1233 N Washington St.
New Hebron, California
It was dark. He was looking at his hands. Man hands. Unlined, un-aged. The hands of someone in his prime. They looked wrong. He hadn’t looked into those hands for many years.
He heard a voice, laughter, disjointed, uneven. Cold shivers down his spine.
He looked around. Nothing. Only blackness.
He called out. More laughter. He sensed a presence. Darker than the darkness, emptier than the emptiness. It called to him. It wanted everything and nothing. Though indistinct, he understood. He screamed out. His voice echoed into the nothing.
A figure stepped out from thin air. A man, unassuming. Middle-eastern. Perhaps.
He smiled slipped his hands into his suit pockets and Sapphira took a step back. The man was darkness personified. Everett shivered and met his gaze. He blinked and when his eyes snapped back open, the man’s face was within inches of his own. He tried to flee, but the darkness had frozen his feet in place.
The man smiled.
Once jumbled and muddled, the world snapped into focus and Sapphira bit his lip, shaking with terror certain he was looking into the face of the devil himself. The stranger turned away, walking in a straight line away from the other.
His clothing hung over him, never touching his skin, and he was attired in a cloud. One that was blacker than the night. It was the darkness, Sapphira realized with a start, he was wearing it, as another man would wear an article of clothing. He didn’t know what it meant, but whoever or whatever the man was, Sapphira had no doubts, that he was dangerous.
“Everett Howard,” the man spun back around on the balls of his too-dark shoes and met Sapphira’s gaze. “My, my, my what a number Ashtar has done on you.”
Sapphira glanced down at those hands, they were the ones with which he’d grown accustomed. Thin, long delicate, and dark. He slid them up to his breasts and scowled back at the dark stranger. “This isn’t me.”
“Sapphira Olivia Scott, this is the name you’re using now, isn’t it? You certainly look the part.”
He stared at the stranger, feet still to the ground his stomach sinking. This man, there was something familiar about him, something…
It came to him all at once, and it was so very obvious he was ashamed he hadn’t realized it until that moment. His stomach fluttered, and he could feel his insides twisting and turning.
“Chemosh,” he whispered the name, but in this place it resounded through the emptiness as if he had yelled it at the top of his lungs.
The man smiled, slipped both hands into his suit pockets and let out a low throaty chuckle. “Very good, Liv.”
“What do you want?” Sapphira asked both hands clenched at his sides, grunting and heaving as he fought against whatever force was holding his legs in place.
Chemosh, drew close, so close that his lips were almost touching Sapphira’s and ran the back of his index finger down Sapphira’s cheek. “You should be asking yourself, ‘What do I want?’ Your life, as you know it, has ended. AEGIS has given you a new one and a new identity to go with it, but at what price? They dictate who and what you are to become. I know them, I understand how they operate. All they need is to dangle the right strings in front of your face and…” He paused his hand sliding over Sapphira’s lips. “They’ve got another puppet. I’ve come to give you an alternative.”
“And that is?” Sapphira’s voice cracked, he trembled and stood there shaking his head.
“Choice. All I ask, is that you stand back. When this is all over, I can help you find a form more fitting to your tastes or–” He leaned him locking his lips around Sapphira’s.
He wanted to fight, to throw his hands up and push him away, but even his arms, it seemed, had failed him. Chemosh broke away, but kept close. Breathing into the other’s face and smiling as he spoke. “I can give you everything you ever dreamed of, revenge to those who have wronged you, and I will even help you cleanse this world of those who you deem unfit. Help me regain physical form, and we could be as brothers or, you it suits you better, become my queen. You decide.”
Sapphira swallowed, his daughter’s final screams echoing in his mind. He gritted his teeth, tears streaming down his face as his mind raced. A very big part of him wanted to take Chemosh up on his offer. He had no doubts, of the terrible things of which this being was capable, but did he have what it took to join in? He would be no one’s queen, least of all this creature, but if he had been dreaming of revenge for decades. Could he let the opportunity pass him by?
He thought of his granddaughter, so full of potential a whole life ahead of her, and Agent Van den Broeke, so tough and yet so vulnerable at the same time. He didn’t like the thought of either woman coming to harm. If he accepted Chemosh’s offer what would become of them?
Chemosh’s form bent and contorted, his body shifting and changing, becoming more curvaceous and less masculine. The woman that took his place had Agent van den Broeke’s face, but with a body on par with the likes of Marilyn Monroe or Elizabeth Taylor. She was breathtaking “Then again, perhaps you’d prefer it the other way around. I have been so long without a form of my own, I’m not too picky what I look like. I find the sensual pleasures of the fairer sex to be far more preferable. Perhaps, a female form would be more desirable.”
She smiled, and backed away, her hips swaying. She turned back after about a dozen steps a wry smile touching the corner of her lips. There was something so alien about that expression as if it didn’t belong on the agent’s face. This incarnation of Amelia, or rather Chemosh, oozed sex and femininity. Sapphira licked his lips, he wanted her more than life itself, and yet somehow he kept himself from acting on those impulses.
“I’ll leave you to your silly little rescue attempt. We can talk later.” Chemosh faded into the darkness and Sapphira soon followed.