He was such a nice boy, Dimitri. His parents had died young, but his aunt and uncle took him in, raising him as their own. Well, almost as their own. When it came to scarce resources, like their time and love and food, their own children got first priority. But Dimiri didn't complain. He was grateful just to be taken in.
He always did as he was told, we neat and tidy, never talked back, and hurried straight home.
But being good wasn't enough.
When they came for him, they grabbed him just like any other child. Easier, perhaps, since he was so willing to do as he'd been told.
After the Great Worm Cult's brainwashing, he didn't even recall his own name, just the nickname Dima. And, in some ways, maybe he was a little too eager for the hypnotism to work. Maybe he was a little too eager to be accepted and appreciated, no matter what he had to swallow to do it.
Dima isn't a child anymore, but his memories of a life before the cult have faded to only the most vague idea. He's wary of the people of machines, and doesn't question that sometimes you need to consume others in the name of survival. Surely they'd do the same if he ever fell into their clutches. After all... doesn't everyone?
"I did improvise!" he said, though he sounded much like a whining child. "I hit him with a rock!" Blood was dripping down his chin and he wiped his face with the back of his sweater sleeve, which already had plenty of blood staining it in various spots.
He sat back on his heels, watching as the blood kept pouring from the body, more than the two could ever drink without getting sick. It was a bit of a waste, but better to save the meat than let the blood settle and spoil it.
His dark eyes slipped over to his sister, watching her produce the little bundle. Flipping his grip on his knife, he reached out for it, placing it on his lap and unwrapping the cloth. He felt what it was before he saw it, but didn't believe it. It was too good to be true.
"Fuck!" he gasped. "Sofka! Where'd you get this?" Dima held it up, turning it over in his hands. It caught the bare light from the oil lamp in the room, and he was beaming already.
He didn't notice her testing out his knives. He wasn't watching. but even if he had been, he wouldn't have said much. He was a meek little thing, and his big sister's domineering nature left him unwilling to question most of her actions. If she wanted to play with his knives, he just trusted that she knew what was best.
"I could have done," he agreed, now doubting himself. "He's just bigger than me. And since I lost my wire it's been tricker." A foolish and costly mistake, that one. He'd had a length of wire - from some industrial machine, maybe, or maybe from a piano (not that he'd either seen either) - that he used to carry around rolled up in his pocket, specifically for garroting his victims. He'd gotten caught up in a scuffle, though, and had lost it to he depths of the metro. It was hours and miles before he even noticed it was gone, too late to go back for it. He'd been kicking himself for it plenty in the weeks since.
He turned to look at Sofka and made an annoyed, sweeping gesture. "We're a little far afield here. If we were home I'd have my gear. But I don't wanna' drag him all the way back, do you?" He shook his head and bent over the body, waiting a second for Sofka to get in position before making a clean slice across the throat. They had to drain the body or the blood would spoil the meat, but the blood in and of itself was useful. Dima was just more wasteful about meat than most.
The blood poured out from the cut without hesitation, bubbling over the limp, dead face. Dima cupped his hands under the flow, catching some for himself but leaving much more for Sofka.
"It's hard to suffocate someone who's walking around..." Dima said, but the excuse was paltry. Inadequate. Like his hunting ability, and Dima knew it. He didn't meet Sofka's accusing gaze. She was always better than him at these things. And never mind how slight he was.
He didn't pay attention to Sofka looking around for a noise - that was normal, and in fact, just about everyone in the Family seemed to have keener hearing than Dima did, frequently hearing things his ears never seemed to pick up. He just hoisted the body and looped a rung of the chain over a waiting spike to keep the body aloft.
"Of course I have knives," he said, tone just a hint defensive. He reached into the small pack he wore and pulled out a canvas bundle, which he unrolled on the ground to reveal a set of three knives. Each was differently shaped, like they'd been scavenged rather than made for the task, but all three were honed to perfect. He considered for a second before selecting a small, narrow blade, which he took with himself as he knelt by the dangling head.
"Did you want the blood? Could make sausages, but I haven't got a pot for it."
He jumped when she appeared from around a corner. He'd called her, figuring she wouldn't be far, but he wasn't anticipating her being that close. One might think a cannibal murderer would be less jumpy, but Dima's fellow cultist seemed to have that effect on everyone.
"He wouldn't stop moving," he said when he'd settled down. "I needed to do something..."
Dima took the meat hook from her and walked over to the now-naked corpse. It was tricky to hang a human body. Every single one was different, with unequal fat and bone distributions that made finding a place to string each one up a bit of an art. But it was an art Dima and Sofka had both practiced for years. He found a place near the victim's ankles, and used the large hook to go through both legs to make him more centered, more stable.
He walked around the the chain and looked to Sofka, waiting for ehr to grab hold before he started to pull.
It hadn't been his fault, not really. It was so easy to get lost in the metro. So many half-collapsed tunnels. so many "shortcuts" that lead to dead ends. So many walls knocked out by people trying to create their own path. It was confusing down there. And if anything kept you from knowing a section like the back of your hand - say, you weren't from around here, or maybe you were a little drunk, or maybe you just weren't paying close enough attention - getting lost was all too easy.
But the loss of the People of The Machines was a win for the Children of The Great Worm. They'd made quick work of the old man in military surplus clothes, knocked him over the head with a rock and dragged him back through the tunnels. When he started to stir - the bleeding head wound hadn't been quite enough, apparently - Dima took it on himself to bash a brick against his skull several more times, until he stopped moving entirely.
Once he was back at their hidden, carved out home, it was time for the messy work of butchering. Dima started yanking off the dead man's clothes, looking around for where the meat hook and chain had ended up.
"Sofka!" he called, figuring she'd be close, "Come help me."
Dima's a cannibal. He's also a genuinely sweet person. He'll eat people, sure, but only for survival purposes and because that's what the rest of the Great Worm Cult told him to do. He also is fully convinced that everybody else is a cannibal, too, and that the people of the other Lines and Stations would absolutely eat him if they caught him.
You ever met someone who'd do anything to be liked and accepted? That's Dima, all the way down. He's kind, thoughtful, and affectionate. You can pretty much do anything to him, and as long as you tell him you care about him, he'll keep on falling for it.
He's pretty lucky that he was grossed out by the idea of eating brains and sucking the marrow from the spine - the fact that both tasted bad to him was what saved him from having the neurological downsides so many other cannibals suffer from. He's quite sane (just a desperate people-pleaser) and doesn't have the tell-tale cannibal tremors.
- Other cannibals - Probably the #1 thing I'm interested in. Other people in the Cult, people he grew up with, Priests of the Great Worm, anything like that. My guess is that a lot of them consider Dima a sniveling sycophant, but he's fine with that and will stick to you anyway.
- Outsiders - My #2 interest for Dima is having him get separated from the Cult and slammed into the civilized world. From his perspective, they're sinners who are going to eat him, so expect terror and pleading. There's also a slight language barrier, since the Cult speaks a simplified Russian and he's not going to remember more complex terminology.
- Romance - I actually am interested in a romantic arc for him. But, seeing as I'm me, it's not going to be a healthy, lovely thing. Much more likely it'll be someone (either inside the Cult or outside of it) who realizes how eager to please Dima is and totally going to take advantage of that. I'd ideally see this as an older man. The other person actually caring about Dima whatsoever is negotiable.