Brothers & Sisters – Chapter Seven: A New Twin (What again?)
This is basically an un-edited version of this book. There will be typos. There will be your/you’re errors, because I’m dyslexic as hell. Why am I posting it? I’ve more or less come to the conclusion that some major things needed to change, so I’m changing them. However, I like the old version and I already gave you Twins In Death in the old form, so have this one too. It doesn’t matter, the books are being re-written, so enjoy.
Brothers & Sisters
A Tale of The Weirdo
By Brett N. Lashuay
A New Twin (What again?)
April 1st, 2003
“Do we wanna talk here?” The Weirdo asked.
Both The Weirdo and The Gray man looked at each other and then at the group gathered around them. The gray man seemed to consider if he did or not, it was risky. He could have told them all, or he could have just told The Weirdo. He thought that maybe he should just tell The Weirdo. He looked at Max, and fixed on him a way to get them all to leave.
“Where is Azela, Max?”
“She said she was getting some things from her apartment this morning.”
“That was at about eight this morning and she’s not back? Don’t you think maybe some of you should go look for her?”
Kestrel and Max looked at each other and walked to the double doors of the dinning room. Darrian and Tommy also walked towards the doors, and after a moment of thought Cassimano walked after them.
“You need to go too Jack.” Marla said.
“Yes dear.” He said drawing his keys from his pocket.
“We should go look too.” Peidmont said.
“Alright.” Cydrill said.
“I’ll just ride with Tommy and Mike.” Marla said. “Come on Other.”
The Other jumped down from the table and left the room with the rest of them.
“Cleared the room pretty fast.” The Weirdo said. “So is this where we finally have that conversation you keep promising.”
“Yes.” The Gray man said. “It is.”
“So let’s start at the beginning.”
“In less than a month, if history goes the way it’s supposed to, you’ll be destroyed. Your spirit will be broken, you’ll lose most of your power, and this world will become a wasteland. I’ve been trying to make sure that wouldn’t happen.”
“Your plan is for this upcoming moment? Why’ve you been around for the last two years then?”
“I’m just trying to guide you away from mistakes.”
“How do you know about the mistakes?” The Weirdo asked, although he thought he knew.
“I went through them.” He said. “About twelve years ago in my personal time line I suppose.”
“Are you me?”
“One of you.” The Gray man said. “You’re actually my fifth attempt.”
“Fifth.” He said.
“Can we please begin at the beginning?”
“I am you, in a dimension or alternate time line, or whatever you want to call it. Our time lines do not converge; we are only each other in as much as we were both set to fill this spot. I failed to prevent the end of the world, more about that later. I was, ah, broken you might say. I lost most of the power I had and I was thrown away. The destroyer came, did his job, and the world was laid waste. As my world was being trashed, I was dragged away. I was dragged away from that world and brought to another one. I was healed, and some power was still with in me. I had a lot of time, lying in a bed healing, to think about where I had gone wrong. I analyzed the mistakes and missteps, and decided to see if I could alter the situation.”
“You came to meddle.” The Weirdo said.
“Yes.” The gray man agreed. “I tried direct confrontation, that didn’t work. That Weirdo was resentful that I’d medal and was subsequently killed. I tried to subtly turn another Weirdo without ever showing myself to him. That didn’t work he was also killed. I tried two more times, balancing my coverage. One was broken; the other killed himself after being broken. So then I came to you, and I’m trying again to direct you through subtle advice and through working behind the scenes to make you stronger, or at least better.”
“I’m a better Weirdo than you were?”
“That’s my hope.” The gray man said.
“So what did you do wrong?”
“Lots of things,” The Gray man said. “Some of them are still in your future, and a lot of the things that I’ve already done have lead to changes that aren’t in our time line. For instance, Loki didn’t fight me with that katana, he fought with that Viking sword.”
“But I shot that sword.” The Weirdo said.
“So he had to find a replacement.” The gray man said. “The fight between us took place in Bloomingdale’s, there were fifty-eight casualties.”
“But you arranged the factory for us.” The Weirdo said.
“I orchestrated a lot.”
“So why not warn me that Shannon was going to die?”
“Number two.” He said simply. “He ran downstairs, Loki shot him. Loki kidnapped Shannon and, you don’t want to know what happened.”
“You don’t want to know.”
“No I do.”
“Well I don’t want to tell it.” The gray man said, “I put two bullets in her myself to end her pain. Nothing in my life was so hard as that, so I had to let her die without you being in the line of fire. If Loki had shot you, you would have been too hurt to fight properly for too long. She always dies, no matter what I do. Her death is a constant.”
“Like the world being destroyed?” The Weirdo asked.
“We let the little sin go to prevent the big sin.”
“She’s not a little sin.” The Weirdo said standing up.
He was going to charge the Gray man, but saw the sorrow in his face. He’d loved Shannon as much as our Weirdo had. There had been that sorrow the morning that she’d died, when he had given The Weirdo the broach. The sorrow was a constant; it had always seemed to be there. He suddenly realized that this man had seen the love of his life die six times now. He could have done anything to stop her death, but had to let it happen. The Weirdo realized that even if the experience had nearly killed him, the gray man had let her die. He sat back down and looked at the elder version of himself with some awe.
“You came here to save me?” The Weirdo asked.
“And I’ve had The Other for a few months now to help.”
“She helped?” The Weirdo asked.
“When Loki was about to kill you, Chronos stopped the universal clock. The Other fast wound you’re personal clock to make you operate in the universe that much faster. She’s been watching you since Shannon died, she was there when it happened.”
“To understand the story.” The Gray man said. “She needed to know what made you what you are.”
“And besides my daughter, what is she?”
“She’s not really your daughter.”
“I thought we’d agreed she was.”
“She’s not your daughter, she is the daughter of The Weirdo. She exists in
potentia, lets remember she’s four years old. She exists four years in your future she doesn’t actually exist yet. She is a daughter of you, but not you as you, a future you.”
“And she’s somebody’s plan.”
The gray man froze, turning slowly to look at The Weirdo. He could see it now, the movements, and the attitude. It was like what The Weirdo imagined talking with his father would be like if his father hadn’t died so long ago. The Gray man pulled a chair out and sat down across from The Weirdo.
“What do you know about a plan?” The Gray man asked.
“You know about the plan.” The Weirdo said, smiling. “And Eoster didn’t tell you she told me.”
“What about the plan?”
“Something about a child being conceived before I was broken.”
“You’re not going to be broken.” The elder said.
“If nothing else, I’ve always learned from my mistakes. You are not going to break, that’s my little conspiracy. I’ve had some help in this area, and we’ve decided you’re not to be broken. You’re stronger than any other Weirdo there has ever been. The fact that The Other can even exists in potentia is an improvement of epic proportions.”
“What plan is she?”
“A particular group of deities wants to create a powerful being that can heal the rifts between the Gods. Set right a lot of wrongs, that sort of thing. She’s supposed to help bring everyone together. She’s a diplomat.”
“Is she that?”
“I’m not sure, she could be.”
“I am not convinced either way. We’ll have to wait and see what she grows to be. She has power, she has intellect, and she can heal. I’m not sure that means she’s what Aph wants her to be. She might be another link in this chain of powerful beings. She might be the end result like Aph thinks she is.”
“Who is her grandma?”
“Well, your mother.”
“No.” The Weirdo said. “She refers to you as grandpa, so who is her grandma.”
“Not your Grandma.” He said. “She’s referring to my, ah, how do I put this?”
“The woman you’re with?” The Weirdo asked.
“Yeah.” The gray man said. “Only she’s not a woman, he’s Aphrodite.”
“You’re fucking the Greek goddess of love?”
“Passion.” The gray-eyed man said. “Not love, passion.”
“You’re fucking a Greek goddess?” The Weirdo asked again.
“Yes.” The gray man said. “I see no reason to put it so crudely, but yes.”
“Good lord and butter.” The Weirdo said leaning back in his chair.
“Why bother with this program if you already have the kid?”
“Because if you don’t conceive, you won’t have a child.” He explained. “You’ve got to do the deed with the proper woman, or there will be no child.”
“Well, we don’t want Lilith having control of the baby.”
“You don’t know?” The Gray man asked.
“No, it might be different here.” The gray man said.
“She and I ended up fighting on opposite sides. She seduced me, sapped my will, that was a good bit about how I was broken.”
“So I could keep her on our side.” The Weirdo said. “It’s possible?”
“Anything is possible, probable is a stickier word. Still, so long as you haven’t slept with her we’ll be alright.”
“Ah.” The Weirdo said, a bit guiltily.
“You already have.” The Gray man said.
“Was it good?”
“Is that any business of, um, mine?”
“It was very enjoyable, yes, thank you for asking.”
“I suppose that’s what’s important then isn’t it?”
“Are we fucked then?”
“Hard to say.” The Gray man said. “I first had her in her apartment, the day you walked away.”
“So for all of that you…”
“Yes.” He said. “I did.”
“Yes.” The gray man said.
April 1st, 2003
The car had been hit; although the car that did the hitting was not in evidence. It had been hit, and either the force of the offending car or just inertia made the car slide ten feet from the intersection. The side of the car had crumpled, folded in by the force of another car. Tommy got out of the midnight blue sedan, looking at the car. He reached into his coat, pulling out the Ruger forty-five and his communicator. He aimed the gun at the car, because there was nothing else to aim at.
“Sodbuster, I’ve found the car. Repeat found the car.”
“Ten four pig pen.” Jacks voice came over.
“Where are you?” Max’s voice cut in.
“Track me.” Tommy said pressing a button on the side of the communicator.
There was a lot of oil and other car fluids on the ground where the car had been hit. Tommy walked around the broken glass, although he wasn’t quite sure why. There couldn’t be integrity of the crime scene when there was no one left to think about crime scenes. If anyone later asked him he would have been quite incapable of defending his actions. He walked around the spilled fluids any way, noting the long stream of oil that had dribbled towards him from the car. The car that had done the hitting must have spilt oil as well as a large black patch sat a few feet from where the car’s final resting place had been. It wouldn’t have gotten far, unless some one towed it away. He could go and look for it later if he needed to, there was a trail.
As he walked to the car, a large black bird leapt up from the drivers seat and stood on the window frame. It looked at Tommy with its small eyes and cawed. Tommy jumped back half a foot and nearly shot the bird. He then walked towards the bird and gave it a suggestion to be elsewhere. The bird flapped its wings and flew from the window. It made Tommy’s stomach sink to see that bird, and he walked towards the smashed door with trepidation. He still held the gun up, just in case some one was hiding on the seat with a shotgun ready. He didn’t really believe that there was any living form in that car now though. His worst fears where confirmed when he looked into the window. She lay across both seats, a lot of blood sprayed across the opposite door. He looked at the back seat, making sure it was empty.
There were two bullet holes in her head, though the first one most likely did the trick. It was a signal though, that they had been serious. He turned away, looking at the midnight blue sedan that hung back from the carnage of another automobile. He didn’t blame it really. The car could see the damage well enough from where it was; it didn’t need to draw in any further. He walked to the sedan and sat down on its hood, waiting for the rest of the group to arrive.
The city was quite, silent even. He listened to the air around him, and he didn’t hear anything. The city was never silent, not like this. Living in a city one must become accustomed to the constant din of city life. New York was possibly the loudest place on earth if you gave it the right day. Now it was the quietest, there weren’t even animals about. That was what really got him, the lack of animals. He could handle the loss of a few billion people, but the animals were a real blow. Yet Bagheera and Minga had stayed, so maybe there were others.
There was that black bird though, where had that come from? There shouldn’t be any large black birds, should there? He found himself thinking about Randal Flagg, the man who could become a bird. He looked over his shoulder looking for a large raven or crow. There was no bird, but that didn’t mean Flagg wasn’t around.
April 1st, 2003
D’var Cassimano had gotten lost, but he didn’t let it worry him unduly, he looked out the window of his car at an interesting site. A man was standing at a peanut stand all alone. He was an elderly man, wearing the sort of cap that the elderly and players of golf are want wear. He looked at this old man, in his once white apron, his jacket over it. He was just an old man, who somehow was still here.
Cassimano opened the door and looked to his left, then his right before crossing the street. It occurred to him, half way across the street, what a silly thing this was to do. There weren’t likely to be any other cars, and he’d defiantly hear them in this quite. He approached the man, who looked up and smiled at him.
“Hello sir.” The man said with a thick Romanian accent.
“What have we got?” Cassimano asked, looking at the sign. “Peanuts, one dollar.”
“That’s right sir.” The man said.
“Give me a bag then.” Cassimano said drawing out a five-dollar bill.
“Yes sir.” The man opened a door on the glass container and grabbed a metal scoop. He dug it in and lifted the full scoop, a few of the warm nuts spilling away. The old man took a white paper bag and slid the scoop into the bag, spilling the nuts in. He then shoveled in a second time and brought out another scoop full. “One dollar sir.”
“Keep the change.” Cassimano said exchanging the bill for the bag.
“Thank you sir.” The man said.
“Slow day?” Cassimano said.
“Last few days.” The man said. “How am I to pay my bills I ask?”
“I’m sure it will pick up again in a few days.” Not adding that if it didn’t the old man wouldn’t have anything to worry about anyway.
Cassimano walked away, leaving the man behind. He thought about the genial man, and how he hadn’t even noticed the gun on his right hip or the rapier on his left. Cassimano, as he broke one of the nuts open and spilled the contents into his mouth, wondered about why such a man might be left. There could have been something genetic, or maybe he was insane. He hadn’t acted like there was anything odd about a man wearing a sword or energy pistol on the street after all. Maybe there was a certain amount of madness that let a person stick around during this game, if that was what it was. He thought back to those days, when the creators had given him his immortality.
There had been so few of them, and none of the farmers had lived. No one who wasn’t part of the warring camps stayed. There had been less and less of the camp followers every day as well. The people had continued to vanish until they had lost. When the sky had turned to black ash and the ground had shattered. There had been no place to go, so they’d retreated to the Darkened Hall.
The creators, those beautiful lovers, had offered them a chance. They’d send them to another world they had made, and return one day. That had been five millennia ago, and Cassimano hadn’t grown any older. He sometimes felt like he was already dead, and he was in some sort of hell. It wasn’t that he disliked this place, but he was so tired of living.
There had been nothing new for so long, that he’d just about given up on ever having something that would spark his interest again. He was so lost in thought that he never saw the people in their jumpsuits. They had been watching him, following him, and now they rushed him. His head rose to look as he heard the rush of footsteps, and then five thousand years of experience abandoned him.
He saw the automatic rifles, but didn’t do anything about them. He was lifted off his feet when the guns went off, and was thrown against a wall. He collapsed to the ground, and they rushed foreword. He was kicked in the head and some one grabbed at his side, and then they were gone.
It took a moment for the wounds in his side to heal, in which he sat up and looked at the fleeing figures. One of them had an object in their hands that was familiar, it was a sword, and it was Coast Runner! He reached to his side, only to confirm that the sword was gone. They’d left him with his scabbard, but they had taken his sword. Those little bastards shot him and stole his sword.
He reached down to his right hip and drew of his Specter 91 energy pistol. He pressed the arm button that switched the unit on. The bright blue light told him that he had a full charge on the power chip. He ran down the street, gun ready to fire. He turned the corner only to find that the street was empty.
“My sword.” He said. “Those little bastards took my sword.”
April 1st, 2003
“Damn it!” Max said, punching the side of the car and screaming. “Mother fucking damn it!”
“Calm down.” Kestrel said touching his arm.
“I will not calm down!” Max shouted. “She shouldn’t be dead.”
Tears were welling up in his eyes; they spilled out and dripped across his cheeks. He kicked the car savagely and then hit it with the palm of his hand. He wiped quickly at his face, pushing the tears away.
“She shouldn’t be dead.” Max said.
“I agree.” Jack said.
“We need to figure out who did it.” Kestrel said.
“Those fucking System people.” Max said. “Why don’t we just go get them now?”
“She’s a System member.” Kestrel said. “Could have been the Power. They’re supposed to be in open war now.”
“Let’s just get them all then!” Max said, his frustration clearly rising.
“Mother fuckers!” Cassimano’s voice came up from the various places each person had put their communicators.
“That you Pretty Boy?” Tommy asked.
“Mother fucking son’s of bitches stole my sword.”
“Not quite getting that, say again Pretty Boy.”
“I was just shot, with machine guns.” Cassimano said. “They shot me and took my sword and ran.”
“Where are you?”
“A few blocks away from Time Square. I got lost.”
“We’ll come get you.” Tommy said.
“Can you get back to the house?” The Weirdo asked.
“Yeah, I think I can get back.” Cassimano said.
“Just do that then. I think we should all get back home, all of us.”
“Do you think they have their pens on them Rubber Duck?” Tommy asked.
“I certainly hope so Pig Pen.”
April 1st, 2003
Tommy and The Weirdo stood on the small bridge, under which the stream passed. They were looking out at the city, whose lights were bright.
“They haven’t called?” The Weirdo asked.
“I told you about how Sheila called.” Tommy said. “And then Judy called.”
“I meant since we gave the code phrase.”
“No.” Tommy said.
“Maybe they didn’t get it.” The Weirdo said
“Maybe they don’t want to come home.” Tommy said.
“We don’t want to start on that.” The Weirdo said.
“She said she’d done something unforgivable.” Tommy said.
“Anything you can think of that’s unforgivable?”
“Not off the top of my head.”
“So when she gets back you can explain that.”
“She won’t be coming back.”
“She will.” The Weirdo said.
“Should we go get them?” Tommy asked.
The Weirdo didn’t say anything for a long moment. He took in a deep breath and let it out slowly. He bit his bottom lip and tapped his fingers on the stone of the balustrade. He was actually considering it.
“It would garner us a lot of attention.” He said.
“And we’re very few.” Tommy said.
“We are few,” He said, “But we are also on an island of our own. We can turn this place into a fortress, or we have the hole. We could defend ourselves against most anything.”
“But we’d fail in our stated goal of not ending the world.”
“I know.” The Weirdo said.
“You want to get them back though.” Tommy said.
“Yes I do.”
“There is one other thorny issue there.”
“What if they don’t want to come back?” Tommy asked.
The Weirdo didn’t say anything to that he just sat in silence.
“I said that too.” Tommy said.
“It’s a problem.” The Weirdo said.
“I couldn’t force them home.”
“No, I suppose we couldn’t.”
“We have to wait this out.”
“At least we don’t need to be overly concerned for their physical safety. They’re spiritually fragile I’ll admit, but they’re strong girls.”
“Yes they are.” Tommy admitted.
“Who keeps turning all those lights on?” The Weirdo asked. “There are lights out there that aren’t automatic, who keeps turning them on?”
“Maybe they really do just turn themselves on.” Tommy said.
April 1st, 2003
Max was sitting in a swiveling office chair, rocking back and forth. His hand was clenched into a fist and he was bouncing it off his lips. He looked at Kestrel who was searching through a few files. The internet still worked, that was something anyway. He wasn’t concerned with what she was looking up, he was just angry.
“You know what I’d like to do?” He asked.
“Hmm?” She muttered
“I think we should get a car, and roam the streets looking for trouble. If they’re going to bring the war to us, we should take the fight to them.”
“I’m not sure that’s the best of ideas.” She said,
“It beats sitting around here.” He said.
“That may be true.” She said. “It wouldn’t be prudent though.”
“Prudence is annoying.” He said.
“Possibly.” She conceded.
“They just shot her.” He said. “You know what it’s like, seeing some one you’ve been close to like that.”
“Yes.” She said. “Though in my case it was followed by two months of physical therapy. I couldn’t just go out and start shooting people right away.”
“You didn’t get to kill him.” Max said. “Did you want to?”
“I got to shoot him.” She said. “I enjoyed shooting him. I think I would actually have enjoyed killing him. Wasn’t in the cards though, unfortunately.”
“Maybe he’ll manage to come back and you can kill him.”
“I prefer to live a world where I know Loki is dead.”
April 1st, 2003
Diana was looking over some papers when Angel burst into her office. The smell of cloves was so sudden and over whelming that Diana nearly swooned. She watched as the raven-haired girl walked into the office and towards her desk.
“They’ve come back.” Angel said.
Diana dropped the papers and stood up. She followed the agitated Angel out of the office and into the lobby of this particular set of offices. She followed the clouds of clove smoke like a caboose behind a powerful locomotive. They turned the corner and saw what was left of their infiltration party.
She couldn’t tell if it was Janice or Mary who they had brought back. The brown haired girl’s face had been beaten beyond any useful recognition. Then there was the fact that the two women supporting her had only her. They had sent two girls, young, new to the group. They hadn’t had their ink yet, they’d been certain of that.
“Who is it?” Diana asked.
“Mary,” One of the women helping support her said.
“Dead.” The other one said.
Diana clapped her hand over her mouth, and tears spilled from her eyes.
“Take her to the doctors.” Angel said. “Don’t stand around here.”
The two went back to the office and Diana broke down crying. Angel waited a long while for Diana to gain her composure back. She pushed a box of tissues her way while she called Peach down to the office. Peach would have already gone to bed, and probably have been asleep by now, but this warranted waking her up for. Diana had nearly regained her composure by the time that Peach entered the office.
“Janice is dead, Mary’s been pretty badly gone over.” Angel said as Peach entered the office.
“I sent them in there.” Diana said, sobbing. “I got them to go.”
“They knew what they were doing.” Peach said. “You can’t blame yourself.”
“I can and I will.” Diana said, grabbing another fist full or tissues.
“No you can’t.” Angel said. “You’ve got to spend time thinking about how they were burned.”
“Who knew they were there?” Peach asked.
“Just us.” Diana said. “But that doesn’t mean that they didn’t blow their own cover on accident.”
“We should have trained them more.” Peach said.
“Nothing more we could have done.” Angel said, shaking her head.
“Could some one have told? Figured it out? It’s not like they were never seen around here.”
“You’re suggesting that some one is inside here.” Angel said.
“Maybe.” Diana said.
“Any thoughts on who?” Peach asked.
“Sheila is probably a plant.” Angel said. “But she’s just a plant for The Weirdo’s people. She wouldn’t hurt us.”
“I don’t think so.” Peach said. “I think she’s genuine.”
“We’ll jut have to wait.” Diana said. “We’re done for unless the home office sends us those people we need.”
“Or we can manage to sue for peace.” Peach said.
“They won’t allow that.” Diana said.
“They might.” Peach said. “Besides, we’re both waiting for the Destroyer. The Oracle said there could be some future to that.”
“I doubt they’d listen.” Diana said.
“Were they able to give us any information?” Peach asked.
“Never got near enough.” Angel said. “So were stuck with the same rumors we had when we started.”
“They couldn’t make the Loki Project work could they?”
“They very well might.” Diana said.
April 1st, 2003
Judy was wrapped in a white robe, she hadn’t been surprised to find that the building had been converted and had floors of living space. What had surprised her was that none of it was private. People were encouraged to consider everything communal here, weather it was the beds, showers or each other. She had been in the shower when Eve had come to get her, claiming she had a surprise. When she came down there were the ten or fifteen women she usually saw when Eve did something important. There were another five or ten women standing around. She knew they were waiting for something, but no one had told her what.
They were waiting for him to come from the room, to have his unveiling. He was naked, still dripping the water that he had been showered with. They had sprayed him down after he’d stepped out of the tube. The water had been nearly scalding, and caused steam to rise up off his body. He was taller than the original, six feet tall exactly. He was also more muscular looking.
“And here he is.” Eve said as he emerged.
“Oh my god.” Judy says. “He’s beautiful.”
“He is isn’t he?” Eve said walking toward him.
She leaned against the hard lean body, tracing the line of his stomach and up his chest. He looked like an athlete, but not a body builder. He was muscular but not so much as to be over built in any way. He was in shape hardened and strong, but hadn’t put on the muscle so many seemed to search for. His hair was a bright red color, almost the same as Judy’s own.
“He looks just like The Weirdo.” Judy said, even though she thought he looked a little different.
“We made improvements.” Eve said, still leaning her body against the man that was a steady as a post. “He’s taller you see, and we made his hair red. What’s really important is what we did inside. The first Loki was unpredictable, a full-blown psychotic. He became a serial killer you know.”
“I know.” Judy said, barely paying attention. She was watching his movements, mesmerized by him.
“We made this one more easy to control, better suited to our needs. Aren’t you dear?”
“Yes ma’am.” He said.
“Can I ride him?” Judy asked, somewhat impetuously.
“Oh yes.” Eve said. “I want to see this.”
Loki walked toward Judy and lifted her up in his arms. He pressed her against the wall, slipping the robe apart. She wrapped her legs around him and held on as he raised her up to a more advantageous position. She gasped loudly as he began and the women around them cheered as he pistoned his hips against hers.
It was the beginning of a long night for him, she hadn’t released when she asked that everyone in the System apparently would then want a turn. She watched as the groups began to warm each other up for their turn. She wrapped the robe around her and left soon after.
She couldn’t help feeling badly about it really, once she’d left the room. She almost couldn’t control herself when she was around them. They had enabled her to let something loose within her, but they were useless in helping her put it back. They didn’t want to put it back; they wanted it out to be used. She looked down the hall, listening to the chorus of cheers that nearly drowned out the moans, and felt like she wanted to go home. These people had used her, but hadn’t she been used at home? If she was going to be used then why not here? It was hours later when she had tried to go to bed that he came to her again.
“Can I come in?” Loki had asked when she was drawing the sheets to her.
“Yeah.” She said. “Are you alone?”
“Yeah.” He said, “It’s just me.”
“Did they give you a good going over?” She asked.
“It doesn’t matter.”
He sat down on the bed, and drew his legs in so that his chin rested on his knees. When she had first seen him, he looked so powerful, so beast like in his nudity. He looked the way a wolf looks when it leaps into a fold of sheep. He was still naked, but now he looked vulnerable, not powerful.
“I’m remembering things.” He said. “Tube memories I know. Implanted to make me able to function without having to teach me everything and developing at a regular rate. There was a person in the memories, a woman I fell in love with.”
“Oh?” She asked.
“She was a former prostitute, some one had killed her pimp and made her stay with them. In the tube I fell in love with her, and I think she loved me. I wanted to keep her safe, from ever having to live that sort of life again. When I came out of the tube, I saw her. I threw her up against a wall and gave her my first expression of lust. Now that I’ve performed for the rest, I want to make an expression of love.”
He looked so small, so innocent, so lost. She reached out for him and held his head to her breast. She drew him into the bed, and gave herself to him again. Had she known that there was a camera watching them, she might have done differently. It’s hard to say though.
“You gave her him as a first love?” The leader of the System asked Eve.
“Yes my lady.” Eve said. “We thought that it would help drive a wedge if we could engender some feelings between the two of them.”
“Dose he even know why he exists?” The lady asked.
“No my lady.” Eve said. “He thinks he’s to help us destroy The Weirdo.”
“I suppose in a way he is.” The lady said, watching Eve. “Can she even conceive a child?”
“We’re not sure.” Eve said. “But you and I can, we’re matched if she fails.”
“True enough.” The lady said.
Eve watched her lady’s blue eyes as they swirled away into green.
“I thought you’d had some success with the real thing though my lady.” Eve said.
“I haven’t conceived yet though.” Lilith said. “I’ll have to get him a few more times. Or get a sample that we can manipulate ourselves.”
“If you can get enough of his seed, we can intercede in the conception.” Eve told her.
“I’d need help for that.” She said.
“You could take one or two of the girls. Present it as an interesting challenge for him. You did say he’d do what ever you suggested.”
“Yes he did.” Lilith said, a smile playing at the corners of her lips. “He won’t be tied up though.”
“No.” Eve said. “He wouldn’t. A big strong man like that doesn’t get tied up.”
“Everything else though.” Lilith said, smiling at the memory. “You think he’d do it?”
“Yes.” Eve said. “You bring another girl, one you’re familiar with, and let him discover that she’s already there when he arrives. I think you’d find most men would leap at the chance.”
“He’s not most men.” Lilith said.
“No.” Eve said. “He’s more than most men, you’ll be stroking his ego and he’ll be all yours.”
She looked at the screen, where Judy had mounted the new Loki and was craning her head back. She watched with dispassion, as the two writhed together. She hadn’t liked the idea of another Loki, after they had made the first one and then had to rush Virgil into production to hunt him down. That fiasco had nearly cost them the entire project.
“I’ll see who I can bring along then.” Lilith said. “Some one I’m familiar with eh?”
“So that the only one feeling and fumbling along is him? You two will already know how to please each other, and pleasing a man is like petting a dog. Any one of your regular girls knows how to take care of whatever needs a man might come up with.”
“I’ll look into it.” Lilith was still watching the screen. “She fucks like a minx doesn’t she?”
“Yes.” Eve said. “She holds nothing back, no thought but to serve. By tomorrow morning, she’ll do anything we suggest in the vaguest way I think. There may be a little more conditioning, but frankly she wasn’t very tough to crack in the first place.”
April 1st, 2003
The Weirdo slid the door open so carefully that there was hardly any sound at all, and he saw the lump in the bed. A child reading with a flashlight caused the lump of blanket. He veritably slid across the floor, barely touching and making no noise. He could hear the shuffling of paper as she turned the page of the book. His hand touched the blanket and pulled it away.
She looked up at him, her face guilty, and smiled. The book was a tome of Nietzsche, and she was reading with a pink hand held flashlight that had a small Japanese cartoon cat on it. He looked at her and she shined the light on his face to see his expression. He was smiling, quite kindly in fact, but she knew she was in trouble
“You went to bed three hours ago.” He said.
“Yeah.” She said.
“And you were supposed to be asleep.”
“Yeah.” She said.
“But you’re sitting up reading.”
“Yeah.” She said nodding.
He reached down, and plucked the flashlight and book from her. He looked at the book, and then at her. He took a paper bookmark from the nightstand next to her bed and slipped the marker into the book and closed it. He then turned the flashlight off, and placed it down on the nightstand where she might find it if she really needed it.
“I’m going to leave the book and flashlight.” He said. “Because I trust that you’re going to go to bed and go to sleep now.”
“Okay.” She said.
“I’m not going to take your book away or anything like that. That would be petty.”
“Right.” She agreed.
“Lay down.” He told her.
She lay her head down on her pillow and he pulled the blankets up to her chin. He then gently stroked some hair from her face, and ran his finger along her chin. Her eyes seemed to sparkle somehow in the dark, and she touched his hand.
“I can’t say that if your supposed to be my daughter or not.” The Weirdo said. “I’ve only got the most scant bits of information.”
“I know.” She said.
“But I think we should probably proceed in a manner that suggests that you are. That way if it turns out to be true, then no time lost. If it turns out to be false, there is no harm in caring.”
“Okay.” She said.
“Part of that however, begins with you not staying up reading all the time. Little people like you should sleep at night. They should also not be reading Stephen Hawking.”
“Should I be reading the brave little bunny?”
“I was just informing the audience through vocal cue who you were reading.” He said.
“But it’s Nietzsche.” She said.
“The problem here is that you’re up three hours past your bed time, not the subject matter.”
“Okay Weirdo.” She said.
“You go to sleep now.”
“Alright.” She said.
He stood up and left the room, not quite closing the door behind him. Leaving it just unlatched so she could leave the room more easily if she wanted to. He left the room and looked at the two cats who were lounging in the hall. He signaled his head into the room and Minga stood and walked through the door, laying down half way between the bed and the door. Bagheera walked into the room and leapt up on the bed with the little girl.
For her part, The Other curled her self into a little ball and smiled brightly as she began to go to sleep. She had been reading late into the night for so long, waiting for some one to care enough to tell her to stop. No one had ever given her rules or boundaries, and now she was to have some. She smiled brightly as she began to loose consciousness, feeling loved for the first time.
April 2nd 2003
He reached out and touched the lamp, turning the switch. It wouldn’t turn on; he turned it again and again. There was light, but he couldn’t see what light was on. There wasn’t enough light either just enough to barely see. He flipped the switch near the door, again nothing happened. Then he heard the crack of a machine gun and his lover’s scream.
The Weirdo was running towards her, while she collapsed in slow motion. Shannon’s body was collapsing, and there was a spray of blood on the curtains. He leapt to catch her, but the world slowed around him until it stopped. A buzzing filled his ears and everything but he and Shannon melted away. He could see her and he could see himself outside of himself. The buzzing grew louder, and she was gone.
He was in his bed, and he could see the world around him but he was paralyzed. He couldn’t move, just a tiny shifting of his limbs. The buzzing sound grew into laughter of about ten or fifteen children, and some sort of talking. It was a vocalization anyway, like a priest speaking Latin backwards. He couldn’t understand any of the talking or why anyone was laughing at him. Worse now he couldn’t even shift his limbs, they wouldn’t move at all. He looked all around him, there was light but none of the lights were on. The babbling priest began to talk louder and louder. He opened his mouth to scream; to call out, nothing came. The panic built in him, trying to break out. He could feel his lungs rasp and his heart was beating so hard it was all he could hear in his ears now. The terror crawled up his body and he could feel himself drowning.
Then he woke up.
He didn’t make any large movement, jut a little jumping motion. He lay still in his bed, experimentally moving his legs one at a time and trying out his arms. He was surprised at how slow his breathing actually was and that his heart was slowly thumping away at it’s normal pace. He sat up in bed, and looked around the empty room. He touched the lamp next to his bed and it switched on. He breathed a sigh as the light came from the lamp. The lights never worked in his dreams, so he must be awake now.
April 2nd, 2003
The Weirdo was sitting at a table with a lint proof cloth before him. On the cloth were the disassembled remains of one of his forty-five automatics. He had freshly cleaned and oiled the pistol, and was just beginning to put it back together. He had customized the interior workings of the pistol, adding stronger springs and reworking the feeding mechanism slightly. He slid the weapon back together gently, working the slide a few times to make sure the gun had been lubricated properly.
He looked at the ammunition clip and slid it gently into the weapon. He pulled back the slide, priming a round into the chamber. He then looked at the weapon, contemplating it. The nineteen eleven model forty-five automatic is not, by conventional standards, a perfect gun. John Browning, who designed the gun, even admitted its design flaws and corrected many of them before his death. It was the best gun at its time and many like The Weirdo still hung onto it. Besides, there was something about the old Colt that the current style of guns couldn’t match. He disliked the fashion that Glock had started for making pistols look like blocks. He much preferred the older, rounded look. There was something less mechanical about the look to him. There was also something classic feeling about the long barreled colt. He didn’t care how many people came along with their chrome covered barrettes or their black on black plastic Glocks. He liked his blue steel colt with its wooden scales. There was something about the pistol that gave him a sense of security.
“Cleaning?” Max asked as he walked into the room.
“Just done.” The Weirdo said pushing the safety into place and slipping the gun against his left rib cage.
April 2nd 2003
Loki was shirtless, wearing only a pair of silk pants. They were the pants from a pair of pajamas, the top of which Judy was wearing. The shirt and pants were both bright red, with a purple trim. He was lightly moving around a pair of opponents, stabbing at them with a foil. They were both garbed in more traditional fencing gear, and held foils that were longer and more substantial than his. He moved quickly around them though, scoring points every few seconds according to those who watched. Judy clapped her hands and cheered enthusiastically every time he scored another hit. More skilled fencers were brought, and he quickly out fenced them as well.
“Well I think we’ve proved our point.” Eve said, walking into the ring. “You’re skills do correspond with what we would expect.”
“Thank you ma’am.” He said, running his hand through his sweat soaked hair.
“When do we start?” Judy asked.
“Not yet.” Eve said. “Our lady has decreed that The Weirdo must be given a chance first.”
“He won’t take it.” Judy said.
“She thinks he might.” Eve said. “Besides, we must follow what our lady says or where would we be?”
April 2nd, 2003
The Weirdo was sitting in front of the house, sitting in fact on the rim of the pool where the fountain of Arthur was. As he had done several times before he looked at the large bronze statue of Arthur drawing the sword from the stone. It was such an apocryphal statue, so incredibly wrong. It showed Arthur as a man, and already a king with a crown on his head. He wore the mail of a knight and had a beard on his face, how could he be drawing the sword from the stone?
The stone itself was a large anvil; the place where the sword was being drawn from was one of the main sprays of water. It sprayed strait up from the spot and was deflected by the sword so that it sprayed over Arthur, the sword and the pool of the fountain. It was as if they had exchanged light for water and let it spray out from the stone.
It was such a wrong statue though, for a start it’s generally regarded that Arthur was a boy when he drew the stone. He was a youth, with no beard and it was the drawing of the sword that made him king. He looked at the statue and shook his head to how wrong it all was. This was some sort of Hollywood version of the story.
There was the sound of descending scales, which he couldn’t quite place, and then the phone in his pocket buzzed three times, vibrating against his leg. He pulled the cell phone out of his pocket and looked at the number. He didn’t recognize the number, and it hadn’t been previously saved as anyone’s phone number. He pressed the accept button anyway, because who knew?
“Hello.” He said, holding the phone to his ear.
“Weirdo?” Lilith’s voice came to his ear.
“Hi.” He said.
“How are you doing?” She asked.
“I’m alright.” He said. “Is this you’re regular number?”
“Yeah.” She said. “It’s my cell phone, you can call me here. Do you need the number?”
“No, I’ll save it when we’re done talking.”
“What are you doing this after noon?”
“Nothing much.” He said, trying to think.
He wasn’t doing anything was he? He was going to sit around and wait for some one to do something. He was going to wait for one side or the other to do something. He could manage to spend a few hours with a member of the Crusade group though, couldn’t he?
“I haven’t seen you for a couple of days now.” She said.
“We were busy yesterday.” He said, hoping that didn’t sound too much like an excuse.
“I understand,” She said, “But I’d like to see you again, and if you’re not doing anything today…” She let the phrase drop.
“Well where are you now?”
“I’ll be at my apartment in about five minuets, I’ve just finished some shopping.”
“You can shop at a time like this?”
“Much more easily.” She said laughing. “There aren’t any lines, you don’t have to pay, and traffic is such a breeze. I just got some new shoes and some food for a lovely lunch for two.”
“I think I can be over in about twenty minuets.” He said.
“I’ll be waiting for you.” She said.
He hung the phone up and saved the number, attaching Lilith’s name to it. It was then that he realized he didn’t even know her last name. He would have to just save it under Lilith for now then. He would have to find her full name out, as well as some other details. He couldn’t come up with much about her, so he would have to find it out. He wondered how much she really knew about him, how much research had she done?
April 2nd, 2003
Lilith opened the door when The Weirdo knocked, and his heart twisted in his chest. He could almost be said to have been struck breathless, but he was breathing quite a lot really, very deeply too. He hadn‘t felt like this in a long time, not since… well for a while. She was beautiful, and she filled the world for him at that moment. For one of the few times since she had been torn from him, he didn’t see Shannon’s face. Her royal blue eyes were, for that moment replaced by a pair that could never decide on what color they wanted to be.
She wore a long black sleeveless dress, of the variety that had no shoulder straps. She had done her hair in a way that made her look, particularly in the dress, like a vamp from a film noir. Her olive green eyes swirled into a deep violet. He felt distinctly underdressed, in his pants, t-shirt and long sleeved shirt. His trench coat covered what he was now thinking of as a sorry mess of a man. There was nothing printed on the t-shirt, it wasn’t that kind of shirt. It was a short-sleeved shirt with a few buttons so as to create a closed v-neck. The shirt was a gray dress shirt, but he hadn’t buttoned it closed, rather just slung it on like the slackers of old. She pursed her lips when she saw him and leaned forward. He kissed her, and they pulled themselves closer to each other.
“Do you want to eat first?” She asked, her eyes fading to a cream color. “Or would you rather take me on the floor and let it get cold?”
“Is it ready now?” He asked.
“Yes.” She said.
“Can it be re-heated and still be palatable?”
“Let it get cold then.”
Which they did, though not on the floor. The floor was made of hardwood planks, which creates bruises on tender flesh. There is no real advantage to sex on the floor if you can see the bed from where you are. He lifted her up in his arm and carried her towards the bed.
They lay quietly in her bed, looking out at Central Park. She had a view, which let her see the length of the park, which from here looked like a narrow corridor. Actually from the position that they were in on the bed, all they could see was the narrow corridor of the buildings that lifted around the park.
They hadn’t made love at the furious pace they had done on their last meeting. The first night had been about release of pent up feelings, for both of them. Neither had been close to some one for so long that their first evening had been about animal passions. This was more about getting the tension out of the air, so they could then relax. They had gotten the need for each other out of the way, and could talk now.
He hadn’t noticed before, but her eyes changed color faster the more excited she got. It was like it was attached to heartbeat or something. The more calm and relaxed she was, the less frequently and slower they changed. He wondered about what might make them change color like that, it was enchanting.
They lay on the bed, sated for the moment, and talked to each other. They didn’t talk about what each of them had been doing the last few years, but about the past. She told him about the plant workers in Oslo who had raised her, about her grunge period in the early nineties. She explained how she wore the same pair of black boots that her father had worn when he had been a punk in the mid seventies.
“I still have those boots you know.” She said. “They’re in an apartment in Paris, but I have them.”
“Do they still fit?”
“They never fit.” She said with a giggle. “I had to stuff news paper down them to make them hold my feet. I have very dainty feet you see?”
She held her leg up for examination, showing him the foot at the end. It didn’t look any more or less dainty than any other feet he’d seen. Her toes wriggled back and forth. He wasn’t much on feet though, so that was part of the issue.
“I’m no expert on feet.” He said.
“Well they’re very dainty.” She said, closing her eyes to slits and nodding. She was trying to look as authoritative as possible, though all she managed was cute. “Take my word for it.”
“Okay.” He said.
“It was embarrassing, because the thing was at that time, not to tie the boots. You were meant to just have the laces dangle loose, and there I was with my boots all laced up because they’d come off my feet otherwise. I got out of that though, before college really.”
“Where’d you go?”
“Michigan State University.” She said. “How about you?”
“I didn’t go to school.” He said.
“Not at all?”
“Not in the traditional sense.” He said.
“What do you mean?”
“Well I was around in the thirties, you may remember.”
“Yeah.” She said. “I read all about you as a kid.
“And I vanished in thirty-five.” He said, storing what she had said away for further consideration.
“Well I had a car accident, and the car exploded. I thought I was dead, I thought I’d bought it after that. I woke up on the shore of this island that turns out to be a sort of space beach. Really weird, can’t explain it. I think it would be like waking up in a dream and then discovering that no, you were awake. The water was space and the sand was time and I was at the place where they met.
“Then there was this eighty foot high clown. I’m serious a clown, about eighty feet high. He explains to me that he’s the eternal force of Weirdness and I’m not to die yet. I’m to go on a journey of discovery and learn all I can.”
“You’re making this up.” She said, laughing.
“No, really.” He said. “He sent me on this eighty year long training course. I went backwards and forward through time, training with the best of each type of person. The best swords men, the most enlightened monks, the best fighters. I learned from everybody so that I could combine all their teachings and become the person you see before you. Through long and careful grooming by one master after another I even found ways to break some of the laws of physics like they were the laws of man.”
“Sounds like you became the uber-mench.” She said.
“I wouldn’t put it that way.” He said.
“Why not?” She asked, pulling herself ever closer to him.
“Because Fredrick Nietzsche was such a ponce.”
“You ever really read his work? I mean read and try to get not only the ideas he’s explaining but figure out the mind behind the ideas?”
“I suppose not.” She said.
“He always strikes me as someone who talks about the super man, about building the perfect body but was about ninety eight pounds and died a virgin. I don’t know, there was just something that felt terribly untested about what he was discussing. A sort of, that’s all well and good, but have you tried it? No, well shut up then.”
“So you’re not the superman?” She asked,
“No.” He said. “I’m just a guy who learned how to tap into some super powers.”
“What about morality?” She asked, pulling him closer to her.
“Don’t know about that.” He said. “What’s moral, what isn’t?”
“So you’re beyond conventional morality?” She kissed him again.
“I don’t know.” He said. “I don’t know what is or isn’t moral in the strictest sense of the word.”
“Let’s test that shall we?”
“How?” He asked.
“What if I called a friend and asked her to spend the afternoon with us?”
“We’d have to get out of bed then. If someone was going to come over.”
“No.” She said shaking her head and allowing smile. “She joins us in the bed.”
“Oh.” He said, allowing a smile of his own. “That sort of friend.”
“That sort of friend.” She then asked. “Should I call? Or do you feel some sort of repugnance at the thought? Would it mean that you’d have to devote time to one or the other of us? Or do you think you might be the center of attention? Afraid of what it might mean if we added another person to this?”
He reached to the nightstand where her phone sat and picked it up. He pressed the phone into her hand and kissed her breasts. She looked at the phone in her hand and then down at his black locks. He looked at her and she looked at him. Nothing happened, for a long moment, so he pulled himself up to her face level.
“Are you afraid?” He asked.
“No.” She said laughing. “I’ve done it a lot.”
“You’re not calling.” He said. “Or didn’t you think I’d call your bluff? Worried about the prospect of sharing?”
“I was just wondering if you wanted it or were trying not to appear scared?”
“I’m never scared.” He said. “So I don’t care about appearing scared.”
“Never scared?” She asked.
“Careful, but not afraid.”
“I’ll call then.” She said.
She made a phone call to some one called Julie, and half an hour later a beautiful brunet showed up at the door with a bottle of champagne. The next four hours are not recorded in any tome that we know of, because of privacy concerns for those involved. It could be because no one bothered to keep a record, but so much else has been recorded that we feel that it must have been excised for privacy. Which is a pity really as those four hours are said to be a living-breathing example of how many different configurations three human bodies can be formed into in the search for sexual gratification.
April 2nd, 2003
“There isn’t anywhere we could go is there?” Marla asked.
“What do you mean?” Jack asked.
“The kids and I.” She said. “We have pretty much have to stay here don’t we?”
“Where would you want to go?”
“Any place where a war isn’t about to happen.” She said.
“I’m not going to let anything happen to you.” He said. “This place is a fortress, you just don’t see the safety measures everyday.”
“But we’re in the way here.” Marla said.
“No.” He said. “You’re my support system, besides if you and the kids leave then what am I fighting for?”
“The possibility that we can come back?” She asked.
“I don’t want you to go.” He said.
“We may have to.” She said. “How secure can we be here?”
“How secure can you be anywhere?” He asked. “If they deiced to get to me through you, you’d be safer where I can watch over you.”
“I can’t do this Jack.” She said, and he noticed for the first time she was crying.
“Marla.” His voice choked.
“I can’t put the kids through this.” She said,
“The kids are fine.”
“Rutherford was kidnapped.” She said. “I can’t take the chance that they might decide to try and grab Amanda.”
“Where else is there?” He asked again. “It’s not like you can go to your mothers. Who can fly you across the ocean?”
“There has to be someplace safe for us.” She said.
“You can stay here.” He said. “The windows are bulletproof, there’s a bomb shelter that can be completely locked down from the inside. We’d see an attack coming for miles, and I need you.”
“I love you Jack.” She said, and then thought about it. “Give me you’re gun.”
“Give me the gun you have in your pocket.” She said. “I know you have a gun on you, give it to me or I walk out now.”
He pulled the small pistol from his pocket and handed it over to his wife. She looked at him and then the gun in her hand. Tears feel from her cheeks, as if the gun itself had confirmed the worst of her fears. When she spoke the words came out in choked gasps.
“What is this, a forty five?”
“No.” He said. “It’s a nine millimeter.”
“Is that strong?” She asked.
“Strong enough.” He said.
“Come on then.” She said stalking out of the room.
He followed her to the outside of the house, where she turned and fired the gun at the house. She fired at a window and kept firing until the gun was empty. She then dropped the gun to the ground and looked at the damage she had done. The window she fired at had cracked, but held firm.
“I told you.” He said.
She collapsed to her knees and wept, feeling frightened and ashamed. She knew that it was wrong to torture herself and him like this, but she had to be sure. She had wanted to leave the city right after the world trade center had fallen, but there were no flights to England for days. She had settled on going to the cabin, taking the children with her. Now she was trying to run away again, and stealing Jack’s support when he likely needed it most. She clung to his leg as she sobbed, and professed her apologies.
“I’m sorry.” She said. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry.”
“You don’t need to be sorry.” He said kneeling down. “You’re just scared.”
“You have to promise me that you’ll replace that window.” She said.
“I’ll get Tommy and we’ll do it right now.” He said.
April 2nd, 2003
“Do I even want to ask how a piece of glass that’s supposed to take a few rounds from an AK-47 managed to get cracked?” Tommy asked as he pulled the cracked pane from the double paned window.
“You might want to ask.” Jack said. “But I’d suppress the urge if I were you.”
“Ah.” Tommy said. “Would it have anything to do with the spent shells and hand gun over there on the ground?”
“It might.” Jack said, pulling a pane of glass the same size from a paper sleeve.
“I see.” Tommy said replacing the pane and lifting the caulk gun, which had silicone calk in it.
“She wanted to make sure it would hold.” Jack said.
“I said nothing.” Tommy said.
“Lets make sure it stays that way.”
“Sure Jack.” Tommy said. “Now we just wait for this stuff to dry and we close the window up.”
“What if we get attacked while the windows open?” Jack asked.
“Then we through your limey ass in front of it since it was your wife that decided that this window at random needed to die.”
“You have such a way with words.”
“Don’t I just?”
April 2nd, 2003
The Weirdo looked at Julie and Lilith, lying entwined on the bed sleeping. Julie’s head was resting on Lilith’s shoulder, until she shifted and her head rested on a pillow. Lilith’s back was exposed, her face half resting against the bed. He ran his fingers across her back, down the large tattoo that covered most of her back on the left side. He was quite proud of himself, that he was still awake. He’d managed to tire the two of them out so much that they were asleep and he wasn’t. It was a silly petty thing to be proud of, but he was somehow proud, at least proud that he’d managed to perform better than most men were reputed to.
He looked at Julie’s sleeping form, which was a delightful form indeed. He had noticed the cross on her buttocks, it would have been hard not to after… well after. Now a tattoo is nothing a person should be too concerned about. Lots of people got tattoos in the nineties hadn’t they? How many had gotten little Celtic crosses though? There had to be a significant percentage. In the last five years America had become a country that paid more lip service to the fact that they were all Christians than anywhere else. Of course they weren’t all Christians, and most only paid lip service, but there had been a lot of it about.
Ah, said a little voice at the back of his head, but who is left in the world? And how many normal people who are left would have a Celtic cross tattooed on their butts? For that matter, how many would have a large cross tattooed across their back. He looked at the two of them and thought about the idea of breeding. He had said something about protection, but had been over ruled. They both professed a cleanliness that he’d had no reason to doubt. He still had no doubts about their lack of infection, being able to sense infection from half a block away had its uses. He looked down at the both of them though, and could now feel a sort of infection.
He slid his hand under Lilith’s belly and felt near just under the navel. There was something there, that hadn’t been there before, and it was growing. He slid his hand out and touched Julie’s belly. There was something there as well. Not that it meant anything, what were the odds that either one of them could have been impregnated before this and not know it? What were the odds of impregnating two women in the same afternoon? Oh certainly it was possible, but the likelihood of such a thing would make a statistician whimper and hide under their desk. Even during peak period, it was something like ten percent to get one of them.
Yet the voice at the back of his head was hard to argue with. Of course their both yours, the voice said, you’re virile and the universe wants a baby. If that means a rule or two has to be broken, then so be it. The universe will have a child of yours on this world, and no amount of double-dealing will prevent that.
His hand rested on Lilith’s head and stroked her hair. Would their children’s eyes change colors like their mothers? He would like that, to be able to say they had their mother’s eyes. It wouldn’t be hard to know whose hair or eyes they had would it? It would be very easy to spend the rest of his life with her, he thought. She might feel the same way, who knew? He would like to help raise the child she was growing inside of her.
He looked at Julie and thought that he didn’t know her. She was here as a second billing to Lilith, and he instantly hated himself for a thought like that. She was a human being, a fairly passionate one at that. He didn’t like to think of her as an also ran, but he didn’t know her. All right so he knew her in the biblical sense of knowing a person, and he knew her physical body and it’s quirks. He knew her as a sexual being but he didn’t know who she was as a person. Maybe he could get to know her later though, it seemed to work for Tommy after all.
He looked at his clothes, piled on the floor as they were. He picked them up and slipped into them. He sat down on the couch, still facing the bedroom. He didn’t want to turn his back on them suddenly, even though he’d been at their mercy. He wasn’t sure about Lilith’s claim that Julie was an accountant from the Crusade group. He had a sinking feeling that maybe they were both from The System, and he was being duped.
He wanted to go into the room and demand they both come clean, but he couldn’t do that. He didn’t know if he could raise his hand against Lilith right now. Even in his own self-defense he wouldn’t be bale to do anything to her. He thought she was trying to dupe, but he also felt that maybe she actually did love him. She had wanted to please him that was definite. Or maybe she wanted to make sure she had him that voice said again. If you were going to try to wind someone up surreptitiously, you’d give them everything you thought they wanted. You’d make sure you knew everything they’d ever wanted so you could offer their innermost desires before they could ask.
He didn’t like thinking like this, but it was inevitable. The Gray man had warned of this, that this was how he’d gotten in trouble. He could see why he’d wanted The Weirdo to not get involved now. It was too late now of course; he’d have to keep seeing her now. He didn’t see much escape for it.
“Rubber Duck, what’s your twenty?” Tommy’s voice called up from his pocket.
“I’m maxin’ and relaxin’ Pig Pen.” The Weirdo said. “How about you?”
“You still at Lilith’s place?”
“I am.” He said. “What’s going on?”
“We’ve got a request from The Power to provide a bit of security for them to have a conversation with the System.”
“Do we have a where and when?”
“No, we met them at the Chrysler building.” Tommy said.
“Okay.” The Weirdo said. “I’ll meet you there.”
“Ten four.” Tommy’s voice then cut out.
He looked at the bedroom and watched as Lilith got out of the bed, thoughtlessly holding a sheet to her breast for cover. She walked down the three steps that separated the living room from the bedroom. She then padded over to where The Weirdo sat and instead of sitting next to him, straddled him.
“You got dressed.” She said, a mischevious gleam in her ever changing eyes. “That was a silly thing to do, because I’m just going to have to undress you again.”
“I’ve got to go.” The Weirdo said, wrapping his arms around her slim waist.
His fingertips rested on her buttocks and sent urgent signals that bypassed his brains. The message sent directly to his loins was along the lines of ‘Oh, come on, it’s not that urgent!’ It was a message that other parts of his body were willing to back. His legs thought that the slight weight she possessed was a greatly desirable thing to have and even his lips were asking for greater proximity to her breasts.
“But I’m not done with you.” She said, still wanting to play. “I still think I can tease out a few more mind blowing orgasms from you.”
“I already agreed to go.” He said.
“Parts of you are rebelling.” She said, lowering her hand between his legs.
“Yes,” He said, taking her hand, “But I said I’d go. I need to go then.”
“You gave your word?” She asked.
“Yes.” He said standing, and then setting her down on the couch gently.
“You’re serious.” She said. “You’re going to leave.”
“I have to go.” He said, trying to figure out what the hell was wrong with him. “I’ll see you later.”
He put his coat on and looked at her, and then he kissed her. In fact he picked her up in his arms and lifted her face up to his so he could kiss her, holding he several inches off the floor. She held on to him, her feet stretching out and her toes curling into tiny fists.
“I’m not walking out on you. I just have to go and check this out.”
“If we have the rest of our lives then a few hours shouldn’t matter.” He watched as her face melted into a sort of relieved awe. “The System and the Power are going to meet and I think we can moderate and avoid any more blood shed.”
“Where?” She asked.
“We’re meeting at the Chrysler building. I don’t know where they’ve planned this summit to be.”
“I’ll shower and come with you.” She stood up and walked to the bedroom, she then turned and looked at him. “No, you go now and if it’s not at Chrysler, call me okay?”
“Okay,” He said.
“You’d better hurry though I’ll get there on my own.”
“Alright.” He said and left.
He felt pretty good about leavening too. She had understood that this was important, and that sometimes duty over ruled personal wishes. He has also been able to give the idea of permanence to her. Maybe he was going to turn her, instead of her turning him. He also thought that maybe she was staying behind so she could call down six kind of hell on him for leaving her. He still didn’t trust her completely, and could see her doing either.
April 2nd, 2003
The Weirdo watched as the rest arrived, their cars tearing through the streets. And why shouldn’t they tear down the streets? There wasn’t anyone to get in the way really. He had seen a few people, but they were just getting on with their lives. He hadn’t actually positioned himself so that the people of The Power could see him from their building. He was two streets down and waiting on a side street, where he was fairly certain they were likely to pass. He watched the two cars drive by and he pulled out before Jack’s motorcycle could complete the little convoy.
They all pulled up in front of the Chrysler building together, shadowed by the huge building. They couldn’t tell where the sun was, but suspected that the huge spire shaped building was shielding it. The Weirdo looked at those who had come. Tommy, Jack, Max, Kestrel, Darrian and Cassimano. He’d not expected Cydrill to get involved just yet, so he wasn’t terribly disappointed that he wasn’t here.
They walked to the doors and pushed their way through them. Diana was standing in the lobby, Angel and Peach standing with them. The Weirdo looked at the other assorted women standing together, and didn’t see Sheila in the mixture. There were a lot of small MP5’s though. They had the compact sort with no stock but a handle for the left hand to hold under the barrel. He looked at the group, and saw it for what it was, just an honor guard.
“You need guns?” The Weirdo asked.
“We’re just being careful.” Diana said.
“Where’s Sheila?” Tommy asked.
“She’s not part of this delegation.” Diana said.
“That’s not what I asked.”
“This is business.” Diana said.
“Tommy.” The Weirdo’s voice soothed. “Later.”
“Are we protection or moderators?” Jack asked.
“I was hoping for some of both.” Diana said.
“Good.” Darrian said. “I’m not here to save anyone.”
The Weirdo’s phone rang; he looked at the group and pulled it out.
“Sorry.” He said as he answered it. “Hello?”
The first thing to greet his ear as he pressed the phone to it was the sound of gunshots traveling over the lines. They weren’t loud, but he heard them distinctly. His mind instantly snapped back to Lilith, and he knew he shouldn’t have left her. The sudden pang of guilt wasn’t helped when he heard the voice on the other end of the line.
“Weirdo?” Lilith’s voice came over the line.
“I’m here.” He said, calm as if talking to his broker.
“I’m boxed in.” She said, a few more shots. “I’m in the lobby of my apartment and they’ve got me boxed in.”
There was a distant crack of machine gun fire over the phone. There was a much louder sound of return fire. He moved the phone to his left ear and reached into his coat, drawing out the forty-five and looked at Tommy and Jack.
“Some one is shooting at Lilith in her apartment building.” He said to them. “Hold on I’ll be right there.”
He stepped back, and there was a sort of electrical burst. He passed from one place to the other with only a crackle of electricity as his path. This might be against the laws of physics, but sometime the laws of physics can go hang. He was in the lobby of building, and then he was in another lobby running backwards. There was no time to gain his bearings; he saw a group of people in black and just shot at them as he ran towards a corner. His pistol ran out of bullets as he got to the spot where he could have some cover.
He got behind the corner, which provided only the tiniest amount of cover as they began to fire at him. He fell down and crouched himself into as small and compact a target as possible. He let the clip slide from the gun and looked up to see Lilith sitting on the floor about ten feet away from him. Julie was lying on the floor, an ever-widening pool of blood seeping out of her. Julie’s eyes were open, and she was trying to pull her self away, but the blood was near copious. The Weirdo thought about the machine gun, but he couldn’t pull it out from the position he was in. A bullet zipped past his face, and shattered the stonework he was next to. The thin panel of marble deflected the bullet away from him rather than at him, but a shard of the marble struck his face. He stood and pushed away from the wall. He aimed as he began to fire the gun as he ran towards Lilith and Julie. Lilith looked at Julie as she crawled away and then looked at the people The Weirdo was shooting at. He leapt and landed next to Lilith, his gun empty again.
“Take care of her, I’ll hold them off.” She stood up and with a gun in each hand fired at the on coming group.
The two Walther pistols made their loud popping sound as she fired with some precision at the group. She looked back at The Weirdo and continued to fire in a wide spread at the widening group of shooters. She caught most of them in chest, where their body armor managed to prevent serious injury. She had expelled all the bullets from both her guns and all that happened was that the group had only been slowed for a moment.
The Weirdo turned Julie over and looked at the wound in her side. Despite the bleeding, it was actually a pretty clean shot that went through her left kidney. She would live, though maybe with only one working kidney. He tore at her shirt and stuffed the rags into the two holes. He didn’t think he could manage much more right now. He dragged her back to the stairs, but if they were caught in this small hallway it would be a shooting alley. Even if the shooters missed, the bullets would ricochet their way to the targets anyway. He opened the door and watched as the shooters moved into the hall. Lilith slammed home a new pair of clips, but The Weirdo pushed her out of the way.
“Get back.” His voice was quite, but it seemed to over take all other sounds.
He had found time to draw the old fashioned Thompson Machine gun from under his coat and now raised it up to shoulder level. The group was only seven strong, and they were armed with state of the art weapons, but he had a psychological weapon. He had the original urban warfare machine gun. He held it to his shoulder and with little regard for human life, pulled the trigger. He swept the gun back and forth in a tight motion, not wanting to strike the walls of the corridor. He’d aimed for the head and since he had a slow rate of fire and a hell of a lot of bullets, he got them. The last of the seven had fallen to the ground and managed to start to crawl away. He leveled the gun and fired six bullets into the head of the fleeing would be killers.
“You killed them.” Lilith said, somewhat shocked.
“Yes.” He confirmed.
“You killed all of them.”
“Well, they were trying to kill us.” He said, looking at Julie’s legs, which stuck out from the doorway.
“Go see to her.” He said.
“Their all dead.” He said, sliding the pistols away.
“I certainly hope so.” He said, sliding the Thompson under his coat.
She looked at Julie’s legs and walked quickly to the door, seeing to the injured girl. She had never seen anything like that. She had spent her life in gunplay firing two-dozen bullets at a target, hoping to scare them. She had never seen a person who actually embodied the idea of shoot to kill. She had always shot to scare, to injure, but rarely to actually kill.
He walked to one of the people whose lives he’d ended. He could argue that it was self-defense, but he knew better. If all he wanted was to defend himself, he could have shot for the legs and arms. He didn’t, he’d gone for the head. He tore the ski mask from one and found a girl’s face, what was left of it. Her left eye stared right through him; her right eye had been torn away when the bullet tore through her skull. He tore the body armor off and unzipped the jumpsuit and the first thing he saw was a tattoo of a gothic cross, half obscured by her purple sports bra. He let the girl’s body drop, and make a sickeningly wet thud as it hit the ground.
He opened the other jumpsuits, and they were similar, purple Victoria’s secret sports bras. He looked for identification, but the only thing he found was that two of the other’s had cross tattoos that were readily visible from the minimal searching he was willing to do. He never found a wallet or a bus pass; there was nothing on any of them.
“Hello brother.” The voice came without warning, and with no trace of a source.
The Weirdo didn’t move. Rather he thought about the last time he’d heard that voice.
“Shit.” He said softly.
“Look at me.” The voice said.
“You’re dead already.” The Weirdo said.
“I assure you I am not.”
“You’re just a delusion of my tortured and delusional mind, go away.”
“Look at me Weirdo.” The Weirdo couldn’t resist, and looked at what he knew would be own face.
He was wearing a red Armani suit, a purple tie with it. He was about six foot tall, and his hair was a natural red now, but it was him. He held D’var Cassimano’s sword Coast Runner in his right hand. There was a lot about the face that actually wasn’t his, the nose for a start. He was waiting for The Weirdo to get up and fight him, The Weirdo simply stayed, hunched over the dead bodies of these young woman he had killed.
“I killed you already.” The Weirdo said.
“He’s a new Loki.” Judy said. “And he’s going to save us.”
The Weirdo looked at Judy as she stepped into his line of sight and swore quietly. She was dressed in a long silk purple dress, with red trim. He looked at the dead girls behind him. Their clothes with color were purple with a red trim. He was beginning to see a pattern, and it disturbed him. He reached under his coat and touched the warm hilt of the forty-five. He wanted the black gun, but his coat would only disgorge the forty-five right now. He reached in his left hand at it touched a back up colt. That was odd, a little discouraging really. The Black gun was either missing, or not available. If it was not missing, than it was picking a hell of a time to go out for a coffee.
He looked at the two of them and stood slowly, drawing out his right hand, armed with the colt pistol. He held it at his side, he didn’t see any fire arms on either of their persons. That didn’t mean they didn’t have them of course, it meant he couldn’t see them. He was beginning to wonder where the hell Tommy and Jack were. Darrian could fly, and fast, where the hell was he? Ah well, sometimes people got held up. He looked at the two of them and primed a round into the chamber of his gun. Since there had been a round in the gun though, this meant he sent an unspent bullet spilling from the gun and onto the floor. He would have looked cool if not for that, he wasn’t sure he didn’t still look cool, but he felt like a dickhead.
“I could just blast you.” The Weirdo said. “Call it a day.”
“He’s new and improved.” Judy said
“Judy.” The Weirdo said, trying to sound reasonably. “Why don’t you just come over here?”
“Don’t call me that!” she screamed and came towards him. “My name is Judican! Judy is a whore’s name! I am not a whore!”
Her hand swiped at his face in a claw and caught his right cheek. She got a good deal of flesh under her nails and tore four long cuts into his skin. The cuts hurt, and there was a good deal of blood right away. He shoved the barrel of the gun forward and pushed her away with it. The gun’s barrel pressed against her chest and left a small round mark where he pushed. He didn’t shoot her, even though it would have made no difference, he thought it would be wrong. It would be like slapping her, just plain wrong. This was like slapping her already, at least raising his hand back. He could feel anger welling up inside of him; he had to keep it in check. He had spent years learning how to keep his emotions in check and away from others.
“I don’t want to hurt you.” The Weirdo said, blood pouring down the side of his face. “I’m going to let that one go for now.”
“Kill him Loki.” She said turning to the taller man in the suit. “Kill him for me.”
“Yes my love.” He said taking her in his left arm and kissing him.
He pressed his hip against her crotch as they kissed. It was becoming more passionate every moment that went by. Their mouths were wide open and he could see muscle groups flex which could only mean tongue wrestling. He lifted her up and down against his hip as he continued to kiss her. The Weirdo watched and began to get slightly annoyed.
“You know I’m still here.” The Weirdo said.
There was no response they just continued to kiss.
The Weirdo thought it only prudent to remind them of what was going on. He raised the gun and fired a round to knock off the back of Loki’s head. The blood exploded and his head whipped around, causing them both to fall to the floor. The new Loki stood up slowly, the back of his head closing around the brain matter, which was already re-growing. It took only a moment for the head to completely close, only to show blood soaked hair, a moment later even that was clean.
“Still can do that huh?” The Weirdo asked. “How do you do that anyway?”
“Nanobots.” The new Loki said. “Always was.”
“Oh.” The Weirdo said. “That would account for a lot of things then.”
“Judican, go outside, we’ll be along directly.”
“Yes love.” She said, walking out.
She watched The Weirdo as she walked out into the street, and he watched her. He wanted to go slap her silly, to make her admit that this was possibly the worst decision that she had ever made in her life. He knew he couldn’t, it wouldn’t be right, but oh how he wanted to. There was something wrong with her at this moment; something had shaken out of place.
The sky had grown and there was an unseasonable heat rushing through the shattered windows. It was like a storm from mid June was coming; at it was going to be a doozy. Wind was rushing the material against Judy’s body, and her hair was whipping around.
“How did they have Nanobots twenty years ago?” The Weirdo said turning back to this new twin. “Some one bringing things from the future to help?”
“You and I are up for a duel.” Loki said, leveling the tip of Coast Runner at The Weirdo.
“No.” The Weirdo said raising his pistol. “I’m going to shoot you.”
He fired the gun till it was empty and while many of the bullets tore through this new clone of him; he had to admit it was fairly useless. He looked down at the pistol, as if to accuse it. The damn thing had gone empty on him, and for nothing. He looked at the open chamber and flicked the slide back into place without reloading. The nanobots were really something to watch, now that he knew what to look for. The clothing even was reformed after only a few seconds. He looked as if he had never been shot.
Loki still stood there, the blade of Coast Runner pointed at him. The Weirdo slid the pistol back under his coat and reached around, hoping to find the cold handle of the black gun. It wasn’t there though; it was nowhere to be found. The Weirdo looked around him and noticed one of the guns dropped by one of his would be killers. He reached down and picked it up, firing it at this new Loki. There was the same effect, so he tossed the gun away. He looked down at the dead bodies; the blood had stopped seeping and was solidifying into their own patches, which would turn to brown crusts before there was anyone to clean them up.
“You are going to fight me, or I am simply going to kill you.” Loki said.
“You’re no Loki.” The Weirdo said. “How did they make you so tall?”
“We are going to fight.”
“Oh, come now.” Said The Weirdo stalling. “You can tell me.”
“You’re trying to stall me.” Loki said.
“You think if you stall me long enough, you’re men will show up.”
“My friends are usually more punctual than this.” He admitted.
“Not this time.” He said, “They’re being delayed. A large force was sent to attack the Power, this small force was to distract you. They wanted to see how you and I would stack up against each other. See how their improvements went.”
“Yes.” The Weirdo said, still stalling. “Going back to those improvements.”
“Oh Christ.” Loki said, rolling his eyes. “There wasn’t enough of your original DNA to scrape up a new Loki, so someone else’s was added. They were able to tinker around and make me taller, stronger, faster.”
“And less crazy.” The Weirdo said. “As I said before, you’re no Loki. Loki would have killed me by now.”
“You’ve got some hang up about not fighting me if I don’t have a weapon ready. In fact, you seem to want me to have a sword before you’ll attack. You’re following a set of rules, Loki had no truck with rules.” The Weirdo said, reaching under his coat again.
He had expected to find a gun, and was a bit shocked to have the hilt of a sword put into his hand. It was Excalibur, so it would be sword to sword. The problem being that the rapier could easily have the advantage against a broadsword, even this one. He would have certain advantages, the advantage of power for a start. Well if he was to be Arthur, he could think of only one distinction for this red suited dandy.
“I think you’re more of a Mordred.” The Weirdo said, drawing the broadsword out.
“Fair enough.” Loki cum Mordred said. “Actually I quite like it.”
“You would.” The Weirdo muttered.
“Fits really.” Mordred ne Loki said.
“The ego has been pumped up too has it?”
“Then that makes you Arthur.” Mordred said, pointing his left hands index finger. “You talk about ego.”
“Shall we go outside to fight then? Or do you want to do it here in this bloody lobby?”
“Do you want to fight here?” Mordred asked.
“Not really.” The Weirdo said
“Lets go out then.” Mordred said turning towards the doors. “I think the weather is expecting us to do it out there anyway.”
“Does look that way.” The Weirdo said, following him out.
© 2014 Autumn Knight Productions
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