Friday, July 6, 2012

The Pallbearer: Bad Blood Part 1


On the twentieth floor of the West Worthington Headquarters overseeing the Jeng District, a quiet man in his late sixties stood motionless. He was watching out the great window walls that made up his building. Down far below him, people scrambled around the feet of the great structure. They were his security forces and they were preparing themselves.

Neil Anderson had been found. Rather, Neil Anderson had found them.

His powered suit, a Brute model, was marching towards the front gate as the quiet man watched. Several Fafnir class helicopters had already been shot down by its mammoth rifle. The quiet man was uncomfortable.

He knew Neil Anderson. He knew him well. He was his grandfather. His blood grandfather, unrelated to the adopted parents Neil had been raised by here in Chrysalis.

The conference call between himself, the Mayor, and West Worthington’s Corporate Crisis Response Team had been brief. They had wanted to know how far Neil would push things. They wanted to know what sort of determination he had.

The quiet man hadn’t spoken through most of the fifteen minute long telephone call. He said all he needed to say within the last two minutes.

“He buried me alive when he was ten.”

That had ended the meeting. There were few things that could be said to alleviate fears after that. There were only instructions to neutralize Neil before he could do anymore damage. Remember The Black Dragon Express, they said. Remember Point Heston and the hydroponics plant, they said.

The quiet man had not been listening.

A Sleeper had entered his office and left after five minutes of instruction. He would be making his way down to the courtyard shortly, to counter the offensive. As the Sleeper left, a quiet man of a different sort came in. He too listened to his instructions and left. Where he would be was unknown, but he knew to kill Neil Anderson if the building was breached.

The quiet man touched the glass wall separating him from the air outside, separating him from the night. Behind him, his secretary was sprawled across his desk. Her heart had been removed and placed in the tumbler on the quiet man’s desk. Shortly thereafter, it had been salted, set on fire, and eaten by the quiet man.

As he watched out the window, he licked the blood from the bottom of the glass with a too-long tongue.

He had eaten his son’s heart. He had eaten his daughter-in-law’s heart. He had missed his grandson’s. That would be corrected today.

An explosion rocked the building as the front gate blew inward. His grandson had arrived. The great Brute fired round after round from its rifle through the Howler Tanks positioned in the courtyard and drove furrows through the ranks of guards.

Mammon would be meeting him shortly and the situation would be rectified.


The quiet man turned and smiled. His white teeth had no blood staining them. It had all made it down his throat.

“Already? I didn’t expect you to be here so soon. I’m impressed. You’ve gained some beautiful scars Neil.”

I shrugged off the janitor’s coveralls I wore and pulled a shotgun out of the maintenance cart I was pushing.

“I’ve been here for a couple days, watching for you.”

“So you picked the full moon to come visit me?”

I nodded.

“We have unfinished business. It’s only fitting it be tonight. You didn’t kill me.”

“And you didn’t kill me. Looking to remedy that?”

I nodded again.

“Well, I’m sorry to disappoint, but first you’ll have to play with some of my friends before you can play with me. Like Mammon. He’ll be paying your Brute a visit shortly.”

We are Legion.

The rat Sleeper from Point Heston.

I pumped my shotgun and squeezed the trigger. Thought I squeezed the trigger.

The gun was out of my hands and crashing into the side of my head. I headed towards the floor, caught my feet and wheeled around, trying to focus.

A gaunt, pale figure stood smirking next to my cart. He tossed the shotgun away. I couldn’t… I couldn’t tell… Was his hair red or blonde? Black or brunette? In his eyes, a starry rainbow shone.

“Who are you?”

“I am Blank. Jefferson Blank. Can you see me? Can you? We’ll fix that. No one can see me. Not if I don’t want them too.”

I gritted my teeth and stole a glance at my grandfather. He was eating his secretary’s eyes like maraschino cherries. He grinned at me and waved…

just like he had when I buried him the first time.

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