— Posted in Always into Darkness, The Master Race, Vampire Noir

The Master Race, Chapter 13

Pale Rider

“History is the version of past events that people have decided to agree upon.”

—Napoleon—

 

Jack comes to himself lying upon a thick slab of cultured Italian marble. It is the Cadillac of beds for demons in all of Creation. And, for a brief moment he was akin to her kind.

Something horrid, the sight of which makes him shudder involuntarily, turns its head and grins at Jack from across the ROOM.

It’s dragging the last of the freshly butchered bodies through a door into the kitchen. The “it” has a name. His name is Puck. Puck is one Sam’s most ardent fans. He literally worships her.

Of special note. The given name of Puck, who’s a mischievous Sprite and the proverbial life of the party, is Robin Goodfellow. ‘Nough said!

A naked, freshly showered Sam steps out of the adjoining bathroom and walks over to Jack. She’s eating something. She’s chewing on someone’s face. Blunt teeth and tongue. Her nails are no longer daggerous. No knobb. No klaw. Nothing Borg about her. And … There’s no evidence of wounds or mayhem.

The same can be said of Jack. He’s himself again. Mundane. Clean and pristine. Totally unscathed. There’s not a mark on him.

“Recognize him?” She asks, holding up the face for his inspection, while giggling at his apparent discomfort about her presentation. She’s such a biotch. A total bitch.

“Yes. He’s one of the queen’s elites. One of her personal bodyguards.”

“I need for you to look at the others, before Puck has his way with them. He’s quite a good cook, so once he begins preparing the food any forensics will be destroyed. If you’re feeling modest, lover, there are some clothes over there on that chair the previous owner won’t be needing them anymore. But, be quick about it, we don’t want to keep the chef waiting any longer than we need to.”

How many rooms are there in Sam’s ROOM? As many as there need be.

She steps into the kitchen. He dresses quickly and follows her, dressed in the clothes of a dead man. He thought that he was quick. He was wrong. Puck stands impatiently by one of the bodies, meat cleaver in hand poised at the ready above the torso of the fresh corpse. Bene Gesserit tricorder in hand, she is finishing up her scans.

Jack notices that she’s no longer naked. She’s wearing a tiny black bra, matching black fishnet tights, uber-creepy black opera gloves, and a pearl necklace. Jokingly, she first described her bra to him as the holsters she wears to keep her tits out of the way when she’s killing. Her long grace kid gloves are LBGs, of course. LBGs: long black gloves.

Laying on a cutting table that she’s careful to keep in range of, is her sword belt. The belt’s holster is a Race Bannon.

Race Bannon. A conventional “active” holster that has been extensively modified. It more resembles an orthopedic device than it does a street-ready carry. And, as such, it violates every carry reg in the IDPA rule book. In fact, it’s more radical than the race holsters of gun belts used in IPSC unlimited events. The holster molds itself to whatever weapon it holsters, providing the most secure carry and the fastest draw possible. It can be configured to be anything from a back holster to a belt holster on the strong side.

So … someone else [singular or plural] is in the room that we cannot see.

Jack doesn’t have to be Sherlock Holmes for this deduction. And … He’s careful to sport a poker face when he comes up with it. It just wouldn’t do to advertise the lowdown to the invisible.

“Quickly now, do you recognize any of the others?” She asks, the impatience palatable in her voice.

He takes his time and ignores their digs, her audible ones and Puck’s visual ones. The bodies of the four men and one woman are laid neatly out on metal preparation tables. None is known to him, except for the one whose face that he has already identified.

“I only recognize that one. The one whose face you are munching on. Those arcane tattoos inking his body, I’m the one who wrote them. All of the queen’s service has them, and they are done by a wizard of the First Order. Then again, I’ve been out of circulation for a long time, so maybe policy has changed and not all in the queen’s service are required to sport ink.”

“Or maybe their ink has been removed, without leaving a trace.”

“Then why not remove his?”

“Because he’s known to you, and the others aren’t.” At first, Jack doesn’t get it, and then, in short order, that boyish smirk paints his face. He finally gets it. Unfortunately, so do the others.

This second wave of attackers materializes in kitchen. And, they are packing heat. Their weapons are “generic” brand-x, but the guns are equivalent to Bene Gesserit phasers.

The first time that Jack saw someone use a gun, it was his Sam. He thought at the time what strange looking wands they were: black, clunky-looking “things” with hand grips. One minute her hands were empty, the next moment her hands were grasping the grips of those things. They spewed death, silent and horrific, without even the faintest shimmer of a magical flash. She referred to them as guns, and told him that it would be wise if he never spoke of them or what she had done with them to anyone. To this day he has complied. In the bloody aftermath, without her having to tell him otherwise, he figured out on his own that the “guns” weren’t wands, they were weapons.

The previously-invisible others are armed with guns the likes of which he had never seen before, not that they get much of a chance to use them.

They are attacked simultaneously by Puck, Sam, the ROOM, and Jack. Like the ones before them, none of these attackers are driven.

A wizard of the First Order, Jack can defend himself against all mortal comers and most Supernatural ones. His hands gesture arcanely. An invisible protective “shield” envelopes him. Wizard’s fire erupts from his hands. Think: directed thermo-nuclear blasts minus the radiation. Two men get fried into crispy ash figurines.

Puck drops his meat cleaver and just goes poof. It’s called spot-monkey, an arcane specialty of his race. Ultra-short range teleportation. He materializes here, there, everywhere in the room: ceiling, walls, and floor. He attacks with his long daggerous claws, ripping out throats and beating hearts from chests. If you know how to counter such an insidious attack, you have a sporting chance. If you don’t, you just die horribly.

Sam drops her tricorder and draws her sword. It’s as if her fully-deployed sword magically “loaded” into her hand. One moment she was unarmed. The next moment she’s hacking and slashing away at the enemy. She’s a blur of movement.

 

24 hours ago, minus the “enemy” attacks in Sam’s ROOM …

 

“A retired, thirty-something librarian on holiday.”

“Calls herself Sam. She’ll have to do in a pinch.”

“She’ll have to do a damn site better than that.”

Sister Carol will never get used to her superior’s use of profane language.

“Yes, Reverend Mother.”

“No trace back to us [i.e., The Order]?”

“Confirmed, along with plausible deniability.”

“Texas no limit hold ‘em. And, on top of that, she’s one of them [faeries]. Shit!”

“Couldn’t be helped. We had to commit.”

“And that, Sister Carol, is only saving grace in this total, and I mean total, cluster fuck.”

“Yes, Reverend Mother.”

 

Present time …

 

Wearing what’s left of a long sheer diaphanous dress, Fisher rises out of the coffin. Borg glyphs and runes are craved into the sides and the lid of the coffin. No one native to this world would recognize them, which is quite understandable, because The Borg have yet to reach this world.

She’s filthy, parasite-infested, and ravenous. The Master is nowhere in sight.

It’s too late. She’s the dead thing’s Familiar. In mind, body and soul, the Nosferatu “owns” her. She remembers her old life, but it’s irreverent to her. If her human husband Hawk were here, she would attack him with the intent to kill him, rape him, and feed upon him, and hopefully for his sake if it ever happens it’s in that order. She would have her way with him, making clothes out of him; again, for his sake while he was not still alive.

The dead thing is fashioning her into something pretty, perfect even, by its way of thinking. Her fingernails are long and daggerous, complementing her klaw hands. Her teeth serrated, for eating live. Fangs, for drinking live. Her tongue killer, for the in between. A bloody, coagulated “slime” paints her front from that gruesome mouth of hers to the geriatric rug of her crotch. Paints her dirty flesh and the filthy tatters that she calls a dress. Poor table manners. She wears who she eats.

Her long geriatric mane, those filthy streaked rattails, drape a knobbed neck and a once-beautiful face that’s been ravaged by insanity. Of course, it’s a beautiful face to the Master.

Stark raving mad, the feral sounds coming out of that grotesque mouth of hers are not even remotely human, although she still is. Yes … She’s still human, by the barest of threads. A very strong, tough to kill, homicidal, totally insane human being. Soon, very soon, she will be skin, bones, hair, and tits. A proper human bride for a Nosferatu. For now, the raving lunatic still has her comely figure. To the dead thing, the emaciated look is comely, of course.

Down here, the dead thing has dispensed with the lie, the façade of Lady Glenda. It once more looks like it did when Hawk and Fisher vanquished it. It once more looks like an animate corpse. A dead thing that preys on the living.

Where are they? They are no longer in the house. They have retreated to the catacombs and sewers beneath the city. It was a very hasty retreat. When Jaspers could not be found that was the tipoff that their home had been compromised, the three of them beat feet. While Noreen searches for a more suitable abode, this is home, for now.

Leavings scatter the floor. Human leavings. Male and female. Young and old. Children and even infants. Bones, some complete skeletons, but no flesh. No partially eaten carcasses.

Not all of the leavings are human, though. A fair share are animals. A fair share are other Supernaturals, too.

She walks across the grotto. Thanks to a long forgotten earthquake that collapsed part of the floor into the sewers below, almost half of brick-lined cavity is submerged. Raw sewage laps at the ledge that is the slimy cobblestone floor.

Her dirty, bare feet make no sound as she traverses the subterranean chamber. Large rats, the size of small dogs, scurry about. All of them give her a wide berth, as aforementioned for very good reason.

There is nothing remotely post-modern about Fisher, Noreen, or their master The Master. Most especially when it comes to the Nosferatu. Because, as depraved as they are, at least Noreen and Fisher are alive. The Nosferatu is a dead thing, literally the walking dead. But, in spite of being alive, Fisher is still quite the sight herself.

Like her beloved master and dead thing husband, who she worships … In addition to the aforementioned [geriatric mane and bush, rattail hair, klaw, knobb, daggerous nails, fangs, serrated teeth, killer tongue, etc] … Things grow on her. Things live on her. Things feed on her. Head lice, fleas, and crabs. Graveyard lichens and moss grow here and there on her filth-ingrained skin; skin that’s so filthy that it’s ashy-black in places. And she smells like rotting meat that has been left to hang too long. Her teeth are so filthy, they look rotten.

To digress, just like her master The Master … Cockroach-infested hair hangs about in limp stringy rattails, draping shoulders and breasts. That shock of filthy blonde rattails, which is liberally streaked with grey and white, erupts from her scalp. A scraggly bush, that’s just as geriatric and just as infested as her mane, carpets her vile, reeking crotch.

Yes indeed, Fisher is still quite the sight herself. To a dead thing, she’s a Barbie doll. And, the coup de gras … Once she’s just skin and bone and hair and tits, emaciated, she’ll look as close to a walking dead as you can get and still be alive.

With the exception of the knobb, which is Borg, her look is CLAF: common look and feel. It’s the dirty one, of course. There’s a plain variation, also known as stern. And, a sexy one. The latter two [plain and sexy] are clean and pristine. There are myriad permutations of the three looks. At this junction, Fisher and The Master sport the so-called dirty Borg.

Again, the paradox. Borg references on a world that has never known the Borg. This animate corpse lacks the ability to assimilate. Yet, the Nosferatu as a dead thing is the model for assimilation.

Borg assimilate in their pursuit of perfection. Making imperfect species perfect in their image by their way of thinking. The Nosferatu as dead thing has no such aesthetic. It is a relentless killing machine, nothing more and nothing less. This apex predator that embodies the essence of what it means to be Borg. As such, its body is its weapon.

Kaboom. The ground shakes. Debris rains from the ceiling. It sounds like subterranean thunder crackling in rapid succession interspersed with more ground-shaking kabooms. Fisher has never heard gunfire before, let alone heard or felt grenade percussions, so her misinterpretation of what she’s hearing and feeling is quite understandable. In a nearby chamber, a pitched gun battle is being waged on a planet where the local inhabitants haven’t developed guns yet, let alone flash-bangs.