away. The second time somebody changed my life, I was guilty.

All of these damn films had flashbacks. He saw Amanda in the trap. He saw her suffering, he wished for the millionth time that she'd fucking died. At least I didn't make that mistake with Jill...

But my life was saved that day

Amanda and Daniel talked. He watched Eric. A terrible thought was creeping into his mind. Why have her record the tape? Why have her be in the house? To insure that the rules are followed? Bullshit.

This was for her. This test was for her.

In his mind he saw John explaining that. He pushed it away.

I found myself a father, a leader, a teacher.

He had seen them together hundreds of times. The way he held her, the way she looked at him adoringly. He taunted and mocked it but anyone with eyes could see the love they shared. Father and daughter, the kind of relationship he had and lost.

Parents. A good parent didn't berate you. They didn't scream, they didn't beat their spouse's heads in with a hammer. They forgave. The same way John had apparently forgiven her cutting?

Did you cut yourself because you truly wanted to die? Or because you wanted attention.

She mewled like a child. Like an infant and he comforted her. He held her. He accepted her.

He told him over and over again. The heart cannot enter into it. He'd known that John was a hypocrite and a liar about that, but the way he held her-

He didn't see the end. He turned it off just as Eric swore revenge.

He wiped his palms on the couch again. He picked up a hand and ran it across his sweaty forehead, unaware that his other hand was clenched into a fist at his side. He forgave the bitch for everything. He gave her Eric when he knew that the man was his (he had to have)

And he forgave her. He forced him to kill someone for the same crime she committed. He loved her. Father and daughter

"I'm not sorry." he paused, And I never will be.





Three, there were three of them. Three of these ridiculous movies. At some point he would devote some time and energy to thinking of ways to pay every single drunken teenager and horror fan back for watching this shit. However, when the movie started up he came face to face with Troy and smiled.

Troy had been a special case. One of the traps he’d helped Amanda fix. She had been frothing the mouth and anxious to save her junkie friends. Reason had been a small voice in his head by then, he ignored the notion that her plans and his were similar. His friends were trained and sworn and far more capable then that psychopath.

So he had helped her rig Troy’s trap. It came to it’s conclusion and then Kerry and Rigg were there.

When Costas Mandylor came in however, Hoffman’s expression instantly soured. This guy was fat. He stared at his own gut and shook his head. All the more reason to diet, especially if strangers saw him like that…

Good grief couldn’t they at least have shown more of his involvement? I mean he had been fighting off the feds. He had a hell of a case load but Jigsaw had been making headlines. Right after he’d left the room he had gone down to the lab, wasn’t he a major part of this?

Kerry had painted her bedroom. She was dreaming about Eric and working on the case. She’d snapped too.

Another debt to lay at John’s door. If he had been allowed to do this he would have taken care of it. She’d still be alive. He had given Amanda everything.

That relieved some of his pain as he watched Kerry die. She would have been proud to know that her sacrifice had stuck it to the woman who had, in essence, murdered her. John had moved everything along. It was his fault Kerry died.

He focused on Amanda and the fact that she was responsible for the murder of his two-time lay so that he didn’t have to watch Jeff and Corbett. He had been the one who collected the two of them and the little girl had wrapped a vice around his heart.

Neither he or Amanda would harm children. They were both clear on that. Putting Corbett in the room had felt like cutting off a limb. Rigg and the rest would be heroes. He wouldn’t be so cowardly as to use children, why did they deserve to be punished? Only villains, only people who deserved that shit.


John’s brain surgery made him wince. He saw it on the tape, he had seen his dead body, seeing it in living color brought it home. The older man’s hands on his shoulders pressed like ghosts.

He ignored it.

He did his best to ignore the happy family circle too.

One of his sister’s favorite authors had been Emily Bronte. Wuthering Heights had a ghost and dramatic family moments, but the plight of Heathcliff, the stable boy who wanted a chance to become a gentleman suddenly became incredibly clear. “Of course I’d never fuck Amanda.”

Talking to himself again.

Had anyone seen him then-when Jeff-sainted fucking Jeff- took that shot they would have been disgusted. He grinned.

“You killed my friends. You fucking killed my friends. If I had been given a fucking chance I could have handled it, but you pushed everything ahead and why? To test her. To help her. Look at how weak she fucking is! Reaching for you like that.” He scoffed, “And you…you trusted her.” Eric was screaming, the movie was ending, “You trusted her, forgave her after you told me time and again that the heart cannot enter into it. You told me that. You told me that.

You drove it home, after Paul, after fucking everything. You accepted…”

The film ended and Hoffman put his head in his hands. He drove himself to remember Amanda dying and his own sense of accomplishment. His shoulders shook. His hands clutched the couch cushions.

Then he relaxed.

He needed to mean something. That was all he wanted. He needed success. Every time someone made him feel worthless. Every time someone told him no it was John looking at him in disapproval. It was every case he failed. It was every joke someone had made at his expense.

Everything his father had ever said. He filled himself with pride. The only thing he wanted was to know that he wasn’t going to go away. That he mattered-and the only things he had accomplished were horrible activities.




This was his movie. His. But John’s-jigsaw’s autopsy happened after the memorial service. Heffner had left him alone with the corpse and Hoffman was sure-almost positive-that the security cameras caught his smile, how else was he caught?

And then it went back to Art’s test. He’d set up that damn test. He didn’t expect the lawyer to have done so well, but the man had been unwittingly helping with John’s work. He was a sort of side apprentice and he was useful.

Sure. Useful. He’d gotten an abuser off on at least two counts…

Rigg.

They were in the academy, sitting across from one another. When Hoffman pointed out an error on Rigg’s notes, the other man had shot him a dirty look. The next day, Rigg cornered him outside the building.

“Look, if you want to pick a fucking fight-“

“Fight?” Rigg had laughed, “Shit, I was going to say thanks. You really know your shit man, you know that?” he offered a hand, “Daniel Rigg. Call me Rigg man, my dad’s Daniel.


This wasn’t how he’d seen it ending. Kerry should have been alive, and if John hadn’t pushed Amanda’s test forward, so eager to absolve the bitch of her sins. Forgive her. Like a father.

“You weren’t supposed to die you stupid fuck.” He watched Tracy leave his friend, “She left the state shithead, moved back in with her mother doped up on all kinds of valium after you died…”

Thank god the common room was empty. This film was Rigg’s test. The test he’d set up. He should have been good at it. These were all cases Rigg had an opinion on, cases Rigg had investigated. They both shared the same views on prostitution, they both shared the same views on child abuse, on rape...

Ivan’s test. Laura Bousman was a teaching assistant at Angelina’s school. So he’d made that test personal. He made the Whannells, Morgan and Rex Whannell personal, “Just following in your fucking footsteps.”

This was getting personal. Rigg was fighting hard to win. He knew he had, he knew he’d tried but actually seeing it made him smile. He caught himself mouthing words of encouragement. One test and then another. When Morgan freed herself from the ties that bound her to an abuser and Rigg handed her his coat…That was it.

His heart pounded in his chest. Doing good, Morgan would never be hit again. She would fight for herself. The way his mother should have fought for herself.
Tracy Hoffman had been raised in the same generation. She had come from a loving home and family that belonged in a hall mark ad. He looked at Morgan and saw Tracy Marie Hoffman. Long black hair and big green eyes. He would remember her forever.

If she’d fought back just once they would still be together. Angelina would have had rice squares and meatloaf. She would have had homemade costumes. She could have gone to dance with all the other girls. She loved to dance.

The final test. He had to see every second of it. He drank in every detail, the muted colors of the set pieces, the actors. The actor playing Eric was in a fake beard-his nose was slightly off but by that time everything about Eric had gone slightly off. One by one his team had been broken. First Tapp, then Eric, then Kerry-Steve had died…

He was carrying something from one point to another. John and Jill were closeted together, Amanda blasting some kind of child-alternative rock in her room as she drew and sketched and welded. He had been regulated to heavy labor. It was doing good for him physically-he focused on that and double checked his own plans-

“You think Miranda’s okay?”

Hoffman stopped short. He never asked about the tunnels or the rooms. Eric was his responsibility, he’d asked for it.

“…She’s not strong you know? I can’t help but be worried and Daniel…Oh god Daniel…”

“ I have to get out.”

Hoffman inched closer.

“No, there’s a way. There’s got to be a way…” His voice ended in a mournful wail, “Oh god if I could just see them again..”

Hoffman raised an eye to the window. What he saw made him stumble back in horror.

“Of course you can come.” Eric was holding a rat, a squeaking rat that writhed in his hands as Eric stroked the creature, “You’ve got to fucking come. Daniel always wanted a dog, but a rat should be enough….You know what I miss? Pizza…”


He’d given him a slice and Eric had spent a day screaming that they had to stop watching him. Hoffman closed his eyes and rubbed at his temple. Eric begged not to play anymore. He wanted to go back to his rats.

“…My fucking faith died that day.”

Seeing this in color hurt more then being there. People watched this, people laughed and screamed and drank in their misfortune. Rigg was running through the door. He shot Art.

Hoffman remembered lead in his gut. The same lead that he felt now. They failed. They let him down. John had lied to him and his friends weren’t made of the same stuff he was. Rigg who always boasted about being strong and able to handle any fucking shit. Rigg who’d gone to hell and back to get Daniel Matthews, who’d been consumed.

“You were supposed to survive it.”

He stood up, “Goddamnit, you could have handled it! You got all the way there and for what, for what one more second? I wouldn’t have let anything happen to any of you. We were all supposed to walk out of there heroes. We could have solved some of the cases that kept you up at night. That kid and that woman-

No, you fucked up. You fucked up, again. You always were a fuck up. I trusted you and you went ahead and ran forward, for what? Eric?”

Eric and his rats. Hoffman turned off the TV and sat in silence.

“I could have gotten him help. He would have been a hero, Miranda would have gotten back together, and even if he left he could have gotten a good fucking job and still worked. Remember? One for all and all for one. One cause. You proved her right. You made me look like an idiot.

And you did it for Eric who John and Amanda manipulated.”

He was good to him. He had to believe that. He was good to him. How soon would someone else let him down? David? Kay? Sarah coddled the damn bitch and believed she was in the right, that she deserved to be pitied. And all she did was have faith in a dead man, pray to a philosophy.

Talk to her own rats. How different were Eric and Amanda anyway? Both needed affection, one was broken and the other was cherished....

He could have done what any friend should have done. He could have saved him. The same way John had saved Amanda from the rats.

No one deserved to be alone. He knew what it was like to be alone. It was her fault, hers and Jigsaw’s. They had left him there in the dark. Didn’t John give you a key?

Rats. Rats, Rats.




He would never admit this was getting hard. He’d shed his tie and his coat and was repeating over and over again that he didn’t need anyone to watch this with him. He could handle this on his own. Morrigan was…Morrigan.

He didn’t know what to make of his warden, or why she’d appeared. She was treating him like an animal, punishment and reward. He wanted to make himself better and take advantage of someone who people saw as a threat. She had the right idea in some things…

The right idea? This is the woman who tortured you remember? The one who made you feel that fear, that same fear that Rigg felt, that Eric felt?

How is she different from this Bousman character? These writers? This lionsgate?

But people respect her.


Kay told him to tell her to stop and treat him like a human being. He didn’t deserve it. A human would have let Eric go. He was an animal. That was why she treated him like one clearly. But she could turn into one and she could fight back…

That was where he was. What he was.

Maybe we fit.

Maybe Kay and Sarah and the rest were wrong.

He accepted that when he saw that five opened with Strahm. Strahm had guts, he knew how to fight and his pen was fucking clever. It ruined his plans but he could respect someone who knew how to play the game.

He remembered hyena paws. So his prey had escaped. Big fucking deal. He could get it back, it was the chase, the thrill.

Perhaps that was his reason for pursuing Sarah in the first place. He’d let Eric die and Rigg. He had to count on himself and feed himself. He came out a hero in the Jigsaw case. He had a right to get what he wanted and a right to fight back against people who’d mocked him.

And your friends?

At least they showed his award ceremony.

The Fatal Five had been just dumb, and John’s response to him (He was glad they showed that too) was a slap in the face. He warned him. But again, what was the damn point…

More Jigsaw and more Hoffman. More Jigsaw after his prey. He’d been weak, foolish. He’d deserved the chair they showed him strapped into…

Angelina!

A current ran through him. His graduation from the academy. She was there and she was alive.

Amanda had been right. A flashback, it was a brief flashback but Amanda had been goddamn right

Oh God. Her crime scene. He paused the DVD as it held on her throat. That bastard Baxter. He’d held her hand, and when her head fell off at the mortuary he had downed a whole bottle of whiskey and followed it up with vodka and drunk himself into a stupor and closed the door and latched the windows and cried and oh Angelina…

The rest of the film passed in a blur. Strahm figured him out, they fought, he won. He sank his teeth into Strahm and wouldn’t let go.

He couldn’t let go of Angelina.


He was human. He had to be. Animals didn’t love, they relied upon, they marked territory. She was his territory.

The territory who’d teased him and laughed with him. The one who’d bake and give him dumb Disney presents as part joke part gift.

His palms were sweaty, his hands dripping. He ran his hands over his eyes and they came away wet. Then, he turned away from the television to look over his shoulder.

No one was there.

No one. He would have taken anyone then. Mozenwrath, someone he didn’t know, that girl who criticized his need to survive and fight for what he wanted because otherwise people would take advantage of him and hurt him. Like Seth and the jury, what right did Seth have to live? He was an animal…

His chest heaved. He needed a drink. He hadn’t needed a drink in a very long time. It was tradition to drink on Angie’s birthday. The rest of the year? He was clean and sober.

An animal. A beaten and wounded animal. You could have let Eric out.
He put his head in his hands, “…stop saying that.”

You could have let him out. You could have let him out and killed the rats. Would you have done it for her? He was a man. He didn’t hurt you.

“He fucked with me. He fucked with me. He fucked up…”

What about your friends? David wouldn’t hurt you. He worships you. Kay shows an interest, he’s looking out for you. That doesn’t mean they won’t make mistakes, but what mistake did Eric make except being caught in the wrong place at the wrong time?

“Shut. up!”

He roared in fury. He practically ran across the room as he moved to a table and picked up a chair. He hurled it against the wall where it broke, one of the legs dangling and pieces of shavings on the floor.

How many people were wrong place wrong time?

They were guilty. Guilty and awful, guilty, they hurt people. They hurt good people. He wasn’t a killer, he killed the weak and the stupid and the violent and the monsters. He was a hero!

But they had sons and wives and daughters and they all could talk to rats.

By the time he was done screaming two more chairs were broken. He scattered the pieces and threw them against the wall, “I could save you! I could save all of you! I could save all of you but you didn’t want me to. I failed. I’m a fucking failure. John said so.

Amanda knew so!”

Why else would he be here? “shouldn’t have done this alone.





He was numb to six. Even Simone failed to provoke a response. She’d been pretty, attractive eyes and long black hair. She’d had fire too, she’d fought and she at least knew how to play the game.

He had found himself wanting to be gentle when he bandaged her arm before he called the paramedics.

The world shifted to Erickson and Perez. Perez had fire, but she wanted him dead and he wasn’t ready to go yet. He was riding a wave of importance. He was on top of the world and making a difference, punishing the wicked like the vengeful god his mother had believed in. Perez and Erickson there treating him with kid gloves. He’d been insulted, treating him like some common hump in an interrogation cell.

Oh Christ, Jill Did she have to follow him? He’d killed her husband and daughter and now she was curled up in her office. She had always been weak…

But she cared and wanted to save people from rats.

Truth be told he’d never bothered to get to know her that well. She took time away from him just like Amanda yet she had worshipped the woman. I’m only carrying out John’s final request.

He was looking for John. He had ideas, drawings he wanted opinions on for future traps. He opened a door and came upon Amanda sitting at Jill’s feet with the woman stroking her hair and humming softly.

He drew back from the two of them and remembered a mother’s hands and a mother’s love. He’d left right away and found a hook her who would let him hit her with a nightstick until she was black and blue.

Why did anyone else deserve delicate hands?


“I want to be needed too.”

His voice was soft, “Is that too much to fucking ask? I want to be needed. I want to help, I want someone to…”

He shook it off. Easton’s traps were some of his finest. Psychological. He stressed the importance of psychological to everyone. If you had an upper hand it made murder sweeter. Pamela Jenkins.

The name popped into his mind as she screamed and screamed, watching her brother suffer. He hadn’t expected the test to go well. When he complied the files he knew how close Brent and Tara had been. How connected their family was. He knew how much they would have fought.

How much Pamela would have fought. and yet you killed her. You became Seth Baxter. You came full circle Mark Hoffman, congratulations. You killed him.,

“No I fucking didn’t. I didn’t kill him, Brent killed him because he was weak and he didn’t understand that William Easton had just as much of a right to live and that he had learned…

I’ve lost my mind.” He allowed himself a laugh, “Oh god. I should have watched this with someone else.”

The final straw was Perez’s death. This was what scared Sarah wasn’t it? Hell it would have scared anyone. He’d been cornered and hadn’t had a way out. He didn’t see he did good and would do good, he would do more good. Was it then when he’d learned to take joy in the suffering of others?

With Simone?

Or with John Kramer and playing God the way he had played him? Getting the upper hand on Jigsaw?

When Jill broke into the zoo he stopped. His scar twitched unconsciously.

He opened his mouth slightly and ran a finger over the empty space in his gums. The bear trap was cruel and malicious and hooked onto your teeth. Bobby fucking Dagen was probably the only one who knew his pain.

He lost six fucking teeth. The irony.

You think that it is the living who will have final judgement over your soul. They had come to him, all the living he had made dead. All of the subjects, all of the criminals.

All of the victims. When he was half out of his mind they had come to him and said that they were human and they hadn’t believed him. They had never loved him.

Rigg cared. Rigg fought. Rigg needed you Mark Hoffman.

Mark Hoffman died in that trap.

That was how the movie ended. With his death.

The credits rolled. All that blood. His cheek twitched again. One last DVD. One last game. Fuck you movie studio, fuck you obsessive need for carnage, fuck you humanity, at least embrace that you’re animals.

The end didn't end with a cut to black. It faded into Gideon and a very familiar hallway. Corbett was still drugged. He'd used the most mild dose he could and carried her gently into the room and laid her on the bed. She should have had a phone or something. Something. It would show that he'd taken care of her.

Not to mention she would be comfortable.

He came back later with the slot she'd carried to school. Apparently it had a name and a backstory. He'd slipped it through the window in the door. He'd brought her a blanket too.

When Amanda appeared, he froze. She had a hand against the door and she sang a song.

A flash of anger, of rage. Corbett had been his charge and his responsibility. Why the fuck didn't you take it seriously? You could have done something for the kid.

Kindness.

Amanda had tears on her cheeks. Tears. He had originally thought of giving the girl a phone. Add to the heroism. Make sure she was okay. Eric had hurt him, Corbett had left him angry that she even needed to be used. He should have done that. Then it would have been him comforting the kid.

"I wish I'd argued against it."

using the girl.

All for Amanda. All for Amanda.

Amanda cried and then there was a final thrust. Don't trust. The one who saves you. There were tears in her eyes, Don't trust, the one who saves you.

He rose and began to pace. Don't trust the one who saves you. He saved people. He tried to save his friends and failed, he tried to save her and failed. Her parents would have cared and Amanda turned it on her and manipulated the girl.

A tiny head against his chest, the poor little kid's body. He had tipped off them and the irony was there but she had used Corbett to kill him. To destroy him.

Amanda had killed Perez. And Erickson. He would have been fine and Strahm would have gone off without a hitch but Corbett.

"Kids are off limits?" He cried, "Kids are off limits you cunt!"

David wasn't a child. He wasn't.

He grabbed a plastic chair and flung it across the wall. It fell with a loud clang. He leaned back against the couch and fought the urge to scream. She'd used a child to stab him in the back.

A kid he'd developed an attachment to.

“I’m talking with my own rats.






John had punished his doctor, John had punished his health care provider, John had punished the real estate developers who had screwed over his projects.

He was not surprised that John arranged to public his mechanic. Or the man’s room mate.

He shook his head and flipped ahead. He remembered nothing of the zoo.

Kill Jill Tuck.

That had been his goal and his motivation. Kill Jill Tuck. He lost everything, his memories of Angelina, his feelings that people were anything more then just meat. He had intended to punish others, to make them realize their errors but there was nothing but kill Jill Tuck.

He smirked at that. He watched Jill run and he watched himself sew up his own face. He sewed up his own face, how the hell could Jill Tuck compare with that? How could Amanda?

Proof he needed himself more then anyone else right? Look at what he had to offer. What power, what ability, what…badassery.

The pain had been blinding.

Bobby Dagen had been a distraction. It was worth it, he was a liar and a cheat and he found him annoying. It was an insult. John may have sent Jill Tuck to murder him, but he had survived and he saw what John had intended him to learn. Kill Jill Tuck, she was guilty, she was a murderer.

The rest swam. Gibson was put on the case. He figured he would be, John would have known about Gibson and their relationship. They took everything he did and turned it on it’s head. Mark Hoffman had truly died.

Jill ran and hid and ran and hid and he arranged to get to her. The police stood in the way. They hadn’t cared. Well that was fine. He would do more then they ever could. After he killed Jill Tuck.

He couldn’t see beyond finding a way to murder her.

He succeeded at the end but his triumph had lost some of it’s savor. Seeing Eric firsthand talking to rats was a kick in the balls.

Gordon’s reveal seemed forced, but he knew he was gone when he saw the bathroom.


He had screamed for days.

He turned the TV off. Shaken, pale and hung eyed he gathered up the movies and stacked the debris from the broken chairs in a neat and orderly pile and went to go poison himself with as much alcohol as they would let him have.

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