On the outskirts of Chaparral Heights, a white limo reflects the dim street lights as it pulls into an industrial complex. Doug Martel steps out of the vehicle and hurries inside an unremarkable three-story office building. There is no one inside as he passes through several elaborate security screenings. The last one requires him to blow into a tube as his pulse and eye are scanned. A large, metallic door flies open and Doug struts inside.
Doug: (Monotone) Activate full display
The darkened room instantly springs to life with lights and charts. A 3D model of the entire Santa Conchita Valley rises up in the center of the room. Doug focuses his attention on a detailed drilling structure at the base of the Kiyomi Mountains.
Doug: Everything is finally in place
He now saunters over to a cabinet, fetches a bottle of aged bourbon and pours himself a drink. As he downs the contents of the glass, he stares at the flowing white robe hanging before him on a hook.
Doug: (Inspecting a sleeve) This needs a good cleaning
The Martel patriarch slips it off the hook and throws it on. He then presses the buttons on a speaker phone. Griffin answers the other end.
Doug: Progress report!
Griffin: (Crackling over the speaker) This fluke storm caused some minor flooding but were still ready to go operational in the next few hours
Doug: I want a specific time, not vague projections
Griffin: (Machines whir in the background) Cant do that, father, all I can give you is the best estimate weve already pushed this project so far ahead of the original time frame, were lucky to
Doug snaps off the call with a flippant finger push. He paces the room and studies the glowing charts when the phone rings back.
Doug: (Answering) What?
Griffin: (On the other end) I am tired of you hanging up on me before I finish and, before you do so again, you need to be made aware of a growing complication!
Doug: That is why I put YOU in charge of overseeing this it is up to YOU to deal with the complications
Griffin: AND THIS IS WHY I AM OUT HERE IN THE RAIN AND THE MUD AND WHY I GAVE UP GOING TO THE FUNERAL OF THE FATHER OF THE WOMAN WHO MEANS MORE TO ME THAN ANYTHING AND THE MAN WHO WAS MORE OF A FATHER TO ME THAN YOU COULD EVER POSSIBLY HOPE TO BE
It is now Griffins turn to end the phone call abruptly. Doug sends the phone flying across the room. Before he can turn back to the display, a cold fist knocks him to the floor.
Turner: Get out of my robe!
Doug regains his composure, scrambles to his feet and cowers in the corner. He quickly sloughs off the white garment and timidly hands it over to Turner.
Doug: I apologize
Turner: (Snatching it from him) Your power envy is nauseating, Douglas
Doug: I have proven my loyalty to you, Gates, over and over again I deserve to be treated better than a faceless underling
Tuner: My sister deserved to be treated better than a faceless broodmare
Doug: HALF sister
Doug is elevated of the ground with a flick of Turners hand. He levitates in the middle of the room, gasping for breath.
Turner: Do NOT underestimate my affection for Stephanie and her children their only misfortune is having you for a father
Doug drops to the floor and thinks twice about going after Turner.
Turner: You are not one of us, Martel, and you never will be
Doug: Without me YOU would not be where you are
Turner: Lets cut the theatrics and get down to business what is the status of the drilling?
Doug: I just got off the phone with Griffin
Turner: So, that is why it is across the room in pieces
Doug: Please dont interrupt me!
Turner: Go on
Doug: It is set to begin in the next hour or so
Turner: Any problems?
Turner: Thats good I was concerned the soot from the volcano would clog the pipes
Doug thinks back to what Griffin was trying to warn him about as Turner now dons the white robe.
Doug: My son reports no problems
Turner: (Evil grin) We are so very close
Turner: I am pleased Griffin is there to see this through do you think Karl John will do his share?
Doug: Now that his father is out of the way, thanks to you, he will not be a problem
Turner now paces the room.
Doug: Erika was more of a threat since she had the brains for Meeramar - fortunately for us, shed rather play with starfish
Turner: (Tapping his fingers together) Hmm
Doug: By the way, I appreciate you getting rid of von Meer hes been more of a hindrance than a friend or business partner these last few years
Turner: Do not thank me yet
Doug: (Nearly choking on his tongue) What do you mean? hes DEAD, right?
Turner: Im not certain
Doug: OH, THATS PERFECT not only did I lose my PREMIER TANKER TODAY, it was for NOTHING?
Turner: Do NOT raise your voice to me, Douglas
Doug: What about HER? has she been taken care of yet?
Turner: SHE is my concern, not yours
Turner pulls the hood over his head and goes to leave.
Turner: (Before vanishing) The harvesting flock has been dispatched
Sneaking inside the hospital through her usual route, Darkfin does not waste time with a disguise. As two orderlies cross her path in the hall, she knocks them both out before either one can react.
Darkfin: (Hustling down a corridor) Quickly, quickly, quickly
She hears the wheels of a gurney advancing in her direction. She flips up to the ceiling and sticks there as a nurse and patient go by. The half-conscious patient sees Darkfin hanging above him.
Darkfin: (Putting her finger to her lips) Shh
Patient: (To the nurse) What did they give me in this IV?
Darkfin: (Jumping down) Almost there
Darkfin hurries up a flight of stairs and makes it inside the supply room before more doctors walk by.#
Darkfin: Sorry, Stephanie
Opening a large bio hazard bag, Darkfin begins to fill it with syringes, vials, IV bags, pills, and other materials.
Darkfin: (Searching another cabinet) Where did you hide the sodium compounds?
As she goes to reach the top shelf, Darkfin becomes dizzy and falls to the floor. She notices the patches of human flesh getting wider and sprouts of blonde hair on her head.
Darkfin: Not now, please not now!
Darkfin starts to vomit as blood drips from her nose. She does not notice the door open in back of her.
Penny: Need some help, Fish Lady?
Penny: (Eyes glowing again) Cause I sure could use yours
Darkfin: (Wheezing) Saline solution top shelf?
Penny rummages through the supplies and finds a large vile.
Penny: (Holding it up to Darkfin) Is this it?
Aleta Oscura grabs the vile, pops a syringe, fills it with the fluid, and jabs the needle into her neck vein.
Penny: Ouch cool
Darkfins transmogrification does not progress any further.
Darkfin: (Attempting to stand) How how did you know I was here?
Penny: (Helping her) I wondered about that myself
Darkfin: (Studying her eyes) You are one of them
Penny: I guess I am but I have no idea who or what THEM is
Darkfin: I will explain it to you - another time I need to get back to
Penny: (Pushing Darkfin back) Uh-uh, you need to explain it to me right now!
Darkfin: Penelope, please
Penny: Or your little secret WONT be safe with me
Darkfin: (Pushing the girl back harder) THERE IS NO TIME FOR THIS
Penny: You know, I have Lieutenant Fury on my case about this maybe we should talk to her? - shes around here somewhere
As Penny is about to open the door, all the lights go out. There is a long pause. The hospitals back-up generator does not kick in. Still no lights as the room is eerily quiet.
Darkfin: Now what?
Penny: Theyre here and theyre coming FAST
At Ona Rosas hospital bedside, Anita clutches her sisters cold, lifeless hand and sobs as monitors and machines barely blink and stir. Hector is behind her as Frank and Carmen sit on the opposite side of the bed and cry.
Anita: Oni why?
Anita stares at the ligature marks around her neck as a ventilator pushes artificial breath into Ona Rosas lungs.
Anita: I dont understand are those marks from her rosary beads?
Hector: The nuns found her they were on their way to evening prayers when the rosary was around her neck
Carmen wails in anguish and runs into the bathroom to vomit. Frank hobbles after his wife to make sure she is okay.
Anita: (Whispering to Hector) Theres no hope, is there?
Hector: There is always hope but the doctors say she is brain dead no one knows how long she was without oxygen before the paramedics arrived she has arrested three times already
Anita: (Wiping tears) Oh, God
Hector: Stephanie is doing all she can, she has a call out to the best neurologist in LA well know for sure when she hears from him
Anita: Where the FUCK is Javier?
Hector: I dont know we left the kids with the neighbors the university is doing their best to locate him
Anita: Tell em to try all the Motel 6s
Hector: NITA not here
Anita: WHY? she cant hear me, shes a god damn turnip now!
Anita: Maybe its about TIME she hears what a lowlife cheating piece of shit her husband IS
Hector grabs his niece up out of the chair and forces her away from the bed.
Hector: (In her face) I know how upset you are but you need to STOP your mouth before I put my fist through it, CLARO?
Anita: (Throwing his hands off of her) Go to hell
Carmen and Frank return from the bathroom. They pass by Anita as if she wasnt there.
Carmen: (Whimpering to her husband) They promised it wouldnt happen to her they promised us!
Anita: (Overhearing) PROMISED? who promised? what are you talking about?
Carmen is aghast as she realizes she spoke out loud.
Anita: (Pulling her mothers arm) MAMI?
Frank: (Pushing her away) Not now, Anita
Anita: DO YOU KNOW WHO DID THIS TO HER?
Hector now rushes over and literally pushes Anita out of Ona Rosas room.
Hector: Take a walk
Anita: I HAVE A RIGHT TO KNOW WHAT IS HAPPENING TO MY SISTER
Hector: I said, TAKE A WALK, ANITA come back when you can act like an adult
As Anita stumbles back into the hallway, she runs into KJ. He catches the last part of the conversation.
KJ: Your sister? did something happen to Ona Rosa?
Before Anita can answer, KJ brushes by her and Hector. He hurries into the room and cant believe his eyes.
KJ: God, OH GOD, NO WHAT HAPPENED?
Anita glares directly at her uncle and then to her parents.
Anita: ASK THEM
Anita now charges down the hall, past the waiting room, to the elevators. The lights suddenly go out. When everyone realizes the emergency power is not coming on, panic sets in. Doctors and nurses grab flashlights and scurry into patients rooms.
Anita: Oh, God Onis machine!
As Anita heads back, she stumbles into Morrigan around the corner. McBride freezes in her tracks before the snarling lieutenant. The ambient light from the windows and the glowing trident reflect on both of their faces.
Anita: YOU ARE YOU RESPONSIBLE FOR THIS, TOO?
Morrigan steps back and holds the trident in a defensive manner.
Anita: (Preparing to lunge) First, Father Greg, now my SISTER quemadura en infierno!
Morrigan jumps aside as the hoods fly up the hall towards Anita.
Morrigan: Tell that to them
Anita: (Turning around) Oh, shit
Anita ducks just in time as a hood sweeps down in her direction. Morrigan bats one away with the trident and it goes soaring up into a ceiling panel.
Morrigan: JUST LET THEM GO BY, THEYRE AFTER SOMETHING
Anita whips out her handgun and unloads into one of them.
The blue hood sputters and collapses to the ground. Morrigan watches the others head down the hall towards Ona Rosas room.
Morrigan: Or someone
Before the hoods can reach the room, they are blown back a concussive wave. Darkfin rounds the corner with Penny following behind with her fingers in her ears. The wave only stuns the brown hoods. The other in blue grabs Darkfin by the throat.
Penny: SO NOT HAPPENING
The Renselier daughter bites the blue hood on the arm. The arm starts to smoke and releases its captor. Penny and Darkfin spin away before the hood explodes into flames.
Morrigan: (Helping Darkfin to her feet) Id hate to see what would happen if she had braces
Darkfin snatches the trident from Morrigan and goes to work on the remaining hoods.
Anita: Leave some for me!
As Darkfin battles on, Morrigan and Penny stand guard at opposite ends of the hall. Anita crashes a glass case and plucks a fire extinguisher from the wall.
Anita: TIME TO TAKE A POWDER
She empties the contents in the hoods face and then clobbers it on the head with the canister.
Anita: Time to see who exactly these fucktards are
Anita pulls back the blue hood and wipes away the powder and blood. She squints and holds up a pen light. She is shocked by the face staring back at her.
Anita: JASON CLARK? what the
Before she can finish, Jason leaps up with eyes aglow and sends Anita flying across the room. Before he can turn around, the trident bursts through his chest.
Darkfin: One less problem
Morrigan: (Rushing over) JASON? why?
Darkfin: CONCENTRATE, MORRIGAN, WE ARE NOT FINISHED
The last hood continues for Ona Rosas room. Anita chases after it with a potted plant. She catches up to it, hurls the ceramic kitten vase and it shatters against the hoods back. As it turns around, Anita plucks up a large shard and is about to jam it into the hoods throat.
Hector: (Stepping between them) ANITA, NO
Hector: It has a job to do
Before Anita can react, Hector knocks her unconscious.
Across the way, Dr. Stephanie Gates is in the middle of treating her youngest granddaughter and several other emergency room patients.
Stephanie: (Barking orders) I WANT ALL NON-CRITICAL CASES EVACUATED INTO THE PARKING LOT, ASAP
Hannah: Ganni, I smell smoke
Stephanie peeks into the hall and stares at a hood on fire.
Stephanie: KEEP IT FROM THE
Before Stephanie can finish her sentence, it crawls closer to a large oxygen tank. Darkfin sees what is about to happen and flings herself over Morrigan. Penelope lets loose with a blood-curdling scream as she ducks inside a room.
Stephanie: (Throwing herself over Hannah) Save us
A massive explosion rocks the entire hospital.
With the white robe covering his face and body, Turner arrives at an ultra-secluded resort on the edge of the Don Alessandro mountains. The private bungalow overlooks Duquesa Bay where the glow of the hospital fire can be seen in the distance. Outside on the patio, a woman dressed in the same white robe reclines on a chaise.
Turner: (Bowing to her) It is nearly ready
The woman does not answer. She extends her hand for him to kiss it. As he does so, her coral-colored fingernails gleam against the darkness. Cinched around her waist is a helix-like chain loop belt made of Nereidium.
Turner: (Playing with the belt) Our time is nearly here
The woman pulls the belt loose so her robe falls open to reveal her nude body. As Turner bends to admire it closer, she slings the chain around his neck and spins him into the iron fence. The bones in his arm snap like toothpicks as he slams against it.
Woman: My time is already here
She draws the white hood back from her face. Long black braid interrupted with an irregular streak of white fall across Samadaras body.
Surfaced on July 1, 2000
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