Superpowers In A World Gone Mad
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Dark Corners, Issue #001

May 29, 2013 in Dark Corners Tags:

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Issue #001 – – – – – controlled by Sarah Saunders – – – – – Credits 19

I called and the Monster came.  It stank, as usual.  I’ve tried to get rid of the smell.  I washed it down with soap and water.  I sprayed it with deodorant – many times.  I even tried to get it to take a bath once, but eight foot tall creatures made of primarily of slime and twisted tendrils do not rest easy in the tub.

“Is it dark out yet?” I asked.  Imo (which is what I call the monster) rumbled something deep within its guts.  It doesn’t speak as far as I know.  But this was what usually passed for a sign in the affirmative.  “Good,” I said.  “We need to go out.”

Naturally, I couldn’t take the monster out in the daytime.  I’ve yet to find a disguise that can make something that big, and that repulsively hideous, blend in with any significant certainty.  But at night the streets tended to clear and the only people you ran into Downtown were nightfolk like myself, lunatics and criminals.  Honestly, I could care less if the latter is frightened when they see Imo.  Sometimes that’s rather useful, actually.

Imo rumbled again.  I’d like to think he was requesting more information, but I’m really not entirely sure if he’s that bright.  Sometimes he seems aware, but on other occasions he acts no brighter than a mutt.  I filled him in anyway:  “Lots of dead bodies turning up Downtown lately.  Drained of blood.  Now there are lots of unpleasant things which drain blood.  Whichever it is, we don’t want it in Downtown, do we?  Not many capes around to deal with anything these days and you can lay a safe bet the Bullies won’t be investigating any crimes that aren’t perpetrated on people who own diamonds, or status, right?  So it’s just us, big guy.  Just you and me.

(I should point out that the “Bullies” are what we call the cops.  They’re private.  They are supposed to serve the whole city, but in practice they serve the people who can afford to pay a little extra for it.  Mostly.  They’re run by the Bull Corporation which is a big mucky-muck company with a glittering skyscraper and suchlike.  Not really my scene.)

I padded out of the front door and into the patch of wan light cast from the dim streetlamp that flickered nervously and sometimes failed to tick on at all come sunset.  It didn’t matter.  I was very, very familiar with the streets, alleys and dark routes that made up the labyrinth that was Downtown.  I almost never got lost anymore.  Almost.

“Come on,” I told Imo and we took Silvers alley across the 7th Avenue, missing the main route by taking a shortcut through the old launderette and then climbing the wall into Mason’s Yard.  From there is was only two streets to the abandoned Seven Eleven where the most recent body had been found.  I was surprised to find that upon arrival there was somebody waiting for us.

“Sulis?” his voice was deep, melodic in an old-fashioned Hammer Horror sort of way.
“That’s me,” I told him, stretching my muscles so that I’d be limber and ready to fight if it came to that.  I saw his eyes go to Imo and knew that he’d be a damn sight more frightened of that than he was of me.  Rightly so, I expect.  Imo is extremely dangerous to just about anybody who isn’t me, or a friend of mine.

“Do you remember me?” he asked.  I shook my head.  A tall guy in a long cape and a top hat, carrying a cane.  He was either starring in a movie about Jack The Ripper, which seemed unlikely, or he was one of the nightpeople.  Like me.  Funny thing is, even as I denied knowing him, a little bell seemed to be ringing in my brain.  There was something familiar about him.

“How about you let me get on with my business, or you tell me what you want?” I said, short-tempered.  Innocent people drained of blood tends to put me in a bad mood.  The city is bad enough already without that.  “Indeed,” he nodded.  “You do not remember me, but I remember you.  I also remember your companion.  It used to go by the name of I, Monster, didn’t it?”

How the Hell did he know that?  

Imo had been my partner for three years.  Even before that, he wasn’t a well-known creature.  He just kind of lurked, mostly in the sewers.  Ate the occasional hobo.  You know the score.

“I do not have much time,” the man said.  “We have met before, albeit briefly.  I know something of the shadows that cloud your mind.  I understand that you have felt, for several years now, that something was very wrong with your life.  With the world.  Am I right?” I found myself nodding, even though I didn’t want to give him any information.  If he was a charlatan it would help his ruse.  If he was the real thing – it might be dangerous for him to know too much about me.

“I can reveal the truth to you.  If you would know it.  The truth which lurks over this vacant lot, this street, this city, this world.  A secret few share.”
“Listen Top Hat,” I told him much more nonchalently than I felt, “I don’t know you from Adam.  We’ve never met.  Take your scam to somebody who cares.”
“Sulis, you know me very well.  Very well indeed.  You killed me once.”
“I did what?” I nearly choked.  This was a new one.  I’d not heard a bad guy spin this line before.
“For I am Melderact, the ancient.  Like Lazarus returned from death.”

Sulis had no idea who Melderact was.  It wasn’t even a very good name.  Dramatic, sure, but not grand enough.  She was going to suggest some improvements, shortly before she instructed Imo to move him out of the way – but that bell was ringing in her mind again.  Melderact?  Maybe.  Maybe she did know that name…

5 Responses to “Dark Corners, Issue #001”

  1. Keith Nixon Says:

    Actually, Got Gal blew Melderact to Hell, although Sulis certainly helped by keeping it (him?) distracted.

  2. Sarah Says:

    Ah but Melderact may be deliberately lying to impress her. You killed me sounds more impressive than you shouted at me while somebody else killed me. She wouldn’t know any different given the memory problems.

    Call me suspicious but people being drained of blood. Posh top hatted geezer claiming to have been reborn? If this guy has a British accent he’s got to be a prime suspect!

  3. False Bill Says:

    So might we see Got gal and Sulis team up again to deal with Melderact? Why would he want to change a realty that pulled him back from the dead?

    I’m looking forward to further exploration of the Dark Corners of Helix city.

  4. Keith Nixon Says:

    Got Gal is at the bottom of a sewer **** knows where. Anything is possible of course – there seems to be a Plan. Trust in the Plan!
    Sorry wrong game

  5. Keith Nixon Says:

    Also, remember if this is Melderact he had Mind Control among other things. Watch out he doesn’t turn Imo on Sulis if Imo has a mind.


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