Archive for the ‘Memory Lane’ Category

“Heal you?”  she asked.

“Yes. Heal me,”  I replied.  “Look at me.  I’m charred.”  I tried my hardest to emphasise how badly wounded I was.  I’m not sure if it worked, my vision was getting hazy now.

God, if I die before I even get a chance to finish…

Sacrifice shook her head.  “Sorry.”

“Sorry?”  I asked a little weakly.

“I can only return you to your peak, and only if I have a memory of you,”  she said.

Dead Metal shifted, or there was movement in the blotchy area that she stood.  The fact that Samantha’s power considered the Sacrifice from the Hunting Party as ‘Peak’ was  a huge part of the discomfort.

It was for me at least.

“Don’t care,”  I replied.  “Do something.”

“Look, I don’t even know you,”  Sacrifice complained.  “You might be a vil-”

“I’m dying here,”  I said, a little louder than I could manage.  “Please?”

I winced as pain raked my neck again.  I felt pretty pathetic, talking loudly hurt me, and I couldn’t afford to lose any concentration at all.

Sacrifice stood for a few moments and finally moved over to me.

“Okay… I’ll help.”

Thank god.

“Your peak is how I remember you, so I can’t remove the burns,”  she said,  “but I can stabilize you instead.  You’ll have to look elsewhere for further aid.”

She placed her hands on me, and I quickly drifted off.

 

***

 

I was drowning in bliss.  My clothing stuck to me and my skin felt pure rejuvenation.

“-ty people died because of that form-”

The world was blurry, and I floated in the liquid as it filled my lungs.  Strangely, I wasn’t drowning at all.  Strange.

“-an’t remember any of th-”

People were talking outside of my…  Room?  Womb?  Cage?  It was most likely the Hunting Party and Event Horizon.   What were they arguing about?

Why was I in this anyway? Did Taker do something already?

“If you-”

I moved a little, reaching out.  Was it me they were arguing over?  It didn’t matter, they were getting louder.  That wasn’t good at all.

“-ow could you remo-”

The walls were too hard.  I couldn’t break free with my hands.  I needed help to escape.  I swam to he edge where everyone was, maybe they’d help if they saw me?

“-don’t kno-”

I banged over and over.  No use.  The liquid surrounding me was too thick, the membrane holding me and the liquid in was too elastic.

The talking stopped and somebody acted, coming over.  The membrane was cut and I was forced out with the liquid.  I couldn’t see straight, opting to cough out the liquid in my lungs.

Nobody moved, they just waited me to finish and get my bearings.

I got of my knees and saw Sacrifice.  There was two people I didn’t recognize.

The ground, the walls, the ceiling… it was weird.  Alien.

The taller figure leaned in close.  He was completely black and had a cane in his hand.  “Are you feeling better, my boy?”

I nodded, and then looked up at him.  “Thanks, but…  Who are you?”

There was a telling silence.  I started casting my powers through the area, making it safe.  It may have been to late, but it was a good idea anyway.  The ground started turning to normal.

“Ah,”  the man in black said, stepping back.  “t seems your memories have had an alteration.”

He turned to Sacrifice.  “See? Amnesia.”

I got onto my feet.

“Amnesia?”  I asked.

“Well, some form of it.”

What?  What does he mean?

I turned to Sacrifice.  She looked very different than usual.  Her pose was… reserved.  She was upset about something, but it wasn’t something she could solve easily.  Like the Taker thing.  She needs my help to fight Taker, right?

“Sacrifice?”

She turned away.

“Christ.  I-I killed people.”

I didn’t get it.  Why is she upset about what she did before?  She wasn’t remorseful before we enter…

Wait.  Why was I in that vat anyway?

The man in the black costume changed the subject.

“Okay,”  he said.  “Here is the story.  You both have amnesia, because you,”  he pointed at Sacrifice “Give people a form of it when you heal them.”

He pointed at me.  “You are an unfortunate victim turned into a hero.”

He pointed as Sacrifice. “Former vigilante tricked into being a monster from a psychic.”

I wanted to say I understood, but I didn’t.

How long had passed? Did we beat Taker? What about Event Horizon or Ellen or Maxine and Derek?  What happened during the war with Texas?

Sacrifice wasn’t going to tell me, it’s implied she can’t even remember me or what she did to me.  What she did to my friends.

“Dammit,”  I murmured while moving my hand through my hair.  “I can’t stand this.”

I meant that.  The last valid thing I remember was reaching the final doors, ready to kill the king of Texas and stop Taker.  Now I’m here, with a sacrifice who doesn’t remember me or what she did and two strangers.

Why the hell is this place a wreck anyway?

I turned to the adult and child.

“Who the hell are you anyway?”

The black man took a moment to look at me and bowed.

“My deepest apologies,”  he said.  “I am Nightmare.  My friend here is Dead Metal.”

He pointed to the girl in the metal mask.

“We came here to meet you in person.  Our boss has heard about you and took an interest.  He is actually arriving here in a few minutes to greet you in person.”

Sacrifice looked up from the ground where she sat.  “Boss?”

“Yes.  You know him as Biohazard.”

That wasn’t good at all.  He shouldn’t be moving.  He never moves.  This place – even if it is fucked up with the walls made of skin and the smell – is not in Biohazard’s territory.

“H-He left his park?”  I stammered.  Sacrifice glanced at me.  She didn’t know, did she?  She didn’t know the monster she and her gang made years ago.

“Why he is indeed,”  smiled Nightmare deceptively.  “He has an interest in you and… her.”

As Nightmare all but snarled at Sacrifice I started casting my power as wide and as fast I could.  Biohazard was coming.

 

 

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Samantha was here.  She was safe.  Well, safe as her power allowed her, anyway.  There was still the issue of escaping and the more pressing issue of calming her down, but everything was perfect.

Now, to find a staircase.

I turned to the Fingerface.

“Any stairs?”  I asked.

The Fingerface walked past me, towards the area covered in fire and ice.

I followed it and after a brief pause to look at each other, so did Nightmare and Dead Metal.

The staircase up was made of mostly bone rather than flesh.  It was a clear attempt to maintain some form of structural integrity as Samantha’s power spread throughout the area.

Dead Metal ran ahead up the stairs, leaving me and Nightmare alone.

Climbing it was… painful.  My burns were still fresh and exhaustion kicked in halfway up the stairs.  Thank god for railings, I mused.

I limped up the second half of the stairway, holding down a desperate need to cry as Nightmare aided me for the last few steps by propping my bad arm over his shoulder.

It was a slow,

Dead Metal was standing at the top of the steps.

She spoke her first words in my company.  “It’s her.”

I could feel the contempt dripping off her as she said that.  Nightmare gave a quizzical look.

“Are you sure?”

We reached the last step.

“I know.  She looks exactly like she did that year.  Sacrifice, the bitch.”

I gulped a little, and Nightmare looked at me like I’d insulted him.

“That’s the girl you were after?”

He got out from under my arm and stepped back.  I gripped the railing a little tighter.  I could see the thoughts running through his head.  Kill her.  Kill her and kill him, too.  The silence was thick.

“Just do it, Nightmare.”  Taker said gently into his ear.  “Go on.”

Taker wasn’t real.  He’s busy, safe and happy after putting me through hell.

“Just push him down the stairs and finish her off,”  he sneered.  “After all, she ruined everything.”

I closed my eyes and took a breath.

“Taker was the leader, not Sacrifice.”

Dead Metal took a step forwards, but Nightmare stopped her with his cane.

“Explain,” he said, anger seeping into his tone.

I did.  I explained the three years, what Sacrifice told me, what Taker could do, what he did do.  What he did to Sacrifice.

He didn’t say anything until I finished.

“Ryan, my boy.”

I looked at him.

“If Sacrifice is supposedly fine,”  he said, stepping to the side.  “Why is she dressed like that?”

Samantha walked around the corner, slowly.  Naked, covered in blood.  The goat skull mask was affixed to her head again.

Even the pose was reminiscent of Sacrifice.  Samantha was always on edge, worried.  Expecting the worst.

Sacrifice didn’t worry at all.  She relished her own presence, trusting her powers.

Apparently, she had fine control of bodily fluids.  Blood, sweat, hormones…  even the fluid within the cells themselves.  She could reinforce herself to ignore a stab wound or break bones with ease, or alter hormones to induce sleep.  Luckily, she needed physical contact to alter the fluids of others.

She took a step forwards and reached her hand out to me, ignoring Nightmare and Dead Metal entirely.

“Samantha?”

Sacrifice stopped and lowered her hand for just a moment.  I internally breathed a sigh of relief.

Then she lept at me.

She hit like a truck, winding me and sending the both of us down the stairs.  I still held the railings; they snapped off.  It didn’t matter since the pain of impacting the ground made me drop the bone railing anyway.

Nightmare and Dead Metal moved to follow us, but Sacrifice turned and literally snarled at both of them.  They stopped in their tracks two steps down and backed away.

She turned to me.

“H-hey Samantha,”  I stammered.  “It’s me, Ry-”

“Shut up,”  she answered.

I sighed in frustration as she stared at me.  Stared through me.

“How do you know my name?”  She asked.

“You told me.”

“Where am I?”

“An asylum for people who don’t have a handle on their powers and their sanity.”

She took a second to think.  “That figures.  What about my powers?”

“Because you had a re-awakening,”  I replied, pausing to catch my breath.  “Several.”

“Several?”

“Twelve.”

She got up, still sitting on top of me.  “Twelve?”

I nodded as much as I could.  “Twelve,”  I assured.

“How?”

“You don’t remember?”

“I don’t.”

That was a dangerous answer for me.  Up until the war with Texas Sacrifice was firmly on the side of ‘sociopathic serial killer’, even if it was because of Taker’s influence.  Worst case, she remembers Norfolk and nothing after. Best case?  She remembers the war.  Anything before Norfolk? Almost as bad.

“Do you remember the war?”  I asked.

“What war?”

“The Kingmaker war.”

“Congo?”

“No,”  I paused.  “Texas.”

She turned up to Dead Metal and Nightmare, then back at me.  They didn’t move from the top of the stairs, mixed between looking for an escape from Sacrifice and wanting to listen to my conversation with her.

“I don’t remember that.”

I took the plunge.  “W-what do you remember?”

She didn’t say.  I could understand that, there was a real reason not to trust me.

“It’s May,”  I said.  “2015.  What date do you remember?”

“19… 1997.”

A gap of roughly eighteen years separated me and Sacrifice.  Me and Samantha.  I felt a pang of sadness, then my side flared up.  Sacrifice quickly got off me.

She turned to Nightmare and Dead Metal.

“What the hell are you waiting for, help me help hi-”

“Murderer,”  Dead Metal called out.

Sacrifice looked taken aback.

“…What?”

“You murdered people all the way up to 2012, Sacrifice.”

Oh, I see.  Her group never formed until 1999.  In her current state, the Hunting Party doesn’t exist to her knowledge.  That’s slightly better than what I feared.  Still, Nightmare and Dead Metal have a serious grudge with Sacrifice.  Victims?  Probably.

Sacrifice alternated between looking at Dead Metal, Nightmare and me.

“I…  I what?”

“Before we go through the history you’ve somehow forgotten,”  I interrupted.  “Can you heal me first?”

 

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