I'll come up with something in a minute.

Twins in Death: Chapter Twelve

Chapter Twelve

A Bad Night

 

October 28th, 2002

2:25 a.m.

 

            Tommy was thinking, or at least trying to think. He was sitting at a table, a bowl of soup growing cold before him, just thinking. Sheila and Judy were in bed, as far as he knew anyways. He had been in bed but had been unable to sleep. He had gotten up and walked downstairs and made himself a bowl of soup. He hadn’t actually been hungry but he needed something to do. The bowl was growing cold in front of him; the crackers soaking up most the free liquid and turning it into a kind of porridge.

 

            He was thinking about people, about the kind of people one meets in this job. About the sort of people that would frequent that child brothel they had shot up a year and a half ago. Those people were the old types, the dinosaurs. They weren’t in it so much for sex; they wanted to have control. He imagined them sitting around broken down gentlemen’s clubs, smoking cigars, drinking brandy and thinking about how great they were. They would celebrate how great it was to be rich and white in a world where so many weren’t.

 

            They were dinosaurs from a bygone era. They would like to thrash people in the street for not acting the way they thought people should act. They felt that the class structure had collapsed and that the common man had gotten too uppity. That sort still wanted to make all the business deals in smoke filled backrooms.

 

            Those types were dying out because they hadn’t keyed into the fact that worldviews were spreading out. There are no smoke filled rooms on the Internet. The world had changed and they refused to. Yet, there were still young idiots, trying to clamber into those smoke filled rooms. Those were the ones you had to watch out for. Not the ones who refused to change but the ones who wanted to go back. They were the dangerous ones, because they didn’t have a clear idea of how the world worked. Just an idea of where they weren’t allowed.

 

            A man can be clear about this; there is injustice in the world. There is pain and misery. A normal mind can deal with this and can sort of ignore it most the time. People can say to themselves that bad things are going to happen and that’s the way it is. This is actually meant as a sort of self-regulating device. It’s used so that the average person can get to sleep at night. It’s only when one decided not to accept that good people are going to have bad things done to them that they have trouble. A disordered mind will attempt to make things right. A truly disordered mind will strive to fix things. When you combine that with the power that was enveloped in The Weirdo, you had a truly dangerous combination. You ended up with someone who not only wanted to box the gods around the ear hole for fucking it up, but also had the power to do it.

 

 

December 25th, 2001

2:41 p.m.

 

            Max ran after Chip through one alley after another, his chest burning from the pain of his still untended wounds. He was having a hard time keeping up with the genetically enhanced man, and decided maybe it was time to test and see if Chip had some kind of mutant healing factor or something. He held the Beretta like a rifle as he ran, his left hand barely holding the barrel and the his right hand firmly holding the handle, trying to aim as best he could. The shivers had come again and he felt the thick red wool blanket in his head again: it was blocking his thoughts and getting in his line of sight.

 

            Chip looked behind him. saw Max following and leapt up toward a fire escape. He held onto the rail and began to climb over the ledge to the roof of the old brownstone building.  Max held the gun up, wrapped one hand over the other, and fired twice. The first bullet caught Chip’s left leg in the thigh, the second the metal rail. The second bullet ricocheted and for all Max knew, went back in time and landed on a gurney in the Texas School book depository. Chip slipped but managed to make it over the railing. His blood had stained the bricks as he pulled his injured limb over the ledge. Max aimed as quickly as he could fired again at the man he had called his friend.

 

            The bullet struck the brick next to Chip’s head, as he leaned back and drew out his Glock; he had always claimed was the superior handgun. He aimed the pistol down at Max and let a few shots fly. Max leapt under a few garbage cans and aimed carefully upwards. He squeezed the trigger one and a single bullet struck Chip’s head, grazing across his skull. He fell back screaming as Max fired up another shot, this time Chip’s pelvis was struck and the bullet lodged somewhere in his left kidney. He fell back onto the roof and Max began to scramble to the fire escape. He was trying to aim the gun up while carrying his nearly useless left arm and climbing the ladder. It was all becoming a bit of a problem really.

 

            It had taken Max nearly nine minutes to get up the fire escape to where Chip was. His cracked ribs screamed and his broken collar cried out with every step. He made it to the top though, his left arm held tight against his body. He had lost feeling in his knuckles and couldn’t tell if it was pain in his side or if he had wet himself. The cold wasn’t much help either. His breath came in white ragged plumes. He kept clenching and unclenching his left fist, trying to keep his fingers from going numb, which wasn’t helping much. He didn’t know what kind of permanent damage he was doing to his arm and side by not getting to a doctor right away. As he came to the roof he forgot these questions, he just wanted to shoot Chip.

 

            When Max came up over the ledge, his gun trained on Chip and stayed trained. Chip was sitting on the opposite ledge, holding his gun with both hands in a listless sort of way, blood was pooling around his feet. Steam seemed to be rising up from the fresh wounds. He bobbed the gun lightly as if he were bored with waiting. He looked up at Max, and his black eyes like sunglasses, keeping what his eyes were focused on a mystery. Tears were tickling from his eyes, he sighed as he looked down at the gun and then at Max again. He set the gun on the ledge next to him and looked up at Max.

 

            Chip had known what was coming, he wasn’t sure if Max knew, but he did. He was sorry, because he had actually really liked Max. He had hoped for a while that Max might come with him and they could adventure together. The two of them could always get a bit of skirt and if they set up in some other town they could have actually fought crime again. That chance was all gone now though; Max pointing the gun at him had proved it.

 

            “You know, I can’t even remember when exactly I sold out.” He said finally

 

            “Can’t you?” Max asked, trying to catch what little remained of his breath.

           

            “They always tell you to be careful, ya know? Always talking about being careful, about never straying. If you stray a little, then you can stray a little more. After a while, you’re killing kids and placing guns in their hands so you’ve got a reason, taking bribes and working for people like them.”

           

            “I can see how that would be a problem.” Max’s voice was flat and merciless.

 

            This wasn’t how it should end, they should at least be able to meet on some sort of field of battle, at the very least they should be able to stand across from each other on a street and shoot it out like they did in the westerns. There should have been some kind of chance for honor. They shouldn’t be on this rooftop, waiting out the time when Chip would raise his gun and Max would fire. There was no chance for Chip unless he dropped the gun, and Max didn’t think he was going to do it.

 

            “I don’t know if you understand any of this.” Chip said. “I’m not looking to excuse, just to explain.”

 

            “I see.”            Max’s words were soft as he spoke, covering up the pain each breath caused.

 

            “Always used to make fun of the guys who walked the straight and narrow. Talked about the good cops like we talked about dragons, something we’d heard of but never actually seen.”

 

            “Is it so easy?” Max asked.

 

            “Oh yeah.” Chip said. “You gotta be careful, or in five, ten years time you’ll be the one sitting here with the next kid pointing a gun at you.”

 

            “So what do we do now?”

 

            “I try to kill you or you try to kill me.” Chip said picking up the gun again.

 

            “Is that all there is left?”

 

            “I think this is the way it goes. I can’t think of any other way out of this.”

 

            “Maybe we should try and figure one out.” Max said. “You could drop the gun and kick it away. It’s just you and me up here. No one else knows anything. You waited for me. You could have just given me the slip. You could have leapt across the chasm between one building and another. I couldn’t follow in my condition.”

 

            “No.” Chip said, looking down at the gun in his hand. “It sounds nice but it’s too late for that. Besides, we’d both have to spend the rest of our lives wondering if the other one was just around the next corner. I can’t spend my life looking over my shoulder.”

 

            Max knew it was going to come and it annoyed him, this wasn’t right. This was a matter of honor. Max could have let him go, someone would have killed Chip some day, but he came as a matter of honor. He had to finish the business that started on the boat the night before. The fact that this moment was unfolding before him in such a realistic manner really bothered him; it shouldn’t be so damn realistic. He knew that people don’t really shoot each other in standoff draws. That no matter how many times Sergio Leoni had Clint Eastwood or Lee Van Cleef in that stone circle, people didn’t have quick draws at high noon.  Still though, that was no reason for things to proceed with such a total lack of style or mood.

 

            Max didn’t know about what was happening on the river front with the rest of the group, but he had an inkling that if The Weirdo were in a situation like this, he’d have been given the opportunity to draw. Things happened differently for The Weirdo, but Max was caught in the real world, which wasn’t fair. He would have liked to have been able to slow time and dodge the bullets with the assistance of CGI and computer controlled cameras, but that wasn’t his life.

 

            “We don’t have to do it like this.” Max said.

 

            “You just don’t get it.” Chip said. “There’s precious little else for me. This is the real world Max, not the fantasy world The Weirdo lives in.”

 

            “Maybe we can find some way out.” Max said. “You just put down your rock and I’ll put down my sword and we can try to kill each other like civilized people.”

 

            Chip looked up at Max and fixed his eyes on the young man. Max could tell that his eyes were fixed. Chip’s left hand lowered and touched the gun in his right hand, wrapping both hands around it. Max felt his belly tighten up, he was going to puke, and he knew it.

 

            “Chip.” Max said with his gun still trained on Chip’s head. “We can prevent this. This isn’t a movie, and Chekhov’s gun rule doesn’t matter here. We can just walk away.”

 

            “Sorry kid, not this time.” Chip tossed something that was meant to distract Max, but his toss was poor and whatever it was simply clattered away.

 

            Max’s gun remained trained on Chip’s head while Chip swung his gun up. Max’s finger tightened and his gun when off, and his blood turned to ice water. His stomach suddenly went cold and tightened. He could feel his lunch wanting to escape from the same end it had entered.

 

            Chip’s head snapped back, the gun clattered from his hand. His body slid backward, as if in slow motion. The body slipped off the ledge and the legs vanished as they flipped away.  A long three seconds passed, and he heard Chip strike the pavement. There was no splat sound, just a dull thud as Chip’s body hit the concrete.

 

            He could feel his gorge rise up, and he turned his head. He vomited a small mouthful of yellow liquid and re-gained control of himself. His stomach then asserted that he didn’t have as much control as he thought he did and he vomited again. He spit the flavor out of his mouth as best he could and walked to the ledge. He looked at the place where Chip had slipped away and walked towards it.

 

            Max looked down at the body that lay sprawled on the concrete of the sidewalk. There was something pathetic about it. There was a man who had once helped save the world, who now lay dead, his arms and legs spread out and bent at odd angles where the bones had broken. Max shoved the Beretta back into its holster, and then he turned away. He managed to take three steps before he felt his gorge rise again. He bent over, placed his hands on his knees and vomited everything he had in his stomach in three goes. He felt tears spring from his eyes as he let the contents go. He knew his face must be turning bright red from the strain he was feeling.

 

            It’s really a terrible thing to know you’ve killed someone. He wondered how the rest of them managed to kill and not have this happen. He wiped his mouth with his handkerchief and then blew his nose. Steam rose up from the puddle he had made and he turned away. Maybe they did feel it and maybe after a while you stop noticing. He walked back to where Chip had fallen from the ledge. If there had been anything left in his stomach, he felt he would have thrown up again.

 

            Max looked down at his feet and picked up the Glock from where Chip had dropped it. He held it in his hand, weighed it for a moment, and then slipped it in his waistband. If nothing else, perhaps he could redeem the weapon. Maybe he was just fooling himself. After all it was hard to tell with all the pain clouding his thoughts.

 

            As he walked down the stairs of the building, he thought about what the man had said. How one had to be careful, about the slippery slope. He shrugged his shoulders and continued down the stairs. He didn’t know just then what was right and what was wrong, and he didn’t care. He just wanted to get this day over with, and never celebrate Christmas ever again.

 

 

           

October 28th, 2002

2:45 a.m.

 

            The midnight blue car flew through the streets. The car shifted through the late night traffic like a tiger through tall jungle reeds. The music rang in The Weirdo’s ears, blotting out his thoughts, which clouded his mind anyway. His mind was filled with anger, hate, and regret. He had tried once again to sleep and had done so for nearly an hour. When he woke up, it was clear he was awake. He was tired, exhausted, and angry, so he was driving. He had to get out of the house for a while, get out into the world, just for a bit.

 

            He heard a gunshot through the music, and his car stopped. The gray-coated hero leapt from his car and drew his forty-five from his coat. He moved like a hurricane wind down the dark alleyway, charging toward the man, who had one wounded body in his wake already.

 

            “Now.” The tall white man who was carrying the large revolver said. “You little shits are going to have the money for me the next time I come or…”

 

            His words were cut off by the streak of gray that suddenly had him up against a wall. There were a few blows that broke ribs and shattered his shoulder, but it took a while to resolve into a face. In that time, the bottle of rye in his pocket had been shattered and soaked into the bag of pot next to him. One soaked into the other and the two scents mixed were fairly unpleasant.

 

            “You listen here, you son of a bitch!” The voice was like that of the devil’s throat, and stuffing his gun into the thug’s mouth. “You’re going to go to the police, give yourself up and become a model fucking citizen. You get me?”

 

            The man saw a great hatred in those dark eyes, a hatred that could burn the world. It was a hatred that wasn’t reserved for him, but it was there and could be released on him. He didn’t want that, more than anything right now he didn’t want that. He knew that such hatred was the kind that if it had been for him it would have killed him when this dark man had grabbed him.

 

            “Oh Jebbus please!” He dropped the gun and began to squeal for mercy. “Oh Christ don’t fucking kill me.”

 

            “You gonna do what I said?” The Weirdo drew him back and a vertebrate actually snapped when he pushed him against the wall again. “Are ya?”

 

            “Yes, just please, oh god please don’t kill me!”

 

            The Weirdo threw him away in disgust, he wanted to do more, but he couldn’t make himself waste the energy. He let the man fall, and wasn’t surprised to see he couldn’t stand. The man began to crawl away, praying to Jebbus who ever that was. He looked at the two boys who were nearly men sitting on the alley floor.

 

            “Go home.” He said before he vanished with speed that matched the switching off of a light.

 

            If you had been standing there, you might have wondered if it was one of those effects from a movie. It was as if the figure flashed for a moment and then was gone. The two young men looked at the spot where The Weirdo no longer was. Had he suddenly reappeared they wouldn’t have had such a problem, but somehow the fact that he didn’t come back made it worse.

 

 

October 28th, 2002

2:46 a.m.

 

            Fifty stories up, a man stood alone, waiting for his plan to come to fruition. Loki watched as two floors down Virgil moved slowly with a shotgun in hand, cocked and ready. Virgil was here looking for him, and Loki had lead him here with the help of The Gray Man. He knew why Virgil had been sent, he knew all about it. He had known that they would rush Virgil out as soon as they knew they couldn’t control him. They though they could control Virgil, maybe. They trained him and released him as soon as it was possible to do so.

 

            Now Virgil had left the center, and come after him. He had the same kind of mental triggers and programming that Loki had been given. He would be able to sense Loki about, smell him, and hunt him down. He would have seen the broken window and the shotgun lying on the floor amongst the shattered glass. He would pick up the weapon and he would check it. He never once bothered to question why Loki would leave a loaded weapon on the floor. Even given that the guards had both been armed with the weapons, and that Loki took one away, to never even question why it had been left was foolish.

 

            Virgil had been able to track Loki this far, and now came to this center of international finance. Loki had killed the first two guards and taken out the other four in the guard center with relative ease. Virgil had tracked his smell through the building. He had been trained to track the smell of his own body and not be fooled by the near sameness of the two scents. He smelt for trace scents that only Loki would sweat out. The smell of liquor or marijuana that he would unboundedly would have in him.

 

            Loki watched as the young man moved from one part of the building to the other.  The shotgun held at a sort of ready, the sort of ready a person who had been trained uses. Yet Virgil looked wholly uncomfortable with it, he looked as if he wanted to drop the weapon. It looked too large for him, as if he were just holding it for someone else. The lad had acquired the shotgun through Loki’s work, and Loki watched as Virgil moved looking for him.

 

            A smile appeared on his lips as the midnight blue pre-war sedan drove up, The Weirdo popping out of the car. The hero in gray had his own weapons, so even if he had arrived first there would have been no need to worry about him picking up the gun. He had taken the second gun though, just in case Virgil didn’t have a gun by the time the three of them got together.

 

            The Gray Man had been right then, if he got himself and Virgil in the same place, that The Weirdo would show up anyway. There was something of synchronicity within them, still he marveled at the fact that it had worked. They each had to be near each other; they would be drawn to one another. They were like shards of one soul, and they needed to work out whatever it was that had splintered them.

 

            “Very good.” Loki said. “You’re falling into place perfectly.”

 

            He wanted to wave, he wanted to call out but he knew that The Weirdo would find him. He had to wait, had to be patient, there was no reason to rush things. He had to wait for Virgil to find The Weirdo first, and then find Virgil. That was the plan, while Virgil was reeling over his success, he would kill Virgil. Then he would finish this place and rule the world. After that he could be free, and what blessed freedom it would be.

 

            The Weirdo moved quickly through the building, he could tell that Loki was around by his scent. He figured if there was something that he and his clone would have in common was their pheromone. Certain things they wouldn’t have taken the time to change would be secondary sexual characteristics. He could smell Loki around here, he could also smell the foul concoction that had spilt on him when he had beat that little pimp into a pulp.  Little did he know that he was actually smelling Virgil, whose scent was also like his own. He reached under his coat and pulled out his Colt 1911. The forty-five’s weight was of some comfort to him, although he could hear the black gun calling for him to hold it. He wanted to use the forty-five first and not waste the precious jeweled bullets.

 

            Besides, they might not work and the black gun might not work. This thought, along with “remember to jump,” rattled around his head like a fifty caliber shell inside a tank. He didn’t know how the idea had gotten there, but there it was all the same. He had a feeling though, that the gun might not work against him. If it wouldn’t work against him, it would be logical that the gun might not work against his double. This thought seemed to have problems, but it was persistent. For a moment he thought that it should have been the gun wouldn’t work for his double against him, but he was just trying to rearrange the sentence at that point.

 

            The Weirdo could hear someone walking up behind him; he turned to see the young blonde man in the beige outfit. Prepare, it’s almost time to jump. Virgil was still looking scared, and uncomfortable with the gun. His face turned and The Weirdo saw his own face, more innocent that he thought he could reasonably muster.

 

            “This is new.” The Weirdo said as he carefully readied himself to fire. He hadn’t raised the gun yet but he soon would if he needed to.

 

            Virgil caught site of The Weirdo and felt his mind click and the gears began to whir. There was no hope for it now, because secret commands had taken control. Something else took over, something deep in his mind. He could hear the commands from his youth; the long hypnotic suggestion sessions that he had thought were simply naps had an effect on him. He could feel the command take over his body, and he began to take a back seat.

 

            The blonde man was quickly changing before The Weirdo’s eyes. Not an actual bodily change, more of an emotional change, a change behind the eyes. He looked as if he was going from uncomfortable with the gun, to very comfortable. It was his face again, the one The Weirdo looked at the mirror. It had none of the signs of wear that his own held, nor did it bear Loki’s scars. This had to be another clone, which would make two, so far.

 

            “Don’t move Loki!” Virgil yelled, as he raised the shotgun to his shoulder.

 

            “Who are you?” The Weirdo asked.

 

            “You know me, brother.” Virgil said. “I am your death.”

 

            He pumped the action on the shotgun. This was a futile gesture since he had a round primed already. The upshot was that a perfectly good round clunked onto the floor. That would be one of five rounds The Weirdo thought. He doesn’t really know what he’s doing, even if he’s been trained. But he has been trained.

 

            “Oh shit.” Weirdo said, remembering something Grandma had hinted about.

 

            Almost time to jump.

 

            He really wished that she was more precise sometimes. He gripped the gun a little tighter and then loosened again. You didn’t want to tighten on the gun- that was an armature’s mistake. If he could keep this kid talking, he might have a chance, or at least he could kill him. Of course The Weirdo didn’t know there was no talking to him, but he was tired.

 

            “I’m not your brother.” The Weirdo said. “I’m The Weirdo, the original.”

 

            “Just like me in the mirror.” Virgil was clearly not ready for this sort of view, the gun slackened off his shoulder for a moment.

 

            “Just calm down.” The Weirdo said and he suddenly realized that it was all a big circle of obsessive behavior. This one was obsessed with this other one. “Why don’t you just lower that thing and we can talk this out?”

           

            “I don’t think so.” He said shouldering the gun again.

           

            “Loki is around here somewhere, but I’m not him.”

           

            For a moment, just a moment, Virgil hesitated. He had been told that Loki would be wearing red, that it had been programmed into him. This person was wearing gray, and a blue shirt. That seemed wrong to him, but it had to be Loki. He hadn’t heard about any one called The Weirdo, what was that about?

           

            His resolve returned though, quite quickly. It was as if his mind had fallen into a mental track that it was impossible to back up from. He could only go forward from this point. He could only fire the gun and kill his evil twin. He began concentrating the energy in the small cybernetic packets around his hands. If someone had a pair of eyes that let them see into the infer red spectrum of light, they would have seen tiny dots of energy building up around his hands and causing the gun to glow ever so slightly.

           

            He pulled the trigger and quickly pumped the shotgun to load another shell into the chamber. You’d have to use the inferred camera in conjunction with a slow-motion function to see what happened there. When the trigger was squeezed, the energy that had been wrapped up latently in the gun was dragged towards the explosive energy of the gunpowder. As a result the buck shot that the gun was loaded with gained some of the energy and the gun was made about twice as powerful as normal.

 

            “You won’t kill anyone else, Loki.” Virgil said pulling the trigger.

 

            The shotgun was loud in the small corridor; the sound of the gun shook The Weirdo’s brain. For a moment he thought he saw the gun glow before the kid fired. The buckshot tore into The Weirdo’s body, speckling the glass behind him, this took all thoughts from his mind. The Weirdo doubled over, his mind racing with what he should do next.

           

            “Fuck!” he gasped.

           

            Don’t jump yet! The warning in his head shouted. This is not the time to jump!

 

            He was sure now, the gun had glowed, and something had been done to the shells. The lead shot burned, it hurt worse than lead should, it seemed to be taking the strength out of him. He had been shot before and it’s hadn’t hurt this much. He was finding his hand wouldn’t work right. He wanted to raise the gun and fire, but his arm, which had only been grazed, wouldn’t work. He could feel sweat beading on his head and blood soaking his shirt. The pain was incredible, like having been shot by atomic pile material.

 

            A lunatic thought, like the poems that often came to him, suddenly made its presence known in his mind. He knew suddenly, that Mickey Mouse and Goofy were gay. That the reason Donald Duck was always so cranky was that he was the only straight one in the group. That Daffy Duck and Bugs Bunny were straight wasn’t in question. Oh sure, Bugs liked to crossdress but he liked girls. Maybe he was a little curious about bi-sexuality with Elmer, but he’d always like the ladies.

 

            He looked at the blonde man across from his and suddenly knew he was going to die and then he’d have to jump. He HeHis right hand still held the gun, but the trigger finger was paralyzed. There was the sound of someone pumping another shell into place. He could move his left hand, so he used it to grab a wooden handrail behind him. His mind cast away thoughts of the sexual lives of imaginary water foul and rodents and was suddenly and completely taken with the grain of the wood. The feel, the texture, the temperature of the wood that he was trying to use to pull himself up with filled his world. He felt that he knew the color and type of the wood from this feeling. He knew how long it had been here because of how much of the finish had been worn off.

 

            Virgil watched as the man he knew, simply knew had to be Loki, tried to stand. Loki’s program had stated that he would simply lay and beg for mercy when he knew he was caught. He would bargain, he would beg, he would plead. He would wet himself and defecate in his pants. This man had done none of this. He was just trying to get up. Loki’s mind was programmed in both the genetic and developmental stages to be predisposed to give up. He had a long moment of doubt as this man, whoever he was, pulled himself up.

 

            The Weirdo made it to his feet and turned his back to this unknown assailant. He looked down at the wood and found he was right in his assessment of what color the wood was and it’s approximate age. He raised his right hand and found his arm would allow him to raise the hand, just not use it. His trigger finger wouldn’t tighten and the rest of his hand wouldn’t let go.

 

            He breathed heavily as another shot struck him in the back, smashing him against the window. His face smacked into the glass from the impact pushing him. The window didn’t break but it spider webbed where The Weirdo had struck it. He knew his nose had been broken. He could feel the blood pouring down his mouth, and across the rest of his face. He could feel the blood trickling down his back from the dozen or so bits of buck shot that should have torn him open. He should be dead already, he knew that. It wasn’t a huge bore shot gun, but it was pretty big. He should have been torn to shreds by the small bits of lead that fired from the barrel.

 

            With great effort he turned around. He found himself telling him that the barrel of a shotgun isn’t rifled. It’s a smooth bore weapon so the bits it fired couldn’t be grabbed by the grooves so they didn’t travel as far or as fast as they would from a rifled barrel. Another part of his mind countered that at this range that was hardly important. What was important was that he had been shot in the back.

 

            “You shot me in the back.” He said, spitting out a mouthful of blood. “You little fucker.”

 

            He felt so indignant, that this guy shot him in the back. That was against the damn rules. Everyone knew that you didn’t shoot a guy in the back. Only a coward shot a guy in the back; that was definitely not the sort of thing a guy with a white hat did. You couldn’t be a good guy if you shot people in the back. Virgil had approached him and was only a foot away now. The Weirdo started to feel more annoyed than pained.

 

            “You have no rules that I should abide by monster. None of the rules apply to you.” He said shoving the gun up against The Weirdo’s chest, just over the heart.

 

            It was there that The Weirdo knew he was dealing with a zealot. Someone who says that the rules of normal society don’t apply was someone who would talk about peace and freedom for all and then start hanging the blacks and the gays. It was unfair, since Virgil was actually a good and just person, when not dealing with Loki. His entire value system went out the window when dealing with Loki.

 

            “They are rules, because they apply to everyone you little cunt dropping.” The Weirdo growled.

           

            “I love Jesus!” The blonde man shrieked.

 

            The Weirdo raised his gun and a round fired wildly. Virgil pulled the trigger and this time the shot picked The Weirdo up and sent him hurtling through the window. The gray body was thrown from the window of the office building, the difference in pressure helping drag him from the building into the air. The pain was terrible and for a moment he wondered if he had lost his left arm in the building. He looked and was quite glad to find it still attached. He couldn’t move it but it was attached, and that was good.

 

            Was this the jump they meant? He hadn’t jumped; he had been thrown. He felt like he was loosing consciousness. The Weirdo fell through the air, his mind awash with pain. He was powerless to stop his decent, unable to concentrate at all. He tried to think, but it all went blurry as the world rushed passed him at fifteen feet per second per second. The thought of Bugs Bunny hanging out at a tranny bar with Mickey and Goofy came back to him. Then it stopped rather too suddenly; The Weirdo’s body had struck the huge bronze sculpture.

           

            A reporter clicked three pictures of him falling and even got one of him striking the bronze. He took four more of him lying on the sculpture. This would make a great story, the best story ever in fact. Virgil looked and was suddenly filled with a righteous anger. He aimed the gun down at the reporter and fired. The gun missed but the reporter did begin to run. He pumped the gun again but found that there were no more shells left in the weapon. He tossed the gun to one side and finding it had landed on the floor too near him kicked it down the hall.

           

            He looked out the window and took in a deep breath of the air from the outside. It was fresh and clean smelling. It smelled of apples and of coming winter, and it blew up oddly. The wind was pushing against the building and blowing up towards the sky. It was a nice thing up here, to look out and see the city. He was really just relieved that it was all over now.  He looked at the body of his brother laying dead on the sculpture below him.

 

            It struck him that if this were a movie then the sculpture would have been made from glass because that would have been more dramatic. Instead it was a bronze sculpture of arcing shapes. He had been caught in one of the sweeps of bronze, and it looked like a sling that he had been caught in. Virgil heard someone coming down the hallway and looked. That is to say someone was coming down the aisle that was made by all the cubicles being squeezed together between the walls.

 

            “Hi, baby bro.” Loki said smiling.

 

            “What the?” Virgil said spinning around.

 

            Loki bent down and picked the gun up by the barrel. He swung the empty long gun in a wide arc that struck Virgil in the face with the butt of the gun. Virgil was struck off his feet and Loki reached out to shove him to the floor. He pumped the gun once, aimed the shotgun, and pulled the trigger. The gun clicked softly but gave no other answer. Loki laughed, pumped the shotgun again and aimed it down, again the soft click. He tossed the shotgun away laughing and pulled out the automatic he had tucked into his waistband.

 

            He worked the slider on the weapon, and a round fell from the working mechanism. One thing that seemed to be similar about both of these was the propensity to forget they had a round primed in the chamber. Loki stood over Virgil and aimed the weapon down on his blonde twin with deliberate slowness. Loki smiled at his brother as he stood over him.

 

            “I’m gonna enjoy fucking your dead ass.” Loki said.

 

            Virgil’s legs swung up, striking Loki’s hand as hard as was possible. There was a wet snapping sound as Loki’s wrist broke. He dropped the gun and Virgil’s other leg struck him in the chest. Loki was thrown to the ground and Virgil vaulted over him and ran. He didn’t look back, simply ran.

 

            He had no plan, no escape route; he just started running and didn’t look back.

 

 

December 24th, 2001

3:00 a.m.

 

            Max and Chip had slipped aboard Vena’s yacht as it floated in the harbor, placing a few explosives on the big boat. As Max set the last one, he congratulated himself on a job well done and began to make his way up to the deck where Chip was waiting guard. Max leapt from the engine room into the cold December air, the wind shocking him for a moment. He wound the scarf around his face and began to run past Chip.

 

            “Come on.” Max said beginning to run. He was tripped by something and fell.

 

            “Not so fast me old son.” Chip’s voice said.

 

            “Wha?” Max stood up.

 

            He found himself in an odd situation where his best friend was aiming a pistol at him. He pulled himself up by the railing and watched as Vena and Carlos emerged from one of the cabin doors. Max was suddenly aware that he was in deep shit. He wondered how long it was going to be before the shooting started.

 

            “Sorry about this Max.” Chip said. “I could let you do a lot, but I can’t let you blow this boat up.”

 

            Chip pulled the trigger twice, and Max was thrown back against the railing. He could tell that two of his ribs had given way, and possibly others. The fact that the Kevlar and titanium The Weirdo insisted he wore had stopped the bullets wasn’t much of a comfort. The bullet had been stopped but the impact was still like being hit with a sledgehammer twice. Chip pulled the trigger once more, the bullet struck Max’s chest just below his neck and the force of the impact spilled him over the rail into the freezing water. He struck it with a loud splash and a crack as his head struck the sheet of ice that was forming around the ship. It had been only a centimeter or two thick but it had still hurt a great deal.

 

            His body refused to move as he began to sink. The shock of the water hadn’t stopped his heart as far as he could tell, and he’d managed to take in a lung full of air before he hit the water, so he had that going for him. He just needed to manage to not sink all the way to the bottom and die down there. He managed to force his hand out and grabbed something, a chain of some kind. His lungs pushed some air out, which he didn’t think was a great idea but was powerless to stop.

 

            Chip leaned over the side of the boat and saw the bubbles of Max’s air tumbling to the surface, but no sign of the young man. He didn’t want to wait here, the air was cold and he couldn’t risk that someone wasn’t watching. He thought Jack already suspected what was going on. He thought that he should fire a few rounds into the water, but again he didn’t want to arouse any more suspicion than necessary.

 

            “Get back inside.” He ordered the two immortals, who nodded and walked back into the cabin.

 

            He followed after them and latched the door closed. He was fairly certain Max would be dead, since he couldn’t really survive three shots to the chest anyway. It had hurt him a little, having to shoot Max like that. He’d liked Max, and would have preferred to shoot The Weirdo or Tommy instead. That was the way life went though. He wouldn’t have been able to convince Max to join up, so he had to be dealt with.

 

            Under the water, Max was freezing. The cold water had frozen his bones as he griped the chain, which held the anchor to the boat below him. He couldn’t tell which way was up for a moment, and he was too cold for anything like rational thought. In fact all he could feel at that moment was the cold of his skin and the heat of his wounds. Those sensations filled his mind completely, so that he couldn’t consider anything else. The one thought that did manage to enter his mind was that he was going to drown soon.

 

            Then he felt a soothing influence and Grandma was in the back of his mind, telling him he wasn’t going to drown. He just had to calm down and get to the surface. He began to kick, looking for the light the boat gave off, holding the chain with his right hand. His lungs gave out and he exhaled what air was left under the water, unable to stop himself from gasping. He sucked water into his lungs and bit his lips shut to stop any further water from coming in.

 

            He broke the surface of the water and he thought it was somehow colder above the water than below it. He coughed and spat but could feel water in his lungs. He took a breath in and felt the water slosh around in his lungs. His chest burned as he tried to grab at the chain above the water. His right hand was wet, cold and felt like a collection of sausages.  His left hand didn’t want to answer the call of his brain at all. He feared that some real damage had been done to it. He couldn’t tell if the vest had been penetrated or not, he supposed there might be a bullet in his side somewhere.

 

            He couldn’t pull himself up, but he might be able to swim to the other side of the boat and be able to climb on. The water was so cold that he could hardly feel his legs. He could feel the bones and cramps in his muscles, but little else. His fingers could barely hold the chain as he wondered what to do. He pulled himself up the chain as best he could, but his arm had no strength left though. He raised his left arm and felt the sharp stabbing pain. It didn’t want to do this, it was saying. Didn’t he know how much permanent damage he was doing just trying to pull with his left arm? His ribs were broken, and his collarbone might be snapped as well. Still he pulled on the chain even though the pain was so amazingly sharp. He could hardly feel the rest of his body, but his shoulder, his chest, there was a fire within the ice.

 

            “Fuck.” Max groaned.

 

            He tried to suppress a cry of pain as he attempted to pull himself up. He managed to pull his torso nearly a foot out of the water. He never got any higher out of the water than his waist. He slipped back down the chain again and was only rewarded by a splash into the icy cold water again. His head splashed under again, and he thought he was going to die. He kicked with all the power in his legs and grabbed for the chain again. His lungs burned as the water sloshed around inside them. The icy water was washing away a membrane layer in his chest. He knew he would get pneumonia as a result, if he lived of course.

 

            Max was quickly loosing consciousness while his heat soaked away. He could feel the world beginning to drift away from his grasp. He had thought about his death many times, he had thought of all the ways he might buy it when he did. After all he had been through with The Weirdo though, he hadn’t thought that he’d still end up freezing to death as he drowned. His mind began to fuzz and he could feel his hand slipping from the chain, he figured he’d sink down, and die somewhere half way down on his way to the lake floor. It was going to be an interesting race to see which killed him first, the cold or a lack of air.

 

            He couldn’t hold the chain any more, because it had become too small for his hands. It slipped from his grasp and his head began to dip under the cold water. He felt something tug at his back, but that was probably just air leaving his jacket for the last time. He saw something far down below glowing, and extending a tentacle. It was some sort of squid, or something worse, living down at the bottom of the bay. It was a bioluminescent version of Cthulu, or something. That he was dead was now no longer a question. He had died and one of the Old Ones was going to munch his soul.

 

            He wondered if there would be raspberries in heaven, or if he would even be able to go to heaven after his soul had been devoured. An insane thought, but there it was. He closed his eyes and waited for the long glowing tentacle to yank him down, but it didn’t happen. His eyes opened and he saw his sister, the one he had always imagined. She was shimmering brightly under the waves, rushing towards him. She had the most radiantly beautiful face he had ever seen. Nothing could ever go wrong if he was around her, she would protect him.

 

            Her small hands were outstretched to greet him as he descended into the depths to see her. Cold had left him, he felt like there were beautiful women holding their naked bodies to him. She kissed him and he could feel her blowing breath into his mouth. She looked at him, her blue eyes looking into his hazel orbs. Then her mouth opened and she said something.

             

            “Breathe you mother fucker!” The girl seemed to say.

 

            “Ung?” Max said.

 

            “Breathe you little bitch.” His sister said as she pressed against his chest. “Breath goddamn it!”

 

            “Get more blankets.” Another voice, perhaps God or Cthulu, said.

 

            “Breathe!” The voice shouted. “I said I wouldn’t let you freeze and I’m not going to let you drown.”

 

            Max felt an icy stab of pain as his mouth opened and air rushed into his lungs, then there was a pain that was worse than all the not breathing in the world. Had Oscar Wilde ever nearly drown in an icy river he would have noted that the only thing worse than drowning to death, was not drowning to death. The air that came into his lungs felt like it had brought a team of sanders with it to scrape the insides of his lungs clean and acid wash them just to be sure.

 

            “Ow.” Max said.

 

            “He’s alive.” Judy exclaimed and he suddenly realized he was naked and pressed between the two women Tommy had recently introduced into the house.

 

            “Do we wait?” Jack asked.

 

            “Fuck no.” The Weirdo said. “Back of the car, lets get him home.”

 

            “But.” Max attempted, not knowing what he was going to say.

 

            “Shut up.” The Weirdo said placing a white handkerchief over his nose and mouth. “You’ve washed the membrane off your lungs; you’ll likely get pneumonia now. Keep your mouth shut and breathe through your nose, that’ll help a little.”

 

            “Let’s get him in the back.” Tommy said.

 

            Max always wished he’d stayed a little more aware during that car ride. It was the only time he was ever so close to the two women who as it turned out had fallen in love with Tommy. Had he not been near death, he always thought he could have enjoyed it more. As it turned out the two lovely ladies had fallen for the man with the blue eyes, he would never get that close again.

 

 

October 28th, 2002

3:30 a.m.

 

            Thomas Gunner wanted to be in bed at this moment, not where he was. He wanted to be curled up between Judy and Sheila, sleeping quietly. He hadn’t been sleeping when the call came, but he had been in bed. He would have been sleeping by now, in the arms of the dark sister to death. He wanted to be sleeping and that was the important thing that was so important. What he didn’t want to be doing was looking over the place where his best friend had fallen to his death.

           

            Tommy looked at the bloodied and broken glass, the large statue. His hands wrung together slowly as he stood. Jack was talking to the officers as he looked at the place where The Weirdo had fallen. A few flakes of early snow began to fall, touching the ground and instantly disappearing. A cold wind blew past Tommy as he stood, tiny pinpricks of white dancing around him.

 

            They had taken him away to a morgue, where Doctor Crazy was going to quietly pick him up so they could dispose of his body. Now there was only this blood-laden sculpture of bronze that he had landed on. Tommy looked up at the window. He mentally calculated the rate of fall, conditions of trajectory, and decided that, of course, The Weirdo had landed on this. It didn’t matter that he would have had to have been riding on a rocket to reach this far out from where he fell. He simply had to land here though.

 

            He had to land on the sculpture, he couldn’t miss it. It was just too perfect to leave as was. A secret little hope was whispering in his heart, like the voice of the devil inspired to deceive. He hoped that there was some sort of plan to all of this. His mind quickly hushed it up though and sent it to bed with some warm milk and a bottle of sleeping pills. He had arrived, seen the body, and tested the pulse. He had tested other things as well and The Weirdo was gone.

           

            The snow was falling around him, vanishing as soon as it touched the earth.

 

 

October 28th, 2002

4:08 a.m.

    

            Tommy walked into the Mansion and found Mrs. Pendleton at the door. She wasn’t smiling; she was usually smiling when they came home. Her care worn face was filled with tears, which were dripping down her face. Tommy walked forward and took the old woman in his arms. She fell into his shoulder and began to sob, not just to sob but to scream. She knew there was no coming back for old Weirdo this time.

 

            He was gone.

           

            Judy and Sheila looked at Tommy and Mrs. Pendleton as they stood there, the old woman screaming her tears into his chest. He stroked her silver hair as tears ran down his own cheeks. His eyes fell on the two women; they stood together, looking at him. They both had worry and apprehension in their eyes.

 

            Kestrel walked down the front stairs and looked at the men who stood before her. She looked into Tommy’s eyes and saw what lay beyond them. She didn’t know that other version of the man she wanted dead, but she knew that he was a kinder and less demonic person she had learned to call The Weirdo. She looked at the phone and it suddenly began to ring. Jack reached out and picked it up.

 

            “Yes? You’re shitting me? No, it’s okay. Yeah, bye.” He looked at his friends. “There was a shootout at the hospital. All the bodies in the morgue went missing.”

 

            “I’m going to have a drink.” Tommy said as flatly as he could manage. “Then, I’m going to bed.”

 

            “God damn it Tommy” Jack said. “Don’t you think we should at least…?”

 

            “At least what Jack?” Tommy asked. “Get there twenty minuets late for no good reason?”

 

            Jack was deflated at that moment, and logic came and crushed his spirit.

 

            “Jack?” Marla said walking towards the room.

 

            “Yes, love?”

 

            “Is it true?” Marla said pressing into the strong chested English man.

 

            “Fraid so.” Tommy said. “And someone just stole his body. Take your husband to bed with a bottle of something.”

 

            “Right.” she said taking him up the stairs.

 

            “I thought he couldn’t die very easily.” Kestrel said to Max.

 

            “He’s always had that kinda Baron Munchausen thing going on. I guess his luck ran out.” Max said.

 

            “Maybe he set this up himself.” Jack said as Marla was leading him up stairs. “Sometimes he’s had things that even we didn’t know about.”

 

            “No.” Tommy said. “I know that much. He wanted to rest when he was dead.”

           

            “So who stole him?”  Max asked.

           

            “That’s what we have to find out.” Tommy said.

           

            “Not now, though.” Sheila said. “You need to sleep, it’ll hold till morning. He won’t stop being dead overnight.”

           

            “You sure?” Tommy asked. “He’s done it before.”

 

            “Come on, Tommy.” Judy said. “Let’s go to bed.”

           

            “Yeah.” Tommy said. “I don’t suppose there’s anything we can do for him now.”

 

            It should be said here that the Gods, all Gods, have a funny sense of humor. And one, a Goddess named Eoster, figured that, of course, Tommy was right, but that he was also, terribly and terrifically wrong.

 

 

October 28th, 2002

4:53 a.m.

 

            “I don’t care about the others.” Todd Riley said. “I just want this one. I need his blood, and tissue samples.”

 

            His hands ran over the corpse of The Weirdo, his brain buzzed. In this body were the secrets, the things he wanted to know. Here was a man who would create the next race of men, the supermen of his dreams. Doctor Todd Riley would do the work, and help make the next race of men.

 

            Riley took a small scalpel and cut away a small patch of skin from The Weirdo’s left arm, taking it from the area of the wound. He realized there were some bacteria, but that wouldn’t hurt things yet. He placed the skin sample into a small plastic bag, sealing it and placing the sample into a small cooler, which had an attachment filled with freon.

 

            Riley looked like a greedy child stooped over a plate of sweets as he pulled a syringe out of his coat. He pressed the needle into The Weirdo’s skin and took a sample of his blood. His mouth veritably watered over the prospect of having the material again, right here before him. These were fresh, untainted samples too. These were direct from the source.

           

            “Now our work can continue.” Riley said looking at the pale faces of his thugs.

           

            “What sort of work would that be?” A new voice said from behind them. “Torturing a newborn child?”

           

            “Who the hell?” Riley looked at the face of the dead body then up to the face of the man in the red coat before him.

           

            “I’m your creation, daddy.” Loki said walking forward.

 

            One of the thugs reached under his coat and grabbed at a pistol.  Loki’s hand was faster though. The Weirdo’s power was his, and so was his speed. More than that even, far more. His speed and strength had been added to. The trigger of the automatic fired twice, both of the thugs fell dead. There was a splash of blood around each of them, but there was nothing else.

 

            “I’m your baby from days to come.” Loki said, sliding the gun away.

           

            “What are you talking about?”

           

            “You made twins, or at least you will.” Loki said pulling the razor out. “One you gave the most spastic, vile genes. The other you gave the patience of a tree, the ability to love and laugh. You made one evil and one good, but you didn’t stop there.”

 

            His blade flew and ran across the young doctor’s face, a splash of blood splattered against the wall next to the doctor. Loki held up the blade, using it to back the man into a corner.

 

            “You knew that genetic blueprinting only went so far. Or you will know I should say, since you won’t do this for a few years. So you began to imprint messages into the brain, to develop personalities. The one you made who was inherently good you fed messages of sunshine and light. You gave him a loving mother, a supportive father. Saturdays of camping and running through flower filled fields. Life of fun and innocence.”

 

            The blade flew around again and cut away at Riley’s face, the man screamed. He held his hands to his cheeks, both of which now sported a deep scoring wound. Riley was confused, why was this man saying he would do this? He had done it fifteen years ago, and now he was going to start again.

           

            “The dark one!” He said yelling, “The evil one, if you will, you gave a father who raped him, a mother who beat him. A life filled with dark rooms, with hooks hanging from the ceilings and nails on the walls. A life where no one could be trusted, a world without sunlight. Then I broke out of that world, and what did it get me?”

 

            He took Riley’s hand and put the tip of the blade through the back of it till it came out through his palm. The pain was incredible and Riley wanted to scream but couldn’t. He just opened his mouth and nothing came out. He suddenly wished he had asked more questions when the project had first been brought to him. If he had, he would have made sure of what Eve had been planning instead of letting them in on the programming techniques he had been working on.

 

            “You fucking bastard! You tried to kill me, and for what? I just wanted to escape that world. So I took your little time gun and went somewhere I could be alone, but you sent Virgil to kill me! I tried to kill him but he was a little too quick.”

 

            “Now daddy dies and none of us really exist.” He ripped the blade along Riley’s throat. “Daddy dies.”

 

            He bashed the blade into Riley’s head, and tore away at the flesh, pulling at it. He sank his teeth in and pulled at the flesh. His left hand’s fingers sank into Riley’s eye sockets. His left hand covering the face, his right hand on top of the head, his right fingers also sank into them on the other side. He pulled, tugging with all his strength trying to pull the head open. There was a splitting, cracking sound, the skin tore, the skull split. He pulled the top of the skull away from the bottom of it, flipping the man’s head open. He sank his hands into the ripped open skull and pulled the brains out in a hunk.

 

            He threw the fist full of pink brain, returning both hands and pulling the whole brain out. He hurled it against the wall, stamping on it. He screamed, kicking and punching the body. He tore the abdomen open and yanked the organs out, throwing them against the wall. He continued with the tantrum till he was exhausted.

 

            “Now, I die, too.” He sank back against the table where The Weirdo’s body lay; his face began to tremble and tears fell from his eyes. “Now, I die, too. No more pain, no more pain. Now. I die, too.”

 

            He repeated the mantra to himself softly, like a child trying to convince itself that there’s nothing to be afraid of in the dark. He raised his hands to his face and wept like a child. His mind screaming out with primal uncontrollable feelings that he couldn’t even name. He had wished to die, to end the pain. He wanted no more of this life.

 

            Loki’s head leaned back and his eyes opened. He should have died by now; he should have vanished in a flash of light or something. There was some sort of Einstienian logic that should have taken over by now.  He looked at the body of his dead father, but he wasn’t his real father, he had no father. He stood and crossed the room, wondering what was happening.

 

            The problem was that he had been lied to. There had been no time gun, no future that involved Riley, it had all been a story they’d told him to keep him from understanding the project. They had prevented him from knowing by creating a new twisted reality for him.

 

            Where was the Angel of Death that his computer composite father always told him was coming for him? He kissed Riley’s cheek and looked at his dead older brother. It suddenly occurred to him how much younger he really was, he wouldn’t even be put into a chamber for almost fifty years by his calculations. He screamed at the ceiling, made a noise that can only be comprehended as the sound of suffering.

 

            “Where are you!?” He screamed. “Where are you, Death?”

           

            There was no answer. He looked around and something occurred to him. He must not be from the future; he must be from the past. Could it be that he just had amnesia? Could it be that being called Loki wasn’t just an odd sort of mistake? Could it be that he was The Loki?

 

            Could it be his memories were all false? This truth came to him, but his mind was unprepared to deal with it and as psychosis often goes, he leapt to the wrong conclusion. The Weirdo was just some hero, sent by his father Odin to kill him. That was it. That was why all his memories had been so fuzzy. It was because they were all fake and he was Loki. He was the cast out son, who had been raising an army to avenge himself. He was going to have his revenge too. He would find the other one sent to kill him and then get the ice giants to help him destroy the world. No not the ice giants, the crew he had already gathered. There was no need for giants because he had a million little rats. Well, perhaps not a million, but many. So very many small groups that he didn’t need the ice giants to help him.

           

            Loki’s voice careened off the walls, it was now so simple. The laughs boiling up like smoke from a funeral pyre. Loki was truly happy, if only for a moment. He had figured out the truth, all by himself, he had figured it out. He was a God, and the mortals were his slaves, just waiting for him to take the reigns.

 

 

October 28th, 2002

5:23 a.m.

 

            Ring! Tommy had actually gotten to sleep, lying on the side of the bed. Ring! Judy lying in the middle of the bed, and Sheila lying on the other side. Ring! Tommy’s head raised as the phone rang. Ring! He reached out for it; angry about being interrupted from what little sleep he managed to slip in. He was going to make someone suffer for this.

           

            “What now?” He said.

 

            “If you want his body.” Loki said. “It in an old morgue owned by Doctor Todd Riley. I’ll let you bury him, and then get out of this city. It’s mine.”

 

            The line went dead then, and Tommy looked at the receiver for a moment

 

            “No, it’s not.” Tommy put the phone down and looked at the sunlight, which was beginning to rise. “We fought for it, it’s ours.”

 

            Tommy called Crazy and told him to go collect the body in secret. He watched as the sun rose on a world that was now the property of a darker version of the one who wanted to keep it free, or at least keep people from getting hurt. He heard the rustling of sheets behind him and by the footsteps knew it was Sheila approaching.

           

            “Are you okay?” Sheila asked.

           

            “No.” Tommy said. “I’m really not.”

           

            “What was the call about?”

           

            “Loki called me, told me to get the body and leave town.”

           

            “I see.”

           

            “So, we’re going to have to fuck him up.”

           

            They watched the sun rising, and Tommy felt himself growing progressively more angry. It took nearly an hour of him sitting there and he had nearly thrown himself into a hysterical rage. He wasn’t a bad guy really, but now he had been replaced by something that wanted pain and death. He watched as Doctor Crazy walked into the room where he sat.

 

            “He’s gone.”

 

            “What?” Tommy asked.

 

            “The Weirdo,” Crazy said. “He’s gone.”

 

            “Loki?”

 

            “He’s not there, either.” Crazy said, “He must have let someone else take the body.”

           

            “God Damn!” Tommy yelled. “I’m gonna find that mother fucker, and I’m gonna cut his fucking heart out.”

 

            “Let it go Tommy, we lost.” Sheila said.

           

            “Never.” Tommy said. “I gave up last time. “

           

            “It’s over, Tommy.” Crazy said. “Let it go.”

           

            “Not till I find him.” Tommy said. “Not till I put that gray coated mother fucker under the ground. And after that I’ll still be waiting by the gravesite with a club in case he tries to climb out again. “

           

            “Alright.” Crazy said. “Take these.”

 

            He held a pair of pills in his hand.

 

            “What are they?” Tommy asked. “Some new drug concoction that you’ve made? Gimme super strength for a while?”

           

            “They’re Nytol.” Crazy said. “Local drug store, get some sleep. You’ll never kill anyone in your state.”

           

            The plan hadn’t so much been to get Tommy to take the drugs, rather to stop him a moment. He looked at the pills and his shoulders shook, with what might have been laughter. He went to the bathroom and the water ran for a moment. He then walked out of the bathroom and lay down in the bed.

           

            “How long?”

           

            “About twenty minuets or so.” Dr. Crazy said.

           

            “I’ll be good.” Tommy said setting his head down.

           

 

October 28th, 2002

5:31 a.m. (New York time)

 

            She had skin like alabaster, and hair like spun gold, and a face that was like a storm about to break. Aphrodite looked at The Weirdo’s body, dead in the long cloth wrapping. Her face turned red as she held back an explosion. She touched the head and shuddered from the cold feeling. Her own face went from red to a deep purple as she tried to hold back. She drew her cloak around her and looked at the woman in the black dress. Her face returning to the calm white.

           

            The Lady Death was dressed in a long black Victorian dress of silk and lace. Her tight bodice pressed her body in but due to Victorian morality there was to no cleavage to view. She watched as Aphrodite and her servants walked toward her with the body. She felt sorry for all of this, she had hoped for a better situation.

           

            “You’ll have to take him dear.” Aphrodite said.

           

            “We had an agreement.” Death said. “I intended to keep my side of the bargain.”

           

            “You have to do your job.” Aphrodite said “I can’t get you into trouble over this.”

           

            “You’re sure?”

 

            “I can arrange things to get him back.” The goddess said. “I have someone on the inside. Just lead him to her, and she’ll do the rest.”

           

            “I hope so.” The Lady Death said.

           

            “Besides, if you don’t do this, we’ll be found out.” She looked at the body. “If they get even an idea of what we’re up to, they’ll destroy everything to spite us.”

           

            “Alright.” The Lady Death said. “Let me have him for a moment, and then you can ferry the body away.”           

 

 

In a place where the calendar doesn’t change

A place where the hands on the clock don’t move

 

            The Weirdo walked towards the light, if it was indeed a light. It was terribly dark for something he was describing as a light. He saw the woman dressed in dark clothes before him, her pale heart shaped face looking at him. He knew her, he had cheated her enough times to know her. This time his cheating didn’t save him. Seems nothing had helped him this time. He had offended her to the point where she would refuse to collect him; she was going to send him back. There was one thing that could help him, something he was supposed to do. He couldn’t remember what it was he was meant to do, which was a shame. He had the feeling that remembering was part of the point.

 

            The Lady Death saw him standing before her. He was dressed in gray clothes, she knew him. She knew he hated her; he had beaten her at her own game. Sometimes he had just gotten away from her. This time he was going to go with her. This time he didn’t get away from her. This time he was going to stay with her long enough to go with her. Maybe this time he would stay with her. She was going to have him with her.

           

            “I’ll come with you if you’ll let me.” He said extending his hand to her.

           

            “If you want to come.” She said extending her own hand.

           

            He took it and something deep within made him shiver at the touch. She began to walk with him down a sunset colored street, which resembled a rain-covered street.  She was dressed in a long Victorian gown of much dark splendor and he found that his clothes were no longer the bloody rags he had been pulled off the sculpture in, they were clean and new looking.

           

            “Where do we go from here?” He asked.

           

            “Anywhere you want.” She told him. “There are a million possibilities for you here.”

           

            “I like that.” He said. “Nothing more to worry about.”

           

            “There’s someone who wants to see you.” She said. “Up ahead, go alone.”

           

            The Weirdo turned and looked at her and then walked ahead. His mind was clear and free of the pains which had been inflicting it. He saw a warm and welcoming face with a pair of eyes, blue like twilight, like Tommy’s. Brown hair, which hung down in locks around her face. He ran, stopped and looked at her for a moment in disbelief.

           

            “Shannon?” He asked as she began to walk towards him.

           

            “My love.” She said walking towards him. “Come with me.”

           

            There was something wrong with her face, like she was saying one thing but meant another. He could tell that the last thing she wanted was for him to follow her.

 

            “No.” He said moving away from her. “Not yet.”

 

            She moved away back from where she came.

           

            “What are you doing?” Death asked him. “You can’t go back now.”

           

            “I’ve crossed over and can’t go back?” The Weirdo asked.

 

            Shannon looked at her, and gave a conspiratorial wink and nodded. Death only nodded, looking down at her shoes. He walked back to Shannon and walked away from Death with her. Death looked at her small dagger, the one that was to cut his strand of life from his body. Only she could see it, so only she would know if it had been cut. She slipped the dagger back in its sheath and touched the cord, making it twang slightly. She hoped that they knew what they were doing.

 

 

October 28th, 2002

3:45 p.m.

 

            Kestrel woke up, her head still swinging from the painkiller she had taken. She stood and looked at the city from the lace-curtained window that was in the room she had been given. The grounds were pale in the afternoon sunlight, which had been dissipated by the thick pall of clouds which went slowly across the sky. She watched the sunlight dance down on the dead place.

 

            She pulled on a robe and walked down the stairs. Looking outside one of the grate windows, she again confirmed the same thing she’d noticed. There were no birds, no squirrels, none of the animals who had been running across the large yard. She looked at it. Even the trees seemed to have their bows lowered in some demented form of mourning.

 

            “Looks sad, doesn’t it.” Max’s voice said from behind her.

 

            “How long have you been standing there?” She asked. Wrapping the blanket around her even tighter.

 

            “Seven seconds.” He said. “I heard someone get up so I decided to see who it was.”

 

            “I see.” she said. “Where are all the animals?”

 

            “Mourning, probably.”

 

            “The animals mourn for him?”

 

            “That’s right.” Max said. “The smaller animals clung to him like a feudal lord.”

 

            “Do you know who stole The Weirdo’s body?”

           

            “No.” Max said. “It was stolen a second time.”

           

            “What do you mean?” Her golden eyes grew wide.

           

            “Loki told us where to find the body but when we got there, there were only the bodies of the thieves.”

           

            “He’s still alive?”

           

            “We haven’t been able to find him.” Max said. “It’s been a bad week, I’m sure you can sympathize with our lack of work.”

           

            “I can imagine.” She said.

           

            “I’m sure you can.” Max said walking to the door. “I’m sure you can. The animals will come back tomorrow.”

 

 

October 28th, 2002

4:25 p.m.

 

            Thomas Gunner ran through the streets, his feet pounding on the pavement. The call had come just a few minutes ago, and it had been explicit. He was going to go and kill because of this message, and probably kill the same person again and again. He hadn’t been able to figure out a real strategy yet, but it was coming to him slowly. It involved lots and lots of bullets. Not much of a strategy, but he was having a bad day.

 

            He hadn’t even considered the possibility that Loki was letting himself be seen so that he might draw Tommy and Jack out into the open so he could kill them both. That the reason none of his minions were helping him didn’t click in his head as a danger sign. He was too angry to think of such things. He had found the man who had killed The Weirdo and now he was going to rend him limb from limb.

 

            A man in a red coat was throwing people through shop windows on Fifth Avenue. I don’t want to say the name of the fine Fifth Avenue establishment he was attacking, but it was Saks. Tommy reached under his coat for the Thompson submachine gun, a gun that any reasonably sane person could have made at least a decent argument for not being there. Besides the issue of how difficult it is to conceal a long arm, there was the simple fact that he had been running with his coat open and it hadn’t been there before.

 

            He looked through the door of the shop and saw Loki standing over a security guard, punching the man over and over. Blood poured from the guard’s face, his eyes blurred by pain and blood loss. There wasn’t a lot of resistance offered by the man, but Loki kept punching like there was. Actually he was hitting like he liked doing it. Loki was simply enjoying the fact that he was pushing this man’s face all out of shape. That the skull would never properly heal and the man would be disfigured for life made him feel good. He would still be pretty tomorrow, but this man would always be ugly.

 

            Tommy cocked the antique machine gun, he thought about how many rounds he had in the gun, mentally calculated the rate of fire of the gun, and thought about how long he could fire. Unfortunately, if you’re not in a movie, you have to worry about how much ammunition you have left. He thought that maybe it didn’t matter, he had one target and once he killed the one target that would be the end of it.

 

            He kicked the doors of Saks open and looked at Loki who was trying on a red leather coat. He was completely decked out in red clothing, semen and blood was on the dead bodies. Loki’s hand were also covered in the stuff, he took a handkerchief and wiped them off when he saw Tommy strolling forward.

 

            “I am the hand of God.” Tommy said raising his gun; he wondered where he had picked up such a silly thing to say.

 

            “There is no God.” Loki said. He was so calm he might have been discussing the weather. “Besides me.”

 

            “Let’s test that.”

 

            Tommy pulled the trigger and sent the small lead messengers of justice racing towards Loki. He would normally have been a little ashamed of such a goofy description, but when he was angry, he had no shame. The gun’s four hundred rounds per minute fired in a short burst at any rate. It would take fifteen seconds to use up the large round drum magazine.

 

            The bullets tore through the air and ripped into Loki, splitting the coat behind him as they raked through his frail body. The red coat he had just put on was ripped open. Blood flew from the demonic clone’s body. The shooting stopped when the gun was empty. Tommy had still held the trigger down for a few seconds to make sure, but no it was over now.

 

            Loki lay on the ground, groaning loudly as he rolled on the tile floor.  Tommy slid the large empty drum out of the gun and tossed it to the floor. It clattered as it hit the ground, making everyone in the room besides Loki and Tommy jump. He drew out another large drum magazine and slid it into place. This was his last drum, there was going to be no machine gun once these hundred bullets were gone. He tapped his side with his hand and felt the smaller fifty round drum, so there was that much left. There were a hundred and fifty bullets left, he could do a lot with those.

 

            He never took his eyes off Loki, who had stopped writhing and was beginning to look like he was collecting himself together. The blood had reversed it’s pooling and was running back up into the man he’d shot, looking like a film run in reverse. In a moment there would be no sign that the blood had been spilt at all.

 

            “Now, that really is rude.” Loki said as he slowly got up.

 

            Tommy tugged back the slider and primed a round into the chamber, ready to fire. Loki stood up and grabbed at the shirt his hands clean of blood that had splattered them a moment ago. The shirt was forming itself back together, the skin already back to the way it should be. The shirt was becoming what it had been before Tommy started. That his body would heal itself was one thing, that the healing would extend out to his clothing made Tommy’s bones fill with ice. There was something very wrong here, something that they weren’t informed about.

 

            Tommy thought about the hundred rounds of ammunition in the gun, he had the smaller, fifty round drum still in his pocket. It wasn’t easy to fit the drum in there, but he had managed many times before. After that was empty though, he’d be out, and then he’d die. He wasn’t sure that he’d make it to the smaller magazine really.

 

            Tommy raised the gun to his shoulder again and fired at the thing’s face. The hair was wrong, but the rest of him looked like his old friend. He raised the gun to his shoulder and fired into what could have been a sweetly beautiful face. Loki’s sneer disintegrated into an explosion of blood. He could feel each of the bullets hit him as he fired at his old friend’s face.

 

            As Loki’s body began to fall to the ground, the arm struck out and caught a counter. His head turned up, what was left of his face looked at Tommy; one remaining eye fixed on him, he shook his head as it began to reform. This just wasn’t fair, not fair at all. If you couldn’t kill someone by shooting them in the face with a machine gun, what could you do? If you had to destroy the whole thing at once, the only thing you could do is get something like a bomb or possibly a volcano or something like that.

 

            Jack entered the store, his Browning up and ready, and he fired three shots. The gun spurted blue flames from the barrel and there were streaks of blue as the energized bullet struck Loki’s body. The remaining eye was blow off, the chest burst in two other places. The tiny pips of blood had barely dripped when they were sucked back up into the body. Jack fired again and Loki sprawled out on the floor. Tommy sighed slightly, his gun still raised.

 

            Then Loki moved and there was a sickening gargling sound as he began to get up. His eyes met Tommy’s and a smile creaked up what was left of the lips. Then the skull began to form around the eyes and the flesh returned. The scars were gone now, and looked even more like The Weirdo. The skin had just reformed and the clothes began to remake themselves again.

           

            “Oh, fucking hell.” Jack whispered.

 

            “Thank you for that bit of input there, Jackson.” Tommy muttered.

           

            “More and more and more and then.” Loki was singing softly to himself. The beat and tempo suggested that he was making up a heavy metal song.  “Never gonna die again. Cause I am the God of mischief.”

 

            “Yeah, whatever.” Jack said as he raised his gun.

 

            The forty-five glowed a slight blue as he pulled the trigger. The blue streaks shattered the air as Tommy raised his gun again and pulled the trigger. The cacophony of gunfire made a sound that was incredible as it bounced of the walls and floor. Loki was thrown back into a rack of clothing.

 

            There was enough time for Jack to exhale before Loki came rushing towards them. Tommy raised the gun again, intending to fire. Loki tackled him as he squeezed the trigger, sending the bullets through the tiles in the ceiling. Dust from the ceiling tiles and a broken piece fell and struck Tommy in the face as he went down.

           

            The two rolled on the ground and the gun skittered away from them. Loki’s hand reached for Tommy’s throat. His fingers clawed for Tommy’s windpipe, trying to cut off his air supply, which was redundant really. Tommy was already chocking on the crap that the ceiling tile had been made of and he couldn’t see because he’d caught a bit in one eye. The clawish fingers moved slowly towards the bare throat regardless of these facts. Tommy’s hands held back Loki’s as they struggled. His breath stank; his stained teeth were reveled in an animalistic snarl.  Loki’s strength was overcoming Tommy, as they struggled; his fingers drew closer to Tommy’s neck, when Loki was thrown off his body.

           

            Tommy rolled away and stood up, gasping for air. There was a new path of blood on the floor. Loki stood, touching his fingers to the new bloodied wound on his side, before it began to slowly close up. Tommy’s eyes looked up at Kestrel who held the smoking Smith and Wesson 500 in her hand. Loki gave a little snarl as he leapt up. Kestrel pulled the trigger again; the massive bullets struck him. Another round passed through his side, he just kept charging towards her. She fired twice more but he didn’t even seem to notice.

           

            She moved the gun around as she shot, trying to find some point of vulnerability. She pulled the trigger again, but the gun only held the five rounds. The Weirdo hadn’t told her what she should do in a situation like this. Loki kept up his advance, seeming to grow stronger by the attack. They weren’t wearing him down; they were winding him up. She steeped back trying to find an exit from his eyes, which burned like a demons.

 

            Jack leapt forward and struck at Loki’s mid-section in a tackle that his rugby buddies at Oxford would have loved. The two tumbled to the ground as he and Tommy had done. Loki twisted like a serpent and hurled Jack away from him. He leapt up, grabbed Tommy’s fallen machine gun and rolled across the ground, till he reached a knee shoot position. He aimed the gun and fired ten rounds. One passed through Tommy’s side, toppling him over. Jack raised his gun, Loki fired and the gun was smashed in his grasp. He looked at the broken handle that still hung in his hand.

 

            Loki raised the gun again and there was a small click of the firing pin against an empty chamber and the weapon failing to fire. He swore under his breath and pulled the straight razor from his pocket. 

 

 

October 28th, 2002

4:29 p.m.

 

            While the fighting at the department store was going on, Max was approaching the store. He had been blocks away when it all started, and he had to stop to get an M16 from the trunk. Suddenly the front window of the store shattered in a hail of broken glass. He stood back, holding the big machine gun he’d retrieved from the car. Tommy’s body landed on the ground with the tiny sharp shards. He wiped them from his face and stood up.

 

            He’d have fired the moment he saw Loki, but the red bastard moved too fast. He was out and on top of Tommy. They struggled for a moment, the end result being that Loki was straddled Tommy. He flipped the blade of the razor open again and raised it up. Max didn’t bother with a war cry, or grabbing the blade. He put his gun against Loki’s back and fired. The bullets tore through Loki’s chest, ripping him open like a large and indiscriminate drill. Loki looked down at the chasm that had been his guts fell off Tommy and to the ground. Max stood over Loki and fired more shots into his head. When he was done, only the mouth was recognizable. The mouth flapped, trying to speak.

 

            “Very nice try lads.” The mouth said as the head reformed about the head. “But not good enough.”

 

            “Oh, fuck me.” Max said.

 

            “Good idea.” Loki said as he stood. “I’ll get to you, later, though.”

 

            Jack lunged out of the building and hit Loki in the chest. The two of them then flew into the air. Loki thrashed wildly around as he tried to catch Jack with his blade. Jack grabbed the hand that was thrashing about and held it in place, his strength still greater than that of the clone. They were high over the city as Jack’s hand closed around Loki’s throat. He held him there, nearly a mile over the city. Jack’s hands were too busy to defend him from Loki’s thrashing legs. He blocked as best he could. He squeezed Loki’s throat and shouted at him.

 

            “Stop it!” Jack’s voice bit the words out. They were still rising, and rising above the world.

 

            “I’ll kill you.” Loki said, his strength bringing the blade around. Jack levered his arm straight, locking his elbow so that Loki couldn’t move much more. He kicked his left leg up and caught Loki in the crotch.

 

            “If I drop you, it’ll be really messy.”

 

            “If you drop me.” Loki said smiling. “There will be a razor sharp blade sailing towards the city. Could hit anybody. A penny from up here would kill a person. A razor blade would be nasty.”

 

            “No, pennies can’t kill from up here.” Jack said.

 

            “Matter of fact.” Loki opened his hand. Jack let his grip go and sealed it over Loki’s. They clasped hands like dancers and Loki’s strength began to overcome Jack’s. Jack let go of Loki’s throat and hung himself upsides down so Loki couldn’t catch him.

 

            “So?” Jack asked.

 

            “Pennies I mentioned earlier…” Loki said putting his left hand into his pocket. He came out with a hand full of coins. He threw them into the air.

 

            “Won’t hurt anyone.” Jack said,

 

            “Then this.” Loki said squirming his hand away and thrusting it into his pants.

 

            The gun came out and Jack grabbed at Loki’s gun arm. The razor danced away and he saw it wink in the light. Jack spun around quickly and threw Loki out towards the sea, which was quite a way off from where they were. Loki would make it to the sea, or splat on the earth, Jack didn’t care. He flew with all his speed towards the bright steel razor blade as it fell towards the earth. He could just keep it in sight as he rocketed down towards it. All he could think of was some child having their face sliced off. He reached out and took hold of the razor about ten stories up, which meant as he pulled himself up into an arch he scraped his belt against the street before flying back up into the air.

 

            He landed on top of a building and just sat for the longest time, looking at the blade in his hand. He had been so scared and it probably would have just been buried in the blacktop. He stood and shook anyway, because he hadn’t been able to tell. The thoughts he hadn’t allowed himself to have came back again. It was quite a long time before he realized that he had let Loki just fly out to the sea, where he could easily swim back. He thought about that for a moment and shook his head again, that would have to wait.

 

 

Where all days are the same

A place where time doesn’t pass

 

            The Weirdo had stopped for a moment because he had to absorb the scene. He was in a large room, much like a ballroom. There was a large pair of doors at the other end of the room, and a man in a large silver chair.

           

            The man in the silver chair lazily lifted his hand and the chair sailed over to The Weirdo. At no time though did the chair block the two huge doors. He knew, he had read enough, that these weren’t actual doors. They were a sort of three-dimensional construct put up so that the mind of a three dimensional creature would understand something in four and possibly five physical dimensions.

           

            “You’ve got to go through the door, you know.” The man said.

           

            “Why?” The Weirdo asked.

           

            “It’s the extension into the next life. “

           

            “Ain’t this the next life?”

           

            The man looked at him for a moment with something resembling a blank stare.

           

            “Just go through the doors.”

 

            “No.” The Weirdo said. “Not until you tell me where I am now, if that’s the passage to the next life.”

 

            “Don’t you want to go to Heaven?” The man said. “You’re on the IN list. They’ll part the velvet rope for you when you come.”

           

            “If that’s the gateway,” The Weirdo said pointing towards the doors. “Then where am I now?”

           

            “We’ll be together, once we go through there.” Shannon said, in such a rehearsed way that she couldn’t have meant it.

 

            “It’s not like you have to go through a long judgment period or anything.” The man said.

 

            “Quit changing the subject.” The Weirdo said.

           

            “Will you just go through the damn doors?”

           

            “No.” The Weirdo said. He sat down on what he figured was probably only a metaphor for the floor.

           

            “Darling.” Shannon said. “We’ll be together forever.”

 

            “That’d be nice, if not for one problem. You’re not Shannon.” He said.

 

            She looked at the man in the silver chair who looked at The Weirdo and smiled uncomfortably. The man looked at The Weirdo and The Weirdo looked at him and then her. Now that they had gotten all the looking out of the way one of them had to speak.

           

            “Why do you say that?” He asked.

           

            “She’s too nice. Shannon would have simply clapped me over the head by now. She’s also trying to get me to go through the doors without telling me why. She’s some sort of composite made up out of my demented memories of her.”

 

            He wasn’t sure he really believed any of this, but it was as good an excuse as any. It did explain the feelings of wrongness he’d been having about the whole situation. If she hadn’t given him a signal when they’d first met, he might actually believe all of this. She was some sort of ringer and he knew it, that was all that was really important now. The man in the chair was proving him right with every gesture and reaction to what he was saying.

           

            “How could you say that?” She asked.

           

            “Why do you want me to go through the doors?” He asked her.

           

            “So we can be together.” She said.

           

            “We’re not together now?”

           

            “We can be together, forever.” She said.

           

            “I’m not dead yet.” The Weirdo announced.

           

            “You are.” The man in the silver chair said.

           

            “No, no, I’m not. My heart may have stopped, and my brain activity might be a flat line, but I’m not dead.”

 

            “You are dead.” The man in the silver chair said.

           

            “Where am I now?” His mind was suddenly filled with the fact that he had left the world with Loki in it.

           

            He suddenly remembered what it was he had to do. He had to jump, but not jump. Jump was just a place word, something like jump. He had to do a thing that was like jumping but wasn’t exactly jumping. Jump had been the word they used because their word didn’t exist in his language and they found something close.

           

            “The doorway to Heaven.” The man said.

           

            “Doors swing both ways.” The Weirdo said backing up.

           

            “You can’t go back.”

           

            “The hell I can’t.” The Weirdo said.

           

            “Funny you should say that.”

 

            He saw that the room was growing smaller. He turned and bolted towards the door. He knew that his feet were not even feet really, just a representation of feet, but you had to run if you were used to it. It looked like he was charging towards a blank wall, but there had to be an opening, he told himself that. A door made its presence known. He grabbed the handle, yanked the door open and stood for a moment because of the voice behind him.

 

            “You don’t want to go back.” The man said. He had gotten out of his chair and was standing behind The Weirdo. “Nothing will feel right. You’ll be out of place. You don’t belong there.”

           

            “Get on the clue bus, bub.” The Weirdo said half way between worlds. “I have never belonged there. I’ve always been out of place, and it hasn’t ever felt right. Not since she died.”

           

            He jumped though the door. More importantly, he jumped.

 

            Waveforms of probability opened, possibilities, some more eager and probable than others offered themselves eagerly. Some did not offer themselves as eagerly as others. The one with the flying monkeys and the man made of straw barely waved its hand while the possibility with the team of scientists who had found a way of bringing back the dead made a decent effort at campaigning itself. The waveforms rippled slightly as the doors closed behind him. It is interesting but an unimportant fact that the rippling waves of probability that occurred went through ut the entire space-time continuum and caused a man to spill some chemical on himself. The man called for his assistant who rushed to the room not because he heard the shouts but because the transmitting device they were working on had finally managed to work. Without The Weirdo’s rush through the door Elisa Grey would have been credited for the telephone. As I said, and interesting but unimportant fact that just points out how waves of probability work.

           

            “Well, well, well.” A small man of about the same stature and looks of a young Kenny Baker came walking into the room from the huge double doors, dwarfed all the more by the size of the doors.

 

            He stuffed a small silver pipe with some tobacco that looked like crumbled gold. He packed the tobacco down and looked at the man as he did so. He pulled out a match that appeared to be made of steel. He shook his head as he lit the match. He lowered the match into the bowl and took a few puffs. No matter how long he stood though, the match never burned down from its tip. He let out streams of perfectly white smoke and laughed.

 

            “What?” The man asked as he got back into his chair.

 

            “Didn’t get him to come in.” The small figure said.

           

            “No.” He said. “I didn’t.”

           

            “No.” The small man said taking a drag on his pipe, he seemed to be enjoying a private joke of his own creation. “I believe you owe me twenty quid.”

           

            “Yes, sir.” The man in the chair said holding out a twenty-pound note from the late eighteen thirties.

 

            “Thank you.” The little man said stuffing the money into his waistcoat.

 

            “Can’t understand it. I thought I had him.”

 

            “No.” The little white haired man said. “I’ll bet you can’t understand.”

 

            The small man laughed to himself and thought that putting the door back was quite a good joke on the taller man and was just enough of a push to protect him later if what he thought was coming actually did. He would need the political clout that came from saying he had helped The Weirdo’s side, if only a little bit.

 

 

October 28th, 2002

5:21 p.m.

 

            Jack was standing in the ballroom alone, looking down at the highly polished floor. In the dark marble, there was a twin, looking up at him as he looked down. A perfect twin. A near perfect twin at any rate, one that came from viewing one’s self in a marble floor.

 

            He was still wearing the blue and red material that formed the armor that had protected him for so long. The armor absorbed shocks and didn’t allow bullets or knives in. He stood, waiting for something to happen. He ran his fingers over the silk-like material and the plates under it. It was an armor, and he was a knight. He had been knighted after that nuclear fiasco in the eighties. He nearly laughed at the thought of himself as a modern knight in modern armor.

 

            He pulled the helmet of his suit off and ran his fingers through his hair. He looked down at the shadow that was cast on the marble. The lean figure, cape blowing gently in the breeze. He didn’t always wear the mask, but on the job he nearly always wore the armor. Which meant carrying the mask and gloves in a pocket at all times. The material was thin enough to allow this.

 

            He was beginning to think maybe they should leave town, run away. He had a family to think of and he was thinking of their safety. He suddenly became very angry. This group shouldn’t be chased off. They shouldn’t run like cowards, they should stand and fight. If that meant dying, then…

 

            Then his children wouldn’t have a father, or worse, they might be killed as well. He loved his children, more than anything. He’d taken great pains to spend as much time with them as was possible. He had given up almost all his other interests so that he could devote his time to his offspring. In the years to come they would remember that he had always had time for them, or he hoped they would. He couldn’t make orphans or worse victims of them at their age, it wasn’t right.

 

            He looked down again and once again sighed heavily. He had no idea what he was going to do now. He couldn’t really think at the moment, the thoughts came rushing at him too quickly and he couldn’t marshal them into place. He was worrying again about the fact that one day his body would take back all those years of youth he’d enjoyed. That one day he would begin to age and when he did he would age a hundred years in the span of eighteen months. He was worried that Alzheimer’s might already be setting in and that he was beginning to age, and would soon die. He didn’t know if it had begun yet and he hoped not. What he knew was that he was sure they had lost, he wasn’t sure of much else.

 

 

Date – Unspecified.

Time – Unspecified.

 

            He looked around him, and wondered which way was the best way to go. There could be something out there, some sort of true north he could walk towards. If he could find himself a compass, he could maybe head towards that north. He couldn’t for the life of him remember which way he was supposed to go, but he thought north was a good start.

 

            “If I knew where I was going I might start to get there.” He said.

 

 

© 2006 Autumn Knight Productions

 

August 30, 2013 - Posted by | Fiction | ,

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: