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Psyren’s Redemption | Ch 6 Pt 1

08/08/2017


Official Report
County General Hospital
New Hebron, California

Amy glanced down at her phone and frowned before slipping it back into her coat pocket. It was late, and she hadn’t gotten a single call despite her own repeated attempts to contact her lover.

Her partner must have been angrier than she’d expected, if Alex hadn’t even bothered to phone back. Amelia had called and left several messages, but so far, she’d heard nothing. The other might have been quick to anger, but was often just as quick to cool off. Given that she hadn’t heard back suggested that her lover, would not be so forgiving this time around.

Amelia’s job was dangerous and demanding, things that strained a relationship and her romance with Alex had been no exception. Casting such thought aside, she glanced at the mirror, ensuring that her makeup remained unmarred and left the exam room where Matthew was waiting.

“Is there a problem, agent?”

“It’s Alex again.”

Matthews nodded, adjusted his necktie. Her superior wasn’t one to meddle in the affairs of his subordinates, but if anyone understood the strains, the job put on relationships it was him. He’d gone through two divorces during his time with AEGIS and while he wasn’t one to broadcast his troubles at work. Amelia had been around long enough to witness the strain, the second breakup, had put on him.

“Right, well Dr. Hassebroek tells me there doesn’t seem to be any ill effects from your episode.”

“Yes, sir, I was relieved to learn that myself. If your concern has been assuaged, I’d be happy to make an attempt at a second viewing.”

Matthews pursed his lips and slipped his hands inside his pockets. “Come with me, agent.”

Her superior turned away, moving at a brisk pace that she found difficult to keep up with in her skirt and heels, but she managed.

“This empathic bond you seem to have developed with Howard is… Going to raise some eyebrows if what you’ve told me about him is correct.”

“What do you mean, sir?”

Matthews stopped dead in his tracks and turned to her. “The situation is not unprecedented. Agents have been compromised in similar ways. If Mr. Howard can influence you in any way that represents a very real problem for the agency. We can’t have an agent whose judgement may be influenced by a civilian least of all someone with Mr. Howard’s prejudices.”

“With all due respect sir. I think I would know if I’d been compromised.”

“Agent, even if you are correct. What you are experiencing now could be just the beginning. You could find yourself thinking his thoughts or acting on his angry impulses. The point is, we don’t know what effect it will have on you.”

“Which means my objectivity as an investigator could be compromised.”

“Worse, we’re not even sure the true extent of this empathic bond and if it will evolve into something more. The last time something like this happened, the agent in question went rogue killing almost twenty bystanders all because of a voice in her head that didn’t belong there.”

“Your talking about the incident in Denver, aren’t you?” Amy met her superior’s gaze her hands shaking just a little at the mirror thought something like that might happen to her.

Matthews nodded. “There is a lot about that incident that AEGIS still doesn’t understand, but it was a public relations nightmare for the agency. I’m not sure our superiors will risk a repeat.”

“So what does that mean for me? I’ve worked damn hard to get where I am, I’m not just going to bow out because some freak accent has got me saddled with this racist asshole.”

“I really can’t say agent. That sort of decision would be above my pay grade.”

Matthews moved forward again, without giving his subordinate any warning. Accustomed to thinking on her feet, Amelia sprung forward stepping into line beside him. “Sir, what’s going on?”

“You want to attempt a viewing, Van den Broeke, didn’t you?”

“What if I’m compromised, sir? Won’t that hurt the investigation?”

“Amelia, AEGIS has been chasing Chemosh’s trail for decades, if we can turn up one lead, not only will it help us bring the bastard to justice, but it might convince the people upstairs you’re still a valuable asset.”

Amy nodded and let Matthews lead her down into the bowels of the hospital. This confused her at first, but when they approached the morgue, it made just a little more sense. AEGIS had their own facilities, but it too was part of the medical labs. Matthews must have had the bodies from the attacks brought to the hospital for examination.

When, Matthew swung the door open, she stepped inside and moved toward the body resting atop an exam table in the middle of the room. Amy recognized the man as a lab technician named Henry. She swallowed hard as she reached out to touch his lab coat. She didn’t know what to expect this time around, but was just a little relieved when she felt that familiar tugging sensation and felt herself being pulled into a viewing. The surrounding room melted away and replaced by an all too familiar luminescence.

Psyren’s Redemption | Ch 6 Pt 2

08/15/2017


Official Report
County General Hospital
New Hebron, California

Images stuttered, blurred and quavered. The room seemed to shake as Amy felt a presence so brilliant, and so alien she almost lost her concentration. At the last moment she gritted her teeth and hang on. The vision solidified, and the amber-tinged hues and tones that resolved themselves before her entranced her.

Ashtar appeared, jumping out of from the glowing brilliant blue sphere and rounded on the duo of scientists screaming in a language was as strange as it was elegant. She cast her eyes back to the device and watched the massive blue orb, that had formed in the machine’s center, shrink into nothingness behind her.

Amelia watched her as she approached them with quick steps, and studied them, speaking in that strange language again. Frank and Henry glanced at one another, and it left Amy wondering what must have gone through their minds. The agent had known one of those men, he was brilliant, but didn’t have the training to deal with situations like the one she was witnessing. She was certain she could say the same for the second man.

“Henry.” Frank let out a warning cry that echoed through Van den Broeke’s mind like a whisper muttered in a dream.

Words were muffled within the visions, but names had a certain resonance that seemed to carry through. Perhaps it was the familiarity with which someone spoke them or perhaps it was something more. No one understood how Amelia’s abilities worked, and the agent was no exception. She had a clear idea of how or when they might work, but the why was another matter.

The woman slammed a hand out into his face and palmed it and her unusually long, and delicate fingers bore through his skin as as if it were butter. She closed her eyes and took a deep breath, and all Henry’s features softened as if all the pain, surprise and shock had faded away. Amelia sensed the woman opening herself up, something that sometimes happened around others with psychic powers, but what she read from her was difficult to decipher.

“Why?” Her words were angry, and they reverberated through the agent’s skull with crystal clarity. “Why did you remove the gate? It was safer left alone. Now he is coming and if I cannot stop him your world will burn!”

The pair glanced at each other again before turning to the woman with eyes wide. Their words were a jumble, a twisted knot of syllables she could not decipher through the fog of the vision.

Her response was as difficult to interpret, but she spoke some words, like ‘greed’ and ‘arrogance’ forcefully enough for them to cut through the incomprehensible gibberish. One word,, sent cold shivers down Amelia’s spine. Not just because of the word itself, but because of the wave grief, anger, and a sense of doom that came with it. When the name ‘Chemosh’ escaped the woman’s lips the agent knew she must have missed some important detail. It was frustrating, but it was an aspect of her ability she had no control over.

Whatever was being said, all the talking ceased when the pounding began. The sound grew louder and louder and all heads turned to the source. A massive armored door, that wouldn’t have looked out of place in an underground bunker, bulged inward. With each successive ‘thump’ the door caved in a little more until the frame shattered and it flew toward the woman and the two scientists. Henry and Frank chose that moment to flee, but the woman stood her ground and before the shattered door had hit, the floor she walked through it as if it was not there.

“Garos.” She watched the massive hulk tear through the wall and didn’t even bat an eyelash. The creature shuffled out from the widened opening revealing its charred black flesh and knotted mess of uneven muscles. It was so large it barely fit within the twelve foot tall room. It was the same creature she had witnessed, twice before, that great hulking many-eyed mass of muscles.

[Ashtar] A terrible disembodied voice howled inside the Agent’s mind. The creature’s mouth did not move as it spoke, but hung open from its head. It seemed to come from everywhere and nowhere at the same time and was so powerful that the images of the vision rippled and twisted about.

The woman spoke, but again the words were nothing more than gibberish to the Agent’s ears. She approached the being with no sign of fear or trepidation and something about the way she moved suggested a certain familiarity as if she knew the other being.

[I owe you no answers. Step aside, Ashtar.]

She clenched her hands at her sides then held them out. The great hulking mass stopped as if struggling against some invisible wall. It hunched down on its haunches pressing itself against the empty air, struggling and heaving against the unseen barrier. All its efforts proved fruitless.

A rail thin and petite little middle-aged woman stepped into the lab in the wake of Garos path wearing a stark white lab coat, that read “Aegis Research” above the breast pocket. She stopped craning her neck around and looked right at the agent before she scowled at her.

“You again? This is getting to be tiresome.”

 

Psyren’s Redemption | Ch 6 Pt 3

08/23/2017


Official Report
County General Hospital
New Hebron, California

Amelia gasped gripping the sides of her head as her regular senses took hold again after the vision had faded away.

“What can you tell me Agent Van den Broeck?”

She looked up at the Chief Special Agent, blinked the lingering haze from her eyes and shook her my head.

“I-I’m not sure. There was that creature. Had a lot of eyes. It bashed through the door a-and there was the woman. A technician. One of ours. She spoke sir.” Sometimes it was difficult to form full sentences after a vision, but this was worse than usual.

“Agent?” Matthews cocked an eyebrow and traced his hand over the bottom button on his suit jacket.

“It happened again, sir. Someone in the vision addressed me.”

“Are you sure?”

“I’m certain, sir.”

“I’m not sure it was a good idea letting you have another crack at this agent. This is obviously having a detrimental effect on you.”

She shook her head and glanced back down at Frank’s corpse. “We still don’t know enough. If I can go back in, I might better understand their motives.”

Matthews nodded. “Proceed Agent.”

Amelia leaned over and gripped the edges of Frank’s lab coat. The world shifted and contorted losing all of its resolution before new images filled her mind. Muddied and distorted, they soon stabilized becoming just as clear and brilliant as if Amelia had been there.

The agent craned her neck around looking for Ashtar, but she was nowhere in sight, until she turned around and found the other woman standing behind her.

“Welcome back, agent,” Ashtar whispered in the Amelia’s ear as she strode past.

Amelia gasped, the images twisting and turning as her stomach heaved. She collapsed to her knees, the edges of her vision blurred and she blinked fighting to keep hold of the viewing. It stabilized, and she looked up to see the strange woman staring down at her. “You’re more resilient than I had thought.”

Amelia messaged her temple and stood on her feet. She moved toward Chemosh, but stopped dead in her tracks when she heard a voice whispering her name.

“Amelia.”

The agent turned her head just in time to watch Ashtar walk past. Her hand brushed Amelia’s cheek, and she took a step back when she felt the other woman’s smooth flesh contacted hers. It should have been impossible. Amy had no tangible form within the visions and there was no way she could have touched anyone or anything witnessed within. Somehow, that didn’t seem to be a problem for this strange being.

“Watch and listen. I have opened your ears, Agent Van den Broeke, make use of the gift I have bestowed upon you.”

The world spun, twisting and turning just before snapping back into place. The effect, though similar to the ones the agent had experienced before, had a very different outcome. Before, the vision had faded and threatened to disappear, this time, the world became sharper, and more resolute. In the past sound, was always so muddled, but this time she could hear everything from the buzz of a fly to the subtle variations in tone and resonances of speech.

“Olivia?” Frank stepped out from his hiding place behind the machine. “What’s going on… A-are you a part of this?”

“Olivia, unfortunately—how should put it—isn’t calling the shots anymore,” the woman said a wicked grin stretching across her pale face. “You may call me Chemosh for the few remaining moments I allow you to live.”

“Release the woman, Chemosh,” Ashtar demanded.

“Release her? Now, now my dearest Ashtar, don’t you remember? This is the only way I can interact with this plane since my banishment from the upper realms. I am loath to give up a perfectly good host when I go through so very many of them,” Chemosh said rolling up her sleeves revealing a mass of boils and sores that peppered the skin of her arms. “Then again I’ve had control of this Olivia for over a month… there isn’t anything left of her mind, poor thing.”

For the first time, the bold and confident Ashtar looked uncertain. She bit her lip, gritted her teeth then bounded across the room toward Chemosh who leapt aside and thrust her hand inside her jacket and produced an icy blue flat disc which she held out in his open palm. Ashtar’s eyes grew wide, and she lurched sideways as the object zoomed through the open air toward her. Despite her efforts it struck her in the arm and she dropped to the ground with a loud scream clutching at her wounded appendage.

Amelia lurched forward ready to intervene, but stopped mid-step realizing that there was nothing she could do. The events she was witnessing had already happened. Never had her viewing ever been so vivid, nor had she ever interacted with people within the vision. Was it any wonder she’d forgotten herself, if even for a few brief seconds?

Chemosh loomed over Ashtar then knelt down and clenched her chin in her hands. “You know what that was, don’t you, wife dearest? It was a Stone of Cold Fire and it will consume your insides until there is nothing of you left but a big brick of ice. Yours will be an agonizingly painful and slow death, but it is the least you deserve. A pity I only had the one I would have liked to have used it on my dear, dear brother. Farewell now, Ashtar I would like to stay and watch you die, but alas I haven’t the time.”

She rose and stepped up to the massive machine which took up half the room by itself. Its circular base was less than twenty feet in diameter and around the perimeter were seven arched pylons which ended a few feet from the pair of crossed arches that rose twelve feet high at the dead center of the device. The material from which it was made, was like nothing found on earth, had a brilliant silvery bright hew and gleamed as if someone had cast it just days before.

Chemosh moved around the device, touching three random arms before stopping at a fourth where a small screen had appeared. He tapped his fingers against it a loud metallic groan pierced the air and the room quaked as the machine contorted. Portions of the device which didn’t seem to be malleable, bent and folded in on themselves. The metal groaned again then the pieces snapped and contorted even more and were a fraction of their original size. It took several minutes for the process to complete and when it did, the gateway condensed itself into a perfect cube, about four feet on each side.

“Now dear, Ashtar,” Chemosh said slamming a slender fist into Frank’s chest. Her arm ripped straight through his body and back out again leaving a gaping hole where his heart had once been. He collapsed to the ground, dead, and she held his heart up in front of her face. Chemosh had a hungry look in her eyes, and for a moment, the agent was convinced she would take a bite, but instead she tossed it over her shoulder. “It’s time for me to leave, but not before I take another host. You’ve helped convince me it’s time for Olivia and I to part ways. The poor thing has been getting quite lethargic and this body of hers had seen far too much milage even before I had taken control. I suppose I could keep her for a while yet, but what’s the point when it’s so easy to take a new body?”

“Henry is it?” She asked pouncing on he remaining scientist before he could flee. She grabbed him by the wrist and forced him down so he was kneeling in front of her. “This won’t hurt. Now, who am I kidding? It’ll be excruciating.”

“Stop!” Ashtar screamed struggling to her feet and staggering toward the Chemosh and her prisoner, but she was too late.

A dark mist coalesced around the Chemosh’s body, then like ink dropped into water it crept through the air toward Henry. He tried to break free, but his captor maintained her grip. Then the mist was upon him and darkness overwhelmed him. The woman collapsed and Henry rose, scowling at the woman’s crumpled form just before his twisted at an unnatural angle and smiled at Ashtar.

“So very wasteful. Goodbye, Ashtar. I wish I could say it has been a pleasure, but we’d both know I would be lying. Come Garos.” He glanced over his shoulder at his gargantuan companion. “We have places to go and people to kill.”

The giant lumbered across the chamber and scooped up the massive block nestling it in its arms as if it were an infant then smashed a hole through the exterior wall leaving a trail of destruction in his wake. Chemosh, glanced back at Ashtar who was struggling with no success to get back onto her feet. He laughed, then leapt out the hole his associate had made and departed into the darkness of the night.

“NO!” Ashtar screamed, lurching back onto her feet. She was dying, but, if her defiant scream was any sign she wasn’t prepared to go down without a fight. Amelia watched her zoom out the opening before the vision shattered and she slipped back into the present world.