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Uno and Fog: Another Key

May 20, 2019

I’m at the bank, waiting.

The lobby is spacious, dark glass windows that let muted sunlight in rise up and then overhead.  Outside I can see the traffic flow by.  I had spoken to a teller, and been sent to a bank officer that had smiled at me, looked at the key and then requested three pieces of identification.

There was no point in pretending to be other than who I was, even though I suspected I was being set up somehow.  The Fog could make a passable state license, passport, birth certificate and any number of other documents with the equipment he had down there.  I am not sure if that’s the result of a misspent youth or a well spent one.

I once asked if he had done time to learn all his skills. He told me flatly that prison was where incompetent criminals ended up.  Which wasn’t exactly an no when I think of it.

“Your relationship to the box holder?”  The teller asked directly after checking my documents.

“I’m her son.  I have the birth certificate, as well as the marriage certificate.”

The officer types for a minute, “Is she deceased?”

“Don’t know, she’s missing.”

“I’m sorry to hear that, how are you holding up?”

“It was a long time ago.”

“Really?”  She sounds surprised.  “She just paid for the box a couple months ago.”

Which tells me I’m being set up somehow, “I meant it seems like a long time ago.”  I wonder if they have security footage from then.

She shrugs, places a form in front of me, tells me to put my thumb in some black ink, then press it into a white square.  She looks at it for a moment to make sure its not smudged, then hands me a wet wipe.

I really hate giving people my fingerprints.  The only thing that makes me more concerned is my DNA.

“Well, the documents specifically list you as a person that can access the box, so follow me.”

She leads me into a private area, “Be right back.”  She leaves and after a few moments, brings back a small metal box with a simple key hole.  The number 23 is on the front and top of the box.

“If you need anything, let me know,” and she leaves me to it.

I take the key and unlock it and slide off the top.

Inside are pictures of me at various school events growing up.  News clippings from articles related to me and Norte Corporation.  Crayon drawings from before she left, the paper brittle and yellow with time.  A couple flash drives, a few disks, pamphlets from music recitals.

My mother, or whoever was playing at being my mother was apparently a stalker and had been for some time.  I don’t know if it was intended to be some kind of emotional manipulation to convince me my mother had never really stopped caring for me, or someone sadistic message that I was being watched since I was little.

Either way, it creeped me out.

There was one other thing in the box.

An onyx rosary, with a cross that looked silver, but was platinum.  I took it out and looked at it.  I had a vague memory of her having like this, which is strange because my dad was more religious than she was, or at least engaged in more religious activities.  I don’t recall ever seeing her praying, but I do remember her having this with her.

Or something like it.

Of all the things to place in the box as some kind of identifying token for my mother, whether it was real or not, this had been picked.  Why?

I felt the beads in my hand, running them through it one by one and noticed nothing.

I looked at the image of the holy mother, did it look different somehow?  Bigger?  I couldn’t tell.  Then at the crucifix.  I turned it over in my hand, checking it.

The back looked funny, I pushed against it and part of it slid forward.  There were irregular notches.  It was a key.

But a key to what?

Someone wanted me to search for my mother, that much was obvious, otherwise why put the box in her name and leave all this memorabilia about my life there.  The question was why?  She had been gone for years.

Then there was the key. They wanted me to have a key to something.  If it was my mothers, what was it a key to?  What did it open?  Why would that be important?

I empty the contents of the box, make sure there’s no false bottom and then put everything into a bag to carry out.  I wasn’t going to get the answers from the bank, although trying to discern the identity of the person that got the box was certainly going to be one lead to follow,

I would sort through all of this with The Fog.  He liked puzzles.

 

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Uno and Fog: What’s in the Box?

May 19, 2019

I had shown The Fog the key and explained how I had gotten it.  He did not like the delivery system at all.  It certainly escalated his paranoia.  He was certain that it was some kind of elaborate trap or set up of some kind.  He wanted to upgrade security in the lair and in my home and he had several proposals on hand.

Which he had to have been preparing for sometime.  Since I was the one paying he had waited for a good time to present his suggestions and having my home invaded repeatedly recently put me in an agreeable mood, even if it was going to be my money being spent on everything.

I drew the line at lethal force and getting the base a self-destruct.  We compromised with the ability to collapse the entrances into the lair.  He wanted to use an incapacitating agent such as remifentanil, I pointed out the Russians had used it in 2002 and it hadn’t been a complete success.

To which he pointed out the only reason we would be using it was if we got attacked, and the possible loss of life would be us and the attackers, so I relented.  I asked him how he was going to get the stuff and he said he ‘knows a guy’ which I am sure he does.  For an individual that has abandoned any pretense of a normal life so that he could devote it entirely to fighting crime, I often wondered where he drew the line on what illegal activity was acceptable and not.

Sometimes I wonder if it is merely what serves his goals.   He has pointed out before that since we are unsanctioned extrajudicial agents, vigilantes according to the media, we were in fact criminals.

We had thus far kept a low enough profile that the New Amsterdam Task Force, named the Special Unit for Powered Individual Apprehension and Rendition aka SUPIAR which is apparently pronounced super because governments everywhere enjoy a good sounding acronym, wasn’t actively pursuing us, although I am sure they had a file on both of us.

Even if technically The Fog wasn’t powered.

That being said, there were at least three lawsuits against us with default judgments made by unhappy recipients of our intervention in their criminal activities.  One can’t very well show up in court and remain anonymous.  If I ever got outed, I was going to have to deal with several million dollar judgments.

Of course, if I got outed, I suspect the judgments would be among the least pressing of my problems.

There had been an attorney that enjoyed filing those types of lawsuits for a while, until one day he just disappeared.

No one ever found out what happened.

As for the penthouse, The Fog suggested hidden cameras and motion sensors in addition to the pressure alarms I had on the windows.  I insisted that none of the cameras be inside and it had to be a closed system.

I didn’t point out that someone like me could circumvent the system pretty easily and just agreed.  It was something and if we were lucky we’d get images of anyone that broke in the future.

The Fog had narrowed down the key to several banks and then proceeded to break into their data systems.  I was glad the guy was on my side, or I was on his, he could seriously wreck havoc on the system if he wanted to.

So while he violated numerous cybersecurity laws, I was at work after taking the day off to recover.  I wonder what was in the box the key fit.  I wonder where Ms. Teri was and what as going on, but there was nothing in the news that hinted at anything threatening the world.  I spend my time being impatient and directionless.

Luminary was back in the city after rescuing some village from an erupting volcano.  There was a small clip of him at a school with kids around him.  Kids love him.  He’s glowing like a miniature son, flashing too white teeth and he still has the tanned boyish good looks of a stereotypical surfer dude, but he had to be in his forties.

That’s got to wreck havoc with your relationships I muse, they age and you don’t.  When I was a kid there were a couple female actors connected to him, I never found out if it was merely a publicity stunt, or if he was actually dating him.  Either way, it didn’t end well for the women, The Vivisectionist got ahold of them.

That was the first time Luminary disappeared for a while.  I almost feel sorry for him.

Almost.

So I’m waiting, trying to work and getting little done.  When finally I get a message from The Fog.  I expect a list of banks and owners of the safety deposit boxes which the key might fit, but there is only one bank and one owner which surprises me until I see the name of the owner.

The safe deposit box is at First Bank of New Amsterdam which I believe Norte Corporation owns a significant interest in, but that’s not too unusual.

Because the owner of the account is Dominica Medina.

My mother’s maiden name.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Uno and Fog: Red Letter Day

May 18, 2019

I woke up and called in sick to the office.  Agnes, my personal administrative assistant, also know as secretary, also known as the one that knows what’s going on my schedule, told me she would take care of rescheduling my meetings for the day.  I thanked her and got off the phone.

While I can accelerate my metabolism and heal faster than a normal, its not instantaneous.  What takes someone a week, I can heal in a day if I eat, a lot, and have a nearby power source to siphon off of.  I can accelerate someone else’s healing too, but it has to be something they would have healed on their own eventually.  Cuts and bruises were in my bailiwick, as were bullet wounds to a certain extent.  Not a fatal wound, not cancer, or heart attacks or any number of diseases, but I could speed recovery after surgery. I’d spent a summer volunteering at a hospital, told my father I wanted to go into medicine, and tried to see who I could help.

Somebody, somewhere probably sees that as illegal human experimentation which is one of the many numerous reasons I’m not sanctioned.

Regardless, I should be well on my way tomorrow, but today I wasn’t going anywhere.

Despite all the battering I had taken, especially with my feet, I am in a pretty good mood.  I’m still alive after all and that wasn’t a certain thing yesterday.  I hadn’t stopped the old god from arriving, but I’d postponed the inevitable clash, and hopefully Ms. Teri or some of the other mystical powerhouse would be able to handle the problem.

I did think about the amount of pain SHE had inflicted on me and The Fog and wondered if I could do something similar.  I knew there wasn’t a pain center of the brain, so it wasn’t as easy as SHE made it appear.  I’m not sure I wanted to experiment with it.  She had inflicted enough excruciating pain that it was the only thing that existed when it happened.

I can see the interrogation advantages it might give someone, but learning to do that was another level of sadism I didn’t want to indulge.  I consider the other end of the spectrum, inducing pleasure.  I realize that would be considerably easier to do, but not without its own moral and ethical problems.

Putting someone to sleep or giving them nausea was one thing, this was something else entirely.

I set the idea aside and went about looking for food, healing takes a lot of it.  There isn’t any food in the fridge, just some alcoholic beverages, assorted condiments and stuff I should have thrown away some time ago.  Delivery was going to be the name of the day.

I look at the red envelope.  Something I had been putting off until now.  I sweep the penthouse looking for bugs, but don’t sense anything.  I didn’t sense anyone else there either, but someone had been in here when I had showered, left the envelope and gone without saying a word, or leaving a trace.

It’s an unsettling feeling.  It’s almost certainly someone endowed with gifts, but there were people like The Fog that could have done it as well.  The timing was troubling.  Did it have to do with what happened in the park?  At the old god’s behest or her followers, if they existed.  Or did it have to do with what The Fog referred to as the Cabal that as watching us last night and appeared to be pursing, or at least following, Ms. Teri and Evil Soccer Mom.

I take the envelope and feel it in my hand.  The paper is thick and sturdy, but I feel lumps inside of the paper.  I consider if this might be a letter bomb, but what’s the point?  If someone wanted to do me harm, they could have in any number of easier ways, especially since they demonstrated and ability to come and go into my penthouse.

I vowed to up my security.

I put a thumb through the paper and open it up.  Inside is a key with the number ’23’ inscribed on it and nothing else, which is extremely annoying.  Its obviously a key to something, almost certainly a safety deposit box, but without the name of either the bank, post office or other depository, I have no idea where this goes.

I look inside the envelope for anything, a scrap of paper, a note of written on the inside of the lip of it.  Nothing.

Someone wanted me to have this, but didn’t want to leave any hint what it went to.  Was it some kind of test?  A precaution against it following into the wrong hands?  Some silly game?  Was I expected to recognize it, because I didn’t.

It occurs to me that I know someone that is just obsessive enough that he might know where the key goes.

Conveniently he lives downstairs.

 

Uno and Fog: Putting Off the Inevitable

May 17, 2019

It took a lot of dickering.  In the end, we agreed not to attack her and her unborn, and SHE agreed not to attack anything, especially us, and to accompany Ms. Teri who was taking her to whomever she believed could send the soccer mom abomination back to the dimension, realm, parallel world, whereever it was that SHE came from.  I got the distinct impression that SHE wanted to accompany Teri and that I had somehow lost some gambit to her incomprehensible alien logic that saw her goals furthered by doing this.

Ms. Teri didn’t volunteer the information on who she thought could send the old god back and she seemed reluctant to take her, but that could simply be the understandable reluctance of having an inhuman being as a traveling companion

I could not get the soccer mom abomination to accept going back to whence she came as part of the deal which meant she could resist any attempt to do so.

When it was agreed, I was relieved that there wasn’t any kind of blood involved in sealing the deal, or worse something like sealing it with a kiss.  If I am honest the possibility of her devouring me or that I might find her kiss pleasant were both disturbing enough that I was relieved nothing like it came up.

Not even a handshake, but then a handshake was a human tradition and she had at least implied that she was older than any human traditions.

I know there are plenty of loopholes in that agreement that I will regret later, but I was exhausted and a momentary truce seemed preferable to a certain defeat.

I watch Ms. Teri and evil soccer mom (I need to think of a better appellation) soar into the night sky and head north.

The Fog is standing next to me after a moment he says, “you should have killed her child.”

I feel a chill, “I was bluffing.”

“Nevertheless, you should have done what was necessary.”  He keeps staring at the sky as the figures disappear from sight.

“It’s just a baby and SHE would have killed us.”

The Fog looks at me now, “It isn’t just a baby and you know that.”

I don’t answer that because I don’t have an answer.

“It would have been better for everyone else if we had died now then let it live.”  He doesn’t sound angry, just a little disappointed

I don’t say anything.  I shouldn’t be surprised at his ruthlessness, or willingness to lay down his life, but I am.  For an individual that is careful and cautious in his actions, if he believes something is the right course of action, he doesn’t hesitate regardless of the cost.  If our roles had been reversed, he would have ended a life that he believed posed a viable threat to the world.

I’m not sure he’s wrong, but I couldn’t do it.

There is movement across the sky, silent shadows passing the stars overhead heading in the same direction as Ms. Teri had gone moments before.  The Fog pulls out some light enhancing binoculars.

“What is it?”

“Stealth copter.  No markings on it, looks like leopard class.”  He lowers the glasses and searches the night sky for a moment before raising them back and sweeping the sky slowly.

“Government?”

“Leopard are European, so no.  Its Cabal.”

“You don’t know that.”

The Fog looks at me and says flatly, “Cabal.”

I decide there’s no point in arguing with him, “following Teri?

“Occam’s razor.  They were watching us from somewhere.”

“What do you think they want?”

The Fog considers for a moment, “maybe what we do, but quite possibly the opposite.  SHE might be an opportunity for them.”

“Or her child.”

The Fog nods, “there are multiple possibilities for them.”

The child of an old god, even one that’s only half of one could be useful if she could be raised to serve an organization or government.  Plenty of governments and organizations do that now with the endowed.

“I’ll call her, not much else we can do.”

“No there isn’t,” The Fog looks over at the unconscious form of David Coburg, “I’ll get him home, head back and get cleaned up.”  He looks pointedly at my feet which have cuts and bruises forming on them.

I’m too tired to argue with him, I limp back to my penthouse.  I call and leave another message for Teri while resolving to look further into her background, there are questions that need to be answered, not the least of which was that the evil soccer mom had recognized something about her.  That can wait though.

I get to my building and head up to the penthouse.  The idea that I can get back to my own bed tonight after sleeping in the lair lifts my spirits somewhat.

In the elevator, it occurs to me that when David wakes up it will be The Fog he sees and he’ll connect my alias, Michael Pitti with The Fog.  Anything that confuses the trail is for the best.

The mark on the wall is still there from when I fought the shade, but the maid service replaced my shredded bedding.  I wonder what they thought about that.  I slip out of the ruined remains of my suit, as much as I just want some sleep I proceed and take a hot shower.  Watch the dirt and blood rinse away.

Bandage my feet as best I can, I keep the pain at bay and head back to my bedroom.

Resting on the pillow is a red envelope that I swear wasn’t there when I stripped down.

I feel a moment of alarm, but I don’t sense anyone around.  If they wanted to harm me, they wouldn’t have left me a note, I decide.

I’m too tired to care.

I’ll look at it tomorrow.

Uno and Fog: Bargaining with a She-devil

May 16, 2019

“I haven’t done anything yet.” I answer, trying to sound confident.  Her appearance actually helps with this.  If she was fifty feet tall, with an head like an octopus, or worse, I probably wouldn’t be.  Even so, I know what her level of power is and I am completely outclassed.

I hope SHE doesn’t just pounce on me and shred me on the spot.

“All that will be left of you is a smear on the ground.”  She is furious.  Her eyes flash, her thin lips tighten, but she hasn’t acted yet which tells me that she considers the threat to her offspring to be real.

“If you are fast enough.” I bluff and reach out and sooth the child’s nervous system.  I can see the fear on her face.  I know that she can sense what I’m doing.

The Fog moves to get between me and her, which is one of the reasons why I count him as my best friend.

SHE looks at him and the fury hardens but hesitates, “What do you want?”

“Send them away,”  I gesture at the Forlorn. “and return to where you have come.”

“The first I can do, but the second I cannot, someone has to bring me, or send me.  I can’t do that myself,” a heartbeat pause, “nor do I want to.”

“Do the first, and we will discuss the rest when they’re gone.”  I say, staying very still.

She calls out now with a cry similar to the first one that had summoned them, and the Forlorn stop their relentless attack against Ms. Teri’s spectral warriors, their cries of despair and loneliness take on a plaintive ring as they shoot up into the sky and away.

I wonder if they are always lurking out there for the unwary, or if they are going some place where they have to be called out.  I hope its the latter, but I suspect its the former.  Despite how weird the world is, it keeps getting weirder and, upon reflection, scarier.

The Fog and I deal with the low level threats: thugs, the mob, bank robbers, gangs, serial killers, drug dealers and grifters.  The stuff the heroes are too busy to notice.  The end of the world stuff is for guys like Luminary and Ms. Teri, not us.  Yet here I am speaking to an old god.  I really want to ask Teri why she wasn’t here sooner, and I don’t know why we’re the ones she involved in all of this instead of getting Luminary or The Cadre involved.

I get the distinct impression that SHE’s just waiting for the chance to crush me like a bug.  I have no doubts that I’ve now made an extremely powerful enemy that has a very long memory.  I suspect there’s a very unpleasant death planned for me in the future of the type that is described as ‘long and painful.’

As the Forlorn slowly fade away in the distance, their cries growing softer, I ask Ms. Teri, “Can you send her back?”

“Not alone,” she hesitates, “at least not without a lot of preparation like James did to bring her here.” Which is not the answer I was hoping for, but was expecting.

“Do you know anyone that can?”

“Maybe,” the answer from Teri is grudging

SHE smiles, “We are at an impasse, I will not act while my child is threatened, but you cannot keep the threat up forever.  If you follow through with the threat, I will be no longer restrained and I will kill you.  So, are you ready to bargain, mortal?”

“Not sure I trust you to keep your end of the bargain.”

SHE actually laughs at that, “Surely you have stories about these kinds of deals, my kind have made them since the beginning.  We always keep our word and are bound to do so unless you break faith first.”

I think about the stories of people making deals with the Devil, or genies granting wishes, or even bargaining with a god.  These types of deals in the stories were usually fulfilled literally.

I had some thinking to do and not much time to do it.

 

 

 

 

Uno and Fog: Forlorn

May 15, 2019

“I don’t know what you’re talking about, but I’m not taking you anywhere, you’re going back where you came from.”  Ms. Teri answers her.

The abomination, as Teri called her, although there wasn’t any guarantee she was a she, or even thought of herself as such, looks at Teri for a moment like she’s puzzled.  It would be very easy to think of her as an angry woman that’s looking for the guy that knocked her up and abandoned her.  I wonder if it was an intentional ruse or if the form was an indication of something else.

I look of comprehension crosses her face, “you lie,” with an undercurrent of excitement, “it has been a long time since someone has lied to be, but your gift is wasted.  I will strip the truth from you.” SHE took a step toward Teri, who made a slashing moment with her hand, I can see a ripple of bluish energy dance across SHE’s body, but other than that there isn’t any visible impact upon the creature from beyond.

SHE makes another gesture and I hear a cry from Teri.  The Fog throws several knives and I watch SHE actually blur she’s moving so fast to avoid the blades.  I hit her with an electric discharge, her hair flies outward as sparks course over her body.  SHE pauses for just a moment, then tilts her head up and makes a cry out to the night sky.  It grows stronger, and seems to echo across the park.  It continues to reverberate long after she finishes.

The Fog’s knives splash into the lake behind her.

Something answers her cry, then another answers, closer than the first.  Over the sounds of the city, I hear more cries being taken up, an undulating chorus of despair. I see white flickers in the distance, like fireflies dancing in the night sky.

Except they are far away and I can see them.

SHE smiles, it actually looks sweet, I expected it to look cruel.  “The Forlorn are coming, give me what I want and I will send them back to their sorrows.”

Teri shakes her head.  A small knife is in her hand but I have no time to see what she’s doing.

The Fog takes a sweeping kick at SHE, but again the creature blurs out of the way from him, but he keeps spinning around and strikes her with a reverse crescent kick.  I hear the impact and see her stagger from it.

SHE looks more annoyed than angry, but while she is focused momentarily on him, I hit her again with an electric discharge.  I pour everything I have into it, all the little sparks that are in every living cell of my body.  I feel my vision haze a bit, my body has a numb feeling the way a leg might go asleep, except its the entire body.

Bluish white light flickers over her, lighting up the area, creating weird shadows in the darkened park area, and reflected off the ripples of the lake.  SHE grabs The Fog and flings him at least twenty feet away before looking in my direction.

The wails of anguish are closer, I see translucent, spectral, vaguely female, figures flying toward us. The sound of cries makes my body shiver with despair.

I’m exhausted. I don’t have anything else to give. I’m useless, but I’m not going to give her the satisfaction of seeing me afraid.

Figures form out of the ground around Teri, ancient, ghostly warriors in armor that looks more Roman than medieval and for a chilling second I think its more creatures that SHE has brought forth, but I realize they belong to Teri.  I wonder how old Ms. Teri’s magic is, if it is more akin to the beliefs and traditions of the ancient world. I always thought that magic followed some set kind of rules, but it occurs to me that there might be different practices, different rules, different results.

I see The Fog land, he tries to roll with the fall, I can see that he is only partially successful.

The Forlorn are upon us, and I see Teri’s ghostly army take on the wraithlike specters in an eerie spectacle.  Their battle looks like a strange dance, with spears and claws slashing to only the sound of the Forlorn accompanying them.  The howls are worse close up.  Wordlessly their cries convey loss, separation, parting from a loved one, but the type of parting where you will never see that loved one again.  I feel the way I did when my mother left one day and never came back.  I’m that little four year old boy again, my world shifting without understanding why.  What had been certain, is replaced with instability.

The realization that what had seemed eternal, permanent, had been ephemeral. Could never be restored.  Could never be fixed.  Could never be trusted.  If she could leave, if her love could end, what hope is there?

Ms. Teri’s spectral warriors are fighting, but they’re losing.   I see Teri casting spells to support them, streams of light flicker and when they hit one of the Forlorn they break apart like vapor, but more keep arriving.  When they lose, there won’t be anything between us and the Forlorn.

The Fog is limping back toward us, his mouth set.  He looks at me briefly before facing our adversary.

I have a crazy idea.  I can’t do anything to her, at least nothing that seems to concern her, but . . .

I reach out for her child, feel her tiny nervous system, the little currents of it and I give it a little adrenalin burst, setting the child to kicking.

SHE is suddenly hyper focused on me, “You dare!”

If I wasn’t so tired I would have thought about that old adage of mama bears and their cubs before now.

 

 

 

 

Uno and Fog: Evil Soccer Mom From Beyond

May 11, 2019

I admit it I was expecting something tentacled, slimy and difficult for my mind to process.  Which I supposed it had succeeded at the last part.  If it was going to be human, expected the stereotypical overripe, pale skin, black hair, blood red lips like you used to see hosting late night horror.

Not soccer mom.

“Is she…?” The Fog  asks.

“No.”  I know what he’s asking and answer before he finishes.  I can see she doesn’t have a nervous system the way a normal human being would.

He nods.  He doesn’t seem surprised, but considering what got us to this point, I wouldn’t expect him to be.

“Her child might be.”

He frowns. “Might?”

I shrug.  My endowment allows me to see the electrical currents of a billion neurons firing, but that’s it.

Whatever she is, she looks impatient.  “I ask again: Where is he?”  She sounds pissed.  Now if I saw her on the street I doubt I wouldn’t give her a second glance.  She looks normal.

She is anything but.

I see a familiar figure hurtling through the sky toward us, better late than never, although I would have preferred not late.

When neither of us answer her, I see her lips twist and she makes a quick gesture.

And I feel the most excruciating pain of my entire life.  Every nerve screams like my skin has been peeled off of me.  I can’t think, at all.

Nothing else exists except pain.

Then it is over.  I’m lying on the ground.  I feel drool on my lips and my throat is raw as if I had been screaming, which I probably was.  I do a quick inventory of my body.  I expect to find my self burned all over, or worse.  Put I am whole.

The Fog is on the ground nearby, for a brief moment I see fear in his eyes as he recovers, but then his eyes harden.

It was an interesting trick and I wonder briefly if I could do the same thing to someone.  I had never tried to inflict as much pain as possible, but I can do the opposite of her.

I shut down the pain receptors in my brain, all of them.  This is a risky thing to do, any injury that occurs and I won’t notice it.  I do the same to The Fog as we get back to our feet.

“I hope we understand each other better now,” She says in a voice like that would be at home at a PTA meeting, “now, where is he?”

“We don’t know who you’re looking for.” The Fog growled.

“I’m looking for the one that did this to me.”  She makes the gesture again, neither The Fog or I drop this time,  She doesn’t look surprised, only annoyed and looks at me, “you are one of the progeny.”

Which I don’t know what she’s talking about, but I suddenly get who she is looking for, “Wait, you’re looking for the father?” I gesture at her belly.

“The one that made me like this.” And I get the sense there was more than the pregnancy that she was referring to, but that it was part of it, “you and your pet,” she makes a motion with her head toward The Fog, “will help me find him,” her voice turns soothing, “and I will reward you for your efforts.”

Ms. Teri arrives at that moment, landing behind us, “Begone abomination!  You are not welcome here or anywhere in the realm of mortals.”  I’m focused on evil soccer mom from beyond, than what’s going on behind me, but I see green eldritch light start to leak out around us.

Evil Soccer mom sniffs the air and looks at Teri, “You are not him, but you smell of him.  You will take me to him, now.”