Thursday, January 10, 2013

9/23/12 - How Bad It Gets, You Can't Imagine - Pt. 4 - Amporn

The old man coughs, and reaches for a bottle of water.

"Amporn survived, of course," SPYGOD surmises: "How many of the bastards did she take down?"

"Not a one," Dr. Krwi says: "In fact, they beat her quite badly. The only reason she got away from them is because one them somehow smacked her back into full consciousness, allowing her to marshal her powers and go intangible, once more. This way, she slipped through them, and into a part of the temple, itself."

"A strategic withdrawal. Good for her."

"And there she spent the next few days, hiding out from them and their patrols. She could either be invisible or intangible, but not both, which made resting quite a difficult thing. But she soon struck upon the idea of curling up inside a long box that was not occupied, anymore. So she searched for one, and in that searching she discovered more than she'd bargained for."

"Like what?" he asks, leaning forward and putting the bottle to one side, supremely interested.

"She did not get a full and thorough look at the temple, but she did learn that she was correct," Krwi says, also leaning forward, but not caring to look SPYGOD in the eyes: "The children were being drained of their life, a little at a time. Some of them were in the boxes, and being drained, and some were not in the boxes, and being used as slaves. Why some were in the boxes and others not, she did not discover, though the slaves were as old and drained as the ones in the boxes."

"So maybe they were drained for so long, and then given a chance to regain their strength?"

"Maybe. But she found a lot of empty boxes that were once full. And there were the ones who died and fell through the floor..."

"Wait," SPYGOD says, holding up a hand: "You said the girl in the box was seeing herself? Ten minutes of her talking about her life while she was going around the birthday cake?"

"Yes, but-"

"But nothing," he says, pounding that hand on the bar: "Those Imago !@#$s can absorb memories, right? I always thought it was just for interrogation purposes, or impersonation, but what if they actually need memories? What if they !@#$ing feed on them?"

The vampire hunter blinks: "Then perhaps they were showing those poor children videos of themselves in order to get them to remember?"

"Squeezing the last bits out of the !@#$ing toothpaste tube," SPYGOD says, wincing and helping himself to another bottle, closeby: "!@#$ers have officially succeeded in making me !@#$ing sick, today, Doc. And you know that's quite the !@#$ achievement."

"Yes," Dr. Krwi says, looking at his conversation partner: "I can well imagine."

There is silence between them, for a time. 

"So what happened then?" SPYGOD finally asks: "She got out, somehow. How did she do it?"

"Not by choice," the old man says, continuing her story.

* * *

On the third day, Amporn has had enough. 

She is weak, now -- weaker than she has ever been. Her organs are withered and shrunken, and her tail is starting to rot at the edges. Her lungwings have become brittle, and are barely capable of keeping her aloft. She spends most of her time crawling along the floors, hoping that the Imago do not find her, or that if they do, they kill her before she can register it.

So weak. So hungry. She has never known a hunger like this since when she was first cursed, all those centuries ago. The roaring, churning hole in her that yearns to be filled is normally a minor thing, and easily tended. But after three days and nights of being denied sustenance, the noise is so loud and dissonant that she can barely stand it.

She must feed. She must have energy, if she is to face these creatures again. She must have something if she is to escape this place, and fulfill her part of the bargain

Maybe this SPYGOD will be angry with her, and maybe he will understand. But either way she must feed, and that is all there is to it. 

So she crawls up to a long box in a room filled with them. She sticks her entire body into the thing, and regards the poor, blank-faced boy who lies in there, smelling like dust and rotten, sick flatulence. The shroud of wires and lights that surrounds him glows weakly in time with his breathing, and he's so weak that even a lick of her tongue might kill him.

She does not care, anymore. She must feed. He would die, anyway. What's one more body amongst the hundreds this terrible place has already created?

Her tongue flicks out of her mouth and into his neck. She begins to drain him, feeling the rush of fear along with the blood and the life as it all goes into her, in time with the weak beating of his heart.

But then, something happens. Something wrong.

* * *

"It fed on her,"  SPYGOD says, having a slug from the bottle.

"Exactly," the old man says, deigning to take it from SPYGOD when it's offered, in turn: "Apparently, even when they weren't on that !@#$able machine in the central temple, the things wrapped around the children were draining them. Not as much as there, perhaps, but enough."

SPYGOD sighs and shrugs: "I !@#$ing told her. It wasn't just because I didn't want to give someone like her the keys to the !@#$ candy store, either. I figured there was some kind of drainage going on, and if she ran in and acted like it was !@#$ buffet she'd regret it. I just didn't expect it on that kind of scale."

"How did you guess?"

"What they do? All that !@#$ teleporting and flying and eye-beaming? That takes a lot of energy, Doc. And whenever I see them, I can see lines of energy going to them from somewhere."

"Your eye," Dr. Krwi says, tapping his own temple: "Very useful, provided you can understand what it tells you."

"So now we know," SPYGOD says, taking the bottle back: "The kids have all been yoked up for their !@#$ life energy. I guess when they talk to their parents once a week it's a !@#$ing simulation, just like half the news on the !@#$ing internet, right now. They get drained directly at night, the power goes into those flying balls, and the balls..."

"She did not see where they went," the old man says as SPYGOD downs half the bottle: "She was too busy hiding. But when she did poke her head out, the next night, to see if the Imago had vanished, there were fewer balls than before."

"So at some point they were collected. But where the !@#$ did they go?"

"An excellent question," Dr. Krwi says, taking what's left of the bottle back: "All we know for sure is where Amporn went."

* * *

Oh God, oh Gods, the pain. The pain. Losing herself to the machine this child is hooked into. Her life and memories and the very marrow of her being sucked out through her tongue back into this child. Flesh on a grater, long ragged strips being pulled over and over and over and over and

(this is what it felt like this is what it felt like this is what it felt like all those years ago when she was bitten the loss the horrible terrible black sucking of all that she was all that she could have been going away going down the gullet of the thing that feasted on her the rotting churning of maggots in her soul the draining the sucking the slurping the nasty wet gooshy noises the creaking of dry tissues the cracking of bones and rents in the skin the massive holes in memory the broken pieces of a life gone under the tongue of endless ancient hunger that awful moment when what she was was all gone and then nothing remained but the gnawing absence that grotesque feeling of being on the edge of oblivion the black backwards orgasm the moment of No and then)

Amporn screams and shrieks. She pulls herself out of the body and crashes out of the box, exploding pieces of it everywhere. The boy dies and falls to the ground, his skin breaking open as it hits the ground, bleeding dust where it falls. Alarms go off everywhere and decrepit slaves stumble after her as she crawls along the floor, then flaps, and then takes to the air again by some dark miracle.

She's out of the temple in seconds, heading for the wall. She doesn't care if she runs up against the field, again. If she dies here and now it would be a mercy, and most likely justice -- the only kind she'll ever get.

But somehow she makes it through that wall. The field is not there. She sails through it effortlessly.

It isn't until she flies out into sunlight that she realizes the depth of her mistake.

* * *

"And then she rested, regained her strength on lesser victims, and returned to her body, but at a terrible cost," Dr. Krwi says, getting up and stretching his back muscles: "She could no longer persuade herself to feed."

"Why not?"

"Something with being sucked upon, I suppose," the old man answers: "When she had been bitten all those years ago, she knew what it meant to have a yawning black hole inside of her, and then sought to fill it in the same way that the creature that turned her had filled its own needs. But as soon as she drank of its blood, and the curse was transferred, she forgot that moment of horror. After that, there was only the need to feed, and the joys it brought her, and the dark delights she could manufacture while searching for her next meal."

"You sound almost sympathetic, doc," SPYGOD says, finishing the bottle: "I don't remember you being that kind the last few times we've waded into them."

"Then you know nothing about me," he says, putting his things away: "The truth is that I do retain some pity for these creatures that I fight. I see the victim behind the monster, still, as I know that is all that they are. As a victim, they are worth my pity. But as a monster, they must be slain. The pity forces me to make that second death as quick and as clean as possible, and to not be cruel or vindictive... if possible."

"And it isn't always," SPYGOD admits: "But yeah, you got me there. You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din."

"That, at least, was never in doubt," Krwi says, leaving some money behind for the bar: "When I visited Amporn, she wanted me to say two things to you. One was to thank you for her freedom. The other was to apologize for her mistake."

SPYGOD has nothing to say to that, and just nods. When he looks back at the old man, the fury in the vampire hunter's eyes is so fierce that he looks away, wondering what else he could do or say, now.

"Thank you for finishing her," he eventually finds the courage to say: "I know I asked a lot of you."

"It was all in a day's work," the old man says, getting ready to leave: "And I am glad that her sacrifice is not in vain."

"Not at all. This has actually been very helpful."

"Then there's only one thing left to do," Krwi says, pointing to the edge of town: "At the main road leading into Chaing Mai is a battered, red volkswagen. It's up against a tree, maybe two kilometers outside of town. Twenty paces south, in some bushes, you will find a woman's body. I'm sure you'll know it when you see it, as it's been drained to the point of becoming shoe leather."

"The victim from Bangkok?" SPYGOD asks.

"Yes. You will bury her, my ally. You will make this right by her, as I have made it right by Amporn."

"I don't know if funeral arrangement's really anything I have !@#$ing time for, right now," SPYGOD starts to say, but then the old man gives him that terrible look, again, and he falls silent. 

"If you do not do this for me, our agreement is over," the vampire hunter says: "Find some basic decency, somewhere within yourself. If not for the sake of her soul and yours, then for your !@#$ mission, and my part in it."

SPYGOD looks at him, and nods. The old man nods back, and then turns to go without saying another word.

Once he's completely gone, SPYGOD shrugs, sighs, and gets out another bottle from behind the bar. Then he drinks it down in less than a minute, and throws the empty bottle against a nearby post, watching it shatter into numerous pieces. He watches them all fall and tumble, and watches as they sit there, glittering in the sun. 

He watches for quite some time, and then he lies down on top of the bar, looking up at the sky. And he thinks really !@#$ hard at a lonely, dying communications satellite, far up there.

And while he knows that what he's saying to it is going to write him a first class ticket to the deepest pit in Hell, he says it, anyway.

(SPYGOD is listening to Coelacanth & This Big Hush (Shriekback) and having something you don't want)

No comments:

Post a Comment