Psyren’s Redemption | Ch 8 Pt 1


Official Report
427 Evergreen Terrace
New Hebron, California

Amelia groaned, her eyes fluttering open. Light filtered in through the blinds casting the room in the brilliant hues of early dawn. She sat up, rubbing her jaw and paused grimacing as her fingers traced across the imprints left by the keyboard. She’d fallen asleep at her desk again.

“God, I need coffee,” she mumbled under her breath and shook her head to clear the morning fog from her mind.

She lurched out of her seat and stumbled toward the kitchen, clearing the hair out of her eyes with a casual flick of her wrists. She stopped mid-stride craning her neck around to glance at the door, positive the bell must soon ring and sure enough it did.

That was strange. She shook her head, staring at the door for a moment, pinching herself to ensure she was still awake and made her way across the room swinging it wide open. A gust of wind blew into through the opening, and the agent folded her arms across her chest shivering against the cold.

“Van den Broeke,” Matthews greeted her unperturbed by the frigid temperature and strong winds. “May I come in?”

Amelia bit her lip and nodded, closing the door once her superior had stepped inside and dropped her hands. Matthews gripped his attaché case against his chest and looked around, his eyes taking everything in before he met his subordinate’s gaze.

His keen investigative eyes must have picked up on her disheveled appearance, that she was wearing the same dress from the previous night, and the fading keyboard marks on her face, but he didn’t say a word. A fact, for which, she was grateful.

“Nice place you have here.” He said, his eyes never once breaking gazes with Amelia.

Amelia glanced around, fingered her tangled locks and bit her lip. “Sir, I’m sorry if I’d known you were coming over I would have–”

He held a hand up stopped her before she finished. “Think nothing of it Van den Broeke, I should have called first.”

“Sir, is there something I can get you? I was about to make coffee if you’d like some.”

“Thank you, Agent. I take it black.” Matthew hung back, hovering near the doorway as Amelia moved back toward the kitchen.

“Uh, go ahead and make yourself at home,” she called back over her shoulder.

When she returned a moment later, Matthew had done just as she’d suggested and taken a seat on the loveseat that sat opposite and just to the right of the door. He looked up at her as she reentered and frowned.

“The coffee should be ready in a few minutes.” She threw a thumb over her shoulder and took a seat opposite him. “So, sir what brings you out to my neck of the woods?”

Amy was no idiot. Matthews had never once visited her home in the years she had known him. He wasn’t the sort to make social calls, which meant he’d come to confirm his warnings from the previous night. Sure enough, when he spoke Amelia’s heart sank.

Matthews grimaced and leaned back in his seat. “Amelia, you should know assistant deputy director Steenburg has ordered that you be relieved from field duty.”

Amelia bit her lip and nodded, silent for the first few seconds because she didn’t trust herself to speak. She took a deep breath to calm herself and cleared her throat. “Because of Mr. Howard?”

Matthews nodded, leaned forward and clasped his hands together. “The situation is worse than we thought. Steenburg fears that Mr. Howard may have the makings of an aberrant.”

“Oh, god,” Amelia cupped her face with both hands and shook her head. “The background check turned something up, didn’t it?”

Matthews nodded, set his case down on the coffee table and slipped one of the side pockets open, producing a stack of documents. “See for yourself.”

The topmost report was over twenty years old and looked as if it resulted from at least half a dozen different photocopies. She skimmed through, but stopped as her hands trembled and shook. Something was wrong.

Amelia attempted to call out to Matthews, but her mouth froze shut and eyes wide. The reports fell from her stiff hands, fluttering to the ground in a messy heap.

Her vision flashed, and the world shifted and turned supplanted by images out of the past as bright and as vibrant as the ones she’d seen viewing the assault on the AEGIS facility.

Psyren’s Redemption | Ch 8 Pt 2


Official Report
427 Evergreen Terrace
New Hebron, California

Amelia, was not herself. Again, as she witnessed events through the eyes of Everett Howard, she was unavailable of individual thought or action. She was along for the ride.

It was devoid at first, but as the as the vision took centerfold the images sharpened in clarity. A pair of wrinkled hands rested on a steering wheel at two and ten o’clock. Headlights illuminated the landscape just enough to identify the streets and surrounding buildings.

“This town is going to hell,” A voice spoke, it belonged to Everett. It sounded, a little less worn, a little less weathered, but still belonged to a man well past his prime.

The hands turned the steering wheel toward the curb and parked behind a sporty little Honda that had seen better days. Everett grunted as he climbed out of his Buick unsupported by the cane he would come to rely on in latter years and started toward the second vehicle.

He stopped beside the driver-side door and tapped on the window. The young woman inside had her seat reclined, and her eyelids closed, asleep. She jumped and stared at the window with wide eyes. She blinked and shook her head as her hand reached for the door.

“Clara,” Everett gripped his hand on the edge of the door and pulled it open before she emitted a loud sigh. “I told you to buy American.”

“Dad.” Clara beamed up at him and shook her head. “Thank God, you’re here.”

Everett grimaced and reached inside the car before his daughter climbed out. He released the hood and moved around to the front and popped it open. He watched her step out and move around the car, stop beside him and leaned over the engine.

“You couldn’t have picked a worse neighborhood to breakdown,” he leaned down beside her and produced a flashlight. “And what the hell were you thinking falling asleep like that?”

“Dad, I needed the rest it’s been a long day. Being a single mother is a full-time job, okay.”

Everett shook his head and centered the beam of his light over the engine. “It doesn’t have to be. If you lived a little closer, I–”

He stopped, hearing footsteps, and craned his neck around, in time to see a tall stranger approach. A hood and the darkness of the street shadowed the man’s face, but as Everett looked back at him, he could see dark purpose gleaming in his eyes. Perhaps, sensing that Everett had gleaning his intent the man picked up his pace and produced a small handgun from out of his jacket.

“Nobody moves and you won’t get hurt,” the man said, his voice and hand shaking, as he jerked forward.

Clara spun around and stared at him her eyes wide and mouth hanging open.

“I said, nobody move!” He repeated moving closer. “Give me your wallet old man.”

Everett hesitated, and the man jerked forward grabbing Clara by the wrist and pulled her close. He jabbed her in the ribs with his gun and gripped his other hand around the strings of her purse before turning back to the old man with gritted teeth. For the first time, Everett got a good look at his face, revealing his ebony skin. Although the kid stood more than a head taller than the old man, he didn’t seem old enough to shave more than once a week and perhaps not even old enough to have graduated high school.

Everett recognized the threat he represented. This child, had the look of desperation in his eyes. He was new at this sort of thing, but that didn’t mean he couldn’t be dangerous.

Everett, put both his palms forward to show the kid they were empty then reached into his back pocket, produced his wallet and held it out to the mugger. The boy licked his lips, and reached out, but before he was able snatch it away, there was a loud ‘thump’ in the distance. The sound, wasn’t something neither the mugger nor his two victim’s could name. In the grant scheme of things, it was probably something innocuous and unrelated to their current predicament, but what it set off was far from innocuous.

This boy, jerked his head around startled and tightened his grip on the gun. It went off with a loud bang and their attacker released his hold on Clara, her purse still clutched in his hands.

“Shhhit,” the boy cursed looked down at his victim.

He rounded on the old man attempting to force the wallet out of his hands. The mugger lifted the gun, and as Everett grappled with him, he attempted to force it back down. The gun fired a second time and the bullet slammed into Everett’s hip.

Pain shot through Everett’s hip, and he cried out clutching at the wound. The wallet slipped out of Everett’s hands as he fell, and he heard the boy’s feet pound against the pavement as he fled the scene.

Everett landed face forward and saw his daughter quivering and clutching at her chest. He crawled over to her and felt his heart sink when he saw the wound. Weakened from his own injuries and unable to do anything but offer comfort, Everett did the only thing he could think of, he called for help.

By the time it came, Clara was already gone.



When Amelia’s eyes fluttered back open she gasped, clutched a hand at her side before the remembered pains from the viewing faded away. She blinked and her vision returned, a field of white spread out before her eyes. As her sight sharpened and her mind cleared, she knew she hadn’t been transported to some pearly bright mystical domain as her barely conscious mind had concluded. Instead, Amelia was staring at something far more mundane, the ceiling of her living room.

She groaned, attempted to sit up, but felt a pair of hands on her shoulders. “Easy Van den Broeke, you took a bit of a tumble.”

Matthews leaned over, a frown creasing his unexpressive face as he stared down at the Agent. She let out a second groan and sighed shaking her head. “How long was I out?”

“Not long, I even have time to call emergency services.”

“Oh god,” she grunted. “How did I get on my back?”

“You hit the coffee table and rolled.” He pursed his lips and met her gaze. “Was it another viewing?”

Amelia nodded and swallowed. “I saw his daughter killed.”

“This will send the boys in research into a flurry.”

Amelia nodded, understanding what Matthews meant. Amelia couldn’t even say whether it was the reports that had set off the viewing or if it was discussing them. Either way, it was the second time she’d witnessed a vision in which it had broken all the rules that governed her abilities. Was this a new aspect to her powers, a side-effect from her bond with the once old man or some combination of the two?

She didn’t know, but as the two waited for emergency responders she had plenty time to think over it. She never made a conclusion, but she was certain somehow it was important to the investigation.