Sunday, February 23, 2014

Chapter Thirteen: Well, What Can You Say?

Israel Elysium

  It is a long time before I can force my body to do anything else. The adrenaline is pulsing through me, and my fingers keep twitching of their own accord, my fingers and toes. I can't seem to get enough oxygen either. I just lay there gasping for breath next to Siegfried.

  I need to get up, to do something about Siegfried's boss. I need to find Raven's phone and call... somebody. I need to find out why these people want to know about Timothy. I need... Too many things to be done. Too many things just make me want to continue laying there and do nothing instead. Oh, but the pain. My left eye is swelling up. I'm pretty sure I can feel the bruises on my face and neck and skull every time my heart beats. I still don't get up, though. I want to  let the world keep ticking while I just try keep myself from falling apart.

  Siegfried's boss moans. He's waking up. Obviously, he can't have the courtesy to remain unconscious long enough for me to take a nap.

  I groan regretfully and get one elbow underneath me, then one knee, and the other, and the palm of my left hand, Siegfried's blood still in the process of caking onto it. On all fours I crawl to the overturned chair, leaving bloody palm prints on the tile of whatever room this is. The chair is support enough to get me to my feet, but once I'm up there, I sway, suddenly horrifically dizzy, my vision going black for a split second. Before I collapse again, I latch onto the nearest wall, having fought too hard to gain my feet to let dizziness beat me, and just stand there, waiting for it to pass, praying Beak Nose won't gain enough consciousness to realize he is far closer to the cattle prod than I.

  When the spinning of my head becomes bearable, I stand before Jean Reno's doppelganger, otherwise known as Beak nose. His eyes are fluttering, not quite awake, but trying to be. Well, obviously, I have to put him out again, and yes, I do experience a moment of satisfaction when I feel his head crack against my boot.

  That is definitely going to leave a mark.

  I crouch, "You didn't see my -painful- but triumphant comeback... coming, did you?" I flick his nose. "Next time, don't bother and take up knitting instead. You'd probably be better at it."

  I search his pockets but don't come up with much. Money. Knife. Phone. Money. "Speaking of phones," I ask his inconscient form, "what did you do with my stuff?" There isn't much in the room, other than another chair and a metal table with- ah. I find Raven's phone amongst my belongings lined up there. I feel my privacy has been invaded, my wallet's contents strewn about, my flask unscrewed. I frown, pick it up, shake it, upend it, and cry in outrage when nothing but a drop of my best whiskey drips onto the table before me. With a backwards animal growl at my captor, I punch in Kal's phone number and wait.

Kallista Pendragon
  "Don't worry," I tell Raven. "He's done this before. Hellboy will show up soon."
My phone rings, playing a catchy Medieval Babes song. "See?" I show Raven the caller ID and answer, "Da."

"Kal, he drank my best whiskey," Hellboy's voice comes out the speaker quietly, controlled, absolutely the worst Hellboy mood out there.

"Um, who drank your whiskey?" I ask gently as Jericho smashes his fist into Curtis's face, elicting a loud swear.

"Dude, Jericho," I murmur. "You really shouldn't have done that."

"Thank you!" Curtis shouts. I give him a pointed look and finish what I was going to say,"You're going to ruin your knuckles, and I bet there aren't even any Band Aids in this house." Jericho shrugs.

"Worth it."

"Jericho just punched... le'm'me guess, Curtis." Hellboy more states then questions.

"Mm," I mumble, "where are you by the way? Things are getting interesting here."

"Things are getting interesting there. Visit his neighbor. Also, bring alcohol. Strong. Alcohol."

"I assume you don't mean the rubbing kind?"

"Bring that too. Also, I might faint soon. So if you could hurry-" A painful sound, loud and hard sounds from the phone, and I grimace.

"I think Hellboy's in trouble next door."

Jericho lifts an eyebrow, "Well I'll stay here and keep our friend Curtis and his... butlers company while the two of you go check it out."

"Sounds good," Rae says and flits from the room like the ninja she is.


Nights Raven

  After unsuccessfully visiting the wrong neighbor's house and politely asked to leave the property [while the proprietor held a gun to our heads after we barged in on her baby], we stood before the other next door neighbor, hoping this was the one to which Israel had referred.

  "You knock." Kallista murmured.

"I knocked last time. It's your turn."

"... We could just break a window...."

"I don't think that would end well... Especially if there's another angry mother inside. I don't think we would leave with our brains this time."

"True...," She sighs dramatically, falls to her knees, crawls up the steps, and gently raps her head once on the door.

"Um, Kal, I think you might need to knock a little harder... maybe with your hand?" She gives me a look but does so, still on hands and knees. Nobody answers.

"Um..., maybe we should try the one across-" the door swings open revealing a large German man. How I knew he is German, I'm not entirely sure... Something about him just seems evil.

  He looks down at Kallista. She, sounding strangely like Martha May Whovier showing off her Christmas light decorating machine, says "hiiiiiii," while waving one hand at the rather large man. She stands up, thrusting out her hand to shake "I'm Kallista! Goodnight now!" She deftly avoids his outstretched palm and throws a blast of air at him instead, blowing  him off his feet with a cry. He doesn't go far, as heavy as he is, but before he can get up, Kal hops over him and uses the wind to lift his head from the ground before whipping it back down again, twice, three times.

  He's now unconscious, and I give Kal an admiring look.


Israel Elysium

  My head comes back to me first, not a smell or sound or sight, but a throbbing, a real throbbing. I don't know if I moan or something, but I hear an alerting sound, like someone shouting to someone else. When I manage to get my eyelids up a little bit, my vision is too foggy to be of any real use. All I can see are vague roundish shapes hovering above me, one dark, one light.

"Hellboy!" I jump, which only worsens the pounding behind my eyes, but the shout did it's job. I'm sitting up, rubbing my poor head. I can't seem to focus on anything though, other than my hands on my knees, a dark burgundy smeared all over them, gritting between my fingers where it isn't completely dry, my fingernails, short, chipped, dirty.

  A cool cloth touches my scalp, and I hear someone talking, "Finally! I've been trying to wake you up for ten minutes, and I couldn't get to this blood on your head unless I rolled you over, which I figured you wouldn't like, so I've been prodding you and I even drizzled water on your face, but nothing would wake you, and Raven was off searching the house, but she had some stuff that is sure to help- can you believe that girl? on vacation and yet always prepare- so I got  this stuff, and I brought some stuff from Curtis's too- well not Curtis's because he seems to have stolen the real Curtis's, but anyway- where Jericho was doing a great job of..." the chattering goes on, but it is too quick for me to understand. I sigh and hear a vague swear in a another language as I fall backward, losing consciousness once more.


Nights Raven

  "But they're mortals?" Kallista repeats her question.

"Yeah, I can't find any evidence to the contrary, not there's much here besides newspapers and painful looking weapons, but I think they're part of some gang or something, maybe a cult? I found a few 'documents,' I suppose they would be called, although they kind of poetic... Possibly too outrageous to be real. Maybe someone was an aspiring writer or something." I set them on the table, and we read them together:

Day 82
In the darkness of the deep night with the moon hanging high above me, I followed him. Through the alleys and the pathways and the dripping canals, I found something. Something? Exactly what I have been looking for. He doesn't know yet, doesn't know, even though he has powers. I followed him to his house, tall and white and majestic. I've tried to get in, but there is always a straight-backed butler watching. If I cut his throat, spill his blood, there will be evidence. I need to search his house, but dare I disturb it? He is a god, and I? Nothing but a servant.

Day 97
He has disappeared and someone new has taken his place. I can only wonder why... This new god did something to the butler. I heard his screams, even from out here, but then they stopped, and the butler did as he has always done, except for this new, more interesting master.
  My followers are nothing but detritus in the wind, and yet they are all I have. Will I attack this god?
  No, I shall wait.

Day 103
Someone arrived at his house today. Four people in actuality, two men, two young girls. Why are they here? Why are they disturbing the god? They left before long, but I wonder whether they will come back. If that happens, I must find out why they came, must find out.
Mr. Raines suggested I find him. Find him I have, but what should I do now...? I must ask Mr. Raines. I must know what he suggests. But... first... I will question one of them. I will catch him unawares, easily, and he will fall to my wrath.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Chapter Twelve: Memory Loss and Pain

Author's Note
  Ok, guys, I actually finished it for you. xD Now, y'all probably don't remember what happened last, so here's a quick run through. Timothy? The evil guy at that house that wants them to track down that thing that lets a person see a person's memories? Yeah, him. The gang figured out that he's not actually thee Timothy Curtis, that the real Timothy had been out of town but was getting back that day.
  Thanks to a nifty Jericho, there was a bug planted in "Timothy's" office [Fake Timothy is generally referred to by his last name, Curtis.] The gang split up to different hiding spots by the house: Jericho and Kal, and Nights and Israel. The real Timothy came home. Jericho listened in: Real Timothy shouting at fake Timothy fake Timothy being all-knowing and just plain annoying, fake Timothy indicating that he knew there was a bug, Kal sending the signal for Nights and Israel and running towards the house, fake Timothy doing something to real Timothy to cause him to scream very loudly, Jericho also running towards the house.
  There ya go. Now enjoy.
P.S. Don't forget about Harris- The Butler, who worked for the real Timothy, but has forgotten him and thinks fake Timothy is real.

Nights Raven

  I burst through the front door, shoving Harris out of the way and catapulting into the study. Curtis is sitting in his usual spot, back the to the windows, facing the door, and the real Timothy is sitting in the chair across from him, a blank expression on his face. I heard the screams... He was screaming right before I burst through that door. Why isn't he screaming?

"What's going on here?" I demand.

"Why, Miss Raven, what ever do you mean?" The corner of his mouth curls into a smile that almost looks like a grimace.

I want to flick a bit of wind to knock off his toupe. I really do. But besides his being the definition of "snide," I don't really have a legitimate reason for doing so. Well, besides it being hilarious... Instead I walk up to the funny little man whose identity was stolen, Timothy. His eyes are... hollow, as if he has just woken up in the middle of the night and doesn't remember where he is.

"Timothy?" I murmur soothingly. "Are you alright?"

"I'm-" he looks at me, "well, I am fine, but my name is not Timothy, madam. You have me confused somehow with this gentleman." He indicates Curtis.

"Madame? You can call me Nights. What... just happened? Do you remember?"

"Of course. I was just asking Mr. Curtis if he would like me to take the dry cleaning today." He looks at me quizzically.

I glare at the fake Mr. Curtis. "What did you do to him?" I ask it like a mother wondering why her little girl is crying and her little boy is laughing hysterically.

"Oh, but nothing!" He grins, "ask him yourself."

"What is your name... if not Timothy?" I ask the little man.

"My name is Harris, madam. I am a butler here. There is a room in the basement in which I sleep. Why do you care to know?" He looks as if he's trying to keep his irritation off his face and not quite succeeding.

"What? You're not... Did you just say you were Harris? No, you're n-... oh, good grief." I sigh and go back to glaring at Curtis. "Will you please hand over whatever magical device you just used to replace his memory? Seriously, how do you people come up with these things?" I throw my hands in the air, aghast.

  Just then, Kallista bursts through the door much the same way I did.

"Hey!... What's going on? This is much less interesting than Jericho led me to believe." She blinks at us, me standing, the other two sitting, none of us doing anything in particular.

  Jericho is ten seconds behind her, and I experience a moment of deja vu as he demands why the poor fellow isn't screaming anymore, although he does it with more threats.

"Jericho." I interrupt before the same conversation ensues, "he thinks he's Harris... the Butler. Obviously Mr. Smarty-pants here-" I give Curtis a look- "has a... thing. Device. What-have-you. What do you think it is? I'm going to go with the so called paperweight. I mean look at it... It's staring right at me. That thing is creepy, man." The referred to paperweight is a sphinx with silver eyes.

Timothy smiles. Again.

I never understood why villains liked smiling evilly so much. I mean, really?

"The sphinx? No, my dear, the sphinx is merely a bauble Timothy- er, that is, the real Timothy-" he pauses here to chuckle- "picked up in Egypt one day when he was smuggling artifacts into the country."

I raise my finger, "I met you yesterday. Why is it that people I don't know are always calling me 'dear,' or 'honey.' I bet you don't have a clue how annoying that is, do you, sweetheart?" Timothy looks at me like he just ate a sour candy. I wait a few more seconds to let him experience that before I continue, "Secondly, thank you! I have been trying to remember that word- artifact- for the last five minutes. Thirdly, 'smuggling, merchandise, and artifacts' sounds very magic-prone to me. Lastly, where on earth is Hellboy?"


Israel Elysium

  "I would love to help you- I really would- but I'm tied up at the moment." I chuckle at my own wit before the big scarred man in front of me curls his massive fist and slams it right in my nose.
I am
Is this a disco?
'Cause this could really be a disco.
Damn, not a disco.

"You vill tell us vhy zee man next door vanzs you and your lizzle band of friends... or Ziegfried vill ruin your handsome face for good."

  I felt a warm flow coming from my nose and spit out blood. My wrists chafed against the rough rope binding them behind the chair to which I was tied. I smiled at the little man in shadows of the room, and said, "You really think I'm handsome?"

  Unoriginally, that earned my poor jaw another slug. Dark spots pattered the edges of my vision. I blinked, trying to clear them, wondering how a bulk like Siegfried had sneaked up on me.

  I am next door to Timothy's. At- what- a gangster's house? Who else would talk with a German accent? I am beginning to wonder if any tree-shadowed, flower-beded, picket-fenced house doesn't have criminals in it... How well do I really know my neighbors anyway? Are they mafia? Or monsters? Or man-killers? Are the Petersons actually a nice family who hang up the laundry and play puzzles during family time and sell cars? Damn! They sell cars! Of course they're evil!

"Anzer me!" I am brought back to the present predicament.

"Why do you want to know anyway?" I murmur,  "I'm curious; I really am." My head rollicks back with, I am sure, an imprint of Siegfried's fist on it. Ouch. I can't take much more of this before I black out. My eyes water. I squint up at Siegfried, trying to see him as one silhouette instead of two.

"Zat is none of your business."

Well, this obviously isn't getting anywhere. I close my eyes and see my potential futures.
I sigh. This is going to hurt.

"Ok. Fine. Timothy is... " I glance up at the man in the shadows. "Timothy is trying to hire us to find a..."

"Find a vhat?" The man leans forward so I can just barely make out his beak nose.

I grimace, "A pegasus! There, I said it! Now let me go!" Siegfried growls, raises his fist, but the beak-nosed man says, "Stop! Zis man obviously needs more encouragement zhen your fist, Ziegfried."
He stands. Unimpressively short, he waddles behind my chair where I can't see him and comes back with something long and metal. I believe it's called cattle prod.

  The beak-nosed man stands in front of me now. He strangely looks a bit like Jean Reno... "Zis is your last chance. Do you like pain? You certainly seem to."

"Yessir. Very much. May I have some more, please." He scowls, stepping forward, right into reach, but before I can do anything, he thrusts the cattle prod at my neck. My vision goes white. I convulse in my chair, screaming, and I can't

It stops, and I'm gasping for air. I'm shaking. I'm gasping, and I cannot stop the cry of vengeance as I kick up blindly, abruptly changing Beak Nose's mild chuckles into groans as my boot connects. My chair falls over in the process, and I land on the arm of the cattle prod. Siegfried shouts something I can't understand as I use my hip and elbow to grasp the weapon and turn it upwards, right into the thigh of Siegfried. He howls, falling backwards, stunned. Beak nose is standing over me now, huffing. He grabs my head, slams it on the tile beneath me. I fade out of consciousness for a second, long enough for the cattle prod to be ripped from my poor grasp. Beak Nose hasn't learned his lesson, though, and my legs, never tied to begin with, kick out, knocking him to the ground,  his head hitting first, rendering him unconscious.

  Now it's just Siegfried and I.

  He wants revenge the proper way, kill me with a weapon in my hand. He grunts, angry, stands, pulls out a knife, and cuts through the rope binding my wrists. I take a second, laying there on the floor, to suck in a breath, try to clear my dancing head. I climb slowly to my feet, shaky and take the proffered knife, my body still twitching, my eyes still watering, blood dried to my face.

  Everything slows down.

  This is the tricky part.

  Circle slowly.

  Watch the red glint in his eye.

  See it when he loses his patience.

  He goes left, thrusting upward.

  I scurry back a step, another step, another, and skip around a wide stroke to keep from getting stuck in a corner.

  I move right, slash his arm, and lean back, just missing a cut that would have sliced my neck nearly in two.

  He growls, comes at me with fury in his face.

  This is it.

  Dodge left.


  Duck, feint right; he takes the bait, and I...

  Toss the knife into my left hand. I

  Stumble backwards, and

  Thrust my knife up into his chest, hard

Straight through his heart.

  He gurgles, blood splashing over my hand, leaking from his lips. He collapses, taking me down with him. I hit the ground with a moan, Siegfried half covering me. I shove at his bulk, push, and squirm, just manage to slither out from beneath him, and then lay there. Lay there next to his dead body.
Just lay there.