Superpowers In A World Gone Mad
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Dark Corners, Issue #005

July 5, 2013 in Dark Corners Tags:

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Issue #005 – – – – – controlled by Sarah Saunders – – – – – Credits 11

Imo and I dashed across the street and into the open door.  We could hear the chatter of the guns as Ivan Knight’s guards blasted wildly at the Brotherhood Of War assault behind us, but nobody saw us slip into the building.  As I passed the threshold I shifted into my cat form.  It doesn’t make me more graceful, sadly, but it’s a good disguise and I find it’s quite effective when you need the element of surprise.  Even in Helix City, nobody expects a half-woman half-cat in their face.

Imo pointed and I laughed as I saw blue glowing cartoon arrows appear in the air and glowing ethereal cookies making a line on the floor.  Melderact’s guidance spell at work and clearly the old wizard had a sense of humour that I had not previously credited him with.  The two of us dashed along the corridor, passing door after door as we followed the magically illuminated cookie trail.

Up ahead a door opened and we tensed for a fight, but the two women who emerged were no threat.  Staggering and clearly under the influence of some illegal substance they  did not seem aware of their surroudings and Imo and I pushed past them without incident.  The arrows led us up a flight of stairs, which were sodden with damp and creaking with age and wear.  “Careful,” I told Imo, aware he was much heavier than me.  Ironically, it was my foot that found the weak spot and went through the floor.  Imo caught me under the arms and prevented a tumble.  “Thanks,” I grinned at the monster.

When we reached the third floor Imo was ahead and following the arrows when I called him back: “Wait.”  The door we’d passed was ajar and the dim office within was better furnished than the other open rooms we’d seen.  Most of this place was just a crash pad for customers who’d paid good money for a few hours of oblivion.  But this was different.  “I want to look,” I told Imo, who looked anxious to move on.  I have always thought that probably it is just my imagination which assigns these emotions to the monster, and yet since the speaking episode in the bar I’ve been questioning that.  Is there an alert intelligence lurking within that horrific form?  No way to know, I guess.

I stepped behind the dark oak desk.  No cheap piece of furniture this.  I pulled open one of the desk drawers – or I tried to at least. It was locked.  “Open this, big fella,” I asked.  Imo loomed over me and wound his tendril “hands” through the catch.  With a jerk he pulled the drawer free.  I grinned widely.  The drawer was full of little bags of rolled notes.  “I think we just found some drug dealer petty cash,” I said, pulling the bags out and stuffing them into my shirt pockets.  Imo watched passively as I did this, but I could feel a growing agitation about him.  “Okay, okay,” I said.  “I get it.  We have to hurry.”  I turned for the door and stopped.  A man stood there.  He wore a very smart black suit, Armani I think.  He was young, good looking, but his eyes were cold.

“You appear to be stealing from me,” The man said.  His accent was very heavy Russian.
“Yes.  About that,” I told him.  “It’s not how it looks.”
“It is precisely how it looks,” The Man said.  “I am Ivan Knight.  That money, though only a trifling sum, is mine.  Perhaps you will return it?”
I glanced at Imo and put a hand on him to stop the monster going after the drug lord.  “You should get out of the way, before Imo here decides you are an obstacle.”
The kingpin grinned.  It was a vicious grin, full of violent promise.  I watched as two of his front teeth grew longer.  Oh shit.  He was a vampire.
“Your monstrous friend is terrifying to humans, I expect,” Ivan Knight said.  “But he cannot harm me.”  I did not know if this was true.  Imo was powerful; strong, very difficult to injure and immune to many forms of attack.  But a match for a full-blood vampire?  I had no idea.  I didn’t much want to find out.
“Okay,” I said, placatingly.  “I’ll put the money back.”
“Too late, cat girl,” Ivan said.  “I have not fed tonight and I wonder – how will your feline blood taste?”

Now listen – I am fast.  I can move very quickly when I want to.  But I barely even saw the vampire move.  One second he was at the door – the next he was in front of me.  His hand on my throat, his eyes locked onto mine.  He leaned in, pulling me towards him.  His jaws opened.  I felt frozen by his stare.  I saw those fangs, dripping and moist.  I knew my life was about to end.  And just then, Imo picked him up and threw him against the wall.  All this happened in the space of about two seconds.

Ivan and Imo clashed in the middle of the room.  Imo’s plant-like tendrils slashing and hammering at the vampire.  Ivan put an arm right through Imo’s body and out the other side.  Had Imo been human, the vampire could quite literally have torn out his heart.  But Imo is not human and he seemed unphased by the attack.  I came around behind the pair and delivered a series of blistering kicks and punches into the vampire’s sides and back.  He barely seemed to notice me.

Although Ivan Knight was half Imo’s size, his vampiric strength was immense.  As the two were locked into combat he suddenly twisted his grip and actually managed to lift Imo off the floor.  It was a strange sight and I don’t believe I’ve ever seen Imo be manhandled in quite this way.  I wasn’t immediately afraid for him though since the pair didn’t seem able to do much damage to one another.  It all become much more terrifying when Ivan threw Imo out of the window.  The crash of glass and the crunch of splintering wood was followed by the thwump of Imo hitting the floor two stories below.  He’d probably be fine, but now he wasn’t here.  And I still was.

“Now,” Ivan grinned again.  “Your bodyguard is gone.  Where were we?”
“I think I just declined a dance?” I told him, trying to edge towards the door.
“You aren’t going anywhere young lady. I am faster than you.  I am stronger than you.  In almost every sense I am your master.  Which, after a taste of your blood, will become the permanent order of things.”
“Not on a first date,” I told him.  “I’m not that sort of girl.”
“Enjoy your humour while you can,” He snarled.  “For there will be little enough of it in your life hereafter.”
He came at me with that preternatural speed and I dived at the door.  Even as I did so, I knew I was not going to be fast enough.  He had me.

But the bite never came. I hit the floor and rolled back out into the corridor.  Glancing back over my shoulder I could see Ivan Knight.  He was pounding on what appeared to be an invisible wall.  He was screaming in fury too, though I could hear nothing.  It was like somebody had hit his mute button.  Weird.
“Come on,” said a voice at my shoulder.  Standing there was a middle aged man.  He wore dark slacks and a woolen cardigan over a beige shirt and tie.  The scholarly look was completed by a pair of spectacles.  “Look,” I told him.  “I’m getting a bit tired of this.  I’m the cat-person.  It’s me that’s meant to do the sneaking up.”
“Sorry,” the man said.  “You were distracted by the ravaging vampire.”
“Who are you?” I asked.
“Drake Chapterhouse,” The man said.  “I’d stay and exchange pleasantries, but my magical shield will only hold the vampire for a short time.  So we’d better get on with our escape.”
“But I’m supposed to be rescuing you,” I told him.
“Really?” He asked.  “Well thank you then.  And you did.  It was only because his attention was on you that I was able to free myself from Knight’s hypnotic hold long enough to use my magic.”

We dashed along the hall and down the stairs, quickly returning the way I had come.  At the main door, Imo was crashing back into the house.  My friendly monster stood over two of the beefy guards, having clearly knocked them senseless to charge back to my aid.  “Don’t worry,” I told him.  “I’m fine.”
Somewhere up above us there was a roar of such absolute rage that I felt all my furry hackles raise.  “Oh dear,” I said.  “Does that mean what I think it means?”
“Yes,” Drake said.  “Ivan Knight is free.  Let’s get the hell out of here.”

7 Responses to “Dark Corners, Issue #005”

  1. False Bill Says:

    stealing from a vampire, I’m sure this will end well for the good guys.

  2. Sarah Says:

    I see it more as liberating ill gotten gains to fund the greater good. Sulis.

  3. Keith Nixon Says:

    I see dinner is on you, Sulis.
    Got Gal

  4. Katy Says:

    I needed to thank you for this very good read!! I definitely loved every bit of it. I’ve got you saved as a favorite to look at new stuff you post…

  5. Carransa Says:

    I could not refrain from commenting. Perfectly written!

  6. Rachael Daley Says:

    I could not refrain from commenting. Exceptionally well written!


  1. Sullivan Harris

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