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Thread: [M] Mystery In Carter Lake (Storm & Bluemoon) (IC)

  1. #31
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    Default Momma Moon and Poppa Squirrel CO - A Building Storm

    Rayne nods at Dave’s last words, “Fair enough,” she says, happy to know he isn’t planning something that could put him in danger, but also knowing that probably meant Pam would be consulted and on the case. She gives his arm a gentle squeeze, then gets off the bed. “I’ll get things ready to go, then drive you home. I just want to grab a few things...wait here?”

    As the meds start taking effect, his voice is weaker “I think I can do that. Think that we might want to talk to Angela in the morning about lowering the dose on what they prescribed me.” through a smile “I am afraid you might have to do that weight lifting one more time when we head to the car.” looking over toward his weapon on the end table “Might want to care for that one more time too, not a good idea for me to try and hold it.”

    Rayne laughs, “Okay big guy, but I’m getting hazard pay.” She picks up his weapon and shoves it into her purse, carrying it out with her into the hallway. She goes into the kitchen and grabs an empty box, starting to fill it with different kitchen tools she had placed on the table earlier. When the front door opens, she freezes, realizing she had not locked it when they entered earlier. Her back to the door, she reaches for her purse when she hears a male voice instructing her to keep her hands in plain sight. Footsteps behind her indicate at least three people are in her home, and as she is shoved forward, her upper body pushed down on the table, her wrists are grabbed and yanked behind her. She lets out a cry as she tries to twist away, seeing in her peripheral vision a police officer, dressed in a Tacoma PD uniform, heading down the hallway. As handcuffs are placed on her, she calls out to Dave, trying to warn him, before a hand is placed over her mouth.

    Having heard the commotion at the table and Rayne’s crying out a moment ago, Dave has gotten out of bed, still not fully coherent, slowly he starts toward the bedroom door. As the door is open, the officer that starts in the room is met with a palm in his throat staggering him backwards. The strike was not delivered with the usual effectiveness. As Dave comes out into the hallway, a shot echos from the living room. Rayne could smell the burnt powder as Dave is taken off his feet. Dave doesn’t feel the round enter although it staggers him backward before dropping him to the floor. Dave places his hand to the pain his chest produces feeling the warmth of his blood as it flows from the wound. The cop that he had struck by now has entered the room with his weapon drawn lowering it toward Dave. Looking toward the others, still reeling from the punch he took, in a hostile tone the cop questions “Looks like the guy is done, should I end him with another?”

    A voice comes from the kitchen “Nawww, let the fucker bleed out, no need to make this one look like an obvious hit” before looking to Rayne “You have been a naughty girl, shooting that Carter Lake cop like that.”

    In shock, Rayne stares numbly down the hall into the bedroom's entrance where Dave's body lays, watching as his blood blossoms onto his shirt. She hears the officer's accusation and briefly looks to him...his gloved hands holding Dave's weapon. The one with her finger prints on it. What he has said registers, but it is fleeting...forgotten as soon as she looks to Dave again. A choked cry comes from her and she finds it difficult to breathe…to pull in a breathe. Almost silently she says his name, then anger overcomes her and with a surge of adrenaline, she twists against the hand gripping her arm. With a strength she normally does not possess, she manages to free herself from the hold and make her way to Dave, the voice behind her calling to ‘grab the bitch’ echoing in her ears. She feels herself slammed up against the wall, unable to resist with her hands restrained, but no pain registers. There is only Dave...and the blood...so much blood. As hands press against her, patting her down, she barely feels the man reaching into her pocket and withdrawing the drive, her phone soon following. A grey curtain is sliding over her vision as tears slide down her cheeks and she is pulled away, back towards the front door. She screams Dave's name, watching helplessly as an officer takes his phone from his pocket and grinds it into the blood stained carpet with his booted foot. When the door opens her knees buckle, the man leading her almost having to carry her to the squad car. She feels a hand push her head down as she is placed in the back of the vehicle, her gaze still locked on the house.
    ----
    Monitoring traffic, Deputy Larson perks up at the call

    ‘King 12, assist Carter Lake, report of shots fired, area of 3500 block and Larkspur.’

    ‘King 12, 10-67’

    Karen quickly flips open her notebook thumbing through recent entries. Her eyes glued to Rayne Summers, 3535 Larkspur. She hits her overhead lights, tires squealing as she accelerates grabbing her radio

    “Control King 17, show me in the area of shots fired call.”

    “King 17, 10-4”

    Having checked on Miss Summers address earlier in the day, the address still is fresh in her mind, not one to believe in coincidences. One block out, she kills the overhead as well as the headlights. As she pulls to the house, she noticed the door adjared. She hits the headlights on bright and spins her spotlight to the door
    “Control King 17, show me 10-7 3535 Larkspur on an open door, possibly related to the shots fired call.”

    “King 12, King 17 out at 3535 Larkspur, code 2, all units on shots fired, King 17 out at 3535 Larkspur, King 17, keep advised”

    Karen is already to the front door, her service weapon in hand calling inside “Rayne Summers, Sheriff Department!” as she swings the door open, weapon at the ready. As she picks up the unmistakable odor of blood
    “King 17, start a squad, code 4”

    *beep* “all units and squad 4, 3535 Larkspur, call is now code 4”

    As Karin proceeds inside sweeping the area, comes to the bedroom and almost drops her weapon. In a highly excitable tone “Signal 100, Officer down!” rushing in the bedroom, weapon at the ready. She kneels next to him holstering her weapon removing a pressure bandage from the case next to her ammo holder. Tearing the packaging open, she applies the gauze to where she could see blood spurting from.

    In moments the quiet street fills with police vehicles from every jurisdiction as Karin is knelt next to Dave “You fucking better stay with me Dave!” as he lay cold, nothing registering. The only thought through his mind is Rayne.
    ----
    Surrounded by laughter, Rayne sits motionless as the car speeds towards Tacoma, lights flashing. She recognizes two of the officers, the third in the backseat with her, unknown. She hears Dave's name spoken between chuckles and she closes her eyes, ignoring the hand on her knee and the way it inches up to her
    thigh. A voice from the front…”I wouldn't if I were you, Detective Masters catches you feeling up his girl and there will be hell to pay.”

    “Unless he says it's okay,” the other chimes in.

    “Yeah, there is always that.” ...and the laughter kicks in again.

    'Shut the fuck up!' Rayne screams in her head, wanting nothing more than the numbness again. Images flash through her head...Dave on the floor, his gun in the officer's hand, flowers of blood, her purse, open, contents scattered. She wonders briefly where her purse is now...where Dave is now… ‘Dead.’ This one word is the strongest and she can't clear it. She gasps with a sharp intake of breath and the laughter grows louder. She screams, but the sound is only in her head. Weakly at first, then with growing persistence, she starts twisting her wrists against the cuffs, struggling against the seat belt holding her, then the hands trying to restrain.
    -----
    In a matter of minutes, the ambulance pulls into Mercy Hospital Emergency entrance, Dave is set on a gurney as the door open. He had flatlined once enroute and a trauma team was ready. A quick trip for chest X Rays and to the OR.

    His clothes are cut away and the blood washed away. The surgical team keeps fluids and plasma running till they get the X Rays back to locate the bullet or bullets to remove. As the film panels arrive on the screen for the surgeon, he steps away under his breath “you must be a cat with all those lives..” before announcing to the team “A clean in and out, get the wounds closed and the patient to ICU. If he makes it till morning, that would be his first battle.”

    The surgeon steps out of the surgical doors to the waiting officers “He's got no family?”

    Karin pushes past the others
    “No, none in state, how bad is it doc?”

    “The bullet was in and out, X Rays show no fragments. He lost a lot of blood, obvious internal damage we are going to have to monitor if he even lasts to morning. That said, if you have family contacts listed, start making the calls. I would be surprised if he lasts the night.”

    Her gaze hard on the doctor trying to catch her breath, she turns and slowly makes her way down the hall. The APBs are already out for Rayne Summers for questioning. No, the other guys will not bring her in, Karin's one and only thought now is ‘Bitch, you belong to me.’

    As she gets to her patrol car, she sits for ten minutes trying to compose herself before starting the car where she pulls out back into the streets of Carter Lake. A short drive she pulls in back of a strip mall recently opened, rather isolated. She drives down an unlit service road before she backs her patrol car between two of the buildings, darkening the vehicle lights. Dark, secluded, only then would she allow herself to break down and cry.
    -----
    The Tacoma squad car pulls up to a house that Rayne has never seen before. With the outside lights lit, the place is almost welcoming, until the familiar form of Jeffry appears on the stoop. Dragged from the car, she is deposited before him, barely able to stand with her eyes at half mast.

    “Had to drug her..the bitch went psycho,” the tall man (that she still doesn't know the name of) explains and Jeffry merely nods.

    “She's prone to emotional outbursts Jonathan, but you haven't been with us long. Can't expect you to know that. You boys did good work, especially with the meddling boyfriend. I'll make sure there is a bonus in it for you.” He takes Rayne's arm, still shackled, and leads her inside, pushing her roughly onto a blue plaid sofa. “Speaking of bonuses, I hear you have something for me?” and his hand goes out, palm up. He smiles at the flash drive, lime green in color, as he makes a fist around it. “Make sure Andre is aware that we have the girl and the evidence,” he says as the other men join him. “I assume you have checked the contents already?”

    “That's a negative sir, passcode only and Sleeping Beauty wasn't much for talking,” Steven answers...what he neglects to mention is that no one bothered to ask. 'Above their pay grade and all that.’

    Jeffry nods again. “Give me a few hours with her and then set me up a meeting. I want to hand her over personally.”
    -----
    2:27 AM at Carter Lake Police Department, Detectives have processed Rayne's house, pcp baggies were taken from the living room floor, Dave's weapon is processed in as evidence, Miss Summers prints confirmed on the weapon used and ballistics show the round in the house were fired from Dave's gun. Such a cut and dry open and shut case … until area residents were interviewed.

    Several witnesses confirmed police vehicles outside the Summers home just before the shot was fired. Statements were consistent that two cars and six officers were at the location and drove off with Miss Summers screaming after the shot, the officers were described as laughing using Sergeant Nichol's name, Miss Summers described to have been distraught. Grainy cell phone video shows the vehicles were Tacoma Police vehicles. Calls to Tacoma showed no record of any officers going to King County.

    By 3:31 AM, the APB for Rayne Summers wanted for questioning was cancelled. Curt currently sits in his office awaiting a call back from Tacoma PD to clear up what they had cars in King County for. Hourly updates on Sergeant Nichols are sent to the Station, his prognosis is still listed as critical.
    -----

    Rayne awakes in the middle of the night, her shoulders aching and her arms still secured behind her. She blinks rapidly, everything that has happened this evening crashing back on her. She moans, the light from a floor lamp turning on suddenly drawing her attention to the form of Jeffry sitting in an armchair watching her from across the room. He looks impatient...and after multiple attempts to get her to regain some semblance of awareness...from forcing coffee down her throat to throwing ice cold water on her...he had given in to letting her sleep the sedative off hours ago. As soon as he notices her looking at him, he joins her on the couch, pushing her up into a sitting position.

    He doesn’t waste any time with pleasantries. “Time to talk Rayne. I need the password,” he says simply.

    She looks at him blankly, neither knowing nor caring what he is asking her for. She hurts...her body...her mind...her heart...and she justs wants to go back to sleep. She closes her eyes again and lets her head drop, her body held in place by the arm of the sofa and Jeffry’s body against hers.

    She is shaken roughly until she finally opens her eyes again, making her turn her head and give Jeffry such an angry look that he can not help but laugh.

    “Tell me the password on this drive and I’ll let you sleep some more,” he promises. The look he gives her is one she remembers well. In a different time under different circumstances it would have been considered cute. Right now she just wants to head butt it off his face.

    “Bastard.”

    He laughs harder. “Calling me names is not productive Ray. I don’t want to hurt you. I can pay men to do that. Just the password and we are through.”

    Rayne repeats, “Bastard,” a pause, “...779. That’s your damn password.” If it had been a day earlier, she would have held out...now she just doesn’t care. She is full of not caring, and if her damn hands were free...

    A moment passes while he enters the information in, a smile coming to his face when years worth of Rayne’s probing into his life comes on the screen. “Very good. Now...just one more thing. George Stamus. Do you know his whereabouts? Last I heard the two of you were sharing a hotel room. You should see the pictures he sent me.” His words are followed by more laughter and Rayne wants nothing more than to scratch his eyes out...after she head butts him. Instead she retreats back into herself, forcing her body to relax and calmness to settle back into her mind.
    ------------------

    The monitors on Dave have sensors attached to his chest, fingertips and wrists and fluctuate with abnormal sounds as an intern sits updating his vitals every 30 minutes.

    Doctor Anderson enters the room with an additional intern, the intern with the doctor has a sizable bulge under his white jacket. Dr. Anderson walks to the intern who taking Dave's 30 minute vitals, her tone firm and direct
    “Go get some coffee, I need to do a couple more tests on the patient.”

    Dr. Anderson's intern steps toward the other, grumbling “You still here?” pressing hard against the other nearly taking him off his feet. Jimmy enters the last number and makes real quick pace out of the room.

    Dr. Anderson then turns to her intern
    “G, the door, no Fucking body enters.”

    G simply nods and steps outside the room remaining in front of the door.

    Pam moves to Dave's side looking at the chart and the monitor. She leans over giving her brother a kiss on the forehead. Her tone soft

    “Dave, you better come back to me. Seems that Ray was taken. Hurry up and get your ass out of that bed…” reaching up wiping her eyes “..I had to see you..” having already hacked the hospital system, knowing they have the hospital chaplin in the building anticipating last rights would be given. Pam holds his hand, choking on her words “..I am sorry I cost you Kathy, those responsible suffered before they died..” wiping her eyes again “..if you finally your Kathy again, I promise you this little brother, I will NOT let your Rayne die.” She bends down kissing his forehead again “Love you lil brother. Sissy has to go talk to someone again, I am not going to be gentle.”

    Pam turns leaving the room looking to G “Anyone tries touch him, throw them out the fucking window.”

    G nods as Pam walks back down the hallway ready to head back to continue talking to George who had passed out when she castrated him with pliers over a 10 minute period. Those fucks shot her brother, no, she will no longer be gentle.
    ----------
    Morning comes much too soon for Rayne, light streaming in through the windows hitting her directly in her face. She struggles against her cuffs, her wrists already raw and the movement only cutting the metal in deeper. With difficulty, she manages to sit up, cursing the scratchy surface of the couch and her bound hands, but mostly cursing Jeffry for leaving her like this.

    Sitting and staring at nothing, she tries not to think of Dave, and fails. It is almost an hour later when Jeffry comes into the room and by then she has already cried herself out. With hardly more than a glance in her direction, he comes behind her and opens the cuffs.

    “You need to get in the shower,” he says in an almost neutral tone, “...we’ve got a big morning ahead of us. Can’t have you meeting the boss looking like that.” There is a hint of regret in his voice, as though this is not a day he has been looking forward to, and Rayne picks up on it, her body stiffening against her will. Any doubts she had about her future solidifying in those simple words.

    Rayne does as she is told without hesitation, too afraid to do otherwise, knowing any refusal will only be met with force. The numbness in her at the loss of Dave now tinged with apprehension at what she is sure lies ahead. She dresses in the clothes set out for her, a gauzy long-sleeved blouse and a short skirt, then stares at her reflection in the bathroom mirror. Haunted, dark rimmed eyes set in a pale canvas stare back at her. With a heavy sigh she walks back into the room with the plaid couch where Jeffry waits for her.
    -----------
    The ride to meet Jeffry’s boss is a short one and as he pulls up to a ten-story apartment complex, the exterior of which mimics a high-scale hotel, Rayne can’t help but to be impressed. She leans forward, staring at the life-sized lion sculptures which grace the entrance, two well-dressed men standing on either side of them by the doors. As Jeffry leads her towards them, her hands once again secured behind her, she notices the nod of recognition between the men as they pass.

    Gold gilding with marble floors open before her as she steps into the lobby and once again she thinks of a hotel rather than an apartment. She is led to an elevator and the button for penthouse is pressed by the attendant as soon as Jeffry boards.

    Rayne is led into an office and set into a chair before a large oak desk. She doesn’t resist, merely stares at everything around her. A large man stands as she tries to get comfortable. He is a tall man, large of stature, and she guesses him to weigh close to 300 pounds. In ordinary circumstances she would describe him as handsome, but now, she can only see him for his deeds, and he is ugly and corrupt in her eyes. As he appraises her, his eyes studying her closely, she sits taller, refusing to let herself be intimidated by his presence.

    Andre signals to Jeffry to undo her hands, then sits behind his desk again. As Rayne rubs her wrists, he smiles at her. “So you are the thorn in my side?” he starts, his eyes still on her. “Such a little thing to cause so much trouble. Pretty though. I can see why Detective Masters wanted to protect you. Such a shame your time is over.” He rubs his hands together as his gaze shifts to the detective. “Your last game seems to have failed...your little reporter does not look…high. Also a shame. Her credibility still stands. I suppose it’s a good thing her obsession has been with you. The flash drive you sent me contains little else.” He goes to stand again when the phone on his desk rings.

    As Andre picks up the phone, Curt’s voice is on the other end. Ordinary he would be screaming and cursing, yet the man he is calling, he knows better. There is a genuine nervous respect in his tone
    “Good morning Sir, this is Chief Johnson over in Carter Lake. Do you have a moment sir, there is a development I need to inform you about, this is about the package I delivered to the carriers last night.”

    Andre looks at the other occupants of the room, then nods to himself. “Yes, of course. I am a bit involved at the moment, but I can spare you some time. Please, tell me of this ‘development’.”
    Curt’s tone has a obvious shakiness “Sir, I gave them the girl’s location but sir, they showed up in Tacoma police vehicles! There was even a cell phone video captured of them dragging the girl out of her house. I am doing my hardest to discredit what I can, you know I have always done what you ask, but I need ask if I could get some additional funding, this is going to cost me big to make this go away. Why did they have to come in police ca… no sir, please forgive my words, I don’t mean to question you.”

    A moment as Curt drinks some water to calm his nervous throat “Sir, also they were suppose to remove my Sergeant, that did not happen either, the report from the hospital is that the sergeant is starting to improve. I will prove my worth to you sir, however I would never ask if not necessary, however I ask for additional funds so I can get this swept under the rug. They even left bloody boot prints in the carpet, I have those covered, but I need help with the rest sir.”

    Andre nods again, his expression never betraying his altering mood. “That is...regrettable...my dear man. I will of course see to things on my end and have accounting see to your needs.” His gaze drifts over to Jeffry, then to Rayne again. He truly is captivated by her...such a pity she has become expendable. “Expect some additional assistance on this matter shortly. I’ll send some muscle your way.”

    Curt biting at his bottom lip, the boss muscle never ends well, he offers “Thank you sir, as always your men will have free reign. I must tell you this, the sergeant .. he might not be reachable for now, there are ‘people’ around the hospital, will not identify themselves, but got a call from Homeland that they are not to be interfered with, they seem to be looking over the sergeant for now.”

    “That is good to know...we will deal with that particular hiccup at a later date then.” He mentally adds Homeland to his list of meddling nuisances that will need to be checked into during his spare time. “If that is all...my good man...then I shall need to get back to my current meeting. One should never make a beautiful woman wait.”

    Curt already at his computer setting up reservations “I have nothing else sir, I appreciate you taking time to speak sir, and I am making the usual accommodations for your associates. Thank you again for your help sir.” as Curt disconnects the call, palms and forehead dripping sweat still concerned that the boss would be displeased with his not having access to the sergeant. He does not want to be the next news story of being found in an airport parking lot.

    Andre hangs up the phone,the smile on his face never faltering as he turns his attention back to Jeffry and Rayne. “Now...I have been giving this a lot of thought and have decided we need to keep this clean. Under the rug sort of deal. Miss Summers is too well known to be disposed of in the ‘normal’ matter. I was thinking we could add her to the list of missing persons that Carter Lake is so famous for.” He turns his attention now to Jeffry. “Although having her caught on camera being led to a Tacoma PD vehicle will add a little difficulty to this matter. I assume you can come up with a plausible explanation for that...and get it on paper? I’m thinking that is something you can handle before dealing with our lovely lady here?”

    As Jeffry reassures Andre that that is the case, Rayne sits in stunned silence. She can’t believe they are talking about her removal while she is sitting right here. Her preference is to be ignorant of her fate. Instead, she is allowed to hear every detail of the plan as it unfolds in front of her, the fear she felt earlier doubling with each minute that passes.
    ------
    Thirty minutes later, Rayne is back in a Tacoma PD cruiser, sitting between two of Andre’s body guards while Tacoma’s ‘finest’ drive her towards the mine on the outskirts of Carter Lake. Even if she wants to create a fuss, she can barely move as she is pressed in from either side. Jeffry sits in the passenger’s seat, typing away on a computer linked to the station, creating a bogus report in regards to Rayne’s alleged arrest the day earlier. According to the report, three officers were dispatched to her home to follow up on the request for questioning due to damages incurred at the Tacoma Sleepy Inn. (A request to the Carter Lake PD had been filed and ignored.) Rayne Summers was apprehended at her residence where packets of illicit drugs were discovered. She proceeded to resist arrest, resulting in a call for backup. She then managed to grab her boyfriend’s weapon, one Sergeant David Nichols, and accidentally shot him during a struggle, the officer she was aiming for suffering no injury. She had to be forcibly removed from her residence, following her attempted attack on the officer and taken into custody. The whole ordeal pulling two cruisers and six officers to the scene. He then created a second report that allegedly had Miss Summers transferred to the Carter Lake PD, transfer papers signed and dated yesterday.

    Detective Jeffry Masters closes his computer with a audible click and looks back at Rayne with a satisfied look. Although disposing of her is not his preference, he does enjoy the look of fear on her face. She looks so insignificant between the two well-muscled men and it is hard to understand how she can be such a pain in their collective necks. As the mine comes into view, it is approaching mid-afternoon, the day overcast and the sky threatening rain.
    -----------
    Curt sits in his office monitoring the investigation proceeding. A detective comes in holding a document “Chief, you have got to see this. Some BS about Tacoma requesting our assistance on that Summers woman seems to have been entered in the system.”

    Without missing a beat, Curt replies “I told you about that Hank. Damn, with all those cold cases and missing persons swamping you, I realize that might have slipped your mind.”

    The detective not wanting to look like he dropped the ball or had memory lapse from his bottle he keeps in his desk, taps his forehead “Well just fuck me sideways, sorry Chief, you’re right, with all that crap lately, that slipped my mind. About that transfer of Miss Summers…”

    Curt pulls a file from his desk, having already printed and signed the transfer document Jeffry had inserted moments ago hands it to Hank, paper clipped to the document is an envelope with 5 $100.00 bills “You forgot this in my office yesterday.. that is yesterday.”

    Hank looks over the document first ready to protest the date on the document before looking in the envelope slipping it in his pocket “If this damn workload ever slows down, I would not forget these things.”

    Curt simply replies “You are a good detective, these things happen, just make sure you get this in records. I wonder if they *winks* might have messed the transfer up if they couldn’t find the transfer order. Miss Summers IS somewhere, transfer mishaps DO happen all the time.”

    Hank leaves the office “I know Chief, damn fucking civilians that handle jail transfers could fuck up a wet dream.” Hank after all doesn’t care anymore about the happenings in town or the department, his morals are easily for sale.
    Last edited by Storm; 01-01-2019 at 10:06 PM.

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  2. #32
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    Default Co-post--A secret revealed

    It is an additional hour before Georges heart finally gave out. The man was good, came to tears faster than Pam had expected, however withstood more than an average thug. Everyone eventually talks, and George was no exception.

    Shortly after George’s body was disposed of, her next guest is seated at her chair. Steven Farsen, young, well built, sandy brown hair with powder blue eyes. The ideal image of youth and purity, the young man described as their newest asset. As thought, the young man starts with the usual ‘you have no idea who you are messing with bitch’. The words spoken by those with no power attempting to bargain for their safety. Pam however has not the desire nor the patience for games this day. Already betrayed by the young man's tremble of his lips, Pam would still instill in him the importance of his speaking true words.

    It takes nothing but a simple pair of wire cutters which cut off one of the young man’s fingers which causes his screaming and pouring out words she wanted. It became obvious that George was more in the know than this young man. Everything the youth cried, George has already revealed, however this young man did not know half of what the other did. He was of no use - information wise. Normally she would end this man’s life quickly, today is not normally though. This unfortunate before her was part of what caused her brother injury, almost his life, today it is personal.

    Over the next 10 minutes, Steve’s fingers are removed one by one. No matter what he screamed, what he wanted to tell, she continued. By the fourth finger, the man softened his screams before - like George - his heart gave out. With a sigh she steps away from the expired man. She motions for the man to be disposed of before stepping out of the multi purpose room where she steps over to the showers removing her clothes. The next 20 minutes is spent with the warmth of the shower spray washing off and shampooing the reminiants of George and Steve off her body and out of her hair. Drying off and blow drying her hair, she looks over her clothing options. She decides on Doctor Anderson again for her trip in to see Dave. With the names of who she wants, she awaits approval from the Shadows in her next step. For now, a visit to her brother is in order.
    ------------
    When the car comes to a stop, Rayne’s heart starts to pound in her chest and her breath once again is hard to pull in. She realizes she is starting to panic, wondering if this is what criminals on death row feel like when they walk the green mile. She is not ready to die and when she is taken from the car, she stares at the mine with horror. “Do it here,” she says, unable to stop the tremor in her voice. There is no whine, no begging, just the simple request...which in turn is ignored.

    It is Jeffry who takes her arm, leading her towards the entrance and despite the fact that she is dragging her feet, she continues to move closer. “Don’t...please…” she says, and now she is begging, anything to make them stop leading her inside. She realizes this is it...there will be no one to save her now...not Dave...or Pam...or even her friends. She is on her own. She tells herself to be brave, to walk in on her own accord, but in the end, she is pushed forward, step by step, until the light from outside is completely gone and the way is lit only by flashlight...and still they go deeper into the dampness of the tunnels.

    “This’ll do,” one of the body guards states, coming to a stop where two tunnels converge, creating a larger space. It is farther in that Dave had gone when he was attacked, and Rayne is sure she would never find her way out if she had to...of course that is something she doesn’t have to worry about. She hears, rather than sees, what the man is doing as he prepares the heroin they will give to her. The only solace she has is that it is almost over and her suffering will be brief. She prepares herself, but as soon as she sees the syringe, she tries to bolt, struggling against Jeffry and knocking them both into the wall. Scrambling to her feet, she feels two other sets of hands grabbing at her and in a matter of moments they are holding her down, the needle jabbed into her vein. The quiet comes quickly, the dose larger than she has ever given herself. She tries to fight it, to resist the curtain that falls over her vision, but within seconds she is inert, unmoving, yet still aware on some level of what is happening around her.

    Two loud pops…’gunshots?’ she questions, then someone’s face is in hers. No puff of warm breath, but a warm wetness seeping under her. Another shot and another body. There is no connection, just information that she can not process. Footsteps. Darkness. Her heart slowing and her breath so light she can’t feel her chest rise anymore. “Am I dying?” she asks no one, screaming at herself to get up, to stand up, to run, to wake up...all this as she fades into unconsciousness.

    Rayne’s eyes open to nothing. She feels only the cold..and a damp chill that pushes against her bare legs. There is movement around her, snuffling like that of a dog, then a wetness pressed to her calf. She is aware of the fog that is her brain trying to connect..but she also knows she is not alone...that someone, or something, is here with her. Real or imagined, she tries to speak, to ask for help, then the pressure against her leg becomes pain...a sharp, intense burn of agony as her flesh is torn into, skin and muscle ripped from her with a sudden jerk. Then movement, but not hers, the bodies against her are moving, being pulled away. Hot tears spill down her cheeks and warm blood runs from her wound. She wishes for death, to be released into nothingness, but once again she is ignored.

    In complete darkness, time is difficult to gauge, and Rayne can only rely on her other senses, most of which are not operating fully. She does not know how long it has been, but the pain in her leg has traveled and the noises around her have increased. Her eyes close...briefly...and when she opens them again, there are two pinpoints of silver light above her. She feels, more than sees them come closer, feels the shifting of the air around her, then a scraping sound and the press of a hand against her mouth. The taste of salt, cold and metallic, is against her tongue. A command...“Drink.” She does not resist.
    ---
    Doctor Anderson proceeds down the hall, the Gs replaced with other agents who blend in far better than the bulky men. As the agent holds his hand up to keep ‘the doctor’ from entering, Pam simply smiles, in almost a giggly tone “Oh dear, you must be new..” her tone going more icy “..want to keep the hand, move it kid.”

    The agent gets chatter in his earpiece before stepping back “Sorry mam..”

    Pam rolls her eyes unclipping her ID badge slapping the agent across the face with it “Cover says Doctor sweetie, remember that.” clipping the ID back to her jacket. As she steps toward Dave’s room, the agent whispers in his sleeve “I could think of far more than physcotic bitch to to describe her..” before resuming his ‘intern’ standing around appearance.

    As Pam enters his room, the few regular staff that have been cleared are busy monitoring his vitals. Pam heads to the charts at the foot of the bed looking at them. One of the nurses softly
    “There has been a slight improvement. Things still don’t look good, just with him holding out this long, things are looking slightly more promising.”

    Pam not looking up from the chart, her tone cold and impersonal “You can see I have two eyes right hun? I know how to read. Only thing I am confused about, who pushed your talk button? Now be a good girl and go back to whatever you were doing. If I wanted to hear you I would jab myself in the ears so I wouldn’t have to listen to your voice.” now finger waving the woman away.

    Pam moves around standing along Dave’s bed resting her hand across his forehead

    Another attendant reminding the Doctor “Doctor, the patient should not be…” he stops mid sentence with the look Pam gives him. The attendant steps closer to the nurse Pam had the conversation with.

    Pam leans close to Dave’s ear whispering “Stay with me lil brother, sissy might be busy so might be a bit for me to come see you again.”

    As Pam steps away and starts for the door, the nurse in a reluctant tone “Doctor, you didn’t note the chart.”

    At the door, Pam turns to the nurse, in a giggly tone “Gee, did you figure that one out all by yourself? Looks like you aren’t half as stupid as I thought you were. Well, ya are, but let’s pretend you aren’t.” before stepping out of the room where the nurse and intern begin a discussion of how odd some of the specialists they have dealt with both agreeing that this Doctor took the weird award.
    ---------------
    Rayne’s eyes open again to the darkness, her vision slowly adjusting, allowing her to see shapes, then movement. Around her are small naked figures, child-like, with pale bodies moving around on hand and foot. She is reminded of spiders, although these only have four limbs. They scurry about as they collect things...bones and flesh...bodies...rocks and pebbles...then they stop to eat...and scurry away.

    In the moments that pass, Rayne realizes that she is thinking clearly, her mind awake and functioning normally. There is still pain...so much more than before. Everything hurts...burns...her stomach aches, her head pounds. But through it all, one thing remains clear, she is alive, and to continue to be so, she must move.

    Rayne crawls, first towards the children, towards their prizes that they have moved into a pile. She recognizes the partially eaten form of Jeffry...and the other officer...Jonathan...her thoughts trying to recreate the moments before their deaths. She remembers the gun shots. Nothing else. It is easy enough to figure out the rest...they were expendable, like her, and their fate was decided by Andre, perhaps by the phone call he received, or better yet, her file.

    She climbs the pile, grabbing at the bodies and pulling them down from the heap, her hands searching through their pockets until she finds a phone. Clutching it to herself she slides down onto the dirt floor again, her back against the mound, and turns it on to see only one line...no reception.

    With great effort, Rayne moves along the tunnel, dragging herself, her clothing tearing, her shoes lost, but still she moves towards the outside, her vision clear despite the darkness as she navigates the path back to freedom. When she emerges it is early evening, and she squints into the light rain as it falls on the dry earth, once again pulling the phone out and turning it on.
    -------
    At headquarters, an incoming message is forwarded to the receiving tech on duty for the Catering Line. After listening to the message, he immediately contacts his supervisor, who transfers him to Pam. Nervously, he waits while the line is connected.

    As Pam’s phone rings as the SUV is on the way back to HQ, she slides the phone to answer
    “This is shadow, speak”

    “Maam, sorry to disturb you...but I received an urgent message on the Catering line a few minutes ago. Not sure of the location, but it is within a few blocks of the area around the abandoned mine. Call came from a phone registered to a Detective Jeffry Masters. Message was short...possibly a woman’s voice. She asked for help. Then there was screaming.”

    As the message started, she just rolled her eyes thinking ‘you are already disturbing me’ however as the tech continues, she jabs G in the side “To the mine now” and when the tech mentioned the screaming, her tone was frighteningly calm from what the tech might have been expecting “Thank you for letting me know this valuable message” before going colder “just how fucking long did you hold this … you better not even answer that junior, if your brain cells have not done it yet, get coordinates on the call, and send them to my SUV screen 5 minutes before you called me kid..” before the call disconnects, the tech could hera Pam saying to G ‘I’m going to rip his fucking heart out of…’

    G accelerates the SUV as pam switches the GPS to a monitor tapping the monitor, in a low hostile tone “How long does it take for an idiot to put a simple coordinate to a screen, GOD!”

    As the SUV slides to a stop just outside the mine entrance, Pam immediately spots a figure balled up at the entrance. As she locks a magazine of enhanced rounds in the automatic rifle, she says to G “Extraction team, now” as she hops out of the SUV making her way toward the mine entrance, ready to open fire at anything.

    As she gets closer, she recognises Rayne, the reporter’s condition at first thought the result of the hands of her guests she was planning on visiting. As she gets closer, her pace slows taking in the gaping wound on her leg. It becomes clearer that her clothes are ripped, not cut. Two weeks earlier and she would simply have opened fire based on what she already fears. Crouching closer to Rayne, the silvery eyes seal her fear, all Pam manages “Oh Ray, I am so sorry hun.” as G comes up quickly “Extraction 4 ou…” now seeing what Pam had. G points his weapon at Rayne “Step back, I’ll do it.”

    Pam stands and looks to G. “Go ahead, just know that when you do, you would wish you went as peaceful as Georgie.”

    “Shadow… Pam.. you know SOP.”

    “And you know me, she comes with us.”

    “Incineration?”

    A sound of pain in her tone “The only way we don’t answer for not following SOP is if she is in R&D (research and development)”

    “Skylark will not..”

    Pam places her fingers to G’s lips “This is on me. You followed protocol by reminding me of SOP, this is on me”

    As they are discussing the option before them, a helicopter is heard in the distance, Pam firmly “Do this last order Tom, get to the SUV, this is on me, now go.”

    G looks to Pam “Always wanted to say this, but Fuck You .. Pam” as he takes a purple smoke grenade popping the smoke flagging to the inbound chopper.

    As the chopper lands, Rayne’s head lifts towards it, the movement slow. Her eyes, a silver hue mixed with swirls of black, follow the blades as they circle, then stop. Her mouth opens, and her eyes shift to Pam and G, recognition coming to her in an instant. “I...I’m...still...here..” she manages, her breathing labored as pain rips through her limbs. She throws her head back, a moan issuing from her as she uncurls from her position, her back arching. She fights against herself, tries to stand, then slumps back to the ground. “Help me…” are her last words as she passes into unconsciousness.

    As Rayne speaks, her heart breaks. She wants to hold the woman yet knows what has transpired. The lead crew chief hands Pam mesh kevlar gloves which the crew have already donned due to the purple smoke. A small box like object is being carried by another team. The nagging question “Is this sanctioned?”

    Pam’s only response is “Fucking Duh.”

    The lead shakes his head, never has liked that woman. Always so hostile. The lead hand motions the team forward. Hazmat suited men lift her setting her inside the container, the lid is closed and hisses as the magseal kicks in. Life support activates as the air handling system activates. The box is loaded into the chopper, crew members connect a monitor cord to keep track on the support system as Pam climbs onboard
    The next question “Ash or RD.” which Pam responds “RD”.

    Within moments the chopper is airborne and G is heading back to HQ in the SUV
    -------
    The sound of a centrifuge spinning and blood analyzers calculating chemistries fill the room as Dr. Fitzgerald moves from one end of the small lab to the other, his movements calculated and quick, as he reconfigures his latest tests. He glances over as a man enters the room, the newcomer’s eyes shifting to the observation cubicle containing the latest specimen brought in from the Carter Lake location. It has been three days since subject 229 has arrived and the tests conducted on her have continued to bring in unusual results, the doctor attending her unsure of the cause.

    “Anything new?” Michaels asks in a weary tone. He cannot help but notice the sound from the room has been muted, the subject continuing to thrash upon her bed.

    Dr. Fitz looks up from the microscope, a frown on his weathered face. “I left the report on your desk sir, just this morning.”

    “Abridged version Fitz...and in layman’s terms.”

    “Well...Miss Sum...I mean 229...continues to show certain aspects of the anomaly, but her DNA samples do not match with those of previous subjects. Similar..like you would see with related species, but not exact. Ape versus Man. So...I think we are dealing with something new here.”

    “New? New how?”

    “It’s hard to explain. Her blood chemistries are perfect. Human perfect. If I were to give you an example of a perfectly healthy woman’s blood results...hers would be it. She still has the abnormal cells in her blood, but her white cells are attacking them, killing them. Each day she has less. On the whole she is healthy.”

    “And the seizures?”

    “Still ongoing, but getting less frequent and shorter each day. We still can’t control her pain. She screams with the seizures. Everything we try to give her, her body rejects or absorbs. Pain killers. Sedatives. Seizure medicine. She metabolizes everything in minutes.”

    Michaels nods. “And your conclusion doctor?”

    Fitz shrugs. “Fuck if I know. Something new? The bite on her calf was unusual, more like a zombie would make...if they were real.” He laughs. “But seriously, the meat was ripped from her leg. Blood was not taken...but given. She had digested blood in her stomach when she was admitted. These are new signatures. I’m afraid whatever she is, she isn’t like the others.”

    “Do you recommend incineration?”

    Fitz shakes his head. “Oh, no...no...not at all. She is recovering. Healing. Becoming more human every day. Her injuries, the ones on her wrists and calf, they have almost healed completely--hardly any scars are visible. It’s miraculous really. I think there is too much left to learn from her to consider incineration. I am hoping in a few days she will be cognizant enough to converse with...as long as she is still sane. The amount of pain she is in...it’s quite substantial. I believe that is why she has not regained consciousness.”

    “I assume that is why you muted her cubicle?”

    “Yes sir..I can’t concentrate with her screaming.”

    A light chuckle. “And what about her eyes?”

    “Ah yes...those haven’t changed since her arrival. They only ‘shine’ in the absence of light, but the silver is swirled in with the black. Quite beautiful actually.”

    “You need to stop thinking of her as a person. She is a subject...nothing more.” He gives the doctor a stern look, then softens. “You will keep me updated Fitz?”

    “Of course sir...and what of the Agent? Pam Nichols?” Fitz asks nervously.

    “I believe she has been granted access to your studies just today. Expect a visit soon...I recommend wearing kevlar...I hear she is quite the ball-kicker.” Michaels laughs following his statement, his assessment actually less than the actual truth. “Good luck to you Doctor Fitzgerald. I’ll see you in a few days.”

    Fitz nods, then returns to the microscope, still amazed at the destruction of the abnormal cells. He pauses long enough to look at 229, her body now resting peacefully on the hospital bed. She is strapped, hand and foot, to the bed, her hospital gown askew and the sheets bunched by her feet. Her pale skin is striking, her beauty mesmerizing. There is little left to the imagination when she starts to thrash, the gown no match for her struggles. With a tired sigh, he returns to his research, dreading the awaited arrival of the PB, a nickname that has followed her, even here.
    --------------
    It has been a busy few days, there was the whole apologise rather than ask permission thing going on. Oddly when Rayne was admitted, something different happened, Skylark did not ask for explanations why the anomaly was not incinerated, just more on how the missing from Tacoma PD and State Police were to be explained. The news reported a downed chartered aircraft with members of Tacoma Police and State Police while on their way to a training exercise in a remote mountain range. Rescue and even recovery efforts suspended indefinitely due to weather and the altitude the aircraft crashed. No survivors were expected. As that news flash played out, Pam smiled to the TV rather proud of how fast the nerds put that together.

    That aside, time to focus on today. Pam dresses in a powder blue sweater and light colored Khaki pants and light brown sneakers. Looking to where Rayne is held, a slight giggle as she thinks ‘time to visit wonderland’.

    After a short drive, Pam arrives at Carter Lake Municipal Airport, mostly small private planes and charter aircraft use the airport. She leaves her personal car and heads to a small hanger where a chopper is warmed and waiting
    “Agent, we were scheduled to lift off 20 minutes ago.” the pilot grumbles

    She giggles “Keep your panties on, I’m here now, do I get frequent flier miles?”

    The pilot just shakes his head as he boards the chopper. The shades are drawn and interior lights are extinguished as the chopper lifts off. Several hours later the pilot announces
    “Agent, we are on final approach, please fasten your seat belt until the door is opened” ‘and fuck yourself very much’.

    As the chopper touches down and the power winds down, the door opens, several men wearing parkas are there to meet the chopper
    “Agent, this way”

    Pam exits as the cold crisp air and elevation perks her up. A slight shiver in her tone “Well kiddos, seems I’m not dressed proper, there better be some hot cocoa.” as she starts to the entrance of the base.
    ----
    In the lab, Doctor Fitzgerald is just finishing running another series of blood tests and tissue samples from the subject. He enters the information in his tablet, then sends a lab rat into her room to get her vitals. At present the subject is quiet, no seizures reported for over three hours and she appears to be resting, although as yet, she has not show any semblance of consciousness.

    As Pam is lead to the lab Dr. Fitzpatrick is in, the escort buzzes the outer door for admittance. Almost immediately, Fitz hits the button to allow access. His head drops back down to his screen as he continues his notes, only pausing when he hears the sound of footsteps entering his domain.

    Without asking, Pam enters the lab and immediately steps up to the doctor, her tone upbeat
    “Okay Doc, so what is the scoop on Miss Summers and where is the girl? Have the day but with that cold ass weather you didn’t tell me about, want to get back to things, have things still to tend to back in civilization ya know.” still curiosity peaked on the police reports that Carter Lake has on file dated days before her own nerds searched the system.

    Fitz hits a few more keys before he gives the agent his full attention. He appraises her mildly, then with a flick of a switch, metal blinds lift and the room Rayne is contained within becomes visible. A young intern, often referred to as a lab rat by the good doctor, is leaning over her, taking her temperature and getting her blood pressure. He offers Pam a reserved smile. “Would you prefer the printed report or a verbal update...layman’s terms or medical jargon?”

    As the doctor smiles, she reaches over tapping his cheek lightly, a little colder tone
    “Well, since I’m a girl and probably couldn’t understand your writing, why not impress me with your verbal skills. Try not to use big words that would confuse me.” before giggling “Naww, report written in crayon probably wouldn’t cut it, just talk Doc, and where does a girl get some coffee?”

    Fitz gives Pam a smile, ignoring the fact that she has insulted him and broken his personal space boundaries. “Coffee is over there if you don’t mind day old. If your tastes are more refined, you can ask the lab rat to get you some from the mess hall.” He closes his tablet, then walks closer to the thick glass which encloses Rayne in the small room.

    “As for the subject 229, she is doing well. Improving daily. ...and although I don’t expect a full recovery to normalcy, she should be able to function in a controlled environment. Of course, that is if Skylark allows her to do so.”

    Listening to the doctor with a bored expression, was about ready to go get some of the day old coffee. Her expression perks up when he mentions subject 229. A soft smile on her lips as she walks over to the good doctor, her tone soft, sweet and soothing
    “So… Subject 229 is doing well. Explain just who the fuck this 229 is..” as she reaches in grasping at his crotch, in a giggle “...humm, about numbers are we, well two and a half … suppose I gave you too much credit huh, let me see..” as she applied more pressure “..I don’t like numbers two and a half… so can I call you limpy?..” her eyes narrowing “..and call Miss Summers by number again and I’ll call you all gone.” applying even more pressure before releasing her grip, a smile and soft tone again “So tell me again Doc, when is Miss Summers likely to be released?”

    Fitz, groaning, his knees starting to buckle, can only shake his head in response to Pam’s question. If he considered touching his cheek too close for comfort, this can only be described as an absolute outrage. He struggles to regain his composure when she releases him, taking a few steps backwards to give himself some breathing room. “She um...it will be…” he pauses to cough, then clears his throat,”..it will be another few days before all the results are in...but there will be no release.” He looks at Pam a little nervously, his hands moving instinctively to protect his groin in case she gets angry again. “Subject...I mean Miss Summers...will not be leaving this facility unless it is in an urn. Of course, that decision is really not up to me. Despite her progress, she is not going to recover completely.”

    Pam stares at the Doc before looking through the glass toward Rayne. She looks to the good doctor as he covers his groin, with a slight giggle “Didn’t like touchie feelie Doc? And here I thought we were so getting along..” mockingly making a motion with her finger as though she was gagging herself, her tone goes more flat “Leaving in an urn? Tell you what sweetums, just understand that she would not be the only one sleeping in an urn.” offering a wink as she realizes that this nerd will allow only a visual of Rayne, her tone again friendly “Well, love to stay and shoot the breeze… doctor… nurse… or anything else that moves … I crack myself up sometimes, toodles Doc, got places to be, people to spread my charming personality to, you do find my personality charming, don’t you?”

    Doctor Fitzgerald looks at Pam with his eyes narrowed. ‘This woman definitely lives up to her reputation,’ he thinks, then answers boldly, “Most charming, of course. Maybe next time you can bring along some nipple pinchers and we can really have some fun.” Despite his bravado, he is a bit intimidated by her, but he also is intrigued. There is something under her psycho act that just doesn’t ring true. Despite that, next time, he will wear protection.

    A smile comes to her lips at the retort the Doctor gave. She makes her way to the heliport and the chopper, engine whining to life. As she steps onboard, mutters “Dr F, I certainly will be seeing you again.”

    ---------
    The next evening the Director of Operations, Mr. Michaels gets an urgent message from Dr. Fitzgerald to meet him in the lab ASAP. With an audible exhale of breath he sets down his keys and makes his way down the hall. When he arrives, Fitz is pacing the room, his intern running a series of tests behind him.

    “What is it that couldn’t wait until morning Fitz? I was putting on my coat when your message came through.”

    The doctor looks to him, his eyes red rimmed from lack of sleep, but his expression clearly showing excitement. “I figured it out! What makes Ray...229...unique. The idea came to me when Agent Nichols decided to grab my genitals during our brief meeting…” the words spoken with a grimace, “...in the most unpleasant way possible, of course,” he adds and gives a short chuckle. “She’s a wildcat that one...wouldn’t want to be on the wrong end of her gun.”

    “...and…” Michaels prompts, looking to his watch as extra incentive.

    “Yes..yes..of course. I digress. Anyhow, I had already surmised the main difference between 229 and the other subjects we have studied was the simple fact that she came to us alive. The others had been drained of blood...deceased...and then reborn...into the anomalies we have associated with the vampire-like traits. Subject 229 still had discernable life signs, although at a diminished rate, and there was enough heroin in her system to kill an average person, leading to a diagnosis of previous drug abuse, her body having built up a tolerance which allowed her to survive. But this alone did not account for her ability to destroy the alien cells.”

    Michaels once again looks at his watch. “Doctor, this is all very interesting, but it is nothing new. I have read the report. What are your new findings?”

    Again he apologizes. “Sorry, was just setting the stage,” he explains with a quick smile. “As I said, she was alive at the time of her arrival and I ran all the normal tests, multiple times, but I never thought to test her for levels of the human chorionic gonadotropin, also known as hCG. This is where Agent Nichols comes in…”

    The director sighs, “Please Fitz...layman’s terms.”

    Another chuckle. “Of course...hCG is a hormone that stimulates the production of progesterone...in a pregnant woman. Subject 229 is pregnant! She is in the early stages, maybe two weeks at most, so the level of hormone is not significant, but it is still present in high enough levels to show up in her bloodstream. I’ve run tests to ensure that the hormone is the reason for the difference in her body’s response to the abnormal vampire cell, and every test I run supports the hypothesis.”

    “I expect you will have a written report sent to me in the morning?”

    “Of course sir. I have already started it, plan to have it to you in a few hours.”

    Michaels nods. “Very good. Be sure to run trials on the primates.”

    Fitzgerald beams broadly. “Already done sir.”

    “..and these tests you have run?” Michaels asks, his curiosity getting the better of him.

    “Standard testing sir. I separated the hormone and abnormal cells from her blood sample then reintroduced the anomaly first. It started mutating the other cells around it at an amazing rate without any interference from the white blood cells. Once the hormone was reintroduced, the remaining healthy white cells started to attack the mutated cells as before. It seems the hormone alerts the white cells to the presence of the anomaly which otherwise goes undetected.”

    “Very good...very good. I hope to see the results of the primate studies soon as well. Can I expect that?”

    “I believe that is possible sir. There are already remarkable changes in the subjects injected with 229’s sample minus the hormone.”

    “And the subject herself?”

    “She is clean sir. No abnormal cells in her blood stream for over twelve hours and her DNA has reverted back to normal as well.”

    “Normal?”

    “Well, from a chemical point of view, yes. There is still the enhanced healing and metabolizing of medication. Plus...her eyes.”

    “I see. And she is conscious?”

    “No sir...not yet...but I am hopeful. She has not had any seizures for sixteen hours and her brain activity is within the allowable limits.”

    “I expect to be alerted as soon as she is awake and coherent. I would like to set her up for testing with Lin as soon as possible to test the healing ability. You will keep me up to date?”

    Fitz blinks rapidly at the mention of Lin, but he nods. “Yes sir...of course sir.” Once the director leaves, Fitz looks at the sleeping form of Rayne Summers with a detached form of sympathy. Her chest rises and falls rhythmically, like a normal human lost in slumber, but he knows whatever changes she has experienced have made her less human. He hopes there is enough of the monster left in her to help her withstand the formidable skill of the renowned surgeon. Otherwise all his work has been for nothing. Similar to Agent Pam Nichols, Lin’s reputation in regards to his ability to make a person talk is unsurpassed. Unlike his normal cases, with 229, Lin will be testing Rayne’s ability to heal...over and over again. Fitz turns away from the subject, returning to his equipment, his ability to empathize and sympathize in a normal manner with his subjects long since diminished with the progression of the ongoing project.

  3. #33
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    Default Momma and Poppa CO--The Cache of Secrets

    In the mid afternoon of the following day, Rayne comes awake after several days in a semi-conscious state. Squinting against the light of the fluorescent bulbs, she looks about her room, having only the slightest curiosity of where she is, but mostly feeling hungry and thirsty. She is surrounded by thick glass walls and monitoring equipment, a bedside table, and little else. It is the table which attracts her attention, a pitcher of what she assumes is water sitting on its metal surface. She goes to reach for it, her hand stopped short by the leather restraints which hold her. She jerks her limbs in a weak effort to free herself then lies back.

    In the lab, Jenny (the current lab rat) lifts her head as the subject’s room monitors change rhythm. As she is alone, she decides to check up on 229 herself, the safety protocols foremost in her mind. She opens the locked glass door and proceeds inside, noticing her movements for the first time are being tracked by the patient. She offers a nervous smile. “You’re awake,” she says, stating the obvious. “Would you like some water?” she asks seeing 229 glance towards it. When she receives a nod, she pours the cool liquid into a plastic cup, slipping in a straw and approaching Rayne.

    Jenny leans over the bed, keeping herself a safe distance from the subject’s hands and only allowing the straw to get near the mouth--safety protocol number one--keep clear of the teeth. Rayne drinks greedily, only stopping when the cup is empty and Jenny offers her another nervous smile. “That’s all for now. Can’t have you getting sick.” She glances at Rayne’s eyes--the most haunting part of all the subjects--then looks away--safety protocol number two--never maintain eye contact. “I’ll get the doctor,” she states before leaving the room.

    When Rayne is visited next, it is by two men, one dressed in a white lab coat and the other in an expensive suit. She does not fear them, but they do spark her curiosity. She had assumed she was in a hospital, but now, she thinks it may be more like a research facility…and she the object of interest. She thinks on what transpired before this, and like a distant dream, she recalls everything that has happened, the memory fogged, but definitely hers.

    The two men discuss her condition, even though they have not looked at her current monitor readings, and she listens, easily hearing them despite the hushed tones. She doesn’t try to speak, her throat too dry, instead like an intrigued canine, she cocks her head in their direction, intently absorbing every word. Once their conversation ends, they approach her, one standing on either side of her bed. They stare. She stares back, her silvery eyes intent on their features. When they finally take their leave, she sees the young girl heading back towards her, this time carrying a steaming bowl of broth. All other thoughts leave Rayne as the food it brought to her, the liquid once again offered with a straw.
    ----------
    Pam paced along a row of nerds tracing distance travel over a 1 hour period figuring the pilot intentionally banked and extended the flight. The GPS in her pen needless to say was disabled with the jammers in the chopper however she ‘suggested’ her nerds look to pick up where her signal resumed as she got out of the chopper.

    The techs had started with travel time within one hour and started back tracking. Checking satellite images of air travel, supply shipments of a sizable amount. After a few hours of searching one of the techs chimes in

    “Mam, think I have something. I have your GPS ping.”

    Pam walks over to the tech leaning over his shoulder, a smile on her lips
    “Oh clever boys, spent so much time playing fly fly. No wonder it was so fast to get the air support.”

    The GPS ping was in a small hilltop some 20 miles outside Carter Lake, just high enough to give the illusion of being in the mountains.

    Pam reaches over the tech screen and has the coordinates transferred to her tablet more to herself
    “Silly boys, hiding right in plain sight, let's see now what momma is going to do about getting you lil specimen away from you.” still somewhat concern having learned that Dr Lin was being brought in on the ‘project’ as it is now listed.
    -----------
    As Dr. Fitz is shutting down the lab equipment for the night, the door to the lab opens and Michaels strolls in casually. He smiles at the older man. “Finally going to take a rest from the subject Fitz?” he asks.

    The doctor nods. “Everything is running smoothly. 229 will be ready for Lin in the morning as requested. She is resting quietly. No other tests needed until then. Even have an updated report for you on the primate study.”

    “Very good. I look forward to reading it in the morning.” He glances at the camera monitoring the subjects room, the wall shades already drawn for the night. Frowning, he looks closer. “Doctor Fitz...just where is the subject?” he asks.

    Without looking up Fitz replies, “In her room of course, strapped to the bed. Why do you…” ...and then he also is looking at the camera displaying an empty bed. The leather straps dangle from the bed rails, open, but not damaged. Fitz’s face scrunches up as he looks at what is obviously an empty room. “I...damn it...I checked on her personally three hours ago. She was awake, but docile. There is no way she could have left the room without the alarms sounding.”

    Michaels is already pulling up the camera feed from earlier in the evening when Fitz turns to him. The director has an image frozen on a screen marked as 5:13 PM. In it, the doctor is leaning close to the subject, his eyes locked on hers. “Care to explain this Fitz...I believe this directly goes against one of our safety protocols.”

    Fitz stares at the image then fumbles for words. “I...um...I believe she was trying to talk to me. I leaned closer to hear her. Can’t for the world of me remember what she said.”

    Michaels advances the screen, one frame at a time, and it becomes obvious just how subject 229 escaped. She was assisted by the good doctor who proceeds to undo her wrist and ankle restraints and then allows her to leave the lab. “This is from three hours ago Fitz! Do you know what that means?”

    Doctor Fitzgerald nods, his face slack. “I don’t...remember...doing that.”

    Michaels pushes him out of the way. “I need you to snap out of it Fitz. Send out the alarm and get her found! She is a security risk...not to mention a probable danger to the outside world. We will discuss further disciplinary actions after the project is recovered!”

    As Michaels storms out of the lab, he hears the alarm activated. He continues down the hall and enters the monitoring room, pushing one of the techs from a chair and taking his place. He backs up the tapes until he finds feed of 229 walking from the lab at a casual pace, her hospital gown flapping against her. She only encounters one other person...Jenny...and after a short discussion, the lab rat is leading the subject into a locker room. Ten minutes later 229 leaves the room alone, dressed in jeans, hiking boots, and a light winter jacket. She walks along the corridor, scans an ID card at a service door, then exits into the employee garage. Five minutes later, he picks up on her whereabouts again, this time walking along the road at a leisurely pace towards the town of Carter Lake. At one point, she looks back at the facility as though she knows she can be seen, her expression neutral and her eyes ‘shining’.

    Michaels slams his fist against the computer keyboard then gets to his feet. “We need to find her now! Get someone on that road now...she has a three fucking hour lead!”
    ----------
    Sitting back at home, Pam flips through files she hacked into finding it curious how the police reports she grabbed the night Dave was shot do not match what is in the Carter Lake system now.

    Just as she was ready to do a lookup to see where the Chief currently resides, her phone alert dings. Looking to the alert, smiles “Oh Ray Ray, seems you are saving me from having people frown at me again.” as she stands heading to her closet. Slipping into an all black one piece before heading out to the living room for her jacket. She grabs an extra parka and heavy blanket reading that ‘subject off site’. As she grabs her keys, she is on the phone with her techs
    “Okay boys and girls, make momma happy and do that jammie jam stuff for momma.” while the techs begin their pre assigned jamming communication arrays for the lab assuming they were not tech heavy against EW (Electronic Warfare).

    As she gets to her car, she backs out of her driveway and starts in the direction of the complex mentally mapping out the most efficient escape route one might take. She gets a text ~Comm sleeping~ figuring she has 30 minutes at minimum depending on how efficient the lab’s tech people were. The GPS screen on her SUV has a satellite display of the area beamed to it where she focuses on any individual heat signature, true to presumption, most clusters are of 3 to 7 signatures in each cluster. She smiles “Kiddos are really pulling out all the stops trying to get Ray Ray” as she finally isolates the single heat signature.

    “Awwww, there you are girl, hold on hun, we’ll have you somewhere having coffee before their nerds get their talk talks back.” accelerating her vehicle knowing that with the time Rayne has been out in the elements, she must be getting cold.
    --------
    Rayne concentrates on putting one foot in front of the other as she moves along the quiet road. She ignores the numbness that has been creeping along her extremities, knowing there is nothing she can do to change her circumstance. The wind whistles around her, her black hair caught in it's grip, slapping against her cold cheeks. She shivers and tucks deeper into herself.

    Having taken the only road leading from the facility, Rayne has only one destination, wherever it ends. She keeps to the side, walking on the edge in case she has to move quickly to avoid capture, even though she is not sure how fast she will be able to move now, her limbs stiffening more with every hour. Her enhanced eyes pick out every detail...the cracks in the road..the multicolored gravel at her feet...the headlights in the distance. She moves deeper into the shadows, shielding her eyes and crouching low, hoping the vehicle will pass on by.
    -----
    The screen display shows the lone heat signature a half mile ahead, no other heat signatures that are a threat close. Slowing the SUV hits the high beams, the road ahead is clear yet the signature puts it yards away. Grabbing the Parka and blanket, Pam pulls to the side of the road (parking on top of Rayne--she’s flat now--poor Dave) exiting the driver side. She shines a flashlight along each side of the road calling out

    “Rayne, it’s Pam, where are you hun, I’m here to get you somewhere safe.” taking a moment to look back on her screen to ensure the other heat signatures were not coming in their direction, she desires to pick Rayne up without injuring any of the lab’s people sent out to recover her. The only consolation is if they are confronted, the group that happens upon them would live to tell Skylark of the encounter … when they are out on Intensive Care.
    ----------
    Rayne almost bursts from hiding at the sound of the agent’s voice, but at the last second she stays her forward movement. Pam had saved her after her attack in the mine, but she also sent Rayne to the facility she had just escaped. Indecision rages through her...would Pam send her back or was she really here to help? In the end she decides to trust her instincts and move towards the woman...and the promise of a warm car. She stands, keeping her gaze at the ground as she moves to the light. “I’m here,” she says, her voice hoarse and barely audible. She keeps her hands in clear view, not wanting to spook the woman with any sudden movements.
    Pam rushes to Rayne first placing the Parka on her followed by wrapping the blanket around her slowly moving her toward the passenger door of the SUV, her tone soothing “SUV is warm hun, we’ll have you to safety in a jiff.” as she gets to the door opening the passenger door “Take it slow Ray, I am sure you must be so cold.” giving her time to get in the door.

    As Pam gets into the driver side, she looks over to Rayne “There’s coffee along the door. Let me know if you need the heat cranked up any higher.”

    As she pulls out, chatter comes over her radio in the SUV “Rouge 1 this is base, comm systems nearly rebooted, have three to five before restored.”

    Pam picks up the mic somewhat lighthearted “Luke, Leigh is onboard the Falcon” before the response in a questioning tone, even for Pam “Cl...ea...r” She proceeds down the road still watching the heat signatures knowing when the lab restores their systems, her nerds will kill the satellite connection and any trace they were hacking into it.

    As the vehicle starts to move, Rayne takes the coffee from the door, wrapping her hands around the cup and bringing it to her lips. She inhales deeply as she drinks, not thinking of anything other than the hot liquid which passes over her lips. There is little of what Pam says into her radio that makes sense to her, but she assumes it is code. She glances at the agent as she drives, then drops her gaze. She has only been awake for six hours and she fears what else she may be able to do...the ability to see in the darkness and coerce people to her will frightens her more than she cares to think about.

    Knowing it won’t be long before the comm system is restored, Pam slows her speed not wanting to attract attention by exceeding the speed limit. She looks to Rayne, keeping her tone soothing “We’ll be at a safehouse in 30 minutes, things might be a little complicated. I have resolved the Tacoma people, but there are reports surfacing that I need to handle. Might need lay low a day or two while I sort a new quinkie dink out hun.”

    As Pam said that, the GPS screen flashed before returning to normal GPS function “Well, looks like the kiddos looking for you have their talk talks back. At least didn’t see anything ahead of up that we need avoid.” looking toward Rayne.

    “Safehouse,” Rayne repeats. “Can’t I go home?” She doesn’t want to spend any more time in a strange place. All she wants is to be somewhere familiar...and she doesn’t think of the danger or the people that may be looking for her. She looks at Pam, not shielding her eyes or looking down once their gazes meet. Then she blinks and looks away, sighing heavily. “I’m sorry...I didn’t mean to…” and the rest she finishes in her head, ‘...to kill your brother...to cause you to have to come for me...to try to coerce you to take me home.’ But none of this she says aloud. She looks into her coffee cup. “A safehouse is fine,” she says, her tone soft.

    Pam concentrating on the road and on the information she was learning about Chief Johnson. Not processing the entire ‘didn’t mean to’ immediately, she focuses back on Rayne. She seems stronger than she anticipated considering her condition at the mine, for a moment she thinks if she should let her know that Dave was removed from ICU earlier in the day and might be released in a day or two. She does finally after a moment of silent thought “Nothing to be sorry about Ray Ray, let’s get you to a warm house and we’ll talk.” glancing a moment over to Rayne. “Really hun, things are okay. Just concentrate on getting better yourself.”

    Soft laughter follows Pam’s statement. “I’ve never felt better Pam. ...and nothing is okay. But a warm house would be nice and we can talk if you want. There isn’t much to say.” She stares ahead at the road, marveling in all the things she had never seen in the dark before. “The road sparkles...did you know it sparkles?” She laughs again, then shakes her head. “Were they going to kill me?” she asks in a cold tone, her voice completely unlike her usual timbre. “Do you know what I am?”

    With the question on if she knew what she was took even Pam by surprise. The road sparkling was dismissed on perhaps residual drugs the lab might have given her, then the inquiry on if ‘they’ tried to kill her in a tone she had not heard her use, glances to the side taking better attentive looks at Rayne. Her tone still calm and soothing

    “No Ray hun, tell me what you are then?”

    “I am subject 229. A project. That is what I am and you put me there. Is this another test? ...and when we’re done, will you take me to Dr. Lin?” She doesn’t look up, knowing what she said could be taken as a threat. For once she can say she is not afraid of what Pam can do to her. Anything that could be done to her, has been, and she wonders briefly if she had died in the mine. Her thoughts manage to confuse her and she decides to keep quiet before she says something else she will regret. “I didn’t mean that…”

    As Rayne was speaking Pam quirked a brow. There was definitely a change in Rayne, she will definitely need to try and hack into the lab for detailed notes they might have. She has conflicting thoughts, with the woman next to her … her brothers Kathy … someone she vowed to protect … not not in danger - but A danger? Her tone growing more reserve
    “Ray, you are not project 229. Yes, I did request extraction from that team, the alternative was less appealing. I have no intent on allowing Lin or anyone else take you back.” now paying close attention to Rayne’s words and what she does.

    “Lin is a doctor...a surgeon. What would he want with me? You never answered me before...were they going to kill me? Is that why I was supposed to see Lin?” She goes back to staring out the window, finding it hard to keep quiet despite her resolve to do so as she has so many questions.

    Pam’s tone somewhat cooler “Dr. Lin is a specialist, and not in a good way. I do not know what their plans were with you. I never believed they would try to kill you. With your questions, I have one for you. What do you remember of what they did to you? You have changed Ray, what do you remember?” Dr. Lin is a specialist, testing regenerative traits of test materials brought to him. A Frankenstein if there ever was one. Why would that doctor have interest in Rayne runs through Pam’s mind as she turns off the main road up an unimproved side street.

    Rayne keeps her eyes on the road as she answers, her voice soft again. “I remember everything...but it’s more like a dream. Andre...and the mine. The handcuffs cutting into my wrists. The sound of the children. The vampires eyes staring down at me. ...and you...and G. Even though I was not awake in the lab, I also wasn’t asleep and I could hear them talking. They were always taking blood and tissue samples. I tried to tell them to stop...that they were hurting me...but they never stopped. And there was pain...like birth...or rebirth. I wish it made more sense.” She pulls up the cuffs of the jacket and looks at her wrists, turning them over, then running her fingers over where the cuts should be. “Maybe I am wrong...maybe my memories are wrong.”

    The SUV pulls into the driveway of a small two story house as she hits a button on the rear view mirror, The garage door starts to raise, Pam pulls inside the garage before lowering the door. SHe gets out of the driver side door coming around to the passenger side opening it
    “We’re here Ray, you mentioned a name, an Andre, by chance is that guy really tall and heavyset?” while waiting for her to exit the vehicle.

    If it is the same Andre she is familiar with, things have just gotten a whole lot more interesting.

    Rayne steps out of the SUV and closes her door, looking around the garage before answering. “Uh huh...yeah...tall and heavyset. Lives in a luxury apartment complex. He was Jeffry’s boss. I think he had Jeffry...and Jonathan...killed too. Did you recover their bodies? The children were eating them.”

    As she had not received word if anyone had even gone into the mine, her attention aside from confirming Andre’s involvement was on the children eating bodies. This would be a new development which had not been known or reported before. The anomalies she is tasked on recovery or elimination of were nothing as described. Has there been a mutation or hybrid she has not been brought to speed on. Things are definitely taking a turn for the unusual.

    Pam heads to the door to the house placing her thumb on the keypad. The scanner unlocks the door as she opens it
    “Come on in Ray, will get some more coffee on, I am interested in those children you spoke of. Where did you see them at again?”

    As Rayne walks into the house, she takes a quick glance around. Like the one she had been held at recently, it was nothing remarkable. It was clean and sparsely furnished, a stairway leading up to the second floor, and most likely the bedrooms, on her right. Satisfied that they are alone, she walks into the kitchen, then turns to Pam, her gaze directed downward. “They were in the mines...but you won’t see them. They hide unless there is...food...and only come out if they are alone. I think they have been there a long time...longer than the others.” She starts looking through the cabinets, taking out two cups and a container of coffee, then turns on the faucet and pauses, her attention on Pam once again. “They are the ones that bit me. I think...maybe...they thought I was dead. They left me alone after that.” She goes back to making the coffee, just wanting to keep herself busy. “Someone must have known you were coming,” she says with a slight chuckle as she holds up the can. “French vanilla.”

    Pam offers Rayne a smile “Bad habit Dave and Kathy got me into, it was their coffee of choice.” as she heads to the living room clicking on the overhead light. Inside the living room was somewhat empty. Two leather chairs with a small end table between them, a couch with a blanket balled up in one corner next to a pillow and a computer workstation with a rack of 4 monitors. Lightly Pam comments “It’s not much, come up here when trying to clear my head.” looking toward the kitchen “Make yourself at home Ray, upstairs is a little better setup than here. Got a couple things going to run and look into in the morning, I’ll have the Gs around to make sure of your privacy.” considering if she should contact Andre and determine what, if any, involvement he has in what she has been assigned to clean.

    Rayne nods, staying in the kitchen to wait for the coffee to be brewed. “Will I be able to leave? Or is the door only keyed in by your fingerprint?” She already suspects she is going to be held here, but wants it said to her face.

    Pam smiles, a slight giggle in her tone “Yea, fingerprint access keypad is the only way to access the doors, would be real bad if someone tried to force entry, think security system on steroids, but give this girl some credit, already hacked your records and added your fingerprints to the key access system.” heading to the kitchen checking on the coffee “As far as being the damsel locked in the tower, no hun, you are free to move about as you want. Until I get some things cleared up in town and with those overseeing me, might not want to make too much of a public appearance.” with a laugh “I assume they didn’t let you out on an overnight pass from the lab, I am sure you know there are people that might be looking for you.” What she doesn’t mention is that the safehouse she is in is off all radars, the agency does not even know this one, and the one she obtained the safehouse from might make Rayne uncomfortable.

    Pouring two cups of coffee, Rayne hands one to Pam, thinking over her options. “Okay. I’ll keep my head down then for a few days. ..and I appreciate your help Pam. I’m not sure how I escaped the lab, but I don’t care. I owe you again.” She takes a sip of the coffee and sighs, almost feeling back to herself again. Her body feels fine, but her mind is still reeling. Maybe a few days out here will let her get back on track. She needs to sort through all the things going through her head and get them categorized. Like a badly organized cabinet, she isn’t exactly sure where things need to go--what is important and what can be dismissed. Once she figures herself out, she can then go back to being Rayne...if that is even possible anymore. She finds the only thing about herself that she really misses is Dave--his warmth, his smell, the way his lips felt against hers. Her most recent memory of him is the worst--blood soaked and lying on the carpet, his hand pressed to his chest. Her eyes mist over, but she keeps her head down, avoiding all eye contact...for even this seems a danger.

    As Rayne had mentioned not knowing how she escaped from the lab, Pam smiles “Your escape was not in my plans though had always kept a plan B in case you did. You escaping certainly was better than what I was going to do, grab you during any transport or grab Lin if he was going to go there. Quite remarkable that you sprung yourself from what they described as a non escapable facility.” leaving those words hanging. “Did someone help you? Did see they seemed to have you pretty much held down when I managed a look into where they had you. Would have taken most of my team, both sides would lose people if we went in to get you, that is where the whole take you during transport was being put into the works. You remember much on how you got out? Who helped you, I might need to pull them and get them out of town, overwatch might not have favorable impressions when they find who helped you.”

    Rayne hesitates before answering, knowing that whatever she says may have an impact on the conditions here. She feels she owes Pam the truth...at least as much as she recalls, but she also wants her freedom. She sighs, then lifts her gaze to Pam’s. “I...um...I asked the doctor to undo my bonds. They were too tight and I wanted to move around. I begged him and he did it. He also let me out of the room when I asked.” Her voice has a slight tremor as she speaks, and she drops her gaze for a moment before she continues. “Jenny also. I asked her for help. She worked for...Fitz…”, the doctor’s name coming to her finally. “I needed clothes and a way out. She gave me both, but I don’t remember what happened to her.” She keeps her eyes on the agent, although not looking directly at her, carefully measuring her words so as not to give her any ‘commands’. “I think it’s my eyes. I don’t want to be a threat, but I don’t know how to control it.”

    As Rayne explains the situation to Pam, she starts to formulate why Rayne had been keeping her head down. She reaches over setting her fingers gently under Rayne's chin raising her head so as to look into her eyes. After a brief second, Pam releases her hand quirking a brow
    “Yours is natural, not produced, stronger than any other, curious, you said you were bitten in the mine, by children and not by adult?”

    The medication and brain implants used to counteract hypnotic gazes from the known anomalies Pam and several other cleaners underwent before this task were experimental themselves. The feeling Pam had run through the electro stimulator was nothing like she had experienced from anomalies or those reborn after being attacked. This power that rushed through her mind was not artificial, she knew it was natural and stronger than the most powerful subject that any have encountered.

    As casually as though they read an article of mutual interest, she turns toward the living room
    “Let's head to the living room and relax. Might be an interesting conversation.”

    At Pam’s suggestion, Rayne follows, sitting on the couch with her legs tucked under her. She cradles her cup, looking into it, then looks up directly at Pam. “Natural…” she says. “It doesn’t feel natural. It feels odd.” She bites on her lower lip, following the nervous habit with a sigh. “The one that bit me...the child...I don’t think it was on purpose. But there was another one...the ones we have seen. It made me drink its blood...looked at me oddly, cocking its head...then told me to drink. It never took any of my blood. Then it just left. The control it had over me, what I have, it is like that. ...but how is mine stronger? ..and how do you know that it is?”

    Closing her eyes, Rayne removes one hand from the warmth of her cup to rub her temples. “I don’t want to become one of them. If I am still changing...don't let that happen...please.” The look she gives Pam is one of sadness, but determination.

    Pam sits in a leather chair sipping her coffee, her tone friendly yet soft
    “Ray, when I said natural, didn't mean what you might have thought. I am certain what you feel is anything but natural. You recall the day you saw that tan car and I asked you not to ask me questions? You are experiencing a byproduct of a dirty little … groups testing. They are a shadow arm on the Government that even those in the Government are in the dark about. Don't ask me details, I just clean up their messes.” Pam stretches setting her coffee on the small table between the chairs. Leaning back letting out a sigh

    “What I was read in on for this mess, a dark division was experimenting on creating superior agents or soldiers. Those who could regenerate injuries, be able to take control of those they are in sight contact with. A controlled test..” she rolls her eyes “..they lost one of their test subjects. Shortly after, there started becoming missing people within the population with injuries not consistent with what their test subject would produce. The first security team that was sent in was lost without any trace. That is when I was brought in. I was prepped so I would not be subjected to the type of mind control they had been experimenting with. Took a month before I was sent into the field. I know the synapsis reaction to their control enhancements, what I felt with you was nothing created, yours seems more a naturally occurring ability.”

    Pam takes another sip of coffee, her tone goes softer
    “I never spoke to you of this before, I made that mistake once before. This was before their test subject cluster fuck. Somehow in her law firm, someone had put her on to the existence of the shadow branch. She came to me asking about it. We spoke very limited about them, I even told her I did not know the lengths they would go to keep their existence a secret. A week later they removed her.” looking over toward Rayne, her eyes red and a streak of water trickling down the side of her eyes.

    Rayne tries to digest all that Pam has just told her. She looks hard at Pam, seeing the sadness talking about Kathy always seems to cause her...and a part of her wants to reach out...to give comfort. Instead she averts her gaze and stands, taking her cup into the kitchen to get a refill. Once she sits down again, she clears her throat.

    “I could be one of those messes you are ordered to clean up. I’m just another anomaly, aren’t I?” She opens and closes her hand, looking down at her body as she does so. “There are...other things...changes...one unique difference between me and the other ‘subjects’.” She pauses, waiting to see if Pam knows anything else about her...anything else that she is holding back. “Do you know why they think I didn’t change completely?”

    Pam looks to Rayne after wiping her eyes “That is another side, the subject that was lost was nothing like what seems to be present now. They surmised that the subject happened upon something that for however long it had been around quietly, blended, mutated or something similar. The limited information they provide me is just how to stop what I find. There does seem to be another side of the shadows that might be trying to mutate what they find, to weaponize it, there have been too many changes sent to me on strengths of the anomalies to believe this is naturally occuring. As far as you, if Dr Lin was being called in, they might have been seeing what you could withstand, to weaponize you.”

    Pam sits looking at her empty cup before back to Rayne “What you described seeing, nothing like that has been in any briefing I had ever read, not to say that it was known, just above my paygrade or they had not found a way, or maybe did not want, it destroyed.”

    Rayne thinks back to the file she and Dave had looked at, the different terms and references to the vampire-like creatures mentioned...and everything Pam has been saying becomes clearer. A man-made super soldier mixed with something that already existed in nature, perhaps the thing behind the legends of Dracula. It made sense in a science fiction sort of way. It didn’t explain the young ones she encountered, but it did explain everything else.

    “There are a lot of variables, but they would have failed with me...the weaponizing part. I am not violent. There is no desire to hurt anyone. I don’t think the creatures I saw in the mine are violent either. They are like...like a clean up crew...gathering all the detritus and disposing of it.”

    She sighs again, just wanting this nightmare to end. “I think I want to go to bed now. Can we talk later?” From all that Pam has said, one thing she is certain of now...that Pam has not read her file. She decides to keep the pregnancy to herself, the news of it something she is still processing.

    As Pam stands up, she nods. “Of course hun, I’ll show you to your room.” She leads Rayne up the stairs and points to two open doors. “You can pick from either of these, they each have their own bathroom and a workspace. Sleep well Rayne.”

  4. #34
    Poppa Squirrel
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    Default Co Post: Meet Andre Black

    Rayne walks into the room closest to the stairs and closes the door behind her. She goes to the window, seeing headlights in the distance, and she watches them until she can be sure they are not heading in this direction. Shutting the blinds, she then pulls back the blankets and smooths the sheets beneath. Stipping down, she walks into the bathroom and turns on the shower, allowing the steam to fill the small room before she steps in. She scrubs her body slowly, all evidence of her near death experience healed...erased. There are no bruises, scrapes, or wounds. She reaches behind her, feeling along her spine, her fingers finding the deeply etched scars there...and sighs her relief. At least her whole life has not been smoothed over--her old scars remaining.

    Once she is clean, she puts her hand on her stomach and closes her eyes, leaning back against the shower wall. There had only been two instances of love-making, neither of them using contraceptives, and she had managed to conceive. She blames herself...but has no regrets. She can only hope the child is normal...that the events of the past few days will not have an effect on its development. At some point she will have to see a doctor and that has its own set of problems. She will need to find a way to conceal her eyes...maybe with contacts...to hide the silver. Without further thought, she turns off the water and dries herself off, heading to bed with her hair dripping wet. She gathers the covers around herself, pulling her knees up and wrapping her arms around her legs. In a matter of minutes, she is asleep.

    -----------
    As morning has risen, Pam arrives in Tacoma pulling into the parking structure of a luxury 10 story building. It has been years since she and Andre has last shared dinner over a mutual concern. Although in Law Enforcement and Government circles, the man is considered cold and ruthless, the man does have a disciplined code and demeanor about him. She has often had the opinion that the difference between a beast and a saint was the master it served. For each act of horrifics on random files in random agency archives on Andre, she has done the same, perhaps even more. Each act, people end up harmed or dead, some in ways people don’t talk about over coffee in the boardroom. The one thing separating her and Andre for acts they have done and will continue to do is Andre’s name is already cursed by the self righteous, she not yet. When her usefulness to the Shadows has finished, she knows she will be thrown to the vultures in DC with their committees damning those who do what is needed to protect the unknowing from what threats are around them. With a sigh, she exits her car wearing a powder blue dress accenting her fair complexion and blonde hair, she carries a small powder blue clutch purse and her heels click in the concrete of the parking garage.

    As she enters the lobby, she approaches the front desk offering a soft smile to the man behind the desk.
    “Please be so kind as to let Mr. Black know that there is a Miss Pamela Nichols at the lobby desiring to see him should he have a moment.”

    The clerk dials up to the requested room and speaks into the receiver, nodding his head a few times. After he hangs up, he turns to Miss Nichols and offers her a smile. “If you don’t mind, please take a seat. Someone should be down to escort you up in a short while.”

    Pam offers a smile in return “Thank you.” before turning and stepping to the plush chairs in the lobby. She crosses her legs adjusting her dress while picking up a copy of Time magazine briefly flipping through the pages as CNN plays on the screen of the lobby TV. She looks to her digital watch pondering if Andre desires to see how long she would wait in the lobby. Her watch now has 10:07 AM, once it reaches 10:17 AM, she will head back to her car and wait if the man calls her back. She leans back in the plush chair looking back to the magazine with her watch alarm now set.

    At exactly 10:17, two men, dressed in black tailored suits, exit the elevator and approach Pam. It is obvious they are carrying weapons, although they do not appear threatening as they come to stand before her. The taller of the two nods to her. “Please come with us. Mr. Black will see you now.” As the trio enters the elevator, an attendant presses the penthouse button and with the sound of gears turning, the car takes them to the desired location.

    Once on the top floor, inside a small alcove, the man who had spoken to her downstairs now takes a stance before her, stopping her from continuing further. “It is required that you hand over any weapons that you may have on yourself at this time. No exceptions. If you will allow, we will also do a thorough body search. The other option is a return trip to the lobby.”

    Pam hands her small clutch over to the man somewhat surprised that they had not searched her before getting on the elevator. Her smile soft and voice pleasant, obviously Andre had not told this man that she is a weapon. She would also not disrespect Andre by carrying any weapon on visits to see him.
    “Of course, had expected the pat down downstairs.” as she holds her arms out for him to give her a pat down.

    The other guard moves forward to search Pam for any weapons, finding none, he gives a short nod and steps back. Her purse is also checked then handed back over. There is a clicking noise and the doors enclosing the alcove open, allowing them to continue down a short hallway.

    “Mr. Black insists we keep business within the confines of the office area. The lobby is too public.” He explains as he leads her into a carpeted office, a large desk dominating the room. “If you will take a seat, he will be here shortly. Can I offer you a drink?”

    Pam steps into the office stepping over toward the desk having removed her high heel shoes in the front of the office, speaking to the man while sitting at her usual chair to the front of his desk, her tone as though she were addressing a staff member while relaxing in the chair “Coffee, french vanilla if he still has it, no cream or sugar, honey with a spoon will be wonderful.” running a hand through her hair.

    “Yes ma’am,” is the response, but it is not the well-dressed guard that brings the coffee, but Andre himself, stepping into the room only minutes after the other men had left.

    As he enters, he shuts the door behind him, telling the men to wait outside. “Pam,” he says warmly, setting her cup on the desk before her, “..It has been too long. It is very nice to see you...and you are looking lovely as usual.” He moves around the desk and takes a seat, kicking his feet up onto the surface of the desk and leaning back.

    Pam takes the coffee sipping it before setting it on the desk upon the provided coaster. Her tone friendly
    “Yes Andre, it has been far too long. How has Geoffry been, he’s studying at University in London if I remember, is he not? Time just slips away, last I saw your son, he was in highschool, just where does the time go?”

    Andre laughs, a deep baritone, as he nods at Pam. “Good...good. ...and yes, he should be graduating next year. Time does have a way of passing too quickly.” He drops his legs to the floor, scooting his chair in closer to the desk and leans forward. “...and just what brings you in today? I don’t think I’ve stepped on the agency’s toes as of late. Personal reasons?” he asks, his eyes appraising her with obvious desire. He quirks his brow and gives her one of his charming smiles. “Can’t say I’m not glad to see you,” he adds.

    Pam slides her chair back ever so slightly with her cup in hand with enough room to cross her legs showing some thigh, her smile soft with a light hearted tone
    “Oh no Andre, you have not stepped on agency toes, I believe I might have stepped on your toes however…” taking a small sip of her coffee “..the plane crash with the boys from TPD and State PD that has been in the news. If those were your assets, I regretfully have to admit I had a hand in that. There was a police sergeant that was shot a week ago by those that met an untimely end, that officer was my brother. They attacked family, if they were associates on your books, I wished to sit in front of you and offer my sincere apology for any accounting mishaps in your charge.” her soft blue eyes looking to his.

    Fingers drumming on the desktop, Andre nods, hmming softly. “Yes...well it is most..unfortunate. There were a few associates of mine in that crash. And I will have to replace them, but there has never been a shortage of men...and women...looking to pad their pockets.” His eyes drift to the hem of her skirt, tracing the line of her leg. Clearing his throat, his brown eyes look into hers. “Alas, the pain of loss came before that..a most treasured asset. Had to let him go.” He gets to his feet, coming around the desk to take a chair next to Pam. “But I do appreciate you coming forward…with this news. And I do hope your brother recovers.”

    As Andre sits next to her, Pam moves her free hand setting it on his leg sliding it along his leg softly, reaching her cup sitting it on the desk moving the warm palm of her hand to his cheek allowing the warm flesh of her palm against his skin. She would never work for him, accept his offers of pay, however she knew she was as he, doing what had to be done yet maintaining dignity and respect while doing the most evil deeds. Any she would do for the man was always what was necessary to keep the balance in order. Her tone soft
    “Is there anything I can do to compensate for the burden of replacing assets darling.” moving her head resting it softly against his shoulder.

    He lays his hand softly against her head, his fingers running through her hair. A soft laugh issues from his lips. “You have already refused the only thing I want of you. Be my partner. I couldn’t think of anyone who could hold a candle to you.” His hand moves to hers, covering it as it lies upon his leg. “Are you in a rush to leave? I would love to show you the new addition to my collection.”

    Resting her head on his shoulder enjoying just his breathing, at the offer of joining him, she softly

    “Now more then before I would not be able to join with you. I would bring far too much attention to you, those who I clean for have no honor nor respect. They cast you as a monster yet they are vile, with no morals, no … honor.. No respect.” relaxed with the warmth of his hand which rests on hers “..I have not anywhere to be immediately, would love to see how your collection has grown. I too want you to be aware that while I am in cleaning for those who will throw me away when finished, I am using your retreat just outside Carter Lake. I only wanted to make sure your offer still stood to use it anytime I wished?”

    Giving her hand a squeeze, Andre lifts her chin so she is facing him. “Anytime,” he assures, placing his lips gently against hers but not lingering. “If you grow lonely, I am only a call away,” he adds with a smile. He rises from his chair, standing and offering his hand. Once she stands beside him, he pulls her close, putting his hands on her lower back. She has always been his one regret--a woman with the passion to match his own--untamed and fierce. “One day you will accept my offer. I will protect you from the ones that seek to throw you away. When that day comes, you need only ask for my protection,” he says sincerely.

    As she stands facing him, leans back into his hand on the small of her back reaching around placing her hand on the top of his, pressing his hand firmer so his grip is firmer. She reaches around his back grasping his back so to pull him in an embrace. With his earlier press of his lips to hers, she now presses her lips softly to his with a lingering kiss. It has been years since she last enjoyed this man’s strength few could give her. She digs her fingers hard into the material of his clothes now pressing her body against his. Her tone softer
    “When that day comes darling, you will be the only one I will call, the only one I can trust, I would ask you make me disappear where only you know my location, one even the shadows can not find me. Enough business, it has been to long, I want you, we can see your collection after.” now pulling at his top.

    Andre lets out a chuckle as he helps Pam remove his shirt, his hand moving to the back of her neck as he presses his mouth harder against hers. His other hand reaches lower, pushing up the hem of her skirt so he can slip his hand underneath. With a moan, he pushes her hard against the desk, lifting her until she is sitting on its edge. “Here? Or somewhere a little more comfortable?” he asks huskily, his breathing coming in heavy as his passion rises.

    As she is raised atop the desk, she positions herself so as to pull her hem she sat on free pulling her dress up and over her body dropping it softly to the floor along his desk. She sweeps her hand across his desk clearing an area for her to lay back on as her breath increases. She does not wait for Andre as she reaches down pulling at her panties pulling them down her legs allowing them to drop to the floor. Her tone inviting, her face flushing
    “Why one or the other, here now, comfortable tonight darling.”

    His eyes relishing her naked body, Andre pulls Pam closer to the edge of the desk before removing his own clothes. “Mmm...I like the way you think,” he says breathlessly as he moves in closer and grabs her hips.
    -----------

    After a good use of the front desk and trip to Andre’s back office shower, Pam and Andre step out of the shower toweling off. Pam leans back into his bare chest as she drys her hair, her tone soft and seductive
    “That was such a fantastic appetizer, look forward to the main course tonight darling…” Her tone going more formal “..One thing near slipped my mind, I understand that there was a reporter, Miss Summers, that was to have been invited to her last breath. She does still breathe darling. Whatever she had done to bring her end, that might be the lesser of her concerns now. It seems that those I clean for had her in one of their facilities. There is a substantial change in her, one that those in the shadows seem to want to experiment with, maybe even weaponize. That and my brother seems to have taken to her. As she is in my brothers heart, I aided her when she escaped from the facility she was held in.” Pam steps to Andre setting her finger softly on his lips “She currently sleeps in the same retreat of yours. This is a complex matter darling. She is simply a body, live or die, the sun will still rise tomorrow. The complexity comes in my brother, her loss would do harm to him. Do not speak anything now darling, I will never try to ask you not to remove anyone who has done you wrong or a threat, just know, whatever the girl may have caused before, she has more to have concern with than she did before.”

    Andre tenses as Pam speaks of the reporter, but he does not interrupt, allowing her to finish before he moves away from her warmth to dry himself off and get dressed. Much of what Pam says is of interest to him. Just how had the girl changed that would make her of value? Weaponizing seemed a bit extreme. He wonders if it has anything to do with the stories of vampires that he had scoffed at--the missing persons reports he had ignored. He offers Pam a smile. “If she is of value to you...and your brother...I may consider letting this one go. Although she has been given three years more than I had originally planned.” The smile stays on his face, but of more concern to him is the report which has already passed his desk, claiming the death of Miss Summers had occurred--which only meant his men did not do as instructed.

    As soon as Pam is dressed, he leads her down a familiar hallway to a large door-size safe built into the wall. He enters a code, followed by a fingerprint scan, then enters the large room within. Once past the doorway, lights flicker on around the room, revealing dozens of glass cases enclosing medieval weapons, Hollywood stylized weapons, and a small section with prototype machine guns not yet on the market. He leads her to a small case with several ornate handled daggers, opening it so she can see them more closely.

    “These are reputed to be from the time of the Salem witch trials--pure silver blades with hilts of carved ebony. Still working on having them dated for authentication, but the lot cost me enough that the seller would be a fool to double-cross.” He laughs, picking up one of the larger blades. “I thought you might like to give this one a try? They are quite sharp and make the narrowest of cuts. Quite painful I am told.” He nods in the direction of another door set into the wall. “I have a...guest...if you have the desire to play.” His hand comes up to hers, handing her the weapon. His lips move to her neck, kissing her softly. “She is just a wee lass...but don’t be gentle on my account. Came to me with some information. Didn’t believe her until now. Of course she failed to give me the name of the subject...probably was in her best interest or she’d already be dead.”

    Pam takes the dagger looking it over running her finger along the side of the blade. A smile caresses her lips thinking on how wonderfully the blade would sever the skin slightly or deeply, if truely from the Salem witch trials, the blade would be crafted such that the mere metal would bring excruciating pain. Her tone pleasant not matching her words “The lass does not wish to speak a name? No, I will not be gentle, she will soon speak words I don’t even ask.” as she steps into the smaller room where Jenny sits. Her hands behind her back steps inside with Andre, the girl seems familiar but could not place the name having just briefly seen her through the glass Rayne was held.

    Her tone soothing “Good day dear, I trust you have been comfortable?” moving toward the front of the table Jenny sits.

    Jenny looks up, her face already bruised and her nose bloodied. She doesn’t see a savior in the newcomer, just another abuser and her lower lip starts trembling. “Please...I just want to go home. I didn’t do anything. Why are you doing this?” Her blue eyes turn to Andre and tears start to fall down her cheeks. “I just want to go home.”

    Pam sits across from Jenny resting the dagger along the chair removing fingernail clippers, speaking very softly, girl to girl to Jenny “Of course you are going home dear..” more looking to her own nails trimming them so as to keep them even while speaking “..I see that the boys were a little overboard with you sweetie. Why not be a darling and tell Pammy a little something you wouldn’t tell the boys..” offering her a delicate smile “..you know, girl secret and all.” while moving her own hand eye level admiring her nails.

    Jenny looks at Pam with mounting fear, her eyes shifting from the dagger to the agent’s nails. “I already told them everything I could. Please...if I say any more they’ll kill me.” She looks harder at Pam, recognition coming to her in that instant. “You’re Pam Nichols...that agent. You can’t let them hurt me any more. We work for the same company. Please...tell them to let me go. I’ll keep them updated. I will. The primate trials. I know all about those. Please…”

    Pam smiles softly to Jenny, her tone far more soothing “Oh my, we certainly couldn’t allow anyone to kill you now, can we. And my dear, I give you my word of honor that they will no longer cause you pain. I despise hitting pretty women in the face..” as Pam moves her hand softly to Jenny’s cheek softly stroking her face several times “..no hunny, don’t think about death…” while gently caressing her earlobe to stimulate pleasure through her earlobe into her neck much as others would do pleasuring a sexual partner, her tone soft and pleasant “..no dear, you need not worry about death..” while her fingertips hold her earlobe, her hand with the clippers move in sliding the steel over the held earlobe squeezing hard, the clippers biting off the small corner of her earlobe. As a spurt of blood gushes from the severed corner, her tone remains soft and pleasant “..no hunny, soon you will beg me for death. Everyone talks to me sweetie, it only matters now how intact you will remain before you say what Pammy wants to hear.”

    Blood now coating her hand and the nail clippers, she looks back to Andre
    “Darling, if it is not too much trouble, do you think you might have a set of wire cutters I can borrow?” before looking at the slender digits on Jenny’s hand.

    With a knowing smile, Andre’s hand falls to Pam’s shoulder, giving her a gentle squeeze before he leaves the room, his path followed by Jenny’s pain-filled eyes. The young girl looks to the agent’s hands covered in her blood and the tears start to fall harder. She sobs, gasping as she takes deep swallowing breaths, her fingers curling into the palms of her hands as she sees Pam look to them. “No...please...you said you wouldn’t hurt me. I...don’t...I don’t know what you want!” She fights against the ropes that hold her, the chair rocking with her movement.

    A soft smile forms on Pam’s lips “No hunny, I said ‘they’ would not hurt you. If you really don’t know what they are asking, doll, this will be a long night for you.” as she moves the nail clipper against the corner of Jenny’s lip pressing down taking a small piece of her lip. Her tone quite pleasant “You have plenty of skin to take sweetie..” a grin forms “..when mister wire cutter gets here, we really will start to play. As far as what ‘I’ want is not important sweetums, doesn’t even matter really, what ever question the silly boys were asking, tell Pammy.” Pam’s gaze warm despite the things she is doing.

    Jenny cries out, tossing her head backwards when Pam cuts into her lip. She shakes her head, a mist of blood following her movement. “I don’t know…” she sobs again. “I was never told her name. You were there...don’t you know it? Please don’t cut me again…don’t use the wire cutters on me. I’d tell if I knew. I don’t...she is just 229 to me...that’s all I know.” The young girl closes her eyes, silently praying for unconsciousness, anything to make this all go away. She is not even sure how she ended up here...the name Andre Black unknown to her until yesterday evening. No amount of money was worth this...even if she walked out of here alive. When she opens her eyes again, Pam is looking at her tenderly and the expression makes her want to scream...and she does.

    Looking at Jenny, Pam’s soft voice simply asks “So sweetie, is what the bad boys asking you the name of Subject 229?”
    Resting her free hand gently upon her hand giving her a gentle reassuring tap on the back of her hand, looking in the girls eyes ignoring the scream.

    Jenny nods, hoping beyond hope that she may have finally hit upon an opportunity to make this all stop. “Yes...229. Do you know her name? Please...they don’t tell me everything...need to know and all that. I’ve only worked there for two months. I can’t lose my job.” She stops talking, looking at Pam and feeling a deep sinking dread. “You’re going to kill me anyway...aren’t you? I’ve seen your faces. Oh God…”

    As Jenny talks, Pam’s gaze softens even more, her tone grows soft and tender “You must think of me as a monster, just talk true words and I am a sweet girl…” slipping her hand around Jenny’s middle finger yanking her finger backwards till the bone snapped, her soft tone and gentle gaze unwavering “...Pammy doesn’t like words that smell of untruth. You have said ‘they would kill you if you talked’ .. Pammy still thinks cutie is keeping something in that pretty head of yours.” a giggle comes out “..lose your job? Dearie, your job is replaceable, what Pammy takes .. not so much.”

    Jenny’s scream is cut short when she vomits into her lap, liquid bile seeping into her scrub pants. “Not lying…” she says, her voice softer, the tone less shrill. She keeps her head down, looking into her lap, not able to process what Pam says is coming next. She will not be able to withstand the pain...she is sure of it. She tries to ignore the throbbing in her broken finger, tries to focus on something else, but there is only Pam and that is enough to frighten her more. It was easier with Andre...he was not gentle, but he never tried to console her and be her friend. The brutality of the female agent was on another level all together. And as Jenny sat there she began to realize just what Pam meant when she said she would wish for death.

    Pam sits looking at Jenny and starts tapping her fingers on the chair wondering what on earth is taking so long with the wire cutters. She looks at the vomit in Jenny’s lap offering the girl a sweet smile “You certainly are a messy girl aren’t you.” running her finger in the vomit then to Jenny’s mouth slipping some within her mouth. As she wipes the remainder on her scrub top sliding her hand down her chest and over her breast, her voice soft as usual, looking in Jenny’s tear filled eyes, leans closer to her, her soft smile unchanging as she ever so tenderly in a near whisper as he cups her breast “I assure you sweetie, your nipple will make your finger feel like a warm shower, now tell Pammy what secret you didn’t want to tell the boys.” moving the bloody hand holding the clippers down to the bottom of her shirt slipping her hand under the shirt letting her feel the clipper and her bloody hand against her stomach.

    Andre walks in, wire cutter in one hand, his cell phone in the other. He places the tool on the table, leaning over and kissing Pam on the cheek. “Seems I missed some fun,” he says and gestures to his phone. “Had a call...sorry.” He smiles at Jenny, seeing the placement of Pam’s hand under the girl’s shirt. Surprisingly Jenny is quiet, her eyes wide and tears continuing to stream from them, but there are no screams or whimpers coming from her. The girl’s eyes dart to the cutters and she takes a sharp intake of breath, before her lip starts to quiver again. Sucking in her stomach to keep Pam’s hand from touching her, she looks to him and softly whispers, “I’ll do anything you want...please don’t let her hurt me anymore.”

    Andre casually walks behind the girl, his hands going to her shoulders and squeezing. “What do you think love?” he asks looking at Pam, “...is there anything you want? Jenny here is willing to give us anything.” His hands clench harder as his expression turns bitter. When a cracking noise is heard, followed by a painful cry, he lets up, his face pushing closer to his victim. “Maybe the name of the subject, you little whore...or the other one you mentioned...the one that will take her place if 229 is not found. That’s what I want.”

    As Andre inflicts more pain on Jenny, Pam lets a light hearted laugh “229, what a quinkie dink darling..” looking to Andre “..that would be none other than Rayne Summers. Sweetums here didn’t tell me, I already knew that one.” now looking to Jenny, her tone going back soft and soothing “Oh you naughty girl. Didn’t Pammy tell you we were having girl talk? Girls should not have secrets you know sweetie..” while taking her free hand grasping the dagger slipping it under the girl’s shirt while raising her hand, the blade cutting up along the fabric of Jenny’s scrub shirt. As the blade severs all the way up the shirt, Pam spreads the shirt open rendering Jenny for all purposes topless. Moving her hand that has the nail clippers up her stomach and to her breast, rests the cutting edge over the very tip of her nipple, Pam cocks her head to one side a brief moment, tone soft and sweet
    “Why didn’t you tell Pammy about the other? I thought we were becoming the best of friends, talk about boys, do each other’s hair, but no, you have to go hurt Pammy’s feelings…” as she applies a firm squeeze of the clippers biting away the skin, a gentle smile remains on Pam’s face as Jenny screams “..now sweetums, hurt Pammy’s feelings again, Pammy will not be nice.”

    As Jenny squirms in the chair crying, Pam looks to Andre “Darling, just thought of something. If girlfriend here doesn’t have names, I think I know someone that might have names. Already know just a squeeze of his boys and he is willing to tell me things..” lets out a little laugh “..imagine the things the guy would say when I start taking things away from him. The guy is Dr. Fitzgerald, I might be able to arrange his visit. Be less trouble for me if one of your boys invites him here, mabey even sweet lil Jenny might know the good Doctor’s schedule.” looking back to Jenny “..and sweetie, before you go off on a tangent of loyalty to your company, what oh what do you think I do...I am their cleaner, an information broker for the same company you so desperately don’t want to be fired from. I remove problems for them. I have conversations with people for them, much like the conversation we are having, only diff hun, so far I have been gentle with you. So why not be a good girl and tell your friend Pammy about Fitz’s schedule.” reaching over softly tapping her cheek.

    Jenny’s gaze shifts from Pam to Andre then back again. The fear in her eyes evident. She nods with a groan, the movement causing her shoulder to throb. She answers in a strained voice, “Dr. Fitzgerald is there every day when there is an active subject. He leaves for home in the evening...but not always. Sometimes he stays overnight...starts at 7AM and leaves at 6PM if everything is done.” She sniffles, breathing mostly through her mouth, her broken nose clogged with dried blood.

    “The other one...no names were given, so I couldn’t tell you about her,” her gaze now focusing only on Pam. “I just know that she has to be pregnant...like 22…” Then she notices the look on Pam’s face and corrects herself, “..like Miss Summers...so they can recreate the experiment.” She looks down at herself...at the thin line of blood that trails down the curve of her breast. Normally she is a modest girl and the act of baring her chest would have brought a blush to her face, but modesty is the least of her concerns. She swallows hard, hoping she has answered the questions to their satisfaction.

    As Jenny finishes up, Andre nods once, his gaze focused on Pam. “I can have this Dr. Fitzgerald brought in for questioning love...if you still need him. I am sure I can arrange for a meet in greet in a day or two?” He leans over the girl and lifts her head up by taking her chin lightly in the palm of his hand. “See how easy that was?” he says, then walks away from her and joins Pam on the other side of the table. “All this work has built up quite an appetite. I was thinking a late lunch. Care to join me...or am I pressing your schedule?”

    Pam gazing to Jenny “You did say that Miss Summers was pregnant?”

    Jennifer nods, her lips trembling now a new fear grips her. If they were done with her, were they now going to kill her.

    Pam has a soft smile that forms across her lips “Interesting she didn't mention that…” before looking to Andre “..and I will always rearrange scheduling for you darling, lunch sounds simply marvy..” looking to her bloody hands “..just need to wash up quick, what about the girl here?” nodding in Jenny's direction “..want me to finish her or your guys have it?”

    Andre laughs lightly. “I love your enthusiasm dear, but no...I think I can find use for her yet. I wouldn’t mind a little intel into the Shadows every now and again. I’m sure she won’t disappoint.” He turns out the light in the small room as they walk out, leaving Jenny in complete darkness. “I know a quaint little place just around the block. I have a special table--away from the hustle and bustle--perfect for a private lunch date.” He offers his arm and takes her back into his office to get cleaned up before they go.

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  5. #35
    Poppa Squirrel
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    Default Co Post - An Awakening

    Having washed up and ensuring there were no blood spatters on her dress, she secures her small clutch and holds Andre’s arm. Leaning into him, she softly says
    “I’m all yours, let’s get some lunch, I can fill you in on things going around in the news. I am sure you know already that there have been no drug freaks on a random killing spree like the Town office releases.” her smile soft, her posture nothing short of lady like.

    Andre takes her out to his car, his driver opening Pam’s door and waiting until she is seated before shutting it. Andre smiles at her. “I look forward to the update. Seems I’m a little behind on the Carter Lake mystery.” He laughs good heartedly (such a nice man--he truly is), “We really shouldn’t wait so long before our next meeting. Perhaps we can get together a bit more?”

    Pam offers a soft smile “Great minds and all, I was thinking the same. My work does seem like I’m going to be around a while, most definitely we will be see..” rolling her eyes to the ringtone “..I hate my phone I’ll let you know.” with a giggle slipping her phone out of her clutch. Pressing answer, her tone somewhat cold
    “Talk to momma, this better be good…”
    Her brows quirk, she gets an angered look on her face to the point her nose scrunches
    “Give momma just a quick sec…” pressing mute
    Her features soften, a gentle smile on her face and pleasant tone

    “Darling, does a Detective Sergeant Todd Barton from Carter Lake PD belong to you?” looking to Andre before instructing her guy what to do.

    Andre shakes his head. “Not familiar with that name. Is there something I can help you with?” he asks, trying not to listen in on her conversation, but unable not to pick up on her facial expressions.

    Her expression still soft with Andre “No darling, I have this, just if he was yours, I wouldn’t want to damage your assets, I would ask you to do it. Seems that my brother is scheduled for release from the hospital tomorrow. Some young detective showed up at the hospital with a needle wanting to inject him with something bad. Seems like I am going to have to have a lovely conversation with the chief unless you might make a phone call telling him Dave, my brother, is off limits.” before taking the call off mute.

    Her tone back cold but with some lightheartedness in it
    “Okie dokie, momma just had to do a quickie checkie on something. Don’t hurt the guy, he is going to be famous tomorrow, just take him to the roof and throw him off, make sure it is the parking lot side, keep the needle in his pocket - want the message clear. Now don’t bother momma any more, if anymore come, you know, roof, parking lot. Such silly boys this department has. Anyway kiddo, toodles, oh yea, do record this and send to momma since I will not be there, want to see if the guy begs or screams on the way down, no one seems to have any discipline anymore.” with that, she slides the disconnect slipping the phone back in her clutch.

    She leans into Andre resting her head on his shoulder sighing
    “I might have to be out tonight, seems there is someone in the Carter Lake Police Department that is being a bad boy.” looking to him “..almost forgot.. Kinda pissed right now, don’t want to hurt your assets. If the chief, Curtis Johnson, is on your books, I would like if you might let him know that it is not a nice thing to try and hurt my brother. If he is not on your books, then I will let him know this tonight.”

    Andre pulls Pam closer to him in the car, his hand rubbing her shoulder. “Curt is one of mine darling...I will speak to him and convey your message. Firmly. ...and just to let you know...David was never on my hit list. That was Detective Master’s doing...which he never discussed with me. He seemed to have an infatuation with Miss Summers even though they were no longer together. According to my intel, he acted on his own behalf in calling the hit. Rest assured, he was punished.” As the car pulls into the parking lot of a small diner, he offers her a charming smile. “Still have an appetite? The Reuben sandwiches here are delightful. We can order out if you prefer...eat on the road to visit our Carter Lake friend. I think a meeting in person with Curt would make a more lasting impression.”

    Pam offers a soft smile “You remember how I love Reuben sandwiches, that is so sweet. Dining in is fine. Honestly love, right now bad things would happen if I see Mr. Johnson. He might do .. strange things. Thank you though for the offer, it would be much safer if I don’t see him right now.” as her door opens, she slides out of the car waiting for Andre. She hears the message received tone which she would watch the video of tonight’s local news headline of the Carter Lake Detective falling from Mercy Hospital’s roof. She knows if she sees Chief Johnson, as well as she controls herself, the man still might slit his own throat.

    She stretches looking at the inviting atmosphere around the small establishment offering in an upbeat tone “I can see why you love this place. We are going to have to make frequent lunch dates here darling.”

    At the rear of the restaurant, a booth sits unoccupied, situated in a small alcove away from the other guests with a nice view of the mountains in the distance. It is here that Andre leads Pam. “Had this section added on personally. No one sits here but me or my invited guests.” As menus are delivered, he nods at the waitress. “Give us a few minutes Kate,” he says to her cordially, then addresses Pam. “If there is anything not on the meny, don’t be afraid to request it. They have an open kitchen and will make anything.” He smiles at her, enjoying her company and also the chance to show off a bit. “Did I ever mention how lovely you look darling?”

    Pam offers Andre a genuine smile “Thank you, and you look handsome and dignified as usual. What I want is already in front of me, from the menu, the sandwich would be simply wonderful, a sparkling lime soda, the whole work thing and all. Once we get ordered, I will fill you in on some details that the press will never hear, those who happen upon it with the intent of bringing it into the light develop health issues or vehicle accidents. They protect their secrets.”

    Pam takes a small sip of her lime water
    “I was not read in on all the details, I was brought in only to clean up their mess and to keep people quiet who stumbled across things. It all stems from of all things the defense department playing around with human bodies, trying to create the perfect super soldier or assassin. They experimented of giving their weapons the ability to regenerate injuries, even were playing around with giving their weapon limited mind control. Just like with anything government related, the left hand often did not know what the right hand was doing which resulted in one of their test subjects getting out out of … as they so eloquently put it.. It’s controlled environment. Their subject seems to have interacted with a life form in the wilderness of the Pacific Northwest that till that time, had been co existing with their surroundings for centuries. Those beings are what traditionally might be called vampires.” a smile comes to her face watching Andre’s expression.
    “Not the hollywood vampires, but life forms that have been around probably from the time man first walked out of caves. The difference in these hybrids is that they are contaminated with man’s greed. That is the research facility which Jenny seems to have been employed. That is where Rayne Summers also seems to come into the picture. She does seem to be taking on the traits of the natural beings that have been around since the beginning of time, not the corrupted things the lab is creating.”

    Andre lets out a chuckle. “I must admit, that is a lot to digest. Sounds like a bit of Hollywood. But..it does explain some things. So, this Summers’ woman, she is changing...does that have anything to do with her being taken to the mines? She was supposed to be disposed of with a unhealthy dose of heroin--her drug of choice I believe. Seems Jeffry couldn’t even get that right.” He sighs. “Some things are better handled personally.” He digs into his sandwich--pastrami on rye--and gives Pam an appraising glance. “I don’t suppose you have any detailed reports on these experiments? I wouldn’t mind getting a better understanding of them...I have a few scientists under my wing as well. Might not mind some exposure to Miss Summers also if you can arrange that. Nothing painful I assure you...just some blood and tissue samples.” He runs a hand over his head and smiles again. “You have opened up a whole new chapter my love.”

    Pam biting her sandwich as she listens to Andre, when he finishes, she looks up softly smiling
    “I have very limited access to any of their files, just small tidbits of their experiment that I was brought in to clean. Miss Summers is still coming into a change in her being, she could be … well .. dangerous until she understands what she is becoming. She needs an understanding from one of the naturals so she knows how to control what she has. I would surmise that Jeffry did not mess up his OD of Rayne, that might be what transformed her. The naturals are untrusting of humans, if they sensed a normality in her, she might have been destroyed like the others. They may have smelled something unnatural in her and gave her this new life rather than feeding her to scavengers. When she gains an understanding of herself, I could arrange a meeting.”

    Pam takes her lime water taking a drink, her smile and tone still soft “What you might want is Dr. Fitzgerald. If looking into getting some use out of the unnaturals, he would be the guy most likely to help you there.”

    Andre nods. “I believe you are right. I will get my men working on the procuring of the good doctor right away. Hopefully, with Miss Summers in your care, his work schedule might be a little light and his availability more in our favor. Would you like to be in on our little questioning session?” He offers her a smirk, knowing her specialty is in the removing of parts. “Of course, we will need him to stay alive for some time if we are to get ahead on this project. Then, perhaps we can get some of those files I am most interested in.” Finishing his meal, he wipes at his mouth with a napkin. “As for Rayne, I will wait until you think she is ready to meet with me again. I am sure I can convince her of my good intentions.” He laughs whole-heartedly. “Or not...she might have a jaded view of my good side.” He reaches across the table and squeezes Pam’s hand, giving her a wink.

    As Andre squeezes her hand, she spins her hand around taking his reaching it across the table to her lips kissing the back of his hand. A soft smile remaining
    “I am sure Rayne would not hold any ill will when she fully sees her new self. Naturals coming to their new being do seem to have a more worldly outlook on things. Having the right natural bring her to her new self would be the key.” before taking her own napkin and compact checking herself to ensure she is presentable.
    “As for the good doctor..” she giggles “..I had assumed I would be invited to invite him onto your staff. I already know that he values his boys, he also knows my reputation. Just having pliers and me in the room, I am sure he will join you without even having to touch him.” with a light laugh.

    Andre looks at her with a mock grimace. “I can understand that sentiment...I really have a close relationship to my boys as well,” he says with a laugh. “I am sure your presence will be an asset..for both the doctor and myself. Maybe you can tell me more about these ‘naturals’ you keep mentioning. I’m quite interested in what you know.” He stands up from the booth, keeping her hand in his and helping her to her feet. “Let’s get back to the apartment. I have some calls to attend to and an appointment with a doctor to plan.” He places some bills on the table and walks her to the car with a distracted look on his face--already in the planning stages for his next guest.

    As Pam follows Andre out to the car holding his hand until they reach the door, she slides the open door awaiting him to enter. As the car starts out onto the street, she leans her head onto Andre’s chest. Her tone soft “These naturals I talk about are, well, natural beings. Those that have more than likely predates written history. They blend into the world which they live and only take what they need for their own survival. When they come into their understanding of self, you could speak to one and not tell any difference in anyone else. Problem comes when people learn of them. Man is far more vile than what they are, man tries to use them for his own gain..” she gazes softly to him “..darling, don’t try to do experiments on any, it takes over 150 years for a natural to develop the ability to transform a human to a natural. Taking tissue and blood samples would only result in failure. Dr Fitzgerald is fortunate that he was running tests on a newborn, had he tried his craft on one which has existed for a year or better, though violence is not in their nature, simply one could destroy the good doctors lab and all the humans infesting it.” Pam rests her head back on Andre’s chest, voice still soft and soothing

    “The unnaturals I speak of are of more concern. Those were created by unnatural means, by man, with no regard for tampering with things they know nothing of. When an unnatural senselessly attacks, the blood transfer during the attack seems to regenerate those they kill. The traditional hollywood vampire bringing it’s victim back to walk as an unnatural. I don’t know much of the unnaturals except how to end them. Each I end, I could see pain in their eyes and confusion, a desire to do nothing but kill, consume, vile creatures.” not mentioning during decapitations the looking in their eyes she is to touch on their minds and see a flash of their lives. Her tone lightens up slightly catching herself drifting, providing this man more than she desired to
    “Now listen to me being morbid Mary, guess the cliff notes version is the beings that have been around since the dawn of time are not what should be worried about but what Dr. Fitz is creating, that is what the concern should be with.”

    Andre nods. “Then we will focus on getting the doctor to my lab and putting an end to his experiments. If he helped create them, he might know a better way to end them. And I am sure he will be more than willing to fill us in on any secrets he may be harboring.” He squeezes her hand warmly, knowing with their combined talents, the doctor will be talking in no time.

    As the car pulls into the apartment’s garage, he leads her out and to the lobby. “I will call as soon as the ‘package’ arrives. If you would care to stay longer today…” and here he gives her an inviting look, “...I should be available to spend some quality time with you again in a few hours. I am sure you will find my office more than adequate for any of your ‘investigative’ needs. And my library is top notch.” He quirks a brow while waiting for her response.

    Pam offers a soft smile leaning in giving him a soft kiss before stepping back “I still have the same private number. I do have a matter to tend to however I will be back in short order when the special delivery arrives. I do plan on a dinner night tonight as well darling.” while she turns toward the garage door. As she reaches the door to the garage, two men in well tailored suits walk through the door holding another guest’s arms. Pam’s eyes flash with anger as she looks on Chief Johnson. In the blink of an eye she is in front of Curt, her hand gripping his throat picking him up off his feet. Her eyes now a silvery red looking into Curt’s eyes, his soul, her tone low
    “Do NOT think on doing any harm to David Nichols!”

    She thrusts her arm forward sending Curt through the air slamming in a wall 30 feet from where they stand. The two men in suits already have handguns drawn where Pam turns to them, her tone soft
    “Everything is fine, place your weapons away…” as they looked toward her entranced replacing their weapons.

    She looks toward Andre as her eyes return her usual soft blue
    “Darling, I will not touch your memories, your men will not have memory of my dislike of Curtis, this is why when angry, I did not desire to see the man. I will explain more in detail tonight darling.”

    Although the look on Andre’s face says volumes, he does not comment on what he has just seen, merely nods. “I look forward to it,” he says a bit hesitantly, looking towards where Curt is just starting to pull himself up into a sitting position. “Remind me to never make you mad,” he adds with a chuckle.

    “I think the chief could use a hand,” he says to his men, then turns back to Pam. “Should I pick you up at 7? Or would you rather we meet somewhere?” As Chief Johnson is returned to a standing position Andre steps over to talk to his men, directing them in regards to Jenny and the chief. Then he smiles at Pam, taking her hand in his, getting the feeling that things are going to get extremely interesting in the next several hours.

    Pam holds Andre’s hand offering her usual smile “Pick me up at 7 would be wonderful darling. I would have slowly explained things, it is really hard for many to wrap their head around. If you would be so kind as to speak to Curtis on the matter of my brother, do not be in shock if he vows that he has no intent of doing him harm … now. Your men will have no lasting harm, we..I do not try to do mental harm to any. We have too much history darling for me to keep what I am from you. I will give you details tonight.” as she leans in giving him a tender kiss on the cheek.

    “7 o’clock then,” he repeats, returning her smile. “...and don’t worry about Curt, he will be informed and hopefully running things a little more smoothly once I ‘speak’ to him. I really think doing things ourselves makes a longer lasting impression.” He places his hand on her waist and pulls her in for a longer kiss, his hand lowering just slightly, a soft moan coming from him with the action. “Until tonight then love,” he says, finally pulling away from her and breaking contact.
    ------------
    The drive back to the outside of Carter Lake is uneventful. Thoughts running through her mind on if she were exposed to the same level of anger toward a man as little as six years ago, she would have ripped Chief Johnson's throat open and allowed him to bleed out on the floor. Thoughts go to the difficult transition which Rayne would go through during the week transformation and if she would seek her creator or would he or she seek Rayne first.

    As Pam pulls into the garage and closes the door, she enters the home and into the living room. In a lighthearted tone she asks the G sitting in a front chair
    “So how has Ray Ray been holding up?”

    G rolls his eyes offering flatly “Besides throwing objects at us and telling us to fuck ourselves, everything has been sucky.”

    Pam smiles and heads upstairs where the other G is heading down the hallway, his shirt stained with the fresh coffee that had just been thrown at him. Grumbling he says
    “I should be at the hospital, I could really use throwing someone off the roof.”

    Pam simply responds “Go change, I'm going to see her, leave us be.”

    G2 quirks a brow ready to advise against it however turns to continue downstairs. Pam steps in front of Rayne's room knocking on the door and entering before she has a chance to answer. As Pam enters the room, she offers a soft smile to Rayne
    “I see you and the guys have been getting to know each other. Sorry have been out most of the day, wanted to know how you are holding up?”

    Rayne looks up, her expression softening when she realizes it is Pam and not one of the G’s that has entered her room this time. She shakes her head at the question, unfolding her legs and getting to her feet. “I’m fine--holding up okay I guess...” she says, “...just a bit queasy.” She walks over to the window, her back now to Pam. “I told them to leave me alone--well sort of--I told them to fuck off. They just don’t get the hint.” After opening the blinds and looking outside, she faces Pam again. “I don’t trust them. Not anymore. I keep expecting them to come up here and ‘end’ me. If not for you, they would have already. I see the way they look at me.” She narrows her eyes, expecting Pam to deny what she has said, but instead she sees something else. A sort of understanding...not pity, but empathy. “I’m still changing...aren’t I? I feel it...in my head...my body.”

    Pam moves over toward Rayne reaching to hold her hand, softly she says
    “The transformation takes different times for anyone. Usually you will feel changes for a week, sometimes maybe a little longer, occasionally it might be shorter. As for the Gs, seemly or not, they are there for your protection .. in their minds, not that you are in need now of protection. I did learn of something today.. you are with child?” her gaze soft toward Rayne.

    Rayne turns away, pulling her hand from Pams. “So they say...not that it matters. I’m not keeping it...if I am changing, what will it be?” When she faces Pam again, there is anger in her expression. “How is it you know? Not just about the child...but about the changes. If you know so much, then tell me. What am I...and can I live a normal life? I won’t be like them.” She says adamantly then goes to sit back on the bed, pulling her legs up to her and closing her eyes. “I didn’t ask for this...this isn’t fair.” The last said with a bit of a pout.

    Pam calmly listens to Rayne, as she sits back on the bed, Pam answers softly
    “It is good that you have questions. First and foremost, what is the child? The child is life. As far as you being like ‘them’, the them you are thinking of is man made. If you were changing in that way, I would have been the one that ended you already.” Pam lets that cold reality sink in a moment. She continues “You asked if you can live a normal life, how I know what you are going through. First I want to ask you a question..” adding a slight amused tone “..besides breaking into your home and threatening the Orkin man with a prison wedding scene with lonely sex offenders..” returning to a more serious and soft tone “..do I seem to have a normal life? I am talking about the woman you know when I am not putting up a shell around who I work with? The woman with feelings. The woman who can feel pain. The woman who is your friend.”

    Rayne opens her eyes and looks at Pam closely...without answering for a long moment. She works through what the agent has said...it’s implications...then shakes her head, exhaling loudly. “You...I don’t understand...what are you implying? It can’t be what I think...your eyes...are...normal.” She tilts her head, looking closer. “You’re normal...ish...for a fed that breaks into homes and makes odd threats.”

    Pam quietly closes her eyes saying softly “It was 12 years ago in a noplace island tracking people that didn't want to be tracked..” opening her eyes, now completely silver “..it took me eight days to evolve.. it took years to control the rage I would sometimes feel. You are not like those you experienced at the lake. Those were a government experiment gone wrong. Allow changes to take place. When I spoke of being natural… what is bringing a change to you has been quietly co existing with man since he first walked out of caves.” standing a moment letting Rayne take this in.

    Unable to pull her gaze from the silver glint of Pam’s eyes, Rayne listens attentively. “You were bitten?” she asks when Pam pauses.

    Pam blinks and her eyes are back to a soft blue, she smiles
    “Naturals do not bite to transform. Twelve years ago I was a fresh out of training agent wanting to make a lasting impression on those who doubted the effectiveness of a woman on a deep recon task. I was dropped in the middle of some nameless island to gain intel on area drug cartels. I was green, I may as well tattoo'd DEA to my forehead. I was grabbed by cartel people less than 2 hours after boots were on the ground. It was deep in an isolated woodland.

    They didn't ask me anything, they simply wanted me to be a message to the DEA. I was videotaped as they injected me with a chemical designed to eat me inside out. It felt as though my entire body was burning, my screams not ending until my life was close to its end. I vaguely recall the gunfire, I was praying the gunfire was going to end my misery. After what seemed a thousand lifetimes, there was a shadowy figure in front of me. I was again praying it was … whatever … the grim reaper or whatever was going to take the pain away. The silvery eyes seemed to ease the pain, I still clearly recall being told to drink. Since I had so much internal damage already, it was eight days for my rebirth into what … who I am today. I speculate that whoever changed you did not sense normality in you. For me it was a hideous chemical mix, for you more than likely the lethal dose you were injected with.” she looks quietly to Rayne giving her a chance to take in what she was saying, to react, to question.

    Rayne drops her gaze, her heart aching at Pam’s story, so unlike her own, yet similar. “How...how did you get through those days...alone like that?” When she looks up, tears are flowing down her cheeks. “I remember so much pain...my body fighting the infection...but you weren’t infected...weren’t bitten. I don’t understand how that can be.” She tries to remember all she had heard in the lab...the doctor talking to Jenny and a man named Michaels. About the pregnancy. About her infected blood. But there are too many gaps in her memory...too much information that was written and not spoken. She realizes she will have to find a way to fill in those missing pieces on her own. She will have to do what she has always done when faced with unanswered questions. She will have to hack into the system of Dr. Fitzgerald’s facility...tonight...if she can. Her hand goes to her stomach, a slight grimace on her face as she rubs at her belly. She leans back against the headboard, closing her eyes momentarily before she looks to Pam again.

    Pam keeps her tone and smile soft “The bites, from the children, those are unknown, may be a byproduct from those creating their secrets. Whatever is in your system now is being cleansed as you are reborn someone pure. This is not something you are going to go through alone. Soon you might feel compelled to seek your creator, he or she might seek you out as well. You also have me so you don't need to be in the dark when you notice changes in what you can do. You for all appearances are still Rayne Summers. You will still feel happiness, sadness, enjoy wine..” offering a smirk “..hack government personal files of strange bitches that break into your home.. You will remain Rayne Summers, just with a longer life expectancy.”

    “Still me, but not,” she surmises. “So I can live a normal ‘long’ life...once the government stops trying to find me for experimentation...and my body is done cleansing me like a huge internal douche. And there is a baby to consider...and a supernatural tutor to help me through the remainder of this ‘natural’ change. Sounds perfectly normal,” she says sarcastically. “I think I need to sleep this hangover off so I can wake up fresh and start over. I would say I could use a drink, but that isn’t going to help anymore either. What the fuck am I going to do Pam? I’m a freak...with a bounty on my head. I can’t go anywhere with these fucking eyes. I just need...oh fuck...I don’t know what the fuck I need.” She sighs heavily, wanting to take her frustration out on something...or someone. She needs a phone to throw...or another coffee cup. ‘Where are those damn gorillas when one needs to vent?’ she thinks.

    As Rayne speaks, Pam thinks she is taking this better than she expected, lightheartedly she starts
    “When you put it like that, it doesn't sound too good does it?” Her tone soothing “as far as being hunted, that soon will be a passing memory.” her eyes phasing to silver “As far as your eyes, these are mine and what yours will be after you transition..” her eyes transition to hazel “..this is what I was born with, Dave thinks I have a ton of colored contacts..” as her eyes transition to brown “..never cared too much for brown though..” as the transition to blue “..much better. This is the easiest you can do, maybe already, simply concentrate on your eyes and the color you like and…” her eyes transition to purple “..wahla .. but try to keep them a traditional color.” while they transition back to blue. “If it means anything, you are handling this far better than I thought you would. With me, it wasn't pretty at all. Over time you will learn to control what you can do. It is a never ending thing. Even with me, I nearly lost control with a man that pissed me off beyond explanation, I almost ripped his throat out. This will take time Ray, don't try to understand everything tonight.” giving her a comforting look.

    “I don’t think I will ever understand this. I can’t concentrate on anything. ...and you had no one. I’m sorry. I must seem...I don’t know…petty. I will try to be strong. I’ve just never been good at it alone…” She pauses, her mind trying to backtrack to something Pam said, but it escapes her in a heartbeat. She sighs. “I just need some time. Maybe a lot of time,” she corrects with a slight laugh. “I know I am not alone...I have you. And there is Angela and Kevin.” Again she pauses,”...okay, maybe not Kevin. But there is you...and you really have been a lot of help. I just…” and she stops, gagging, then putting her hand over her mouth. She pushes herself from the bed in a rush and runs into the bathroom, falling to her knees before the toilet and vomits. There is nothing in her stomach but water, but she manages to throw up several times before she is done. She kneels there, head still hanging over the bowl and mutters several curses under her breath. “...and there is this to look forward to also...just my luck,” she manages to say with humor as she rests her cheek against the seat.

    Pam leans against the wall outside the bathroom. Her tone a mix of humor and seriousness “..and then there are the unexpected things that test you. One of those will happen in about an hour. The man that had you brought to the mine, Andre Black, he will be here at 7:00. He is not coming to continue what his staff had started, more to .. well .. I am more interested to see if he lives through the meeting. And before you ask, this is not a twisted test to see if you will kill a human, if I thought he was a threat, he would have died this morning when I visited him.” looking to Rayne with a calm demeanor on her features.

    As Pam talks, Rayne wipes her mouth with the back of her hand before she stands, her gaze averted as she washes first her hands then her face. She tries to disregard Pam’s words, but there is a fury building up in her at the mention of Andre and she finds it hard to control. When she looks through the mirror at Pam, her eyes are completely silver and her control gone. “No!” she says firmly, her voice deepening with her conviction. “Don’t let him in this house! I don’t want to see him!” She turns around, facing Pam, her hands behind her on the sink’s edge, her knuckles white from her grip. “I don’t want...I can’t...I won’t hurt anyone!” She closes her eyes tightly and when she opens them again the silver is swirled with black. “I’m staying up here. I won’t see him. He ordered my death. How can you let him in?” she asks as her chest rises and falls rapidly in her distress.

    Pam's tone soft “The man did order your death as I have learned. In the greater scheme of the world, every leader of the human world orders death to happen. Some for simple expansion of soil they control, some to protect people from perceived threats that are not threats, some from the very government of the land you live simply to protect secrets. You do not have to like the leaders, they do their evil behind the curtain of loveliness. The only difference between them and Mr. Black, he does not hide what he is. You can not hurt him nor he you. Eventually over the years you will come into a situation where you have a human that makes every fiber of your being crawl. It would do you good to face him now than hunt him as you learn your potential.” her gaze more focused and tone more direct “..and before you say you would not hunt him, we all have had those urges. Face him now where I can stand between the two of you or when you do hunt him, it would be something you would regret later.” again Pam reaches to softly touch Rayne's hands.

    Rayne pulls her hands away. “Don’t touch me!” she says as she makes her way out of the bathroom. “How dare you...you say those words to me! You killed a man...tortured him...for hurting your brother. ...and he wasn’t nearly as bad as Andre. Where was that control you’re trying to shove down my throat. I won’t see him! I won’t...because if I do...not even you could stop me!” She goes to the window, once again staring out, desiring nothing more than to be out there. The sky has darkened in the time she has been talking to Pam and there is more to see in the darkness than there had even been during the daytime. “I don’t want this. Go play your games downstairs and leave me alone,” she says as she turns to look at the agent once again.

    Pam remains leaning against the wall looking at her watch. Her tone remains calm “There is a difference between killing and tearing a man's arm off. From ripping his throat out. From shoving your hand in his chest and pulling his beating heart out showing it to him before he dies. Yes, I have taken more lives than you have had bottles of wine. You have no clue on what you are able to do, I will not force you to see the man where you can safely release rage while he lives through it..” while walking into a small off the hall game room returning with a pool ball “..and before you say there would be no way for me to stop you..” holding the pool ball out in her hand, closes her fingers around the ball crushing it into powder “..don't underestimate what I can do and what I can withstand. Avoid him tonight, you will hunt him over time. And yes, I do bad things to bad people, if I truly did not have control, they would be in far worse shape.” looking more firmly toward Rayne.

    Rayne laughs lightly. “Nice show Pam. Good speech.” She claps softly as she moves closer to the agent, only stopping when she is a few feet away. In a soft tone, almost seductive, “...then I guess I hunt him. If that is the only other choice I have.” Her tone changes, becoming deeper, “...because I am NOT going down there...no matter what you say.”

    Appearing to have little regard to what has just transpired between them, Rayne goes over to the bed and sits down, no longer appearing upset or distressed. “I’m just going to sit here for a while. Let me know when your visitor has left.” She looks up and smiles at Pam. “Could you ask G to come up with some coffee? I’m really thirsty.”

    Pam steps out of the room removing her phone texting G to bring Miss Summers some coffee. In a moment, G is up with a coffee tray handing it to Pam. She simply smiles “You bring it in.”

    G knocks on Rayne's door before entering asking “Where would you like the coffee?”

    Rayne gets up and points to the small bedside table. “There would be fine,” she says moving out of the way. Having already put the two men through hell today she is surprised by their willingness to continue dealing with her. It only makes what she is about to try more difficult on a moral level. “I’m sorry about earlier. Been feeling a bit moody lately,” she says with the tone of regret as G sets the tray on the table before taking a step back looking to Rayne “Was there anything else?”

    Taking a breath, Rayne turns her eyes to him, staring and offering him a smile. “Yes...I was hoping you would stay. Please, sit on the bed...get comfortable,” she offers, continuing to maintain eye contact. Rayne suspects Pam is just outside the door and knowing she is playing her own game, she wonders just how far the agent will let her go. “Wait..I’d prefer it if you removed your clothes first.”

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  6. #36
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    Default Momma and Poppa CO--Night Visits

    As Rayne suggests G lay on the bed and undress, the Agent moves toward the bed pulling off his shirt.

    Pam outside the room rolls her eyes letting out a sigh as she reaches for the room door handle. She quirks a brow before gripping the handle glancing at her watch. 6:43 PM .. she smiles hearing a car pulling up outside the home ‘Andre, little early huh’ runs through her mind as she has a little more firm look on her face as she realizes that there are several vehicles outside. She sighs again as she turns toward the stairs whispering under her breath “Have fun kiddos, will discuss this soon Ray Ray”.

    Pam proceeds down the stairs and in the front room where a man steps out now blocking the steps back upstairs. Inside the front room are four other men besides Andre and Dr. Fitz. Andre offers Pam a soft smile, his tone pleasant
    “Sorry love, change of plans. The good doctor will be helping me, but I am going to need to add you and Miss Summers to my portfolio. Nothing personal love, there will always be a place in my heart for you, but you are more valuable as sellable asset.” nodding to the five men now forming a semi circle around Pam as they remove silver crucifixes holding them out toward her. Dr Fitz simply offering
    “Sorry Agent, I let my new partner know your weakness.”

    Rolling her eyes noticing the other G laid out on the floor, taser probes still in his chest, as the men closed the circle, she backs up toward the wall, her eyes transition to a fiery red color as she lets out a hiss
    “Get those things away from me.”

    Dr. Fitz has his tablet open tapping away notes as Andre orders his men “Now get her to drink.”

    One of the men holding a crucifix reaches in his jacket removing a small vial of clear liquid setting it close to Pam’s feet. In a painful hiss she asks “What vile liquid is that?”

    Andre answered “Holy water love, the good doctor let me know with that in your system, you are powerless. Not to worry love, have a chamber filled with holy water for both you and Miss Summers.”

    As the five men have her backed up against the wall, crucifixes now mere feet from her, her fiery red eyes fixated on Fitz, a painful hiss
    “You told them all my weaknesses!” which Fitz simply shrugs.

    Her eyes transition back to blue, her tone almost amused
    “Gawd, they really watch way too many dracula movies, they really ate that shit up?” while in one fluid movement swings her hand level with the men’s throats, her nails slicing through their throats like a knife through jello. The men stagger back with their life flowing to the ground in a pool of their own blood.

    As Pam looks toward Andre, he has his handgun out and fires two shots dead center into Pam’s chest. In the blink of an eye, she is in front of Andre, her hand around his throat lifting him off his feet, disappointment in her tone
    “This was a new sweater and you had to go and ruin it with these holes. Love, don’t think we are doing dinner tonight.” as she applies pressure crushing his throat. A moment later she releases the lifeless body from her grip. Andre crumples to the ground with a gaping hole in his throat, blood pooling around his body.

    She looks toward Fitz who is still casually tapping away on his tablet, her tone casual “They really ate that up, you tell new agents that beings drink holy water while sunning at the beach, suppose it is too late to pass off this as me being a girl with serious PMS?”

    Fitz looks up from his tablet and offers Pam a smile, chuckling lightly. “Glad you enjoyed the ruse. I hope that means ‘my boys’, as Mr. Black so fondly called them, are safe?” His attention shifts to the staircase where Rayne has just appeared. “Looks like we have company...do you mind if I just add in a few more notes before we discuss our options?”

    As Fitz goes back to typing, Rayne continues her descent. Behind her, at the top of the stairs, stands G, fully dressed and looking a bit confused. She had only allowed him to strip down to his undershorts before stopping him, the sound of fighting starting up a couple of minutes later. Although neither of them had seen what transpired downstairs, it is obvious from the carnage that trouble had been afoot.

    With measured steps, Rayne works her way around the blood-stained carpet, effectively avoiding the mess. She doesn’t say anything as her gaze shifts to Andre’s body, then to Pam and Dr. Fitzgerald. She has seen plenty of dead bodies in her profession, but the coldness with which she observes them surprises her. There is a sense of detachment she has never felt before.

    Casually she walks up to Pam and leans close. “He doesn’t remember anything...thought it would be better that way.” She leaves out just what the ‘anything’ might be as she goes into the kitchen, her hand reaching inside the pocket of her borrowed jeans and wrapping around the van’s keys she has taken. She starts taking food out of the refrigerator to make herself a sandwich. “Glad to see you didn’t need my help...of course why would you? You are quite capable on your own. Guess I won’t be hunting him after all.”

    As Rayne is with Pam, she looks more to Fitz first, her tone upbeat
    “Options are simple, undo the gas line, leave a small thermo charge, a block away remote set off the charge and wa-la, natural gas explosion. The house is remote enough so nothing else is damaged. Oh yea, your boys are safe, hopefully I didn't go overboard with the whole hissing thing, gawd, still can't believe they walked right into that.”

    Fitz glances from his tablet for a brief moment “Give me a break, I can sound quite convincing when not doing … what is it you always call it … useless nerd things. Though I have to admit, I thought the guy was sniffing his own product when he was on about you being a vam..” he looks to the Gs “..a girl with unique abilities. Hate to say, but I enjoyed the performance you put on, and I will deny ever complimenting you if that rumor ever got out.”

    Having heard Pam, the Gs are both walking around finding the gas lines getting ready to stage the natural gas explosion. Pam looks to Rayne letting out a sigh while looking toward Andre's body
    “So you going to tell me ‘told you so’ now or when in the car. If you can, will you fix me a turkey and ham sandwich..” she lets out a giggle glancing toward Andre “..seems as though my dinner date cancelled.” before looking toward the G who was downstairs with her “..and good job handling the intruders.”

    As Rayne sets to making additional sandwiches, enough for everyone, she shakes her head at Pam's question. “I think the point is made,” she says without humor. Halfway through the chore, she looks up and addresses the people in the room. “I'm making everyone the same thing, so if you have any objections, speak up now or deal with it.”

    Setting everything on the table. Rayne turns to address Pam. “I have some... errands...to run. Do you mind if I borrow the van? I'll meet you wherever you are going next.”

    Fitz looks up ready to object to Rayne's separating from the group before thinking twice noticing the gaze his way. He writes an address down setting it on the island bar he is working at
    “This is the address of an actual safe house not owned by my bosses or..” nodding toward Andre “..that chap.”

    Pam looks to the G who has the van key, at least who use to have the van key “Give Ray the key and a secure phone, she will meet us at, well, where Doc F will be taking us.” As G is rummaging through his pockets, Pam folds her arms across her chest tapping her feet while also pulling the sweater loose which was tucked in her pants allowing the two bullets that worked their way out of her now healed chest drop into her hand. Her tone flat “Don't tell me you misplaced the keys.” looking to Rayne “..how well can you hotwire a van?”

    Rayne offers a smile to Pam. “Probably better than you would think,” she says as she stands up and pulls the keys out of her front pocket. She dangles them in front of G, smirking, “Oh, I forgot to mention, these fell out of your pocket G when you were showing me that scar on your thigh.” She winks at him, his expression showing confusion. “Don't you remember? Now my feelings are hurt.” She laughs lightly before turning to Pam. ”Maybe you should fill him in, I really have to go before everything closes for the night.”

    Grabbing the remainder of her sandwich, she turns to Dr. Fitzgerald. ”I'd really like to say it was nice to see you again, but it wasn't. If you try to take anything from me again, it won't be just your reputation at risk.”

    As Rayne speaks, Dr. Fitzgerald glances up from his tablet offering simply “Noted.”

    Pam steps over toward the G who was light on the van keys who still has a confused look on his face. Pam simply offers him “It's a girl thing.” before looking toward Fitz “Doc, time to pull yourself from your..” over exaggerating a yawn “..exciting work. Suppose comic con is pretty exciting, huh. But time to make a boom boom.” while getting ready to remove the SUV keys from her pocket realizing she still had blood on her hand. She starts toward the kitchen to wash her hands, finally Fitz lets out a chuckle
    “Well, took you long enough Agent Nichols. My blind grandma would have already seen that.”

    From the kitchen, Pam grumbles “really, no one was going to tell me, sheesh, I almost ruined a perfectly good leather steering wheel cover” allowing the hot water run over her hands as gas started filling the house.

    She heads to the garage and enters the SUV where the Gs and Fitz have wet rags over their faces, the guys all eyes watering as Pam starts the SUV and raises the garage door backing out of the garage. As she starts down the road clicking the remote detonator on, Fitz who has his window now rolled down asks “you think you should at least pretend to cough, gas was getting pretty intense.” glancing back to the Gs. Her only response in a low tone for him alone
    “They quit trying to figure me out months ago.” her tone louder “okay kiddos, let's make the lead story on the late news.” pressing the charge button before reaching for her sandwich.

    The dusk sky lights up as a fireball rolls up in the sky. The SUV shakes as the blast wave expands through the area.
    ---------
    Unsure of her exact location, Rayne turns on the road she hopes will lead her into Carter Lake. She is only driving for a few minutes before she hears the sound of a blast, essentially ignoring it as she mentally says goodbye to a lot of nasty evidence in the form of bodies. It doesn’t take long for her to start recognizing landmarks as the town line comes closer and with a sigh of relief, she finally pulls onto the main street through town. In a matter of minutes, she is in front of her rental house and as she pulls up to the curb, she prepares herself for the memories inside.

    Using a key hidden outside in the flower garden, Rayne enters her home and turns on the light. As she was expecting, the house has been cleaned, the areas where blood had splattered removed and replaced. Unpainted drywall and new subflooring greet her in the hallway and bedroom, for some reason the sight of these replacements worse than the blood would have been. She averts her eyes and moves into the kitchen, surprised, but happily so, that her purse and contents are still sitting on the table.

    With purse in hand, Rayne makes the dreaded walk through the hall and into her bedroom, where the carpeting has been completely removed and everything has been shoved into the center of the room. She looks at the bed where Dave had lain and feels tears welling up in her eyes. Gently, she lays her hand on the pillow, whispering his name and closing her eyes. She remembers their last words to each other, and with a deep sigh, she pulls her hand away, slowly moving through the room numbly and picking out clothes, stuffing them into a bag with little concern to neatness. Her last stop in the house is her bathroom. ‘Always have a stash of emergency cash,’ are words she has heard over and over again. And it is here in her bathroom that she has kept it. She disassembles her medicine cabinet, the cash slipped between the metal backing and mirror. In short order, she leaves her house, heading for the next stop on her list.

    Rayne’s arrives at Kevin’s house a few minutes later and parks in his drive. He is already at the door by the time she walks up and it is with a quick movement that she manages to avert her eyes before he sees them. “Oh...fuck,” comes from his mouth before he steps aside to let her in. “Where the fuck have you been girl...Ang is so worried..”

    When Rayne looks up at him he stops mid-sentence, back peddling away from her and putting his hands up. The ‘oh fuck’ that comes from his mouth this time has a different meaning, a different timbre, and before Rayne can say anything he is reaching for his pistol.

    “Don’t,” she says softly, her eyes now cast downwards. “I’m still me...I’m Rayne. I’m not going to hurt you Kevin. Please, I need your help.” She feels more than sees the gun that is pointed in her direction, and with slow movements, she backs up towards an easy chair, her hands now mimicking his in a warding off gesture. “I’m going to sit right here,” she says, “..and you can aim your gun at me. I won’t move. Okay?” She glances up at him, seeing that he is a bit more relaxed...then asks for her favor.

    “I need a few things. A phone...a computer...colored contacts.” The last being the most important if she is going to be seen in populated areas--at least until she can control her eyes like Pam. She is aware she can’t filter out the silver at night, but day time travel will at least be possible.

    Kevin, still watching her closely, finally sits down, his finger in constant motion near the trigger of his weapon. “...And if I say no?”

    Rayne allows herself to look at him fully. “I can make you help me Kevin..but I don’t want to do that. We are friends. I have changed, but I am still me. I won’t hurt you...but I can’t do this without your help.” She opens her purse slowly, taking out the money she had gathered at her home and places it on the coffee table. “That should cover the expense, keep whatever is left over. As for the contacts, they have them at novelty shops. Get the darkest brown you can find. Okay?” With a sigh, she looks to the floor, following the shadows on the floor as Kevin moves forward and takes the bills. She remains perfectly still, afraid to unnerve him...still unsure if she can take a hit like Pam and live.

    It is almost two hours later when Kevin returns and Rayne finds herself dozing for much of it. When he enters the room, she jerks awake, blinking rapidly when he turns on the light. He places her items before her and when she reaches for them he pulls them back a bit. “Just one thing,” he says, “...I want the exclusive for my blog when it becomes available. Deal?”

    Rayne nods, smiling. “You got it Kev,” she says, thinking it will never become available. “You always got that angle...but thank you for this. I owe you.” She doesn’t waste any more time before she heads out the door, saying her goodbyes quickly as she heads to the last place on her list.

    Dave’s place. Rayne pulls up and stares at the dark porch and windows, putting the van in park as she sits and stares at the home. She had hoped to see lights within...a foolish desire...but one she wished for just the same. Pam’s words...the way she talked of him in the present tense, made her think there was a chance. The lack of light makes her think those hopes are a waste of her time. Working up her courage, she exits the vehicle and walks to his door, slipping her key into the lock and following it with the code...her birthday. She stands in the doorway and breathes deeply, finally stepping further inside. She only expects to be here for a few minutes..enough time to collect a few memories...and then be on her way.

    Stopping first in the kitchen, Rayne opens the cabinet and takes out a mug--Dave’s favorite--which she slips inside her purse. Her fingers slide along the counter, touching things that are his...the memory of him weighing heavy on her heart. She moves along the hall, entering the bedroom with a heavy sigh. The next item she takes is a shirt, one that he had folded and set on the bed, his scent still lingering on it. She doesn’t think as she moves, now allowing instinct to guide her. When she stops at his closet, she sees the edge of a frame on the top shelf. “Kathy,” she breathes, taking the photo down and staring at it for a long moment. Gently...carefully...she sets the framed picture next to his bedside then leaves the room.

    It is only when she passes the bathroom that Rayne realizes she is not ready to leave. The clothing she is wearing is not hers and she wants only to rid herself of them. Pausing in the hall, she strips down, dropping the clothes onto the floor and enters the small room. She turns on the water, hot steam filling the room quickly. Stepping inside, she closes the shower door, allowing the water to cascade down her body. It is here that her memories of Dave are the strongest. Washing herself, she imagines his hands on her, her breath coming quickly as his face comes into focus...his lips kissing hers. Then she is on her knees, tears flowing freely...and the realization that she is alone hits her harder than ever before.
    ---
    As the 10:00 PM news starts, Dave rests in his bed, having received the final release authorization for tomorrow morning. His attention is drawn to the natural gas explosion and the multiple fatalities reported. This was close to Carter Lake so thoughts run if CLPD was asked to assist. He tries to get comfortable for the 10:00 medication administration. He still has not been given any information on the whereabouts
    of Rayne, the detective that stopped by earlier had not returned as he said he would. His attention is drawn to the report that followed the breaking news on the explosion of a police detective losing balance and falling from the roof of Mercy Hospital earlier in the day.

    With the sound of the newscast still in progress, Angela steps into Dave’s room and smiles. “I heard someone is going home tomorrow,” she says, offering Dave the medication in her hand. “Word is this room is going to be held open in case you decide to revisit us.” She laughs lightly, her attention drawn briefly to the videotaped ‘suicide’ being broadcast. She focuses back on Dave quickly, trying to forget the officer’s face that she had only seen earlier that day. “How are you feeling? Strong enough to take care of yourself?”

    Dave looks to Angela finally off the IV that had additional sedatives during his recovery to keep him from trying to leave his bed. He looks Ang over carefully biting at his bottom lip
    “Been kinda out of it, I can do the pills tonight, hate to admit just clear headed enough to notice something. Boy or Girl?” moving his hand to the bed control raising the head side to better sit.

    “Oh hon...you’ve had it rough..no one’s gonna dock you for missing a few things.” Her smile beams. “..but I had a boy...Jeremy Michael...just like Fox...and of course his dad--the first name at least.” She takes a seat next to his bed and reaches over the rails to touch his arm. “I’m actually off shift--kinda grabbed your meds from the nurse on duty.” She looks towards the door, then leans closer. “Kevin saw Rayne tonight. He sent me a text, but it’s a little weird.” She pulls out her phone and flips to the page, handing it over to Dave.

    Dave smiles hearing that Ang had a boy and as she mentions that she was already off her shift, he was anticipating the follow up of ‘get some rest, you have a day ahead of you when released’ however his breath momentarily stops when he hears that Kevin had seen Rayne. He hesitantly takes the phone as his eyes water, the fear that she might be gone had been eating away at him during every waking moment. He wipes his eyes focusing on Angela’s phone and the message from Kevin. As Angela mentioned the text was a little weird, thoughts drift through his mind that pretty much anything the guy does seems weird. As Dave reads the text, his attention is drawn to the part of ‘going to have such an awesome blog entry’ in between the got my Rayne a computer, phone and contacts. Dave quirks a brow at the line ‘don’t freak when you see Rayne’.

    Dave wipes his eyes again trying to compose himself to maintain the impression he keeps, struggling to sound strong
    “Doc told me that he is going to have my name engraved on this room and just velcro a room number over it when I am not here.” in a weak attempt at his usual attitude when being treated for bumps and bruises, obvious pain and concern in his voice “..Did Kevin, maybe, say anything besides the text? I know this might be asking to break rules, but.. is there any chance you might call him, I need to know how she is.. where she is..” looking toward Angela while taking the cup of pills as he takes the meds one at a time.
    Unusually softly he says “And thank you for letting me know, I had been worried sick about where she might be. I understand if you have a baby to get home to, really though, thank you.”

    Ignoring the obvious emotion running through Dave, Angela puts her hand over his, gently squeezing. “I have a few minutes...really. I can try him. I’m anxious to know also.” She takes her phone from Dave and hits Kev’s number on speed dial, the call being answered almost immediately.

    “Ang! Obviously you got my text. Wondered how long it would take you to call.” Kevin laughs as he turns down the music playing loudly in the background.

    Angela hits a button on her phone, then responds. “I’ve got you on speaker Kev...Dave is here with me. I...we...were just wondering if you know where Ray is staying? If she is doing okay? Oh God..did she tell you what happened?”

    “Whoa Ang! Too many questions as once girlfriend. But, umm...well Rayne was kind of vague. She seemed a bit spaced out, ya know?” When he hears the loud exhale from Ang on the other end, he clarifies his last statement. “No...no...not high Ang...just spacey...like she was tired or worn out. She didn’t have much to say...just that she needed my help. It was weird. She arrived here in that catering van...the black one. Anyways, she didn’t stay long after I got her stuff, but she seemed okay.”

    As Kevin mentions the Catering Van, Dave sits up looking toward Angela then the phone, still slightly weak sounding, he chimes in
    “Do you mean the one from Carter Lake Catering? Did you see if anyone was driving it, was anyone with her, was anyone waiting for her, did she seem distressed?”

    “Hey Davie! Good to hear your voice man. Seriously thought you were a goner for a while there. Think I might actually be able to kick your ass right now.” Laughter can be heard on the other end, then more seriously, Kevin continues. “ As to your questions...uh...yeah...that van. And I did see who was driving it--watched Rayne step out of the driver’s seat myself. She was alone and definitely not distressed. She was a bit aggressive...telling me I needed to help her more than asking. Threw money at me. It was kinda like dealing with your sister, minus the whole coming on to me thing.”

    A plethora of emotions and thoughts run through Dave’s mind as Kevin talks. Had Pam grabbed Rayne from the cops that were abducting her, was she in Pam’s custody, if so, why was she alone in the van, (do squirrels drive forklifts) then there was the whole aggressive thing Kevin mentioned, he had always seen Rayne being polite and understanding when speaking to Kevin, even when kicking him under the table at Jackie's. There was a looking dread running through his mind, yet this is something unavoidable, against his better judgement he asks
    “Is there anyway you might be able to see me in person?” looking to Angela for a moment pondering for a moment if she was going to remind him that he seemed to have a ‘no visitor’ entry in his chart placed by a Dr. Anderson just this afternoon even though not remembering any doctor by that name dismissing it as lapse of memory with all the specialists that had been in the past week.

    There is a pause on the other line, then Kev clears his throat. “No can do man...not tonight. I can catch you at home tomorrow if you want. Gotta get some shit done tonight...plus the whole falling off the hospital roof thing. I think I’ll stay here where it’s safer. Tell you what though. I’ll bring lunch tomorrow. My treat.” The sound of a lighter can be heard in the background and Kevin takes a deep inhale before returning to the phone. “..and just so you know...Dave...this does not mean we are cool. Gonna give you some slack cause of your ‘accident’ and the whole Rayne thing, but after this blows over, you are back on my shit list.”

    As Kevin is talking, a look of confusion washes over his face when he mentions falling off the roof. Dave looks to Angela looking for some explanation on what he was talking about as he was sleeping when the Detective was by and had his ‘accident’ even though some people are beginning to question the clairity of the ‘random cell phone’ video shot from the parking lot. Dave simply responds
    “Lunch it is, and yea, I figured that we were not cool, all for Rayne and all. Something that you said...kinda caught my interest. You mentioned falling off the roof, there any specific reason you mentioned that?” beginning to run through his mind that perhaps Pam had threatened him again for whatever reason.

    There is a huff on the other end. “Did you watch the news tonight? That guy that ‘jumped’ from the Mercy roof? He was a copper...just like you. Something about that video is sketchy. I bet if you asked Ang there she could fill you in some more. But listen man, I got some friends heading over, so I gotta scoot. I’ll bring lunch at one.” The line disconnects and Angela gives Dave a troubled look, inwardly kicking Kevin in the balls for that one.

    “Listen...I probably shouldn’t tell you this with your history of emotional outbursts...and your sedatives being discontinued and all…” she offers a slight smile, “...but the officer that was on the news...the one Kev mentioned...he was in your room earlier today. One of the orderlies...a big ass dude definitely not on our staff...apprehended him while he was messing with your IV. The word is ‘hush’ around the staff, but it made a big impression.”

    A numbness comes over Dave as Angela describes the typical Agent that his sister often has with him. His own mind was already questioning the clairity of the cell phone video that seemed to be focused on the roof of the building just as the detective went over the ledge. Wishing that he could hear that there were no ‘camera malfunctions’ at the time, he hesitantly asks
    “Around the time of the incident, were the hospital camera’s functioning normally?” somewhat reverting to police investigator mode out of habit.

    Angela laughs, then shrugs. “I have no idea. Really not my department.” She lifts her brow in an imitation of Rayne. “Maybe if I had Ray’s flirting down I could convince the guy who works in surveillance to clue me in...but alas..don’t have the ass.” She gives Dave a smirk, then gets serious again. “Maybe I could find out...but no promises.”

    Still concerned over this new information, he looks to Angela, his tone returning as though he showed up for a case he was working on
    “Angela, since I am being released tomorrow, if you could get at least my badge from my things and get me down to security, I could check into that tonight. Evening staff usually is easier to obtain things from without a novel worth of paperwork.” looking around the room, wondering if his clothes might be in the closet yet.
    With a chuckle and a shake of her head, Angela puts her hand on Dave’s chest gently. “Not happening big guy. I need to keep my job and right now your papers say you stay in bed. You want to play with the security staff you do it on your own time. Before I leave tonight, I’ll go see what I can find out...try to work some kind of charm I don’t have...and I’ll catch up with you tomorrow. I’ll call...or text you.”

    Dave looks to Angela already assuming she would not do this, however still wanted to give it a try .. just in case. Dave offers in a soft friendly tone “Or you can just check tomorrow, I am sure your baby and husband are waiting for you to get home. And sorry about asking what I assumed you couldn’t do without risk. Guess I am getting back to that cop thing.” offering a smile, planning on hitting the call button in an hour or so to make sure Ang was not there and asking the duty nurse if the security manager on duty could pay him a visit.

  7. #37
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    Default Co-post--Growth in the Family

    Having arrived at Dr Fitzgerald’s modest home several blocks from Carter Lake Police station, Pam lets out a laugh “Really? Yea, I can see it, hide in plain sight.” as they enter the garage.

    The drive over was quiet Pam half expecting dozens or hundreds of questions. As they enter the nicely furnished living room, Fitz offers “Make yourself at home Agent Nichols, can I offer you a vat of blood, perhaps a virgin sacrifice..” in a drop dead serious tone before lightheartedly “..sorry, had to. Seriously Agent, feel free to get a layout of the home, as you said, right in plain sight is something no one ever looks at.”

    Pam takes her jacket off looking around somewhat expecting to see star wars posters or harry potter books, but the furnishings are similar to what she has in her home and no traditional nerd trinkets could be seen. Her tone unusually friendly
    “Well, if you are going to be putting us up, suppose would be easier if you call me by my name, Goddess Pammy is fine..” with a light laugh “..or just Pam works too. So Doc, kinda surprised you have not started with the 20 questions yet.”

    Fitz steps into the kitchen clicking the keurig coffee maker on before walking back into the living room “Well, if we are on first name basis, Nerd, asswipe, numbnuts.. Wait, you know those already..” with a smirk “..or perhaps John works too. You feel like some wine, don’t have beer but can run and pick some up, or coffee if you prefer, mabey a sewing kit for the holes on your sweater.”

    Pam smiles still curious about the demenior of the Doc
    “Okay, you have sparked my curiosity, do you have any questions you want to ask me?”

    Not missing a beat, John says
    “Actually yes, do you take cream and sugar in your coffee? Seriously though Agen… Pam, with this new lab and the stuff that passes through, my ability to be shocked ended months ago. I already ruled out you being enhanced or a byproduct, neither can control their eyes like you do, the whole normal fingers doing abnormal things - neither can do that, claws remain on the byproducts and the enhanced .. well .. simply don’t have the ability to cut anything with their hands. There is that whole strength thing going on too - both have enhanced strength, but nothing that can pick a man the size of .. what was that chaps name again, doesn’t matter, neither would be able to have picked that chap up. Should I go into your speed.. or probably not. I figured that we would eventually get around to this conversation.”

    Already in the kitchen finding a coffee cup, Pam calls out “See you have french vanilla in your selections, what can I make for you? So I am a test tube that you are analysing? Had you ever thought that I might kill you? I didn’t pick up any distress from you, even when bonding with those guys with the crucifixes, damn, still can’t believe they actually fell for that.”

    “Hazelnut, and save you the question, just black. Honestly, the thought of you killing me never crossed my mind. Had already deducted that were you going to do harm to me, you would have done that long ago. What can I say, typical nerd stuff. As far as seeing you as a test tube, in the lab I do my job just as you do yours in the field. What I see you as in a very interesting woman. Yea, one that can do bad things to me, but to save another question, no, not a woman I am afraid of.”

    Pam comes in with two cups of coffee, a smile on her lips “The last Huma...the last man that I trusted ended up deciding that I was to be added to his collection..” setting the cups on the coffee table John is sitting at before taking a seat in the recliner next to him “..if I’m not a chatty Cathy..”

    John interrupts the sentence “You aren’t going to be a chatty Cathy, well damn, looks like I’ll have to take you to Toys R Us for a refund. Seriously though, I will not pretend to know how hard it is on you to keep your secrets. Keep one thing in perspective if you can, I assume that chap who had rather impolite people invite me to his highrise was not going to be in People Magazine as man of the year, he seemed interested in nothing more than what he could possess. I am sure trust will be a hard thing for you to extend again.. I’ll leave it at that, other than to say, when you feel able to, I have a good ear to talk to.”

    Pam stretches back in the recliner looking toward the rather unusual man, well, unusual for what she expected from him, with a light hearted laugh
    “Be careful in saying that, I just might take you up on that. Only thing is now what we are going to do about Rayne.”

    Again John with his tablet open still tapping some final notes
    “Are you talking about specimen 229, you know, Brenda Costello who went up in that explosion. Those damn gangsters stealing government projects. Yea, suppose Brenda, or 229, went all postal on them and caused an explosion. It is all finally noted and updated. Now Miss Summers is just a reporter that has been on an extended vacation, don’t suppose you know how to make that happen?”

    Pam simply rolls her eyes “Pa-Lease, give a girl some credit here, who do you think hacked into and shut dow...just fuck me to tears .. were you aware the system was breached? Did seem .. kinda easy..” the smirk on John’s face answered without answering. Taking her coffee, she relaxes back in her chair “I think this is going to be an interesting relationship.”
    ------
    It is just past midnight by the time Rayne leaves Dave’s house, slipping into the driver’s seat of the van and entering the address given to her by Dr. Fitzgerald into Google Maps on her new phone. She heads towards downtown into what is considered the historical district, but once she reaches the police station, she turns around unexpectedly. Despite the directions being given to her by the disembodied voice, she continues to drive away from the entered address, towards another destination she has yet to determine.

    Fifteen minutes later Rayne finds herself pulling onto the dirt road leading up to the mine. As she nears, she turns off the headlights, approaching in total darkness lit by the silver illumination of her eyes. Parking, she exits the vehicle, taking only her phone, weapon, and keys.

    It is a walk she remembers from what seems like months ago, but in reality has only been a long week. Stopping to stand at the entrance to the mine she feels the fluttering of butterflies in her stomach, the stirrings of what she suspects is fear. As she looks down, hearing a moan, she sees herself curled up on the ground, nearly naked and trembling, the pain and confusion she felt then bared to her new self. Swallowing hard, Rayne looks ahead and steps into the tunnel.

    Shadows fill the niches along the reinforced walls, some darting, while others watch in silence as the woman walks past. They are the denizens of the mine...insects, bats, rodents, and other natural beasts. It is the unnatural creatures that are enticed by her presence, following in her steps with caution fueled by thirst, only the scent of another that pauses their attack.

    Another step and Rayne lets out a cry, her hand reaching for her stomach and clenching it in pain. She waits, tears filling her eyes as the discomfort subsides, but only slightly, allowing her to move on until she reaches the place where Dave had fallen. Once again she stops, and once again she is struck by the stabbing pain, her hand going out to the wall to support herself as she leans forward. She feels a wetness, a warmth, flow from her, soaking her jeans, and her cry this time is in denial, the single word, ‘no’, coming from her lips.

    As Rayne drops to her knees, her hand reaching for the ground to stop her fall she feels another, colder hand, touch her back. The coldness spreads, engulfing her, until the pain is gone...and all she can feel...and see...is his presence...his thoughts...and her rebirth. “Drink.”

    It is hours later when Rayne awakens, finding herself deeper within the mine and the pain gone. Her mind is clear, the memories from her time here a week ago no longer hazy and the reason for her change and why she was chosen now firmly planted within her. She also knows that her baby is safe...also changed, but healthy and thriving. Weakly she puts her hand to her slightly rounded belly, connecting to her child...to her daughter...and smiles. Around her the ones she has called ‘children’ are hard at work, gathering, creating their piles, and eating.
    ----
    As 7:30 AM comes to Carter Lake, Dave is awake and Doctor Philips looks him over one last time. He hands Dave one final script for his personal use. Looking at the script, he lets out a slight laugh
    “Don’t get shot again? Yea, think this is one I will plan to keep.” rolling it up placing it in his pocket. As he leaves the room, a member of the State Police is out in front of his room
    “Sergeant Nichols, I’m Detective Jim Ness, I can walk with you while you are on the way to discharge.”

    Dave shrugs “Sure, what can I do for you? Things are still fuzzy from the night I was shot, I have already given my statement to, well, everyone and their mothers, well, perhaps not your mother yet.” in an irritated tone.

    “Yea, was told you might not feel like talking, but this isn’t about the shooting, it is about a detective from CLPD that was in to see you yesterday.”

    “You mean the one I was told stopped by when I was sleeping? Well, I can confirm that yes, I was sleeping.”

    The detective sighs “Let me be straight with you, something is a little off about this suicide angle. There was a syringe found in the detectives pocket by the medical personnel that first reached him. It was a highly toxic poison. If you were me how would you see this. A detective with a questionable history is in your room with a syringe containing a lethal poison, is seen being escorted out by a hospital staff member no one has any record of and moments later the detective is recorded clearly by an untraceable phone uploaded to a social media account belonging to a woman who has been dead for 30 years, what would you think?”

    Dave looks to the detective “So let me get this straight. Some dirty cop comes in my room with I assume you figure the intent to, let’s not play word games, to kill me, the guy goes up on the roof and ends up in the parking lot however he ended up there, and I am suppose to be all ‘oooo, someone might of done something bad to a murderer’, that is what you are asking, right?”

    The detective gives a more firm tone “Look Sarge, we are going to get to the bottom of this, if you know something, I suggest you let me know now.”

    Dave slumps his shoulders, his tone mild “Well, I do know something, and yes, you can put it on record..” his tone going more loud “..your aftershave really sucks. Might want different breath mints too. If you find anything out, be sure you send me a copy of your results but I have an important meeting with the toilet, unless you want to follow me in and hold it for me.” while entering the mens room.

    Leaning against the wall a couple minutes, Dave exits, the detective no longer around as he wonders if he is going to get hate mail from Curt over messing with another investigation.
    ---
    The sign out of the hospital was uneventful, the ride to his home quiet. Having put his things away, sits on the couch as the digital clock on the table ready 12:00 noon.

    He has his laptop out running through the video shot of the detective going over the roof frame by frame still concerned over the quality of the supposed ‘just happened to be there’ video, assuming Kevin would not be coming over thinking the guy might have been high and forgot his invite.

    It was shortly afterwards that Kev arrived, pizza and breadsticks in one hand and a six-pack of soda (it’s pop! damn it) in the other. Using his foot, he knocks on the door, not really sure why he is here to begin with as he already told Dave everything...more or less...that he knows. He decides it will be his one good deed for the month--being nice to the clone. He puts on a smile as he waits.

    Dave opens the door, in a friendly tone “Thanks for stopping by boss, come in. Hope you don’t mind, haven’t had a chance to clean up since getting back.” stepping inside to what might be described as an immaculately clean home. Dave heads to a recliner “Glasses are in the cabinet and ice in freezer if you wanted either.”

    “Yeah...think I might fire my maid…” Kev replies after setting down the pizza and rummaging through the kitchen cabinets, grabbing up some plates and glasses. He sets them down and gives Dave an appraising look. “Mind if I say you look like shit? You got the whole pale thing going on.” As he opens the pizza box, he sits down on the couch. “I talked with Ang and she said you could have pizza, but nothing too greasy. So if you don’t like it, blame her.”

    Looking to Kevin, his tone lighthearted “Pizza is great, far better than hospital food anyday. As far as what I look like, trust me, I feel worse.” reaching for a slice and glass of ice “Was hoping you might fill me in on how Rayne looked when you saw her. I know she has contacts, were her eyes red, were they swollen? Don’t mean to throw the interrogation at you, I am worried about her. Anything you can share would be highly appreciated.” opening a Pepsi pouring some in the glass.

    “I thought we already covered that Sarge. Her eyes weren’t red that I could tell...or swollen. She seemed depressed, but not like she was crying. I even turned on the light later to double check something.” He takes a big bite of his pizza, chewing while deciding if he is going to spill the whole truth or not. “You wanna know what was weird about her though? When she was talking, I felt like I would do whatever she asked. Something about her voice. ...and she didn’t want to look at me. I mean come on...Rayne is always checking things out.”

    As Kevin describes what Rayne was doing, her voice, he recalls the thing at the lake, the things in the mine, the ability to touch on his own mind, Rayne’s mind that night at the lake, his tone firm, not in a question but a statement he would do when a suspect was holding something back and he had them engaged in conversation, typically they would answer without forming a lie
    “Her eyes were different too, weren't they.”

    Kevin tries to keep his expression neutral, but the truth of Dave’s statement is shown by the lift of his eyebrows and the chewing of his lip. “Yeah...okay...they were different…” he confirms with an exaggerated shrug. “...but that was supposed to be saved for the blog.” He grabs another slice and digs into it before continuing. “Pretty much the first thing I noticed when she came in. She was all silver and shit. But don’t tell Ang...she would just flip.” Taking a swallow of his drink, he chuckles to himself then gives Dave a thumbs up. “I get it now...why you asked me here. You wanted to ‘read’ me, right? Look me in the face when you asked your questions. Jeez, I am so stupid!” He laughs again, this time shaking his head. “Anything else you want to grill me on? Seems I’m ripe for the picking.”

    Having already a strong feeling what Kevin’s answer would be and dreading the answer nonetheless, Kevin confirmed his worst fear. The known Dave could fight be they criminals, politicians, other cops, even his own sister’s group should it come to that. This however is one that he knows he has lost with no chance of fighting. As Kevin mentions being ripe for the picking, Dave has his laptop open, flipping through files, shredding the files on the anomalies Pam had given him and the cross reference reports on missing in Carter Lake. He considers shredding the memos from the Mayor’s office and from Chief johnson outlining talking points for covering up events in town however leaves them thinking the kid deserves at least one bit of real information to work with.
    Dave picks the laptop up and without asking, takes hold of Kevin’s hand placing his right index finger on the touchpad. After that, he closes the screen over the keyboard setting the laptop on the coffee table in front of the couch before slowly sitting back in the recliner. Taking his glass he takes a small drink before looking to Kevin, his tone unusually mellow and friendly.
    “I know I’ve been an ass to you over the years, but I will say that I agree that Angela should not be told about Rayne. For what it’s worth, no, my intentions were not to persa ‘read you’, more to know how Rayne was and where she might be, I had been worried sick over her.” setting the glass on the end table next to the recliner.
    “The laptop in front of you has NSA level encryption and has some interesting files you might look through. The scan done was not to pull your print but to store it on the laptop so you can open the security logon. Since we are a team, wanted you to have a good and secure laptop. I would only ask one thing, do not blog about Rayne, let Angela keep only good thoughts about her. As time passes by, I only hope you can forgive me for the hell I have put you through over the years.” while looking at his watch “Don’t want to have you eat and run, but I’m going to have to pop some pills and crash out, Doctors orders and all. Give me a call later tonight if you want, if you have any questions on the files on ‘your’ laptop.” while standing moving to the door.

    Kevin looks at Dave strangely, still a little set off by the man grabbing his hand (although he had not resisted), then picks up the laptop and tucks it under his arm. “I’m still waiting for the punchline…” he says with a hint of sarcasm as he stands. “Is this where you punch me and laugh?” When he gets no further indication that this is all a ruse, he nods. “Okay man, I’m with you on Angela. ..and I’ll keep Rayne out of things for a bit. Thanks for this.” He nods towards the computer as he heads for the door. “Still not buds…” he grumbles as he steps outside. “Get some rest...heal up...cause I think there is one hell of a storm headed our way. I’ll call...maybe.” He gets in his car and gives a wave before he pulls out.

    As he is leaving, Dave’s phone chimes as a text from Angela comes through.

    ~You were right...cameras all messed up. I can’t talk. Just got into work. I’ll call you at break--3 hours.~

    Watching as Kevin heads down to his car, he looks to his phone and types back
    ~Going to take meds, might be out of it for awhile, update Kevin~ and hits send. Powers off his phone and removes the battery so nothing else would be delivered. Dave heads to his room stopping dead in his tracks noticing Kathy’s picture back on the bedside table. He makes his way touching the picture then looking to the indent on the pillow on the bed.
    ‘Rayne darling, you were here, weren’t you?’ runs through his head. He takes off his shirt and gets out the gauze packet he was given removing the old dressing dropping the bloody patch in the trash can and removes a fresh gauze pad placing it over the recovering wound. He proceeds to wrap the gauze multiple times around to ensure it will hold secure while moving about. He puts on a fresh shirt and a bullet proof vest having to settle for this as his new tactical armor has yet to arrive. He moves to the bathroom to wash his face to keep as alert as he could where he notices the shower floor still wet, Rayne’s scent on the towel that is on the rack. Softly to himself he whispers “They can’t have you darling…” while removing the pain and relaxant pills. There is going to be pain knowing that what he is going to face can rip into tactical armor so his vest will be on minimal use, if any. He takes a handful of pills to tolerate the pain he knows he is going to take if he has any chance to bring Rayne home.

    He then heads to the living room and his gun safe, since he has not gotten his service weapon back, he removes an old smith and wesson 9 MM. He also starts loading 6 clips with enhanced rounds. All he needs to do is at least get to Rayne, he will not lose another love without a fight. He slips the 9MM into a jacket he puts on and the pills in another pocket. He heads to his car and starts the engine, hands sweating on the wheel. He pulls out and heads off to first check the lake the first attack happened at, knowing he can not ask Pam for help as her job is to destroy what Rayne may be becoming. A short drive he is at the Lake moving around not knowing what he is looking for but desperately looking anyway. His blue shirt has a dark pattern forming as the blood seeps through the pads he placed earlier.
    ‘Hold on just a little longer damn it’ runs through his mind as he takes a couple more pills to control the pain flowing through his body.

    Staggering back to the car, he sits for a moment trying to clear his vision before starting back on the road toward the mine he was attacked in. As he approaches the mine on the dirt road, his blurred vision does catch sight of a catering van. He pulls up behind the van not stopping quick enough slightly colliding with the back of the van. He exits the car drawing his weapon, there was no way he was going to allow even Pam’s people harm Rayne. He staggers toward the van opening the door raising the 9MM toward the driver's seat. With the van being empty, he has a heightened sense of dread, not only were those ‘things’ a threat but now possibly Pam’s Agents. Through his deliria, he does definitely recognise Rayne’s purse, a deadly fear and rage grips him, they may already have her. Nothing will take her away from him, not monsters, not even Pam’s goons. His physical pain is not bearable as he takes the last of the pills in the bottle, more than enough to OD 5 men, but he HAS to hold on, just a little longer.

    He forces himself onward toward the opening of the mine, the darkness inside, unable to see in front of himself, he more is staggering remembering the layout from the last he was there, his 9MM already slipping out of his hand, mentally unaware of this. He calls out loudly for Rayne to hold on, yet barely an inaudible whisper comes out. His mind is clouded as he walks aimlessly deeper into the mine, now the only vision he sees are memories of Rayne, their time together, how lovely she always looked. Deeper he staggers, a strange calm over him, pain seems endurable even though his mind shut down his receptors, the textbook example of dead man walking. He does not seem to feel the first child that scratches and bites at his ankle, he simply staggers forward dropping to the ground, the only sound whispered is “Forgive me darling, I tried, I will always watch you from wherever I am going…” while child like beings start to surround him, some sniffing, others prodding him with their pale fingers. He is rolled to his back, his hazel eyes glassy and unresponsive as he stares up toward the roof of the cave.
    -----------
    Within the tunnel there is little sound other than that of the pale figures surrounding Dave. Soft chitter-like noises escape their lipless mouths as they continue to probe at his inert form. Without any signal given, they suddenly back away, their gazes collectively looking upward as they open up the space for a tall figure that emerges from the shadows.

    Dressed in a modern style, but bearing an ancient aura, Claudius stands over the male human, his head tilted sideways as he observes him. He has smelled the blood of this one before in these tunnels, and not so long ago. His gaze moves to another figure, only a few yards away, that of Rayne, as she once again lays unconscious. He senses a connection between the two, the man’s essence part of the woman’s child. He also is aware of the infection that even now is raging through the man’s system from the children’s bite.

    In a swift movement he cuts through the flesh at his wrist and brings it to the dying man’s lips. He narrows his silver eyes and commands Dave to drink, crouching as he delivers the life giving liquid to the man. It will only help to continue his life...not stop the infection. It will take the pregnant woman to save him. Going against his innermost desire to have the woman finish her transformation with him by her side, he reaches a hand to her once he stands and touches the side of her head.

    “Wake,” he says, the single word causing Rayne’s eyes to open. He sends an image to her, one of the man whose breathing is starting to regulate. As she gasps, her breathing coming in gulps, Claudius backs away, leaving as he came, melting into the shadows.
    -----------
    Rayne struggles to her feet, confusion raging through her. Placing her hand on the wall of the tunnel she steps forward, not a conscious movement, but one forced upon her by the one thought in her head...to help Dave. She doesn’t have to go far before she sees his still form on the ground. She chokes back a sob as she drops to her knees, her hands immediately going to the blood soaking through his shirt. “Dave?” she whispers, afraid she is having a dream...a nightmare...where he has only come back to her to die all over again. “Oh God…” she says as she pulls back his shirt, vest, and bandages, exposing the gun shot wound which now gapes open, bleeding freely. Pressing her hand against the wound, she applies pressure, her eyes looking over him quickly for any other injuries. When she notices the blood on his ankle she lets out a heavy sigh as he stirs, knowing she may already be too late.

    Dave’s eyes flutter open, gone are the hazel, a grey present as his system battles the multiple organisms through his body, a long painful inhale comes to his body, slowly the breath burning his lungs exhales, the sound of Rayne’s voice the only thing resonating in his mind making the pain slightly more tolerable. His mouth tries to move .. to call out her name .. yet no words form. His blurry vision does see Rayne, his mind processing this, wondering if he has died and perhaps he is a spirit looking to the woman in his life, He tries to wearily reach toward her.

    Taking his outstretched hand in hers, Rayne leans forward to place her lips softly against his. “I’ve got you,” she says, “...just hang on. I’m going to get us out of here,” the words coming easily though she has no idea how she will make them happen. She moves to wraps her arms around his chest from behind, slipping her hands under him and lifting with a groan. With her transformation incomplete, she does not possess the strength to carry him, but finds his weight easier to drag through the tunnels than she had anticipated. Moving backwards slowly, she finally makes it to the entrance, setting him down to make sure he is still alive...and in human form.

    Once again she says his name, his eyes barely opening to the summons, his gaze not focusing on her...but alive. “Almost there,” she says more to herself as she struggles to get him to the van and into the back. She stretches him out on the floor, cursing the monitoring equipment and chairs which take up the space where a full length seat should be anchored.

    Getting into the driver’s seat, Rayne starts up the van, her vision starting to fade as exhaustion sets in. She pulls her phone out and hits the previous entry for Google Maps, the voice instructing her to turn around. “Fifteen minutes…” she says aloud, “..I can do that.” ...and she does, mostly on auto pilot and luck, as she slowly drives the distance in a stupor-like state, pulling into the drive and parking, her head falling forward for a second before she pushes her body against the door, her hand pulling up on its handle. She almost falls out of the vehicle as the door opens, only to be caught by the steadying hands of Dr. Fitzgerald.

    “Rayne…” he starts, but is interrupted by her as she struggles in his arms.

    “No...let me go. We have to help him...Dave...he’s infected.” She pushes him away, standing on her own but unsteadily. “We’re running out of time.” She shoves the door open, the sound of Dave’s ragged breath wheezing in and out of his tortured lungs filling the rear. Fitz reaches in, helping her remove the muscular man from the back, the two of them struggling until Pam arrives and lends a hand. No explanations are necessary as blood drips from Dave’s leg and his eyes open briefly, the silver swirl mixing with his hazel.

    “The basement…” Fitz says as they carry Dave inside, maneuvering him down the steep staircase leading to a small laboratory. Dave is placed on a hospital bed and striped, the blood wiped away to reveal the wounds, which have already started to heal. Fitz casts his gaze at Pam then Rayne. “If he’s infected…” he starts, stopping when Rayne starts to remove her clothes. Her skin is very pale, the dried blood coating her legs standing out against the stark canvas. Dressed only in her underclothes, Rayne lays down on the other bed, putting out her arm.

    “My blood…” she says, “...it can save him. Please.”

    Fitz looks to Pam, seeing the look of desperation on her face, then to Rayne, her determination and willingness to sacrifice what may be her life also plain. He nods, then moves into action, first handing Pam gauze and alcohol. “Prep his arm...and watch for changes. He could ‘become’ at any time.” While she sets to her task he turns to Rayne. “I’ll will do what I can, but this is uncharted territory.”

    Getting IV catheters set up in both patients, Dr. Fitzgerald looks to Pam with a pained expression. “For this to work, I will need to drain Rayne’s blood..to the point of death...Dave has to be flooded with the hormone that is in her if we are to have any hope. I need to know you are okay with this. I will lower her body temperature to keep her organs in a state of stasis and her new state of being should pull her back. Should. It is a risk. We could lose her and her baby. The risk to Dave is minimal, but without this he will die and we will have to kill him again.” He sighs, knowing he is asking her to choose between two lives--one which is her brother.

    Pam looks at her brother, a rare softness coming to her features. Despite her fondness of Rayne, Dave comes first. The decision is not an easy one, but she doesn’t mull over it, simply gives her consent with a nod.

    Rayne willingly gets into a shallow person-sized tank filled with gel that Fitz had stored in a small room offset from his main lab. Already cold to the touch, she shivers once inside, closing her eyes and breathing rapidly. “It will be quick,” Fitz reassures her and Pam as he immediately starts lowering the core temperature of the enclosure and opens her catheter to allow the outflow of her blood.

    As Rayne’s blood is drained and sent through a warmer to return it to body temperature, Dave’s blood is also removed to the point of what is considered minimal for life. Connected to life support, Dave is then hooked up to an IV push which forces Rayne’s blood into his veins rapidly. Fitz works at a frantic pace, the monitor behind him flat lining as Rayne’s body gives up her life, ‘hopefully only temporarily’, Fitz thinks as Pam looks at him with concern. “We have time,” he tells her confidently as he continues to pump Dave full of the life giving fluid.

    As the minutes tick by, Dave’s body starts to buck against the restraints and Fitz smiles. He waits for a quiet moment in the man’s movement and draws off a sample of blood. “Can you set this up for me?” he asks Pam, handing her the specimen without waiting for an answer as he turns to Rayne.

    “Your turn my dear,” he says softly, hooking her up to the sterile bag containing Dave’s filtered blood. He hopes the procedure, which should have removed a large number of alien cells, will give Rayne a better chance to combat the viral load he is giving her with Dave’s blood. He can only hope that their blood is compatible...the fact that they share a sire adding to his positive outlook. As the blood drips, he starts warming the gel, slowly bringing Rayne back to a normal temperature.

    The hours that pass are tense, the doctor checking samples hourly--Dave’s body already responding to the treatment, his blood fighting off the unnatural cells and his life signs normal. He suffers the same fate as Rayne had...the seizures and pain, but they are already lessening...the increased level of hormone in Rayne’s blood being a factor. As for Rayne, there was still no response despite the use of electric shock and manual CPR.
    ------
    When the monitor hooked to Rayne starts to beep, Fitz looks up from the microscope. It has been six hours since her ‘death’ and he has already listed her as deceased in his head, keeping the equipment attached only because Pam insisted that he do so, claiming the girl still had life signs, although his equipment could not detect it. He jumps to his feet, rushing to her bedside to confirm it is not an anomaly. Her heartbeat and respiration are normal as is her temperature. He turns to the ultrasound machine he had set up earlier and turns it on, checking on the fetus, which he had noted earlier was more physically advanced than humanly possible. The child’s vitals are also normal. With an audible sigh, he calls for Pam over the PA system, telling her to join him in the lab.

  8. #38
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    Default Co Post - A New Transformation Begins

    The monitors continue to display vitals on Dave as Fitz keeps hourly notes on his changes. Dave’s eyes open suddenly and he takes a long hard gasping breath. His lungs feel as though they are on fire as he exhales. He tries to sit up however the straps keep him laying in the bed. He bats his eyes trying to focus, nothing seems to be clear. His very being feels different, numbness, pain, some mild, his stomach more severe. More to himself mutters “Am I dead” trying to look around his surroundings, his only certainty, this is not the mine he was in.

    Dr. Fitzgerald appears by his bedside, opening the straps holding Dave down. “Sorry about these...precautionary only.” He offers a smile, examining Dave without appearing to do so. He picks up a glass of water. “You should try drinking some of this...doctor’s orders.” He checks the monitors before looking at Dave again. “I’m sure you have a lot of questions. I will answer whatever I can, but your sister will be better equipped for some than I.”

    As Fitz started to speak, his first thought was that someone had grabbed him again to use against Rayne, as he mentions his sister, the thought goes to rather Pam had found Rayne, if she was changing as Kevin had described.. A sick feeling runs through him. He does not reach for the offered glass wondering what Pam wanted him to drink, was she preparing him for bad news. His only words hoarsely
    “Where am I? Where is my sister, Where is ... Rayne?”

    Once again Fitz offers a comforting smile, setting the water on the bedside table. “Those I can handle,” he says with a chuckle. “This is my home...sort of a lab and house in one. Your sister and Rayne are staying here for their security at present...as are you, I suppose. As for your sister, I think she is grabbing a bite to eat upstairs. She will be down shortly.” He lowers the bed rail closest to him and steps up to Dave. “If you think you can walk, I will take you to Rayne.”

    Dave starts to sit up again, a collage of colors and shades running through his sight. He tries to spin around to stand yet the pain running through him is a bit much as he cringes. He is still processing the feelings more on his remembering the number of pills he had taken so as to make it to look for Rayne. Shivering he lays back in the bed “Do you already know how the pills I took affected me? I am not sure I can get up yet, did they cause any permanent damage Doc, you can give it to me straight, I can take it.”

    Laying a hand on Dave’s wrist, Fitz shakes his head. “Pills?” he questions. “Any pills you took David are out of your system by now. No ill effect on you at all...at least from your blood chemistries or physical health. I must advise you that anything you are feeling is more related to another cause...which I will allow your sister to disclose.” He reaches into a small refrigerator and grabs a bottle of water and once again urges Dave to drink, hoping he will accept the beverage from a closed container.

    The words are processed, a new worry grips him, the ‘another cause’ playing through his mind as he reaches for the bottle. As it came from the refrigerator, it should feel cold against his hand yet no feeling registers. He opens the bottle taking a drink, he knows he drank something, yet still he feels nothing other than the numbness and pain over various parts of his body. He sets the bottle on the tray next to his bed, the bottle angles which tips spilling onto the tray. He now somewhat hesitantly asks
    “...What am I? Where is my sister? Is Rayne okay?”

    The doctor uprights the water bottle before looking to Dave again. “Like I said, Pam is upstairs. ...and Rayne is...stable. I really think it would be best if I get Pam for you. She can answer your questions better. Then we can take you to see Miss Summers. I’m afraid I don’t trust myself to take you to her bedside alone. Can’t have you falling, now can we?” What he doesn’t mention is his worry that Dave’s growing agitation could be detrimental to his, the good doctor’s, health.

    Dave starts to try and sit again, his body itself fights against his desire to get out of bed and find where Rayne is. He finally lays back, eyes looking up at the lighting above him. His grey eyes slowly close as his breathing, painful as it is, slows to a normal rhythm as he drifts off to a slumber.

    Dr. Fitz preparing to go and collect Pam, stops when he notices Dave has gone back to sleep again. With all that the man has been through, sleep is the best thing for him. He can not imagine what will happen when the sergeant finds out the truth behind himself...and he hopes Pam is the one to tell him. Stepping from the room, he closes the door behind him and goes back to his notes, his head coming up only minutes later as Rayne’s monitors go off.

    When Fitz gets to the reporter’s room, Rayne is out of her bed and searching the small space with a look of desperation. He notices the broken restraints and keeps himself in the doorway in case he has to exit quickly. “Rayne?” he says softly so as not to spook her. When she looks towards his voice, her eyes are a solid silver. In only her underclothes, he can not help but notice how thin she appears, her already pale complexion appearing more ashes and waxy.

    Using the same calming technique he did with Dave, he offers her a soft smile and lowers his voice to a whisper. “It’s all right Rayne. You are safe...Dave is safe.” He hopes using her lover’s name will be the key to her regaining some control, and he is rewarded with a more cognizant expression.

    “Dave?” she questions and Fitz nods his head.

    “Would you like to see him?” he asks, and she nods her head, walking towards him slowly, never taking her silver eyes off him. When he leads her to where Dave is resting, she stops at the bedside and lightly puts her hand on his chest, feeling the rise and fall of his breathing. Her eyes close for a moment then she turns to the doctor.

    “I am hungry,” she says, “...very hungry.”
    --------
    Doctor Fitzgerald sits once again at his computer, putting in notes about the most recent happenings with the newly born naturals. He is smart enough to know he has to approach this with a different sort of curiosity--more professionalism but also a personal touch.

    Fifteen minutes later he finishes his latest entry and goes back upstairs where he had left Rayne after getting her something to eat. He can hear the shower running and suspects she went there next. He puts her dishes in the sink, rinsing them off and goes to double check the doors. With so many extra people in his home, he wants to make sure they all stay safe. He begins to wonder what Pam is up to, her bedroom door closed, which he considers to be a hint that she wants to be left alone. He sits down at the table and lights up a cigarette, his one for the day.
    -----------
    Finally feeling clean, Rayne gets out of the shower and towels off. She wipes away the steam on the mirror and looks at her reflection, the silver of her eyes her biggest concern. She has her bag and purse with her, and she takes out the contacts Kevin had purchased and slips them into her eyes quickly. With the silver pushing through, her eyes appear a soft brown, but better than the alternative. Wrapping the towel around her body, she exits the bathroom with her meager belongings in her hand and walks past Fitz without a word and takes the stairs back down to the basement level.

    Rayne enters the room holding Dave and sets her things next to his bed while silently watching him sleep. She pulls back the sheet and blanket covering him, drops her towel, and climbs in, gently rolling him to his side. Tucking herself tightly against his back she pulls the covers over them both, draping her arm over his hip, her hand resting lightly on his stomach. In short order, her breathing matches his.

    Despite the changes he is undergoing, his body responds to Rayne's softness. His eyes slightly open as he turns to face her, his grey eyes which mentally believes are his normal hazel, look to her desperately hoping he is not in a dream. Dave reaches his arm around Rayne caressing her back, in a groggy whisper
    “It really is you, I was so frightened…” nothing else to say wanting to keep his love with him.

    With a soft murmured hum-like noise, Rayne pulls herself in closer to Dave, her eyes opening half way as she looks at him sleepily. “I’m here,” she says, her lips finding his as she lightly kisses him before tucking her head into his chest. “Sleep baby...I need sleep,” her words barely discernible as she drifts back into slumber.

    As Rayne drifts back into a restful sleep, Dave softly runs his fingers through her hair holding her closer to him. In this moment there are no cares, no concerns, no worries in the world. Softly he whispers “I will never lose you..” as he drifts to sleep in a soft embrace.
    ------
    The next morning, Angela pulls into Dave’s driveway after trying to contact him several times on his phone the day before--the calls coming back as undeliverable. Her worry is two-fold...one due to his recent injury and two because of the attempt made on his life in the hospital. It is because of the second reason that she had called Kevin to meet her, his car idling in the driveway when she arrives.

    Together they walk up to his front porch, already noticing that his vehicle is gone. Angela knocks, waiting impatiently for Dave to answer the door, but not really expecting it to happen. When Kev reaches around her and tries the knob, she smacks back his hand, but not before she notices it is unlocked. Trying again, she waits what she considers a fair amount of time then opens the door a crack and calls Dave’s name.

    “I’m going in,” Kevin says behind her, pushing his way inside before Ang can protest. Now that the deed is done, Angela follows, quickly checking for any sign that someone is home. “Looks like he left in a hurry,” Kev says as he exits the bedroom.
    Ang looks around the family room, everything appearing to be neat and orderly...as usual. She scrunches up her eyebrows in confusion. “How do you mean?” she asks.

    “Well, for starters, his front door was unlocked...and there is an unfolded shirt on his bed. Not to mention, his gun safe is open. Not at all like our mysterious Sergeant. I don’t see how anyone can live like this...such a mess,” he says with a chuckle.

    Angela walks into the bedroom and starts looking around, then leaves to go check the bathroom. She finds the used gauze pads in the garbage, but nothing else. She calls out to Kevin. “Can you check and see if there are any medicine bottles on the kitchen counter?” When Kev sends out a negative, she curses, “He took everything with him.” She does a slow circle, checking to make sure she did not miss anything. “Where did you go Dave?” she asks herself.

    She grabs up her keys by the door and heads out of the house, followed shortly by Kevin. “Are we going somewhere?” he asks, getting a shrug for an answer.

    “Where would Rayne be Kev? Do you have any idea?”

    “Clueless girl. I swear. She never said anything about going anywhere. Just wanted a phone and shit.”

    “We can try calling her...maybe she kept the same number.”

    Kev shakes his head. “Already did that..no go. She must have changed it.” He stops to think for a minute, putting a hand on Angela’s arm to stop her from getting into her car. “Let’s drive around a bit...Carter Lake ain’t that big. Keep an eye out for the Catering van or Dave’s vehicle. My morning is open if yours is.” When Ang agrees, the two of them get into his car and pull out, with plans to look around the town for a few hours.
    ----------
    The monitoring equipment attached to Dave has been a steady flux of readings the past hour as he stirs coming out of a dream like state slowly opens his eyes. He keeps his hold on Rayne releasing a soft breath, still slightly pained yet not to the degree from the previous evening. He softly whispers
    “It really is you...” opening his eyes slightly, the lights take on a whole new perspective as he curiously glances to the overhead lighting seeming to see the spectrum of colors, his eyes black with a swirl of light silver mixed within. Again he looks to Rayne “..I never want to be apart from you again.” reaching to her face tenderly caressing her.

    Rayne’s eyes open at Dave’s touch and she sighs softly. She looks at his eyes, saying nothing, but mesmerized by their color. She reaches for his hand and places it on her bare stomach, smiling at him tenderly. “We are having a girl,” she says, wondering if he can feel the child inside her with only touch...the same way that she can.

    As he touches her stomach, a smile comes to his lips while softly running his hand along her bare stomach. At this time he so wished he had feeling in his hands, hoping that it would at sometime return, his tone a little stronger as he heart beats faster, his happiness beyond words “A girl, I know she will look like her mother. I am so happy..” pulling her closer to him “..when we get home, we’ll start getting her room planned out.” before a shiver runs through his body as another jolt of pain shoots through him.

    Rayne starts to smile, faltering when Dave is racked with pain. She puts her hands on either side of his face, making eye contact and holding. “Look at me Dave,” she says trying to connect to him, but finding it more difficult with the change in him. She takes a deep breath and tries again, this time focusing harder, trying to take away his pain. “Oh baby...I am so sorry...if only you had not come for me.”

    As Dave looks into Rayne’s eyes, the pain is more manageable, he only replies back “How could I not look for you darling..” his breathing becoming easier in her embrace “..I would do the same a thousand times over again. I wasn’t too late was I?” foggy memory of Kevin mentioning something about her eyes, he still doesn’t have a clear view of his surroundings, just allowing himself to be lost in Rayne’s embrace, her voice. Finding the pain seeming to subside, his tone returning with a sense of joy “Is it too early to think of a name for our precious girl?”

    Rayne smiles softly. “Of course not,” she answers, the words filling in for both questions. She is not ready to tell him what she is...what he will soon be. She keeps her focus on him, holding him as long as she can to help ease his pain. She runs her fingers gently along the side of his face, then down to his chest, circling in the area where his bullet wound had been. “I thought I had lost you,” she says, “...for so many days all I could think of was you lying there with blood pouring from your chest. I can’t tell you what it was like seeing you in the mine...alive...yet dying again. It was more than I could take. It is so good to have you back again.” She sits up slowly, taking him with her, the sheet clenched in her fist to keep from exposing herself. She kisses him, gently at first, then more urgently. “We will be together forever, promise me,” she says in a breathy whisper.

    As they sit, he returns the kiss passionately, looking into her eyes deeply, he whispers “I will be with you for a thousand lifetimes, and when you are ready, I will be your husband, you my wife, our child happy with a loving mother and father. Nothing will keep us from that life darling.” moving his hand a little self consciously to his injured chest blinking several times as his fingers do not find the gunshot wound he was expecting. He starts to try and remove the top he was wearing to look at the hole that should be in his chest or at least the dressing that should cover it.

    Rayne puts her hand over his, stopping him from removing his shirt. She squeezes his hand, moving it to her waist. “Yes…” she says softly. She lets go of the sheet and presses herself tightly to him, wrapping both of her arms around his back. She puts her head on his shoulder, tears filling her eyes, unable to stop wondering if the truth will separate them or make them stronger. “I love you,” she whispers close to his ear. “Forever. Always. No matter what.”

    Dave’s heart skips a beat as he holds her tighter, the thought of his injury fades as the thought of being with her forever, ‘no matter what’ fills his heart with unimaginable happiness, he knows that she realizes the danger he might face on the job yet is willing to take that risk and be with him. Softly he whispers
    “I have loved you always and will continue to love you till the end of time, nothing we face will ever change that. You have made me the happiness man in the world, I only hope I don’t disappoint you darling.”

    Rayne remains silent, enjoying the feel of his embrace, wishing they were somewhere private, away from the monitors and prying eyes. She is about to kiss him again when she hears the sound of the basement door opening, footsteps on the stairs. She quickly unfolds herself from him and slips out of the bed, picking up her bag and pulling out clothes, which she slips into quickly. When the door to the room opens, she is standing next to the bed, her face flushed and hair mussed. She greets Dr. Fitz with a single nod, then leaves the room, casting a glance back at Dave before she heads back up to the main floor.

    Dr. Fitz pays little heed to Rayne as she exits the room, knowing the two had spent the night together. Seeing Dave sitting up, he moves close to the bed, taking the officer’s wrist in his hand and feeling his pulse. “Feeling better?” he asks as he visually accesses his patient. The change in the eyes is new and he doesn’t notice as many spikes on the equipment--evidence that the level of pain has improved.

    As Rayne leaves the room, Dave lays back in the bed offering the Doctor “Seem to be doing better, seem to be getting a little clearer vision, things still appear … don’t know, weird, like I see colors in a different way. Suppose you are going to change my dressings too? Didn’t seem to feel them though, some feeling seems to be coming back into my hands, probably not enough to feel the bandages though.” his black eyes having a deeper silver swirl forming...having been a dull silver before his deep interaction with Rayne. “How long am I in here for Doc, I really need to get back to work soon..” a bright smile on his face “..I’m going to have a daughter to care for soon.”

    Fitz takes a few more readings before addressing Dave’s concerns. “We’ll get you out of here as soon as we can, but it may be a few days or possibly longer. We need to get you back on your feet...get that feeling in your hands back...and of course correct your vision. We’ll have to take it day by day for a while yet.” He writes a few notes in a notebook he has in his hands then sets it aside. “..and congrats..I heard Rayne was pregnant..actually have done an ultrasound already. Healthy little girl.” He smiles as the door opens and Pam finally makes an entrance. “Good morning Agent Nichols,” he says in greeting. “I will let you address the matters of his wound,” he says to her with a wink. “I’ll go see about breakfast. I’m sure everyone is hungry.”

    Dave looks to Pam, he lays quietly letting out a sigh. Waiting for the lecture about Rayne to begin, Dave decides to beat her to the punch
    “Sis, before you say anything, you know I love you, but there is someone I have fallen in love with. I know you disapprove, but I am going to be with Rayne, so please don’t try to stop this and don’t harass her…” waiting for her to pounce on whatever he left as an opening.

    Pam smiles and takes Dave’s hand in her own. “I love you too little brother...and I am not going to try to stop you from being with Rayne. ...but before we discuss that, we need to talk about what happened to you in the mine.” The expression on her face is downcast as she reaches for his shirt, helping him to remove it without explanation. “Dr. Fitzgerald told me you do not have full feeling yet, but there is little to feel in regards to your injury. You are mostly healed.” She allows that to sink in before continuing. “We also have to talk about Rayne.”

    Dave looks to his sister with a sense of confusion before looking to his chest expecting to see a gauze patch over a compress yet sees nothing. His eyes blink a couple times looking to her, a sound of concern “The mine... was I..” not wanting to finish the question, a little stronger “..Not Rayne, I will not allow anyone to hurt her, I know you can take me sis, but I WILL stop whoever comes for her.”

    “Oh Davie, no...no one is going to come for her.” She laughs lightly. She has to admire his passion even if his words are falling on deaf ears. She could stop him...as could many others..and she thinks he knows that, even if his pride does not. “So much of that is behind us now, but I am full of regret. I failed you.” She looks at him, her eyes showing true compassion. “I don’t know how best to tell you this...but after Rayne was taken, there was so much going on...with you in the hospital...the Tacoma Police Department’s involvement...her disappearance...I tried, but I didn’t get to her in time.”

    Dave continues to look to Pam, somewhat surprised to see this side of his sister. He had always held in the back of his mind that the personna she displayed was for those she worked with yet this is the first time he actually had reason to affirm his thoughts. She had always been the protective big sister. Never giving it thought back then, even Kathy use to tell him ‘she’s just being Pam’ whenever he would apologise for tyrades Pam would throw - in public - over the silly civil rights attorney.

    Dreading what she might have to say yet needing to hear it nonetheless, he starts with
    “Sis, you have never failed my and could never do so. You have always been there protecting me even when I was too pig headed to say or see it. You raised me to be strong like you, don’t protect me from words that might be painful, tell me about Rayne, what can I do?” his body slightly cringing as another wave of pain shoots through.

    Waiting for Dave’s pain to pass, Pam nods, then lays her hand against him. “There is nothing for you to do...Rayne’s journey is over. It’s yours that is just beginning. ..and as hard as I know it will be for you, you need to concentrate on yourself right now...not her.” As Dave gets ready to argue, she puts up her hand. “Let me finish first...then we’ll address your concerns.” When he lays back and relaxes she continues.

    “We have been aware of the anomalies you encountered with Rayne in the park for a while now. They were an experiment on weaponizing a soldier for war--which is also something you are aware of. What you have not encountered until recently, is an older entity, one that has existed for centuries. It is not an aggressive species, but its abilities far exceed those of the manufactured ones. It was these ‘naturals’ that encountered the escaped soldier, transforming him into what we see now.

    “Rayne also encountered one of these naturals in the mine. She was taken there to be disposed of...injected with a lethal dose of heroin while you were at death’s door in the hospital.” She sighs heavily, collecting herself for the next part which she knows will be the hardest for Dave to accept. “When you went to look for her after your release, you also met the same entity as Rayne in the mine. I don’t know all the details, but you must have been incapacitated in some way...and I suspect it was your pain meds. You were also infected...bitten at some point while in the mine.

    Rayne brought you here after she found you unconscious. You only survived because of the blood given to you by the natural...but also because of Rayne’s blood. She died to save you.”

    Having listened to Pam, having read the details on the anomalies and what it means to be infected, a grim look on his face however that is dismissed as he hears the ‘She died to save you’. A tightening in his chest as he tries to catch his breath, he finally manages
    “She... died? How ... I spoke with her not long ago. What ... does that make me? What of our baby? What is happening to me, to Rayne?”

    Pam lets out another light laugh. “Okay...I’ll admit, that was not a good place to pause.” She pushes back a stray strand of hair then sits down. “She did die...was in stasis for almost six hours...but what she is...what you are...is not so easily destroyed. You are becoming an immortal being. A natural, for lack of a better term. Your child will most likely be the same. Pregnancy is not a situation we have encountered before, but from what we can tell, the fetus is healthy...normal.

    You have to prepare yourself for what is yet to come--your transformation. Rayne has just completed hers...and it can be difficult. Painful. The best resolution is to return to the mine and let your sire help you through the change. That is why Rayne was at the mine...she was transforming. I can try to help you, but the easiest way is also the hardest because you will have to do it alone.”

    Dave still looks to Pam with confusion, a disbelief on the words even though a part of him is already accepting what is already done. Immortal... a novel, a movie, a campfire story - now is his life. Their life, Rayne, himself and their child. His first emotion is to stay with Rayne and allow her help in anyway she can, but a primal part of his mind already feeling a call back to the mine, to Claudius, to the Elder.

    His voice going mild still having a million thoughts drifting through his mind, offering simply
    “These naturals, how much research has there been on them, I don’t recall reading about those in the files you gave me sis.”

    “There are no files on them. They are difficult to find...let alone capture for experimentation. They are strong and intelligent--humans are no match for them. And because they only ‘reproduce’ once every hundred years or so, it means their numbers are small. The fact that your sire chose to create you after Rayne only means he must have decided you were essential for her to continue. Otherwise he would have let you die.” She looks at him, knowing how horrible that sounded. “I’m very glad your bond to Rayne is so strong. I’m not sure I could live with losing you too.”

    A realization finally hits him, if he and Rayne are ... immortal ... the thought of that word still perplexing to him ... there is Pam, she worried about losing him yet, over time, he would lose her to age. Still too early in his transformation to have any understanding of the life forces in each being in the world, unable to feel the presence of other naturals other than the mild calling to his creator already drifting through his mind, in a hesitant tone
    “Losing me is not something I am worried about sis, if I am this ‘immortal’, I am more concerned over eventually losing you. In all honesty, okay, call me Mr. Morbid, but I always saw you being the one to bury me with all the shit I jump into on the job. Now I have to look forward to your growing old and losing you? That does not seem fair.”

    Pam smiles, shaking her head. “Oh Davie, that is so sweet. But don’t you worry about me. I’m not going anywhere.” She leans over and kisses his cheek. “How do you think I know so much about your situation? From Rayne? She is a newborn and in the dark almost as much as you. Plus, I really haven’t had a chance to talk to her since her transformation..with her being at the mine and all. When all this is finished, we can sit down and have a nice long family chat...afterall, none of us are going anywhere for a long time.”

    Pam’s words registering clearly, a look comes across his face like the light bulb finally clicked on. He closes his eyes a moment softly
    “I always thought I was the quick one. I missed the obvious right in front of me. Then I don’t have to play tough sis, I can tell you I hurt all over?” his memory drifting to the first night Pam had broken into his house talking about Rayne, a soft smile comes to his lips trying to think about anything other than the pain running through his body, in a amused tone “..that probably means that I can stop worrying about you killing her at Thanksgiving dinner..” with a slight laugh and wince of pain too.

    Pam laughs, “Yes...you can stop worrying little brother.” She squeezes his hand. “Now, let me help you.” She puts her hand on his cheek, turning his face to hers. Her blue eyes connect to his and she smiles, holding his gaze until his pain recedes.

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  9. #39
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    Default CO--Circle Of Life

    Dave lays in the bed looking to the lights in the ceiling. His tone soft
    “Sis, can I see Rayne, you mentioned something about completing this process in the mine, I can not shake the thought from my head that I belong there. Is this the one creating me.. calling to me, if so, I do want to see Rayne before I go back.”

    Even with his knowing about the creatures he read in the reports, Pam's assurance that his creator was not like those lab created, there still is an apprehensive feeling about the unknown that seems to be pulling at him. He has a strong feeling he has to go, an even stronger feeling that he wants to see Rayne again before anything else.

    “I’ll see if I can round her up,” Pam says as she steps from the room. She can smell breakfast cooking as soon as she reaches the stairs and knows just where she will find her. The one thing she remembers well from her transformation is the hunger it brought with it once it was over. Not to mention Rayne was also pregnant.

    When she steps into the kitchen she is surprised to see Rayne cooking alongside Fitz, Rayne working on omelets while Fitz fries up bacon. “Smells good,” she says as a way of greeting. She sits at the table and pulls out her phone. “When you get done there Ray, Dave is asking after you.” She pulls up her messages, surprised to see none. “Mmmm, odd,” she says as she puts the phone next to her when a plate is set before her. Fitz sits across from her and nods towards her device.

    “You will need to go in the garage to use that...or outside. I have blocking hardware in the house to keep out anyone that may be trying to track me. I’m a bit paranoid,” he says with a laugh. As he starts to eat his breakfast, Rayne fills two plates and balancing them on one arm, heads for the stairs.

    “I’ll go eat with Dave...if he is hungry,” she states, carefully making her way down the stairs. She enters his room and sets the food on his pull out tray. She also grabs two bottles of water from the mini-frig. “Pam said you wanted to talk?”

    Dave looks at the plates sitting up forcing himself to hold any outward signs of pain or a mounting worry of the unknown. He says “I hope the omelette is one you made..” reaching for the fork. Upon holding it, he sets it back on the plate, his hands trembling too much to hold it steady. He looks to Rayne, still with a soft smile, simply her presence seems to ease some of the pain.

    He lets out a slight sigh “I had this all thought out, what I was going to say, now that you're here, I don't know where to begin. You are so beautiful, have I told you that lately?” He positions himself to be as comfortable as possible. “I can not get the thought out of my head that I need to be back in the mine to finish what I am becoming. My sister explained some to me. I want to be with you every waking moment but this feeling, this calling is so strong. Can you help me back, come see me sometimes until whatever happens is done.”

    He reaches for her “I understand better what you said about together forever. I have to say I don't want that…” his eyes looking to her softly “..I want to be together forever plus an additional lifetime.”

    Rayne shifts her position to be next to Dave, moving easily into his arms as he pulls her close. She laughs lightly at his outpouring of affection. “Plus one then,” she agrees, then kisses him lightly. He can not hide his pain from her, but she tries to ignore it for his sake. She puts her hand on his neck, gently massaging, then leans close to him.

    “Of course I will go with you..and I will stay...but you will most likely not be aware of my presence. I spent a lot of time unconscious, or in his thoughts. He will hold your mind, guide you, help you through the pain. He’s a numbing calm.” Her lips caress his neck, feather-like, then come to his mouth again. Hungrily she kisses him, lost for a moment, then she pulls back, her breath quickening. “When we get home, we can pick up where we left off. ...after a nice hot shower...and you can tell me how beautiful I am again,” she adds with a laugh.

    Trying to relax some, Dave offers “Will definitely have to take you up on that shower. If you can get me to the mine, don’t think you will have to stay the entire time, my sis mentioned it could take days, want to make sure we keep little Rayne’s appointments as she grows... “ reaching for Rayne’s stomach “..just stop by and check on me from time to time.” now reaching for her hand. “I could lay here looking in your eyes forever and let the rest of the world go to hell. Suppose we should get me to the mine so I can finish what has started so I can be with you from that day forward.”

    Rayne smiles, not bothering to argue with him about how long she stays at the mine. She has no intention of leaving him alone there, not with all the anomalies that reside in its tunnels. Plus, she finds herself more at peace when he is around. She looks around the room, finally locating his clothing and grabs it up. “Let’s get you dressed. It’s too cold outside to run around in a t-shirt and underwear.” She gives him another smile then starts helping him put on his clothes. What she doesn’t realize is how resistant to the cold she is now. Just another thing she will have to get used to as she becomes more familiar with her new being.

    Slipping on his jeans and pullover shirt Pam had gathered from his house, he steadies himself against the bed for a moment, “Think you are right, don’t need some random patrol driving by ticketing me for exposure..” with a light laugh before standing away from the bed, trying to keep his balance “..I do feel guilty not being there when you went through this. At least in a few days I guess, we will have a story to tell our precious girl when she’s older.”

    Rayne moves in to help steady him, not commenting on the time when she was in a similar state. It is more complicated than just dealing with the situation, she is still trying to work out her feelings in regards to Dr. Fitzgerald’s involvement. A part of her blames him and wants revenge, while on the other hand, his willingness to help now overshadows the first. With a shrug, she puts her shoulder under his arm, expecting to be burdened with the extra weight. Easily she takes it on, straightening while waiting for Dave to get his balance. “Just let me know when you are ready. We have some pretty steep stairs to navigate...and I also have to get the keys to the van.”

    As Dave leans on Rayne whispers “Okay, think I am ready ... ish. Steep stairs, I might take a bit to get up those.” starting to make his way to the door leaning against Rayne for support, as out of it as he is, he still could notice she does not seem to have any problems supporting his weight. As they reach the door and out into the hall leading to the stairs, he slows, inhaling
    “Yep, those are pretty steep stairs.” not looking forward to this climb.

    Rayne lets out a short chuckle, “I got you babe...just lean on me. Seems a perk of the transformation is no workout needed to build the muscle to carry you along...could have used that in the mine when I had to drag your ass through the tunnels,” she jokes. “We’ll go slow..plus I like the way you feel against me.”
    As she takes on more of his weight to support him as they climb, she wonders just what else she can do now. She remembers Pam’s show of strength with the pool ball and the way she didn’t even flinch when she was shot. She really has not taken the time to think about all her changes..maybe what she really needs to do is sit down with Pam again. She files that thought away for later..when she is settled in again with Dave at his home.

    As they reach the top of the stairs, they step into the front where Dr. Fitz and Pam are sitting with coffee discussing Dave and what progress he should expect over time. Dave says to the two “We’re going to step out on a date, don’t wait up for us..” with a chuckle, immediately paying for the humor with another wave of pain. When the grimace passes, he offers more to Pam “I’m going to want to complete myself there..” not sure what, if anything, she had explained to the Doctor “..look in on me when you have time sis, you know where we’ll be.” somewhat ignoring the doctor for the time being. He takes a jacket that was hanging along the rack on the wall and slips it on. The unknown ahead of him is still worrisome yet with Rayne, any concerns he has lingering are dismissed. Looking to Rayne, biting his bottom lip, he decides to say it despite what pain it might cause
    “You driving or am I?” As there was not the expected pain wave, thinks that one went a little better.

    Rayne smiles softly. “I think it’s already been established I am the driver in this family,” she jokes as she reaches for her purse which is also hanging on the rack. “I’m taking the van,” she call out to Pam without asking. “I should have it back in a few days..maybe longer.” She continues to help Dave as they exit the house, then gets him situated in the van before she gets in herself. “You might need to pay me for these services...chauffeur, personal assistant, baby maker…” She looks at him fondly before pulling out. “Not sure if my other job is still waiting for me or not...guess I’ll need to call my editor when we get back also.”

    As Rayne and Dave are entering the catering van, from a block away, Kevin chimes in to Angela
    “Hey Ang.. it is Ray and the iceman, hold tight, I’ve got this... “ as he reaches under his seat removing a portable blue tear drop light he purchased online after his adventure driving Dave’s car. Kevin sets the light in his dash onto a small metal plate he installed now magnetically holding the light to the dash. Fumbling for a moment, he plugs the light into the USB power port on his dash. As the light illuminates and the dish rotates, he starts honking his horn as he pulls in front of the van to try and stop it, rolling down his window yells out
    “Ray .. hold up a minute!... “ then looking to Angela who is sighing rolling her eyes “... What? Your patient is not following orders, we have to stop him here, and Ang, don’t freak when you see Ray too.”

    Inside the van, Dave in the passenger side lets out a sigh, not clearly able to see what is in front of them however the voice drifting through is unmistakable. Trying to sound humored through the pain simply mutters “Suppose he is really going to figure I am a clone now, you think?”

    A chuckle escapes Rayne despite the situation and she fumbles blindly through her purse while pulling the van over to the side as requested. She hands Dave her sunglasses she has managed to find in all the mess that is her purse’s contents and whispers, “Put them on...your eyes are all weird.” She then rolls down her window and sticks her head out, looking towards Kevin as he pulls onto the edge in front of her.

    “Hey Kev...I mean officer…” she starts, stifling a giggle, “..what can I do for you. Was I speeding….drifting out of my lane...or was it my good looks that made you pull me over?”

    Kevin gets out of the car walking up to Rayne’s window, a beaming smile on his face “Really, did I look like a real cop, I can so see me doing this all the..” as his head reels while Ang waps him up the side softly.

    “You remember how much trouble you were in last time they ticketed you for those lights? Didn’t the judge warn you not to show up in his courtroom any more for using lights, where did you get that anyway?” before looking to Rayne “..I am so sorry Ray, he did not tell me at all what he was doing, I was worried about the sergeant..” peering her head trying to look into the window “... who is ‘Suppose’ to be on bed rest. This doesn’t look like bed rest to me.” her gaze now on Dave as he has the sunglasses on and sitting back in the chair.

    Shaking her head, Rayne gets out of the van and gives Kevin a hug. “You looked very cool hun...don’t listen to grumpy ole Momma Ang.” She pulls away and puts up her finger to tell him to wait as she steps over to his car and leans in the window towards Angela. “God...you look so thin,” she says laughing. “Don’t worry about Kev, you know he doesn’t faze me. ...and I don’t mind the big show of lights and everything.” She looks over her shoulder at Dave and offers him a smile of encouragement. “..and you can blame me for Dave. I wanted to get him out for some fresh air and we ended up stopping at his sister’s friend’s place. Dave was so exhausted we stayed the night. I was just taking him home now.” She is surprised how easily the lie comes from her...fluid and without any tick to give her away. “I promise to put him right to bed...alone…”

    She stands up again and pantomimes for Ang to call her. “We have to get together soon. I can’t wait to cuddle the baby. ...and catch up. So much to tell you.”

    Angela softly for Ray alone figuring with Kevin so into playing with his light may have forgotten her real concern
    “We will do it Ray, but... Dave ... his prescriptions were missing from his house, he’s not .. don’t know how to ask knowing the guy, abusing the scripts, is he?”

    “Oh God no girlfriend! I have his medicine...and am doling them out as prescribed. He still hurts a bit, but he’s tough, he’ll get through it. Speaking of which, I really should get him home. All this back and forth in the van has really whipped his ass. I’m beginning to appreciate what you go through at work...being a nurse maid is tiring.” She winks at Angela, then gives her a gentle squeeze on her arm. “Really hun, it’s all good,” she adds before making her way back to Kevin.

    Once at his side, she gives him a quick peck on the cheek. “I’m assuming you haven’t said anything about the other night to Ang?” she asks in a quiet tone. When he shakes his head slightly, she nods. “Good...and thanks. You did me a solid. Can’t thank you enough. Things still are a bit crazy, but I will get you your exclusive as soon as I can. Promise.”

    As Rayne starts back to the van, Kevin looks to Angela while unplugging the light
    “I am going to have the most awesome blog post soon, one that is sure to bring me the recognition I deserve, and don't worry, I'll let you have an exclusive first look before it goes live.”

    Angela gives him a firm look “that light stunt .. “ her gaze and tone lighten “you owe me lunch, pizza, my choice.” while pulling the blue light off his dash and tossing it out the passenger window.

    In a whiny tone, Kevin let out
    “Aaaaaaannnnnnggggggg, that cost me 50 dollars off ebay…”

    Angela laughs “Well, looks like I saved you $450.00. Remember what you were told last time you were in court, $500 plus costs next time you appear, so you really owe me pizza hun.”
    ----
    As Rayne gets back in the van, Dave looks over to her removing the sunglasses letting a soft laugh
    “Looks like you get to add another to your resume, disguise provider. Thank you darling, that could have been an awkward discussion.” He reaches over resting his hand on hers leaning back in the seat.

    With a smile, Rayne looks to Dave. “Any time babe,” she says, then furrows her brows in thought, pulling back onto the road, glad her current direction leads to both his home and the mine. She turns off at the next exit to continue the ruse that she is taking him home. “I feel a little bad lying to them,” she muses, “..it seems I owe them the truth...at least some semblance of it. ...and the promise I made to Kevin when I was transitioning. I’m not sure how I am going to keep it.” She sighs, adding that to the list of things she is going to have to think on while in the mine with Dave. She turns her hand covered by his, entwining her fingers into his and squeezing. “We’re almost there...how are you holding up?”

    As they turn off and head in the direction of the mine, Dave feels a stronger calling, even though there is a pain through his body, with Rayne by his side, it seems more manageable. With Rayne holding his hand, he offers
    “I am holding up okay-ish. All I can say is you make it easier to deal with. As far as what we will tell Angela and Kevin...” a grin forms “... I think Angela more than Kevin, but I will be there with you as we explain things to them.” Dave quirks a brow a moment “... And I just remembered something. At the risk of you not being completely happy with what I am going to say, I mean about recklessness, when I went to the mine, I wasn't expecting to come back out. My only desire was to get to you and be with you no matter what happened to me. If I was going to end, I wanted it to be in your arms.” he allows that to be taken in before continuing with a sigh “..part of preparing myself... I gave Kevin my NSA encrypted laptop, all the files Pam gave me were shredded and unrecoverable, but it would seem that I am going to be in need of another laptop.”

    Rayne exhales loudly, but says nothing until she pulls in front of the mine. Turning off the engine, she turns in her seat and gives Dave a concerned look. “You’re right about me not being happy about your decision to enter the mine. Reckless doesn’t even begin to describe it. What were you thinking? What good would you be to me if you were dead?” Her eyes mist over and she rubs at them angrily. “I thought you were dead...for days...and there was such an emptiness in me. If things had been different...if I had not been...whatever the hell I am...you would have died on me a second time! Fuck dying in my arms! The only thing that mattered was that you were alive!”

    Getting out of the van, Rayne comes over to Dave’s side, her anger at his revelation still brewing in her. She opens his door, then reaches for him, pulling him tightly to her. “Don’t ever do something that stupid again...no giving your life for mine...or taking the bullet meant for me. I need you...without you I would rather die.”

    Dave rests his head against Rayne’s shoulder holding her closely “We’ll be together forever, you and I, I was not thinking clearly. What is important now I think is that we have our future ahead of us.” leaning in for support still a little light on his feet. Looking toward the mine entrance, he feels a sense to comfort with her and a sense of worry about the unknown within the darkness of the passages. The reports and documents his only knowledge of events of late, those slowly being replaced by the calling he feels. He asks simply “Were you worried too when called?”

    Rayne accepts his explanation without arguing, wanting to hold him longer--but the only thing that matters now is getting him inside. She nods when he asks about being nervous. “Mostly because of my last memories here, I just didn’t want to go into the tunnel. The calling itself was subtle, I really didn’t realize what I was doing until I was here.” She offers her support again as they start walking, then pauses at the entrance.

    “The others, they are in there as well. Plus, small child-like creatures. He will not let them hurt you, but you will feel them. I assume he will take you from me when he is ready.” As soon as she steps inside, she feels a chill run through her. She isn’t sure she will ever like this place, her typical curiosity lost in here. “You should be able to see in the dark. Is your eyesight getting any better?”

    As they enter deeper, the darkness seems to fade having a clearer vision of their surroundings. The hesitation felt earlier also fading. To Rayne and to himself as well “This is ... Amazing. Things are so clear.” as he slows his pace slightly holding Rayne closer. As they go deeper into the blackness, his eyesight becomes clearer. A small figure comes before Dave and Rayne moving toward Dave inhaling close to him. The small figure runs it’s hand along Dave’s leg without scratching him before continuing past paying no attention to Rayne. Dave looks to Rayne “Was that one on the child like beings living here?”

    “Yes,” Rayne says softly, watching the creature move away from them. “I think of them as cleaners. They eat carrion mostly...human and animal…and they like to make piles out of anything. They don’t see like us--only in colors. Each living thing has its own color. Humans are green, the hybrids red, and the natural is silver. Once you transform, you will understand. Touching them allows you to see as they do.” After a few more steps, Rayne stops, looking around her. There is nothing for her to see, but she senses something different...a presence. “He is here.”

    As soon as Rayne mentions that ‘he is here’ Dave’s breathing slows, his mind drifting to a peacefulness as Claudius reaches out mentally touching upon Dave’s mind. The pain he feels subsiding, still present in the physical yet the mental being spared. A voice in the darkness
    “It is good he returns here my dear. It will be easier this time, for both.” as the tall shadowy figure steps closer to Dave
    “Rest now my child, release what was once and allow what is to come complete itself.”

    Dave sinks to the ground as he drifts off in a restful slumber. Claudius steps toward Rayne “As the new born rests, do you have questions for me my dear?”

    Rayne looks up at Claudius, seeing him for the first time with new eyes. Before he was only a shadow, fleeting, her mind occupied with the pain of miscarriage and transformation. Even though he is a man, he is nothing like she has even seen before. Tall and thin, his eyes glow with silver radiance, his whole face illuminated by it. His Grecian nose fits perfectly with his narrow lips and high cheekbones. He is so perfect as to be almost beautiful. Rayne lets out a sigh, her head shaking in response to his question. She doesn’t want to speak to him, is in awe of the power he radiates. For her, all thought is now on leaving the two on their own...to seek out solace elsewhere. Still shaking her head, she moves deeper into the tunnel, feeling Claudius’ amusement as she delves further into the mine’s interior.

    A baritone laugh comes from the elder, then he turns his attention to the man before him. He places his hand on Dave’s chest, completing the healing process that has started and connecting to his mind to draw from his memories. He smiles...his assumption that these two were strongly linked confirmed by what he sees. “Sleep,” he whispers, then moves into the shadows to wait until his assistance is required again.
    --------------
    Denise pulls into the parking lot of Jackie’s diner with the understanding that she could learn quite a bit from striking up conversations with residents there in a more casual environment. On the top of her list is Blogger Kevin Mercury. Just two days earlier she was relaxing in her home in Portland Oregon, with the events of late, she packed a travel bag and headed to this town with the spike of activity.

    As she enters the diner, her attention is drawn to the booth where Kevin and Angela are. Denise removes a slender tube of a floral perfume dabbing a slight amount along her neck before heading to the counter ordering a coffee and cinnamon crunch bagel. Paying for her order, she proceeds toward Kevin, not recognising the woman he is with, she slows her pace when along their table. She offers Kevin a soft smile, her voice soft and soothing
    “I hope I am not intruding on your date, would you by chance be Kevin Mercury of the Blog by that name?” her soft brown eyes looking to Kevin.

    Kevin pauses, mid-bite, as he is addressed by a very attractive woman standing by his table. He puts down his slice of pizza, offering a nervous grin. “That I be,” he says with a bit of pride, then looks to Angela expecting a kick under the table, which is delivered at just that moment. His grin becomes a grimace as he tries to hide his pain by adjusting himself in the seat to allow another person to sit beside him. He makes a gesture towards Angela and clears his throat. “This is my friend Angela Ksioszk, a friend and fan,” he says with a wink. “Please, join us.”

    Denise looks to Angela with a soft tone “If you really don’t mind, I just assumed you were on a date and didn’t want to intrude, just to say hi ... ” as she slides next to Kevin running her fingers through her hair so as to ensure the freshly applied fragrance has time to drift through the area. She nonchalantly leans into Kevin as she looks in her handbag for a moment ensuring there is physical contact with Kevin before sitting back in the booth looking to Kevin, her smile soft and friendly, her tone remains sweet “..I forgot completely.. My name is Denise, I write a small blog in Oregon and have been fascinated by what seems to be going on around Carter Lake. I hope you don’t mind talking shop, some people find it boring which is why I don’t have a boyfriend... “ looking to Angela “... I see that you don’t seem to have the same problem I do Kevin, she seems sweet.” with a smile remaining on her lips.

    Kevin, with a flush to his face, shakes his head. “I love talking shop...really,” he says with flourish, but when Denise makes another reference to Ang being his girlfriend, he pipes in with just as much enthusiasm, “...really, Angela is just a friend. She’s married with 3 kids. Not really my type.”

    Angela gives him another of her trademark kicks, then smiles at the obviously flirting young woman. “You’ll have to excuse his naivete. He is truly just a nerd without any girlfriends...ever.” Her gaze goes to Kevin as she continues. “We work together on the information gathering of his blog. I really am just a tiny part...I work at the hospital and give him tidbits here and there. ..and he buys me pizza for my contributions.” She laughs, watching Kevin’s face grow redder.

    Denise’s smile is unwavering as she sets her hand softly on Kevin’s leg under the table caressing it while looking to Angela, her smile broadens “Awww, I see. You are kind of an information source from the hospital. I was totally fascinated about that clip a week or so ago about something that happened in a field outside I think it was the Red Cross building. So much flame mail was posted on your blog about making the stuff up Kevin, I believed it though... “ her gaze still to Ang “... were you the source of that video Angela? Please tell me it was real and not made up fiction like those disbelievers loaded Kevin’s blog with, I hate flamers in case it was not apparent.” her hand still comfortably resting on Kevin’s leg.

    Kevin’s blush continues to mask his normal complexion and he silently thanks God there are not eyes under the table to see his reaction to the gentle caress from the woman next to him. He clears his throat, unsure if he is going to be able to talk or not as he chimes in before Angela can. “Sorry, but I don’t reveal my sources, but I can assure you it was real despite all the hater’s disbelief. I did not shoot the video, but I did encounter the same being.” He mentally congratulates himself on his ability to talk normally...well almost...there was a bit of a tremor in his voice, but who could blame him.

    Angela remains silent, her expression talking volumes for her. She chuckles lightly, grabbing a piece of pizza and eating it with relish, her eyes pivoting from Kev to Denise. She doesn't have to look under the table to know what is going on. She has used that move herself on Jeremy--although she is sure the girl is not going at it in quite the same manner.

    As Kevin chimes in, Denise moves her hand farther up his leg since her hand is becoming warmer, she lightheartedly
    “I really do understand all about protecting... “ giving a firm gaze toward Angela “... Your Source... “ before looking back to Kevin “... I always thought that was real. I would really love to meet the videographer, She seems so talented.”

    Denise’s eyes focus now purely on Kevin, her hand now just at the top of his leg, not moving to his crotch, just the corner, there is a sense of concern in her tone “You ... ran into one of those things? That must have been so frightening. Can you tell me about that? Is it really safe around here? If you ran across one of those, you must know what they are?” after a moment she continues “... this is frightening and exciting, don’t worry Kevin, I won’t take the story line, I just want to hear about that run in, and if you are up to it, perhaps a co written blog, I do have some credibility I can add to your stories. Haters can hate on one blogger, but when we combine, we can shed light on things.” offering him a sensual smile.

    Kevin straightens up in his seat, trying to adjust himself without using his hands. “All that is in my blog--about the encounter.” He sighs, his voice becoming more unsteady. “I really haven’t given much thought to a co-blog--really am more of an independent thinker. Although, perhaps you can convince me otherwise.” He tries not to think about what Denise is doing...and he suddenly remembers Pam and her little disguise and flirtatious game not so long ago. “I really think it will require quite a bit of convincing,” he adds giving Denise a knowing look. He can’t help how his body is reacting, but he’ll be damned if he falls for the temptress game again without getting the full benefits this time. “Perhaps you would like to join me at my studio so we can talk some more?” He looks over at Angela, getting a nod and laughter to his silent request to ditch her.

    Denise offers a soft smile gently pressing against his leg with her hand “Your Studio, that sounds just divine. Am I following you or you driving me Kevin.” now somewhat ignoring the other woman at the booth. Denise starts to slide out of the booth, her hand moving away from Kevin’s leg “..I am sure we can find ALOT in common when at your Studio.” her smile soft and inviting.

    Kevin offers a smile, but doesn’t get out of the booth. “I can drive us, and Ang has her car at my place, so all’s good.” Secretly, he hopes by offering to drive, the pretty girl will have to rely on him to leave, preventing an early escape. He realizes just how stalkerish that sounds, but it has been his experience that girls have a way of leaving his house before fulfilling his dreams. He finally is able to exit his seat without making a fool of himself and does so, joining Denise. “Give me a sec--gonna pay the bill,” he says as he heads for the front counter.

    Angela starts giggling, giving Denise a knowing look. “You have no idea what you are getting yourself into little lady. Good luck.” Then she too heads for the front, her humor still going strong as she laughs all the way to Kevin.

    “Go get her gigolo…” she says, patting him on the back.

    Sandy makes sure she is at the front counter offering Kevin and Angela a smile, her giggly personality offering Kevin
    “Don’t worry about this tab, I have it already covered.” already having slipped out of her work shoes and wearing a pair of workout shoes.

    Kevin winks to Sandy “Thanks Sandy, I’ll tip you great next time in... “ before heading back to Denise “Your ride awaits my lady.”

    Denise offering Kevin a soft smile and a soothing tone “I can’t wait for more privacy, we have so much to talk about darling.” holding Kevin’s hand gently.

    As Kevin and Denise leave the dinner and start into the parking lot, Sandy reaches under the counter and grabs a flex baton slipping it in her uniform pocket, the pocket she uses to hold check folders then heads out the front door at a quick pace.

    As Denise and Kevin are in the middle of the parking lot close to his car, a black SUV enters at a moderate speed coming to a stop between Kevin’s car and Denise who is holding Kevin’s hand. Pam steps out of the SUV and G remains in the driver side. At the same time Sandy comes up from the rear, her tone rather hate filled
    “Just what the fuck are you doing here Den?”

    Denise gripping Kevin’s hand more firmly, smiles to Pam
    “Didn’t expect to see you so soon P... “ before looking back toward Sandy “... Still pissed about Antigua? Thought I recognised you, so you working with Pammy? How interesting.” her thumb over a pressure point on Kevin’s wrist, any protest or pulling away which he might do is met with her applying pressure which would shoot a current of pain through his arm.

    Sandy removes the flex baton “I asked what the fuck you are doing here bitch, and don’t throw Antigua at me, YOU are the one that fucked that one up, no one had to die, you being the bitch you are lost that op, NOT ME!”

    Pam offers a smile and a giggle “My my my, seems like you two already know each other, hey Reaper, let the kid alone, let’s go for a ride, would think I already made it clear that I disapprove of any unnecessary accidents.” before looking to Sandy “It’s all coolio Sands, Momma has this, the call you made is all I needed.”

    Sandy slips the baton back in her uniform growling to Denise “This fucking shit isn’t over bitch, I suggest you crawl back to whatever hole they have you working now.” before turning and heading back to the diner composing herself to regain her cover as a waitress.

    Denise offers a amused “You usually have calmer peeps under you, Sandie seems to still have a hard on over the lost embassy. As far as the kid goes, you were given a week, the kid is still on about things he shouldn’t be on about. But I suppose letting me take the kid is not an option now, huh.”

    Pam approaching with her hands behind her back, tone still friendly “Nope, and the longer we ‘discuss this’, the more eyes are on us.”

    Denise lets loose of Kevin’s wrist after giving him one good nerve pinch to send unimaginable pain through his arm
    “It’s all good P, I have some interesting things to look into. Oh yea, someone seems to have misplaced a Doctor, you wouldn’t happened to see a Doctor wandering around, would you have? And as for the kid, his time is up, you know why I am here, I will let you have this one, if he is on my radar again... “

    Pam’s expression unchanging “Misplaced a Doctor, I would suggest placing a lost and found ad... “ with a giggle, her tone going more serious “... Yea Reaper, I know why you are here, and don’t worry about the kid. He is a joke, no one takes him serious. Making the kid go away would be an unnecessary mess to clean up. But anywhodles, nice talking to you Dennie, we should do it again sometime never.”

    Denise cuts Pam off “Well, ta ta for now, got people to do, places to kill... sorry gurl, had to steal that one from you.” as Denise walks away from Kevin, Pam and G heading toward her car, as Denise calls back to Kevin
    “And sweet cheeks, I’ll be seeing you around, you can count on that. We still have some quality bonding time to look forward to.” as she gets in her car.

    Kevin holds his arm against his body, cringing at the words being thrown back and forth between the three women. How the hell did he let this happen again? “Hey...the fuck...I’m right here,” he says in protest as they discuss his demise. He decides right there and then he is not going to date...not going to fall for...or even look at another woman again. They are all fucking crazy.

    As Pam addresses him, he scowls at her. “I am not a joke. ..and you can tell your friend I have no intention of seeing her for any bonding. All of you can keep the fuck out of my life.” The bravado he shows falters quickly as he thinks on the fact that the ‘blogger’ was talking about taking his life. ...and what about Sandy? Since when was she one of ‘them’? He was so screwed. He looks back at the diner and realizes Angela is still standing inside, looking out at everything that just went on. “Oh...fuck,” he says under his breath and looks at Pam, waiting for the next punchline. Then he heads for the diner again. He can see Sandy inside...it was time to eat crow.

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