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Key Entity Extraction III:
Vic The Butcher
VIC THE BUTCHER
Appears On The Afterman: Ascension
Track 7
Length 5:48
Written By Claudio Sanchez
Produced By Coheed And Cambria
Michael Birnbaum
Chris Bittner
Preceded By "Key Entity Extraction II: Holly Wood the Cracked"
Followed By "Key Entity Extraction IV: Evagria the Faithful"

Key Entity Extraction III: Vic the Butcher is the seventh song on the 2012 album The Afterman: Ascension.

Lyrics Edit

You made this harder than it had to be
The absolute marker, etching into me
You flashed your colors at me way prematurely
Now I know what you're up to
And it feels so good, it's right.

We've got your number written
Reset the system screaming
Hang your secrets, hang 'em up, hang 'em up now
Hang your secrets, hang 'em up, hang 'em up now

These sitting ducks in season
The march of little children
Hang your secrets, hang 'em up, hang 'em up now
Hang your secrets, hang 'em up, hang 'em up now

The truth will cut you down to pieces

184, let's burn it down
And if I can't keep from living with this regret
I'll need to change the way I think about us.

I listened to them chuckle as they eat
Their judgement hiding behind eyes and dirty teeth
You think I care for all these phony pleasantries
When I want nothing to do
I want nothing to do with your life.

We've got your number written
Reset the system screaming
Hang your secrets, hang 'em up, hang 'em up now
Hang your secrets, hang 'em up, hang 'em up now

These sitting ducks in season
The march of little children
Hang your secrets, hang 'em up, hang 'em up now
Hang your secrets, hang 'em up, hang 'em up now

The truth will cut you down to pieces

184, let's burn it down
And if I can't keep from living with this regret
I'll need to change the way I think about us.

Baby, I'm bad company and you don't have a mark
You're the prettiest thing I have ever seen
Come with me
I want to make you dirty.

184, let's burn it down
I'll need to change the way I think about us.

Hang your secrets, hang 'em up, hang 'em up now
Hang your secrets, hang 'em up, hang 'em up now
Hang your secrets, hang 'em up, hang 'em up now
Hang your secrets, hang 'em up, hang 'em up now
Hang your secrets, hang 'em up, hang 'em up now
Hang your secrets, hang 'em up, hang 'em up now
Hang your secrets, hang 'em up, hang 'em up now
Hang your secrets, hang 'em up, hang 'em up now.

All Mother: "Heart rate: 119 bpm. Blood pressure: 85 systolic, 50 diastolic. Respirations: 10 per minute. Pulse Oximetry of 83% indicates severe hypoxia and neurovascular compromise. Sirius, you are not well... Caution, unidentified entity approaching."

Inspiration Edit

"A few years ago, my wife and I were renting an apartment in the Village, Bleecker and MacDougal, #184. We had been married less than a year...just living it up in this amazing point in our lives. One night we went to a show with a group of friends and I wound up getting into it with one of them to the point where I knew if I didn't just get out of the situation, things could get bad. So, knowing that about myself, I took off alone and went home to give myself a cooling off period. Nevertheless, Chonny was angry that I left the show without her. In my mind, I knew she was safe with my friends and would understand my moods enough to know that I needed to get out immediately—She wouldn't talk to me. The immature side of me blew things out of porportion and the next day, I started to write this song about the course of events that eveningl how one “strike of a match”could have burned this entire relationship and friendship down."

Story Edit

There are abrupt slams and crunches, as Vic The Butcher violently tries to force Holly out of Sirius's body. Sirius doesn't have a moment to breathe or regain his bearings. He's thrust from the chaos of Holly's possession, straight into the horrific, tangled maze of Vic's sinister life.

Vic was a tyrannical Army Lieutenant General whose lack of empathy and disregard for rules made him very successful. Sirius can see the majority of Vic's conquests in life were based on loopholes, illegal activities, and dirty dealings, yet because of his power, he'd managed to instill fear in so many of those who worked beneath him that his orders remained unquestioned. Even as a young recruit, Vic impressed higher ups, returning from more than one mission as the last man standing, painting himself as stealthy and brave, when in reality, he'd killed the other members of his crew so they wouldn't reveal his torture tactics on the field. Soon, Vic moved up the ranks and began to brainwash his platoons, tormenting those who questioned any of his decisions. More than one promising young soldier returned home from their first off-world military tour with missing limbs, near fatal burns, and wounds inflicted by their very leader as a form of psychological warfare... and all were too terrified to tell. The later part of his military career, while stationed on a distant foreign planet, Vic found out that a band of terrorists were hiding in a nearby camp, amongst a number of innocent people far outweighing that of the enemy.

Knowing that it was against "standard" protocol, he called a promising Sergeant Major named Sentry into his private quarters to give him a secret order to bomb the building. It did not go over well, with Sentry defying the orders, arguing that protocol required they attempt to draw the insurgents out to avoid civilian casualties. Vic assured Sentry that he didn't care what "the book" said and guaranteed that Sentry would regret his insubordination. Regardless, Sentry refused to murder the innocent, and told Vic he planned to report the illegal order to the Field Marshall in their platoon. In retaliation, that night, Vic, a true megalomaniac and ruthless man, ordered Sentry secretly hung by some of his "dirty" soldiers in a deserted portion of the barracks, as he watched.

Sirius witnesses this, trapped in the aqueous barricade and wondering if it's the time that he is meant to act in order to get himself out of Vic's retrospective maze. Surely, someone will intervene, rather than let an innocent man be hung for his refusal to participate in a murder! This HAS to be the moment that Vic is at his most evil. The time that he is truly a butcher? Sirius watches as Sentry's body twists and turns, the life pouring out of him. No one does anything to stop it.

Sirius panics as he looks around for a weapon to try to kill Vic, noticing a gun in the waistband of one of the accompanying soldiers. He grabs for it repeatedly, but the gun is intangible and his fingers can't seem to grasp it. It's as if the weapon is some kind of hologram... something he can't physically touch. Sirius is terrified. How will he be able to remove himself from this possession if he can't pinpoint the right moment?

The maze shape-shifts around Sirius, carrying him forward on a rolling ground swell. After the murder, Vic sent word to Sentry's family that he had committed suicide, citing the intense mental strain of being in the military and expressing his sympathies on behalf of the army. The events jump years later into Vic's life, where he was living domestically in Building 184, a brownstone on the edge of a quiet world with his wife, having retired from the military to avoid the spotlight. His evils finally caught up with him and he was extradited and charged for his heinous war crimes and gross misconduct, with a trial by jury ahead. Vic, refusing to go down in shame and face trial, decided to burn down the building he lived in, with both he and his wife inside... as well as hundreds of other residents and a nursery school on the bottom floor.

The moment shifts, back to the event as if it were happening for the first time; Vic standing there in the basement of the building, the smell of gasoline rising up and soaking everything. It becomes clear to Sirius that THIS is the true epitome of Vic’s terrible crimes. Suddenly, Sirius is Vic, the match flickering in his hands. This, not the hanging of Sentry, is the moment he's been waiting for. Yet, Sirius stands conflicted. To remove himself from the possession, he knows he has to set the fire, but this experience is different. There are children involved. Would going through with this connect him in any way to the murder of innocent people? He's nearly lost in Vic's essence, but he can still make out the line of his own morality. Sirius simply can't set the fire. He extinguishes the flame.

In turn, Sirius feels the soul of Vic the Butcher raging inside him, evil trapped and spreading into his body. The All Mother, speaks to the unconscious Sirius, inquiring about his well-being. His strength and physiological levels are dropping at an unnatural, alarming rate. She survey's the suit. Sirius can't endure anymore or he will die.

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