Birth of the Undead – Multiple Identities 11
Written by kshoo :: [Thursday, 28 September 2023 04:26] Last updated by :: [Saturday, 30 September 2023 12:01]
“So, now what?” Hodges asked angrily as Blake tended to Donton just outside of the Foundation’s main gate, while Clayton their rookie called back for further instructions. At least Donton wasn’t really hurt bar some bruising, else things could have really gone south from there.
“Chief says he’s coming by, and he’ll bring backup. He sounded surprised about the entire situation, too.” The young rookie was earnest, but that didn’t really help matters.
“Great. Asking for help, and proving how poor we are at our job.” Hodges said ruefully. This was not going to look good during his review, as he couldn’t even bring in the suspect for questioning.
“Well, I don’t think anyone expected to face HER when we came. I mean, who knew?” Who indeed, as Blake mused inwardly. “There is something odd about that though.”
“Well, she looked… upset. Unreasonable? Never seen her show that side of her before. Confidence, yes. Anger? Not really.”
“Still don’t get you.”
“The way her eyes looked, it’s like she’s been played. Manipulated, somehow. I don’t know…”
“I think you have a point there.” All four looked towards the exotic voice that came from their left. Three young Asian women had appeared seemingly out of thin air, though only Blake recognised them. The three ladies seemed to be dressed for the occasion, each wearing different types of jumpsuits of dark colours that seemed to indicate that they are ready for some action in the evening.
“Whoa whoa whoa there Charlie’s Angels. What brings you three out here? And what’s with the outfits?” Clayton was more puzzled than alarmed. As he stepped in front of the three, Kat’s South Asian-mixed heritage plus her visible plunging neckline causing his heart to race slightly faster.
“Thought you guys might want a little support. Though in this case, the support might very well become the vanguard.” Kat spoke on behalf of the three, with Dillie and Es content with hanging back slightly but looking on intently.
Anita who has interacted with the three immediately moved forward. “Kat, I know you mean well, but the situation now is a bit complicated to say the least. You shouldn’t be here. If Chief finds out he’s going to go ballistic.” More like when, rather than if, she reminded herself mentally.
“Don’t worry, I think he’ll appreciate it once he realises what we can do here. Because I think from about ten minutes ago, you guys are not able to make your way beyond the gate, much less go onto the ground.”
Anita frowned. “What do you mean? I don’t follow.”
Dillie quipped up from behind, nodding towards her. “Why don’t you guys try stepping back onto the pathway?”
Hodges looked at them quizzically before taking a few steps forward from the main gate. After his second step he found himself seemingly unable to move. Something was slowing his feet’s movement from striding forward. It felt as if he went from treading on hard pavement, to sticky mud, and then into quicksand. The senior police officer was alarmed, but when he shifted and slowly backtracked however, he found his movements unimpeded in anyway.
“What the hell was that? Magic of some kind?”
Kat smiled grimly. “Yup. An inpediment spell. Acting like liquid tar or gum. Another setup to just keep you guys off the premises, I believe.”
“So it’s targeted against humans?” Es nodded. “But why can’t we sense it?”
The Thai woman smiled and explained. “I think that‘s the main reason for the spell. It has to be undetectable in general, else it would have set off alarm bells. But WE…” referring to three of them “could see, or at least sense them easily enough. That’s our common unique skillset, which I think is going to helpful for this kind of things. ”
Dillie quipped in. “Detection of the use is the first step, then we follow-up by dismantling it, and stopping it from ever be used later. We don’t really like our own to use spells in such an open and brazen manner. Attracts unwanted attention.”
“So… sort of like a minesweeper or sorts. Reconnaisance team.” Clayton piped up. His heart fluttered when all three flashed a smile at him.
Anita however wasn’t so sure. “But if that’s the case, how do guys plan to get in?”
“Well…” Kat glanced at Dil before taking a tentative step forward. “Based on what we can sense from the spell, if we’re NOT the target…” she then took another two experimental strides in and stopped. Looking and feeling around a bit, she finally turned around and smiled “… then it doesn’t really work on us.” And with that, she slowly moved towards the maindoor again, with Es and Dil following close behind.
Cue it to the male witch's first mistake of the day.
“What the… that’s NOT FAIR!” Clayton called out in exasperation, but given that Anita and Hodges didn’t have any other better ideas, they could only watch the rapidly shrinking backs of the three young women as they jogged towards the old mansion.
Opening the main door into old stately manor wasn’t even a problem. Even though Kat was trying to be careful not to raise any alarm she realised that there didn’t seem to be one in the first place. Overconfidence maybe? Or banking to much on one powerhouse of woman. Whatever it was, when all three entered they realised one major difference to the time when they first visited the place previously.
The place was now eerily silent, as if it had been abandoned for the longest time. Which might make sense, if it weren’t for the fact that the floors are still relatively clean, as walking along the corridors didn’t reveal any of their footmarks. Some of the flourescent lights had already come on automatically as the natural light from outside dimmed with time, the still bright but slightly faded orange glow of the setting sun coming through the windows.
As they came to the branch at the end of the corridors, three of them had to make a decision. Speaking softly, Kat suggested Es. “Best Dil goes with one of us, given that she will see something that triggers her memories.” Both of them did three rounds of rock-paper-scicssors, and smirking triumphantly, Kat said. “I win. You get to go with her. Up or down?” the last question was directed to Dil instead.
“Down. It was rather dark in my visions.” Es frowned while Kat laughed, knowing Es' personal preference. Nodding reluctantly, they quickly parted ways.
“This really is not my cup of tea.” Es said quietly as the two looked around cautiously.
Both young ladies had made their way down the stairway to find themselves walking along the tiled-hallway, with larger room on both sides. Still relatively well-lit they slowly made their way deeper towards the other end. As their shoes continued to ‘click-and-clack’ away on the polished floor they knew that all sense of surprise would be gone by now. Despite being the taller and the supposedly more athletic of the two, Es had instead professed to facing anything or anyone head-on, rather than the having to wait it out amidst the suspense, her mind swirling with all the havoc that are lurking behind corners.
No wonder she never joins us for any of the horror movie marathons, mused Dil as she led the way, for a change. However the fact that there was still no one in sight was worrisome on so many levels. With the windows panes either covered or frosted, they would have to open the doors and walk in to really see what was going on behind the scenes. That wasn’t ideal especially when trying to be discreet, not to mention the danger of not knowing what is lurking behind each door.
“Which one?” Dil asked Es, who looked very uncomfortable with their current situation. Seeing Es’ shrug, she made a mental decision and reached for the door knob on her right. Twisting it, both of them stepped through to find …
“Nothing.” Es kicked a chair sending it crashing towards the side wall in frustration, creating at least some noise. Already in the third room, all they found were empty labs. There were the standard lab equipments - beakers, test tubes, precision machines and all the apparatus befitting a high-school lab.
But not one person.
“We’re probably too late.” She lamented, even as Dil checked out the fridge on the sidetable next to one of the long-counters. “We should have come earlier like I suggested, then we would have caught up with them.”
“We don’t know that. Besides, we don’t have any clue or information whatsover about their plans beyond that they might be attempting to flee, right?
For some reason however, the petite girl was taking her time with her search, especially at the fridge where it must have been used for keeping samples of sorts.
“Well…” Dil grunted slightly seemingly reaching for something before proferring to her companion. “Sometimes you just have to be a bit persistent to find something of interest. And I think I might have found one that fits that description.”
“Is that… blood?” Es’ eyes opened wider at that small vial in Dil’s left hand. They were here to rescue people, but this place was starting to resemble more of a research center of sorts.
“Looks like it. Given that we are in a lab, sometimes you just have to consider what you can actually find in this kind of setting. I think there’s more to the kidnapping story than what we realised.” Taking out a miniature box from one of the pouches along her belt, that small vial happened to just fit nicely into it, and she quickly stored it away.
“You’ve got that right.” Both women quickly turned around to see a figure standing at the doorway. A teenage girl with a short bob of shocking pink hair, all dressed in a leather top and pants, she stood slightly taller than both of them thanks for the 3-inch heels on her boot. Despite her young looks she looked very much the femme fatale that one read about in novels. Not withstanding that both witches could see a slight golden glint that seemed to sparkle once or twice as she looked at both of them.
“You know, I’ve been told to be patient. Just my luck that I’ve camped at other end while you guys started from here. And you guys just took. Your. Time. It was SOOOOOOOOO FUCKING LOOONNNGGGG!! So I thought I’d come to you directly and save you the trouble.”
“Look, we’re just here to help. We don’t mean any harm.” Es looked around the place even while she spoke, trying to figure out if there was a way out. Unfortunately the woman had blocked their most direct path out, while the backdoor is at the other end of the room.
“Oh, I don’t think you’ll be able to do much harm. To me that is. But what I’m able to do to you is another matter altogether…” With casual move of her left arm towards her side, Es suddenly found herself flung over to another side of the room as if she were slapped hard by a great force, smashing part of the glass cabinet before collapsing onto the floor.
“ES!! Ngggnhh…” Dil suddenly found herself being held by the throat, and her legs slowly left the ground . This was despite the pink-haired woman was still standing at least ten feet away from her, her left arm half-raised, with her fist seemingly holding onto air. With that huge, almost crazed grin of hers, it’s like she had caught her first game and was about to devour it.
“This is AMAZING! You know, when they told me how different I would be after that little injection, I never imagined the kind of POWER that I would get!! And they promised me even more!!” Walking slowly towards Dil, she seemed to be playing her would-be victim, toying with her, until she was a feet away, the Asian witch struggling with that invisible hold. “Based on what those people told me, they are making new breakthroughs by the day. And while I’m not very sure what kind of abilities you have, I am sure they wouldn’t mind having a go at you and figure it out. All I have to do is to bring you to them.”
Dil was struggling for all her worth as she felt her windpipe closing ever tighter. As her vision started blurring, a mighty “CRASH” and wollop was heard, before she felt the pain on her knees and elbows, gasping and coughing as she fought for breath.
Es had recovered sufficiently just moments earlier to see Dil slowly being choked by the pink-haired girl. By all standards, either she was somehow corrupted or manipulated in some way, or that she was enhanced to become one of them witches. The way she was able to send a mighty wind-driven sideswipe onto her, and hold Dillie in the air suggests that her ability might actually be closer to the top of the measuring scale. Seeing Dil’s struggle, Es just grabbed one of the high-stools near her, and then used her own powers to ‘jump’ from her end to reappear behind the woman and smash it against the woman’s unprotected back. As the woman fell, Es too found herself seemingly on a weird trajectory as she found herself being flung backwards, sending her crashing against the drywall before collapsing onto the ground.
Despite desiring just to lay down and rest on the ground, Es knew the danger of lingering. Groaning and struggling to pull herself up, the young Thai lady was feeling all bruised up, each and every movement brought another dull aching pain reminding her that this was not something that she signed up for. Seeing that Dil herself already sitting up with her left hand gingerly going around her neck, Es half-dragged herself over to check her friend out.
“We need to go.” Dil proferred her right hand and Es quickly pulled the shorter girl onto her feet.
“What she said just now… did she mean she was made a witch, or merely awakened?” Dil asked what was they slowly made their way back out into the corridor. Even though the entire concept sounded fantastic.
“I have no idea. My god, that was such a powerful knockback spell. Wind-based maybe?” Despite their fight being relatively contained within the room, for whatever reason a good portion of the corridor lights have suddenly failed, and only the ends where the stairs are located remain lit. They were about three-quarters down the hall when suddenly Es felt Dil tugging her towards the door on the right. Not a moment too soon as when she stepped over, a powerful blast of air went past her to slam againt the stairs and wall, sending tiles and wooden shrapnels all over the place.
Ducking into the closest room Es saw Dil quickly throwing the switch off and then pushing Es clattering to the ground towards the side of one of the long lab tables, again merely seconds before another powerful blast smashed the glass panes from the outside, showering the nearer end with glass shards. No doubt Dil was taking advantage of her acute Witches sight, the young witch’s inborn ability to be able to ‘see’ into the very near future of what would happen next. Though they normally only come in bits and pieces, Dil have had enough experience with her abilities to understand the visions, and then translate it to her resulting actions. In this case, it meant knowing where to go and how to avoid the brunt of the attacks. Pulling Es into a crawl, they quickly moved deeper into the dark room.
“It’s no use, ladies. The entire place has been sealed off. No one can get in to help you. You're my playtoy now.” Pink-haired lady’s voice cut through the room. Walking ‘over’ all the broken glass on the floor doesn’t seem to bother her the least, as she used her wind powers to ‘walk’ on a cushion of air above it.
Instead of checking each and every corner and wasting time, with a flick of her right wrist she sent one of the long tables in front of her crashing out the already broken window, showeing even more glass all about. Trying to scare the two women out from their hiding place.
“Come on, come on. I don’t have all day. Why don’t you save all of us the trouble and just give up?”
Another flick of her left wrist, and the chairs in front of her flew backwards to crash into the various glass cupboards, sending all the contents fllying. Despite overhearing some whimpers, again a no-show. But from the sounds she knows she is getting closer.
As she moved ever closer towards the middle to the room suddenly she spied movement towards her left. Without skipping a beat, a gentle wave of her left hand sent three chairs flying towards her left, which Es narrowly just missed as she dodged onto the ground just about missing that attack by her assailant. Despite wearing long-sleeved leather suits, falling onto broken glass is still painful ven if they haven’t broken through the tougher cloth.
But her motion had brought the unwanted action towards her, and this time it was the Thai lady’s turn who found herself being held up in the air by the pink-haired lady’s powers. Locking her green eyes on Es’ dark browns, she reveled in her power, grinning as Es struggled to distangle herself from her invisible hold.
“Despite the fact that I want to try and play a bit more with you, I do have a time limit for what I want to do. So I eh… ??” Es suddenly felt herself tumbling back onto the ground as her assailant tried to get to the medical syringe that was sticking into her neck on the right side. It took her only but ten seconds as the attacker’s eyelids finally closed, her body falling lifelessly onto the ground.
Dil had timed her attack to perfection. With the limited insight that she had about the room, she had fortitutously found a cabinet of syringes and a few vials of Diazepam. She hastily agreed on a plan with Es who volunteered to be the bait while Dil waited for the appropriate opening. It was Dil who squeaked out as the tall stools hit very close to home, and with no time to spare Es had quickly moved forward to try and attract the woman’s attention. Perhaps the pink-haired witch was overconfident this time or that she had forgotten there were two of them. Leaving her back wide open, it allowed Dil to quickly emerge from the shadows to plunge that one full vial into the young witch.
“Let’s really get out of here before…” Dil made a motion for them to get out of the place when they heard a weird rumbling. Then, the entire building seemed to shake for a while. As both of them ran towards the stairs the shaking all about became even more pronounced, before a part of the ceiling collapsed into the hallway. The two Asian witches could only watch in stunned silence of all that unfolded in front of them.
Kat despite having little trouble in making her way upwards, was feeling more uneasy and puzzled than anything else. What she saw was very much unexpected. Her initial thought was that there must be ambush abound, but her cautious approach plus her witch’s sense hadn’t detected anything that were “witchy” around the immediate vicinity.
“Where the hell is everyone?”
Her question was quickly answered when upon opening the first door closest to her, she found two young ladies laying in their bed. Shaking them vigorously didn’t stir them one bit, though a quick check on their pulse confirmed that they are all alive. “Out cold”. Drugged, as there was no spell that she could detect.
The same with the next three rooms that she checked. Good news that all the women were unharmed in any way. But then…
”Just what the heck happened here? So they just leave all of them here, and just left??”
As she was leaving the fourth room, she finally heard some noises from the rooms further down the corridor. Making her way across warily, within a minute she placed her hand on one of the door’s handle.
Before twisting however, she paused, concerned. Something felt… off. Something that she couldn’t place. As if she should be check another place first before…
Kat felt the powerful kick on her back that sent her flying forward about fifteen feet before falling face-first onto the hardwood floor. Twisting quickly towards the left she just about missed the foot that came crashing down on the floor splintering part of the old parquet. She then move her arms upwards barely in time to parry another hit when another kick connected on her torso, sending her crashing against the other side of the wall.
“Ooowww… that’s really going to hurt tomorrow…” Kat winced as she slowly picked herself up slowly, her gaze never leaving the raven-haired young woman standing in front of her. The woman facing her wore a simple red-leather top paired with black long pants and a pair of black pumps, her opponent oozed sexiness and danger at the same time.
“Nice outfit. Looks like you’re dressed for a bit of a tumble, though I did expect a bit more resistance. Let’s see you try a bit more.” Shannon Rodgers taunted, and Kat’s eyes narrowed.
Like two fighters tossed into a ring, both of them studied each other while walking slowly in a circle initially. Kat was slightly taller than Shannon; Even though the latter was wearing heels, the fact that she was caught unaware meant that there’s something else masking her approach.
“Something witchy, I’ll bet. Whoa…” She didn’t even have time to finish her thoughts as she parried two quick kicks aimed at her head, each blow making her arm slightly numb with pain. The speed in which Shannon came at her was much faster than normal human beings, including even those martial arts exponents. But that was just the start, and Kat continued to be on the backfoot as Shannon pressed-on with follow-ups , putting on punches and kicks all targeting her head, torso and legs.
Being the designated ‘hitter’ of their group, Kat had always been more than capable of holding her own against most. This time however, with little inteligence about their so-called opponents at the Manor, this was a fairly poor situation to be in tactically, for sure. Kat was just doing her best to dodge and avoid hits, gauging and trying to learn of any possible weaknesses on-the-fly.
Despite looking ordinary, Shannon Rodgers’ hits does come packing with power. Where the few landed, Kat felt pain and then numbness; whereas those that missed actually broke furniture and cracked drywall. To further distract her opponent, Kat just grabbed and tossed anything that she could get her hands around the place and threw them towards Shannon, trying to buy herself more time.
“It’s not going to work, you know. You’re just delaying the inevitable. It only makes me more pissed, and you won’t like me when I’m pissed.” The last toss came directly towards Shannon’s face, who promptly swiped the cup towards her left to crash against the wall, leaving an obvious brown stain even as their fight took them towards the middle of the hallway.
“Still trying to avoid me? Feeling a little… lethargic maybe? I don’t think you will be able to keep up with your antics that much longer. But then, I do love to soften up my opponents before I go in for the final blow.”
"Now that she mentioned it… " Kat DOES feel herself becoming sluggish, as if her own stamina and strength slowly being depleted. It felt as if she was slowing down and weakening against an energiser bunny who just kept coming and coming.
No thanks to Shannon’s powers as a Succubus, which none of the witches knew about.
Throughout her entire stay at the Manor, Shannon had been determined to prove her worth to the organization. The past few weeks had seen her improve both on her unique abilities as well as her fighting skill. While skin-to-skin contact is still the best way (experimentation with a few unwilling victims here had yielded conclusive results), she realised that her powers have expanded to allow her to pick-up and drain bits of energy by being close to her prey within a small radius of a couple of feet. For this young succubus, every little bit of advantage helps.
Despite the increased challenge, the past fifteen minutes hadn’t been for naught for the female witch. Through her incessant probing, Kat had more or less gauged that Shannon wasn’t really that skilled nor experienced in fighting, but was more reliant on her speed and power. In fact, her fighting style was more of bits and pieces that was seemingly picked out from watching tv. Very unlike Kat, who built up her survival and street-fighting skills while growing up in the rough areas of Mumbai, and then later augmenting those with proper tutelage under skilled masters after she became protected under the city’s largest coven.
From all the taunts thrown by her opponent, Kat learnt one more thing about Shannon Rodgers.
Shannon doesn’t really do patience.
“If you really think I’m done, come in for the kill then.”
Shannon laughed, and proceeded to do just that, going straight for the Indian woman with left arm curled towards her right shoulder to do an elbow move. That however left Shannon’s lower body exposed. With a quick dip and sideswipe, the Succubus herself was instead sent clattering face-first towards the sidewall herself, smashing and denting the drywall. As she removed herself she screeched loudly as Kat seemingly tossed something towards her that temporarily blinded her, before the Indian lady delivered the coup de grace by crashing a chair on her, sending her onto the ground in finality.
Kat panted and waited for a long fifteen seconds before finally relaxing her stance. “All talk and no substance, I say…” the woman muttered to herself before she went towards the rooms at the end of the hall. She had noticed that during their entire altercation, Shannon seemed to be working hard to ‘guide’ her away from the last two rooms.
One of which she remembered belonged to one male witch of interest.
Taking another look at her opponent’s immobile body, she turned the handle and stepped in.
There wasn’t anyone there. But on the floor however…
“What have we here…” Kat spoke to herself as she walked slowly around the chalkmark drawing on the floor. That pentagon on the floor, used in many a wiccan ceremony and the lit candle in the middle, was an obvious sign that something was being cast at the moment. Judging by the amount of wax along the candle and the parquet floor, it’s been there for some time.
This, she expected. The protective barrier that was still barring the police from entering the compound must have originated from the Manor.
But what she didn’t expect, and was very much intrigued by, were the items placed at specific points of the pentagon. “Ginseng… ginkgo… saffron… that’s weird.” One of Kat’s more unique skill is spell detection, or rather the decomposition of it. Based on her understanding and experience with witches’ grimore, the objective of the spell to be cast must have some underlying item that someone denotes that particular attribute. For example, if one wants to cast a spell that makes one invisible, probably some leafy vegetation and such might be used. For something that increases protection or a shield, a link to a strong or immobile object, such as stone or wood, would be necessary.
None of the things around the pentagon fit the bill. Looking about Kat spotted a small, intricate stone house that looked like a replica of the orphanage’s building, placed prominently on the middle shelf of an otherwise empty bookcase. Shifting her angle a little, her witches’ sense detected a very slight, but direct link up from the candlelight upwards to the middle of the stone model.
It’s like the pentagon is part of a spell to channel energy to power another spell? Talk about being intricate and complex. But it exposes the castor's own limiited knowledge about proper casting.
“This is so weird and unnecessary.” Kat remarked to herself.
“Really? Maybe we should take it up with him then.” Kat barely had time to turn around when she found herself being lifted up by the throat and then pinned against the wall. Shannon had recovered quicker than expected, and despite the drying blood on the corner of her mouth she looked none the worse for wear.
“You know, when they told me that I would be facing a worthy adversary, I thought it would be someone that I could really test myself. Turns out you’re still far off the being my true opponent.” Shaking Kat like a kitten seemingly, she leaned in closer to have a look. For her effort though she suddenly got a direct head-butt, followed by a gust of white thrown against her. Shrieking in pain Shannon desperately tried to clear the chalk powder from her face, while Kat turned around to look for a way to disrupt whatever was happening. She was quickly hampered when one unconscious swipe and push from an enraged Shannon sent her smashing against the wall towards the side yet again.
The succubus was now on warpath.Despite not being able to see, Shannon still managed move correctly onto Kat’s path who just about ducked underneath the attempted two fisted punch, staying out of the way just enough to avoid injury.
Neither women noticed the flickering, and then the extinguisihing of the candle from all their movement and commotion.