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Brothers & Sisters – Chapter Eighteen: It’s a Birth

Note: The point isn’t really for you guys to read a chapter everyday. That would be crazy, these chapters are about 30 pages long. This is just an info-dump situation, collect them all and read at your leisure.

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

Chapter Eighteen

It’s a Birth

 

April 14th, 2003

1:37 p.m.

 

            The Weirdo was barbequing hamburgers and hot dogs when the Assitanians returned. He had made the hamburger himself, by grinding his own sirloin. The hotdogs had come from a pack and he explained that this should warn people off them enough. There were also hot dogs and a chicken as well; The Weirdo was determined to have a good old-fashioned barbeque. He and Tommy shared most the cooking, being the American Dad types. Lucifer had offered to try his hand at a steak or two and cooked them in a way most of them were unfamiliar with. He blew on the coals until they were hot and free of ash, and then set the steaks directly on the coals. He turned them after a few minuets and though it took some doing, Kestrel final volunteered and declared it the best way to cook a steak ever.

 

            Cydrill arrived with Azgana in tow, she was very noble and kind. She was out of her depth, that much was clear, but she made the most of it. She shook hands and called The Weirdo her nephew, which was nice. She had time to say hello to everyone, but The Other shied away at first.

 

            “What’s wrong?” Kestrel asked as The Other hid behind her legs.

 


            “I think I may have hurt her.” Azgana said crouching down. “She tried to save me, and I probably hurt her for her effort.”

 

            “Hurt a lot.” The Other said.

 

            “You could allow me to thank you though.” She said extending a black-gloved hand.

 

            The Other looked up at Kestrel with a bit of a sour look on her face.

 

            “Do I gotta?”

 

            “It’s impolite not to.” Kestrel said. “You don’t want to be impolite do you?”

 

            “No.” The Other said, and came out from behind the woman’s legs. “Hi.”

 

            She took the woman’s hand and was surprised when all Azgana did was shake it gently. She had expected to be blasted like she was before. Azgana smiled and she was beautiful, and so very noble. The Other found herself smiling back.

 

            “I think I know what happened.” Azgana said. “You’re the one healer aren’t you?”

 

            “I don’t know about the one.” Kestrel said.

 

            “Oh I think she is.” Azgana said lifting the tiny cleric up in her arms. “She tired to heal a physical wound on my body. My body though, is tied to my land and my season. The winter wasn’t real winter, it was a damaged winter. In trying to just heal me she channeled healing through my entire world. I would imagine without some kind of circuit breaker or fuse, she could have been killed.”

 

            “She almost was.” The Weirdo said in a matter of fact way.

 

            “I’m sorry.” Azgana said, down casting her eyes.

 

            “Not you’re fault.” The Weirdo said.

 

            They all went over what ever feeble strategies they had, all the while no one noticed that while Judy and Sheila were quite friendly and Angel shared a joke with the noble lady, Michael Darrian never said a word to her. This was not because he had anything against nobles; it was because he was completely and irreparably smitten.

 

            “She’s pretty.” Kaala said sitting down next to him.

 

            “She’s, amazing.” Darrian said.

 

            “So go talk to her.”

 

            “Oh I don’t think I could do that.” Darrian said. “I, ah, I don’t do well.”

 

            “She’s so very nice though.” Kaala said.

 

            “I think I’ll just sit here and eat my hotdog.”

 

            “You know what’s in those?” She asked as she sliced off a piece of chicken.

 

            “Yes.” He said. “I only thank the good lord I’m immortal.”

 

           

April 14th, 2003

10:21 p.m.

 

            They had all been at the cabin when the first of the contractions came. Athena had actually thought it was indigestion at first, having eaten a large lunch they way they had. They had eaten the remains of the barbeque for dinner and that kept her wondering if something had gone wrong in the food. Some of it had been sitting out for a while, there could have been germs.  She hadn’t felt this sort of pain before.

 

            Fortunately Sheila had and Judy had been prostitutes for most of their lives. This had the advantage of first; they knew how to deal with a birth and second, gave me an opportunity to use the former sentence, which I’ve always wanted too. Before her water actually broke, Kaala and Judy managed to get her to the bathroom.

 

            “Nike.” Judy said rushing into the drawing room. “It’s started.”

            “Shit.” Nike said standing up. “What do I do?”

 

            “You come help.” Judy said. “Or you stand around outside the room and smoke.”

 

            “I’ll come help.” Nike said after a moments thought.

 

            Angel, Kaala, and Mrs. Pendleton were conscripted for the job as well. Kestrel had been asked, but she begged off. There were some things; she claimed that she just didn’t want to see. Kestrel did offer to stand outside with Cassimano and pretend to smoke though.

 

            Cassimano stood outside, his mind full of worry; he had never been a father before. It was odd that he had been this lucky for this many years. He’d just always assumed his sperm were as drunk as he had been for so very long. Maybe when he’d sobered up they had as well; they’d just not had opportunity. He’d been safe through out the last two centuries and had been with boys for most that time anyway. Kestrel watched him pace back and forth across the front lawn of the cabin touching one car and then the other. She watched him do this for ten minuets strait before standing up and hitting him.

 

            “Just calm down.” She said. “She’s a goddess, the kid is going to be half god, I’m sure everything is fine.”

 

            “I should be in there.” Cassimano said.

 

            “Show me you’re left hand.” She said.

 

            “My left hand?”

 

            “You heard.” She said.

 

            He raised his left hand, with some confusion, and she examined it. She took it in her hand, turned it over and then with both hand’s squeezed and rotated the knuckles. His eyes opened wide and he dropped the coffee mug he was holding, spilling hot coffee all over his leg. She kept squeezing, tightening the grip but never trying to do any real damage.

 

            “Ow.” He shouted and yanked his hand away from her. “What the hell is wrong with you?”

 

            “You go in there.” Kestrel said. “And they’re just gonna tell you to hold her hand, heaven forbid you should give her your fighting hand.”

 

            “You could have broken my fucking hand.”

 

            “And I have no adrenaline or god powers.” Kestrel said cheerfully.

 

            He looked at his hand and then at the house. He looked at her, and she was gratified to see he looked a little scared. He held his hand and his tongue stuck out to touch the crest of his upper lip. She thought, for just a moment, that she could see what they saw in him. There was something cute in his worried look.

 

            “She can squeeze harder you think?” He asked.

 

            “’Fraid so.”

 

            “You wanna go for a drive or something?” He asked. “Maybe we can find an ice cream shop or something, you know just to get out of her way.”

 

            “Sure.” She said.

 

           

April 14th, 2003

10:58 p.m.

 

            “Here.” Chandelroth said setting the bag down. “Right here.”

 

            “Here?” Lilith asked, following behind him. “But this is just a street corner.”

 

            “Just a street corner?” Chandelroth exclaimed. “Do you know where you are?”

 

            “No.” Lilith said, shrugging, her blue eyes melting to gold. “Tell me.”

 

            “Almost none of it remains any more, but at one time this was the center of Five Points.”

 

            “Pardon?” She asked.

 

            “At one time, five streets converged on this place. It was called the five points district and if ever there was a place where we should wish to summon evil this would be it.” He took a few pieces of chalk from his pockets and began to hand them out to assorted girls. “Now draw out the symbols like I showed you.”

 

            “Yes sir.” One said.

 

            “Yes lord.” Another in toned.

 

            They all gave similar agreements and each took a piece of paper from their pockets. It would take less time with the young women doing the chores. He liked the young women, the particularly young ones where his favorites. He favored the young girls who had yet to finish blooming into woman hood. The ones that looked like feminine boys were the ones he favored above all. He was going to have a special place for them, like he had before. He would once again have a harem for his young lovers and a trophy room where he put their heads when they began to look too much like a woman. He felt himself begin to grow hard simply at the idea. He suppressed the thoughts of his former glory, before the days when it was all taken from him.

 

            He most likely wouldn’t have cared if he knew a vampire had seen him. A particularly and painfully shy vampire who couldn’t stand to be in the same room as the woman he adored and thus had come to the city to spy on the opposition. A vampire who was perched atop a building, a pen shaped device in his hand.

 

 

April 14th, 2003

11:00 p.m.

 

            “Rubber Duck this is Mosquito, you got a copy on me c’mon?”

 

            There was pause and he was about to repeat himself when the voice came over.

 

            “Ten four Mosquito what’s your twenty?”

 

            “I’m at the five points, and Chandelroth and Lilith are here. They appear to be drawing graffiti on the street and it’s not ‘I fucked Suzy Miller up the ass’ if you get my drift.”

 

            “You’re drift has been received Mosquito. You sit tight and we’ll be there in a jiff.”

 

            “Roger, or ten four, or some shit like that.”

 

            “Mosquito.” Kestrel’s voice came over.

 

            “Yes?” He asked.

 

            “Where exactly are you?”

 

            “Um, on a building, why?”

 

            “Can you see a pair of head lights?”

 

            “Yeah.”

 

“That’s us coming your way.”

 

 

April 14th, 2003

11:03 p.m.

 

            The Weirdo slid back the slider on the forty-five and looked at the bullet that came up to be fed into the chamber. He let the slider go and felt the bullet slam home. He slid the gun under his coat and began to walk towards the door. Max and Jack were already waiting; Tommy was busy giving kisses goodbye.

 

            “But we can help.” Angel said.

 

            “I think this is a diversion.” The Weirdo said, drawing out the black gun and checking its loads. “That’s why just Tommy, Jack, Max and I are going. If something happens here I don’t want you unprotected.”

 

            “You’re sure you don’t want us going?” Cydrill said.

 

            “Protect the new family.” The Weirdo said. “Until I get back, Angel’s in charge.”

 

            “Why me?” Angel asked.

 

            “Because you’ve got to take responsibility some time in your life.” He said sliding one last jeweled bullet into place he closed it and tossed the black weapon to her. “Be careful with that.”

 

            They got into the car and a moment later they had driven off. Angel looked at the massive black revolver in her and wondered how something so much smaller than her could feel so much bigger. She would have sworn that the gun was looking at her and smiling.

 

           

April 14th, 2003

11:15 p.m.

 

            “We could march upon on them.” Cassimano said, touching his pistol. “Just go front and demand they cease.”

 

            “They’d kill us.” Kestrel said closing the last Velcro strap on the Kevlar vest. “Look at how many soldiers they’ve got with them.”

 

            “Hardly any really.” Darrian said. “Why would that be?”

 

            “Because they don’t expect us?” Kestrel said.

 

            “How many people here have lived long past their sell by date?” Cassimano asked, and the other two were forced to admit their longevity and raise their hands. “So lets go cause some trouble.”

 

            “Idiot.” Kestrel muttered at him as he began to walk.

 

            “You’re gonna get us killed.” Darrian said.

 

            They both followed him though, and it became apparent that this wasn’t a small operation. They had gotten people to climb up on the buildings, to get into apartments, and to string high power lamps onto one large sewer grate. The entire area was light up light a stadium, albeit quite a small stadium.

 

            There was a lot of complicated sigils and runes being drawn in the white chalk the young girls held. Cassimano looked at the girls and it gave him a moments pangs. Before he had admitted to himself that he liked both sides, he often seduced girls that looked like this, just for the sensation. He would do them from behind to imagine they were boys, and then do a large breasted woman to compensate. He had gotten over that in his late teens though. He had come to the conclusion that he could have sex with whomever he had found attractive, but seeing these girls still have him a pang. He knew Chandelroth’s predilection, had discovered the room of heads himself. Tamarock and he had burned that palace to the ground and had thought they’d gotten Chandelroth with it.

 

            Here was the old bastard though, still alive. Cassimano thought that must mean that he had killed Tamarock, which was saddening. It wasn’t like that idea gave him any fresh impetus though, there were too many reasons for one more to cause an effect. Even if he had killed Tamarock, there was little you could do to fan those flames. He drew coast runner and his pistol.

 

            “Chandelroth!” Cassimano said.

 

            “D’var Cassimano?” Chandelroth asked,

 

            “You’ve had your death coming for a long time.” Cassimano said raising the pistol.

 

            There was a crackle of automatic fire and Cassimano fell back, blood popping up from his body as he fell. Kestrel and Darrian wasted no time, she transformed and he flew. The bullets were unable to strike them, but they knew they were being looked out for. The bullets flew around the tiny bird than spun around trying to be a bad target. Darrian tried to draw their fire, but that was still a dogey prospect, as he discovered. He was struck in  the legs and fell from the sky into the ground. His legs were soaked in the pale red blood, he hadn’t fed in too long.  He crashed into  the ground and tried to drag himself to an alley.

 

            “Chandelroth.” D’var Cassimano said as he stood.

 

            “Shoot him.” The priest called out.

 

            The guns cut Cassimano down again, and he was shot several times after he collapsed. Kestrel stood on one of the few empty rooftops and drew out the big forty-four. She wanted to take aim, but she knew she was too far away, she’d never hit anything from here. The ritual began, and Chandelroth began to chant.

 

 

April 14th, 2003

11:21 p.m.

 

            “Chandelroth.” Cassimano tried once again to get up, but by now some one was standing over him.

 

            They were firing into his head every time he began to get up. His head came back together and his eyes opened. Finally he heard some change in the square. D’var Cassimano then saw the woman’s head jerk to one side and she fell to the ground. There might have been a sound, but his ears weren’t working yet. He got up and began to spray the yard with laser blasts, missing any targets by a good distance.

 

            “Chandelroth.” The Weirdo’s voice was powerful, and filled the area.

 

            “It’s too late.” Lilith called out as The Weirdo came stalking into the square.

 

            “I have only to complete this last line, and you will be unable to dissuade him from coming.” Chandelroth said.

 

            “I’ll kill you if you speak.” The Weirdo said drawing out his pistol.

 

            “Hold Weirdo.” Lilith said, putting her hands on her hips and balancing on her precariously high heels. “Bring him.”

 

            They dragged Michael Darrian from the alley, a gun to his head. Two of the women pushed him up against a wall and trained their small machine guns on him. Lilith touched the vampire’s face and began to walk towards The Weirdo.

 

            “Isn’t it true all you have to do is shoot a vampire in the heart and they die?” She looked back at the vampire and then at The Weirdo. She pulled a small pocket watch from her cleavage and looked at it. “You’re expecting a call.”

 

            “Weirdo!” Angel’s voice came over the com. “They’re here, it was a trap.”

 

            There was a sound of small arms fire and the line went dead. He stood waiting, the sound of the machine guns flat through the microphone. Then Cydrill cut in a moment later. The Weirdo’s face didn’t change though.

 

            “They took the baby.” Cydrill said. “They….”

 

            A muffled explosion, a crackle of fire and the line went dead. Chandelroth stood up and called out a line in an ancient and dead language. He cried it out, laughed it out and as he did Lilith nodded to the two who had Michael. They fired their entire clips into his chest, which was thirty bullets. He was thrown back into the alley again, and presumably died there. The Weirdo’s expression didn’t change at all.

 

            “Bitch.” The Weirdo said, pointing the gun at her.

 

            The first tremors struck when he pulled the trigger, or Lilith’s head would have flown. The ground began to split and sounds came from under the ground. Jack and Tommy, unable to hold back any longer began to fire. Kestrel soon appeared between them and fired at the fleeing System as well. It did little good, so much was flying around that they could hardly keep their footing, they only served to add to the cacophony.

 

            “Go get the kid.” The Weirdo yelled to Tommy. “Cut them off and save the child.”

 

            “All right.” Tommy said, and he and Jack began to run,

 

            “What about that?” Kestrel asked.

 

            “I’ll take care of it, just go.” He said, pulling Cassimano up. “Go!”

 

            The Weirdo ran towards Chandelroth, his hand reaching for the hilt of Excalibur. He drew the weapon and decapitated the priest in one motion, a profusion of blood exploding. A member of the System ran by the alley, but felt a claw like hand crab onto her arm. The grip was like ice and iron, the teeth were daggers, and Michael Darrian fed.

 

            The earth split open and a thing from the other side came up, a thing that if you knew what you were looking at was a five-dimension creature in three-dimensional space. It would have been hideous in five dimensions though, best to be clear about that. In only three though, the eyes twisted around it, nothing seemed in the right place, and the terror was only increased. Max looked for a moment then  turned away too see the Vampire feeding. Max had turned away before the full effect caught him, and he ran towards Darrian.

 

            They say that a mortal man cannot look upon the visage of one of the Old One’s with out going insane with terror. They are said to be that horrific, one would spend the rest of one’s life screaming about the terror one had seen. The Weirdo had some protection though, as he turned to look this beast that would drive men mad. Everything had fallen apart at one moment and he was so angry that mere horror could not harm him. His brain, was wrapped up in a red wool blanket of rage, which he was now swinging over his head like a cudgel.

 

            “You wanna go you Cthulu looking Mother fucker?” The Weirdo called out and pulled his pistol out again. He fired into the beast until the gun was empty. “Fucking useless.”

 

            The Weirdo threw the gun away and determined to beat this thing out of existence. He leapt into the air and delivered, with all his might, a kick to what we must assume was a  mouth because it had teeth. If not for the teeth we would have assume it to be an eye lid, but the teeth convinced us it was a mouth. He hit, he struck, and he swore.

 

            “God damn mother fucking son of a fucking bitch.” He called out as his fists and feet connected with the body of this squid like thing.

 

            It fought bravely to protect itself, but mere gods aren’t going to dissuade a pissed off Weirdo. The Weirdo drew out Excalibur and began to hack at the body, slicing off any of the toothed tentacles that stuck to him, continuing to swear all the way.

 

            “You think you in some god damn anime tentacle rape story mother fucker? I don’t fucking think so.”

 

He began to slash at the head, or what he thought was the head, punctuating his strikes with profanities.

 

“I!”

 

Slash

 

“Am!”

 

Cut

 

“So!

 

Stab

 

“Fucking!”

 

Hack

           

“Sick of you.”

 

            Cut

 

            “Fucking.”

 

            Impale.

 

            “Fuckers!”

 

            There was a lot more of this but how long can we sustain your interests if we used every single one of The Weirdo’s comments until we have to print the book on blue paper? Suffice to say he did a lot of damage before the beast threw him off. The Weirdo landed on the concrete and saw the old one trying to retreat to the place where it had come from. The Weirdo how ever stabbed it through the body and pined it to the ground. He walked up to what looked like and eye and looked into that.

 

            “Were you think your going? We fightin’! You can’t just walk out on me.”

 

            He punched the eye, and there was a sickly wet sound. He then grabbed the sword and stabbed deep into the body. He grabbed the hilt with one hand and a cross piece with the other and prepared to rip the thing open.

 

            “Gonna make sushi outta you.” He said as he yanked. “Fuckin’ Calamari platter.”

 

            The animal, or beast, or god, or what ever it had been, died with that last cut. The Weirdo kept chopping though, for a good long while, until his arms were tired, and wouldn’t lift any more.

 

            “You done?” Darrian asked

 

            “Why aren’t you dead?”

 

            “I’m not prepared to discuss it with you Vivian.” Michael said leaning against a wall and opening his coat. “I’m gonna write a letter to Echo and The Bunnymen about this.”

 

            He leaned back, breathing heavily, and sliding out of his coat. There were small tears in his red waistcoat, but no blood, not even the clear goo that his blood had threatened to become. He gripped the two sides of the vest and simply yanked, silver buttons flew off and one bounced off The Weirdo’s arm. He let the vest drop and slid his shirt off. The thin vest was made of a duparoh and Kevlar cover and held a series of small titanium squares. There were about twenty bullets stuck into the Kevlar and titanium. The small bullets had stuck in, and nothing had actually entered his body, besides one wound on his shoulder.

 

            “Young Master Zane here convinced me of the folly of not wearing a life preserver.” He unstrapped the Velcro tabs, still breathing heavily. “Bought one of these after out little encounter last time I was here. I don’t always wear it, but I find it helps.”

 

            The Weirdo helped him take the vest off and tossed it to one side. There was a series of bruises that were coming together to make the chest a single large bruise. Darrian took in deep breaths, and let them out slowly. He then picked his shirt back up and slid back into it. He picked up his great coat and slid it back on, without examining it for bullet holes. The shirt was full of them but he wasn’t going to worry about that just yet.

 

            “Rubber duck?” Cydrill’s voice came over. “Um, are you there? What’s the phrase to use?”

 

            “You ask if I have a copy on you.” The Weirdo asked.

 

            “Well let’s pretend I said that.” Cydrill said. “I have some good news and bad news.”

 

            “Okay,” The Weirdo said, “Let’s hear it.”

 

            “Angel’s been shot, I’ve already called Dr. Crazy and we’re going to the house to try and meet in the middle. That was the good news.”

 

            “Delightful.” The Weirdo enthused. “If that’s the good news I’m almost afraid to ask about the other half. What’s the bad news?”

 

            “Athena wasn’t done having children.” Cydrill said. “They took the baby girl, and then ah, Athena had another child.”

 

            “I suppose this was a fully grown male who leapt from his mothers crotch with magic armor and a sword that goes *ting * right?” There was a long, and protracted silence. The Weirdo looked at Max and Michael and then pressed the send button. “Hello?”

 

            “Did someone talk to you already?” Cydrill asked.

 

            “I beg your pardon.”

 

            “Well, his name is Keyrran and that’s what happened.”

 

            “Did it?” The Weirdo’s tone brightened.

 

            “Yes.”

 

            “Good, good.” He smiled and nodded to Max. He sounded as if he had heard the most delightful news ever. “Where is he now?”

 

            “He flew away, see he has these little wings on his ankles, and went to save his sister.”

 

            “Delightful.” The Weirdo enthused. “Did I say delightful already? Well I say it again, delightful. I couldn’t be happier.”

 

            “There’s Doc’s van.” Piedmont’s voice came over.

 

            “We’re gonna try and save Angel now. I’ll talk to you later.”

 

            “Okay.” The Weirdo said with a large and disingenuous smile. “See you later alligator.”

 

            “Right.” Cydrill said and broke the connection.

 

            The Weirdo turned, bright smiled at Max and Michael, who was beginning to stand on his own. He looked at the communicator and smiled a large, apple cheeked smile. He tossed the pen shaped device from one hand to the other as he smiled. Then, despite the fact that they had heard, he explained the conversation to them.

 

            “Athena had a second child.” He enthused, “A boy named Keyrran, whose armor is magic and whose sword goes Ting! He’s on his way to help his father save his sister.”

 

            “Oh.” Max said.

 

            “Yeah. Fuck!” The Weirdo shouted and then, with all his available might, hurled the device. It struck a brick wall and shattered into a fair number of pieces, though nowhere near a hundred.

 

            “Should we try and save the little girl?” Michael asked.

 

            “We should try and save Angel.” He said. “Why wasn’t The Other there? She could have just healed her? Fuck.”

 

            “So we go for Angel?” Max asked.

 

            “We’ll have to steal a car or walk. Tommy took the sedan.”

 

            “Unless Tommy got out of it by now.”

 

            “No.” The Weirdo said. “He’s still in it for the moment.”

 

            “You go after the guys.” Darrian said. “You can fly there. I can take Max with me to help with Angel.”

 

            “What?” The Weirdo asked.

 

            “No offense Weirdo, but your best at fighting and smashing. If they can’t do anything else I can save Angel.”

 

            “Wait.” Max said. “You mean by infecting her.”

 

            “Yes.” Darrian said. “If it comes to that, a new vampire, less than a month old, can regenerate from just about anything short of a decapitation.”

 

            “Go.” The Weirdo said flying into the air.

 

           

April 14th, 2003

11:36 p.m.

 

            The sedan might have been fast, but there were a lot of barriers in the way. Too many people from the System were in cars that were pulling out with only the thought of delaying our heroes. Jack’s bike got through quickly enough, but the sedan was having a bit of trouble. Jack couldn’t take them on alone, and was still having trouble fighting off the forces that held back to delay him.

 

            “What about the bombs?” Kestrel asked. “We could blow the street up in front of them?”

 

            Cassimano, in the back seat leapt up and shouted at them

 

            “No.” He said, “That’s my daughter in there.”

 

            “We could stop them.” She said.

 

            “What if they try to drive through?” Cassimano said. “She’s a new born. We don’t

know anything about her.”

 

            “No bombs.” Tommy said. “We just do this carefully.”

 

           

April 14th, 2003

11:39 p.m.

 

            Lilith ran into the building where Eve was already holding the infant. She was cradling the child gently in her arms, feeding her from a bottle. The child was calm, almost preternaturally so. Her large green eyes stared up at Eve and sucked at the bottle in her mouth.

 

            “We have her?” Lilith asked.

 

            “We have her.” Eve said. “The little Goddess is here in my hands.

 

            “Hero.” Lilith said.

 

            “What?”

 

            “The demi gods were called heroes.” Lilith said. “Her father is Cassimano.”

 

            “And is her father coming to get her?”

 

            “They’re coming.” Lilith said.

 

            “We should lock up shop then.” Eve said.

 

            There were large barriers that were dropped before the doors, and over many windows. Over the gates on the doors, large metal plates that had been welded for the purpose were laid against them. These were propped into place by large legs that would support and secure them. When the midnight blue sedan managed to finally get to Empire state building, it was a fortified position. It’s a wonder that no one managed to remember gun ports in the metal plates, or they might have been unassailable.

 

            The Weirdo landed next to the car as Tommy was getting out of it. He looked at the Weirdo’s spattered clothing. For a moment he thought that The Weirdo had been sliding through a sewer, but the liquid smelled like blood instead of sewage. The Weirdo was veritable covered in the stuff too, he was soaked with the stuff. How he had managed not to cover his head in it was an amazing feat.

 

            “Is that blood?” Tommy asked.

 

            “Yes.” The Weirdo said.

 

            “A lot of blood.” Kestrel said.

 

            “Well none of it’s mine.” He said.

 

            “Well you’re blood’s not greenish black.” She said.

 

            “Good point.” He looked at the building and then at the plates.

 

            “How do we get in?” Cassimano asked.

 

            “Climb.” The Weirdo said. “Me and Jack can fly up to a window that’s not barricaded and…”

 

            “Shoot our way to the ground floor?” Jack asked.

 

            “Not so great is it?”

 

            “If we could get around the doors.” Kestrel said.

 

            “Father.” A voice came from the sky.

 

            “Shoot me.” The Weirdo muttered to Tommy as he put his face in his hand, “Just a quick one behind the right ear.”

 

            “Who?” Kestrel asked as the young boy landed.

 

            His magic armor was silver, and of a sort of Grecian style. That is to say it was faux Grecian, because they would never have made armor like this. The ridiculously ornate cuirass had a frieze of his father, in an action pose that Cassimano never would have made. There were leaves and vines and flowers and even animals in the works of the grieves on his legs. He had grieves for his forearms, and shoulder covers that extended to his elbows to cover his biceps. All in all it was fortunate that he was of Godly decent, or he’d never be able to move under the shinning armor. He had a short sword and a what was short for a spear. A silver shield had a helmet on it that looked like the helmet he wore.

 

            “D’var, my I have the privilege of introducing your son.”

 

            “Son?”

 

            “Greetings father, I am Keyrran!” When he smiled, a stray ray of light glinted off his teeth.

 

            “Hi.” Cassimano said.

 

            “Come, we must go and save my infant sister.” When this young idiot drew out his sword, it sounded like he had placed a file in his scabbard so that the edge could drag across it and make that noise on hears in movies.

 

            “Let’s try and have a plan first.” Kestrel said.

 

            “I shall remove this barrier” The beautiful youth said leaping forward with the grace of a gazelle.

 

            The sword glowed and a blot of light fired from it, and the doors exploded. Actually, more than the doors exploded, a fifty by fifty foot hole was formed. Pieces of masonry hit the car, and dust flew everywhere. The Weirdo rushed forward and grabbed Keyrran’s magic silver colored cape and yanked him back. He nearly hit the boy, but just looked at him with his smoldering dark eyes.

 

            “You were only sps to bl the bdd dr of.” He grumbled incomprehensibly.

 

            “What?” Kestrel asked.

 

            “The doors.” The Weirdo said. “You were only, explosion, doors.”

 

            “I don’t understand?” Keyrran said. “What…?”

 

            “You’re only supposed to blow the bloody doors off!” The Weirdo screamed in a frighteningly accurate Michael Cane impression. “There! I said it! Do we have to have a fucking pop cutler reference that no one gets every five god damn minuets?”

 

            “Well… yeah.” Jack said looking around.

 

            “I mean,” Tommy shrugged, “Otherwise what’s the point?”

 

            “You gotta.” Kestrel said.

 

            The Weirdo walked around the others and put a finger in Kestrel’s face. It’s possible that he had no idea what he was doing or saying. It is just as likely that he knew exactly what he was doing when he said the following.

 

            “Oh more word out of you Kestrel. All right?” He paused. “All right.”

 

            He took several deep breaths and looked at the group that was coming from the shattered doors. Because they hadn’t rushed the doors, they had lost the element of surprise they might have had. They weren’t shooting though, which is always a good sign. Any time people aren’t shooting at you it’s not as bad as it could be.

 

            “Shit.” Cassimano said, his hand touching the pistol.

 

            “Not yet.” Kestrel said. “I’ve got an idea.”

 

            “Oh.”

 

            “Yeah.” She said. “We give up.”

 

            “But I am Keyrran.” Keyrran said, “My armor is mighty and my sword goes ting.”

 

            “Yes.” Kestrel said. “And I want you to give up.”

 

            “But that is not courageous.” Keyrran said, deflating as he spoke.

 

            “It’s very valiant.” She said. “You’ll see, we courageously surrender so we can valiantly live to see another day.”

 

            “But.” Keyrran began.

 

            “You just listen to Auntie Kestrel.” Cassimano said. “I think I see where she’s going.”

 

            “Place you’re weapons on the ground.” One of the women approaching called out.

 

            “Okay.” The Weirdo said walking forward. “This better work.”

 

            “Remove the coat and throw it on the ground.” The Weirdo did as he was told. “Hands over your head and get on your knees.”

 

            Keyrran and Cassimano set their weapons down on the ground, walking away and kneeling down next to The Weirdo. Tommy took his coat off and set his pistol down on it, he then walked over to the others and did like wise. Kestrel still leaned against the car, her arms crossed.

 

            They had always ignored her, she had noticed. For liberated women, they fell into the phallic trap, only penises were dangerous. Since she was not male, she was once again being ignored. This had partially meant that the bullets didn’t come flying at her as much, but it was insulting. Her left hand rested on the barreta and her right hand gripped the big smith and Wesson. She resolved to make them pay for their sexism, she was going to kill them all.

 

            “You come over here to.” Said the woman who had done all the talking.

 

            “No.” Kestrel said. “Come get me.”

 

            The woman sighed and rolled her eyes. She slid her machine gun behind her on its strap and walked towards Kestrel, who shook her head. It’s never wise to disregard anyone, particularly in this day and age. The gun is a great equalizer, you need almost no strength to use it, it takes about thirty seconds to learn to use. When the first handguns were introduced, the pope tried to ban them. It was seen as a bad thing that a normal man could kill a knight.

 

            Kestrel watched as this fool came close enough for Kestrel to see the whites of her big blue eyes. Kestrel noticed how the blonde hair had been teased up and was in the latest and sexiest fashion. It was the sort of thing Kestrel could never get her hair to do, although she’d never really wanted to. She thought about how silly it was to wear one’s hair loose, and then ruined the hair do.

 

            The five hundred magnum cleared leather and fired before the blonde was fully aware that Kestrel had moved. The sound of a five hundred Magnum round is not unimpressive on it’s own, but it becomes a canon’s report when fired in a city. The gathering of buildings made it echo as if it were in a valley. Kestrel turned the gun and ran towards the other three, firing at them. It was less than five seconds later she was kicking The Weirdo’s coat towards him.

 

            “That wasn’t valiant.” Keyrran complained as he picked up his sword and spear.

 

            “Plenty valiant.” Kestrel said. “Four to one odds?”

 

            “It’s just… I.” He looked around. “You’re a woman.”

 

            “Sharp as a marble this boy is.” The Weirdo said. “Shall we endeavor then folks?”

 

            “Let’s.” Jack said.

 

           

April 14th, 2003

11:41 p.m.

 

            “They’ve breached the wall.” Eve said.

 

            “Only some of them.” Lilith said. “This isn’t an invasion it’s a rescue.”

 

            “They have come for her.” Eve said. “Peach his hiding her though.”

 

            “Where is Peach?” Lilith asked.

 

            “With the child.”

 

            “Where?”

 

            “I don’t know.” Eve said. “That was the point. She’s going to hide with the baby till we killed them.”

 

            “Hera won’t be happy with that.”

 

            “Hera wants the child dead.” Eve said. “She wants to do it herself, that’s why she wanted her. She’ll be happy enough if the child is just dead. Peach has her orders, if she’s found she’ll kill her.”

 

            “I sent too many people out tonight.” Lilith said. “There can’t even be twenty of us in the building.”

 

            “They’re performing the rights in the other locations. That’s why I insisted we make such a big deal out of Chandelroth’s summoning. You don’t think I’d have let him have those ridiculous search lights without a reason do you?”

 

            “I suppose not.”

 

            “This is just another part of the distractions. If they’re all here fighting, then their not stopping the other summoning.”

 

            “I suppose that’s true.”

 

 

April 14th, 2003

11:42 p.m.

 

            “Hold her hand.” Doctor Crazy said quietly as he stitched closed another hole.  “She’ll start coming out of it and will need some comfort.”

 

            “Will she live?” Darrian asked.

 

            “She’ll be fine.” Crazy said. “She’ll never lift her left hand over her head but she’ll be okay.”

 

            Darrian’s sigh was one of the full-bodied varieties; he leaned back against the wall and stuck his hands in his pockets. When he exhaled there was a slight shudder to him. Max looked at Kaala who was stroking Angel’s right hand. She smiled a little and looked back down at Angel’s face. She stroked the dark hair and fresh tears began to well up in her eyes.

 

            “No need to cry now.” Cydrill said. “All over now.”

 

            “I know.” Kaala said.

 

            “It’s okay.” Piedmont said, touching her shoulder. “You cry all you want to.”

 

            “She was pretty close there for a while.” Doc said, placing gauze over a  few places and taking the mask off Angel’s face. “One of the bullets went through her lung.”

 

            “You got it out?” Max asked,

 

            “Of course I did.” Doc said. “You think I’m some kind of  country doctor who shows up more for a piece of pie than to cure a person?”

 

            “The thought had occurred to me.” Max said.

 

            “Well I’m not.”

 

            “Kaala?” Angel’s voice was soft, still drugged.

 

            “Yeah Angel.”

 

            “I fucked up.” Angel said. “Weirdo put me in charge.”

 

            “No.” Kaala said. “Everything’s fine.”

 

            “Baby.” Angel said.

 

            “Sleeping, with her mommy.” Kaala said, looking up at the rest of them.

 

            “Oh.” Angel said. “Everything’s okay then?”

 

            “Yeah.” Kaala said. “Only you got shot in the arm and we had to bring you here to get you fixed.”

 

            “Shot?” Angel said trying to lift her left arm.

 

            “No, no.” Doc said. “You’re gonna have to have that in a sling for a while and then you’ll have to do a lot of physical therapy to get the use back.”

 

            “Oh.” Angel muttered. “Hard to breath.”

 

            “You got shot in the lung too.” Kaala said.

 

            “Where’d you get shot?” Angel asked.

 

            “I didn’t.”

 

            “Pussy.”

 

            “You can’t smoke anymore.” Kaala said.

 

            “Don’t wanna smoke.” Angel said. “Wanna kiss.”

 

            Kaala put and arm around Angel and kissed her, the tears dripping onto Angel’s face. Angel sat up with difficultly and wiped the tear from her face. She then looked around at the group and smiled.

 

            “I didn’t do so good being in charge.” She said.

 

            “You did as well as any one else.” Cydrill said.

 

            “Yeah?”

 

            “Yeah.”

 

            “When can we see the kid then?” She asked looking around.

 

            “You’ll have to stay here at least till tomorrow.” Doc said. “I want to run a scan on you every hour to check for concussion. You should stay still and awake during that time. You’ll also have to stay here.”

 

            “Oh.”

 

            “I’ll stay with you.” Kaala said.

 

            “I’m just going up for a breath of air.” Darrian said.

 

            “Me too.” Max said and walked up after him.

 

            They walked out into the cool air outside and looked at the ocean, it was dead and quiet. If what they had been told was right, not even copepods would be in those waters. Funny how Max had complained when they discovered the tiny crustaceans in the tap water. The Weirdo had explained that he had probably been drinking them his whole life and just never noticed, but now they were gone. He thought it would be nice to have them back. It’d be nice to have anything back.

 

            “I didn’t have to do it.” Darrian said.

 

            “Would you have?” Max asked.

 

            “Yes.”

 

            “Why?”

 

            “Because those two deserve time to be a happy couple.” Darrian said. “I’ve seen people who don’t even like each other survive for decades while those who are really in love are torn from each other before their love can reach fullness. These two, they deserve their time.”

 

            “You sure it’s not just because you want the story of your life to involve lesbian vampires?”

 

            “Who asked you?” Darrian said.

 

            “Just asking.”

 

           

April 14th, 2003

11:58 p.m.

 

            While The Weirdo, Tommy and Jack had gone in one direction while Kestrel, Cassimano and Keyrran had gone in another. It was Keyrran that everyone should have followed, as it was he who could best find his sister. He was able to tell exactly where she was, and how she was feeling. She wasn’t happy is how she was feeling, she was crying a storm.

 

            He didn’t know how to carry himself though, so Cassimano and Kestrel had tried to keep him between them so as to stop him from performing any act of foolishness that might get him killed. He had surprised them both though by being quite good with his spear and sword. He had skills that given time would make him deadly, now thought he was merely good.

 

            “She’s just behind that door.” Keyrran said and rushed forward.

 

            Kestrel tried to stop him but he smashed through the door. She and Cassimano entered the room and found that Keyrran had already been forced to the floor and disarmed by two guards. A shotgun was pressed to the back of his head. Kestrel walked into the room to find Peach holding a gun towards the as yet unnamed baby.

 

            There was a large conference table between Peach and the group; she had a position of power at this time. She knew where the upper hand was, and she was enjoying it. Kestrel wanted to splatter her big hair and southern brains all over the window behind her, but the child was in the way.

 

            “Well hi y’all.” She said. “So nice of you to come.”

 

            “Put the gun down.” Kestrel said.

 

            “You first.” She said and fired at Cassimano as he came into the room.

 

            “Shit.” He struck the door and fell over, Peach aimed the gun directly at Kestrel.

 

            “I’m not going to just assume you can’t do anything.” She said. “So drop the gun or I will kill you, and then I’ll kill her.”

 

            Kestrel tossed the revolver to the ground, and pulled the automatic out and let it tumble out of her hands to fall to her feet. If she had to drop, she could grab it and fire. Cassimano got up slowly and seeing when the gun was aimed tossed his gun onto the table.

 

            “Well ain’t that nice?” Peach asked. “And look who we got to come visit.”

 

            “Give me the child.” Hera said as she came from the on suite bathroom.

 

            “No.” Keyrran said.

 

            “Quite boy.” Hera said walking across the large conference room.

 

            “No.” Keyrran moved in a quick and sudden way.

 

He moved to a crouched position, grabbing his spear. He hurled it like a javelin at the window and ran towards Peach. Kestrel fell to the ground but found the pistol was gone and her magnum was out of reach. Keyrran struck the old Goddess and hit Peach in the face. He grabbed the child like he was intercepting a football and flew through the window. Cassimano struck the two guards, and knocked their heads together. He did this hard enough to render both of them unconscious and to split the scalp on one of them.

 

“Get him.” Hera’s voice screeched. “Kill them.”

 

“Damn right I will.” Peach said picking up her gun again and grabbing Kestrel by the arm.

 

“You’ll loose in the end.” Kestrel said.

 

“You’ll die right now.”

 

“Okay Honkey!” The Other shouted. “Gech Yo hands off the sista or I’ll bust a cap in yo hiney!”

 

            All eyes slowly turned towards The Other, holding the hammerless Smith and Wesson in both hands and aiming it directly at Peach’s head. Cassimano, his fingers on his gun, froze where he was. There was a long silent moment broken only by Kestrel. She probably shouldn’t have said anything, but she couldn’t help herself.

 

            “Other.” She managed. “What are you doing?”

 

            “It’s okay.” The Other whispered, conspiratorially. “I saw this in a movie.”

 

            “What?” Peach asked.

 

            It was in that distracted moment that Kestrel punched, and punched hard. The fist landed directly in Peach’s jaw and sent her reeling over. Kestrel quickly stood and caught up one of the machine guns dropped by one of the mystified guards. She fired at Hera, sending the goddess flying back in to the rest room. She then reached down to pick up the revolver, and for the first time began to notice the pain. Cassimano ran over to scoop up the child and take the pistol from her. He stuck it in his belt.

 

            “We’re gonna stop letting The Weirdo show you movies.” She said. “Bad influence.”

 

            “Rubber Duck this is Pretty boy, we can bug outta here, all is well.” He said into the communicator.

 

            “Yeah.” Kestrel said, holding the hand she had punched with. “If you discount the fact that I appear to have just machine gunned down Hera.”

 

 

April 15th, 2003

1:13 a.m.

 

            “And so I followed you.” The Other finished explaining. “And you know the rest.”

 

            Athena was examining her two children for wounds, and Judy and Sheila were apparently doing the same to Tommy. Though how a person can figure out if a guy has a concussion by sticking a tongue in his ear is a mystery forgotten by medical science. Keyrran had come back to his mother and was trying not to be checked out too much.

 

            “I see.” The Weirdo said. “But you decided to help them and not me? I mean me and Tommy were in a pretty tight spot there for a while.”

 

            “Weirdo.” She said in a falsely exhausted tone. “Catching your button in an elevator isn’t a tight spot.”

 

            “Well it was the most we had to do really.” The Weirdo said.

 

            “I was nearly killed.” Keyrran said.

 

            Kestrel looked at the young man, really a boy, and wondered about that. Having some one point a gun at you isn’t quite the same as nearly being killed. She noticed that when he took his helmet off he was very attractive. Genetics would explain his physical features though, like the long silky hair and dark eyes of his father; and the nose and mouth of his mother.

 

            “So what’s the girls name anyway?” Tommy asked.

 

            “Alice.” D’var said.

 

            “Alice?” Nike asked.

 

            “Yes.” Cassimano said, “Alice.”

 

            “Dare I ask why?” Jack asked.

 

            “I always liked the name.” He said.

 

            “Okay,” Athena said, “She shall be called Alice.”

 

            “Good name.” The Weirdo said.

 

            “Ducky, you got your ears on son?” The Weirdo’s coat began to say. He began to paw through the coat looking for the pocket. “This is Saw Bones looking for the Rubber Duck.”

 

            “This is Pig Pen, Sawbones, you’re gonna have to wait until he finds his com.”

 

            “Why can’t I just talk to him with yours?”

 

            “Good question. Why don’t you ask him.” He tossed the com to The Weirdo, who caught it one handed and began to walk from the room.

 

            “I’m here Saw Bones.” The Weirdo said. “Tell me the worst.”

 

            “Everyone you’ve ever loved will be dead one day and the sun will expand to a size where if it doesn’t engulf the earth it’ll fry it beyond any hope of sustaining life. Then one day all the stars will burn out and the universe will be a cold lifeless place from then on.”

 

            “Could you localize that a little?”

 

            “That’s why I threw in the part about everyone dying.”

 

            “What’s the status?” The Weirdo asked, trying to be clam.

 

            “Oh, that?” Doc said. “Everybody’s fine. Angel’s probably never going to be able to lift her left arm over her head again and it’ll be months before she can safely smoke, but besides that.”

 

            “You’re a good man Charlie Brown.”           

 

            “Just one thing though.”

 

            “Yes?”

 

            “Could we change the story of our lives to make it that the baby wasn’t kidnapped?”

 

            “Why?”

 

            Doc explained the tale, which being broadcast over and open channel was heard by everyone through The Weirdo’s com. Max and Mike, in the house, had made sure all the coms were off before Doc began. The Weirdo listened and finally spoke.

 

            “So you’re asking me, to pretend that tonight never happened?”

 

            “Yes.” Doc said.

 

            “You know there’s a lot of damage to the cabin.”

 

            “All cosmetic and you know it.” Doc said. “I can see the house on the monitors now.”     

 

            “Can you?”

 

            “Yes.”

 

            “Then why didn’t you warn of an attack?”

 

            “Do you think anyone would be alive there if I hadn’t?”

 

            “Oh.”

 

            “Thanks for the vote of confidence though.”

 

            “Yeah, no problem.”

 

 

April 15th, 2003

1:21 p.m.

 

            The Weirdo woke up slowly from his sleep, and looked around his room. He was alone, even Bagheera had decided that there were better places to be than sleeping by The Weirdo’s side. This was odd because in all the time The Weirdo had Bagheera he could only put together about two hours in that entire time that the cat was awake. If The Weirdo was asleep the cat was usually with him.

 

            He sat half up, and fell back. He had seriously over estimated his ability to get out of bed. He rolled onto his stomach and began to slide off the bed. His left foot slid out of the bed and touched the floor. His right foot extended out from under the blankets and pressed down onto the hard floor. With his feet firmly planted he began to complex process of remembering exactly what a person was meant to do after that part had been completed.

 

            Some might wish to laugh at his mental confusion, but how many of us can truly say this has never happened to them. He remembered how to stand up and pushed himself up. He looked at the clock on the nightstand and cursed his luck. He had only gone to sleep five hours before, but now that he was up he wouldn’t be able to go to sleep again. He took a shower, washed his hair, and shaved the bristling dark hairs off his face. He wondered how many days had gone by since he had done this very simple set of things. Some people managed to do it everyday, without much trouble.

 

            He looked at his face in the mirror, thinking about that, how normal people managed. He had always tried to look at the brighter side of the equation, that he led and extraordinary life. He had been places that some people were unaware actually existed. He had woken up in Avalon, stood in Asgaurd, eaten in Pittsburgh. He had done things that most people had only dreamed of. Yet he wondered if he’d give it up for the chance to sleep through the entire night. Would he give it up to have her back, to have the normal children?

 

            He looked at the face in the mirror, as he turned the brush in the mug. He looked at his hands and laughed. He kept his shaving cream in a soap mug, not in a can. He didn’t have gel or foam, but a mug with a bar of soap. He kept stirring and applied the suds with the brush, instead of his hands. He had tried to use his hands, with the cans of gel, he couldn’t see how they did it. How could a person reconcile that they were getting that slimy crap on their hands?

 

            He picked up the razor and the questions kept coming. Might it be that everything in his character and make up made the normal life impossible for him? If he couldn’t manage to get shaving cream on his face like a normal American male, what hope was there to not be shot at? He couldn’t even get the required eight hours of sleep, how could he manage not being in the middle of a fight amongst gods? If he couldn’t get these simple things, how could he have ever hoped to manage avoiding the big things?

 

            It was an interesting question; he picked up his razor and noted that it at least was normal. It was one of those newer razors, with the three blades. He looked at the head, wondering if he should replace it. ‘Why not?’ he thought, ‘After all I’ll probably be dead before I can finish the pack.’ So he did replace the blade, and got a smoother shave for the effort.

 

            He looked at himself in the mirror and a thought came to his mind. He tried to remember what the thought was connected to, but that thought was vanquished quickly. The thought was that no matter what form she took the eyes were the same color. It made him very angry, but he couldn’t say why. He placed the razor down and took several deep breaths, trying to regulate his temper. He opened his eyes slowly and found that he had finished shaving any way. He slapped on some aftershave gel and walked out of the bathroom.

 

            Eoster was sitting on his bed, smoothing out a few wrinkles. She looked sad and pensive as he came out, her golden hair tied behind her. She brushed a bit of cat fur from the bed and smiled at him. Her eyes were sad though, and he simply leaned against the doorframe and looked at her.

 

            “Hi.” She said, standing from the bed.

 

            “Hi.” He said.

 

            “I’ve come to tell you the entire truth.”

 

            “Entire truth?” The Weirdo asked.

 

            “Yes.” She said. “I’m going to tell you everything because if someone doesn’t you’ll be killed. I know that no one wants you to know, but…”

 

            “But?”

 

            “Even if it wasn’t actually the you that stands before me, you’re the father of my child. I can’t risk removing the father.”

 

            The Weirdo’s eyes flicked down to her belly and then back to her face. She didn’t look pregnant, but it she could have just been knocked up. He internally scolded himself for such and incentive term, but it was the best he could do. He wasn’t kind, or even sensitive. He was a mean, evil bastard, and he would have to deal with it. He did think that she was telling him the truth, so he had to trust her.

 

            “Okay.” He said. “Shoot.”

 

 

April 14th, 2003

2:39 p.m.

 

            Eoster was becoming increasingly worried as she spoke, since The Weirdo said so little. He nodded, and responded when questioned, but little else. He asked few questions, and listened intensely to every word she said. He was watching her face, and her every gesture. Everything she did or failed to do would give her away, and she knew this. She couldn’t stop fluttering her hands though, any more than she could stop blushing.

 

            She explained the entire story to him, from the beginning of the conspiracy, to the end of the last few conversations she had with Aphrodite. It was a long story, even told in the truncated, fast talking manner that she used. She talked fast when she was nervous, and she was nervous now. The Weirdo was quite surprised to learn certain things, she could tell because his head tilted when she said surprising things. He even raised his eyebrows occasionally.

 

            When she was done she looked around the room and placed her hands in her lap, where they refused to stay still. She looked down at the stupid dress she had worn. The white sleeveless gown would have been more apt for a movie about housewives in the mid 50s, but he didn’t seem to disapprove.

 

            “And I think that’s it.” She said.

 

            He didn’t move for a long time, just sat perfectly still. In a way he was inscrutable, and in another way she knew him. There had been so long spent with the gray man that she knew his mannerisms. Something would have to disturb him greatly to stay that still. After a long time, he spoke very softly. It was a voice that the gray man used if angry or tired. She thought it was the silkiest voice in the world and it made things flutter in her stomach. He had his chin resting on his fist, his index finger touching the tip of his nose.

 

            “Okay.” He said, nodding slowly, “I think I understand now.”

 

            “I hope so.” She said. “I mean if there’s anything else I can tell you.”

 

            “No.” He said shaking his head slowly. “I think I’ve got it.”

 

            “I’m sorry.” She said. “I don’t like keeping things.”

 

            “If you had told me before, it probably would have been more difficult.” He said.

 

            “What are you going to do?” She asked.

 

            “For starters.” He said getting up and walking towards her.

 

            He took her right hand in his left hand and she noticed how large and wide it was. The palm was nearly a square, with wide fingers extending from it. These were not the fingers of a musician or even an artist. Nature had intended powerful work be done by these hands. He helped her up and gently pressed his lips against hers.

 

            It wasn’t what a person could call a passionate kiss, but there was a power behind it. He held her tight to him and pressed his lips into hers, causing her to feel weak in the knees. Then they parted and he let her slide gently down to the bed again. She wanted him to take her, but she knew he wouldn’t. He wouldn’t have any purpose in life but the one purpose.

 

            “I thought it would be me.” He said, “That would… after we…”

 

            “I wanted it to be, but we only spent the one night.” She said softly.

 

            “Was that a mistake?”

           

            “Spending the night, or only doing it once?”

           

            “Which do you prefer?”

           

            “I’ve spent the night with you many times,” She said pressing her hand against his chest. “It’s always you, even when it’s him, its still you.”

 

            “Just a different me.” He said.

 

            “Yeah.” She said. “Maybe when all this is over…”

 

            She let the phrase hang between them. He kissed her again gently and stood.

 

            “I’ve apparently got some work to do.” He said walking towards the door.

 

            “You won’t be able to go yourself.” She said standing up and beginning to walk after him.

 

            “I know that.” He said spinning around. “I’ve got a plan though, you’ll like this.”

           

 

April 14th, 2003

3:00 p.m.

 

            “I suppose you’re wondering why I called you all here today?” The Weirdo asked.

 

            “Well, I assume to discuss what the fuck we’re going to do next.” Tommy said.

 

            “Oh yes, Tommy. We’re going to do something, that we are my lad.”

 

            “What?” Kestrel asked.

 

            “I have a plan, and I want you to understand, it will not work.”

 

            “Won’t it?” Max asked.

 

            “No.” The Weirdo said. “This plan of mine, is so fucked up that the most fucked up thing you can think of is only kind of fucked up as a comparison.”

 

            “Is it worse that the one where we all pretend to be Lord Byron?” Tommy asked.

 

            “Yes.” The Weirdo said, “Yes it is.”

 

            “Lord Byron?” Kestrel asked.

 

            “Long story.” Tommy said.

 

            “What’s that plan?” Kestrel asked.

 

            “Never mind about that one. It’s too plausible, too much of a chance of working, requires too many clothes. I’m not even gonna talk about it.” The Weirdo said. “Instead we’re gonna talk about this other plan, which simply will not work.”

 

            “Okay, tell me that plan.” She said settling deeper into her chair.

 

            “Let me tell you the problem first.” He said, taking a deep breath. “Lilith did not just open one portal, she opened about a dozen. There are hundreds of thousands of dark beasties running around the island of Manhattan. Each of them has the strength of a coked up bull elephant and the brains of Alexander the Great.”

 

            “Delightful.” Cassimano said.

 

            “You have no idea.” The Weirdo said. “I’ve also got it on pretty good authority, that besides the beautiful Grecian ladies and a few drunk Norse Gods, we are fucked for help. It’s not just that the Olympians, the Egyptians and the Judiao Christian god’s who are against us. It’s just about everybody, from the Incan’s and the Aztec’s to the Japanese and Yacatec gods. Everybody is going to be against us, because they think they’re all going to benefit from the new world.

 

            “Actually there not, they’re going to be swept aside, but they think they’ll be raised to their former glory. A few Gods have said they’ll offer what help they can, but that will be mainly in the form of herbs for out soups and Styrofoam toys for the kiddies. You may begin to see why we are fucked. We have no help, besides what we’ve got in this room. Do I need to go through the whole Vampire fallen angel, thing or do we all know what we’ve got here?”

 

            “Oh what the hell.” Max said, “I want to see if you can remember everybody and keep up an tab.”

 

            “Bastard.” The Weirdo said. “For a refreshment and entertainment of certain bastards… All we have right now is and you may quote; a vampire, a fallen angel, a pair of lesbians, a woman who turns into a small bird, a deranged doctor, an alien, a psychic, his two bi-sexual immortal girlfriends, A lord of twilight, his sister, a former bishop, a professional adventurer and pretty boy, the goddess he knocked up, and her girlfriend, their two children, an older version of myself, the goddess he managed to knock up, his more usual girlfriend who is also a goddess, a house keeper, a giant gray tiger, a small beige tabby, The Other, Jorgaes, one smug bastard who needs to keep his mouth shut and myself. Now did I forget anyone?”

 

            “The professor and Mary Ann.” Kestrel said.

 

            “Oh shut up.” He said, and looked at all the expectant faces. “It sounds like a lot until I look around this room and I realize you really are it. The people standing in this room are the last line between the end of the world and whatever tomorrow will bring if there even is a tomorrow. I know you wanted a rousing speech, but it’s nowhere near Saint Crispin’s day. I think the best I can offer you is that we’ll probably fail. If we fail, the likely hood is that no one will ever even know we existed.”

 

            “There is another choice to that though.” Tommy said. “We could try, and if we fail, we might make such a memory on those who win that they’ll think twice before letting a group like us live as long as we did.”

 

            “We draw their attention and get them to smite us all at once?” Kestrel said. “Good idea.”

 

            “There will be no smiting all at once.” The Weirdo said. “That’s part of the new plan. There will be no group smiting, there will be no suicide charges, no brave deaths, and everyone is going to get out alive.”

 

            “You’ve got a plan to keep us from dying bravely?” Jack asked.

 

            “Damn skippy.” He said.

 

            “This has got to be some plan.”

 

            “Oh yes.” He said. “They’re gonna be wondering what the hell every happened to us, just listen.”

© 2014 Autumn Knight Productions

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May 12, 2014 - Posted by | Fiction | , , ,

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