[Vfw-times] story CM council 10

Oren Otter bevary at atcjet.net
Sun Jul 2 01:44:46 CDT 2000

warning:  this portion centers on the bad guys.  Two very bad bad guys.

Council of his Peers
part 10

	Shiver, for once, was beginning to enjoy himself as he rocked the Caoran
embassy with his vibrational energy.  He almost didn't stop when Comet
coalesced out of midair.
	"(That was some trip!)" said the big man.
	"(They got you too?)" asked Shiver.
	"(What was that?  A teleporter?)"
	"(Looks like it.  I suppose they beamed us into these cells in order to
hold us.  They didn't consider the possibility that someone has already
broken out of here.)"
	"(What is that smell?  Did someone shrink in here?  Is that chloroform?
What in the world happened?)"
	"(It was like this when I got here.)"
	Comet bent over and pointed to his back.  "(Hop on.  I'll get us out of

	* * *

	Renny sat quietly in his cell as the world rocked around him.  It wasn't
difficult to understand what was going on.  All he had to do was listen to
the screams issuing from the corridors.  Somewhere, there was a deer
demolishing a significant portion of the building.  Elsewhere, two of the
attacking super-humans had apparently been captured.
	And now, a large yuan-ti was slithering by the door claiming that
Critter-Man was loose in the embassy.
	Critter-Man.  Renny knew that name.  It was he, after all, who
inadvertently created Critter- Man.  It was Simon who had destroyed not
only his labs, but his hopes and dreams.  Then, as the monster, he turned
Renny over to the police, who through their woeful ignorance had authorized
his transfer to what they thought was another holding facility.  Oh, it was
that, all right, but now, he was in the hands, or tendrils as it were, of
these horrid creatures.  It seems that they had been hoping to get their
coils on this paranormal investigator for some time.
	As suddenly as it had begun, the shaking stopped.  Calmly, Renny stepped
up to the bars.  The section nearest the wall had come loose during the
quake, and came out of its destroyed settings rather easily.
	The yuan-ti guard never knew what hit him.  One moment, he was looking
through the window in the door at the commotion out in the corridor.  The
next, the back of his skull gave way to an assembly of iron.
	Renny took the guard's firearm, keys and security cards, then made his way
out into the corridor.
	Two strange creatures spotted him emerging from the cell block.  They
moved to intercept him, and were dead in seconds.
	As Renny passed the next cell block, he looked inside out of curiosity.
There was a haggard- looking woman with the cowl of a nun but the eyes of a
	"Doctor Townsend." said the woman.  "So you are free.  Will you not also
help me?"
	"Who are you?" asked the doctor.  "How do you know my name?"
	"I know many things about you my child.  I know that you are hurting."
	"Oh... I get it.  You're that poison loony who thinks she's a nun.  I
heard about you from the guards.  No way I'm setting you free."
	"I think you will."
	"Is that so?"
	"You see, I know where they are keeping the confiscated contents of your
	Renny almost dropped the gun in surprise.  "My lab?  It's HERE!"
	"Everything which you thought was lost has been stored here in the
embassy.  Set me free and I will take you to it."
	"Woman, I trust you about as far as I can throw a yuan-ti.  Lucky for you
I want what's in my lab so badly.  All right... get to the far side of the
cell and keep those poison hands where I can see them.

	* * *

	Tammy was scared.  During the excitement, the lesser yuan-ti had become
separated from her "parents", and now wandered the halls looking for them.
	She was glad when the dark-eyed lady found her.
	"You poor thing." said Mercy in a soothing voice as she cradled the small
serpent.  "To have been reduced to this.  I can help you."
	Tammy began to feel drowsy.  She let her eyelids slowly close as she
drifted to sleep in the woman's loving embrace.  A moment later, her heart
was slumbering deeply, relieved of its constant beating.  With a satisfied
smile, Sister Mercy lay the lesser yuan-ti on the ground.
	"Are you done yet?" asked Townsend, angrily.
	"Patience, my child.  There is always time to ease the suffering of
	"Ease the suffering?  You just killed it, you stupid witch."
	"Life is pain. Said Mercy, testily.  "I have the gift of ending life, and
with it, ending pain.  My poisons are a blessing I plan to share with the
entire world, so that all may know peace."
	"You're a ruddy fruitcake.  Now are you going to take me to the lab or not?"
	Mercy's eyes became heavy with frustration at the doctor's inability to
grasp her mission.  "This way." she said with a sigh.

	* * *

	A jolt of electricity and a toxic touch easily took out the two guards
assigned to the hanger-13- esque room which held Renny's laboratory.  Just
to be on the safe side, Renny shot them both.  After blowing the lock away
and stepping inside, he was surprised to find everything just the way he
remembered.  It was as though the building he once shared with Simon had
been completely cleansed and restored.  And there, right there on the
table, was the vial of serum he had extracted just before the lab had been
	"I don't understand." said Renny aloud.  "Why did they save it all?"
	"It was Doctor Jagar." replied Mercy.  "He sought to continue your
research, to further refine the serum into an immortality potion.  That was
why your memories were not erased.  He knew he might have to call upon your
	"What about you?  How do you know all this, anyway?"
	"I have ways of gaining information."
	"Whatever."  Renny took a syringe and filled it with serum.
	"What are you doing?"
	"The powers which Critter-Man possesses should have been mine.  I'm just
taking what belongs to me."
	"What better time?  We'll need them if we're to get out of here alive."
	As sister mercy looked on in horror, Doctor Townsend plunged the needle
into his arm and pushed the plunger.  He grit his teeth, whimpered, and a
moment later, screamed in agony, but he kept on pushing.
	* * *

	For a brief instant, Simon Gerfallen stopped his search for Rebecca and
stood stark still.  There was a new mind touching his own.  One which was
diseased.  It hated him, and he echoed that hate.  Nevertheless, the mind
called to him, to come and be one with it.  It was the first stirrings of
the hive mind.  He wanted... no, NEEDED to submit his will to the greater
will of the collective.
	Then another mind cried out.  It was figment, crying with the voices of
Rebecca and Hedonism in chorus.
	Simon began to move forward again.  There was a greater need than the hive.

	* * *

	Renny began to relax as the pain in his body turned to pleasure.  His
limbs turned black and leathery, thinning to mere sticks.  In the glass of
a cabinet door, he saw his eyes bulging, his mouth, full of pointy teeth,
grinning sadistically.  "I felt him, you know." he said matter-of-factly.
	"Who else?  That miserable Simon.  That BUMBLING, USURPING CRITTER-MAN!  I
hate him!  I HATE HIM!"  With a sweep of a claw, he sent a dozen glass jars
flying.  "But he'll usurp no more.  I am the critter-man now!  I am... am..."
	Sister Mercy, who found comfort and solace in even the most gristly of
demises, found herself petrified by what was now happening.  Renny had
become an exact duplicate of her enemy, and was still changing.
	"What?  What's wrong?"  Renny felt his face.  His mouth was migrating down
his head, which was beginning to lose its distinction from his shoulders.
His eyes, too, were moving, and his head... his head was beginning to
shrink!  Sister Mercy moved forward to put an end to the metamorphosis, but
Renny warned her away, slashing the air with his claws.  A moment later, he
ignored her completely, absorbed in the horrified realization that the
process had gone too far.  "Brain!" he cried.  "Brain is... my... shrink
mind... who am is?  I... Ren... I Ren... Rend!  Me Rend!  Kill!  Kill
	Mercy smiled.  In his own bizarre way, Renny had come halfway to achieving
piece.  There would never again be an internal conflict, and physical pain
was a thing of the past.  But there was also a new opportunity.  One too
good to pass up.
	"You would like Critter-Man dead?"
	"Want kill him!  Rend kill!"
	"I know all about helping people to that blessed state."
	"Poison woman no kill Rend!  Rend kill you first!"
	"Calm down, my child.  You are not yet ready to take on Critter-Man.  But
I can help you."
	"Help... kill?"
	"Oh, yes.  There are many hurting people out there.  Think of them as
	The monster who had once been Townsend grinned wide with the mouth that
stretched across its abdomen, and its eyes, which by now had migrated to
its chest, shone with an unholy fire.
	* * *

	Four dead yuan-ti, two poisoned, two mutilated, marked the exit door used
by Mercy and Rend.
	A powerful evil had been unleashed on an unsuspecting world.
	Somewhere in the depths of the universe, an even greater evil laughed out
loud with glee at the panic which was about to ensue.
	Somewhere else, the forces of good wept at the suffering which was
necessary to bring about those events which would save the universe.

-Oren the Otter
tlhaQ biQ Ha'DIbaH
The Changing Workplace: http://www.geocities.com/ottercomics

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