Starting HERE, Goddammit!
Oh! SO much is happening Now. And it’s all happening at the same time!
The grenade that been tossed haphazardly in my general direction by some paramilitary bozo, had blown the door to the broom (or mop) closet inward, pretty much disintegrating it. Along with the blanket I had been wearing. Which left me standing somewhat naked and exposed. Save for my Doc Martens. Which, I was still apparently wearing. I had been wearing them since my stay in St. John’s Morgue. Which now seemed aeons ago. Come to think of it, I had been wearing these puppies since…. since…. well, since I fucking died. Which brought to mind my fractious and disturbing, former life. A vague, dreamy, troubled mess full of woe and confusion. Which was now…. Well, almost totally forgotten. Obliterated.
The explosion had left me sitting on my ass. And? I was beginning to have an…. emotion! Very real. I was starting now, I realized, to get more than a little bit, I really mean this now, Royally Pissed Off.
“What the fuck?” I asked myself, “Why do things like this keep happening to me?” As far as I could recall, I had done little to deserve this manner of very ill-treatment. Jesus. I grew increasingly enraged. Hopping mad! Livid!
Enough is Fucking Enough! On this Particular Point, I was absolutely, resolutely certain. Grrr.
“Sucks to yer asmar!” I uttered, recalling a line from “Lord of the Flies,” (by Wm. Golding, if this interests you) which made little sense, but never mind the bollocks. There would time to make sense later. Right now though, I determined to do something about it.
I picked myself slowly, but surely, up from the floor, and dusted myself off. Then, keeping my head down, I emerged from my former closet- the very one I had so recently been much impressed by. The one that had intrigued me so profoundly upon my confused awakening. Well, I thought, looking about me as I departed my former sanctuary, it had been destroyed now, thanks to a bunch of trigger-happy, grenade-toting jokers. Thank you very much.
Good-bye closet! Fare thee well. I hardly knew thee!
Outside, there were roiling clouds of smoke which were clearing here and there, and men in paramilitary uniforms ran past, heads down, focusing straight ahead… and not particularly on me. I stepped out into their path, reached out with my foot and tripped one of them. He went sprawling into the dust and grime on the floor. Of what appeared, I did a quick 360°, to be a long since abandoned and pretty forlorn toy factory.
I walked over to him and… kicked him squarely in his miserable face. He turned over, stunned- and looked groggily at me, very much confused. I bent down and grabbed the AR-15 from his hands.
“You ought to be ashamed of yourself,” I told him. “I don’t know where some people get off. Honestly, I just don’t.” Then I kicked him in the teeth, finishing the job. The guy would be out for hours.
I turned around- more heeding now, then began picking off the figures I could see through the patches of lifting fog. Down, they went, one after another. I was out of ammo in almost no time, so… I took another weapon from a downed mercenary. Who, then, was shooting these fuckers, I wondered? Not that I minded.
This particular piece of artillery was an AK-47. I checked it over, making sure the ejection port was clear. I also helped myself to the gentleman’s ammo supply. He didn’t look like he would be needing it anymore. Ever. I noticed that he had a pack of American Spirits (Yellow) sticking out his overall’s pocket, and I grabbed these too. I frisked him quickly and found a lighter. (I wasn’t the only who liked American Spirit Yellows as, I found out later). Now I was all set. And really, as I said before, in a fucking mood.
Into the foggy chaos I went. I was kind of having fun now. I was charged up. I lit a cigarette and marched forward, naked save for the Doc Martens. On a mission. And very, very determined to find the love of my life. Steph! And Max, too.
Steph. My adorata. Where might you be, you doll faced vixen healer, you Jill of All Trades?
I was very, very determined to find out. So we could all be together again. A loving unit. And along with, I suddenly remembered… Jacek! That loveable slavic punk bastard! Who had all those cyrillic tattoos! Whom, I recalled now, we delivered to a hospital, wounded nearly mortally.
“I will,” I announced, looking about me into the hellish gloom, “find you all.”
I made this promise to no one in particular. But I meant it. Seriously.
I lit a fag and went forth, crouching and ready for… anything!
Max and Steph scrambled through the underground tunnels, burrows, air ducts, keeping their eyes wide open, peering around every curve, and covering each other determinedly, as they finally made it through all the trash of neglect, the detritus, and out to an adjacent alley.
They looked around with more extreme, but very calm and on-point, caution. They did not want to get caught in yet another pincer movement. Where they would be entrapped. And most likely? Burned alive. Or worse. Dying again, seemed so… well, pointless, especially after all they had been through. They had both already done this death and morbidity thing once and it was not anything that they were interested in repeating. Besides, when they were finished with their short-term objective of eliminating every mercenary/paramilitary in the immediate hood? Well, then they had to go back to the adjacent toy factory and find… ME. Where they had placed me in the closet that was no longer in.
Fortunately, they had come upon the rear of the staging area.
There was a paramilitary officer standing by a control van, screaming into his walkie-talkie and relaying whatever info. he could obtain into an iPhone. He was looking up an alley, and guesstimating where their intended victims might have retreated to and how to cut them off. He slowly turned around as he shouted orders back to his squadrons. That’s when he noticed Max advancing on him, gun at his hip. Max smashed the guy in the mouth, then he grabbed the phone and crushed it under his heel. Max levelled his gun and, well- there’s no easy way to put this… he shot him in the head. Point fucking blank.
Neither Max nor Steph had any time to deal with mercenary pricks. These assholes had chosen the worst possible trade and they needed putting down in the worst way. So they obliged. Gladly. And with prejudice.
Steph climbed aboard the van and found someone inside monitoring differing screens and sets of incoming data, like troop placements, artillery deployments, cut-off tactics, and aerial support. The guy didn’t even have a chance to look up before Steph jumped aboard and quickly garroted him with his own microphone and headset cable. He kicked out his legs frantically while she tightened her grip. After a moment, he was extremely dead. And arrivederci!
Now with the Nerve Center neutralized, their adversaries would be fighting blind and directionless.
Detective Mary Gregory of the Santa Monica Police Department, Detective Division, followed Dr. Avery Clarke III into an office near the end of the hall. She entered and found…
The ReAnimator, seated behind a large walnut desk. Now here was one wizened, crazy looking little man, wearing, like his Associate, Dr. Dierdre McCaffrey, who stood just behind him, a lavender labcoat. He was one very weird guy, who had the face of someone in his early forties. But his head sat atop a shrivelled, ancient body. He was an amalgam of body parts, thrown together- it seemed- willy nilly. A truly strange specimen of quasi-humanity. Yoiks!
Dr. Dierdre McCaffrey was staring at Mary with her mouth open. She was at a momentary loss for words.
Dr. Avery Clarke III turned around, saw Mary Gregory, and gasped.
“You. You’re the woman with the police department. The detective. What are you doing here, for Christ’s sake?”
“I’ve been chasing down your sorry ass.” Mary stated. “Who’s the broad?’ She said looking at. “And who the fuck is this gnomic little nightmare of a man?”
The ReAnimator began to laugh, an actually gruesome sight to see. He laughed from divergent places on his mouth and face, mangling the movements of laughter, the physics in his body expressions, as well. Almost as if he was a marionette controlled by way too many puppeteers. Again… Yoiks!
“She is here,” he explained to Dr. Avery Clarke III, “because she followed you, Doctor.” He seemed delighted at this turn of events. “Oh, my. This really too ironic for words,” and he chortled a little more. He paused to cough into a cloth that he carried, then continued.
“I am the ReAnimator, my dear Detective. Soon you will meet a few of my recent creations. And I do believe that they will have so much fun with you!” He laughed like a Funhouse Attraction. Kind of like the Carnival owner from the book, “Something Wicked This Way Comes” (By Ray Bradbury, for those who are interested). His laugh had little joy in it.
Detective Mary Gregory stared at the three of them, shook her head, and got an American Spirit from her pocket, and lit it.
“She’s… she’s smoking!” exclaimed Dr. Avery Clarke III.
“Yeah, buster. You bet your keester I am.” She looked at the three of them.
“Why do they have to smoke,” he asked no one in particular. “It’s so filthy!”
“Oh, just shut up, Doctor Bonerhead.” She turned and faced the ReAnimator. “Tell me then. What gives? What are you up to here at your little facility, eh? At your human chop shop. Who are you geeks, anyway?” then Mary stared each of them down. “And why did you have the cadaver stolen form from St. John’s Morgue? Why did you alter his autopsy report. And most particularly, why did you have Doctor Ghookasian murdered.”
She drew deep on her cigarette.
“You are one nasty bunch of… well, I was going to say ‘human beings’ but thats wide of the mark. My God, but you have been busy, haven’t you?”
Dr. Dierdre had picked up the phone, telling whomever was on the other end to please send in an Adjunct Security Squad.
“Now, please. And lots of them.” She then hung up the phone and smirked at Detective Gregory.
“Well, THAT was subtle,” said Detective Mary Gregory, having heard her every word on the phone. She blew smoke in Dr. Avery Clarke III’s face. He was stunned. He backed into a corner waving his hands at the smoke, as if it was the fingers of a gargoyle attacking him.
“Why do girls have to smoke?” asked Dr. Avery Clarke III. “It says a lot about them. About their morals and hygiene. But they just don’t care!” He was nearly weeping now.
The ReAnimator was tee-heeing away and slapping the arms of his chair. Then, slowly, he began a terrifying metamorphosis. His eyes reddened and he emerged from his chair, slowly, ghastly. He was transforming into some kind of unspeakable mutation, barely recognizable from scant seconds ago. Really, it would have disconcerted even the most dauntless and unfearing of men. He rose to his full height, five foot seven inches, transformed and glaring at…
Detective Mary Gregory looked at him, and cracked up.
She couldn’t keep a straight face, could not, for the life of her. “Oh Jesus, Oh God. No!” She tried to get a hold of herself but it was ‘no go’. She laughed even harder. Tears welled in her big eyes and she held out a her arm in a “Wait a Minute” signal. And then she laughed the harder, breathless, wanton, depraved. Oh my GOD.
The ReAnimator did not enjoy this, having his thunder stolen, being thwarted. He just watched her in her hysteria.
FINALLY, she was able to wipe her tears with a tissue handed her by confused, very disconcerted Avery Clarke III.
“Thank you,” she told the Doctor, getting back to a (somewhat) even keel.
Mary then looked from one slimy character to the next. She reached behind her…
And locked the door.
“Okay,” she began, forgetting the ReAnimator’s normally pretty scary display of, well or ‘monstertude’. She faced them with a directness they hadn’t seen until now. Nonsense time had ended.
“Okay. This ends here. This ends fucking NOW. Tell me what sort of Nefarious Slimy Enterprise this is!”
She sat down, crossed her legs and fired up another American Spirit (Yellow Package).
“Tell me everything, God Damn It!”
“Gladly, my dear, answered The ReAnimator. “We will do just precisely that!”
Sergeant Detective Martin Diaz, of the Montebello Police Department, had been heading home when he received a radio call to respond to an address in an industrial park off of Gary Ave. Something about… missing cadavers? Also possible homicides! Called in by a Detective Mary somebody from Santa Monica Police Department.
Well, he didn’t mind. There was nothing waiting for him at home anyway. Except for Vanessa. But she was in class until ten o’clock. Beautiful Vanessa. He sighed thinking about her.
Three weeks ago his wife had taken his two kids and simply left. She said she was staying at her sister’s, but he wasn’t too sure. All he knew was? She was gone. And didn’t want to be found.
He missed his kids though. He had tried calling her, but her sister said she wasn’t there, that she didn’t want to talk to him for the time being. Sad. But he only had himself to blame. The long hours he spent working cases had finally driven her away. But, he thought, it was something more than that. Like maybe someone else.
And now there was nineteen year old student involved. With him!
Vanessa. She was a truly beautiful girl, with long dark brown hair and airy, sexy way of walking. She attended Cal State L.A. and was in her second year, studying Computer Metrics. She felt sick that Kate Diaz had left her husband. Happy, too. She knew that Kate Diaz was, no doubt, seeing someone else. Mario just didn’t get it. He didn’t want to get it.
Mario had been suspicious of wife for some time. Things she hinted at. Never being home. But that wasn’t why or how he was now deeply involved with the beautiful Vanessa. He had seen her on walking across the Cal State L.A. campus, did a double take. He fell for her. On the spot.
She was one incredibly beautiful girl.
He had been at the Campus investigating a series of break-ins at their Computer Lab. When he saw her, he immediately manufactured a reason to talk to her. Kate had just exiting the Lab after her Unix Seminar and was sauntering down the hall. Wow. He made up his mind and then stopped her politely to ask a few questions.
No, she hadn’t even heard of the break-ins. Then the conversation came around to what she was studying. Did she like it? Was it challenging? Would she continue with it? She smiled, but answered his questions.
Then he gave her his card, writing his personal number on the back.
“Call anytime. For any reason,” he told her. “I really mean it.”
“You had better have my number too,” she responded slyly, and she texted it him, right then and there. Bam!
He waited the requisite two days then phoned her.
“I was wondering…” he began.
“I’d love to,” she replied.
He could hear smile over the phone.
Now, they had been together for three wonderful weeks.
As he reached the industrial park in question, he called her. He got her message app.
“Hey, Kate. I’ve got to investigate something in Montebello. Something very weird. I’ll be over later.” And hung up.
He pulled his car up in front the building with the Very Advanced Cryogenics above the door. Underneath it was another sign that read “Human Remains Receiving” with an arrow pointing to the right.
“Well, isn’t that nice.” He got dispatch on the radio, letting her know what he was up to.
“Do you need back-up?” dispatch asked.
“Not yet. I’ll let you know. Over.”
He got out of his car, straightened his tie, and went into the building.
Not. Suspecting. A. Thing.