Monthly Archives: August 2012

Chapter 5

“Primed and ready!”

The first bug dies in a burst of napalm.

“Not enough”

Is there hope? No room for gambling, since the odds are already less than zero. No, as long as I’m not downwind I can keep the odds at zero … of course I’m covered in swarmling blood, feces, and other material … so it probably makes no difference. But who cares.

So a bug approaches low from the corner of my eye. I lunge at him; first smashing it under the forward momentum of my goliath armor before rolling to my feet in an instant to burst down, one bug, three bugs, twelve bugs in time to turn around and roast two dozen more. Not enough; the explosions attract more bugs, the corpses attract more bugs, I attract more bugs. How long ‘til I’m swarmed?

Am I in hell? The demons don’t care. Brother, sister, living, dead? Eat, attack, lung, gorge, buffet their stomachs until their wings are forced to unfold. It makes no difference: one blind sides the other, and buries its face into the loser’s underbelly, chewing and ripping its way inside. The loser fights back, smashing his assailant’s head three times with its claw and cracking its armored back, but it makes no difference. Natural selection in full display and we evolved from this? The ones I cut with the sword become food to his brother; the ones I burn with the torch are feasted on by his sister. I’m chest high in death and goo, as the wanderers and the curious come at me by the hundreds and soon thousands.

No escape. I duck under the leap of a swarmling, cutting it in half as I twist away from his raining organs. I recognize one heart in the mix – funny what you notice in crisis situations – before I bash the nozzle of my II into the gaping mouth of a fast-approaching swarmling. My timing’s unreal! As it tugs at the metal, I shove the barrel deeper into its mouth and swing the creature into his brothers, who take no notice of him as he is quickly trampled under the weight of the armored sea. The swarmling I just cut in half gets beset on by his brothers as it struggles to regain some sort of balance. And the battle moves as I move, forward and away, but never far enough.

The fight goes until the ground is soppy with the lickerish they call blood. It sizzles and pops with each release of napalm. Swarmling blood at boiling point releases gasses that rapidly expand the swarmling’s body until the pressure becomes unbearable for the rigid insect body. This process is aided by the four hearts that pump blood into the swarmling’s seven foot body at extraordinary speeds, a necessity to keep all of the organs and extra organs filled with nutrients and the keep the muscles oxygenated.

One bug rears up on four legs, allowing his other four to act as claws capable of punching dents into the pride and joy of human war engineering. I could already see the complaint form I would file as I dodge the first swing with a step back, twist around to let the swarmling behind me lunge at my attacker, and then watch them tackle and fight each other as they suddenly found better things to eat. I lit the dueling pair on fire as one finally got the advantage over the other after a 0.512 second life-and-death duel that saw the loss of 3 limbs, the snapping of one mandible, and multiple puncture wounds that must have caused the failure of four to five important organs.

“Endless.” I cut down three swarmlings in a frenzy of haphazard swordsmanship.

“Axe-Hand,” the name of a Samson I’ve gotten to know since my 10 years of being assigned to the 122nd mixed infantry, “Why do you insist on taking melee weapons when range combat is safer and more effective?”

He looks at me and shrugs, “Well, when your tech boys invent a gun that doesn’t run out of ammo, I’ll leave my axe at home.”

I rip a female swarmling from her head to egg-sack; some eggs are large enough to hatch, pop, and spill out into the ground, some crack on impact, while others bounce. I take a moment to step on one, taking note of how hard they become when exposed to fresh air. The Sword of David, or SoW, sizzles with the blood of the slain. I drip sweat despite the suit’s best efforts to keep me cool. My vision takes a lapse as my conscious slips for a precious moment. I feel the sudden weight of a swarmling, I shrug it off, another swarmling, I knock it aside, I stumble forward feeling dehydrated for the first time in my life.

Too much! The smell alone; of the living, the dead, and the burning, is too much! Oh mercy, if anything was to kill me right now it would have to be whatever manages to seep through the air filter. The smells are poignant even to my soul. Of all the creatures on God’s green earth, the cockroach, despite its order in the food chain, is the one insect that elicit the most hatred. And now I see why as I smash one with a back hand swipe of my sword hand. It stumbles without a head, but turns toward me despite having no eyes to see, and claws with every limb. I shove the sword inside its mid-section and let the blade rip out its side, effectively folding the creature’s carcass upon itself. I take another backhanded swipe as something approaches from behind, it’s cleaved in two with no effort, I choke on bile as its inwards spill mere inches from face.

But carnage doesn’t stop and neither will I. With a turn I let a cartridge of napalm go before doing an odd one-handed reload procedure that required me to hook the II between my shoulder-blade and elbow, swipe a fresh cartridge, and jam it in when I let the Industrial Incinerator fall. How I manage to do that while on the run I have no idea, but I burst down a group of swarmlings before they approach within 50 yards of me and twist sideways to torch a flanking party without missing a beat.

I dive and roll to send a few bugs sailing over me, experience with humanoids must have taught them to aim for the chest. Or to be more exact, “experience” is more like the genetic memory of the ones that survived long enough to breed. I wonder what this experience will teach them. It’s probably not the fear of fire. I press and swing the flamethrower into mob, blood and liquefied guts shortly follow. I take a step and meet a swarmling, I cut it down, avoiding its claws as it twitches, and nearly step into the fury of another bug before I incinerate it out of frustration. “Too many!” and I’m exhausting my supply of napalm. I could have insisted on getting some smokers or mountain poppers, but I only managed a SoW because they forgot to remove it from the scabbard.

“Think!” I look around, forcing my eyes to see past the smoke and my own tears to see the chaos unfolding before me. I see a vision of hell; of chaos and death eating death, raping death, and spilling forth more death. I won’t sleep after this; if I survive, I simply won’t sleep. Who thinks of rest in this vision of hell? When life is obscenity that causes the eyes to bleed? But here stands the reaper man armed with lance and fire, surrounded by smoke and abominations, baked in the blood of the profane things. The smell dries and drips down the naval cavity, allowing me to taste hell.

“Enough!” As my adrenaline levels spike, letting the heart explode while everything becomes a blur of red and orange, black and yellow, screeches and roars, both human and demonic. Hell burns and I step through the carnage into the bosom of more beast. Why don’t the demons flee before the reaper man? The question taunts a response from hell’s denizens; they collapse on me from all sides, mandible click and chip at steel, both arms are trapped before the tide that sweeps away forty tons of war machine.

But who am I if not the reaper man? They meet fire, if only for a second, before the cartridge ejects; but I’m not defenseless. One meets my elbow as I pull out the fresh catch of napalm while another meets the back of my right hand. They attack from all sides and there is no end to this sea of black in site. The swarm is focusing on me now; the dozens is now hundreds and soon thousands.

“Come try to eat me demons!” because it’s reassuring to shout at things that don’t speak English. They come at me in one push, but I’m ready this time and lunge into them like 40 tons of inedible space hull approved steel. Their bodies of flesh and fat shatter under my weight; the armor that evolved to handle the hardest blows any living creature is capable of producing splinters like dried wood.

I drive my SoW into a swarmling before it can rear itself up to my height, disarming myself for a second to reach for another cartridge. I twist with my hips to avoid one lunge before shattering the exoskeleton of another attacking swarmling with my right knee, snapping three mandibles off the face and driving the fourth into what’s left of its compound eye.

I catch a shallow breath before driving my elbow into the mid-section of another bug, knocking it off-balance, as I pull the cartridge out of my ammo pouch, only to hammer the same fist into the face of a diving swarmling, sending it sprawling.

I even bash my head into swarmling just as it rears up to claw at me, forcing its body to cave inward due to the pressure, while I complete my reload. I dive to ground, rolling past and under swarmlings as they dive for me, before resting at the spot where I left my sword. I clenching it with my left hand; I spray the fire of man into the crowd, scorching the blood soaked ground along the way.

“Primed and ready!” The SoW rips through three swarmlings in one swift horizontal slash that parts mid-sections, heads, and legs from body. I twist and high-step to avoid being weighed down by the bugs. I wade through them with fire, and check my six with blade in hand. The barely living that I leave behind crawl desperately to their next meal before being eaten by healthy and hungry; the cannibalism won’t stop! Even I’m just another swarmling to them. Baking in their stench for god knows how long now … some have probably tried to mate with me …

Then that thought goes away with one thrust of my SoW. The bug is skewered from the side, I lift and toss him as he screeches, his brood devours him before he meets the ground. I have to keep moving, but hell seems to have no exit. The nest is stupidly large, the mounds seem to go on and on for miles. God help me, I’m going to die here.

I let out a jet stream of napalm, making sure to cover a wide area, as the bugs come dangerously close to surrounding me before letting go of the trigger at the worst possible second. Before I can raise a hand, a swarmling comes and nearly tears my overworked helmet from head with a quick swipe of his front claws. I only manage to twist my head in time to avoid his blade embedding itself into my visor. The crack impairs my vision for a second as I stumble in wake of the hit. I flail the II frantically to ward off the approaching swarm while my sword hand zims and zips through empty air. I get my bearings in a breath before a swarmling latches itself onto my back. I twist and turn violently in the hopes of shaking it off, but its legs are wrapped tightly around me in full embrace.

In rage I break three legs to no effect. It pecks and rams its head against my helmet in a vain attempt to find an opening. But that’s not entirely true there is a self release button around the back of the neck…

And that’s when I took a running leap into the air twisting myself mid-air in order to land squarely on my back. Smashed beneath my goliath armor lays the one swarmling that made me piss my pants. I roll and push myself up to my feet, thanking whatever divine providence saw fit to allow me to get up unmolested, before coming face-to-face with a swarmling’s moving mouth parts. Two pairs of mandibles click to my helmet as it attempts to pull me down.

“Oh look, we’re kissing!” I land an uppercut with my sword hand that ruptured it so fast into the air that it forgets to take its lips with it. With callouse efficieny swing through four and burn down several dozen in a long screeching ark of fierier death in my rage.

“Not any closer …” then I notice a ridge not so far away from where I’m currently standing and compel myself forward two meters in an outburst of joy.

“How did I miss that little detail when I looked over the Swarms’ nest? Was I heading for it the entire time? Does it matter?”

“Say goodbye to the reaper.” Then I notice a mound’s worth of swarmlings moving in unison; ignoring their imperative to eat each other in the face of a meal that smells like mother of all meals – me.

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In the Apartment of Evil

Back up takes the fun out of daemon hunting, but the League of Shadows takes the tedium out of hunting necromancers. I could call them right now if it wasn’t for the 4th level abomination sleeping in some assholes basement waiting to be sicked on hapless teenagers. They’re better at the more boring assignments, the ones that don’t involve undead pirates and possessed grandmothers, but lean towards the subtitle difference between H.P Lovecraft and someone sacrificing goats and virgins in the backwoods by a lake shore. Granted, there are 6 billion people on this planet and despite all advances in social media and travel, it’s impossible to thoroughly investigate every Wicca club in the state of Missouri let alone the country. Sometimes they arrive too late and counter-demonology 101 has to be dusted from the shelves, friends need to be sacrificed….

Which is partially why I am rummaging through the mail Mr.McCoy leaves haphazardly in his bachelor-pad/apartment/condo. Who knows what their called these days. It’s a box on top of another box with two kitchens and a thick wall dividing the two renting units. One bed room, one bath, one living room and room enough for two barely adult sizes tables that denote the dining room from the living room. He as an impressive library of science fiction, pulp fiction, and old school fantasy before Dresden Files and Song of Ice of Fire with the occasional college textbooks un-open since the day it was bought. His TV looks expensive but only that, there is no sign he actually sits down and uses it; his cable is basic, his game systems include the original Xbox and an N64, and his fridge is mostly lined with beer and flavored tequila.

His closest is light on the wife beaters and jeans and more on the button ups and other business casual “comfortably working in an office” drape. No D&D, no He-man, or even a fetish for Star Wars. A guy with more condoms than video games probably stopped wearing his geek on his sleeve years ago. And most disturbing is no occult. None. And I’ve been to necromancers apartments, most don’t think to hide that type of shit from plain sight, some are more than proud to let you know they firmly believe gibbering horrors from beyond space-time did or should rule this workd, usually by way of undisclosed human organs laying about with crude “insert your favorite ancient civilization” runes and inscriptions mapped over floors and jars. I personally tend to start worrying when I start seeing Scandinavian/Germanic runes inscribed in various bodily fluids, no offense to anyone but when people start asking the “frost giants” and “dark elves” to cross the rainbow bridge from their cozy dark corner in the multi-verse into the “middle-realm”…well lets say the Viking’s disappeared for a good reason…

Was I wrong? I’ve been here for two hours without noticing, god I’m still bad at this. Stopped Iran from doing the “other” type of nuclear research (the kind that involves less boom or more num) but can’t find a single vile of “cocktail monster bait”. Well, if I think about this logically, he may have a lot of people come in and out his apartment for one reason or another. It would be a buzz kill for a one night stand to run into your collection of satanic rituals 101. Few necromancers know guys like me exist, not for the lack of paranoia on their part, but for the simple reason that while stories of witches are rather prevalent, the guys that hunt them are far less popular. This is partially on purpose (secret government agencies and the league of shadows wouldn’t be quite secret or shadowy otherwise) and mostly because the potential witch to hunter ratio is very skewed on the witch end. And besides the few bastards that slip through the cracks look less like Magikarps and more like Gyarados when they finally make the radar again, meaning there are few to none who are truly qualified to put them down.

Though I’m sure he isn’t that dangerous. I mean come on, what kind of social outcast doesn’t have an Xbox 360? I need his cellphone and or his laptop (no **** desktop to hack? fucking serious?), but I’d rather borrow his cellphone for now. So I do what any sensible king of the ocean floor has done for generations…hide under his bed just when he comes waddling in at 10pm in the evening, talking loudly and boisterously on his cell-phone.

“Look I’ll have next week column to you by Friday, I just spent all day at Starbucks getting the ideas down… Look I know, I know was late last week but Vicky came through didn’t she?… I know I know your paying me not Vicky but… Ok, ok I got you, rough draft before the clock hits 12, you have my word!”

Click

He settles on his bed by flopping on it, pulling out various cords from his briefcase/carrying bag before finally slapping the charger against the wall and letting his apple shinny rest after a long day in McCoy’s back pocket; which going by how readily this bed is touching the floor, it must have been rough. Real men have Androids, but I resist the urge to point that out, he needs to go to sleep or sit on his work desk, which ever is easier on my poor legs. He of course does neither, instead he dials another number, the phone whizzes back into action and another voice, defiantly male comes into speaker.

“Alex whats up.”

“You know whats up, they just found the girl.”

“Oh…”

“Where is Katherine?”

“Checking the cage.”

“BY HERSELF!??!”

“God no, she toke O’Hera and Joey with her.”

There was a long audible pause as both men breath sighs of relief.

The man on the other end breaks the silence,”So who stopped HIM.”

“Wasn’t me.” says Alex sharply.

“Next meeting we need to talk.” the distance sound of family obligations can be heard from the strangers phone.

“Yeah, yeah sure.” hangs up McCoy.

“I could slit your throat right now.” It wasn’t a threat but a promise. But my rage will have to wait. Bumping him off now will trigger a flight or fight response that always ends me up in Texas (whoever made this universe did two things wrong and one of them was Texas).

Besides they’ll be all together soon enough. In the mean time I’ll take my Mandriod and  connect to his I-crap, using my double whammy. Now don’t get me wrong, I do appreciate the good ol’ days when all you needed was a ward soaked in the entrails of a local thief and a few cursed items (basically objects with soul(s) tethered to them). And yes I could have easily made a few sandwiches with Alex’s brain for the information I need. But there is a time, a place, and a measure of caution you must have and I’m sure my predecessors would appreciate how much easier technology makes the busy work associated with daemon hunting. And besides stomping around in the mind of a normal person is traumatic (for them) but fine, doing the same to a person who just came face to face with a gibbering horror is varying degrees of dangerous and extremely traumatic but its doable, but…. the mind of someone paranoid and actively engage in magic… no way to not leave a mess (that’ll usually result it your choice in serious mental disease(s) or a mind wipe of the last 10 years of their life as a bonus), or hit a trap (see making messes), or leave a dead body(the other way of dealing with traps). And the worst case scenario IS leaving a cold unresponsive body behind…  Maybe I am being too cautious but I’d rather not try to stop another easy assignment from crossing the Mexican border if it can be helped.

But as far as my double whammy, oh man what an awesome little device(and my only device). Connects to any phone. Check. USB enabled device. Check. Even has an extension for using fake credit cards to access ATM’s using bluetooth. Check. And best of all, none of those apple tards can use it. Go Mandriod. Without even having to crack his password, my Android app loads his shitty Apple OS and gives me complete access to his phone from the comfort of real smart phone position five feet. away Silently I go through his call history looking for the names of his mentioned friends.

“John Percy of course, Katherine H’Lee,”

Contacts.

“Joey H’lee, Jill O’Hera? Bingo. Wait…”

I nearly laugh. An alarm set for 4 am in the morning. Basically dawn. Looking at my target again, if I had met him 12 years ago he would be an overweight chili-dog stuffer but now he is reasonable buff, except for tell-tale signs of alcoholism starting to set in around his gut. He doesn’t fit the profile of a skinny, nebbish little man with wet black hair and beady little eyes. Instead he is has graying sandy blonde hair that stands at attention even while being rolled over a pillow. Light blue eyes and the type of “adorable” baby face one would find in a Seth Rogen comedy. No one would believe this asshole killed over 20 people, or that his actions are chewing at the fabric of space-time and inviting more of his pet Cthulhu’s to our little corner of the multiverse. Nay.

….

Oh the ease of hiding in the back of a car, a hot ward fading me into the shadows of an Mitsubishi Lancer, as Alex tumbles on in and fumbles for the keys. The only trick is staying silent, even as he throws his briefcase into my abdomen without looking. I could have shadowed him from the comfort of my car but its hard to notice someone following you in a small town at 4am in the morning. Especially when you go out into country side and all there is for miles is highway and corn-stalk.

“John.”

“Morning Alex.”

“The sacrifice, you found one?”

“Of course.”

“Boy or girl.”

“Girl.”

“Katherine will bitch.”

“Let her! Look, I’m stressed enough as it is and besides our mutual friend specifically asked for one.” John points out.

“Still one more missing girl, especially after… that…that Jessica girl the cops will think a kidnapper/rapist is one the loose.” Alex sighs.

“No, I heard from my cop friends that their blaming it on drug-sex traffickers or something like that.”

“Seriously?” Alex’s relief passing over like waves.

“Yeah they found a meth dealer eviscerated in a bath tub. They keeping a lid on that part.”

“Oh…but still…”

“Yeah I don’t like this more than you do, but lets’ get this over with before my kids wake up.”

Some 45 minutes later, not counting the 30 minutes it took to not even be half way there, Mr. McCoy parks the car. I look outside and all I see is two sports cars that looked that they starred in the fast and the furious, a Ford minivan that looks like the envy of suburbia and a grey Chevy Altima. All of which are surrounded by tall grass and wheat and an old shack looming in the foreground ominously. However Alex doesn’t seem to notice, he slams the door as he heads straight for the barn. I stare at him waiting for something horrible to happen but nothing does. Weird.

I step out the car and immediately my ears start to ring. Getting back into the car seems like a great idea, in fact driving away seems like a really great idea…

“So this is what it feels like to be repelled.”

Ok good trick. I ignore the ringing, the anxiety, the cursing myself for not simply taking my own car and for the most part it helps. Except the ringing, it seems to only get louder and its coming from my ward. I touch it and its blazing hot.

“Only a really good mesmer.”

And I push forward, hit something solid, realize what it is too late, reach for my ward too late, feel each hair on my body catch fire as my tongue dries, my eyes sizzles, my throat gurgles yesterday’s stomach acid as my entire body is being plugged into an outlet and all I can do on time is scream,

“SooON OOOOoooOOF AAAAa BIIiiiiiiIIITccccccCCH”

And yes this will be edited

                                                                 

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September 15, 2108

Don’t feel so guilty, I couldn’t have read your email even if you sent it earlier. I’ve been working on a theory on synthesizing atoms into molecules using very complex magnetic fields. Ok you probably don’t want the long explanation on how you can possible do that, so I’ll go directly to a topic of interest. But I do have to say congratulations on getting married. I see you have come a long way from drunken senior at the freshmen orientation party. Be sure to remember to invite me to the wedding.

I still haven’t gotten over NATO being disbanded; I mean wow times have changed huh? From what I’ve been able to glean, it appears that the EU and AU are discussing the nature of their organization and how the UN will play in the future. With the CAU (Central Asian Union), PAU (Pacific Asian Union), MEC (Middle East Coalition) being considered the concept of single states unrepresented by a larger body is becoming unlikely. The UN was originally an organization that facilitates relationships between individual states. However, with a lack of individual states and the relevance of large international organization, can the UN actually act in the best interest of states still unaligned with their neighbor?

P.S I can’t help but think we are going in the wrong direction. Maybe it will all work out in the end.

-September 15, 2108- Becker Bradley Jr. to Erik Riddler Burton. The French Prime Minister, severing as the president of the EU at the time (recent EU laws allow Prime Ministers of individual EU states to be appointed to the Presidency for a 28 month term), invites the AU leaders to a special two months long conference to discuss the future of the EU and AU in the international stage. The closing speech will be televised at all cable and local stations during 11th of November, 2108. However a month later the EU cancels the televising of the speech.

Check out War Story, because your up here ->>>, when this story started down there <<<—-

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what I should be doing but I’m fat, like if you agree (the original poster)

ahmossreans

I just did my first scheduled run/ jog in three years. I did a few stretches before I went but actually running the trail go me to realize that I need to do a few things before my next run.
Im going to do a small quarter mile jog before my next run. And before and after that I’m going to do these stretches so that I can do a good job and feel accomplished.Running Stetches

Shakti AhMoss loves you all

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April 2, 2108

Becker I greatly apologize for the lateness of this email, a lot has happened since our last exchange. I have a fiancée now, and the wedding plans, my web column…so much stuff I need to take care of! But at last now I have finally time to address concerns you are probably too busy to truly meditate on. Congratulations on your Nobel Prize!! I did get a chance to read that article concerning your work, unfortunately I did not understand a word of it, but I wasn’t a science major at USC like you were. Now concerning the meat of this message; I have to say I too am startled at the speed in which our world is changing. Though many would say “progressing”… I leave the word choice to you my friend. Do not be mistaken what Doc. Trenton and those who have published similar pieces of work are suggesting, is a One World Government. By proxy the United Nations, the largest international body to date, would be a logical starting place for these reforms. The idea flaunted a year ago is now a full-blown political movement, global in retrospect. So the idea of reforming the UN, though grass-roots at best, is not completely out of the question.

But the movement soon realized that they will be hitting a brick wall, unable to adapt a true One World Government, or OWG for short, through the UN. It might not make a lot of sense inherently, but it is quite common sense to people who understand the nature of the UN. The UN, despite the bureaucracy, is still a democracy with very loose and limited powers over the individual laws of member states. In which case you might as well say it has no powers over its individual members, except the power provided by enforcement via sanctions. Even then, sanctions, if even voted on, can only “strongly” persuade a nation from its original course; which again assumes said nation even cares. UN cannot be vested more power beyond its initial democracy and even if it did; we by all means would love to see the UN actually enforce these powers (which you might have deduced it can’t).

Many would argue that if all nations adopt the same laws unilaterally, according to whatever guidelines that come out of the UN of course, that the UN’s job will be made easier and we would have a true OWG. The plan coined the Universal Constitution is a logical idea, but lacks foresight. As I, like many others, have pointed out; even if you do get everyone to adopt a Universal Constitution unilaterally to avoid the mess of having each nation vote to adopt it, than by what means do you ensure that there isn’t 100 different versions of a legislative document that you couldn’t get anyone to vote on in the first place. Not only would enforcing one version of that document be impossible, finding a version of the Universal Constitution that all the states of the world can agree on will defiantly never happen.

So thus a new, even more efficient approach was taken, where the UN simple recognized “nations bond together by treaty or alliance forming a union. With the exception of alliances formed solely for the purpose of co-military dependence or trade.”Effectively allowing the EU, AU, and the USAN to be voting blocks with the weight of all its member states, instead of observer status members or only allowed full participation during certain occasions at best, and also effectively reducing the number of countries needed to pass resolutions without getting rid of vital votes. The perfect start to the OWG, since now individual nations held less sway over the decision-making power of the UN. Pressure for nations in the Middle East, Asia, and even the USA with North American region, to become part of a multinational organization sharing a common currency, possessing a legislative body, common borders, courts, free trade, and joint military is mounting.

-April 2, 2108- Erik Riddler Burton to Becker Bradley Jr. Becker never got a chance to read it until September 1st, 2108. NATO was disbanded August 29, 2108, because of concern over non-EU nations having influence over the global policy of the EU. America, Canada, and Mexico form the NAU, North American Union, August 30, 2108.

Check out War Story, because your up here ->>>, when this story started down there <<<—-

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Chapter 4

The thing about falling from 40,000 feet is that you die. Not from the fall, I’m confident this won’t even break my legs, but from what’s waiting for you when you reach the ground. Naturally I’m implying that there are things in this life worse than going splat from a 40,000-foot fall. Well… maybe I have to survive one to know for sure….

0.51 seconds till I go splat

Two tons of metal should never be allowed to free fall to the Earth without a solid plan. Fact is dropping from “bomber” height is routine for Samsons; though their ability to survive the fall is not entirely due to their ridiculous muscles and bone structure. No, a special shock-absorbing jell, that accounts for multiple layers of both the Goliath and Samson’s armor, allows this impossible feat. The relationship is simple, if not farfetched: as the jell absorbs the energy of the fall, the energy moves rapidly through the armor, generating heat as it travels up. The heat rapidly changes the jell’s state from solid to gas, as large quantities of kinetic energy travel up the armor. Gas is vented out immediately, as the jelly filled layers rapidly expand to accommodates the increasing volume of gas. This same gas is then expelled, once the jell filled layers hits pressure based external facing vents.

Or that’s how it’s supposed to work.

0.33 seconds till I go splat …

After the venting process is complete, the remaining shock travels though the numerous layers of fibers muscle; several layers inside layers of wire, that mimic actual muscles, allow the David inside to move the Goliath with ninety percent of his own strength and without the assistance of the various power systems. Through the muscle fibers, energy is fed into the shock motors; their spinning burns the excessive energy while generating reserve energy. Even then, what does manage to penetrate past the muscle fibers and landing jelly naturally triggers the David’s adrenaline glands, which brings another one of the Goliath’s system into full focus. As the human body pumps adrenaline and endorphin to cope with the pain, the Goliath Armor prepares its first injection of the superman serum. Derived from a Samson’s own adrenaline glands, Noah scientists found the chemicals and hormones inside a Samson several times more potent than anything similar in a lab. Potentially addictive in large quantities, its main side effects are increased strength and improved reflexes, along with pain resistance and improved fight-or-flight responses. Landing would simply jar the brain too much without this simple drug.

0.0001 seconds till I go splat …

When I was five years old, I took the Academy test. The line was long and my parents looked nervous. I was a commoner then so at the time, Patriarch, Noah, Wise Men meant nothing to me. I was five and I wanted to spend my day playing video games. So when my turn came up, I refused to take the test. So my dad yelled and my mom yelled and the Patriarch instructors prodded me, but I just “didn’t wanna.” I wanted to go home; it was hot and smelly with all the people and the kids still in diapers. And besides, I had better things to do like beating level 9286 of Tetris. Faced with the prospect of never knowing my full potential, my dad for the first time took me by the ear and put a world of pain on my bottom that left me unable to sit without fidgeting for the better part of two days.

0.00001seconds till I go-

Ka-boom …

The ground splits, my legs turn to liquid, and the world becomes a brown and yellow haze. The headache follows next as the teeth rattle out of my gums, the armor is pelted with newly displaced rocks and the air smells of sulfur and methane. I heave in one breath, thanking God that the air is filtered as the super-heated landed gel releases itself in a burst of vented steam. Not disoriented, not hurt, I lift my leg gingerly; I can still walk and that’s when I finally look down. Buried under the dirt is a black carapace; the cracks in it seep a mixture of brown, yellow and white goo. The color of its blood and the remnants of his organs are liquefied.

Scattered all around are the remains of the creature that once occupied the same space as where I stand. It being a swarmling, obscenity given proper form: long by at least 8 feet, plenty legs on either side, and a sideways mouth rowed like a chainsaw with teeth and possessing two sets mandibles, one cracked from my landing. And it wasn’t alone; I feel more than see or hear the movement all around me.

“KREEEEEEEEEEEEEACCCCCCCCCCTCH”

I turn to face it.

“KREEEEEEEEEEEEEEAAAAAAAAAAACHTCH”

My II lets out a jet stream of napalm at the seven o’clock position as I turn. I’m alone in the crater, more screeches, more scuttling, the dust hasn’t cleared, and then-

“CRRRRRRRRRREAAAAAAAATTCCCCCCCCCCCCCKTCK”

And the smoke parts before the bullet of armored flesh, otherworldly fast for a hundred pound of insect. It doesn’t bother to dart out of the way as I swing the II to check its advance. It doesn’t know fear, nor does it have any concept of prey and predator. No, in its mind there is only “full” and “starving,” which makes it the purest binary machine in nature. Oh, and it explodes when set on fire. Ignoring the fire or any thought of self preservation, it pushes past it before exploding.

Taking a step back, I admire my second kill before I’m hit hard from behind. Stumbling, I regain my balance before being hit again from the opposite side. Unable to down me, they shake off the daze before resuming the attack. I take note of how few of them come to attack me. A relief, but not reassuring; the stench of a fresh corpse will attract more of them, but only the curious, the wanders, are paying me any attention. For now anyway; eventually the mounds will displace themselves as millions start to inquire about the funny smelling tin can, and when that happens, the Goliath armor won’t hold against a million set of claws and teeth.

I avoid the attack of one as it rears up on its four legs.

“Cockroaches don’t do that.”  A swarmling is for all intent and purposes a seven-foot-tall cockroach (females are nine to ten feet tall with egg sack included) with eight to ten legs and four mandibles. The first set of legs are its claws: short, hard, and sharp. They can dent steel, and are ideal for rending flesh as quickly as possible with as many strokes that are necessary. Its other legs aren’t specialized, except its back legs that are capable of holding its weight, and are generally sturdier than the other pairs, which alternate between fast travel and tearing into flesh with its jagged edges.

Unlike other insects worthy of extermination, the swarmlings are thankfully not self aware; unfortunately, their weaknesses end there. The Swarm numbers in the billions, possibly trillions, worldwide. Those black hills I mentioned earlier are their homes.  The “mounds” are not constructs, but thousands of swarmlings eating and mating in one spot. Each mound contains over one million swarmlings. I was dropped in a nest containing dozens of mounds.

Three more explode, five more explode, and then a dozen screech and roast before my II. The curiosity phase is rapidly ending; the shadow of one mound disappears, and the smoke gives away to a black tide that approaches from all sides.

“Say hello to the reaper man.”

And I charge forward, guns literally blazing as the Industrial Incinerator becomes a dragon consuming swarmlings by the dozen. But it’s not enough; they come crashing in, biting at shoulder pads, helmet, ripping away the cape and trying to rip apart my arms and legs. One swarmling tugs me by my left ankle with such ferocity that I smashed my head against the carapace of the adult swarmling, cracking it in the process. My II was on full automatic as I blindly shot in any direction with one hand, while my left hand smashing heads, claws, and anything in-between. I was drenched in brown blood as each explosion drenched me more and more in swarmling body fluids.

Then the napalm cartridge ejects without warning and at the worst possible time. I jam the trigger in desperate plea to save my soul before finally realizing the dragon has gone silent. I reach for another cartridge, but the lack of an attacking hand gets taken advantage of in an instant, knocking me flat.

Within seconds, I’m twisting and turning within the mass of bugs. Claws and teeth attempting to dig their way through my armor to get to the sweet flesh inside and rapidly my world stops making sense as the air becomes too shallow to breath. The world has become black, brown, white, and yellow, and it makes no sense. Below me is the swarm, above me is the swarm, and when I look ahead I see the ever moving machinery of a swarmlings underside moving tirelessly in the darkness.  Nauseating! The stomach churns away a response that I barely bite back.

So on all sides is moving wall of armor and carapace and I can’t move. The slip and drip of blood, feces, the insides of their stomachs, and god knows what else surrounds me, and I can’t move. “Can’t move, can’t breathe, can’t think,” and something punches into my armor. I force my fist through the armored flesh and undersides until I reach the handle of my side arm, and with one swift stroke I hear the ’Creeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaakkkccccccccccccck’ of a dozen bugs bucking the blade in agony.

A space opens for a second, so with empty flamethrower in my right hand and blade in my left hand, I pushed and slash to proper footing but not escape. The swarm has made a mound on top of me, an orgy of blood and mating is all around me, but the lack of air will get me killed first as my filter is taxed beyond usability. Out? I slash widely and haphazardly at the world around me, dispersing my anger into this cruel dark world devoid of light and air. I find space to move my right hand properly and hook my II before the chance is lost. The space closes, within moments, but with my newly free right hand I strike out blindly, and grab onto what I assume is something’s mouth because I feel thousands of rows of teeth grinding at my gauntlet. And pull. And push. And pull. And Push. Forward, I move my sword with purpose, as the blade cracks through armor and carapace like chewing through tender meat. Forward; with the barely-conscious swarmling as my shield, his brain bashed into a dozen times and his second or third brain only capable of making his claws and legs fight me out of muscle memory.  The head finally comes off as I crunch the flailing body as I press forward. No I charge, using a cross guard, I bull-rush into mound; using my two-ton body to make the wall armor flesh yield to my will.

But is it good enough? The smell, the air, the weight of thousands, more like millions of swarmlings pressing my feet into the ground, slowing my step, slowing my breath, my consciousness …

“NO!” And I take another step, but the momentum is gone and my armor is being assaulted on all sides. Not even a swing of my sword will clear this, it ends here.

“Too many … Was never a soldier … Can’t breathe …”And then I lunge forward, god help me, and I break into fresh air at least. Coughing up blood and bile, I automatically switch my sword out for a napalm cartridge, plug it into my II, and unleash on the new mound, killing thousands of swarmlings as the mound collapses in on itself and into the fire. The smell of that many dead swarmlings nearly takes me off my feet. It was that bad. I couldn’t breathe for a moment because the smell drafted right into me. Tears ran uncontrolled for the first time and my god why was I laughing even as my eyes burn despite the filter. Then the sound of too many legs scuttling in too close to my ear cleared my mind of all other thoughts, but the one thing to remember about the swarm.

“They are always attracted to the smell of their dead, Andrew.”

“And why would that matter, don’t we kill them all anyway.”

“In war yes, in battle no.”

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A Day in October Part 2

“Jessica”

My face is an inch away from hers, but her attention, and her panic, is drawn to the combat knife I hold  in front of her saucer like eyes.

“Understand me, I do not intend on using this on you.”

She doesn’t believe me of course, but I don’t need her to, the knife comes down and brushes lightly against her throat, drawing blood as it slowly misses her major arteries, leaving no more than a paper cut behind.

“I know I did this before, but I need a fresh sample you see.”

And I slide the blade over my tongue.

“Mandrake… wolf-bane…garlic….. basil? Basil? Seriously?”

I read the confusion in her eyes as she mumbles complaints through her gag.

“You were roofied by amateurs, all the pros know to use paprika.”

No one knows what that’s suppose to taste like I wanted to add, but I notice her following the swaying movement of my dagger and sigh.

“Really?”

I hold the blade in front of her, her panic fully taking in the jagged, almost predatorial, nature of the seven inch knife that stole her breath. Granted it’s a damn terrifying instrument; few weapons I’ve come across give the impression that a great white contributed to its design.

I put the knife away.

“See” I hold up my hands, “no knife.”

For her credit she hasn’t peed herself once. She  blinks and exhales several minutes worth of carbon dioxide, nods her little head back and forth, sobbing a little but relatively calm. Taking my actions as slow and deliberate as possible, I cup her cheek in my hand and cradle her head as gentle as newborn.

“I need you to be calm.” I whisper.

I take her head in both hands and squeeze until her skull rigid in my grip. She doesn’t cry out in panic, by sheer force of will she stops herself from thrashing about vainly in her bindings. Not so much as a whimper escapes her gag. I try not to smile.

“I’m going to do something horrible to you. You will not enjoy this and I can not reiterate how unpleasant it will be. If you panic, if cry, if you fight me in any way, I will gut you like a fish.”

She doesn’t bother to nod but she knows I understand, though she is way off about my intentions, her relaxed body and emptying mind (“think of England” she mutters over and over again) will do. And besides I rather she not call my bluff; leaving a brain dead med student in the care of local authorities and worried sick parents leaves too much evidence behind for my taste. I may be a king, but I haven’t been to a country where hiding a body isn’t simpler, easier, and far less strenuousness on the diplomatic immunity. So with a shallow breath I open up the sardine can most people call a mind and start making sandwiches.

….

“Hey”

I wear my business casual smile with a hint of “aw-shucks, look how embarrassed I am” and awkwardly bring out my object of interest.

“Does this guy frequent your shop?”

The cashier/owner looks at my sketch of a slightly overweight Caucasian male, with heavy horned rimmed glasses, chubby perpetually rosy cheeks, a good old boy smile, and hair that hangs in wet mope like fashion over a comically flat forehead.  Recognition comes easy.

“Percy?”

“That’s right.”

“Is he in any kind of trouble.” The comic book stores owner’s face re-actively recoils at the thought.

“No, no nothing like that.” Disarming smile and awkward nebbishness turned on to max, “He wanted to sell comics on…craiglist, yes craiglist, but he is kinda hard to find and I came all this way, and well….”

“John Percy buys comics?”

“He’s a big collector.”

“Well he doesn’t buy any here.”

Looking at around at the mid sized collection, I can imagine my Percy boy reading but never buying the latest issues, huddled with 2-3 other disenfranchised man-child’s bemoaning the canonical nightmare which as become the Walking Dead. Or maybe he comes here alone, his friends teenage years of idle time spent behind Starbucks and bookstores long buried under the demands of sleep and menial jobs.

I shrug “Buys online?”

He shakes his head, “Probably.”

“Hey it was nice to meet you,”  I hold out my hand for him to shake which he does  vigorously despite the searing sensation, “And don’t tell him I was here looking for him.” A command not a request, but he doesn’t notice the difference, so he’ll nod and smile and forgot I was here all the same. He also doesn’t notice he has been marked, the price for the inscription a last courtesy from Jessica before the cops found her in a sleazy motel in the more rugged side of town due to an anonymous tip. The cops will eventually find a small time street dealer (whats left of him) in the bathtub… I don’t make any pretenses about killing an innocent, it could have been a mother of three, or a grampa coming back from vacation, marrow is marrow and after making a sandwich I get hungry. And besides I leave the vigilantism to the Bruce Waynes and Frank Castles of our universe, I tend to keep a good relationship with the criminal element– a few aspiring pimps and mobsters helped saved the world a few times.

….

“I don’t know who you’re talking about.”

“John Percy went to school here, you was his main literary teacher.”

“I’m sure he was but as you said before that was 18 years ago. I’ve had thousands of students since than, and quite frankly most of them aren’t worth remembering…. Why are you interested in him?”

Scratching the back of my neck and pretending to struggle to keep eye contact with Professor Milesaw, “I’m a reporter from the Missouri Bugle and it turns out your former student has made quite a name for himself. I wanted to get the first interview with the man who he admits inspired him so much.”

Milesaw puffs his chest in pride and leans forward, “Oh that John….” he really wants to talk out of his ass but some invisible force seems to be holding his tongue,  I smile as he literally chokes on his bullshit, “…. no….”

Memories are like terminates, they’re not hidden and they don’t go away, there only waiting for a good reason to come up.

“John Percy he was nothing special, but his friend, Alex McCoy, he was a true talented. You should read the story he published through the school paper, he was like a Steven King.”

“So your saying Alex also inspired John? Funny I’ve interviewed Mr. Percy and he never mentioned Mr. McCoy.”

Milesaw yawns, “Well I don’t know what happened with those two after they graduated. In my opinion the class of 1992 as a whole wasn’t the same after that incident that happened 18 years ago.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well many dropped out, I think John was one of them. Every school in this county and a few of the neighboring ones across Missouri closed for two months. Even some of the colleges and of course this one.”

“Really?”

“How do you expect people to react when there is a crazy axe murder on the loose killing people’s children?”

I hold back a smile; you’d be surprised how quickly people get back to business as usually when their crazed axe murderer leaves evidence that looks less like that creepy guy next door and more like a giant honey badger.

“Is there anything else you can tell me about Alex.”

“He lives on the other side of town at 1421 Malbarry Rd.”

“How did you know that?”

“He uses me as a reference for his free-lance jobs and sends me thank you letters.”

And with that I tap his forward head and guide him as he feints.

“Thank you for your help but I need you unconscious.” I angle him into his seat, “But,” I lean in close to whisper in his ear, “your password per favore.”

“1122345”

…..Honestly better than the Japanese Defense Minister’s home office password being “123”.

John Percy being a college drop out explains the bartending gig, he doesn’t look the type to appreciate free drinks and boobs. But Alex, yeah he defiantly sounds like a player. A quick query for his name in the archives of old school papers using the good Professor’s desktop gives me a hit… well call me cthulu. May not be mountain of madness, but he didn’t get his master of horror degree from “i think too much about candles and pentagrams with my other weird friends who dress in all black.”. He was that kid and a cool one at that if Milesaw could appreciate him. Wearing your satanic worshiping tendencies on your sleeve was rather frown upon until some depressed teenagers made it cool sometime mid 90’s. His short story “the Witch behind the Wardrobe” reads less like a pious manifesto and more like a genuine leaning towards what man shouldn’t know.

“I’m jumping to conclusions.”

So was assuming the 6’3 bartender that marked Jessica and Kevin would be a big comic book nerd.

“Rule 1 of the multi-verse: If you seek it, you will find it or it will find you.”

I have two names, one address, and all I had to do was a make a little girl relive the night her boyfriend got eaten… several hundred times.

And yes this will be edited

                                                                 

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Chapter 3

How do you project the will of man, what is holy and just, upon the unholy and the abominable? With a big gun? Easy answer, but you wouldn’t pass the first class of tactics 101 thinking like that. Big guns require either big men or big enough platforms; in which case, guess which one is cheaper than the other? Simple answer: if genetic engineering matched the expansion of weapon research, – both arts running in perfect parallel of the other – then warfare, now infused with man’s ego, would look much different. We may have never invented firearms. But thank the ignorance of man that we invented the hydrogen bomb long before we invented computers capable of mapping the genetic code of millions of species.

This isn’t a course on, “Why we have Samsons,” but an explanation for the Goliath in the age of large guns capable of piercing, roasting, and flailing a man alive. It must be considered, with great gravity, that the best of mankind is being sent to do battle and expected to return home all the same. We engineer the defense of these assets with the utmost resources made feasible; assuring ourselves that the life of one David is worth many times the combined martial prowess of a full battalion of Samsons.

In this think tank comes the Goliath; not just a two-ton life preservation suit, or merely plates of armor slapped on top of already near-indestructible skin and hardened muscle as the mighty Samson, but a full-combat suit that brings the wearer to superhuman levels; combining high-grade armor, machinery, and regular injections of stimulants and hormones to keep the David as battle-ready and fatigue-resistant as possible.

“I’d thought you’d drop me on top of the closest swarm mound,” having confirmed a thousand times that the big red dot we were approaching was not a swarm mound by heat, historic, and live data. In fact, passing one gave my curiosity the extra push I needed to overcome my intense hatred for conversations with Patriarch Gecko.

“Oh you are. That red dot is only your next assignment.”

“Are you serious?”

“Very. Assuming you survive of course, your first supply drop will be a week from now at that location.”

So I’m still a military asset to these people.

“Surprised?”

“No.”

It hadn’t occurred to me that Noah wouldn’t agree to treat me like common garbage to be disposed of casually. Well no, they would agree to that: sending me down with one of the highlights of human engineering to be torn apart for the Wise Men’s leisure. Not so much.

“Getting their money’s worth huh?”

“What was that?!”

“Nothing.”

Black dots in the horizon tell me the time to drop is near. The correlation between the rows of black hills and the absence of any sign of life since I started staring at the display map of South-West North America, does not go unnoticed. The amount of kilometers between the Swarm and the next indigenous population are measured in the hundreds.

“You make light of your sins Patriarch Matchworth.” He pitches the ship sharply to the right, and then rolls to the left. My poor balance and loose grip nearly sends me plunging to the earth below.

“Son of a —-“

Another sharp pitch followed by a barrel roll in the opposite direction.

“My, my, are we getting angry?”

The Michael takes a sudden nose dive; I let go of the handle bar, cursing my idiocy for not strapping myself in to one of the six available seats, when I go crashing into the back of the Michael before sliding into the door of the captains compartment. I reach for the door slide, when I go sliding in the opposite direction when the plane banks. I scramble to my feat as the plane levels, reaching for the II holstered on my back.

“Are you angry yet?” Silence, “Still mocking us I see. I always knew something was wrong with you boy. Two hundred years of cryo wasted and for what? FOR WHAT!!? You’re nothing more than a cow with horns.”

I lower the II.

“Prepare to drop in fifteen seconds.”

I look out the open door and see the lush green, the gentle tops of hills, and the mountains that line the distance further west. But not the black, as if the brain refuses to acknowledge something of that scale and horror could exist in a world so peaceful and serine. The black hills almost look natural, unless you refuse to consider what they represent.

“Remember this Matchworth, you have no brothers in Noah.”

I nearly bite my own tongue to hold back the desire to argue. Gecko makes sense, I am not a Noah.

“You have 5 seconds to decide to jump yourself. Five.”

I back up a little.

“Four.”

And bolt for empty space.

“Three.”

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A Visit to the Shrink

“I see here that you’re a recovering sex addict and alcoholic.”

“Yes”

“You’re twenty-two years old.”

“I don’t see how that is relevant.” the boy fidgets.

“Well, it is quite unusual for an adult white male of Irish descent to be a recovering sex addict and alcoholic, and to have self admitted himself for both.”

“I’m not normal.”

I give him an apathetic grin.

“Well give me an example.”

“I have these thoughts…. I mean all the time…and…and… I can’t turn em off… I mean it’s always sex, even now always sex and…and… all the female nurses, the positions…. I came here because I thought you can help me?”

“I didn’t mean to take light of your…condition… Can you tell me, what are you in these daydreams?”

“I often bend them over an-”

“No” I interrupt, “Not what you do, but what are you.”

His eyes glaze over as he tries to remember. I try to give him a healthy push in the right direction, though too healthy and he’ll foam at the mouth gibbering about the end of space-time.

“I…I don’t know…”

“So you’re not you.”

He pauses, almost in a self-induced blue screen, before slowly restoring his easy bake brain to proper sentence forming ability.

“No…”

And that’s all I need to know before I lock the door and disable the cameras. He panics, but he doesn’t make it to the door before his skull hits the green and white tiles.

“Sorry.”

Matt Crossneck was the lone survivor of an unsolved murder/disappearance 6 years ago when he lured away Stacy Daniels, age 15, from a friends pool party one autumn weekend. The police found plenty of blood but no body. A dazed and confused Matt Crossneck, covered head to toe in lacerations and bruises, was the only witnesses and shortly suspect, but no one wanted to believe a drunken 16-year-old with not so much as a learner’s permit can dispose of a body as quickly and efficiently as a thirty something 6’2 overweight white male.

That was six years ago. And considering I’ve spent the entire day pouring over this towns more violent headlines, this is the closest thing I have to a lead. And I nearly missed it because the age groups don’t match. Unless my supernatural grizzle bear has a girlfriend, I’m guessing whatever ate my mark last night probably establishing a pattern. Eighteen years to this date, a group of college kids were eviscerated at a house party. Would go down as a typical Friday the 13th unsolved except for the fact that besides the blood and gore, very little of their actual bodies were found. And while this is Missouri, the local cops at least did their job as well they could, considering how many police records I’ve read in how many languages, I would know. Nevertheless, whoever wrote the scene had no fucking clue what happened. Besides maybe the victims being chewed up by a lawn mower. Drag ass to twelve whole years later and this young man is the solve survivor to what I take is the same kind of nasty event, just on a smaller scale and a much younger age group.

The case gets mighty curious from here. And my desire to hunt it is starting to burn out of sheer curiosity than compulsion.

The age thing stumps me good. Understand that daemons are creatures of habit, because what tethers it to this plane of existence is mighty thin and the slightest hint you don’t belong here registers a kick in the ass by the universes firmware. Like a good virus you want to inmate natural occurrences in our world. Or you simply want a defining set of rules and procedures that govern your behavior. At least for a bottom feeder daemon that withered its way into our world through whatever crack chance the multi-verse gave it, them’s the options. And because them’s the breaks, you end up having to care about little things, like what you eat….

Now I’m not a monster hunter. Though I’m highly qualified to do so. I’m more of a case worker. Because monsters don’t exist. Really they don’t. But that’s the lie we tell people to ensure that they don’t really exist. I want the little sheep to believe that just over that fence there isn’t a pack of hunger wolves. Frightens the sheep and excites the wolves, lose lose situation in my book. So while I rather not run around protecting all the sheep, and lord knows I can’t, I’m very much compelled to do so. Not because I personally want to, but because a geas is a bitch of a thing to have. The type of soul binding destiny trap that ensures that like my daddy before me and his daddy before him, I’ll be a farmer just like them. The kind with the shotgun pointed at the fence, snarling at whatever comes through.

So yeah I “could” have saved them. The boy anyway. Funny I call him a boy when I probably not that much older than he is physically. But doing so, wouldn’t give me a case. And I work cases. Or at least that’s what I tell myself, and by extension the geas that runs my life. So while I’m really not a therapist, and not exactly one to care much another mans sexual deviancy, or the lack there of, I figure I do Mr.Crossneck a favor and get rid of his hang up for him. A little on the house I guess, so I press my fingers against his temples to make the mucous green circles around his irises disappear. When I arranged the meet, I noticed he had them, which is how I knew the cases were related off the bat. Terror is like disease passed on by the most harmless of actions, lying dormant for years while silently eating its host alive from the inside. When he wakes up he will remember nothing and his grey hairs will stop growing at an alarming rate. However when ladies look into his eyes, they won’t be mesmerized by tiny sliver of demonic magic desperately  trying to pass its evil on to the next host, which means he’ll get laid less often but he’ll thank me when he can finally settle down with a girl that likes him for him. Or he’ll be alone forever, he is a special kind of loser this one.

In any case I’m done here, so  I “persuade” a nearby orderly to call for a janitor and consider the lack jawed patient lying in his own pool of blood as merely an office accident a few stitches can work out, before driving to my cheap motel for some RR and Colombian roast.

Returning to my cheap motel, the case greets me as the papers rustle when I slam the door. I yawn, none of those will help me now, so I shove them aside and unpack the testing equipment. Microscope, blood slides, PH testers, intoxication metrics, and various instruments for detecting genetic abnormalities and hormone levels. Sighing, I have to wonder why I insisted on doing this myself instead of giving it to the league of shadows or trusting in the governments counter occult agencies for once. I’ve already prepared a 2000 page training manual that should be relevant for the next four decades (in 6 languages no less)… No, I should know better than that– my predecessor would.

So I prepare a blood slide for Matt’s blood sample. I was sure to take it before I exorcised his inner demons, but I kept my fingers cross that what I’ll find would match the sample I took from the woman I have gagged in my bathroom.

She kicks and screams just when I look inside the microscope, both are muffled noises to me and defiantly mute points to the outside world, but nevertheless rather annoying.

“Jessica.”

Her name doesn’t calm her.

“Jessica, do understand that this is the safest place you can be.” for other people, “And I have a lot of work to do. The quicker it’s done, the faster you can go back to your banal life of frappes and gossip girls.”

I’d figure all the pillows I layered the walls and floor with to mask the sound of her constant banging would be appreciated. It’s easier when the female gets eaten, no one care about a young male who hasn’t been seen in two weeks. But let little miss sunshine not call her mom in twelve hours and there will be a squad cars on every third block. Only the multiple wards I have in place keeps this sleazy part of town out the police radar. For now anyway.

“Fucking necromancers.”

I take a good look in the mirror before heading off to complete my work. A blood sample would be all I need if I’m right. I keep my fingers cross.

There are two problems with this case. One manifestations are creatures of habit. Pure and simple. They are picky eaters and generally prefer under aged meat. Monsters, apparitions, ghost, aliens, adults may see them, but children believe in them. If a real life gray skin alien were to show up on your front porch any rational adult would think Halloween came early. Or some comic book convention has found its way to their town, or a movie was in mid shoot, or anything to discredit the possibility of the supernatural. That’s the magic of adulthood, we wish our reality to make sense and it does. However children, especially the ones who haven’t hit puberty, aren’t very picky about how many arms and legs actually belong on a ten foot tall spaghetti monster.

Which becomes a problem when some asshole brings the spaghetti monster to our side of reality, because children don’t care about the laws of physics or understand why cockroaches can’t be 20 feet long. Habitually slaughtering scores of children is what most low-class abominations do when tethered to our plane of existence. Which leads to the second problem, the difference between Medusa and the Minotaur. Medusa was her own lady with a big grudge on men, hunted by an established MO, and did it by the several dozen. The Minotaur however was the pet daemon of a mad sorcerer king who found a relatively cheap way to kill people by gruesome wild animal. Why is this so important? Because one involved a necromancer who can summon these things over and over again, and one was a freak accident involving a particularly pissed off lady saying the worst kind of prayer, when the stars have aligned.

The lesser horror doesn’t match the MO. Hunts young adults, but doesn’t bath in their blood or even preys on the same age group. He’s obviously nesting here but hasn’t established a meaningful pattern. Six years ago it attacks Matt and Stacy at a pool party, kills Stacy, leaves Matt relatively unharmed, though he clearly was part of the menu. twelve years before that it slaughters 16 young adults, all between the ages of 20 to 26, but stops.

The blood work is conclusive, no match.

“Figures.”

But my theory matches. Something was unintentionally summoned 18 years ago, either by a bunch of goth kids who had nothing better to do, or by a really intelligent young man or woman(as unlikely as it may be never rule out the women) for the sole purpose of handling a certain group of people.  The problem is few bottom feeders are interested in anything older than 12, so most likely whatever came through wasn’t particular easy to handle. Especially considering whoever was behind this probably didn’t think their dabbling into necromancy 101 would actually work. Whether or not they actually knew their lesser horror actually existed, I can’t tell, but the second part of the plan involved spiking someone’s drink with a particular set herbs and spices. Not something to get drunk off of, but a discrete way to train their pet daemon on a particular group of people. For this to work with the minimal amount of collateral damage, they’d need a house party our necromancers of honor weren’t invited to (naturally). What follows next, any B-rated horror slasher film can tell you, but the main point is that 18 years later Jessica, and probably Kevin as well, has trace amounts of something voodoo in their system. The type of soul binded pocus that stays in your system for years. My honest guess, after the deed was done 18 years ago, the sorcerers involved probably put two and two together and realized what they have done. And didn’t feed the beast for 12 years….

And yes this will be edited

                                                                 

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Filed under The Boy King

May 30, 2107

To all confused readers. This post and similar post I, the wuzzman, will make like it are not part of the main story, i.e Story of a David, but are separate entities which are given their own categories. Please enjoy this short story which will be updated once per week and do come back for other new stories or shorts posted through out the weekday. Again sorry for any confusion, I do enjoy your rage too much.

“We lack the humility of our fathers”, my dad tells me after reading Doc. Trenton article. While I understand why it has gone through most intellectual and political circles, the fact that copies of it can be found in the local newspaper is quit startling. Though I do not have the time to follow the news lately, recent work at the lab gives me hope we can make major headway in large-scale atom realignment.However I do not wished to go uninformed for too long, so can you please tell me your opinion of this quote;

“The worlds inequality can be explained through simple deduction. Are we not divided by nations, along borders, govern by laws, that inherently ignore the fact that we all live on the same planet? Competition between countries, which is all but natural considering the nature of a nation, will produce winners and losers, and the losers will inherently be the very people who these states claim to protect. Why is it then a surprise, that a large portion of the population in any society remain in poverty? Yet simply knowing this does little good, we have known for years this is the outcome of our political system(s). It is only by doing, through appropriate action, that we can come to an absolute solution that benefits the people. First, by acknowledging that a divided world is inherently an evil world, lacking freedom and equality that we the people deserve. Second, and by far the most important thing to acknowledge, is that we all live on one planet, and for the benefit of every living person in that planet, should be a government that protects all the people of that planet.

P.S Good points you raised last time.

-May 30, 2107- Becker Bradley Jr to Erik Riddler Burton. Becker Bradley earned the nickname the Modern day Alchemist during an AP science article published in July 4, 2107, concerning his work in magnetic fields and atomic bonds..

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Filed under War Story