Categories > Original > Sci-Fi > The Hammergram Chronicles: The Dawn

Baptism By Fire

by hgcmp 0 reviews

One night venture of excitement turns into a pyratic proving ground for Maureen's mettle.

Category: Sci-Fi - Rating: PG-13 - Genres: Action/Adventure, Angst, Sci-fi - Warnings: [V] - Published: 2006-03-27 - Updated: 2006-03-28 - 4231 words

"This is all happening wrong," the white clothed elderly monk mutters to himself as he looks through a binocular-like device, but only the quarter of it that is closest to the eyes is solid while the remaining three quarters appear to be a holographic image. He is standing on a different rooftop that is many blocks away from where he and his apprentice were several nights ago as the wind rustles through his short coarse grey beard and his cloak. His pupil drops from up above and softly lands on his feet as the hologram disappears from the device, while he removes it from his eyes.
"I told you not to fly as we are not to be noticed!" the teacher scolds as he turns to him, revealing a slight accent.
"Forgive me, Master Sarin," his pupil apologizes. He tries to mouth an excuse for his blatant use of his abilities, but is interrupted.
"We don't have time for this!" his elder interjects, " The boy is acting bizarre. I have never seen the ring have that kind of effect on its possessor. It's almost like the ring has possessed him or maybe?"
"May be we should take it from him before he destroys himself and this entire planet!" his student warns.
"No, Raylin, it has chosen its master!" the sensei lashes back.
"The Nore is killing millions of our people and all we do is sit here and watch these undeserving children, when we should take matters into our own hands and act for once in our order's existence!" Raylin barks as the passion comes flowing out as his scarred left hand turns into a fist, that he shakes vigorously.
"It is apparent, my apprentice, that you have forgotten the mission of our order. Our mission is not that of destroying the likes of the Nore, but that of the preserving the legacy of our fallen hero, Morphus, and not some vengeance laced crusade. As of right now, those rings and their owners are exactly that," the wise monk stoically retorts, as the rebelliousness in his student subsides as he continues, " Now, what is the latest on the girl."
"Not much, oddly enough, she hasn't left her dwelling in several days," he answers.
Three small cracks run out from a center point in an indentation in the ceiling of Maureen's bedroom. They were caused one day when Jacky and she were little as they were bouncing around on her bed and the elder told the younger more naïve one that she could teach her how to fly. The two bounced simultaneously and Jacky threw her into the ceiling, knocking her out. When she came around, crying from the pain in her head, her sister threatened that if she told her parents that the pain she felt was only the beginning. When asked what happened, she had no explanation on how it got there and, from that point on, she kept silent. Still, the cracks seem to be growing longer and longer and some someday someone else will notice. Even though, the news would bring little vindication as it probably be seen as a cute childhood misadventure and nothing else.
Underneath these tiny imperfections, Maureen lies on her bed face up, staring at every subtle curvature. After spending the last several days trapped at home by her paranoid mother, who hasn't let her leave the house since seeing her in that white outfit. The only things that she seems to do with her time is guess what bizarre illness her family's matriarch will come up with tomorrow to keep her out of school for another day, because as of right now she is suffering from "chronic gasteral emissions" and the other thing is riffling through her novel collection. Also, the pretty mundane has become pretty interesting. She has spent hours staring at her dresser against the wall in front of the foot end of her bed with its white finish with a hint of pink and gold painted handles with images of angels on one side and devils on the other in conflict. Whenever she leaves the room, she can remember visually everything detail of not just this piece of furniture, but all the furniture in the entire house right to the smallest detail. On her nightstand, she sees one of the many novels she has read, a book by Maya Angelou and she begins to remember every sentence, every phase and every word, running through her mind as if she is reading it all over again. She even remembers the copyright information and who published it. Not only the novels she has read recently, but also all the ones she has ever read start to appear in her mind as if she has just put them down. She can remember movies and television shows as well as people, places and things some that were once forgotten. Through this symphony of memories, a sound can be heard. At first it sounds like chuckling, but as it gets louder and louder, the more bestial it becomes like a rabid dog on a feeding frenzy, but at the same time all too human. Placing a vice-like grip on her forehead and shutting her eyes, she desperately tries to shiver away the inescapable noise, but finds salvation in the calling of her mother from down the stairs.
"Maureen, are you okay up there?" she announces as it echoes up the stairs.
"I'm fine," Maureen answers as she releases her forehead and opens her eyes.
"All right, dinner will be ready soon. We're having pork chops. Is that all right?" her mother replies, sounding a little angst at the end.
"Yes," she answers.
"Okay, are you sure you are all right?" she yells, sounding a bit more worried.
"Yes!" Maureen barks back.
"Okay," her mother uneasily chuckles back.
Knowing that what she said couldn't be further from the truth, she tries to calm herself from the disturbing Pandora's box she just opened in her mind, but, despite her general feeling of terror, she still feels a growing urge to find out how far this rabbit hole goes.
A black van moves at an inconspicuous pace through the streets of New Spaniel, blanketed by the night's sky. It has been doing laps around the city for hours, while staying exactly at the speed limit and changing lanes only to turn. At times, it comes across other vans that look identical to it that seem to follow the same pace. Inside the vehicle are a very large and athletic man dressed from the shoulders down in a black body suite behind the wheel with a look of readiness on his face as to react to the slightest bit of change that could happen with a smaller, but equally athletic woman, riding shotgun in same outfit and look of vigilance. In the back of the van are two other well built, but slightly younger men in the same outfit but have a look of growing impatience and uneasiness in the body language and eyes and a noticeably less athletic young man, sporting a polo shirt and jeans, who seems to be feverishly working on the high tech equipment that lines the left side walls.
"God damn it!" I am so tired of these mystery bug hunts H.Q. sends us on," one of the loungers in the back groans, "We have been circling for hours."
"You hold your tongue, son, or you will be securing junk piles as your next assignment, " the driver snaps back, "Hey, professor, what is the latest on the readings."
"Well, Captain Jerome, nothing concrete, it's hard to narrow in on a single signal with all the electrical interference coming from all around us," the lesser athletic one answers as he gazes in to a large console with four monitors.
"Hence, why they have us driving around the city so we can isolate its signal," the woman answers, while still looking forward.
"So, are you picking up anything on the scanner?" the driver implies with a look in his face of almost disbelief, as to say that they should hove known this by now.
"What kind of power source are we looking for?" she asks.
"Actually, Sergeant Ellie, I don't know. H.Q. Just told us to go out and find a large fluctuation in energy. I was kind of wondering why they sent security squads with us," he wonders.
The two other passengers in the rear force their heads back in disbelief.
"Stop pouting, we are on assignment. It doesn't matter what we are after. We are on investigation and that is exactly what we are going to do," the driver barks as he looks through the rear view mirror.
The technician's eyes widen as he quickly leans forward. "I may have something," he answers with joy, "Holy Christ, this thing is powerful! I don't know how the hell something this potent could stay hidden."
"What exactly are we talking about here?" she asks.
"I think it may be wise to head back to base and tell the S.L.A.P. Corp. higher ups about this," he replies, sounding worried.
"What is it?" Jerome growls.
"It's hard to tell. It keeps fluctuating. At one moment, it's real potent, but at the next it's almost nonexistent," he answers.
"How potent does it get?" the passenger to his left yells full of angst.
"If the data is right and if the energy became destructive, it could make a nuke look like a fire cracker," the technician says, looking pale as the two others in the back glace at each other.
"How far is it from here, Irvins?" Ellie inquires with a straight poker face.
"You're not seriously," he answers, but is cut off.
"Where is it?" Jerome forcefully orders, showing a similar unemotional face.
"It's not far. It's a left and five blocks over," he nervously answers.
The van follows the path laid out by Irvins as it travels a silence falls over the vehicle as it approaches the destination. The two other rear passengers lose their paranoia and join the two up front in the same stoic expression as the area around the van become desolately silent with not a soul in sight. The only sound that can be heard is the sound of the equipment and the technician's knocking knees until it finally stops in front of a ravaged and abandoned old office building deep in the bowels of the city.
"Okay troops, let's suit up!" the captain orders as the four rise from their chairs and he hits a button hidden underneath the dashboard as large compartments fold out from the ceiling. Each of the four grab some elaborate night vision visors that are the size and shape sunglass, but with one green tinted lens that extends around the entire unit. They each put on black bulletproof vests that zip up the middle and has all sorts of small devices in little pockets littered all over. They also grab small automatic weapons, each release the safeties and then load the ammunition from one of the pockets on the vest and cock it in the handle on the lower shaft of the gun.
"Everyone charged up?" he announces as each flick a switch by the safety on each gun, which causes a humming noise in the air.
"Cameras are online," Irvins adds.
"Move out," Jerome orders and the automated doors at the back slowly part open as the four quickly disperse out, leaving the technician behind at his station.
The area around them is crypt-like quiet with not even the sounds from down the street can be heard. Through the special visors, they not only can see where the power signature is coming from the old build in front of them. The reading is so strong that the four have to squint their eyes, forcing them to adjust the setting in their visors so they are no longer blinded, as they quickly run to the front double doors. The building has existed long past its prime and seems to be barely standing up with bored up four front windows and smog stained white bricks.
The team reaches the metal doors as two post on each side as the other two pull the doors and are greeted by nothing but silence. Jerome and his female subordinate quickly move in and stand in the center of a large foyer, guns pointed outward as they scan the area. The inside mirrors its exterior with ripped up brown stained wallpaper that used to have flower patterns. To their left, a wide stairwell that goes along the wall with rotting wooden steps and to their right a small room that looks it was used as a help desk, but the desk is long since gone. The leader whispers, " All Clear," and the two others quickly tip two into the room as they each shut the doors behind them and stand around their leader for the next order.
"Irvins, have you been able to isolate the signal?" Jerome whispers as he tapes a small button by his left temple on the visor that acts as a two-way radio, but all he hears is static and forcefully shakes his head in frustration. The other three try the same, but get the same result. He taps his index finger towards the exit, but to their shock, the doors will not budge as a startled look begins to grow on the two less experienced squad members.
"Stay frosty," he hisses at them as the two nod in affirmation. A subtle sound begins to fill the ears of Ellie as she turns her attention to the stairs and points upward as the rest of the group follows suit. They slowly creep up the stairs, each poised alert in a state of readiness, scanning with their eyes every square inch with their eyes, focusing the sound, which is a repeating creaking spaced evenly by silence. From the stairwell, they move on to a small hallway with rotting wooden doors on each side. In a formation of the two junior members flanking the sides, Jerome covers the rear with Ellie facing forward. They softly tap the aged floor underneath them as any creeks of their own could drown out or alert the prey of their presence. They keep moving until they isolate the sound to the last doorway on the right as the door itself looks like it has been pulverized. Without changing pace, they enter the room with tiny splinters from the door littering the floor. It is a small room with areas on the floor where the wood is tinted darker that the rest, which were most likely where furniture once was. Their attention is quickly focused to the far end of the room to a small wooden desk, the epicenter of the sound. Jerome signals his crew to each side of the desk as they draw their weapons underneath the desk to reveal a very pale long haired teenaged boy, sitting in a fetal-like position with his arms wrapped around his bent legs, rocking back and forth, muttering something under his breath. He looks like he is in some kind of catatonic state.
Jerome waves his left hand in front of him and snaps his fingers, but he ignores him. He looks at Ellie and shrugs his shoulders, as the boy's stuttering and tired voice gets louder, "Mustn't fall asleep. Mustn't fall asleep," he moans over and over louder and louder, confusing his visitors, who begin to look amongst themselves. After struggling to stay conscience, his eyes close and his voice fades.
"Captain, can you hear me, over?" Irvins yells into his headset in the confines of the van, as he frantically types away at the console, looking at the four monitors in front of him that are giving nothing but snow. He throws off his headset in frustration in the deck and exits the van. As soon as he exits, a loud gunshot-like sound resonates in the air as a blinding white light consumes the building in front of him.
In the safety of her home, tossing and turning in her bed, Maureen finally rolls on her back and begins to stare at the ceiling. An urge has been slowly growing in the back of her mind all day. The only way to satisfy this craving is once again go out flying and may be in its Zen-like freedom come to some answers about her recent encounters. Still, on the other side of the coin, she fears that it will open other demons in of her that she isn't aware of yet. Even with that argument, the thrall of craving becomes more and more intoxicating. Until finally, she quickly rises out of bed to her feet and quietly tip toes to the window, opening it after lifting the blinds with a tug of a string. She unlatches the metal screens behind it as it lands in one of the bushes on the front lawn. As she drops out of the window, she once again radiates the same white light, followed by the matching sound and the materialization of the white suite, as she flies upward into the sky.
In flight, she reaches a very meditative-like state, where she feels calm and at one with her surrounding. She feels like she can move flow as gracefully as the breeze as weightless as the clouds around her. Through this newfound peace, a noise begins to develop in her ear, the sound of crying. At first, she tries to ignore it as if it would go away in a second and continues to be one with her environment, but the sound becomes unavoidable as she realizes it's the sound of a baby crying in terror from the city below.
"Shut up!" squeals a young man as he violently shakes his head with bloodshot eyes, wearing a tank top and jeans. He is behind the wheel of a blue four-door sedan and in the back seat, a young baby crying its eyes outs strapped to a baby seat. A piece of cloth is stuck in the driver's side door, it belongs to the dress coat of the middle aged mother, who is desperately running beside the car, still caught in the door.
Screaming in pain as her feet scrape the pavement, her only thoughts are towards her infant, "Please let my baby go!"
Sounding hysterical, he cries in a stuttering fashion, "Why don't you just fucking go away!" and lets out a scream reminiscent of a child's temper tantrum. He forcefully grabs a small automatic handgun from the passenger's side.
"Okay, have it your way, bitch!" he yells and screams as he points the weapon as the small infant, " See you in hell you little fucker!" He pulls the trigger and the gun will not fire.
"No, no, no, no!" he squeals as he spikes the gun and turns to see that the car is in an alley and floating off the ground with all the power suddenly drained, standing in front of the vehicle is a girl in a weird looking costume with her eyes cringed and her head tilted to the side with her right arm extended straight out and her palm up.
The once armed assailant frantically tries in a tantrum-like fashion exit the vehicle, pulling on the metal latches in the door next to him, convulsing his body back and forth as he tugs and then slams his body in to the door. The mother's shirt rips free of the car as she drops to the ground on her feet, but is too injured to stand up.
"My baby, you have to do something!" she desperately pleads as the masked stranger in white opens her eyes and looks at the floating automobile in amazement.
"Let the child go!" Maureen forcefully yells, but he seems more interested in making whining noises and pounding everything around him.
She quickly floats over to the rear passenger side of the screaming baby and rips the door off its hinges, throwing it aside, and reaches for the child. The delusional carjacker lunges to her with a primal scream and grabs her by the shoulders. A sudden surge of rage overtakes her and she swiftly punches him in the face, forcing him through the windshield as the dashboard snaps his legs up. Fuming with anger, she flies after him and catches him still in the air, slamming his back into a glass window of a flower shop, shattering it, across the street from the entrance. She lands on her feet and still holding him by the neck. Her teeth clinch as her eyes overflow with the rage in her and her hands begin to glow a bright light as she raises it towards the helpless unconscious young man. Suddenly, her eyes widen as a vision violently enters her mind of a hospital room. She seems to be moving as if seeing the room while running very quickly past it. At the top of the doorway, it reads "301" and in the center of the room and covering the linoleum floor lies a pool of blood. Her mind zeroes in on the pool, engraining it in her memory, as she is strangely reminded of the cracks in the ceiling at home. She can feel a presence beckoning, almost pleading her to reminder it and to never forgive or forget the events that transpired here, whatever that may be she doesn't know. As quickly as her mind drifted out of, it returns to reality as she completely forgets about the poor slob in her slob in her grasp and releases him as his limp body plops on the ground as she turns her head to her left. The feeling of unbridled rage reaches a new level inside her as she can feel pulsating in mind with every beat of her accelerated heart and fuming out of her nostrils with every breath. Like a bloodhound, she takes off towards it, leaving the bewildered mother and her floating car behind
"Miss, um, miss, my child and my car are still in the, ah, air. Could you let them down now? Somebody? Anybody?" the shaking mother asks, wondering how she could irresponsibly just leave like that.
Maureen moves so fast through the air that everything looks like a blur, but her body seems to know how to react to her surroundings as of she is moving at one mile per hour not per second. She arrives to a tatter old office building with a large black van with the center of the driver's side caved in as if someone had thrown a large object at it. She looks even closer as she lands to see that it is the body of a large and athletic man with some kind of body armor that did nothing to absorb the impact. She walks to the double door entrance and they will not budge. She pulls them open and can hear a cracking sound and hear and see the pouring and splattering of blood. The other side of each the doors reveal the two halves of a male body in the same outfit as the one before, ripped at the torso, wedged in the deformed metal handles. She quickly moves and gasps in utter horror, but the thrall of the outward originating sensation still beckons her onward up the rickety stairs. Her feet leave the ground as she slowly floats up them, down the hall and stops in front of the last doorway on the right as she is greeted by the smell of burning flesh. There are splinters all over the floor, a larger pile of a different wood at the far end of the room and a man sized hole in the wall, facing the outside. Behind the large pile and sitting against the wall on each side, there are two blackened and charred bodies that are still smoking, wearing the same vest the other two bodies were wearing with haunting skeletal smiles. Standing in front, the same boy in the red costume from the other night is looking directly and fixating all of his anger at her. Despite seeing what he is capable of, she holds her ground, realizing that a confrontation with this fellow maybe the only way of finding answers for herself. Besides, he has to pay for what he has done. She quickly moves into a martial arts stance as her hands begin to glow, as do the bloody hands at his sides. The two look at each other with an ironclad stare. They motion towards each other, but suddenly a loud crash is heard, followed by an explosion that engulfs the entire building, talking them with it.
Hovering in a black helicopter high above the flaming rubble, dressed in a the same armor and holding a large rocket launcher by an opened sliding door, a man gives a thumbs up to two men, one dressed in a dress suite in the passenger seat, in the front. The well-dressed one speaks into the microphone of his headset, "Yes, Mr. Walker, the problem has been taken care of. No sir, the losses were only minor. I will have a full report on your desk, tomorrow. Have a wonderful evening, sir."
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