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Psyren’s Redemption | Ch 2 Pt 1

06/08/2017


Official Report
County General Hospital
New Hebron, California

The scent of Antiseptics wafted through the air, which no doubt masked the smells of death and disease that would have otherwise permeated the air. Amelia folded her arms and let out a long breath of air as she shifted position in the chair. A part of her, an almost forgotten remnant from the distant past, experienced a tinge of fear she might catch some imagined illness, but she shook her head and forced the thought away. That had been her mother’s weakness not her own.

She thrummed her fingers against the chair’s arm and sighed listening to the sounds of nurses, doctor’s and orderlies rushed through the hallway. She leaned her head back against the wall and closed her eyes and slid them open again when a voice speak her name.

“M-miss Van den Broeke?”

The nurse tugged at the ends of her scrub top, a flowered affair that to Amelia looked like something regurgitated by a houseplant, and eyed the Agent with a scowl she hadn’t quite masked. Amelia shook her head and grimaced at the nurse. She was used to those sorts of looks. It might have been because Amy worked for AEGIS or it might have something to do with information, she had no doubt, spied in her charts. While AEGIS wasn’t the most beloved of government agencies, something told the agent it was the latter rather than the former.

“Yes?” Amelia met the nurse’s gaze daring the other woman to say something. If she picked up on her unspoken challenge, she gave no sign.

“The doctor is just finishing up with another patient. He should be in to discuss the results of your MRI in a few moments. You can get dressed now.”

Amelia’s face stretched into an approximation of a smile and mumbled a thanks. In response, the nurses lips curled into a sneer and she looked Amelia up and down before swinging the door open hard enough for it to make a loud thud as the knob impacted the wall, and disappeared into the hallway without even bothering to wait for the door to latch as it swung closed again.

“Well, that was pleasant,” Amelia sighed and walked across the room to close the door, but when her hand touched the hardwood, she stopped straining her ears.

A long mournful wail permeated the corridor. She shivered and listened for it again. It had sounded so inhuman, so full of rage and pain she wondered what sort of creature might have made it.

“GALLU.”

What had been the source of those high-pitched squeals? The first and second had been so faint she almost convinced herself she’d imagined them. When a third and louder wail pierced the air, she identified it as a scream, Amelia knew it hadn’t been her imagination.

“God, is this night every going to end?” She asked the open air while letting out a single frustrated sigh.

She left the door open and scrambled across the room, snatching her gun from her bag of belongings before dashing into the chaos of the corridor without.

Psyren’s Redemption | Ch 2 Pt 2

06/13/2017


Official Report
County General Hospital
New Hebron, California

Everett heard a voice, it was deep, reverberating through his skull which throbbed as the speaker pronounced each new syllable. He couldn’t quite make out the words, but as he grew more aware of the world around him, the man’s voice became much clearer.

“–ime of night it is, Agent Hansen. Dr. Hassebroek,” expertise is needed. I don’t care how much he whines about it. Get him to County General and do it ASAP.”

The old man’s eyes snapped open, but he only saw a blur. Everett suffered from failing eyesight, so it came as a surprise that when his vision adjusted to the dim light of the room, he saw with such crystal clarity. He blinked, and rubbed his eyes, as the fog lifted from his mind.

“Mr. Howard?” the owner of the voice, who had woken him from his slumber, stepped into sight and Everett grimaced, taking in his tailored suit and ebony skin.

“Yeah, who the hell are you?” Everett groaned letting his head fall back into his pillow and as he messaged the crest of his nose.

“Special Agent in Charge Phillip Matthews with AEGIS. Do you know where you are, Mr. Howard?”

Everett let his eyes dart around the room before returning his attention to the much younger man. “Looks like the damn hospital.”

“Earlier this evening there was an attack on the city, by an individual or individuals with what can only be described as extraordinary abilities. We found you unconscious on site. Can you tell me anything about what happened?”

Everett shook his head and glanced at Matthews. “Can I see a badge?”

Matthews nodded, reaching into his suit jacket and produced it as requested, then flipped it shut and slipped it back into his breast pocket. “Now, Mr. Howard if you would help me understand what had happened it would be of great assistance to our investigation.”

Everett sat up, surprised at how limber he felt. He flexed his hand, which was always throbbing with pain and frozen up because of arthritis and shook his head staring up at the other man with a scowl on his face as Matthews reached out to help steady him.

“Don’t touch me! You—” Everett stopped mid-sentence, stopping himself before a slur escaped his lips. He gritted his teeth before shaking his head and sliding away from Matthews as far as the tube in his arm would allow.

“You want to know what happened?” He sighed cupping his face in his hand and messaged his forehead. He looked up at the other man and shook his head. “I’m not sure you would believe me if I told you. We all know about exemplar freaks and the things they can do, but this… it was something different, something else. There was a man, he hovered around in the air. He said his name was Kamash, I think.”

“Chemosh… we’ve had run-ins with that individual before.” Matthews stopped, staring at the wall and with slow careful movements slipped a hand inside his suit jacket.

“Mr. Harris, I need you to get down.”

He spoke in a soft tone that was only distinguishable from his previous timbre save it had the barest hint of steel, but it wasn’t until Matthews produced a pistol that Everett complied, dropping flat into the bed quicker than the Agent could blink. When the other man fired his weapon, and he heard a high-pitched shriek, a shiver trickled down his spine.

He turned his head to watch as something the size of a cocker spaniel slid down the wall, staining it with a trail of putrid green fluid which must have been blood. Everett didn’t get a look at the creature, other than a flash of fangs and a pair of pale yellow orbs that might have been eyes, but he was sure it wasn’t a damn dog. Another creature slunk through the wall leaving nothing but a dark orange stain on its unmarred surface as it appeared inside the room.

“GALLU!” It screamed, turning toward both men, its jaw hanging open revealing three rows of razor-sharp teeth. It stood hunched over on two legs, vaguely man-shaped, but not human. Matthews opened fire again, peppering the beast with bullets, but it slunk forward and the projectiles passed right through it blowing tiny holes in the floor.

“GALLU!” It repeated its horrendous screech and leapt atop the bed, leaving a trail of orange slime in its wake.

Everett rolled from the bed, taking the creature down with him and tearing the IV needle free from his arm. He howled in pain and clutched at his appendage. He scrambled to his feet, marveling at how spry he felt even as he dodged about. He avoided the creatures lunges with an ease he couldn’t even have achieved in his prime.

He leapt and jumped, ran and dodged, but each time the creature kept until it had him cornered. Matthews opened fire again, but the beast shifted to the side letting the bullets pass through it and into the floor again.

Pain radiated across Everett’s body and he fell to his knees, his insides shifted and turn as the creature came soaring through the air toward him. He held his hands up to block it, even as ribbons of pain shot from head to foot and his eyes widened in disbelief when the creature froze in the middle of the air.

Sweat cascaded down his body in beads and all he watched in horror as the little monster scratched, bit, and clawed at the empty air between them. A convulsion wracked Everett’s body, and he clutched one hand over his stomach as the fat there twisted and turned under his skin. The creature let out another screech and Everett threw his hand out sending the thing soaring across the room.

Matthews raised his weapon to open fire, but someone beat him to the chase. The creature let out one last misery-filled screech and collapsed dead its blood splattering against the floor and nearest wall. A woman wearing a hospital gown, came tearing into the room a handgun clutched in her hands.

Everett let out a sigh of relief, but soon realized that it was premature as a high-pitched wail sounded from the hallway and he doubled over in pain feeling his insides burn as the creatures’ onslaught continued.

Psyren’s Redemption | Ch 2 Pt 3

06/20/2017


Official Report
County General Hospital
New Hebron, California

“Sir, I don’t know what the hell those things are, but they’re all over the hospital,” she said looking around the room with wide eyes. “I killed three on my way here.”

“That makes five.” Matthews nodded, unfazed by the entire thing. He eyed, the woman and glanced back toward the door, as a slender hand reached up to adjust his tie. “Agent Van den Broeke, given your current… attire, I believe it best if you remain out of sight. You stay and keep any eye on Mr. Howard and I will get a handle on the situation outside the room.”

“Yes, sir.” She replied, wiping sweat from her forehead as her superior moved through the room toward the exit.

“And agent.” He paused at the door, tugging at ends of his suit coat sleeve. “Fair warning, our friend here has exhibited telekinetic abilities.”

“Understood.”

Matthews departed the room and Amelia, closed the door behind him. “My name’s Amelia van den Broeke, with A—”

“AEGIS, I know.” Everett cut her short his hand trembling as he stared at her with wide eyes. “I’m Everett How—”

“Howard, I know,” she smiled casting a furtive glance at the door before glancing back at him. “I was there at the crime scene where you were found unconscious.”

Everett doubled over, letting out an ear-splitting scream as another creature appeared, this time oozing through the window before lurching toward Amelia. Forced to defend herself against the minuscule threat, Amelia could do nothing to help the old man whose cries of pain grew louder with each passing moment.

Everett knew of the threat from the beast, but with each subsequent burst of pain, his awareness to anything but the changes to his body were so diminished as to be almost non-existent. He heard sounds, grunts from the agent, growls from the creature, and the sound of gunfire, but he wasn’t even capable of understanding what those noises meant. The only threat his mind registered was the one that was quite literally consuming his body.

While, the pain radiated across his entire body, the transformation didn’t happen in one place at once, focusing in one area before shifting to the next. It started in his stomach, fat rolled up his chest and down his side, in globs no large than plums, but in many sizes, collecting around his hips and chest. Bones, popped and cracked shifting in size and position, first in his back, forming a curvature that was decidedly feminine, his hips, pelvis and thorax all shifted at once, generating another burst of pain so much stronger than the previous ones that Everett almost lost consciousness, but as black creeped along the edges of his vision he gritted his teeth and hung on for dear life.

The darkness receded, but he remained conscious. It would have been a greater mercy had he fainted. His legs changed next, starting with his knees which popped out of joint as they shrunk and only reconnected once the surrounding bones and muscles had shrunk to fit his new joints. Next the changes shifted up, moving up his rib cage, his shoulders, arms and hands until it reached his head. As his face contorted he screamed, but gasped for air when his throat shut off. When it opened again, he screamed, but this time it came out as a high-pitched wail which was unmistakably female.

Had Everett been functioning on more than a primal level, he would have put together the clues long before that moment, but it was only then that the more rational part of his mind kicked back in and he recognized what was happening to him. Unfortunately, a rational understanding was not enough to help him stop or even accept the transformation.

As his face continued to shift and change, he brought his hands up to touch it. His wrinkles and sagging skin remained the same, instead it was the structure of his face that was being metamorphosed. Starting with his square chin and jaw, both of which softened, then moving on to his nose which had been broken more than once in his seventy-two years. There was a loud crunching sound before it inward about the same time there was a burning sensation in his eyes and was forced to close them.

The pain sub-sided to a large extent, and Everett’s awareness of the surrounding room returned with a suddenness that left him breathless. Agent Van den Broeke was fighting for her life, doing an admirable job combating three of the creatures at once. If the half a dozen or so corpses she’d left in her wake was any indication she’d had one hell of her fight on her hands while Everett had been in the throws of his transformation. He stood on his feet, more than a little aware of the changes that were still taking place within his body, but also aware that that danger presented by the creatures was too great to ignore.

When he tapped into his abilities, again, he had no idea what he was doing. Before, when he accessed them it was for the first time and he hadn’t even realized he had them. He didn’t take time to speculate on where the abilities had come from and the how or why they might be tied to his transformation, but instead threw his hands out and sent the remaining three creatures soaring away from the agent.

The creatures’ ability to phase through objects seemed to only work when they were moving. Using his own new ability Everett kept them in place allowing the agent to take them out with ease.

Amelia, was drenched in sweat and more than a little blood from the creatures, stopped dead in her tracks when she got her first good look at Everett. He was certain he was an odd site, given he was only part way into his transformation, but there was no judgement or revulsion in her gaze as he would have expected, just surprise.

Neither had time to speak before Everett doubled over as his crotch and stomach, flaring with renewed pain. ‘This is it,’ he thought at the exact moment something long, soft, and slender slid down his left pant leg followed by something more irregular shaped. Bile rose in the back of his throat and he kicked out sending both his penis and scrotum flying across the room and into the opposite wall.

He lost all control, losing the entire content of his stomach in a long stream of vomit. He staggered back, only able to keep his balance by leaning against the wall as more even vomit spewed from his mouth. This time it wasn’t the contents of his stomach, but something much stranger, yellow chunks of god knew what, blood and what must have been his own flesh. His body was discarding it had left over from the transformation process and it wasn’t a pretty sight.

“GALLU!”

A long drawn out shriek pierced the room and another creature wormed its way through the door and lurched toward Everett with reckless abandon. Agent Van den Broeke opened fire, but the creature kept moving, shifting between its solid and semi-solid form as a trail of bullets followed in its wake. Each one of them either missing it or passing through it. Everett threw his hand out to send the beast rocketing away, but nothing happened.

He threw his hand out again and again, but nothing came… and the creature came closer.

Psyren’s Redemption | Ch 2 Pt 4

06/27/2017


Official Report
County General Hospital
New Hebron, California

As the beast lurched closer Everett’s transformation entered its final stage, his skin marred by wrinkles and more than its fair share of sagging, tightened and in a moment decades of wear disappeared from his face and body. His skin became as soft and unblemished as that of a newborn.

The creature jumped forward letting out another shriek and this time neither the agent nor Everett could do anything to stop it. Everett dove out of the way before it reached him, but it’s slime dribbled on his chest. He landed atop his new breasts with a grunt before rolling onto his back to face the creature. It hadn’t wasted time dropping to the ground beside him and he was certain he was witnessing his last moment.

Time slowed to a crawl as an awareness expanded inside his mind. He could sense the creature and others like it, their minds were alien, so cold, so full of malice, but there was a surprising amount of intelligence which only sent cold shivers down his spine. They teetered upon the cusp of sapience, not quite able to think and reason on a human level, but close.

There was a unity to their thoughts that would have never been possible in humans. Each of them functioned as separate individuals, but there was no dissent among them. It was almost as if dozens of humans, all with the same passions, the same goals had their minds fused to each other, but could still operate independent of each other. There was a malignancy to these creatures, a cancerous hatred that would have consumed a human, but was for these creatures a simple matter of who and what they were.

The creature nearest to him pounced ready to make its killing thrust, but Everett reached out to the group consciousness and focused hard. The result was unlike anything he could have predicted, the creature stopped in the mid-air and let out a high-pitched scream so intense, so powerful that even covering his ears did little to block it out.

He strained his senses, tightening his focus on the creatures as the one nearest to him writhed and shrieked against his continued onslaught. He kept at it, not letting its continued cries weaken his resolve, until there was a release of pressure, resulting in not only a break in the link between Everett and the beings who were attacking the hospital, but a literal explosion of blood and gore from the one who had been about to attack him.

“I-I think it’s over.”

Everett shook his head as he looked down at his hands with wide eyes. One last change had taken place while the creatures had occupied him, his pale and pasty skin had taken on a much darker hue. He stared at his long and slender hands flexing them over and over turning them this way and a sinking feeling in the pit of his stomach.

“What the hell is this?” He asked look across the room at the agent. “What did you people do to me?”

Van den Broeke shook her head staring back at the new woman with wide eyes. “It wasn’t us. I think you’re innate exemplar abilities have awakened. I’ve never heard of it happening with someone…”

She trailed off shaking her head before locking gazes with Everett, again. “So old, but it’s the only thing that makes sense.”

Everett reached up to cup his breasts, filling his cheeks burn. “You mean, I’m stuck like this. I look like some ghetto hooker.”

Van den Broeke blinked, looking like she’d just been slapped in the face. “Ghetto hooker?”

She clasped her hand around the door and swung it open with a lot more force than was necessary.

“Agent?” Matthews, who was standing on the other side of the doorway when Amelia opened it, stepped through glancing across the room at the transformed Everett before returning his attention to his underling. “The threat seems to have passed. All the creatures appear to have erupted. Can’t say what caused it, but from the looks of it the same thing happened here.”

He glanced at Everett again, pursed his lips. “Something tells me your experience was more… Interesting than mine.”

Amelia nodded following Matthews gaze and lowered her weapon. “Sir, that’s Mr. Howard.”

“Yes, I surmised as much since she is wearing the same gown as the old man, Agent. Something tells me there’s a lot more going on here than either of us have guessed. We’ve stumbled onto something big and it looks like… Ms. Howard may be the key.”

“Ms. Howard? I might look like some…” He paused between gritted teeth looking back and forth between the Agents and shook his head. “Some girl to you, but I’m sure as hell not. As it is, I don’t have any damn idea what the hell is happening!”

“Well then, Mr. Howard, we have best get to bottom of it. If this attack is any indicator, your life could very well depend on it.”

“Goddamnit.”

A single cold shiver trickled down Everett’s spine as he looked the man in the eyes. It hadn’t even occurred to him until just then, but there must have been a connection between the events earlier in the night and the attack on the hospital. If that were true there was only one thing, or person, both had in common. Everett.

Those creatures had been after him, and if they had come once they might come again. His new abilities were impressive, but he didn’t seem to have much control over them, if they attacked him again he wasn’t sure he could fend them off. For the time being at least he’d have to play ball with these damn AEGIS spooks. What other choice did he have?