Psyren’s Redemption | Ch 24 Pt 1


Official Report
Unknown Medical Facility,
New Hebron, California

Sapphira sat hunched over, tears streaming down his face as he stared down at his open palms. All those years… all that anger and he now understood what a waste it had all been. All the people he’d hurt with his harsh words, and petty little acts over the years and only now did he see that his actions had done more harm to himself than the objects of his contempt.

He’d lost his Clara, the one person in the world who had meant anything to him and he thought it justified his rage, but now he saw what a fool he had been. Revenge was all he thought about for years and he’d come close to taking it. He shuddered at the thought of what he might have become had he followed through with it.

There came a groan of metal on metal and he looked up in time to see the door recede into the wall. A familiar figure stepped inside and Sapphira sat there breath caught in his throat.

“Well, it seems you’ve been a busy girl,” Matthew said folding his arms across his chest and glaring down at the exemplar, a frown creasing his thin lips.

Sapphira opened his mouth, ready to contradict the man, but stopped himself when he looked into his eyes. He bit his lips wiped the tears from his eyes and let out a long sigh. “I take it Amy told you about her viewing?”

Matthews nodded, folded his arms across his chest and let out a sigh of his own. “You’ve been nothing but a headache since you first gained your powers, Ms. Scott and frankly I have enough on you to have you locked up for a long time. Fortunately, for you, someone upstairs is still batting for you.”

Sapphira glanced up meeting his gaze and swallowed hard. He doubted if he made that kind of threat it boded well for him at all. “What are you saying?”

Matthews didn’t answer, but rather looked the other exemplar up and down studying Sapphira with a slow shake of his head. He cleared his throat and brought a hand up to his collar to adjust his tie. “You tried to murder a man, if it were up me, you’d be in restraints right now. You have one more chance to prove yourself and if you step out of line, I will make sure you are dealt with accordingly. Do you understand?”

Sapphira swallowed hard and his whole body quivered as he looked into the other’s eyes. Matthews was not a man to trifle with, of that much, Sapphira was sure. “I-I understand.”

“Good,” Matthews said between gritted teeth. “Now that we understand each other. I’ll have clothes brought in and you can—”

Sapphira closed his eyes, and willed clothing to appear and while nothing more than an illusion, he felt it shifting around on his skin. The thin, almost sheer, hospital gown was gone replaced by softer fabric. There was an added weight on his skin and as if he were wearing something far more substantial.

He opened his eyes and met Matthews gaze. “Will this do?”

His eyebrows shot up and his eyes grew wide, and Sapphira glanced down at himself his cheeks burning as he realized why Matthews seemed so surprised. His mind had conjured a short pink dress with a plunging neckline that would have been scandalous in his day, but which seemed par for the course for this younger generation. He cleared, his throat, bit his lip and stood glancing down again. He was showing a lot of leg.

Why his mind had conjured up such an outfit was beyond him, but the thought of going out in it made his cheeks burn anew. He met Matthews gaze, and he realized that the other man was sizing him up, waiting to see how he’d act next. Well, he’d surprised the other man once, maybe he’d do it again. Closing his eyes again Sapphira willed a few finishing touches appear.

His feet rose from the ground and he stumbled forward hearing something clack against the floor. When he opened his eyes again, steadying himself on the bed and glanced down at his feet. He was wearing a set of pink wedge sandals, which were a perfect match to the dress. He swallowed hard and glanced at the other exemplar. Matthews jaw was hanging open anda smile stretched across his face as he realized his choice in footwear’d had the effect he’d hoped.

As Matthews collected himself, Sapphira paused, marveling that he didn’t seem at all uncomfortable wearing the feminine apparel. He wasn’t sure what it meant, but a growing part of him didn’t even care. Had he known his change in footwear had accompanied another change in his appearance he might not have been so nonchalant about the whole thing. With this new change, he appeared to be wearing cosmetics. Sapphira was beautiful even without them, but with them, well, there was a reason it had stunned Matthews.

Sapphira steadied himself and walked forward, he stumbled for the first few steps, but he’d had experience wearing footwear of this sort before. He had been a single father raising a girl who seemed to delight in all things feminine. He had no female relatives to turn to, so he’d had to pick up some less than masculine skill sets to guide her along the path to womanhood. Walking in wedges and heels were among many of the skills which he’d picked up over the years.

He turned back to Matthews and found that the other man had regained his composure. “Well,” Sapphira said glancing toward the door. “What are we waiting for?”


Psyren’s Redemption | Ch 24 Pt 2


Official Report
Unknown Medical Facility,
New Hebron, California

Matthews turned away, disappearing through the doorway without waiting to see if Sapphira followed. Sapphira only hesitated a moment before running after the other exemplar.

When he stepped out, Sapphira eyed the surrounding space. The hallway walls, floor and ceiling of the corridor were all colored the same green as the room, and all the doors they passed were identical to the one through which they’d just exited. Whatever, the green substance was, Sapphira was certain it was no mere paint. He sensed nothing beyond the space within which they walked. Somehow it was blocking his abilities.

“This place, is this a prison or a hospital?” Sapphira asked not sure he wanted to know the answer.

Matthews paused, glanced back toward him and pursed his lips. “AEGIS designed this facility to treat human beings with incredible powers. It was necessary to put certain safeguards into place. Patients brought in with injuries might awaken still believing they were under attack, or delirious from fever. You can’t imagine the damage such an individual might do in those circumstances.”

Sapphira swallowed and glanced down at his hands, startled to realize that pink nail polish covered his nails, before he looked back up to Matthews. “I-I think I can.”

“Yes, I suppose you could.” Matthews turned away again and motioned the other exemplar forward. “We only just made the repairs to use this part of the facility again. Chemosh’s giant friend breached part of the outer wall.”

He led Sapphira down the corridor, around a bend, and paused outside a double set of armored doors. Matthews glanced at the other exemplar then reached into his jacket, produced a key card which he slid it into a slot in the door, and entered a series of numbers into a pin pad. The doors receded into the frame, and he stepped through getting a good look at the plain unadorned white walls of the corridor on the other side.

He led him through this last hallway in a wide open room. He stopped inside dead in his tracks dozens of televisions hung from the walls and a twice that many AEGIS personal were seated at tables facing them. Each wore a pair of over the ear headphones, and each studied the televisions jotting notes down with a laptop. Another dozen, sat at tables within the center of the room, staring into the screens of a computer or facing away from the televisions with earphones over their heads.

“Welcome to the media monitoring room,” Matthews spoke in a hushed tone.
Sapphira didn’t answer, but stood staring at one display with wide eyes and breath caught in his throat. It displayed the image of a naked young woman, her chest and privates covered with black censor bars, hovering in the air, laughing and sending wave after wave of telekinetic destruction upon the surrounding street. He swallowed hard and a sinking sensation form in the pit of his stomach.

“Oh God, no!” Sapphira cried out staring at the display both fists clenched at his side. A few agents glanced his way, one even scowled at him, but Sapphira didn’t care. A pair of hands touched his shoulders and he turned to look into Matthew’s eyes.

There was a surge of warmth through the bond with Amelia, but then it faded away and the undertone of slow simmering anger returned. Matthews tugged on his arm and he let him pull him back out of the room.

“As you can tell we’ve been monitoring this situation with Chemosh for some time,” he said before releasing his hold on the other exemplar’s arm and glanced back over his shoulder into the room. “As far as the host, we haven’t identified the girl yet, but if the look on your face is any indication, you already know who she is.”

Sapphira nodded hot tears stinging his cheeks and his whole body trembled. “Yeah, she’s my granddaughter.”
Matthews frowned and shook his head before placing a hand on Sapphira’s shoulder and sharing a sad smile. “All the more reason you shouldn’t take any part in this. Your emotional connection to his host makes you vulnerable, you must realize Chemosh will take advantage of that. Step back, let AEGIS deal with this situation and once this is all over we’ll get you all sorted out.”

“And Hailey, will you sort her out too?” Sapphira clenched both fists at his sides still crying as he stared at the man between gritted teeth.

“We’ll do what you can,” Matthews answered pulling away. “But we must make defeating Chemosh our priority.”

“And that is why we need Miss Scott’s help.” A voice spoke, and they both turned to face the newcomer.

“Director Malcolm, I—” Matthews spoke, but Malcolm raised a hand cutting him short.

“Everything you’ve said makes perfect sense, Matthews, but this is a usual set of circumstances even by AEGIS standards. Now, why don’t you run along, I believe you have a briefing to get underway, don’t you?”

Matthews disappeared down the corridor leaving Sapphira alone with the man. They regarded one another for a moment. Malcolm smiled. He reminded Sapphira of someone, he strained his mind trying to place who it might have been, but he came up blank.

“Walk with me.” He said stepping away and motioning for the exemplar to follow.

Sapphira did as suggested and stepped in sync beside him. He eyed the man with wide eyes and pursed lips, but didn’t say a word. What would the director of AEGIS want to do with him? They walked in silence, for what seemed to Sapphira an eternity.

“You’ve made significant progress,” Malcolm said breaking the silence.

“Oh?” Sapphira bit his lip glancing at him out of the corner of his eyes.

“I’ve been monitoring the situation and I’ve read Amelia’s reports. Letting go of hatred, is not an easy thing. Believe me I understand. Just remember, when you go out there, Chemosh will attempt to reignite your old hatreds. His is a powerful and ancient mind, you will find it difficult to resist.”

“I-I know, I’ve touched his mind,” Sapphira said looking down at his feet and shuddering at the mere memory of his experience. “I almost succumbed to him once already.”

They came around a bend, and Sapphira stopped dead in his tracks his eyes wide as he stared upon a familiar face.

“Amelia,” he whispered under his breath, new tears stinging his eyes. He was still reeling from learning of his granddaughter’s possession by Chemosh and to throw Amy into the mix made things all that more tense. The exemplar gritted his teeth and forced the tears back. He was the only person who stood a chance of freeing Hailey, if he broke down now, he didn’t see how she could come out of this mess alive.

“Agent! Good timing,” Matthews calling waving Van den Broeke over.

Amelia complied all the while avoiding eye contact with Sapphira. She stepped forward and stopped in front of her superior. “Sir, it’s good to see you again.”

Malcolm smiled and glanced at an expensive-looking gold wrist watch. Sapphira wasn’t sure, but he suspected it was a Rolex. “If you would be so kind to escort, Miss Scott here to the briefing, I have some important tasks which I must see too.”

Amelia nodded, “Yes sir.”

Malcolm turned away, but paused and turned back to Sapphira. “Chemosh will use your granddaughter to manipulate you. Don’t let him.

He eyed the exemplar for a moment, cleared his throat then disappeared down the corridor, leaving Amy and Sapphira alone. They eyed each other for several moments before Amelia held her hand out motioning for the other exemplar to follow. “Matthews won’t like it if we’re late. Why don’t we get under way?”

Psyren’s Redemption | Ch 24 Pt 3


Official Report
Unknown Medical Facility,
New Hebron, California

“Hey Gus, check it out. New meat,” a man whispered as Sapphira stepped into a room behind the agent.

Sapphira wiped the last few tears from his eyes and craned his neck around, four men, including Babalawo and a two women sat inside the room. Among them Awẹ́ and a statuesque young woman in a pink jumpsuit were the only ones in their exemplar garb. He didn’t know the woman’s name, but he was certain he’d seen her once or twice on the news. A petite young woman of Asian-American descent with electric-blue hair, who couldn’t have been older than eighteen had been the one to point out Sapphira to ‘Gus’ a bearded fellow with a smile stretched across his face.

Sapphira froze and bit his lip struck by just how attractive all of these people were. He swore he’d stepped into a room full of fitness models or photogenic athletes.

Sapphira grimaced and grabbed Amy by the shoulder. “I thought you said AEGIS tried to discourage vigilantism. What are all these people doing here?”

Amy pulled away and turned back to meet his gaze with a scowl on her face. “Every rule has an exception, Liv.”

Babalawo sat along the far edge of the room, his form hunched over and his hands clasped in front of him. Sapphira couldn’t say for certain as he couldn’t see his face, but given he was an outlaw who had more than likely been at odds with at least one or two people within the room it stood to reason he’d be uncomfortable.

Sapphira took a cue from the sometimes aberrant and took a seat along the outer row of seats. While he was unsure of Awẹ́ place in the group, he was more than a little certain he didn’t belong. He bit his lip and watched the agent move through the room toward a podium near the back wall where Matthews was waiting.

Sapphira heard a loud clank, and turned to the door in time to watch as a figure, shod in blue armor stepped into the room. His breath caught in his throat, it was Indigo Knight one of the most famous heroes in the country. Though he operated out of Washington D.C., he was often spotted performing acts of heroism all around the world.

Amelia took a position beside her superior and turned back toward the exemplars both arms folded across her chest. Matthews glanced at her then faced the onlookers before clearing his throat

“Good evening, I am interim Deputy Assistant Director, Phillip Matthews and this is my subordinate Special Agent Amelia van den Broeke, I will be briefing you on the current situation. On the night of February the fifteenth, a device of possible non-terrestrial origin was stolen from the AEGIS research facility.”

“Non-terrestrial, as in not of this world?” Babalawo’s asked his head jerking up to meet the agent’s gaze.

“That is correct,” Matthews replied pausing as a round of murmured whispers of disbelief filled the room.

“Fuck,” a thin lipped young man leaned back in his chair, running both hands through his hair. “You’re not kidding are, you?”

Matthews met his gaze, a tight smile touched the corner of his lips. “We wouldn’t have called you here if the situation weren’t serious. The device in question was recovered from the bottom of the ocean by a naval deep sea diving team, and all attempts to carbon date or identify the material from which it is made have been inconclusive.”

“The beings who stole the device, were also of possible non-terrestrial origin. The first, is one with whom AEGIS has a certain amount of familiarity, a being who identifies him or herself as Chemosh. We don’t know a lot about her, but she appears to be a non-corporal entity who possesses the bodies of its victim’s like a parasite. The full extent of these entities abilities, are unknown, but it has exhibited that it is capable of both telekinesis and telepathy. The other, identified by the name Garos, is noted for his grotesque misshapen appearance, gigantic stature and for possessing an unusual number of eyes. He serves as the muscles of the duo.”

More murmurs followed this statement and Matthews again paused, pursing his lips. “We don’t know the extend of their plans, but we know the item they require a great deal of power input, and…” he trailed off. “We believe the artifact may be some transportation device.”

“That little slip of a girl that’s been wreaking havoc on fourth street? That’s Chemosh?” A thin man with a touch of gray in his beard spoke up. “If what you say is true, she’s just the host, the true danger is the creature within her. How can we defeat this being without harming the girl?”

Matthews only glanced at the man before his eyes settled on Sapphira and let out a long sigh. “We’re not sure. Chemosh seems to jump between hosts on a whim as often as not. Her presence within the body of a human is deleterious to their health and mental well-being, but we do not understand how long she must remain within a body before the effects are irreversible. The few hosts we recovered after she inhabited them were dead or were driven insane.”

Sapphira bowed his head and clenched his teeth. His whole body trembled and tears streamed down his face. He lurched to his feet and looked around the room, eyeing each of the exemplars one by one before settling his gaze on Amy. “Hailey… that is to say Chemosh’s host, didn’t have a say in any of this. We have to at least try to save her, she’s been caught up in all of this because of m—through no fault of her own.”

“No one’s suggesting we shouldn’t,” Amelia speaking for the first time meeting his gaze with a look of steel in her eyes.
The anger that seethed within her was concealed on her face. Sapphira bit his lip and sat back down still weeping. Amy blamed him for Hailey’s predicament. The truth was she was right to.

“We may not have any choice,” one woman, the girl with the blue hair said. “If this Chemosh is so dangerous, I doubt it will standby and allow us to extract the alien consciousness even if we find a way to free the girl.”

‘Gus’ glanced at Sapphira and threw his hand out at him. “It’s very clear that this young woman, has an emotional attachment to the host body. She has no business being involved in this affair, she is a–”

“She,” Amelia interjected between gritted teeth putting particular emphasis on the female pronoun, “is one of the most powerful exemplar’s I have ever seen. Her telekinetic and psychic abilities may well be a match for Chemosh. She is our best hope.”

Sapphira clenched both fists at his side and swallowed hard. Had you not been so wrapped up in getting out there and rescuing his granddaughter, he might have stopped to ponder the implications of Amelia’s use of pronouns, or that it didn’t seem to bother him. As it was, it didn’t faze him at all. All he could think about was getting out there and saving his granddaughter.

When they finished the briefing, Sapphira was first out the door. He didn’t know it then, but the events that would follow would come to define him for the rest of his days.