David kept his stride steady as he passed the elevators blocked with police tape. The uniformed officer guarding the site didn’t even give him a second glance as David headed towards the rear bank of elevators. Maintaining an impassive face was difficult as he stepped into the waiting lift. Pushing the button for Serena’s floor David leaned against the wall and closed his eyes. The paneling and buttons triggered the memory.
The blond hair of the whore still shown, pulling his eyes to her as he pressed the button for Serena’s floor. The inhuman bitch would pay, as soon as he finished with this one. The cameras, which he new were there, didn’t matter. It wasn’t his own body after all, he’d have another soon enough.
The sudden stop of the elevator caused him to snarl. Probably that interfering old man, no time to play with the whore then. The feel of the dagger cutting her through brought the familiar thrill to his nerves. The blood gushing out joined the pool from where he’d stabbed her in the back.
Gasping, David pulled himself to the present. Looking down he confirmed that there was no blood on the floor of this elevator. The door opened letting him onto Serena’s floor. There were no signs of the struggle that happened on this floor. The Agency took their clean ups seriously. David wondered how much keeping his name from being smeared as a killer was going to cost him. He stopped to knock on the door.
The bitch was stupid, she fell for his ruse and let him in as the bodies friends charged into the hall. She had been ready, armed and armored, but the damned blade to her throat caused her to drop the weapon. Just an ounce of pressure and she would give him true pleasure. Another whore doing what their good for, slaking a man’s lusts. Suddenly the body’s friends moved. The dagger went flying and the body went slamming to the ground. He was caught again, no matter, he would be free soon enough. This body had lots of nice talents.
Suddenly, David was back in the present, Serena’s face was turning from irritated to shocked as he stared at him. “Oh my god, David, you look like hell.”
David held it in as he brushed past her. As she closed the door, he ripped hisshirt open, pulled the necklace off and threw it into the corner. Suddenly he was human again, the exhaustion that had been held off by the jewels magic came rushing in. He collapsed to his knees and started crying.
Serena’s arms wrapped around him as she knelt in front of him. “Shhh. It’s all right, I’m alive, your alive, the kidnappers are gone and the creature that possessed you is gone forever.”
“I hate this Serena,” David Sobbed, “at first the weird stuff was a funny. Animated wax statues, a half naked girl living inside a tree in central park, nothing I couldn’t handle. But it doesn’t stop, we keep getting dragged into the shit, deeper each time. The last two days have just been a spiral of horror upon horrors.”
“First a call from Cameron leads to the group and I being dragged into a firefight in a defunct school. A fight, moreover between a bunch of terminators that look like a Pussy Cat Dolls tribute band.” Serena snorted at that. “Next we’re working with a super secret government agency, that regulates monsters in America, to invade a military base that hides another super secret, government project, to see why they were making these things. There, we find out that not only are they making these machines, they’re also making cyber slaves of demons, straight from hell. We also discover that the person running the place is an immortal Nikolai Tesla, the man who everyone thinks of when you say mad scientist. To make matters worse he’s wearing a suit of armor straight out of a Robert Downey Jr. film. He claims it keeps him from succumbing to the vampire bite he suffered years ago.”
Serena shifts onto the nearby couch and David, still kneeling, lays his head in her lap. She pets the top of his head as he roughly continues.
“Next thing I sneak away and find out that the Terminator creation machine requires a “donor” to create each one. Dozens of innocent young women turned into vegetables and kept, barely alive, in giant vials of liquid. A call to my fairy godmother results in the appearance of an evil alien goddess who convinces me that she is my godmother.”
“This spider queen convinces me that all of Tesla’s devices are magic and that breaking any will cause all of his magical creations to go up in a puff of smoke. Tesla is unaware of this and his belief in “SCIENCE” is the only thing keeping his horror show running. Also he’s supposed to be ignorant of the human sacrifice at the base of the terminators. I am ready to blow everything up but she then convinces me that the gates to hell in the basement of the facility, which we already new about, were only being held closed by Tesla’s magic.”
“Rejoining the team, on its tour of the facility, we confirm the story as told and I convince the group to leave it all alone at the moment until we can come up with some way to alleviate the situation. We also find out that a Jennifer Garcia and Dennis Harrel are actually running the base and getting the money and resources from the CIA for the works, while building a healthy retiremement fund for themselves, by farming out the terminators for off the book jobs.”
Serena pulls David onto the couch next to her and pulls his head onto her shoulder. “I remember you telling me this. V.S. and Charles determined that the only way to close the gates was from the other side. V. S. made some type of deal with a demon lord to get you guys to the gate alive?”
“Yes,” David sobbed, “and the only way in was through a, literally, damned house up in Amityville. We drove there and proceeded to find the portal to hell in a TV in one of the rooms, a kitchen knife stuck in the floor in front of it. The others go through it before me and just as I’m about to step in I notice I’m holding the knife from the floor and then I’m stuck in the knife. A serial killer, by the name of Norman Bates, had possessed my body.”
“They go through and close the gates. Norman attempts to kill Andromeda and the others figure out I’m possessed and they bring my body, in handcuffs, with them when they leave hell. Unfortunately, and you know this part, he had access to all my skills and escaped with the intention of making you his next victim.” David fought off the memories again. “He failed and the group captured him and you took the damned necklace off him this time. Making him easier to control.”
David leaned back into the couch, his ragged breath slowing as he brought his shattered emotions under control. “Meanwhile, I’m suddenly in the body of a teenage girl. Her memories were conjoined with mine. I have them, though somewhat faded now. I think I can keep them under contr…”
She cried from the pain of her parents death still, after six months it still hurt, the lady from government services said that the Hendersons would be a good foster home. The fat woman was off to her weekly bingo, she’d been crowing that Jesus’ love would make her rich tonight. Her rail thin husband was in the front room, already on his third beer. The small bed in the otherwise empty room was all she had.
Suddenly the door to the room opened and the man was standing there. “Don’t cry sugar.” His breath’s stench was noticeable even at this distance. “I’ll give you something to smile about.” He was pulling off his belt as the door closed behind him. “Uncle Jim will be nice to you and you’ll get to be nice to him.”
The streetlights flickered as the cars drove by. Some slowed to look at her as she tried to act sexy and not scared. The money she had taken from “Uncle” Jim had been just enough to get her north to New York. Broke and starving she’d been easy meat for Eddie, with his suit, tie and sports car. Next thing she knew he’d hooked her on Heroin and was forcing her to go out with his other “girls.” At least none of the “Johns” had been as bad as “Uncle” Jim. Eddie had brought them to this beach town for a party, but the customers had not shown so he was forcing them to try and get work here before he took them back to the city. It had been too long since her last fix and she was starting to shake. If only she could get off of this stuff and leave Eddie.
Suddenly, from the corner alley where Eddie was hiding, a shot split the night. Eddie stumbled around the corner and fell in a pool of blood. All the girls screamed and She ran.
She didn’t stop until she was in a rather run down neighborhood. The ugly house stood with it’s door ajar, the overgrown yard and the sagging roof telling the story of an abandoned house. It looked like she felt. Tired, alone and in pain, if only the world would stop hurting for a minute. Just for one minute. The dust and mildew didn’t bother her, neither did the corpse sitting in the rocking chair. The knife in the floor was the answer. Some of the girls had whispered that bleeding to death wasn’t such a bad way to go. She lay her left arm on the floor as she reached for the knife with her right…
“David, David, DAVID!”
Serena’s yell snapped him to the present, she hugged him tight until she saw he was back with her. “Sorry, they hit me out out of the blue. I’ve got every memory of every awful thing that happened to that poor girl. No good memories though, just the horrors. After I get some rest I think I’ll take a brief trip down south. There’s this couple that needs to die in a mysterious animal attack.”
Serena recoiled at the harshness of his tone. “You can’t be serious? Murder?”
David reined himself in again. “Not murder, you have to kill humans to be a murderer. That bastard and the wife that turns a blind eye to his actions, they failed the humanity test. I consider them less human than the trolls I saw die in central park, at least they were honest monsters.”
Serena eyed him warily. “We’ll talk about this later.”
“The worst part is, I’ve also got parts of Norman’s memories and bits of the memories of everyone he’s ever killed. Not whole personalities, but random facts and bits of knowledge. I’m terrified of sleeping, I don’t want to face the dreams this will bring.”
Serena’s face softened with sympathy. “I know some of the rest, you used Foster’s van to get back to the city, after calling your compatriots. While reconnecting with them Cameron’s sisters kidnapped the lot of you. Playing the innocent girl caught in the crossfire you got the humans with the machine to let you go. You came here and we discovered that not only were you suffering withdrawal symptoms, the girls body was pregnant. You called the Agency and went away again, wearing the necklace.”
Snorting David rested his head back on the couch. “Yeah, Jane had fed me the number to call. I got in touch with the head of the agency and we set up an insane little plan to end the “Shops” little horror show.”
“With some easily concealable explosives I lied myself in as a representative of the agency, claiming I was an immortal who had died young. They bought it, the director of the agency’s phone call confirming my story and I managed to get an escort down to the appropriate level. I snuck away from my escort and planted the bombs in the room of dead girls. I managed to get to the surface just as the bombs went off. Good thing, they set something else off and the place collapsed into a sinkhole behind me.”
Rubbing his face David paused for a minute. Serena rested her hand lightly on his knee. “And so the machines that held your friends died without their donors and your friends were free.”
“You mean that they were almost dead.” His hand dropped to cover Serena’s. “Tesla had rigged all his teminatrixes to self destruct if they were in danger of being captured. They almost brought down the building where my friends were being held. Luckily, they all survived.”
“This left only two things get rid of the two CIA people who were in charge and, most importantly, get me back in my body.”
Seemingly relieved of some great burden David got up and walked to the fridge. He cracked open a bottle of water and chugged it down.
Tossing the bottle into the recyclable can he rejoined Serena on the couch. “Getting my body back proved to be relatively easy. Get the knife back, get my unconscious body and we all go to a cemetery where Norman, may he rot in hell forever, was supposedly buried. A little mumbo jumbo and we’re left with me in my right body and very confused and scared teenager.”
“We get her some help from Andromeda’s psychologist friend and hopefully I can get that girl into a situation where she is safe and can find some happiness.”
“We track down Garcia to an abandoned campground in upstate. Another wonderful collection of horrors. Site of multiple mass murders, ancient Indian burial ground, the whole nine yards. Garcia had set a trap for us there. Unfortunately for her some of the denizens had other ideas. While something killed all of her men another horror dragged her into some twisted nightmare realm. We end up following her in and manage to drag what was left of her sanity back into the real world.”
“Using some indian rituals we manage to exorcise the place. Garcia’s memory was mostly gone but we did recover some other items that allowed us to lure Harrel into a trap. He, unfortunately, has you kidnapped and some other arrangements to threaten the others. We make a deal, he gets away with his ill-gotten money but he leaves the CIA and Shop in such a way as to insure they wont take him back. We come back to the city and, well, here we are.”
Serena smiles. “Don’t worry about me. These were rather polite for kidnappers and I had a way out of there. I was curious to see what they wanted. Sorry to leave you thinking you had to let him go. Anyway, Cameron had called just before you arrived. We have a little party to go to. So go get a shower and change. Hopefully this evening wont be as stressful.”
She retrieved the necklace from the corner of the room and handed it back to David. Bemusedly David waked to the bedroom to get some of the clothes he’d left here.