View Full Version : Ciem: The Human Centipede
11th Oct 2008, 02:54 AM
Description: Dozerfleet Productions presents... Ciem: The Human Centipede. This is an action drama superhero tale with serious subject matter, told in a story that intends to partially parody the Spider-Man movies among other things.
Discussion Forum: Official Ciem: The Human Centipede Discussion Forum (http://dozerfleetprod.proboards.com/index.cgi?board=ciem1)
Wiki: Ciem: The Human Centipede at DozerfleetWiki2 (http://dozerfleetwiki2.wiki-site.com/index.php/Ciem1)
Legal: Ciem, all related characters, and such, are property of Dozerfleet Productions. All stories, pop culture entities, and characters being parodied are the property of their respective owners. All game mods being used, usernames, game mod titles, and website titles remain the property of their respective owners. Dozerfleet Productions and all related graphics and logos remain the property of Dozerfleet Productions.
(C) 2007 Dozerfleet Productions.
This is the S2C version of the story in progress for 2 years by Dozerfleet. The DRS (http://dozerfleetwiki2.wiki-site.com/index.php/Dozerfleet_ratings_system) rating is 13-UP. While there is implied sexuality, stylized action violence, and blood, the story is considered mild. Reader discretion is still advised. This story has the approval of HystericalParoxysm for upload to this site.
CHAPTER 1: "What Secrets Lie"
It had been over 43 years since two faithful pioneers founded the city of Gerosha with their marriage in the forests outside Craterville. Stan and Shalia were very devout in their faith, and had made the lives of many better as they also encouraged many to think of where they were going in the hereafter. But now their children were growing up fast. The old ways had passed.
The world, in the passing generations, would quickly forget—even outright reject—what Stan and Shalia had gone to great lengths to prove. Exactly why defied all common sense, but it happened anyway.
In their day, they had seen what they were convinced must have been miracles. Little did they know that the greatest miracle of their legacy was the one they wouldn't live to see. Over 13 years had passed since their deaths.
Their adoptive daughter Erin was convinced it was her place in life to carry on Stan and Shalia's legacy. It grieved her to know that she was unable to find a suitable husband to help her do so. Lured by the deceptions of legalism though, her authoritative nature frequently frustrated her in her attempts to do the one thing she most wished to: love her sisters, and ensure that they were aware of it.
She did her best to try raising Shalia's triplets: Candice, Miriam, and Marina. But as the culture would move further and further away from everything the town of Gerosha was built around, even Gerosha itself would soon be corrupted. As much as the Flippo girls all tried to protect themselves from harmful influences, each one of them would find themselves succumbing to one temptation or another.
The children of the generations to follow Stan and Shalia had lost their way, and the Meethlite aliens would yet again capitalize on the resurgance of evil. They did some good, keeping the pedophile Kerpher Gang in check in Dirbine, but they did that mostly to secure power for their own mob.
In ancient times, the first century church had converted a slave named Zeras before he found the planet Metheel. Zeras, after Metheel's discovery, would forge the first civilizations there.
Yet, the modern Meethlites were mutated beings who cared only about their own greed. The Flippo family's faith and convictions only made them even more of a threat to them, so they joined with every opposed campaign they could.
Since Shalia Flippo stood for her convictions, and employed them to expose the Meethlites' tactics in the early days of the town of Gerosha; that made every child she had a target in their vengeful eyes.
Rumors abounded in the Meethlite camps. There was an oracle in their past on a scroll, with the word "lIPO" written on it. That same scroll warned of a centipede getting involved, but did not specify if that centipede and the "lIPO" were one and the same. Various cults interpreted it as a Centhuen Prototype, created to-spec by the rival Phaelite aliens.
This being would be born to a human family, and would possibly bring about the extinction of an entire dynasty of Meethlite imperialists. The politically-minded began to interpret that this had to mean that one of Shalia's children would rise up and become the alleged destroyer. That presented them with another problem: which one of Shalia's children was the real threat?
Candice Marie Flippo was the fifth-born child of Stan and Shalia Flippo. She clearly lacked the wisdom and insight of her mother, but was still considered wise and moral given that she exercised restraint in her life that was not common with her other sisters.
She often found herself defending them, even when she knew they were in the wrong. However, she usually refused to actually participate in their wrongdoings herself.
The sixth-born, her triplet sister Miriam Ann Flippo, had become her best friend; and was also raised under the adopted sister Erin Wyer-Flippo. The other triplet in the batch, Marina, had been involved in a scandal with paperboy Matthew Baret. Candi loved this sister very much as well, but agreed that it was best for Marina to marry Matt and move away, especially after witnessing how Erin was affected.
Candi lay peacefully on her bed one fateful night; the night before her entire world would be radically altered.
She could not have known the significance of this one night: the night before her innocence died. It would also be the last time she would see Miriam in years.
Candi had much to think about; namely, her big secret. She was not allowed by Erin to share this, not even with her own sisters. She missed Marina, and hoped that Marina's marriage to Matt would be a happy one. Candi knew they would have a boy named Andy, but feared her destiny would not allow her to relish the thought of being an aunt.
The rain outside was picking up heavily. Candi was fearful of what her future held. Normally, she would be sneaking outside to either visit with her secret boyfriend or to be training herself to use her special abilities. The rain plus the cold, however, made her prefer to stay indoors. She had little else to do that evening except be lost in thought that unseasonably cold day in August, so there is where she remained.
Miriam, by contrast; was always a reckless, restless adventurer of a soul who seldom took advice. The boredom of not being able to go outside with friends, combined with the incessance of the rain maddened her. She was the kind who would resort to what she knew best: her double life as the "Hacktress Extraordinaire..."
Miriam: "No! You ruckin' feetard!!! Port 18 is the security trap! I said 34! Slammit! No! Fine! I'm aborting mission! You're on your own, jailbird!"
Candi: "Regina's done it this time, I take it?"
Miriam: "Yeah. She never listens to me!
Candi: "My...where have I heard that before?"
Miriam: "I'm serious, Candi! You don't just go snooping around in Licnoz Pet Supply's database without a tour guide! I know her quest for knowing it all, but for cad sakes! There's ways to avoid getting caught!"
Candi: "You know, I'm so gonna laugh if you swear at her in Swahili next!"
Miriam: "If she continues to be this stupid, I just might!"
It was 8:30 in the evening, yet the phone rang. Nobody ever called Erin Flippo's house at that hour!
Miriam: "Ugh! That had better not be Jess harassing me about Phil again! How insensitive can one girl get?"
Candi: "Never mind, I'll get it!"
Hesitantly, Candi put the phone next to her ear.
Static. A menacing moan came from the other end, like someone struggling to say anything coherent. This voice, or whatever else it may have been, soon cut short. Candi paused for several seconds, waiting for a completed though. When none came, her nerves began to expend their confidence.
voice: (cutting in-and-out) "Flllllliiiiiiiiiiipppppppoooooooo!!!! Is this....Flippo residence???"
Candi: (nervous) "Yes...wha..what do you want???"
The voice was one of the most chilling she'd ever heard! Whoever it was, they seemed to only want to know that they had reached the Flippo residence. Candi sensed that somehow, her answering that phone would have serious consequences. She hung up, trying hard to shake the discomfort of the moment by telling herself it was just a prank.
Part of her secret, her special sensation of a phantom scream, went off. Something dangerous was lurking about! But just this once, she chose to ignore her sensation.
Miriam: "Yaahh! Candi! Don't sneak up like that!"
Candi: "Off so soon? That's not like you."
Miriam: "Yeah, well, somehow, I just don't feel like a full night's work tonight."
Miriam: "So...who was our mysterious caller?"
Candi: "I...only wish I could tell you. Probably just some prankster."
Candi: "It wasn't Jess, if that's what you're afraid of."
Miriam: "Very true, very true. Kinda weird though. Nobody ever pranks us!"
Candi: "Do you think it's a sign of something bad?"
Miriam: "Bullocks! Candi, you are always so wrapped up in pondering signs, wonders, and things of the beyond! Maybe, sometimes, that beyond wants a vacation too! A prank is a prank!"
Candi: "I only wish I had your certainty."
Miriam: "The real reason I'm so upset tonight..."
Candi: "I've spoken with Erin. She agrees she needs to treat you nicer."
Miriam: "No, it's not about that!"
Candi: "Then what?"
Miriam: "What is this 'big secret' that you're supposed to keep? It sounds exciting; but I can tell it's eating you! You have to hide it all the time; you never join me with my friends to events anymore; it's devouring your social life! Why does Erin want you to be such a hermit? I'm almost sure I've got it pinned; but it's starting to eat me too! I want answers!"
Candi: "I knew it would come back to that eventually. Erin promised me that before we move away, she'd tell me what's going on!"
Miriam: "I'm not a fool, Candi! Well...not about this anyway! You see things well before they happen; you never get sick; you heal a lot faster than I do, you can jump to tremendous heights..."
Candi: "Well, I..."
Miriam: "Don't be so modest! There should have been no way for you to find me back when I was eight and got trapped in the well! You...found me somehow! And that rope! What was that made of? Where'd you get it? Candi...I know why those Meethlites are after us!"
Candi: "Why they've been after us since we were young...since they caused us both to repeat first grade..."
This has been the first section of Chapter 1. If you liked this chapter, please read on. Don't forget to rate this story...your feedback benefits future entries in the franchise; as well as the wiki.
14th Oct 2008, 01:51 AM
Candi: "Miri...I don't know how to say this...I'm different!"
Miriam: "Darn straight! I know we don't plan on attending the same college; but we're becoming strangers faster than you realize!"
Candi: "I'm going to get answers from Erin...tonight if I can!"
Miriam: "I've seen you! Running around...fighting crime..."
Candi: "You follow me around?"
Miriam: "I did that one time! I...don't know where you got those ropes from; but...I just hope you aren't the one to put me behind bars some day!
Candi: (frustrated) "Okay, I confess! I...kinda have this superheroine gig thing I do on the side. I...have centipede superpowers, I guess you'd call them! Erin thinks I'm this so-called 'Gifted One' that the Meethlites talk about. I don't understand any of it either!"
Miriam: "Why do you not have a single costume that you stick to?"
Candi: "Uh...well...I'm not professional yet! I...don't know if I'd even want to be a professional!
Miriam: "If this is your gift from birth, you can't just waste it! Deep down, you know that! Candi...I feel so sorry for you! I...could never live that life no matter how much I'd enjoy the thrill of it! This may sound hypocritical coming from me; but...you must pursue it!"
Candi: "I'm not sure why I do half the things I do! I want a family, Miri! I want...a loving husband! But I also can't stand to sit idly by, while criminals run amock! I wander off to stay in shape and do what I do best! Why did God give me this curse? I don't know! Erin does! But she's not telling me!"
Miriam: "Wow...so then, the ropes?"
Candi: "Shhh!!! If this becomes widespread, we're doomed!"
Candi: "No!...let me show you!"
No sooner than Candi made this promise, she performed one of her swift moves to Miriam's astoundment. The brown protrusions the whistled out from Candi's body came as a shock to Miriam; who decided that this somehow had to make sense.
Miriam: "Even I didn't know you could move that fast!"
Candi: "The last drug operation I stopped, they were heavily armed! I can dodge crazy things like bullets though. Another mystery Erin has yet to solve for me!"
Miriam: "And the ropes?"
Miriam: "Centilegs??? Wait...centilegs...as in... Centhuen Prototype!"
Miriam: "That's what you are! A Centhuen Prototype! Experimental bridge between man and centipede! I'm a hacker, Candi! Erin can't keep me completely in the dark!"
In a moment of pause, Candi's feelings of being impressed with Miriam's research skills soon turned to dread.
Candi: "Well, I'll be! I just broke a life-long promise to Erin that I'd never tell you the truth! And in the end...you know me better than I know myself!"
Miriam: "My specialty! But Candi...this means we don't have much time!"
Candi: "No...time? Miri? What are you talking about? Don't do anything crazy...Erin will suspect!"
Miriam: "You're right! But Candi...realize something...we're dead where we stand!"
Candi: "I...don't understand!"
Miriam: "Let me see your hands...holy!"
Miriam: "You were right! You're different all right! That extra crevice on your thumb is a giveaway! Somebody experimented on our parents! Question is... why didn't I get the centipede powers?"
Candi: "I'm...not even entirely sure what you mean! Miri...I'll interrogate Erin later tonight! Honestly! This is...kinda creeping me out right now!"
Miriam: "Creeping you out? You're the one with the freaky...things coming out of you!"
Candi paused some more, as both girls' nervousness grew. They realized they had been keeping plenty of other secrets from each other. Candi had told Miriam as much as she was comfortable to tell.
She had been running vigilante missions in makeshift costumes, in an attempt to train for what she feared might end up being her life. But would she be able to keep up the pace? How would she ever be ready for the chance of a Meethlite threat? She wished she could understand what divine purpose, if any, her circumstance was governed towards. Yet, she had to confess that she was in the dark, at least at this moment, regarding exactly where her place was in life.
Miriam: "Finally, that dang warm front's hitting! I can feel it getting warmer already! About time summer actually felt like itself! I'm switching into something cooler!"
Candi: "Ah...Miri! Master of the non-sequitur!"
Candi: "Fair enough! I think I'll change too! But after that, there's something you need to tell me! Let's...try to keep this a two-way street, okay?"
Miriam: "Sure! And I promise you...if Erin asks...you told me nothing!"
Candi: "You already knew all along...even more so than myself!
As the girls got dressed, Erin struggled in her bed. The call that made Candi so uncomfortable was just the first message of its sort to be received by Candi. Erin, at both home and at work, was receiving numerous similar messages.
It was beginning to give her nightmares. However, she wasn't sure she wanted to flee Gerosha just yet. Her family had been running from Meethlite threats for so long, was it not about time that she—or someone—faced up to the threat?
The thought then entered her head: what were the girls doing? And why did she hear a phone ring in her dream? She had been through a lot.
It broke her heart when she kicked Marina out of the house for her promiscuous behavior. There were rumors that conspirators were trying to get Candi in all sorts of trouble, even that some were trying to smear her over the Internet in every imaginable way!
At the same time, there was Miriam and her obsession with discovery. Miriam herself was the survivor of a tragically-ended relationship with a boy named Phil. As far as Erin knew, Phil was just a dirty boy with bad parents who was suicidally manic-depressive.
Erin suspected he had seduced Miriam on at least one occasion, and while she knew Miriam would never be as reckless as Marina had been, fear still ruled in Erin's heart.
She knew the girls wanted to flee Gerosha, but Erin felt she needed to keep them away from college just one year longer—to teach them to stand up to evil! She felt the girls were just trying to run away from the Meethlite threat as they had always done. She knew there was simply no way to run forever! But she also knew of Candi's great secret. She'd at least need Candi for her own protection!
But could she fairly hold Candi back in life just for her own safety? After all, Erin was now in her early 40's; and Candi was soon to turn 20.
Miriam, it seemed, might want to leave simply because Erin was too hard on her. She couldn't emphasize enough to the girls how dangerous it was that any of them become too lenient with their sexuality, especially in a world where they could easily be betrayed to the Meethlites! Miriam, as far as Erin was concerned, had already crossed too many lines!
Yet, Erin still cared about her sisters; and as she awoke in the fearful darkness, she was convinced she simply had to check on them.
Candi: "Are you sure I need a haircut, Miri?"
Miriam: "Absolutely! Candi, if you're that obvious, you'll be a magnet to them! You seriously need a makeover! Besides, you look like a freakin' onyrô! You need a new look...and...a new identity!"
Candi: "Miri...I'm scared!"
Miriam: "It's just hair!"
Candi: "Not that! It's...about the whole identity thing! How do we even know if it will work?"
Miriam: "It has to work! We don't have much choice! The only other option is for us to stay here forever, as Erin's prisoners! And that won't happen!!!"
Candi: "I...guess you're right! But, I mean, how far do we have to take this?"
Miriam: "As far as it will take us to be under the radar! Now hold on a sec...there! Improvement already!"
Candi: "Well...it's definitely shorter! But...I don't see how this is helping!"
Miriam: "We can't just run away from our old looks...we have to run away from our old lives!"
Candi: "So...why am I the only one getting the haircut tonight?"
Miriam: "Because I still have a social life here, though not for long! You, however, are already an outcast; so the time to reinvent yourself is now!"
Much to her inevitable shock and curiosity, Erin stumbled in right that moment.
Erin: "GIRLS!!! What is going on here??? It's getting late! And why are you cutting each other's hair??? Candi...by Goldie!!!"
14th Oct 2008, 04:06 AM
Chapter 2: "The Zeran Fallout"
Candi and Miriam knew they were busted. They knew that an inexplicable fear had taken over their older sister, who was acting as a mother for them. It was time for all the girls to get some answers from each other.
Erin: "Candi! How could you do this to yourself?"
Candi: "Erin, please understand! Miri already knew what was going on all along! Besides, I'm tired of keeping this a secret from my own family! I should at least be able to tell my family that I'm part centipede!"
Erin: "You know your brothers! One Meethlite pressuring them, they squeal, there goes everything!"
Attention was soon turned to Miriam. She didn't think it fair that Candi was under so much pressure. If anyone was the scoundrel, it was she.
Miriam: "I know how you're looking at me, sis...I'll admit it! I'm guilty!"
Erin: "Well! It's high time I got some honesty out of you, Missy!"
Candi: "Erin...I don't understand. Where did the Centhuen Prototype thing in me come from? What is this prophecy?
Zeran holes? I don't know what's going on! I only know what I can do...yet, what I fear about me. I don't know anything of how I got this way, or why I'm burdened with all these expectations!"
Erin: "Hmm...I guess it is about time I told you the truth. I've been demanding it from you two, I may as well give it myself. But we're going to figure out what's going on with Miriam first!"
Candi: "Must we convict her again and again?"
Erin: "You're not her lawyer. Let's hear it!"
Miriam: "All right. Yes, Phil and I went too far. I'll never forget how it all went down either."
Candi: "I recall, I seemed to be the only one on the trip that was even concerned that you were missing."
Erin: "You didn't tell me this why?"
Candi: "We were on a field trip. I ran out of Canadian money for the phones."
Erin: "You didn't think there was anything I could have done about it."
Candi: "Nothing that would've helped matters any."
Miriam: "Phil and I were very sneaky about it! Look...he was a man burdened with many problems. But I loved him. I have to live my own life, so do you two!"
Candi: "I know how you feel. I like doing my detective work and you like breaking into things. Both are dangerous hobbies and you feel Erin's unfair because she lets me do what I want but gets on your case about everything."
Miriam: "We're both out of high school now! I want a life of my own!"
Candi: "Same here. The only difference is, I'm in no big hurry to throw that future life away before it's even given to me!"
Miriam: "I wanted to give Phil some assurance that he wasn't worthless. I told him that if God still loved him enough to send me in his life, that it wasn't all pointless. I tried to make a decision your way! Preaching!
He didn't buy it. So I gave him something I felt he could listen to! But he was too far gone...even to a girl like me selling everything short of her salvation to make him happy!"
Candi: "He was a suicidal madman, and there was no stopping him! Be thankful he didn't take you to Hell with him!"
Miriam: "I realize everyone thinks I've become a complete skank now, just like what happened to Marina! Yes, it was all a big mistake, one I almost got away with!
But it broke my heart to see his face in the obituary section of the paper! Don't think a part of me didn't die!"
Candi: "That's why I'm thankful you're still here, Miri. I need you around to know what would happen if I succumb, lest I ever do! Just because I've not let the world have its way with me yet, doesn't mean my mind is G-rated!
Before Don went crazy, he...tried to lure me in the same way...I almost said yes! I...came dangerously close being you. And I would have enjoyed it far more! I know what would've happened had I given in. I am in no way your superior!"
Miriam: "I...knew that Don guy was a creep! You were very brave, Candi! I'm afraid I simply can't be you."
Candi: "You're better than you give yourself credit. Miri...If you can't trust divine advice with your body, how can you possibly expect to tell someone as downtrodden and forsaken by the world as Phil to trust that same source for anything?"
Miriam: "Hmm...I'll tell you Candi, I'm glad I have you around here! I'm afraid if I didn't have you on my case, I'd be..."
Candi: "Lost...pregnant...scared...hunted by the law...hunted by God-knows-what-else?"
Miriam: "Probably. You sure nailed that list pretty quick!"
Candi: "Don't feel too bad, Miriam. I don't always make wise choices either."
Miriam: "I'm not like Marina! I won't sleep with just anyone!"
Candi: "You don't have to be! I know you mean well, but we're both selfish at times...and cowardly. We both have a rough time trusting God for anything. You're just more forward about it. If only you knew the struggles I have—it's better that you don't."
Erin was struck by the compassion these girls had for each other. It reminded her of what she got under Shalia a long time ago. Somewhere in her education, she had lost sight of it.
Erin: "You girls continue...I'll make some coffee."
As the girls continued conversing, Erin listened intently. The more she learned of their emotional poverty, the more she learned of her own failure in parenting them. She was getting a bit old for having children of her own, but she still yearned to find a perfect man and marry.
She kept herself looking young for this very reason, though she began having second thoughts. Should she keep the girls living under her roof to teach them courage, or would real courage be her lesson in letting them go and taking the risks of life alone?
The Meethlites were back. There was no question about it. But was it yet time to act?
Miriam: "Anything else that bothers you?"
Candi: "I keep hearing the voice of some girl...about our age. Evil as can be. Thankfully, I stick to my principles...and I can usually tell that voice to shut up. I wish I could get her out of my head though. She gets extremely annoying."
Miriam: "Are you sure you don't wanna see a shrink about that? Sounds a little weird!"
Miriam: "I don't know, Candi. You're so much of a romantic at times...and yet, such an idealistic moralist!"
Candi: "Grace is what saves, Miriam! And it ain't the grace of mere folk like us that saves either!"
Miriam: "Ain't that true! Camille still hates you for the time you embarrassed her in school. In my opinion, that girl and her grudge are both psycho!"
Candi: "Oh please! I demonstrated that her security scheme wasn't so secure! I wanted to do a favor! Yes, it got out-of-hand! But must that weigh on my conscience forever? I doubted my faith for a year after that incident!"
Miriam: "You're too hard on yourself! You trusted her too much as a friend, and she wasn't one! That doesn't mean you have to turn your back on anything or anyone else!
Don't give up who you are because of her! And if you let this weigh on you forever, that'd be exactly what she wants!
That witch has a vendetta! She's told several of her friends on every message board she owns to figure out who you are if ever you join, and ban you on sight!"
Candi: "I appreciate you looking out for me...even if you do have to resort to spying!"
Miriam: "Not a problem either. I've already been kicked off one of her boards by that guy who drools over her...simply for asking that they not bad-mouth you.
I made sure to get even with them for everything bad they said. They're now a laughingstock on many sites...and they don't even know it yet! Buzzards! I now wear their mark of scorn like a badge of honor!"
Candi couldn't help but admire her sister's willingness to defend her.
Miriam: "But you're on your own with that Don guy..."
Candi: "I could not have predicted he'd be a criminal!"
Miriam: "Maybe you should take some tips from me, if you want to be a detective! He's now with those Meethlites...the ones our parents were always running from! He may be plotting to kill us!"
Erin: "So...how did you manage to sneak off with Phil?"
Miriam: "Phil separated me from the others that night. I...used some of my inheritance money...I know I shouldn't have..."
Candi: "You didn't even stay at the same hotel?"
Miriam: "No. I was desperate. I didn't want Phil to go on believing his life was hopeless..."
14th Oct 2008, 04:38 AM
Miriam: "We knew that the school officials might have an issue...but they had so many to take care of! Everyone just assumed Phil and I were safe on our own with another group! They didn't collaborate or anything!"
Candi: "So the schools have failed us yet again?"
Miriam: "I guess. Look, I know. The whole thing was crazy. The guilt was driving me mad. But Phil and I stayed in a special room at the Lars Arola Hotel. I thought a night of indulgence would turn him around. I never imagined how he'd end it all!"
Candi: "I have had the same desires for both Don and for Donte at different times. This is like my nightmares coming back to scold me for my own thoughts. What else happened the night you fell?"
Miriam: "I think you pretty much know what happened next. I lost my self-respect. Since that night, God has always seemed a million miles away. I've not been the same girl sense. Yet, I don't know if, given a second chance, I would have had the character quality to change the outcome..."
Miriam: "I felt something in me die, especially when he started his lie. I should have known: my sacrifice would mean nothing. But I didn't want to believe that. He told me a sweet-sounding lie.
He stated that the kindness I showed him would forever change his mind. I don't know if even he realized what a lie it was even as he was telling it! I promised to him...any time he had his fears and doubts returning; any time his family was unsympathetic and the medicine wasn't enough; that he should look to me.
He promised that evening that he would look to me from now on. I'd do whatever was in my power for him...so completely was I under his spell!"
Candi: "Poor thing! You were both deluded! You should have sent him to a clinic! Instead, he messed you both up!"
Miriam: "My heart was not entirely pure. I knew that I was breaking the rules, and that there'd be a price to pay. For some reason, that night, I didn't care. Now, I don't know how to make myself right again! I'd love for that...almost as much as I wish I could have saved him!"
Erin: "You're lucky you didn't get pregnant, or have something worse happen to you!"
Miriam: "I don't think I'd mind pregnancy too much. Though, it would get in the way of my online career as the notorious Sniperbadger. It also would limit my ability to travel the world.
But, I can handle the thought of having a baby! After the scorn I got in high school over little things, what's the use of fighting this one? It's all this...death I want to get away from! We live in a city of rotting bones! Seriously, Erin, ever think that, maybe...we're sitting ducks here?"
Erin: "The world is dangerous, Miriam. Gerosha has been a safe place to live for over eleven years!"
Miriam: "Websites and mainframes are safe until somebody breaks in. I would know. I am, after all, Sniperbadger."
Erin: "Sniperbadger? Care to elaborate?"
Miriam: "Maybe later. Suffice to say, and I'll put this in terms you understand...a volcano..."
Erin: "Okay, now I get it. But I don't think you're right. This town isn't that bad!"
Candi: "Uh...are you really so certain?"
Candi: "Relax! Only Miriam knows it's me! But you wouldn't believe how bad this town is getting!"
Erin: "I'm still not going to move. I know you girls will in due time. I'm staying in this house that I built; at least until someone evicts me from it!"
Miriam: "So, Candi...who is Donte?"
After a brief pause, Candi figured out the best possible way to explain herself...
Candi: "Okay...suspend your disbelief...Donte...is Emeraldon!"
The blanks stares would have been sufficient. But Miriam had no intention of remaining silent.
Miriam: "Impossible! My sister cannot be dating the legendary hero of Dirbine! Tell me another myth!"
Candi: "About a year ago, I was practicing inside the old Stolly's storage building..."
Miriam: "The old porn warehouse? That's just down the street from us!"
Erin: "Why do you go there, Candi? That place is in ruins! I'm surprised they don't tear it down; it's an eyesore to the whole community!"
Candi: "It's where I usually go to practice for what you tell me is my destiny..."
Erin: "Fine, what happened?"
Candi: "Remember how that old lady, Linda Treville, was reported murdered in the news?"
Candi: "I was out stopping the killer. Jeffery Limbacht. The Meethlites had found a way to turn him invisible! He was wearing a cowboy hat and jacket for some reason, and he decided to hide in Stolly's, of all places!
I was wearing my mask...the one you gave me on that clown parade...and I was also wearing some sunglasses. Anyway, I chased after him, and the fight soon ensued..."
Candi: "I demanded that he explain why he killed her. His only reply was that I'd be next! I managed to sting him a few times, and he started to slow down, I finally got a lucky move on him, which he didn't like at all."
Candi: "I got a little scared at that point. I realized all he had to do was take his clothes off, and I would be unable to stop him. He must have read my mind!"
Candi: "He dragged me...forcefully, up the stairs! I tried my best to use my centilegs, but he grabbed me by a choke hold! His strength had been somehow made to equal mine!
I realized I couldn't stop him unless I could get a clear shot! He seemed to be able to over-ride my danger sense and prowl sense, so I couldn't even use those to help me!"
Candi: "He punched me several times, and marveled at how I couldn't breathe. Somehow, he had fastened a guillotine into the rotting upper floor! I smelled some strange gas in the air, which was making me weaker! I knew I was done for!"
Candi: "I realized the smell was from the guillotine...he had drenched it in liquid bezeetol! Somehow, he knew about this Meethlite gas and its abilities! Why would he drench a guillotine in it? He told me...to make any intruder weak from the fumes, lest they ever get too confident.
He told me that he had also made Stolly's his hideout, and that I had clearly bitten off more than I could chew. I asked him how he wasn't made weaker: his invisibility potion made him immune to bezeetol!
With what I could muster of my strength, I grabbed the guillotine with my centilegs and threw it his direction. They both fell to the first floor. It didn't kill him, but at least he didn't kill me."
Candi: "I could hear him below, shouting something about the Gifted One. Erin, you simply MUST explain this nonsense to me! Anyway, I could still smell the bezeetol in the air!
I knew that I had to get away from that building. But how would I manage an escape if I were being chased by an invisible entity? I was doomed!"
Miriam: "You...never told me this before!"
Candi: "Of course not. Erin wouldn't let me! At any rate...that's when he showed up..."
Candi: "The man of my dreams! He was in full Emeraldon gear! Somehow, he knew that he was chasing Jeffrey, because he thought to bring night vision goggles! "
Candi: "He was clear as day to Emeraldon with the goggles on, and the two of them soon fought. I know it sounds childish, but I was awestruck the moment I saw Emeraldon for the first time."
Candi: "He too seemed to have a hard time functioning in that room. The bezeetol-soaked guillotine was weakening him! He too could barely match the strength of his adversary."
Candi: "I barely knew the man in the green suit...but I knew I didn't want him to lose! I could have become a spectator at that point, but I had something come over me! Instead, I jumped. I used my centilegs to break my fall..."
Candi: "Our invisible foe didn't like being double-teamed. He seemed to be stronger than both of us, as we were now both exposed to this gas that was weakening us. I urged Emeraldon to keep fighting, and I would move the guillotine outdoors if he bought me time. He agreed."
14th Oct 2008, 05:20 AM
Candi: "It was a struggle to get that thing out, but I managed. Fresh air began to replace the bezeetol-fumed air, and I could feel my strength coming back."
Candi: "I made sure to destroy that guillotine as best I could. I threw it out of the way of the entrance. I saw the night vision goggles lying on the ground.
What would Emeraldon do without them? He was now too weak to fly! And he couldn't see a being that was as strong as he was! I put the goggles on. Now I'd had enough! I was not about to let MY mission kill off such a great hero! At this point, it was personal!"
Candi: "I guess what he saw next startled him...a Centhuen Prototype...battling against Jeffrey and winning! He had helped save my life, and now I was saving his! I finally had Jeffery beaten bloody, and as I kept stinging him, he begged me not to turn him in."
Erin: "Incredible! My own sister! Even I didn't imagine you'd make this much discovery so soon! Yes, I'll definitely tell you where you came from, but finish this story!"
Candi: "I stung him one last time. He passed out. I decided I'd done enough, and retracted all my legs."
Candi: "He hid me until after the police had finished hauling away Jeff the Invisible. After that, he had me come out of hiding. He asked me for my name, and everything else. He must have seen something in me, because he asked if it were okay that we go somewhere more private to talk. I told him that I'd be honored."
Miriam: "Where'd he take you?"
Candi: "To Viron University. He was renting a house nearby. I figured that nobody was home and that you all were probably going to be at a party, so I spent the night on the sofa.
The following morning, he woke me up with the smell of his cooking. We had a very lengthy Bible devotion time at his house before he decided it was bed time. Therefore, I trusted him not to try anything."
Erin: "Even then, what you did was risky!"
Candi: "Yes. But he was a good-hearted soul. He introduced himself as Donte McArthur."
Candi: "At this point, he already knew my name, and was impressed. He reiterated that I was the Gifted Flippo, and that I needed to be protected at all costs until it was my time. I told him I had no idea what this stuff was about. He told me it was probably for the best!"
Erin: "Okay. I'll give you a small bit of information now: Emeraldon got his suit through your Phaelite half-brother, Ploribus!"
Miriam: "Wait! Ploribus is our half-brother? How is that possible?"
Erin: "I'll explain in a minute, let Candi finish her confession!"
Candi: "We quickly became the love of each other's lives. His is a very sad story. Maybe it's better if he tells you the details. But I can tell you this much: lost his father at age 9.
He's five years older than myself, so he was about 23 or 24 at the time we met. He had never bothered with women until I came along. Like me, he has had to fear losing loved ones to the Meethlites. He's also had to face the Kerphers, etc."
Miriam: "How did he become Emeraldon?"
Candi: "I...really don't know the answer to that one, sorry! All this time, and I've never asked him. Something to do with the Phaelites, I'll bet!"
Miriam: "Why the sad look on your face?"
Candi: "Because...he works with the Phaelites. Ploribus, even my godfather Imaki Izuki!"
Erin: "The tailor who made the suit Ploribus gave to him!"
Candi: "Yes. The Meethlites have found a way to invade the Phaelites' home planet. They've asked him to assist them in the war. He's conflicted, but I fear he may have no choice.
His mother is a Meethlite prisoner! I fear we might not see him again alive! I am to speak with him tomorrow, to see if he's going or not..."
Miriam: "Well, pardon me for being rude, but this small world stuff is beginning to bug me. I'm gonna just take a peak at what's in here, and call it a night. You two think you'll be done soon?"
Erin: "You're likely to miss out on a lot of history."
Miriam: "Ah, whatever. I'll just lounge. I'm feeling tired, but I'll listen."
Candi: "You're not too upset that I didn't tell you about Donte until now, are you?"
Erin: "No. You did well. Even in such odd circumstances, you've proven you can be trusted. Now, poor child, I must tell you where you came from..."
Erin: "The time to act on what I'm about to tell you may come sooner than you think. But you must know who the Meethlites really are..."
Candi: "I'm listening..."
Erin: "It began in the Dark Ages, some time after the fall of Rome... Feudalism was beginning to take hold. There was a feudal lord, and he was something of a tyrant."
Miriam: "This sounds pretty far-fetched..."
Erin: "It's not technically my family history...but it does involve Candi's. Anyway, a man named Zeras led a rebellion among the serfs. Numerous attempts had been made on his life, but he sought to liberate all he could. While hiding in a catacomb...he came across a mysterious hole in the air around him..."
Erin: "He didn't know it, but he'd discovered the phenomenon of Zeran holes, named after him. His descendants would develop Zeran technology...quantum packs we call them...which would allow them to carry in something the size of a belt buckle...a complete wardrobe! His first visit would take him to the planet Metheel, the next to Phaelon."
Candi: "This stuff really is out there..."
Erin: "His faithful followed, carrying with them an extreme curiosity and highly scientific minds.
Zeras, the founder of Zeran hole technology, was so loved by those he liberated, they made him their king. But his was a lonely rule. He had no queen, and his children had all been sold as slaves before he achieved greatness.
Through their discoveries, the Zeranites were able to keep contact with those still on Earth, and developed their plans for what to do with Earth..."
Erin: "Even after death, some said it seemed like he was haunting the halls of Metheel's main castle, Dilfirrnus. This could be little proven...but the natives swore by it. After his death, the two worlds agreed to grow apart. But their common legacy drove them both to scientific obsession...especially in regards to forced mutation.
Come the nineteenth century, the movements in science either discovered anew or copied from Earth became unstoppable.
Both planets, Phaelon and Metheel, decided that they had to claim parts of Earth for themselves to remain relevant. But the Phaelites and Meethlites both decided major changes needed to be made to their worlds...and to themselves..."
Candi: "What kind of changes?"
Erin: "They wanted to start work on mutations. The hype over creating a superior species was the rage in circles of pseudo-science fanatics. The same mindset that would lead us on Earth to supremacist dictators like Hitler and Pol Pot was taking hold among the Phaelites and Meethlites."
Erin: "This was especially true of the Meethlites, who had the means to create human-animal hybrids.
Insel of the Meethlites was the last king on Metheel to sit on the Zeran throne. One of his first moves as king was to oversee the destruction of the ancient castle.
'Progress' demanded a new means of organization, and both alien breeds wanted to answer the call. There were two animals that had been created in labs...the Metheel Millipede and the Phaelotorian Centipede, specifically for purposes of this human-animal hybrid obsession on both worlds."
Erin: "And did the experiments ever begin...werewolf experiments, some of which they're trying today...AI possession...also their fad...but there was one thing the two types of aliens had always been in a race over...they wanted superhumans. And they looked everywhere for the means. They did many experiments, some of which were disasters.
Both the mutated centipedes and mutated millipedes were incredible creatures. The millipede in question could sense things...pretty much before they happened. They could stick to almost anything, and they were extremely agile. The new centipede species was even more extreme. While it couldn't stick to just anything, it had retractable spare legs.
Rather than store deadly venom like many Earth centipedes, this alien variety merely carried a sleep inducer. The retractable centilegs could do far more than just sting though...they could...allow the creature to throw things around!"
Candi: "Including things five times its own weight?"
Erin: "Yes. The Meethlites wouldn't stand for it! Even among their own number, lives and reputations were at stake. These new species were exactly what both the Phaelites and Meethlites were looking for: a creature that they could splice genes from to experiment with their agendas. Already, the Phaelites had those in their number that insisted on reforms.
They insisted the unethical science experiments must end. Your half-brother Ploribus was among them, and still is. The Meethlites though, were all greed and conquest. The human-millipede race they sought to create, Milthuens, proved tricky business, but they were by no means willing to give up..."
Erin: "A prophecy developed among the Meethlites, that if a Centhuen Prototype grew too powerful, before they had successfully created the Milthuen race, that even before the Phaelites had perfected Centhuens, this human centipede would be the downfall of one of their clans.
Duke Arfaas is believed to be the leader of a particularly obnoxious one that's attacking our world.
In World War II, the Phaelites almost had their adversaries convinced they had created the Gifted One they so feared. They called him Centipede Charlie. The OSS, and later the CIA, made sure to keep him out of public knowledge. He's everything you are becoming, Candi. And perhaps you'll become something even more..."
Candi: "What do you mean?"
Erin: "It's hard to be sure. But the Germans feared him...until they were lucky enough to ambush him..."
Erin: "With the memory of Centipede Charlie all but gone, the Phaelites knew that the Meethlites would plot numerous supervillains to unleash. The Phaelites knew they needed to act fast to make another Centhuen prototype..."
Erin: "Not at first. Alison Ligash was very down on her luck, the live-in girlfriend of Steve McNolan, a minor league baseball player. He was abusive, so she left him and married Tobey Flippo, but not before she conceived Steve's child. Steve died soon afterward, from lung and throat cancer.
But Alison was desperate! Toby was injured in a car accident, and that left Alison's son Stan Flippo temporarily without a father. She was in bad health herself, and the gangs in Craterville were constantly targeting her. The Phaelite scientists who were coming under fire for their unethical experiments were willing to offer her protection...at a price..."
14th Oct 2008, 05:37 AM
Candi: "Those animals!"
Erin: "She had no choice. She would allow them to use her infant son for two key experiments. The first was to use some of his DNA to create a test tube baby...Ploribus."
Candi: "Who to this day, fights against the establishment that created him!"
Erin: "Yes. That is how, in spite similarity in age, Ploribus can claim your father as his. When Ploribus grew old enough to be too big for the test tube, he was placed inside a surrogate mother Phaelite, named Insila Murtillo. There he grew, and became, along with Mitch Brandel, one of Gerosha's heroes."
Erin: "To play the experiment safe the second time around, the Phaelite Malferinus, put in charge of Stan, decided not to make Stan himself a Centhuen prototype.
He laced Stan's DNA with the necessary centipede DNA, and ruled that in a chance encounter, a switch would be activated. This switch would cause one of his offspring to become the enhanced Gifted One that the Phaelites needed to end the Meethlite threat, or so it was believed. Stan himself would be only a carrier."
Candi: "And our mom Shalia was the catalyst? So by a selection of the genes, I won the centipede lottery?"
Erin: "Yes. That is why the Phaelites have been protecting us."
Candi got out of her chair. Suddenly, everything she and Miriam both knew about Candi and her adventures was coming together.
Erin: "I'm...so sorry I kept this from you for so long."
Miriam: "Incredible! Now all my research on this makes sense! This is worse than a Greek tragedy! And I get scolded for a little fooling around?"
Candi: "I can't believe it! I'm a total abomination!"
Miriam: "No you're not! The Phaelites are! All these dang aliens are! Who needs them anyway?"
Candi: "I...no. I can't. Donte wouldn't like it. But..."
Miriam: "Forget Mr. Magical Flying Boy! Candi, he's more than likely going to be in that war! He'll be on the front lines, and there's no telling what the Meethlites will do! You can forget running away with him, you'll only end up in worse danger!"
Candi: "I wanna marry him!"
Miriam: "And maybe some day you will. But don't rule out other guys. Men like that usually don't live very long! He's a wild, passionate spirit, and I know you love pursuing spirits.
But you need stability. Gosh, I've hacked more websites than most could dream of without going to jail for it, and even I know we're talking madness!"
Candi: "You're right. Tomorrow may be the last time I see him...ever, let alone alive! But I don't want to break up with him!"
Miriam: "Then don't look at it as the two of you breaking up, but as being broken by circumstance. That has helped me in getting over Phil...I know it's not easy!"
Candi: "What'll we do?"
Miriam: "What little we can, sis. I'm going to that party tomorrow, and I'm gonna have all fun I can...er, legally, of course! And then, I'm going to start packing my bags, and off to Farrenville! Good luck those Meethlites ever finding me!"
Candi: "I'm not sure about that. Maybe I'll join after I've wished Donte goodbye...assuming he is going to war."
Miriam: "Fine. You could use some time in the party scene. Socializing a little could do you some good. I'll make sure they don't corrupt you...too much!"
An uneasiness set over Erin yet again. Somehow, she just couldn't shake the feeling that her time was growing short. She was in her forties, but felt like she was younger than that - even looked so!
Yet, she was certain she would not live to see old age. She wasn't sure why she felt death walking by, but was convinced something horrible was destined to happen soon.
Erin: "Girls...we'd better be getting to bed. Much is about to happen tomorrow for you both. I don't want you to be too tired."
Candi: "Very well. I could use a night's rest--shake all those horrid thoughts!"
Miriam: "I can afford to sleep in. The party isn't till late, what am I afraid of? Ah, whatever! I'm hitting the sack too!"
Candi could feel her centipede powers growing slightly stronger even while she slept. The thoughts and realizations occurring in her after hearing Erin's words shook her.
She knew she could not sleep well that evening. But after what would soon happen to her, she would wonder for a while if she'd ever again be able to sleep peacefully.
14th Oct 2008, 05:46 AM
Chapter 3: "Gunner and Skellig"
As the girls struggled to sleep, they knew not the significance of the phone call, though they could wager a guess. Tiffany Ascelene, their mysterious and yard-negligent next-door neighbor, was not really negligent - she was dead.
Buried poorly under the the lillipods and other things lay her meat-less skeleton, slowly decaying in the water below. Gunner and Skellig, Meethlite brothers, had seized her home as a hideout. The girls had no clue how much danger they were in.
To some credit, the two gangsters were not very smart. But the girls would have been underestimating to believe that was their only concern. If only they knew how close the evil had come to their own front door.
On the other side of the house, Gunner observed the opening of a Zeran pathway—Duke Arfaas was arriving soon on Earth, with his sister Harga Hebbleskin!
Gunner: "Yes, my lord!"
Arfaas: "Do you and Skellig have a confirmation?"
Gunner: "We've got something of one! The house next door! A gal confirmed there's at least one Flippo living there! Whether that's the Gifted One or not, she's gonna feel like a whack-a-mole!"
Harga: "I am sending in our man Don. He will take care of his old flame, Candice! We know that she was a witness when he was defeated by Emeraldon! Before he was put to death, he confessed to seeing a girl at the scene. We have confirmed reports that Candice Flippo has been seen with Emeraldon! I'm not 100% she's the Gifted One, but keep an eye out for her!"
Gunner: "There's probably another in there."
Harga: "We know Marina is in hiding with Matthew Baret. We doubt she is the Gifted One! The findings on her child are not impressive. Very strong, but no Centhuen DNA!"
Arfaas: "Miriam is also one to watch with caution! She is, after all, Sniperbadger! That little snoop invaded one of our web operations! She is clearly a threat to us, so we must be a threat back!"
Gunner: "So...what me and Skellig s'posed ta do in there?"
Arfaas: "When the ship flies overhead, and the sky turns dark and red, invade the Flippo's near homestead; and leave each found one dead!"
Come early daybreak, Gunner approached his brother Skellig inside the old bedroom.
Skellig: "What is it, man? I was just getting to enjoy myself!"
Gunner: "Today's the big day! If we find the Flippos at home... well, you know!"
17th Oct 2008, 06:55 PM
I really love the way you use custom content! Well done!
3rd Nov 2008, 02:09 AM
Chapter 4: "Conflicting Celebrations"
Day had finally come, and the afternoon seemed to arrive faster than Erin hoped for. She knew there was a party her sisters were going to; but she had more important things to get done besides worrying. She knew that by the time she got back from running errands, both girls would be gone.
Erin backed out of the driveway cautiously, as she was prone to. She knew that she wouldn't be able to play a mother role to her two sisters much longer. She also knew that Miriam's choice of friends left at least a few things to be desired.
Candi seemed to be all right, by comparison. Still...she was the Gifted One! Erin sensed that whether the girls were wise or foolish with their lives, it wouldn't make a difference.
They would both spend their lives in constant danger, where each mistake could be their last. As Erin drove off, she thought through prayers for each of them. She was convinced they'd both need as many as they could get...
Candi was also nervous. She feared there might be illegal activity at the party. At the same time, she wanted to change her look even further. She didn't want the Meethlites to be able to find her easily. Nevertheless, she didn't feel her appearance had changed sufficiently to convince them to ignore her.
She had to think of the near-future. She'd be seeing Donte again soon...for what could easily be the last time! She didn't really care what the party crowd thought, only be going to it for her sister's sake. She was very introverted and reflective at heart, having no use for Miriam's parties.
Hers was a paradox: making herself still recognizable to Donte, but without being too obvious to the Meethlites pursuing her.
She did, however, have to chuckle upon noticing Miriam in her full party gear, walking into the bathroom.
Candi: "Well now, look who's trying too hard to be sexy!"
Miri: "Yeah, I know, it's wild! But the party's gonna be wild! I'll have no problem blending in! Though...I can't say the same about your garb."
Candi: "Miri, you do realize that if Erin knew you were dressing like that..."
Miriam: "Aw, lighten up! It's just one night! Besides..."
Candi: "You're a bit too outgoing for your own good! I'm afraid for you, Miri. One little thing could change that!"
Miriam: "Like what? World War III? Maybe. I know...she thinks I'm gonna get drunk and pregnant and all that jazz!"
Candi: "Or worse...knowing what goes through the minds of some of those guys!"
Miriam: "I'll be safe! I've got my ladies to protect me!"
Candi: "And if Meethlites show up?"
Miriam: "Well, okay, I'll admit...the news rumors of increased Meethlite activity are a bit frightening! But you'll be there, won't you?"
Candi: "After I've exercised and said goodbye to Donte."
Candi: "After I've exercised and said goodbye to Donte."
Miriam: "Hey...good point! By the time you arrive wearing that, nobody's gonna care! Sheesh, I just hope they don't smuggle liquor into the party!
Some of those dimwits will try anything just to see which laws they can break! Oh well, if they do, I won't drink it! Besides, they'll be too drunk to care what you're wearing!"
Candi: "I...kind of appreciate the gesture. I do wish you could be more certain who's chaperoning this event!"
Miriam: "Chaperones??? Candi! We're both going on 20! In a little over a year, we can each drink! I know you've pretty much sworn off alcohol, but for cad sakes! Live a little!"
Candi: "Me? Live a little??? I fight criminals...by using creepy tentacles from my extremities! How much more 'living it up' do I have to be?"
Miriam: "Okay, you got me on that one! Still...I know what you're thinking! You want a better disguise!"
Candi knew Miriam was right.
Candi: "You read my mind! But...I don't know what to do!"
Miriam: "Relax! You can always live and work under a fake name! How about...Candi...Farmington?"
Candi: "Farmington??? Too far-fetched!"
Miriam: "Well, we already know that the last name of Flippo isn't safe! Smith?"
Candi: "Too predictable."
Candi: "Oh...quit teasing! Yes, I want to marry Donte! But I'm not desperate enough to steal his last name!"
Miriam: "Fair enough...Stevens?"
Candi finally found a suggested rolling off of Miriam's lips that was worth consideration. Stevens? That would make the perfect false name for her! Would Donte would approve?
On the other hand, he didn't have to know either...but it'd be something she'd do apart from him. She didn't want him hurt. Then again, what if he didn't survive his journey?
Candi: "Fine. We'll go with the last one."
Candi: "So...how are you planning on doing this?"
Miriam: "Me? I won't likely be wearing this garb! I'm gonna go underground for a while...maybe a long while! This is my last to be Miss Party Girl, and I'm gonna make the most of it! The world will know me as...Sniperbadger. But as Miriam, I'll be a nobody!"
Candi: "I see you have no problem changing who you are. But I don't know how! How do I hide myself?"
Candi didn't know why she was being redirected to the chair she sat in last night, but she decided to give her sister a chance.
Candi: "Is chopping more of my hair off really necessary?"
Miriam: "More than just chopping it off, dearie! You have no idea how much you are defined by your hair! I'm known for my antics...but you're known for your beautiful hair! Long, silky, and...black!"
Candi: "Well, I am proud of my hair being silky! Although...I can tolerate having it shorter. I love having it black and beautiful...how God made it! What would I switch to if not black?"
Miriam: "Well, I'm not about to dye your hair blonde! That's not even trendy right now! It's so 2001!"
Candi: "Fashions do make comebacks...kinda like your retro CRT All-in-One PC! I don't like blonde either. Not even on a guy! Marina can have blonde hair if she so chooses. I guess I would have to go with...red."
Miriam: "Red? Excellent choice! Of all the hair dyes Lillia's brand offers, we not only have red in this house, but it's the least likely to cause cancer! We have an hour and a half before the party girls get here! Hold on, Cinderella! Your fairy godsister is about to remake you!"
3rd Nov 2008, 03:53 AM
ONE HOUR LATER...
Candi stared at her sister's concoction in the mirror of above the bathroom sink. She wasn't sure if she liked or hated this new look. She didn't think the earrings were a very smart edition, but she was willing to let Miriam tamper with the idea. They were fake earrings, so it was at least not a serious commitment.
Candi: "This will definitely take some getting used to! Who taught you how to cut hair anyway?"
Miriam: "Susan. She owed me one for bailing her out in chemistry class!"
Candi: "You sly little devil!"
Just then, they heard the party crowd on the other end, clearly indicating they had arrived.
Miriam's friend Meadow couldn't wait to get the party started. Being far wilder than either Miriam or Marina and certainly a few cuts above Candi, Meadow was convinced she'd be the center of attention. Meadow and company exited her old-style Volkswagen, taking their sweet time.
Meadow: "Miri! The fitzinzadoo! You ready to rock this joint?"
Robi: "Well, now! The badger's come out of hiding!"
Miriam: "About time, eh?"
Robi: "Heck, yeah! I thought you were shipped off to some jail or something; you know, how I never saw you! You'll never guess! I found an inflatable that looks a lot like Phil!"
Miriam (giving false face): "Gee...I...probably won't get it! Bad memories."
Robi: "Ah...right. Never mind!"
Robi: "Holy...Candi? Whatever possessed you to abandon the goth thing you had going?"
Candi: "Er...Robi, do...you have to always get so close to me? I'm really not in a mood to discuss anything!"
Robi: "What's with you Flippo chicks anyway? I'm striking out left and right! Somebody's gotta get you laid, Candi! You can't be the wallflower forever!"
Candi: "Yes I can! And it'd help if you let us explain what we're willing to explain of our backgrounds...before acting in total disregard!"
Robi: "You've had your whole life!"
Candi: "I'd have to kill you if I told you everything about me! And that's hardly an exaggeration!"
Robi: "Emo! You see Meadow over there?"
Robi: "She was mine last night!"
Meadow: "Robi!!! Good gravy! Tell the whole neighborhood, why don't ya!"
Robi: "Yes, dear!"
Meadow: "I'm not your 'dear', duffel bag!!!"
Robi: "Is that a little growth I see on the belly there?"
Candi: "You two are...really beginning to creep me out! I need a breather."
Meadow: "My apologies, Candi. Robi's a little stoned!"
Candi: "Figures. Must be some party we're going to!"
Meadow: "Hey, you have no idea! And Sean back there...he's waiting to see how quickly he can become a father!"
Sean: "Am not!"
Meadow: "It's gonna be one rockin' great time! Are you gonna join us?"
Candi: "Sorry to be the wallflower...yet again! But I promised my boyfriend I'd see him again before he enlists in that war between the two types of aliens!"
Meadow: "No sweat! I can easily hook you up with someone new!"
Candi: "I'm interested in faith, faithfulness, and long-term commitments, Meadow. I'm sorry but...I don't want your flings!"
Meadow: "Fair enough. Madame Meadow will say no more! I'll see you at the party later on then. I'll bet you'll get totally smashed!!!"
Candi: "Smashed? I'm not even legal yet!"
Meadow: "Fake ID's, babe! That's how it's done!"
Candi: "I won't get smashed! You know I don't drink!"
Meadow: "Very well then, be the stoic of the party! Just be there! Oh...have fun with your boyfriend!"
Miriam: "Catchya later, Candi! I won't let them corrupt me—too much! Take care saying goodbye to Donte!"
Candi: "I'll remember!"
Just like that, Candi knew that the beginning of what could be a terrifying future for her had just begun. Soon, she would have to leave Erin behind and step out into the world; with only her faith, convictions, and inheritance money to guide her. She could not have predicted it; but that was the last time she'd see her best friend and sister, Miriam, in years.
She knew that time would drift the two sisters ever further away from each other. It was time to put away her old life with her sister - time to find herself in the arms of the right man. But who? Would Donte survive the war? If not, whose arms would she find herself in? If not Donte's, then could she forgive herself? And what about this centipede side to her being?
She knew that this departure of her sister, somehow, wasn't like the other times. This time, Candi's journey had to begin: learning the truth of whom she was meant to be.
4th Nov 2008, 12:28 AM
Chapter 5: "Fatal Miscalculations"
Candi continued to train as she was accustomed to at the abandoned building of the old Stolly's warehouse. The sudden entry of rain into the atmosphere had her concerned - the sky continued to look foreboding and the temperature was still not as warm as she had hoped for.
As the rain persisted, so also did her confidence. She thought she could hear something rumbling in the distance. Even with her superpowers, she was not in the mood to test her luck against a thunderstorm. After just a few more centileg strokes, she'd decided she'd vanquished enough imaginary foes. She wasn't really feeling like a battle anyway - her heart ached for something else...her last chance, quite possibly, to see Donte alive!
The moment she had been dreading arrived—Donte's arrival! At last, she could get her long-standing and painful questions answered. He seemed almost unreal to her as he stood there.
But the minute she saw him, all she could think of was her own urge to cry. If ever femininity were to be described as a weakness, this was one time in which she had no need to feel ashamed of showing it.
Her Donte as available to her at last! What else need she fear?
Candi: (nervous) "Uh...hi. So...glad to meet again?"
Donte flew towards her, not saying a word. The look between the two of them was awkward, but they subtly already understood.
Donte: "I'm so sorry Candi..."
Candi: "Donte...I...will love you forever! I pray every night that you'll live! Regardless of what happens to me...I should hope that one day..."
Donte: "It's okay, Candi. You don't have to tell me! I knew I found someone special indeed, the minute I took you to my place! Believe me, darling; if there is any hope in me that you're alive when I get back, I will swear off all other women!"
Candi: "But...if I don't...will you understand? I want you more than anything else, but...I'm just so convinced this is the last time we'll ever get to feel each other's warmth and presence again!"
Her words tore at him. He had prior commitments, as Emeraldon, to go to Phaelon and fight. But he would have to leave the love of his life behind! How could he possibly do this?
Donte: "Candi...I...don't know how else to say this!"
Candi: "I'm listening..."
Donte: "I will get a break within three weeks. We will have established camp. The trip to Phaelon and the establishment of camp in the Turquellis region is probably one of the most dangerous parts of the quest.
If you don't hear from me within three months...then don't let me interfere with your life! Remember...I'm doing this for you! Right now, the Meethlites want to exterminate your whole family! I must provide the distraction...even if it kills me! It is the only way to see you become what you are meant to be!"
Candi (tearfully): "I...understand."
Donte: "Come here, my burdened beauty! I don't know why else you'd even come here tonight!"
Candi: "Because...I...cannot escape what I am meant to be. Or can I? Erin told me everything last night. I'm afraid it won't be long, if you die, that I'll be forced to take over your job. Awkward, huh?"
Donte: "I fear for you. Candi...your heart...is in too many places! Will you be able to pull off anything like you did the night we met, when you're soul is decimated by hardship?"
Candi: "I have noticed I'm not consistent. Adversity will either shape me or else I was not meant for it."
Donte: "You don't know what you really want. It is hard to make a right decision when you don't even know what the right decision is, or even when you don't know what you hope for. Be extremely careful if you are this conflicted later on. You are a Centhuen Prototype! Your biggest enemy, aside from maybe getting pregnant...will be distraction! Master that, and you'll be unstoppable!"
Candi: "Self-help nonsense! I can be stopped by a bus, silly! I doubt I'll ever have the strength to lift one of those!"
Donte: "You're smart then! Always know your limits...it will keep you alive...even when I can do so no longer."
Candi: "You seem so certain you're gonna die! Stop! I want you to live!"
Donte: "That's for God to decide. You need him too, Candi. He will always be there for you. I...cannot promise the same. You deserve so much better than I can give you! Comparatively, I am nothing!"
Candi: "And yet, you're so good at what you are! Such contradictions our lives are!"
Donte: "We'd best be leaving here soon. You will need time to heal. The full shock of my absence has not yet hit you; but when it does, you may need a dozen therapists to set you right! This place...its memories...are the last thing either of us needs right now."
Candi: "The high and mighty Donte...why do I feel like I'll never get over that?"
Donte: "Let me fly you down...I don't know if the stairs are really safe anymore."
Candi:(whispering) "I don't think they ever were..."
Inside, a part of her refused to let go. Another side urged her to let go, lest she become too scared to know life apart from the man who had come to mean everything to her.
Candi: "Forgive me, Donte...this may sound cowardly...
I love you, and as much as you're doing for me, I...want to do a favor for you! If you do die...I want you to have the honors of knowing your legacy will never die with you. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to assure that! If you would like all of me...tonight...before you leave...then..."
Donte: "No! Dearest, don't ever give that up! Hard as it is to believe, not even I am worth that! I would sooner die a complete vagabond than rob you of your honor!"
Candi:(astounded) "Then...I have truly found someone that I fear...I will never be able to replace!"
Donte: "But if life directs you that way...use your discretion! It is safer than acting merely out of raw fear."
Candi: "I will try."
Donte: "And know to Whom to look, if ever you do fail!"
Candi: "I will."
Donte: "And I must say...I love what you did with your hair!"
Candi: "Protection from the Meethlites. It was Miri's idea. She snooped and heard everything!"
Donte: "No matter. She'll probably try to teach herself to forget everything! Give it a few years; I'll be amazed if she still has enough living brain cells to recollect it all!"
Candi: "She is very smart, dear! Just...she doesn't always have the best morals, that's all."
At that point, neither of them cared to mince words or indulge thought. Candi felt dirty inside at her recent suggestion, but was content that the last moment she'd share with Donte was still beautiful and pure.
It was a time of subtle comparison. Was she meant to provide the example her sisters failed to for today's youth? Marina's example was neither pure nor honest. As for Miriam, the differences were becoming clearer. Donte was a man of few flaws, spiritually, having the occasional fits of depression. His biggest self-consciousness was the flaws of his body. Yet, he remained resolved in his convictions.
The biggest difference Candi could see developing between herself and Miriam lay in their reasons for allowing themselves to fall. Candi wished only to provide a departing present for someone who had only ever made a positive difference in her life. Candi realized her inadequacy, as nothing she could offer would ever be enough.
To the contrast, Miriam had disingenuously tried to use the sacrifice of her honor to save another from himself. Candi realized that Donte could not be saved by anything she did. His fate was now out of her hands. Perhaps she could do something for him in the future, but there was nothing for them now. Miriam, to the contrary, found out too late that she was in the same circumstance, and that her sacrifice meant nothing in saving Phil.
Candi continued to hold on to Donte, but she sighed under her breath, grateful that she had been saved from a major mistake; but also fearful that the same wayward spirit lived in her as did in her sisters, tempting her body and soul to repeat their paths of error.
Donte: (under breath) "I must leave now. I have no guarantee when or if I'll get back, but the group of Phaelites on their way leaves within a few minutes! Goodbye Candi..."
Candi: (fighting back tears) "Farewell then...and good luck...love of my life!"
4th Nov 2008, 01:46 AM
* See video on how this shot was made: here. (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qsdv6BKNsc0)
And away he went. The bright, young Donte, barely out of college, was now a legend as Emeraldon. So brief, and yet, so meaningfully, he shared his final thoughts with his dream woman. Then, just like that, he was gone. It had been the second love in Candi's life torn from her by circumstance - though certainly not the last. He flew into the air in all the glory of his form.
This begged the question - if this were the final time they were together...what should Candi do with her life?
Donte flew as far out of sight as Candi could imagine possible. She was left alone...or was she? The sky suddenly turned a very dark, very menacing red hue. She only wished she could figure out why, but what she knew for certain is that it did not bode well.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, she thought she heard a phantom-shriek in her ear - danger was nearby! It was the feeling she'd had the last time a bully in school tried to throw a dart at the back of her head! But now, she felt it from behind!
She dodged in the nick of time! Two bullets whizzed past her! She quickly turned around to see what the source of her sudden threat was.
Feelings of horror began to chill her when she realized the source of the assault: Don Mendoza, her old middle school crush!
Candi: "Don! Are you completely psycho?"
Don: "Well, now! If it isn't my old time friend: Candi the GIFTED ONE Flippo!"
Don: "So nice of you to waste my two bullets, toots! Now I'll have to deal with you personally!"
She ran back into the building to hide. She didn't want to fight him. She still had feelings for him, even though it had been a long time since they'd seen each other. But why was he so intent on killing her?
Candi: "Don! I've done absolutely nothing to you to deserve this! Don't make me fight you!"
Don: "Ah...no sweat! I ain't necessarily in this for revenge, sister! I'm in this because you're the reason the Meethlite ship Sirlot is hovering over the city! Just imagine how I'll climb through the ranks if I kill the Gifted One! And you've made it far too easy!!!"
Candi: "Don! The Meethlites have a track record of betraying their human accomplices! You will get nothing out of this! Besides, I DON'T want to fight you!"
Don: "Then let me at ya! I know you heal fast, but a quick enough lopping off of the head should overcome that! You've wasted my bullets, but not my resolve!"
It angered Candi that he should talk like this. But still...this was a man she once had tremendous respect for! She couldn't just turn so quickly on him in fury now, could she?
Candi: "Let it go, Don! I'd rather we talk about this!"
Don: "You know...that Donte and you are awful close...or should I say...Emeraldon? Ha! Won't this be a fine way to kill two birds! And then for that wretched 'badger' sister of yours! Ha! That'll be a racket!!! Hickory dickory dock! Miri went up the clock! The hands struck twelve, off came the Flippos' heads! Hickory dickory dock! Tick tock!!! Ha ha ha ha ha!!! I bet she'll make good times in bed too!"
This was the last straw! The accent didn't sound at all like the Don she remembered. And it was one thing that he was menacing to her...but to threaten her close family?
Candi: "Urrrrrrrrr....Bring it on, bastard!!!"
It was clear to her now that this was no longer her Don. This was a mind so poisoned by Meethlite indoctrination, that his only thoughts were bent on malice. She looked into his crazed eyes, and prepared for the ugly confrontation to follow.
In spite her best efforts, he somehow was gaining the upper-hand!
Don: (under breath) "I'd love to rip your head off right this instant...Gifted One!!!"
She was finally able to separate herself from her memory of affection. Seeing the monster, she quickly broke free. Donte was right about focus! Somehow, Don had become incredibly strong, but Candi was now determined to fight back!
Candi: "You settle down!"
Where was Don getting his strength? He gained an edge, in spite her stings, and threw her violently into the back wall of the Stolly's warehouse kitchen area! As she got up and brushed herself off, she could smell something in the area near the stove...
Don: "Ha! You amuse me! So willing to spare my life, just because we held hands at recess years ago? And all I get are a few stings?"
Candi: "Stop tempting me!"
Don: "Tempt? Sista! You couldn't if you wanted to! I've got stelmiod strength enhancers! I'm your equal now!"
Candi: "I am not worth your life, Don! If you kill me, they will kill you!"
Don: "Hardly! Nobody knows, except me, that it's even you! But I bet your sister Erin's not going to like the surprise that awaits her!"
It suddenly dawned on Candi...while she was wasting her time in the Stolly's...the Meethlites were out hunting down her entire family!
Candi: "Don, what have you done?"
Don: "Ah!!! Can't you smell the bezeetol in the air?"
Candi: "Bezeetol??? Why do you keep bringing that crap here?"
Don: "You see, sista...you took out my friend Jeff! So they gave me a similar enhancer...albelit, without the invisibility! I've been hiding drugs in here quite nicely, building myself to the top!
But I can now easily move my operations elsewhere! I actually lied...I do have a revenge motive! Not that it matters! You could try all you want to sting me like you did Jeff, but that won't matter if I TORCH you!"
Candi had to get to higher ground. She wanted to scream out Donte's name to help her, but she knew he wouldn't hear her. Only if she made it to fresh air would she be able to put up a competent fight against Don. But could she endure the fiery environment long enough to reach fresh air?
Don: "In fact, I've got all day! To think! Seven years go, I would have tried to deflower you! And now, I'm gonna light you up in a very different way! Some 'gift' you were! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!"
The blaze very quickly took hold, and Candi realized that she was trapped. The longer she waited to take action, the worse off she would be! But she'd never been tested before with fire!
The hatred of the Meethlites was now transparent: all her fears about them were justified! What would remain of Gerosha if and when Candi got out of the blaze? Donte couldn't save her, she hadn't delayed him long enough! She'd have to save herself! But would anything remain of Gerosha to save?
When she would move to Viron, she thought to herself, she'd have no choice but to find some way to keep Dirbine and Viron from becoming another Gerosha!
Amidst the roaring flames, she could hear the cackling of the evil Don outside. This was no longer the man she knew, but a monster. She no longer had any reservations against fighting him, but she realized that with the strength enhancer, her stings alone wouldn't be enough to stop him!
Would stopping him even be enough? He knew too much! She feared the worst would happen, but how could she live with herself if she had to kill him?
On the other hand, her stalling was about to cost her the very essence of her own life...and possibly that of her sisters!
4th Nov 2008, 05:22 AM
Mallory: "I had no idea this place had a pool!"
Meadow: "Well, that's just the benefits of knowing me!"
Fred: "Hey...what the...?"
Miriam's predictions were apparently coming true; she just never imagined that they would happen so soon! To protect her sister, she couldn't explain to everyone what was going on, though she was remarkably tempted to! Another prediction of hers was already coming true...she was already able to relate more to Candi; she felt the tension inside of knowledge that could not be shared with anyone!
Mallory: "Miri...this isn't funny!"
Miriam: "I'm not doing anything!"
Fred: "Is this the end of the world?"
Miriam looked out at the road ahead of them, eager to do anything if only it would allow her to answer their questions better. What she saw was anything but a comfort! Her friends may have been dense, but she was more than aware of the fact that the party house had suddenly grown very quiet.
Miriam: "No…but it might be the end of our world!"
Suddenly, police began swarming the area, quickly rounding up whomever they could. Miriam realized there was nowhere to run! But the party crowd had mostly left! Why would the police be after the few still-sober party-goers if there were no illegal activities?
Miriam: "Come on! I didn't do anything! This is an outrage!"
Greg: "Wrong! The house smells like there may have been liquor in it at some earlier time!"
Miriam: "Isn't that most houses?"
Greg: "Don't get smart with me! Only idiots like you would be at a party anyway! Don't you realize that there's a Meethlite invasion going on? This is for your own protection!"
Miriam: "If this is for my own protection, then where are my friends?"
Greg: "I told you! Don't get smart with me, bitch!!!"
Miriam would be fortunate that the Gerosha police could be trusted. They seemed to share a matter of unprofessional conduct comparable to that of the police in Dirbine. Still, they were nowhere near as corrupt. Miriam did, however, question the wisdom of the police in taking her and her friends in separate vehicles all to the same jail for "protection."
He proceeded to slap the cuffs on her. It would, alas, not be the last time Miriam would have brash run-ins with the law.
Much to Erin's dismay, when she got home, the power was out! There was no lightning accompanying the storm, so why had the power gone out? The girls were at a party, to her knowledge. Why and how could they be home pulling such a prank?
Something didn't feel right. The house bore a presence of...evil. Never accustomed to being superstitious, Erin was reluctant to belive that it could be a ghost. A break-in? From where? Her heart paced anyway, as her sense of something lurking grew stronger...
She opened her bedroom door...nothing! She decided it was probably just a glitch that reset her circuit breaker. It would be of no major consequence for her to reset.
Suddenly, there was power...
The lights were all still off...but the TV was on! How could Erin possibly explain this phenomenon? Who could be controlling the remote? If they weren't in the garage, they'd have to be in Candi and Miriam's room, right?
Which should she check first?
There was no sign in the living room of any unusual activity, save for the TV. Still, Erin grew more and more frightened; as ever since she got home, something in the house just didn't feel right.
TAT TAT TAT TAT TAT!!!!
Before Erin even knew it, several barely-audible bullets needled their way right through her!
The excruciating pain quickly took its toll, and Erin felt the life force fade from her in haste as her body went into shock and accepted its fate!
Gunner: "Wrong guess, Flippo!"
He held tightly to his silenced MP5, watching intently as the last bit of life ebbed out of the being that had taken such pains to raise her own sisters.
Did Gunner and Skellig really care if their target was the Gifted One or not? No. They were just thankful to have finally made a kill.
Skellig: "Dead on, brother! The next Flippo is mine!"
Gunner: "Hurry! The ship will be leaving soon! We must cause the absolute most damage possible here before we leave!"
Skellig: "How? Burn down the house?"
Gunner: "No. Put the body in the shower! Help me remove the head though...Arfaas...personally desires it!"
Skellig: "Very well then! But I'm not a big fan of all this ceremonial head-on-platter stuff! Why can't we just leave the corpse to rot?"
Gunner: "Because! The more horrifying we are, the more fear we instill! This isn't complicated; now get to it!"
It didn't take the two of them long to find the necessary tools. They knew they'd be leaving behind plenty of evidence for the police. But they weren't concerned about the police catching them either. They had what they wanted - Erin's head! They had murdered a Flippo, thereby making themselves useful.
As Skellig pointed out to Gunner, it wouldn't be practical for them to head next door. Nor would it make sense to run away carrying a bloody garbage bag with a severed head inside.
Instead, Skellig, wishing to prove his new-school ingenuity to his old school gangster brother, convinced him that the easiest thing for them to do at that point was the obvious...make off with Erin's car.
Skellig: "I told you, bro! I know a thing or two about this myself!"
Candi wasn't sure what it was...determination beyond normal...a slight hope to see Donte again? Whatever it was, she found that she was growing more powerful, in spite the smell of the burning bezeetol and its effects on her. She no longer cared that the building was on fire...she had to get out somehow, even with Don at the front entrance!
She noticed a cool spot, and headed directly for it! Before making her great leap, she activated some of her centilegs. She had a feeling she might need those to help her with the stunt she was about to attempt!
6th Nov 2008, 01:07 AM
The air was growing smokey, and Candi knew her time was short! How long before she'd have to worry about burning debris? The stairs luckily held!
There it was! The hole in the ceiling at the top! If only she could reach it...
Just as she feared, the ceiling and floor began to collapse! She'd have to secure another exit! In the nick of time once again, she made a daring jump to a safe section of the decaying floor!
The air was getting hotter! She immediately leaped out of the nearest window, floor tiles incinerating behind her! She activated her centilegs, knowing she'd need anything she could get to break her fall!
A streak of luck! The Stolly's Building was condemned, so a bulldozer was parked outside. Between the dozer and the wall, her centilegs allowed for a chance to avoid a very painful fall!
She knew that escaping the burning building was only the first step! Don was still out there, and he had taken some sort of strength enhancer! He'd follow her - give away her secret! He had to be stopped! But could she stop him? Could she protect Miriam from this madman?
Don: "Very resourceful, you little hundred-legged pest! But you've lost!"
Candi: "It's over, Don! We're evenly matched!"
Don: "Oh...no...we're not!!!!"
SWISH! SWISH! SWISH!
Out popped her centilegs! Where had his enhanced strength gone?
Don: "I'll get you back for this!"
Candi: "You stay away, Judas! And...lay...off...my...family!!!"
No sooner did they start battling again, than he erupted in a fury of strength-enhanced rage! Managing a few scratches to her face and a lucky blow to her head, he sent her flying back. The pain!
She knew she was a quick healer, but the scratches were still harsh! She could feel the blood on her face, and the impact of the blow. This foe was bent on her death!
The nightmare was spreading! The sky, already red because of the Meethlite ship presence, was now glowing with the embers of the Stolly's building as it burnt to the ground. With it, Candi could see that her entire childhood was also disappearing. Training was over - it was time for the real challenges to bring down their wrath!
Still writhing in pain from her facial injuries, a piece of the falling building fell on top of her, quickly engulfing her shirt in flames! She knew she'd have to lose it in a hurry before facing the threat of Don, still obsessed with being her undoing.
After wrestling her for a few feet, he took advantage of a moment of weakness in her, thrusting her to the ground!
Candi: "Don! No! Not like this!"
Don: "Your stings won't stop me! Throw me around all you like! I know what you don't have in you...I'll give you what you once thought you wanted!"
Candi: "Stop!!! Come to your senses!!!"
Precious seconds ticked away, and in a panic, Candi knew she had to make a decision fast! She could not afford to let him kill her, but she wasn't too keen on being raped either! As he tore off her ash-singed bra, she knew she'd have to defend herself quickly, but how?
6th Nov 2008, 03:09 AM
She could feel the heat of the building behind her; and his violence against her as he kept her pinned, hurling insults.
The flames kept bursting out of the building, even as the rain attempted to douse them. With his main shirt, hat, and trenchcoat off; Don was now serious about his attempt!
The smell of burning bezeetol made her sick to her stomach, and memories flooded back of when they were together in middle school. It was nothing like her love for Donte, but it was a time she cherished even so.
She felt the weakness of her earlier years flood back. True, her childhood telepathic tormentor was scarce to put thoughts in her head anymore, but she now realized in full how Miriam's weakness was in her as well. She couldn't kill Don. But she could try to incapacitate him somehow! She had a plan to hurl him, with the last of her strength if necessary!
Right as his hands started reaching for forbidden territory, she put her plan into action...
She let up the quick thrust with her centilegs, and threw him as hard as she could! She heard a thud, and assumed that was where he landed. As she got herself up, she realized her mistake! Her sense of direction had been all turned around! It was too late...she had thrown him directly onto the flames!!!
Don (shrieking): "No!!!!!!! Gifted Flippo!!!!! Centhuen curse!!!! Feel the revenge in your mind!!!! Kimi!!! She will...Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!"
Candi: "What have I done?"
She knew now what her future would involve. Even if she didn't immediately make her life around this...it would forever shape her future. This was her destiny! She vowed though, that she would one day...somehow...find a way to hide her true self from her enemies. She knew that if this were her calling, she would somehow have to find a way to bring justice about...without killing the perpetrators!
Feelings of weakness followed, as she remembered that she used to love the man she just fed to the flames! She knew she had to carry on - and make sure her sisters were safe!
But the way she was feeling at the moment, her heart could not believe she had truly acted in self-defense. From where her insecure feelings stood, what she had done could only be murder!
For her family's sake - and for the sake of what she knew she must do with her life, she would carry on. But she yearned to turn herself in...a desire she would have to deny!
As the shock further set in, she realized in full...sure, she had not physically compromised her virgin's honor like her sisters...but she had killed someone!
She simply had to flee Gerosha now! If she stayed, she'd have to either seriously explain her actions, or face prison!
A voice in her head tried to numb her, saying: "Big deal!" Her mind quickly lashed back against the spirit of stupidity.
She could end up at a crisis center, given what he attempted to do to her, or she could cover up her crime and bury the evidence. Neither the crisis center nor prison sounded like viable options. She knew she'd have to bury the incident...she couldn't allow her public shame to exceed that of her sisters!
Then again, this was imposed on her! She didn't choose this! Her sisters made choices! What would hers be?
She had failed! She was every bit as horrible as her sisters - worse! Miriam and Marina may have been a little loose; but they weren't murderers!
A message came to Candi from inside:
"I know about it, but I am not leaving you! I'll deal with this burden now! Don has caused you to suffer enough here!"
She had been taught valuable lessons. Now, she could hear the still, small voice, setting her straight when she had lost everything. The pain of guilt was still overpowering.
The flames relented. A fire truck and a police car managed to make their way to the scene of the burning building. They were surprised to find the Stolly's, now almost nothing. What they didn't find, to Candi's relief, were Don's bones in the wreckage.
The invasion was soon over. Candi had managed to escape, but at a cost - her life was gone. Where were her sisters? Could she live up to her responsibility to protect them, or was it already too late?
Her battle with Don was long and hard, but she had managed to overcome. Getting away from the bezeetol that was burning, her healing factor resumed, and the scratches on her face were soon a memory.
Still, the emotional pain lingered. She hid in the shadows while wearing Don's trenchcoat, to hide the indecent remains of her clothing. From a distance, she watched as the police attempted to analyze the scene. She ached to turn herself in - but could not.
Why did he mention Kimiyato? Why was her tormentor in childhood not doing her routine now?
Candi knew that Kimi was still sometimes getting inside of her, doing whatever possible to rob Candi of her courage. In younger years, Candi had tried in vain to resist this strange presence from within. A voice once called to her: "Stand back! Let me handle this!"
Convinced at the time it was Jesus, Candi dropped her defenses. A cold chill up the back of her neck later, and Kimi's telepathic grip over her quickly weakened. It wasn't gone forever, but the link was never as strong.
Nevertheless, Don somehow knew about it. This was in spite the fact that she had never mentioned it to him! Don believed the link would one day get stronger.
Even without Kimi to torment her, Candi knew that she had now crossed a line. She had to flee Gerosha...possibly forever! Miriam was right: Candi Flippo had to die, and must never be found!
6th Nov 2008, 03:48 AM
Chapter 6: "No Turning Back"
Candi knew that since her sister was friends with the McAuleys, that she could rely on them as friends also. She needed a place to hide and collect herself; and with them seemed the safest place.
Tracy, Erin's former college roommate, was almost like an aunt in Candi's eyes. The rain was gone, but the storm inside her was far from over. She knocked on the door, nervously awaiting a reply.
Tracy: "Candi! Where have you been?"
Candi: (panting) "Tracy...it all happened so fast! I..."
Tracy: "Dear gravy, child!!! What happened to you???"
Candi: "It's not so much what was done, as what almost happened, and how I escaped! This isn't my jacket!"
Tracy: "What are you babbling about?"
Candi: "I didn't go to Miriam's party! I was exercising at the old Stolly's. After I said goodbye to Donte, my good friend going off to war, Don...he..."
Tracy: "That buffoon from your grade school days?"
Candi: "Yes, that Don! He...came from...out of nowhere! The Meethlites did something to him! He tried to kill me!"
Candi: (sobbing) "We...struggled...and he...and...I didn't even mean to but...I threw him into the fire!!! I...killed him!!! It was an accident, I swear!!!"
Tracy paused with a sigh. It was very tragic news indeed, but not quite as bad as the news she'd soon share.
Candi: "I know it was self-defense...but...he tore most of my clothes off after they were burnt! He...went for...what he should not!
I had to steal his jacket to have something to wear! If he didn't completely burn up in the blaze he made...then...I'm pretty sure the police will come looking! You...won't turn me in, will you?"
Tracy: "No, Candi! Dominick might. But I won't tell him! You did well!
You have to learn to forgive yourself for mistakes like that. And if you do end up in court...I'll find you a good lawyer! Don was Meethlite scum, and they have a way of manipulating justice! If you stand trial, you won't get a fair one, so I will help you hide this tragedy! Come inside with me...I have far worse news to share with you!"
Candi: "Why the lights off?"
Tracy: "Safety. Can't be too careful right now. Hurry, to the guest room! We need to get you something more appropriate to wear, and burn that skanky evidence!"
Tracy: "You do smell like smoke! No injuries?"
Candi: "You...know I'm a quick healer!"
Tracy: "True. "
In a matter of just a minute's time, a set of evening clothes had been picked out. It didn't look much better than what she had been wearing, but was still an improvement of modesty.
Candi: (sulking) "I have to leave Gerosha...forever!"
Tracy: "You can keep that dress. Impress your husband with it some day! I have no use for it anymore! I'm getting too old for those old, rowdy days with Dom anyway!"
Candi: "Thank you."
Tracy: "Candi...I will help you with whatever you need! I am the only mother figure you..."
Candi: "Mother figure??? I thought that was Erin's job...to take over for my mom when she died!"
Candi: "Wait...what are saying?"
Tracy: "Dear young one...I know how eager you are to start your life on your own. I know how hurt you are; but I must tell you something that will hurt even more!"
Tracy: "Candi...Erin's dead!"
Candi: (shaking) "What? No! When? How?"
Tracy: "While you were battling Don, I would imagine. Gunner and Skellig left their filthy marks all over the house!
Police found your sister's body. Her head is missing. MP5 bullets were found at the scene of the crime. The Meethlites wanted evidence to be left...plenty of evidence! This was an act of terror...an act of war!"
Candi: "I should have known! Don laced the building with bezeetol so that he could fight me without worrying about my reflexes. He didn't want a fair fight! I should have stayed home! Erin would be alive!"
Tracy: "Don't blame yourself for Erin's death! You could not have known they would raid your house!"
Candi: "I...got a strange phone call the night before, I should have taken that as a hint that something wasn't right!"
Tracy: "Erin would not have believed you anyway. You did all you could, child. If you ever need to come back to Gerosha..."
Candi: "I get it; but I don't want to return here! I have to move to Viron...and soon! I need to change! The Flippo name...is no longer what it once was."
Candi didn't like talking in the crowded bedroom. She walked out to the dining room table, where she turned on a light and sat at the table. Tracy joined her, knowing the two invariably had to talk.
Candi: "I don't know if I'll ever see Donte again! I'll be under tremendous pressure to marry someone else, I just know it! I...need to change may name...and the sooner I can legally do so...the better!"
Tracy: "Each of you Flippo girls will have to find her own way out of the mess the Meethlites have just made. Just remember Who is on your side, in all things, Candi! You don't have to face this alone, though you will be tempted to feel alone! Realize...that this will be your curse."
Candi: "And Miriam???"
Tracy: "Well...the party was raided by the police. She was found in her swimsuit. The police were in a panic, so they just went crazy and arrested everyone! Your sister went with little resistance. Right now, Dominick is bailing her out of jail. He won't be back until tomorrow, or maybe even the day after.
He's going with her, once she's out of jail, to Farrenville. They'll send her job hunting first of all. Next, they'll find her some housing. I know you love your sister; but I fear you two may not see each other again for a long time!"
Candi: "I understand. My family is falling apart! It is my job to stop Arfaas and his lowlifes! I won't have many friends, so I must cherish the few I have!"
Tracy: "The case of Erin's death is being considered very high-profile. Even things not directly involved in the incident are being analyzed."
Candi: "You mean, looted?"
Tracy: "That's one way of looking at it. I'll help you move to Viron. But...you're on your own in terms of men! I can help you get some clothes, since you're here! I doubt you'll even want your old clothes back by now!"
Candi: "Probably not."
Tracy: "Cheer up! You are rich, after all! Besides, you've got your whole life ahead of you."
6th Nov 2008, 04:29 AM
Chapter 7: "Not-So Prime Real Estate"
2 WEEKS LATER...
Candi decided to make very good use of her inheritance money. She knew that if Donte were truly dead, as Erin was, then the money might be the only Earthly comfort she had. She was looking forward to developing her centipede skills, but knew that couldn't be her first priority.
She had lost so much so soon - and had nightmares about losing even more! She actually envisioned Donte's death in her dreams! It had become too much. She decided it was about time she spoiled rather than tortured herself.
She was about to observe the new house that she was about to purchase, to make sure everything was in place as she had ordered it. It didn't take long to get herself a new car and a new wardrobe. She knew she would have to save whatever she could of her fortune. But it was also about time she made a name for herself in the world.
It didn't take long for a strange man to be immediately in her face.
Ramin: "Hi there! Raymin London here! You must be Candi Stevens!"
Raymin: "Well...no need to be shy!"
Candi: "Believe me, pal...you have no idea!"
Raymin: "One of the few lakes in this area, besides Gerosha's lake! And it's right in your back yard!"
Candi: "Yeah. Good to know. I don't know how much time I'll have for fishing though."
Raymin: "I used to have a car very similar to that one you've got over there. Well, since we're here, what do you say we take a look at the house?"
Candi: "I suppose."
The location seemed perfect. There was a garden on the side, a small place to go fishing in the back, and it was very close to school. She knew she'd need a dorm room for her first semester, but that didn't concern her. In a year, she could waive the requirements to stay in the dorms and live wherever she pleased. Her roommate wouldn't mind the free space at all. The house seemed just right.
Candi: "It's...really dark in here!"
Raymin: "I know! That is one of the mysteries of this house...why it has all the windows it does, and yet, remains so dark all the time!"
Raymin: "Well then...shall I show you around?"
Candi: "That's okay...I think I can find everything on my own."
Raymin: "Suit yourself! I'll just use the bathroom real quick and call up Susie. I'll be out of here in no time!"
Darkness - Even the bedroom was dark! Candi was nevertheless thankful that it was so luxurious. She may have preferred something less ornate, but the dark provided her a solace. It was missing the necessary desk for her to place her laptop on...but she felt she could make due without for at least a day or two.
Candi knew she had nowhere near explored all there was to her new house. But she didn't care. Her mind was still anything but at ease. She decided to lay down for a bit, seldom wearing high-heeled shoes until that point. She almost never bothered with skirts before either. Miriam's plan for her was working so far, but she wasn't ready to embrace the new red hair entirely.
She rested herself in the knowledge that at least with her false glasses, she would look different enough from her true self to avoid the Meethlites for a time.
6th Nov 2008, 05:28 AM
Chapter 8: "More Needs She the Divine"
The sky seemed forever foreboding, even in the new town. Candi knew her heart was too far sunk to pursue her calling at the moment. She had to find someone else to confide in - someone local. Rumors abounded of a church nearby that was going through significant changes in its structure. Curious, Candi stopped by to investigate.
She found herself standing before what looked more like a puzzling house of mirrors. The entire front of the building was a mirror sculpture! But why? Where was the entrance? The last thing she wanted was to see more of her own misery staring back at her.
This town she was in - Viron - seemed to be filled with marvels. There was a glass mansion near this church as well. She didn't expect downtown Dirbine would be quite as pleasant as this budding college town.
She gazed inside—very quiet! Was anybody there at all? She wondered...maybe she should just leave. But what if somebody were inside?
Just as she turned around and was ready to leave, a man popped out of the building. Candi wasted little time turning around...
The man bore a curious appearance. He was obviously the minister, given his clothing. Yet, he appeared to be youthful and lively, in spite clearly being an elderly man.*
Candi: "I was just beginning to think nobody was home! So...you must be Wilbur Brocklyn?"
Wilbur: "Indeed, I am. Sent here to annoy the old ladies who drive away young things like yourself. And who are you?"
*This is an allusion to the description of the character of Evangelist in John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. The character of Wilbur was intended originally to be a parody of Morgan Freeman playing God in Bruce Almighty.
Candi: "I'm Candi...er...Flippo. Well...technically. I go by Stevens on the papers...because..."
Wilbur: "It's okay! I know you look like a child of the illustrious Stan and Shalia! I've heard there's been a lot of tragedy in your family lately."
Candi: "Actually...today is my day to tour the town. I was wondering...since I came here for a tour of this place, could we look inside?"
Wilbur: "I'd very much appreciate that!"
Candi: "Interesting architecture. I'm not sure how many members you can attract this way though."
Wilbur: "This place has never been interested in winning masses merely for the sake of winning masses. It's been all about defending the integrity and infallibility of scripture from the slanderers and their false 'pre-Bible' histories; as well as compelling the insiders to think deeper about what they really believe and what that really means.
All souls won have to be won for a good cause, even if that means trying out risky ideas. So far, there haven't been too many problems.
Though, we did one time have to deal with an angry chat board user. All I did is remind him of God's original definition of marriage, not our modern world's convenient redefinitions; and he went crazy. I guess the day has truly come, when men cannot tolerate sound doctrine anymore. What a pity."**
Candi: "I like the hallway here...though it is a tad claustrophobic."
Wilbur: (smiling) "Well...you know what it says...narrow is the path..."
Candi: "True. I admire your sense of humor."
**2 Timothy 4:3
Candi walked into the sanctuary to find a scene that she was surprised to find so predictable. What was the meaning of this architectural paradox?
Candi: "Dark, but beautiful. I don't get it; the outside is so weird, why's the inside so...normal?"
Wilbur: "The architect of this building had a purpose; just as the Greatest Architect does for our lives. Nobody said we had to fully understand either for truth to be as it is.
The mirrors outside, Candi, make it hard for those who don't purposefully look for the entrance to find it. Likewise, the Law shows us where we err, and why the truth evades us so easily. The Law as a Mirror is there for self-reflection - quite literally in the case of this building."
Candi: "Obviously, I'm no exception. And the glass roof?"
Wilbur: "When we think we're on top of things because of pride, God sees right through us."
Candi: "Comforting...I think."
Candi: "I suppose the coloring of the indoors here has a meaning too?"
Wilbur: "Not intentionally, but you're not the first to ascribe it a meaning. The beauty in the lights, the sharp contrast with the dark red hues...yes. Volition Dilemma. And for it...death becomes necessary for life to prevail. A paradox! The colors inside here were actually picked because they were cheap and went well together. We spent too much money on the outside to get too elaborate indoors."
Candi: "And yet...it brings more comfort to me than the grandeur I've seen in Gerosha's churches."
Wilbur: Consequential fallout of Volition Dilemma...the Law of Irony. And yet, even more paradoxical...is that these forces are not entirely blind."
Wilbur: "So then, Candi...what is driving you most right now?"
Candi: "Driving, or troubling?"
Wilbur: "Either works. Let's start with driving."
Candi: "I would have moved here anyway. I've decided to go to Viron. They threw me into Criminal Justice, but I said I wanted to go into Forensic Investigation. They told me it'd be a few weeks before I could get a program switch to correct the problem."
Wilbur: "Solving murders. Sounds interesting. Why such a field?"
Candi: "I've lost a lot of friends and family growing up...at least one of them to a murder. I want to fight back against those who've left me with so little! I may have a quite a bit of money...but I'd rather have someone who takes care of me!"
Wilbur: "A bit vindictive, are we not?"
Candi: "I was prophesied by some Meethlite as being their downfall. They are all paranoid that I'm going to actually do it. If I do decide to bring down Duke Arfaas' criminal empire...then I have to find some way to make that happen! I've had to live for years in the shadow of these expectations...from family members I hardly even know!"
Wilbur: "Nearby Dirbine is crawling with Meethlite sympathizers. Some say, they're paying the police to ignore the Meethlites' crimes! Some even say that the chief...Merle...is on their payroll! I don't know if vigilantism is the field you want...but realize: you have a tremendous sense of responsibility!"
Candi: "My sister was murdered...just a few weeks ago! Another sister got married. A third fled, just as I have. My brothers have just about disowned me. I have nobody now."
Wilbur: "What is the plan from above? I believe that is your real question. I wish I myself could give you the answer. But surely, you can't blame yourself for what happened!
We don't choose those who hate us from birth. Mary and Joseph didn't choose to be hated by Herod. I didn't choose the education board members that have produced so many hard-left rabids that shout death threats at this congregation. But we have all chosen to accept the responsibility our situations have brought on us!"
Candi: "Erin didn't even get the luxury of a funeral! We couldn't afford to stack up her remaining loved ones like dominoes for an impending bloodbath!"
Wilbur: "It is not just your sister that you miss. I sense hesitation in your voice."
Wilbur: "What happened?"
Candi: (fighting back tears) "He...was enlisted in the Phaelon-Metheel War. His ship was...attacked. All aboard are rumored dead!"
Wilbur: "Poor thing!"
Candi: "Worse...I offered myself to him...he told me to protect that."
Wilbur: "He'd rather you keep your honor...a true gentleman!"
Candi: "I...I wanted to have his child, so that the world would never be completely without him."
Wilbur: "An understandable motive leading in the wrong direction, I suppose. Your time to have children will come. It is not now. Deep inside, you realize that."
6th Nov 2008, 06:23 AM
Wilbur: "You will see him again. But you can't fear change too greatly either, Candi. Yes, the changes you've faced or more horrible than what anyone should have to live through! But the goal is to cross that river - one side to the other. Sometimes, that means fighting the tide. Sometimes, that means flowing with it."
Candi: "When is it ever wise to fight the tide?"
Wilbur: "That depends on where you are in relation to a motor blade, or waterfall, or piranha, or whatever. Fight the tide when it is evil; flow with it when it is not. But the point is, don't stay in it when your goal is merely to cross it! Life won't always give us easy bridges, so we'll have to brave treacherous streams."
Candi: "Then...I should feel free to fall in love again?"
Wilbur: "Yes, child. But in your own time. Only you can know when the time is right! But if indeed Donte is looking down on you, and you feel he is urging you to embrace your new man...embrace the truth fully. You're incredibly special!"
Candi: "How do you know that?"
Wilbur: "Well...for starters...you don't have a cell phone in your hand! And you didn't pick out the most girly thing in the store to wear! On the other hand, you're not a complete tomboy.
You also are on your toes when I present you deep things, and require only minimal instruction. You came alone, and in spite your grief, you are charming."
Candi: "Do you character profile everyone so efficiently?"
Wilbur: "It's a hobby. I'll bet you've never even been to the mall yet...though I know you didn't come straight here."
Candi: "Mall? Hah! Except for essentials, what use have I for that place?"
Wilbur: "There you go! You have graduated the realm of the shallow, unlike most women your age! I've not heard you swear once in here either. Don't let anyone take what you have away from you!"
Candi: "Well then...this place seems to have it all! Maybe...I'll...see you Sunday?"
Wilbur: "Count on it! You'll need to keep touch with whatever friends you can get, Candi! The old women in this church, I guarantee you, will not be very receptive of you. Let's just say...the nearby college gives women a bad name."
Candi: "I'll remember that."
Wilbur: "Remember Candi...don't be ashamed of the way you are made...only of how the others might tell you to mishandle it."
6th Nov 2008, 06:40 AM
Chapter 9: "The Sociological Centipede"
Candi did what she could to get herself to relax and mold better into her role. Fighting back against the darkness somehow had to still happen. Even in the middle of her first class - sociology - she felt something was horribly wrong. But when would she be able to do anything about it? After classes were done for the day, she'd plan how to make her double life as student and crimefighter possible.
Prof. Niles Beldon: "Wow! How come we got such a small class today?"
Patrick: "You kiddin' me? It's sunny out!"
Niles: "Sunny? But we could be learning about the distinctions between Weber and Marx! Wouldn't that be much more fun?"
Candi: "Hmm...do you think this class will be interesting?"
Dhalia: "To you? Maybe. I'd much rather be at work!"
Candi: "Where do you work?"
Dhalia: "Lots of places...gas stations, bars, etc."
Candi: "Never mind."
Niles: "So...for starters...my name is Niles Beldon, and this is Sociology 111. Anyone who will volunteer to introduce themselves?"
Anything Candi said could give her away! Rumor had it there were Meethlite spies on campus. She decided to go forward with her story and that if she went first, she'd be the least remembered...
Niles: "You in the back...let's hear it!"
Candi: "I'm Candi...Stevens. I've lost nearly my entirely family in a fire this past summer...and...I'm trying to get into the forensic investigation field."
Dhalia: "That's creepy."
Candi: (fighting back a smirk) "Believe me...you don't know the meaning of creepy!"
Dhalia: "Are you gonna go all emo on us now?"
Candi: "Do you want me to?"
Niles: "Okay then...who's next?"
Candi knew her story was only half-true, and littered with white lies. But it was easy. Those in the class that believed her story were sympathetic.
The rest ignored her, preferring to be nervous about when it was their turn for introductions. It didn't seem to Candi like the semester would be all that bad. On the other hand, she knew that life would not be easy no matter what her decisions.
* This chapter's classroom is modeled after a real classroom at Ferris State University. The dialog is based on actual conversations that were held in that classroom in January of 2007. The teacher, Niles, is modeled after a real-life sociology professor. The girl sitting next to Candi, named Dhalia, is modeled after a real-life gal named Darla. Darla volunteered her likeness for the role.
8th Nov 2008, 08:28 PM
It didn't take Candi long to find trouble in town! An unusually well-dressed thug showed up, holding a woman against the wall.
Tristen: "Shoot me! I won't change my mind! You won't get a thing!!!"
Amin: "This is your last chance! Comply, or die, I say!!!"
Amin never saw it coming! Candi didn't waste time; she just leapt. Her centilegs burst out immediately. He had to be stopped!
Candi fought ruthlessly, until the gun was missing from Amin's hands. He had clearly suffered too much from the stings, and passed out. It was a crude maneuver, but at least he was alive...and so was Tristen.
Tristen: "Oh my..."
Candi: "Relax! He's not dead! I'll leave that for the judge!"
Candi retracted her centilegs slowly, so as not to startle the already-shocked Tristen.
Candi: "No injuries?"
Tristen: "No. But whatever the heck you just did, that's creepy!"
Candi: "I am the city's centipede guardian. Before he wakes up, make sure you inform the police that he has a gun!"
Tristen: "Sure...whatever...just get out of here!"
Candi: "No problem!"
She leapt into the air quickly, and with a few whisps of her centilegs, was back on the roof again.
Who was that freakish girl that Tristen had just scared off? And without her, how was she to explain anything to the police? After all...the girl was wearing a mask.
Tristen didn't make good on her promise. Amin would wake up without the gun and with Tristen gone.
There weren't any witnesses to the events, and neither Candi nor Tristen felt like the trouble. Amin would be picked up by guards for loitering. In the mean time, Candi thought she'd try her hand at something fun that evening.
Without removing her mask, she entered the skating rink whereupon she had recently made a daring rescue. Entry fees were paltry, so she decided to give it a shot.
A woman looking similar to Tristen was on the roller rink: Amy Goldman, the unmatched master of the floor!
Candi was soon greeted by a very enthusiastic stranger.
Ed: "Hi! Name's Eddie! I'm very close to the guys that run this joint!"
Candi: "Hi Ed...I'm...not supposed to say who I am."
Ed: "That mask is hot!"
Candi: "Nice you think of it that way!"
Ed: "I'm gettin' you in the groove pretty quickly!"
Candi: "Yeah, I know! But these moves are awfully suggestive, don't you think? Say...I really don't know you...so, could you lay off a bit?"
Ed: "You'll loosen up! Say, you see Amy out there?"
Candi: "Who's Amy?"
Ed: "That girl that thinks she's all that! Out there! Tell you what...I have a prize waiting for whomever wins the contest!"
Candi was on guard. She didn't need to worry about money. And this guy wanted to give her a prize? But she decided to go along with it, lest he catch on that she was alarmed.
Ed: "Pretty soon, the DJ's gonna announce it! When the roller ball comes out...well...few survive the roller ball!"
Ed: "Get inside the Ball of Doom...and give us a better show than what Amy can!!!"
Candi: "Oh...all right."
Ed: "Say...got at least a stage name?"
Ed: "Everyone has one!"
Candi: "Er...the Orange Centipede."
Ed: "Vigilante Centipede! We'll call it a deal!"
Ed: "Be ready in the back! You know what to do!"
Ed: "Everybody out there!!!"
The house suddenly fell silent, and Ed took to the floor.
Ed: "We would like all of you to get ready! It's that time of year in Viron; and now, Amy the Amp has a contender!"
There were mixed reactions in the club, as not everyone there was a fan of Amy's.
Claire: "Let her have it! I'm scarier than that centipede wench! But if she can top Amy, sure thing!"
The contest continued to rile itself up, and Candi didn't quite know why she was being so easily thrown into it. All she knew is that all eyes were now on the mysterious centipede that had dropped from the sky.
Candi: "Wait...what do I do?"
Cale: "Just hang on for dear life, that's what!"
Candi: "Hovering? Nobody said anything about hovering!"
Cale: "Well...that means you're new to town!"
Candi decided to put her apprehension about the spinning behind. After all...she was the human centipede! But she was concerned about Eddie. Instincts told her he was up to no good.
Amy: "Any day, anywhere, any time! No ditz in a centipede suit is going to steal my thunder!"
Ed: "Trevor...back so soon! Got the darts?"
Ed: "This is our chance! Once those things are in their systems, they'll be down for the count!"
Trevor: "For cad sakes, Ed, you're gonna get yourself sick the way you go at 'em!"
Ed: "Yeah. But I like to break the rules! You're a wuss!"
Trevor: "Ain't nothin' wrong with a little respect!"
Ed: "Just shut up and get ready!"
8th Nov 2008, 08:48 PM
Amy had been warned that Ed and Trevor were up to no good. She'd heard rumors of what Ed liked to do with women. But she never dreamed she'd be a victim! Nevertheless, the minute she felt the piercing of the dart go through her stomach, she lost her grip on the bars!
The crowd was so used to seeing her win every semester, they never bothered to pay attention anymore. But Candi's phantom scream in the ear tipped her off: there was foul play involved!
The poison immediately started taking effect, and Amy felt the effects in spite also feeling a broken bone!
Candi used her danger sense with more determination - she was next! As the dart headed her way, she had to think of a maneuver...but what?
In a flash, her centilegs were out! She used them to balance herself as she dodged the dart flying at her! It flew all the way to the outer reaches of the rink!
The crowd stood by dumbfounded, uncertain what to do. But at the same time, it was friends of the operators of the rink that were doing this!
They had darted contenders before, and had the girls been found, a rape charge might have been filed. But they had never seen anyone actually dodge the darts!
Making a break for it, Candi leaped out of the machine, and activated her centilegs as she prepared for a rough landing!
Ed and Trevor watched in total shock. How could this woman do all this? And now she was on to them!
Trevor saw the mysterious girl coming after him, and could only think to run! Too late! She'd already grabbed him with several centilegs, and thrown the darts out of his hand! His ace aiming was no match for her! He was soon himself the one passed out on the floor.
One of the tyrants that had caused so many missing women in town to go missing had finally met his match. As the majority of the crowd gazed on, unable to think, some were more receptive.
Claire: "Ha! Got your just desserts, you filthy pig!"
Ed knew that Candi knew what he was up to. But at the same time, he trembled. What could he do? If he ran, the police would get him. But she was more a fight than he bargained for.
Candi decided that she'd done enough, so she slapped him—minding her strength not to tear his jaw off - and stung him with two of her centilegs.
The place erupted in cheers! Not only had Candi put on a more marvelous show than any they'd ever seen...she'd also secured incriminating evidence against Ed and Trevor!
In response to that evening, more in the future would have the courage to stand up to the perversion and violence in Viron's party houses!
The crowd continued to cheer: "Centipede! Centipede! Centipede! Centipede!!!"
Candi knew she had just become a small-town hero. But she had to keep her scantily-cladden identity whatever amount of a secret it was. Rather than stay and be celebrated, she fled. The police would arrive soon, she reasoned, and they could sort through the mess.
Candi rushed into her car just as soon as she had jumped over enough back alleyways to successfully escape the public spotlight.
Where were the police? Why were there so many threats in town? Because nobody knew it was Candi inside that makeshift suit and mask, she felt safe showing off her powers.
Still, she was shocked that she was able to do everything, get into her car unseen, and still drive past the place—all before seeing any sign of law enforcement. It begged the question: what was happening in nearby Dirbine?
8th Nov 2008, 09:38 PM
Chapter 11: "Whose Endorsement?"
The seasons were changing, and Candi was growing very unhappy in her new environment. Suspicions of Meethlite activity were everywhere! She had only the minister, Wilbur, for understanding and support. Yet, she couldn't tell him everything!
Whom could she trust? Was Donte really dead? And if so, who could ever be there for her? She passed through the halls of the Scarr Building* with overwhelming loneliness.
What she'd encounter next wouldn't help matters any.
A phantom scream! It was tiny, but her ears perceived it. Something evil was going on in the classroom nearby! She had to listen in, but how could she without getting caught?
She'd invested in numerous tricks to her identity, fake glasses and even fake freckles. But she felt the disguise would only continue so long. As she put her ear next to the wall, she listened intently. What she heard was anything but what she wanted to hear!
It was Emille!!! The girl that had grieved Candi so much in high school was back! She was now a teacher at Viron; and she was arguing with none other than the most sinister professor Candi had yet encountered on campus—Yuri Krennt!
Yuri: "What rot! What do you mean that girl simply escaped?"
Emille: "The Meethlites didn't find her!"
Yuri: "Purpose-driven nonsense! That girl is a thorn in both our sides! I have little doubt that this Candice Flippo IS the Gifted One!"
Emille: "Neither do I! Though, we shouldn't give up searching for her sister Miriam. That twit is now Sniperbadger! Why Gunner and Skellig didn't finish the task Arfaas gave them is beyond me!"
Yuri: "This simple-minded twit will exhaust herself! If she tries to hide, she'll be found!"
Emille: "I had her removed from more than one website, but I won't rest until she is completely gone! Meethlites or not, I don't want this girl breathing!"
Yuri: "Easy! We don't know who is overhearing us!"
Yuri: "She could be...right outside this door!"
Tan...bleach...what would Candi do about her skintone? Emille knew who Candi was; and not even the glasses and last name of Stevens would fool her!
Yuri, she had been able to fool. But with Emille, she was trapped! And sure enough, she had overheard them talking. They hadn't revealed anything other than that they were aware of the murder of Erin. But still, they were conspirators who were after her! Candi grew desperate - where would she turn for cover?
Just what Candi needed—Merdie showed up!
Merdie: "Hey there!"
Candi: "Just...stay there!"
A nervous Krennt, following the lead of Emille, opened the door to check. To his surprise, Merdie, not Candi, was right outside!
Yuri:(enraged) "Insignificant pig!!! What are you doing here?"
Merdie: (calm) "Oh, nothing in particular."
Believing that Merdie had heard everything they were talking about, Krennt dragged her into the classroom!
Merdie: "Oh! A kidnapping stunt! Am I on Candid Camera?"
Emille: "What does she know?"
Krennt: "Hard to say! But I have a feeling she wasn't the only one that heard us!"
Emille gazed at Merdie, emotionless.
Candi panicked as she made her way down the steps. She felt guilty for having set up a fellow classmate to Meethlite spies. But on the same token, how would anyone believe her for accusing a teacher? To accuse, she'd have to go public, and that would threaten everything she loved that was still living!
Candi made it all the way down to the first floor, near the passageway that led to the theater, and caught her breath. She would not be able to forever disguise herself! She had to face the evil around her sooner or later! But with whom for an ally?
The blandness of the cinder blocks around her began to resemble a prison.
This figurative prison resembled the one her heart was in. If there was a way out, she hadn't found it yet! How would she be able to navigate if there were more Meethlite spies? Leaving Gerosha, alas, hadn't made her any safer!
Priya: "Oh, Candi! What are you all bent out of shape over?"
Candi: "Ur...uh...nothing! Just...you know...some punk from Detroit giving me trouble."
Priya: "And how'd it go down?"
Candi: "Uh...his girlfriend tied into him."
Priya: "The usual! Sorry about that."
Candi: "See you in class."
Priya: "Yep, I'll see you."
"Over here!" a man waved at her. Who could this man be?
Denny: "Your name's Candi, right?"
Candi: "What's it to you? Mr...."
Denny: "Levens! Denny Levens!"
Candi: "Fine, Denny...what's going on???"
Denny: "I know what Krennt is up to up there!"
Candi had to admit in her heart that she did find this new stranger quite amusing - if not charming. But she still wasn't sure she could trust him!
Denny: "You're very beautiful and all, Miss Stevens, but not all of us are as naive and moronic as the majority of dregs who go here!"
Candi: "What's that go to do with anything?"
Denny: "Let's just say that I've had a few bad run-ins with Meethlites and their spies as well. You match the physical description of the missing Candice Marie Flippo!"
Candi: "You can't be serious!"
Denny: "Relax! I know you don't know me, but if I've deduced so easily who you are...they'll eventually figure it out as well!"
Candi: "What'd you ever do to get them after you?"
Denny: "Well...let's just say that when I discovered who they were, I stopped trading with them..."
Candi: "You're a supplier?"
Denny: "Shhh!!! Yes, I used to give them some of my inventions...but no drugs! Come with me!!!"
Candi's phantom screech danger sense didn't go off around him, but she was still uncertain as to whether or not he could be trusted. She decided to follow him anyway. She could easily defeat him if he proved trouble.
* The "Scarr Building" is a parody of the Starr Building at Ferris State University.
8th Nov 2008, 09:57 PM
He immediately rushed her into the men's room - thankful that nobody else was there!
Candi: "The men's room? I'm not that easy, sleaze bag!"
Denny: "Relax! If I wanted that, I would've suggested it sooner! Nobody will think to look for us here!"
Candi: (sarcastically) "Well that's reassuring!"
Denny: "Ye of little faith! Look!"
He gazed into the mirror, where there reflected the image off the ceiling. One tile didn't match the other tiles!
Denny: "That's the service area! I'll help you get up there, and you can hide! This is a strong Meethlite event!"
Candi: "How do you know all this?"
Denny: "Tammy Hamstrin from Stolly's doesn't know it; but not all the funding for her 190-minute condom commercial going on right now in the Walben's Auditorium** was funded by taxpayers!
The Meethlites, in their quest to rule the world, have a very vested interest in the corruption of American youth!"
Candi: "Denny, what are you doing here?"
Denny: "Use the escape hatch! I'll sneak around with my car and take you to your house! We can talk more later! Then…well…I can explain myself to you better!"
Denny: "And for cad sakes, lose the glasses! You're not Clark Kent!"
Candi still wasn't sure whether to trust this strange man or not, but once again, with no phantom screams in her ear, she was certain it was worthwhile.
Candi couldn't believe she was putting faith in this man. She had only met him a minute ago! Still, as much as he seemed to know, and as much as he wished to help her; what could be so bad about him?
Conventional wisdom told her not to wait for his car - that it was a trap! But something else in her told her to keep trusting him.
** The Walben's Auditorium is a parody of the Williams Auditorium at Ferris State University. The speaker and event mentioned are a reference to the Fall 2006 visit of former Playboy affiliate Rebecca Armstrong to the Williams Auditorium, to lecture about life with AIDS to students.
8th Nov 2008, 11:10 PM
Elsewhere, the events in Gerosha and the escape of the two Flippo sisters did not entirely escape the notice of the Hebbleskin family. Harga tirelessly toiled away at the sets of formulas in the lab, as she awaited her brother's meeting.
Arfaas: "Let the scientists work on those, sister! That's what we have them for!"
Harga: "Brother Arfaas! So you've decided to come out of hiding?"
Arfaas: "Hardly! But I am tired of no results! We're under a huge deadline; and we have to prove ourselves...starting with eliminating the Centhuen Prototype threat!"
Harga: "Most Centhuen Prototypes are only aware of a few of their special abilities! Many of them only have fractions of the powers they should. Those that have more than partial mix...well, they don't always even know how to use what they have."
Arfaas: "Ah yes! But this is an age of discovery, where desire comes first! Centhuen ability ignorance is a lot like virginity. In an age of discovery, it won't take them long to figure it out! And I'm sure the special one we have most reason for concern about has already long figured out what she is!"
Harga: "You needn't worry about that! Nor about the slams we've been taking worldwide! I've recycled what was left of our neural interface back-visors! With a little time, I can make more! Just some extra enhancements, and we're looking at our future warriors right here!"
She led him to the demonstration chamber, where a brainwashed man was trying on what appeared to be a prototype suit. Arfaas watched on, only mildly impressed.
Justin: "Where is threat?"
His shiny suit inside the containment booth revealed its mechanical splendor. Justin, who had been just a mere mechanic before, was now trying on a warrior suit template being tested by Arfaas and company.
Arfaas: "Even with your enhancements, this guy is an amateur!!!"
Harga: "This suit is only the beginning!"
Harga: "That's because we picked the biggest dumbbell who wouldn't hurt a fly to test the limits of our engine! Just wait until we get someone who is capable of at the very least getting angry, and we'll see some real action!"
Arfaas: "I hope so! Why aren't we working on making ourselves that army of werewolves that we..."
Harga: "I know that this whole thing has been very hard for you. But consider your age! You're getting too old to be getting that upset about things!"
Arfaas: "I guess you're right. But we are so far behind! That Flippo child has completely slipped under the radar! And the closest those morons Krennt and Kayne have been able to do is kill a mangy witness! Now they're wanted for murder and on the run, and the Flippo is STILL missing!"
Harga: "Oh, is she now? I'm surprised we still haven't found that two-bit traitor, Denny Levens!"
Arfaas: "He's only a supplier! He doesn't know enough to be of any real concern! Let him go!"
Harga: "Rumor has placed him and one of the Flippo girls somewhere in the Dirbine-Viron area!"
Arfaas: "Is it natural around here to allow possibly-irradiated lab experiments to share a common dinner table with us?"
Justin: "Where is menace? Fight, I will."
Harga: "Relax! As long as his backvisor isn't damaged, he will never attack us. We're completely safe!"
Arfaas: "You know, Harga..."
Arfaas: "I believe we've been going about this whole preliminaries thing blind!"
Harga: "Whatever do you mean?"
Arfaas: "Yes, it's...nice you should be so concerned about hunting down the one and only Levens that has given us any problems in this area. It's nice that we're building this strength-enhanced macho aggression thing over in the corner there...but..."
Arfaas: "If you're going to hunt a centipede, you don't send a mere macho bot to do it! We need something...that would truly be threatening!
This thing needs a paint job...a host...everything you can imagine! We need to make this thing over! What is a centipede's worst enemy in nature?"
Justin: "Smash centipede!!!"
Arfaas: "Your cheap attempts at conversation bore me, you abominable mass!"
Justin: "Smash centipede!!!"
Harga: "Well, he does have a point. The centipede's worst enemy in nature is other centipedes!"
Arfaas: "I am not amused! What non-centipede creature is the worst enemy of all centipedes?"
Harga thought briefly for an answer, and finally, it came to her...
Harga: "Uh...a shrew?"
The distraught Arfaas suddenly turned around. Had his sister just inspired him?
Arfaas: "Wait...what was that?"
Harga: "A shrew, brother! A shrew is the worst enemy of the centipede in nature! In fact, it's just what we need to give this mecha warrior suit a touch of originality! I can get a team together to create Shrew-Bot in no time!"
Arfaas: " 'Shrew bot'? That's stupid! And 'Shrew' is already taken! Besides, we need something that truly will inspire fear in the heart of the Flippo! We need to have this thing able to take the entire city of Dirbine hostage! Right as my ship flies overhead for the overkill..."
Harga: "What are we to do, name him in Spanish? Musaraňo doesn't inspire anything in me!"
Arfaas: "Then we'll shorten it...Musaran! Hard to go wrong with that name! Now, we just need the perfect warrior for the suit...and the perfect set of fall girls in Janette Bunny suits!"
Harga: "Fall girls? You mean...to use up those old units, and have the police help us out while leading the public to think they've got everything under control? Sure!
In fact...I believe there's a certain librarian and her husband that we've been dying to meet..."
9th Nov 2008, 12:17 AM
The librarian to which Harga was referring was none other than Dolly Malestrom, the happy housewife of Jeraime Malestrom. Jeraime and Dolly had, like Denny, annoyed the Meethlites.
Unlike Denny, who did it by ceasing to trade with them, Jeraime and Dolly were known for their seething editorial articles in the local paper, which decimated the claims of Meethlite sympathizers. It was the third week in Advent, and the young couple was acting like it was already Christmas.
Jeraime: "Ha! Got ya!"
Dolly: (giggling) "Jerry! Not in the snow!"
Jeraime: "Better than being buried in books all day, am I right?"
Dolly: "I love you!"
Jeraime: "God has been so good to us, Dolly!"
Dolly: "He'd be even better though, if..."
Jeraime: "Relax, this isn't a race! I know we'll have our children some day. For now though, let's be glad we can enjoy the gift of each other!"
Dolly: "I know. It's just...I'm worried!"
Jeraime: "About what?"
Dolly: "A lot of things."
Jeraime: "My brother is considerably older! Besides, I'm perfectly content with you, even if we are having a hard time having any children! Looking on the bright side, at least we don't have the problems that we're seeing in our nephew!"
Dolly: "Henry? I only wish I knew what was up with him. But we're not too significantly older than he is! Why would he believe anything we say anyway?"
Jeraime: "I'm 38! The boy's 25! That's still enough of a difference to matter."
Dolly: "I don't like the fact that he plays around with all that stuff! Does he have any idea where it comes from?"
Jeraime: "Darling…I can't claim to know what God's big plan is in all of this, but we're in this till the end. And if he means for you to carry on without me one day...then be prepared!"
Dolly: "We'll keep trying! The doctor said I have a good chance!"
Jeraime: "Yes. We'll keep trying. Now, let's go make dinner. I know Khumar and Lindsay will be eager for some!"
Still looking forward to getting their own house, Khumar and Lindsay were staying at the Malestroms' home. Things had been rough for Lindsay, as she had been unable to find work. She envied her sister in many ways, though she admitted that it was partly her fault that she was not as successful.
Her sister had been career-pursuing and very religious; Lindsay had been a drifter through life. Dolly eventually landed a job as a librarian in Portage, Michigan. When higher pursuits didn't come her way; she was still incredibly successful. The Librarian of Portage, as she was called, transferred to a job as a librarian in Dirbine living in Viron. Lindsay, by contrast, seemed to only be best at getting herself into trouble.
Dolly held out on romantic pursuits until she met Jeraime, and settled into a happy marriage. Lindsay hadn't waited for much of anything; and found herself marrying Khumar as much out of a sense of obligation as out of love. The Malestroms were very kind in helping the Hamiltons get back on their feet. None of them would realize what peril would ironically result from them all being so close.
Lindsay: "I feel awful being here, Khumar. It’s like…my mere presence…is…a dampening on…the very…pureness…and…beauty of this place!"
Khumar: "That's the wrong way to look at it! Hun, the very fact that we're allowed here is the completion of this season! Isn't it all about God's love, even for those who don't deserve it?"
Lindsay was not entirely consoled, but backed away a little bit, contenting herself to stare at the TV re-runs.
Lindsay: "You know, I wonder why Rudolph doesn't just tell them all to kiss..."
Khumar: "I know! However, the FCC would have never allowed that in the 1960's! You've gotta think of time periods here!"
Lindsay: "You know, you're unusually cheerful tonight!"
Khumar: "This is the evening the Lord has made! Sure, it ain't Christmas; but it's special in its own way! I know we won't have the best story to tell our kids some day about how we met; but at least we're together! Better all the crap we go through than that I should end up with anyone but you!"
Lindsay: "You're taking this right out of Jeraime's playbook, you copycat romantic!"
Khumar: "Okay, so I'm not original! Can you fault me? We're two stars forced to bask in the shadow of our older siblings! That doesn't mean we can't make it matter!"
Lindsay: "Don't I know it! But I will get that job at the bakery! They can't say no forever, can they?"
Khumar: "I doubt it. How could they resist a sweet like you? Ah...the moment! Anything to detract from the loss of my brother!"
Lindsay: "Brother? You…have a brother??? You’re only telling me this now? "
Khumar: "Well...more of a half-brother! You see...my mom was once married to certain McArthur; but returned to her maiden name of Hamilton after his death. Some punk took more than his fair share, so I came into the world. Nobody's seen him since. My poor brother Donte was only nine! It wasn't easy for either of us with no father."
Lindsay: "Well, we'd better help the others prepare for dinner."
Khumar: "I...don't know why I mention this to you now but...he was more than just my half-brother!"
9th Nov 2008, 12:26 AM
Lindsay paused for a second. Normally, she would've just ignored him and done what she wanted. But this time, she paused.
Khumar: "He...well...he was Emeraldon!"
Khumar: "Yeah. But...almost everyone now believes he's dead!"
Lindsay: "Khumar! What a horrible secret to have to keep!"
Khumar: "I was his greatest confidant for many years! But that all changed as of this past August. Now, I'm not even sure he is still alive!"
Lindsay: "What happened?"
Khumar: "He...got caught up in that whole stupid Meethlite-Phaelite war thing! His ship was attacked in the raid over Gerosha that occurred this past August. No sign of him or his girlfriend anywhere!"
Khumar: "What are you doing?"
Lindsay: "Looking where you stashed your family album!"
Lindsay: "I wanna know who this ‘girlfriend’ of his was!"
Khumar: "I don't know...some Candy Cane chick! Candy! Ha! Sounds like a stripper name!"
Khumar: "Worse? What could be worse than my brother dating a stripper???"
Lindsay: "How’s about…a potential Centhuen Prototype!"
Khumar: "A what???"
Lindsay: "Khumar...that isn't ‘Candy’ with a ‘Y’. It's with an ‘I’. And this is no ordinary Candi that he was dating!"
Khumar: "She...looks ordinary enough to me!"
Lindsay: "I've seen this girl in the library at Viron University! She goes under the last name of Stevens, but there are no Stevenses that I'm aware of that come from Gerosha. This…is Candi Flippo!"
Khumar was taken aback. Candi Flippo? Could his brother truly have been dating a Flippo? It was unthinkable!
Khumar: "My…frog!!! Flippo? Candice…Flippo…as in, daughter of Stan and Shalia Flippo??? You serious?"
Lindsay: "I'm almost certain! She's going by the name of Stevens, because she doesn't know if any of Donte's family members are still alive! Her sisters are scattered and hidden, and one of them is dead. Her parents are dead, and her brothers have practically disowned her. We're the closest thing to a family she has left! We have to find her before the Meethlites do, or else that girl is in serious trouble!"
Nobody ate easily that evening. Lindsay's thoughts turned to solving the mystery of where Candi was. Jeraime worried that the Meethlites would be after her in no time, and that getting involved would fare ill for all of them.
Jeraime: "Lindsay...you're sure that this Candi is out there?"
Lindsay: "We have her photo with Donte. It's about the only evidence he left us of who his mysterious love is, as I'm sure he wished to protect her. I could almost swear that I've seen her at the campus library! She doesn't know who we are; but if we don't do something..."
Dolly: "I understand. This is serious. But we're technically not family! If she isn't married to him, or hasn't had any kids with him, there is no blood relation!"
Lindsay: "You may be right, Dolly. But even if she never considers us family; she's got to be lonely—always in hiding like that! If she doesn't have friends, then even if she isn't captured, she'll very likely go crazy out there!
I speak from experience here: if we do nothing, she may end up making some very poor choices!"
The wind picked up outside the house, and the atmosphere of the chilly night went from one of family warmth to one of fear and uncertainty. They all knew something was wrong...but what?
The doorbell rang. Who could possibly be stopping by the door?
Jeraime: "I'll get it! Sheesh, I'm about ready to pull that thing out of the wall!"
Jeraime opened the door to find...nobody!
Jeraime: "Hmmm...odd! Who'd be pranking me tonight?"
Harga: (to Justin) "Now!!!"
Justin: "Get victim!!!!"
The brainwashed man followed orders immediately, while the two Meethlite elders moved in for the others.
Jeraime was immediately frozen in terror and disbelief at what charged right at him!
Jeraime: "Aaaarrrrrgggg!! Nooooooooo!!!!!!!!"
The pain was almost unbearable, but it would be over soon. Jeraime had been placed against his will in the suit! Musaran was born.
The machine wherein which he was built had been blown apart by the violence! But at least Harga had succeeded at her goal. Jeraime Malestrom was now Musaran, a ruthless shrew cyborg that would do the Meethlites' bidding!
Almost immediately, the evil AI began to take its effect, feeding off of Jeraime's natural aggression! Things didn't look good for Justin until Harga's interference!
Justin: "End threat!!!"
9th Nov 2008, 01:37 AM
Arfaas: "Harga! I see you've completed him!"
Harga: "Relatively! He'll need to be sent back to a lab to recharge, but other than that, he's good to go. Now it's time to find out just how many centipedes really are crawling among us!"
Arfaas: "How do we know he'll be an improvement over that ridiculous joke?"
Harga: "Easy, brother! Musaran…how do you feel???"
Musaran: "They will DIEEEEE!!!!!!!"
Harga: "Brother! Must we leave so soon?"
Arfaas: "We have more pressing affairs! The AI will guide Musaran where he needs to go."
Arfaas: "Come with me! The others can handle things from here!"
Harga was reluctant to pass through the Zeran teleporter mirror as her brother had, but agreed that there was no more need for them to fret. Musaran would take care of the Centhuen Prototype threat, would he not?
9th Nov 2008, 02:05 AM
Chapter 14: "The Seeds of Despair"
Candi’s life seemed to be improving; however relatively. Denny was fast becoming more and more valuable an asset to her life; but she didn’t like the idea of merely using him as a resource.
She knew that he had strong feelings for her, but that he was repressing them. Already, they had been through several adventures dealing with the strange things around the town of Viron. Christmas was fast approaching, and as Candi’s shift ended one evening, she and Denny both decided independently of one another to make the evening special.
Candi: “Ha ha! Strike!!! Your turn!”
Denny: “You know…I’m not sure going up against someone with super aim constitutes fair play!”
Candi: “Oh, come on! With all the crazy crap you’ve smuggled, you’ve gotta have hands that are a thing of beauty!”
The ball went in, hitting all but one pin. Denny gazed at Candi with a look of accomplishment on his face.
Denny: “Uh…I guess so!”
Candi: “You don’t have to be so flustered! Keep in mind, I do work here.”
Denny: “I know, Candi. It’s just…well…I don’t know how to put it!”
Candi: “Spit it out, Romeo! I'm not a complete idiot!”
Candi: “I don’t need centuition to figure out that you’re hiding something other than criminal history!”
Denny: “ ‘Criminal’? That's such a strong word! More like…man with disfavorable past business connections…”
Candi: “It’s…the strangest feeling I have though. Ever since that night just a few months ago when you saved me…we’ve been saving each other ever since. I…don’t know what to think!”
Denny: “You’re full of contradictions, my darling! First, you condemn me for selling unauthorized technology to our common enemies. Now…you make an appeal…as though we were...star-crossed!”
Candi: “You know how I feel about…”
As Candi drew closer to Denny, she had to fight back the tears. Denny knew he had to act quickly to get her under control, lest she make too big a scene…
Denny: (whispering) “Hey…easy, easy! It’s okay…I know you didn’t mean to kill Don! And Donte did what he did for you out of love!”
Candi: “Denny…strange enough…you’re starting to sound...just like Donte! Is he...guiding you from above?”
Denny: “I…only wish that were true. I’m thankful to be in the fine company of one so faithful as you. My family hates God and hates anything of spiritual insinuation. I feel so out of place with them! Yet…we have this in common…we seem to be the only ones in the world that fully trust and understand one another.”
Candi: “That’s not healthy. But then…”
Denny: “Then…I know what you mean! Eventually, we’ll have to come out of our hiding places and make the Meethlites pay for all they’ve done. But for now…, oh that we could just not have to worry about them!”
As they stood there talking, a nervous Jeral Cormier sat by in the distance. He couldn't overhear the discussion, but he could ascertain that something was very wrong. He had his share of problems. What Denny and Candi didn't know is that they were far from being the only ones who would understand their present predicament!
A voice suddenly called out: "Candi! Jeral! Get in here!"
Denny: "What happened now?"
Candi: "Uh...can you hold on a second? I...think I might have left the Slicktor shoes to dry too much..."
Jeral: "Sir...if there's anything wrong with..."
Cladeus: "Relax, Jeral! I am fully aware of what those Phaelites did to you! I understand that you're leaving us soon to seek health treatments...I didn't send you back here to scold you!"
Cladeus: "And who might you be, Mr.?"
Denny: "Denny Levens, MD."
Cladeus: "Do you always park yourself in the employees-only areas?"
Candi: "He's with me...don't worry."
It ached for Candi to say it...that was Donte's rightful position! How could she so soon have forgotten the memory of Donte and attached herself to another?
Nevertheless...he did promise her that he would be very understanding no matter what happened. How could Candi cope with this violation of her basic values?
She had two romantic interests? Nevertheless...what if Donte were truly dead? She knew she was cornered; but she and Denny got along together so well...how could she not do justice to their special and intimate friendship? Had Denny been sent as a replacement for Donte?
Candi: "Ur...yes, sir! That was...just recently decided!"
Cladeus: "Well, as long as he doesn't make a habit of it, I won't have a problem."
Candi: "I can't keep holding in my feelings all the time!"
Denny: "Candi...we've...only known each other for a few months...and I...I don't deserve you!"
Candi: "Maybe true, maybe true. However...we can't keep holding on to our dead loved ones...we'll go crazy! Besides, you've often spoken of wanting to go out with me! I have no idea how long this will last...but God willing...we will both at the very least grow from this experience."
Denny: "You have a heart so faithful; I didn't think you'd ever be able to move on! I want you to know: I will never be able to replace what you've lost...but I will protect you in my embrace...for whatever little that is worth!
Let's not rush to wed or anything though...we must not go too far until we know it is right! To do otherwise would be to set ourselves up for what we cannot afford!"
Candi: "You're very thoughtful! How did you know that I still hurt inside?"
Denny: "I don't need your instincts to know you're not telling me everything! We both have far too many secrets to expose before we can trust each other with forever!"
Candi: "How's about a date after this meeting? The restaurant section is open 24-7!"
Denny: "I would be much obliged!"
Cladeus: "Love with wisdom! Such a combination, I thought went extinct well over a century ago! Anyway, since the three of you are here with me...I figured I'd let each of you in on a secret."
9th Nov 2008, 02:27 AM
Cladeus: "I'm retiring!"
Candi was overtaken by the surprise. Cladeus? Retiring? Why?
Cladeus: "So puzzled, Candi?"
Candi: "Sir! You've made Hazy Eighties what it is!"
Cladeus: "That's right...but in spring time...a new manager will take over for me! A certain Mr. Nanale has made a tender offer on this place!"
Cladeus: "I'm warning you of this now...because I have a feeling he will want to make some very dramatic changes to the way this place is run!"
Candi: "I'm...sure I can handle it!"
Cladeus: "He might not allow such part-time work as what you currently have here. Give him a little bit of a chance, Candi! I've only met with him briefly...and I don't think he's the kind that appreciates women of your integrity. I would not rule out looking for another job!"
Candi: "Why aren't you telling everyone of this?"
Cladeus: "Because...I don't want to lose too many employees in protest!"
Candi: "Is Victor a bad man?"
Cladeus: "I don't know. He doesn't seem very professional or nice, but I don't know if he's truly a 'bad man'!"
Jeral: "Then...why are you telling us this?"
Cladeus: "Because...someone needs to explain to the others what happened! I won't smoothly transition to the new management. It will happen one day...without warning!"
None of the discussion made sense to either Candi or Denny. Why would Cladeus not see that the other employees' finding out was inevitable? Why the secrecy? Candi didn't have to worry about money...only about maintaining her alibi. Denny, growing tired of it, decided to intervene, taking Candi into his arms.
Denny: "Well in that case...How's about that date?"
Candi: "I'd be much obliged!"
Deep inside, a nervous twitch shivered down Cladeus' spine. He sensed the absolute worst about Victor, and felt horrible for being a coward. Why could he not explain to them the real reason for which he'd called them back?
Candi: "If you'll excuse me, Cladeus..."
Cladeus: "Go right ahead, Ms. Stevens! You are off the clock!"
Candi: "Jeral? You okay?"
She didn't know what was going on with her co-worker...but her centipede instincts were kicking in. The phantom scream was but a faint whisper...
Jeral: "You...really don't want to know. My suggestion...pray, every night if you can...that the Phaelites and Meethlites BOTH go to Hell! And if you associate with them...then...you can be damned too!!!"
Candi: "You okay? What happened?"
His sudden bursts of insane rage alarmed the remaining three. What was he trying to hide?
Feeling the worst springing up from within him, he rushed out of the office door, panicking as he made his way to the main exit!
Had her co-worker completely snapped? Candi feared he would hurt someone if she didn't intervene, so she gave chase.
Denny: "Candi! No!"
They couldn't stop her. Something was very wrong outside, and she had to respond.
The agony Jeral felt quickly took over!
Jeral: "Noooo!!!!!! Curse you, Phaletori sect! Ahhhhhhh!!!!!"
Candi: "Jeral! What's happening to you?"
Without thinking, his eyes flashed and he saw a sight too horrible for his own belief! His arms - they had become vines!!!
Candi had never seen anything like it! What was her co-worker turning into? She dodged his vine assault easily, but remained puzzled. What was Jeral talking about? At any rate, she knew she couldn't afford to use her centilegs in the parking lot- it would blow her cover!
Feeling an uncontrollable urge from within, Jeral continued to fight Candi! She jumped over a fence for safety; and he followed, not resting until he'd gotten more swipes at her!
Just when he thought he'd had her in the perfect choke hold, something came out of her that snapped his vines clean off!
Candi: "Jeral! It's no use! Let me help you!"
Jeral began looking more and more plant-like by the minute!
Jeral: "This is what I didn't want the boss to see! You may as well give it up, puny Centhuen Prototype! Tell Cladeus that I quit!"
Candi: "You don't have to be a monster!"
Jeral: "Save it!!!"
9th Nov 2008, 02:44 AM
Jeral: "They've tried, and tried, and TRIED to change me back! It never holds!!! Just be thankful that I hate the Meethlites every bit as much as those meddling Phaelites! Candi Stevens indeed! I smell a Flippo! I should have known...seen through all your lies!!!"
Candi: "Then come with me and Denny! We need to know what the catalyst it is that will make the reaction permanent! Denny can research and..."
Jeral: "I am nothing now! The Phaletori sect mock me...calling me...Botan! I have no future, if that's what you would desire for me! Run away little centipede! And whatever you do...don't follow me!!!"
Surprise strike! Candi didn't prepare properly for Jeral's next move! Even with her Centhuen Protoype endurance, the impact was extremely cold! She knew that as soon as she got the wind back in her, he'd be gone. For him to use his vines like that on her, he had to keep warm too!
Candi brushed herself off, now near-shivering in the icy cold of the outdoors!
Candi: "Nothing ever stays simple with these guys, does it?"
Denny: "Candi! You had me worried out there! Just what on earth happened?"
Candi: "This is part of the curse into which I was born, Denny. In our future, we'll have to be ready for anything!"
Denny: "Well...try not to let it happen too often, okay? I'd like to at least see you live long enough for us to have a future!"
Candi reached out her hand, eager to let Denny know that things would be all right.
Candi: "And...I will! I will. No matter how many invisible men, plant men, psycho mobsters, dart-throwing rapists, or half-alligators I encounter...we will live to see Donte's memory avenged, and our own lives made secure!"
Denny: "Well in that case...I've grown tired of this joint already! What do you say...Christmas at my place?"
Candi: "I'd love to!"
Denny: "Oh how I only wish I had your confidence about things!"
Candi: "Don't feel too bad! After all...God is protecting us both. We both have Meethlite death warrants hanging over us!"
Denny: "Indeed...I almost forgot about that!"
With that, she blew a kiss.
Candi: "You silly goose!"
Candi still felt awful inside for her sudden decision to start dating Denny. After all, she couldn't be certain that Donte really was dead! She did her best to hide her true emotion.
She knew she'd have a hard time forgiving herself if she discovered Donte were still alive; and that even prompted her all the more to agree with Denny that they should proceed slowly.
On the other hand, if he were dead, then she was finally being given the sweet release she had often prayed for! This man, sitting across from her...could he be her future?
Better yet, she hated having to go by the last name of "Stevens." It was a lie! But if this man were her future; then she would gladly embrace a true identity: Candi...Levens…
9th Nov 2008, 05:28 AM
Chapter 15: "A Centipede By Any Other Name"
Wilbur: "Yes then...so, we are to forgive, even murderers...as individuals! But we are also to uphold the rule of law!
Now, keep in mind, when Jesus speaks to the mob that is about to stone the woman, he is not telling the acting Roman authorities what to do!"
Wilbur: "For he has already made it plain that the authorities are to ensure restitution! He does speak to magistrate individuals about the woman! He is warning authority impostors that she should not be condemned...not without due process of law, which they lack! They are but vigilantes, acting not out of necessity but out of vanity.
The woman's crime is an affront to Rome; but not to the Israel that no longer existed. And that is assuming they can prove the allegations against her true in the first place! They make no effort at a trial; but assume only the right, under their pretense of reverence for the Law, to play judge, jury, and executioner. Yet, they try to set a trap for Jesus, who was not bothering them at the time. With this evil in their hearts, they were already disqualified to be judge and jury, let alone executioners..."
Candi was glad to hear the sermon topic Wilbur had chosen that morning. While she wasn't sure she was entirely ready to forgive herself for ignoring the danger of the phone call, nor was she entirely ready to forgive the Meethlites for what they had done to her life.
She still appreciated hearing the truth that she would need to dispose of her sister's killers only to keep them from endangering society; but not because they killed her sister. It was more about vocation and prevention than it would be about revenge.
She was even more delighted to know that Denny actually showed up for a service.
Wilbur: "In this then, do we grow to understand the mind of God perhaps a little better. Justice and mercy are neither one complete until they have existed in balance and harmony with one another; and only an infinite being can perfectly balance the two!
He gives us a picture of harmony though: we are told as individuals to love our enemies! Yet, institutions are to uphold the rule of law and punish lawbreakers! That includes declaring war on those who've declared war on us in time of war. This goes along with the teaching of vocations; a time and a place for everything!"*
Wilbur: "Even within Rule of Law, there is a time when one is to be meted with understanding, and a time when one is to be meted out with death. As flawed as our human institutions may be, we can still gain very good guesses through learning what to look for.
King David understood that the time was not right to exact vengeance on the man who taunted him; for that man's heart was the problem; and if not treated, it would be God himself who would find a way for that man to face justice!**
Solomon did his share of making that happen, but the fact is, David denied his opportunity for personal revenge. Yet; at the same time, it was when Saul ignored his vocation to bring the Amalekites to justice that the Jews suffered endlessly from their enemies." 
The congregation had its share of individuals from numerous walks of life; and many of them grew uneasy with the implications of Wilbur's words. Yet, Wilbur remained thankful that nobody had outright left in frustration. He assumed it meant the Spirit was getting through, though he could see that many in the congregation were resisting the message.
Wilbur: "So even in terms of when to forgive and when to deal out discipline or judgment; there is a time to do one and to do the other. Life is a calling. Many of us will take a long time to figure out what ours really is..."
The words were beginning to hit Candi a little too close to home, but she listened on, as Denny watched on with great curiosity.
Wilbur: "But we must be assured that even when we completely mess up on determining what it is, God is right there, willing to lead us where we ought to go! We may doubt our direction, or feel we have two at once; and not know how to travel to two places at once!
Our vocator will not deal out vocation to us if it would contradict his word, nor will he abandon us to a conundrum that he himself cannot fix for us!"
In front of Candi and the others sat in a green-dressed Nolle Barret; a cold-hearted, retired schoolteacher. She had seen what had become of the children of Viron as they had grown up; become very aware of the evils they practiced regularly on campus.
Amidst her disillusionment, she had unfortunately reached the conclusion that the university was nothing but a pack of wolves which threatened her comfortable perception of reality with their decadence. Of many of the student body, she could not have been more right. But she was willing to go too far with her conclusion.
Frequently, she watched on in distrust of Candi. Very carefully, she and the other "Granny Brigade" members had begun to sway the congregation with their prejudice against Candi. Only Liz, Wilbur, and Denny did not believe a word of the slander.
After the sermon had ended, Denny quickly left, saying he had to get some things at the store. Candi piled out with the rest of the congregation, but something seemed very wrong. The children gathered around her; but she couldn't figure out what they wanted.
Candi: "Travis? What's wrong?"
Travis: "Please Candi! You look so awesome and all! I know you're cool! I don't believe what that old hag Mrs. Barret says about you! You will be our new Sunday School teacher, won't you?"
Candi: "Well...I would like to believe that I will be. But...what things is she saying?"
Before Travis could give away any more secrets, a loud voice called out, forcing Candi and the others to jump with surprise.
Candi: "Yes, Pete?"
Pete: "Come into the office with me, right now!!!"
The kids immediately scattered, as though they expected that the conspiracy they were trying to warn Candi about might come after them as well.
Candi: "What's wrong, Pete?"
Pete: "Follow me into the office, and you'll find out!"
She didn't take too kindly to his threatening demeanor, but she knew that there was no way out. Why would anyone at that church be so angry with her? As she quickly turned back to look, all the faces seemed to be going about their manner...as though they expected what was happening her to be normal!
She knew something was very wrong now, but what?
Candi: "Would you please explain what's going on, Pete? You're freaking me out!"
Pete: "A good thing too! Now lock that door behind you!"
Candi: "No!!! I'm not locking myself in here with ANY man, but ESPECIALLY not you!"
Without hesitation, he rushed behind her and slammed the door shut, locking it.
Pete: ""Eat that, Miss Insubordination!!!"
Candi: "Pete, get away from the door, now!!!"
Pete: "You are not to go near those kids, understand???"
Candi: "They approached me! I had no..."
Pete: "Do you UNDERSTAND!!!???"
Candi: "Why won't you just tell me what's going on?"
Her phantom scream didn't go off, so she knew she wouldn't have to use her powers on him. Still, she suspected the worst given that his temper was out of line. Why was she being treated like this...in a church?
Candi: "You can't trap me in here like this without an explanation!"
Pete: "Don't you already know? How could you possibly apply for a position as a Sunday School teacher?"
Candi: "Easily! The kids love me, and this place needs me! Otherwise..."
Pete: "Otherwise known as...you are an outside piece of Viron University sewer trash who is now getting after the kids!!!"
As Candi heard that, she walked further back to get away from the imposing Pete, he walked further forward, offering her no comfort space.
It began to dawn on her...the kids were trying to warn her of something!
Candi: "What was Nolle saying to the kids about me?"
Pete: "Nolle is not your business!"
Candi: "Excuse me? Those kids claimed that she's been saying things about me! If I'm the target of a smear campaign, then it very well IS my business!"
Pete: "Don't be a rebel, Candi!"
Candi: "Rebel? I have rights, twirp!"
Pete: "You are not a leader; you never will be! So casually do you joke about what you did this past March during the basketball playoffs with your boyfriend!!!"
* Ecclesiastes 3 | ** 1 Samuel 16:9 |  ^ 1 Kings 2:3 | ^ 1 Samuel 15
9th Nov 2008, 05:56 AM
Candi: "Objection! That was Liz! And she was boasting to me! I was telling her that I didn't think it wise!"
Pete: "So tell me, are you and that airplane mechanic still rolling in the hay, or have you gotten bored with him?"
Candi: "Denny is not an airplane mechanic! He's a doctor! And I am NOT sleeping with him!!!"
Pete: "I wasn't talking about Denny! But I'm sure you've been all over him too! And now you consider yourself a role model to teach little children!"
Candi: "I am not a skank, Pete!!! All these instances involve women you have me confused with!"
Pete: "And you know all of them how?"
Candi: "They go to the same school I do! And some of them attend this very building! Why aren't you going after them?"
Pete: "Because...the district president is going to be visiting with us very soon. The last thing we need is slime like you giving our building a bad name in the institution! Those others didn't apply to be teachers!"
Candi: "Then...I'm a victim of politics? How very cheap of you! And I thought this place was above such stupidity!"
Pete: "A little siren like you is hardly a victim!"
Candi: "And how does Nolle know I've talked to any of those girls? Has she been stalking me?"
Pete: "You will refrain from speaking any further of Ms. Barret!"
Candi: "I don't have time for this, you control freak! You're out of line! I'm talking to Denny about this!"
Pete: "There's no use in defending yourself, Candi...everyone knows what you've been doing!!!"
Candi: "Prove it, creep!"
Pete: "Take a look for yourself!"
As Candi opened the door, she found a sight that had her utterly dismayed...Pete was right! Since Candi first arrived, Nolle had done nothing but try to poison the congregation against her! Several angry faces stared at her as she tried to make her way to the exit.
Emmy: "No dreg of society is teaching a thing to my kids!!!"
Mehrissa: "You bit off more than you could chew this time, hussy!"
A feeling of absolute dread began to fall over Candi. How did this crowd of hate suddenly form so quickly around her? And in a church???
This was all wrong! She was the only living virgin Flippo from her generation, and was being treated as she imagined Mary must have felt before Joseph's dream.
Candi: "No...no!!! No!"
Candi: "You have it all wrong! How DARE you sickos accuse me!!!"
Then, right in front of Candi, stood her accuser—Nolle!
Nolle: "I knew I'd get you yet…FLIPPO!!!!"
Candi was completely taken aback! Did Nolle's voice just change so quickly? And how did Nolle know she was a Flippo? Was that even Nolle talking? The voice sounded familiar...in a bad way! The drone of voices continued...
"You hooker! Get out of this building!" and "The kids of this building are not available to street sleaze!" echoed repeatedly.
Candi went to Viron University - guilt by association! But that voice...
It was one thing to Candi that everyone had believed a lie about her, but it was quite another that she was starting to hear that voice again!
She could have sworn that Kimiyato was gone forever! But not only had Kimi returned...she had somehow turned everyone against Candi!
Kimi: "That's right, Flippo girl! That's what we get for being sneaky, dishonest cowards now, isn't it?"
The feeling of Kimi's return was so real to Candi at that moment, that Candi almost felt as though she really had returned - physically!
Candi sensed Kimi all around...but especially felt as if she had taken form from directly behind!
Kimi: "Poor centipede girl! Yes, I know! Life is so unfair, is it not?"
Candi: "You're not real! Get away from me, she-devil!"
Kimi: "Au contraire, foolish one! You are just merely seeing a projection of me! But I assure you, I am quite real!"
Candi: "You've lost all right to me!"
Kimi: "Perhaps..but I know what struggles exist in your heart!"
Candi: "What would you know of hearts? You don't have one!!!"
Kimiyato: "Oh, I had one once! Silly me too! But that's of no consequence anymore! It's yours that I care about!"
Candi: "You never cared about me!"
Kimiyato: "Brat! I have yearned for your demise for ages! And I will get it! Now listen! You know what Denny expects of you, you realize?"
Candi: "Denny respects me enough to wait! I lost Donte to a war that your precious Meethlite bosses started! I know Denny's position isn't as strong as mine! But he will not force me to..."
Kimi: "Silly girl! Why are you holding your position? Why force the man to be more patient than normal?"
Candi: "Because...it's the right thing to do!"
9th Nov 2008, 06:08 AM
Kimi: "Then listen up, sister! You know Denny is as good as dead, don't you? Go ahead! Save it for marriage and be a fool! Either way, you know you won't be able to save him!"
Candi: "Whether he or I live or die, I won't yield! And what do you know of Denny?"
Kimi: "I know that he's wanted! Keep building new family for yourself, Missy! But my masters will always find a way to take it away from you! Just like we took your sister!!!"
Candi's resolve grew weaker as Kimi's assaults kept coming.
Candi: "What do they know of my relationship with him?"
Kimi: "Nothing! That's the beauty of it! I don't want them to destroy you, or else I'd tell them! I want to save you all for myself!!! I don't know his last name!
Some strange force is blocking that from my mind even as you think up the answer! But I will always find you! I just hope you survive your suffering long enough to not deny me the pleasure of the final victory!"
Candi didn't realize it, but she was about to play right into the menace's hands.
Candi: "Then...I'll delay my destiny! I'll move away from this pit when I graduate! You can't kill what you can't find!"
Kimi: "I'm linked to your mind! I'll get you no matter what you do to stop me! Sooner or later, your creativity will run out!!!"
Desperately, she searched for an answer to the menace. But what kind of come back would work? As she thought about it, she realized that she was standing behind a church building!
Candi: "Then it's a good thing I have a friend in Christ! Even if I'm not good to him, and take your advice on Denny; I know He won't abandon me to you forever!"
Candi continued to walk on, the voice and sensation of Kimi's presence growing gradually dimmer.
As Kimi's projection weakened, she knew she had discouraged Candi's moral resolve ever so slightly. She still failed to topple Candi's faith, in spite being assisted by the hatred and lies Nolle had spread.
Kimi would not fade away feeling completely defeated. After all; it would take Wilbur's direct investigation into the matter several months later for Candi to be exonerated.
In the mean time, Candi didn't feel safe going to church; but held devotions periodically with a wishy-washy Denny.
If Kimiyato had any reassurance in her defeat, it was that she at least planted conflicts of interest in Candi deeper than they had already been. Even so, would it be enough to lead to Candi's ultimate undoing?
9th Nov 2008, 06:46 PM
Candi: "An afternoon of centilegs and jumping rooftops in a crude outfit, and even stopping a pickpocket, this seemed like a perfect day! But this?"
She had been given the week off, with her boss's blessing. She had foiled some more crimes in the dark of the night, making improvements to her crude suit. But when she came back to work at the Hazy Eighty's...there wasn't one!
Gretchen: "Hey...aren't I just a hottie?"
Victor: "Oh, you sure are! I can see them lighting up for you as we speak!"
The entire scene was baffling to Candi, who had simply no clue what to make of the situation! This Victor guy didn't just buy Hazy Eighty's, he destroyed it!
Candi: "What the heck happened here? I'm gone one week, and the whole thing is..."
Victor: "Oh, you! You must be that Candi bitch I was informed about! Didn't that schmuck inform you? I run this joint now, little tat!"
Candi: "So you must be..."
Victor: "Victor Nanale! But you can just call me...the Love Machine!"
Candi immediately knew something was very wrong with Victor; but she couldn't quite pin it. What was he trying to corner her into? She decided to tell a white lie to cover her tracks.
Candi: "I'll pass. I'm already considering engagement to someone else!"
Victor: (half-snorting) "Oh...I hope he likes 'em…hot!"
Candi: "You disgusting pig!"
Victor: "Hey! That's no way to talk to me, Missy! I’ll smack dat fannie of yours into shape!"
Candi: "When you signed on, did you fail to read the part about sexual harassment guidelines? You've been doing nothing but..."
Victor: "Puttin' you in yo’ place, slut! See my two hoes over there? You're gonna learn to SUBMIT! Just like them!"
Candi: "What? I don’t believe this!"
Victor: "Ha ha ha!!! Gretch! Get our new S&M babe up to date with the program!"
Victor: "I said Gretch!"
Brandi: "Trust me! I've got the skills!"
Candi was already wondering...was this all just a dream she had walked into? It was already a nightmare!
Brandi: "Hazy Eighty's is all over, hun! We're not gonna be servin' drinks no more! We're gonna be showin' off what we got for all them hot dudes out there!"
Candi: "Is she for real?"
Victor: "That's right! Why don't you stop by my place, and I'll get you more comfortable with your new job description...my…Candi Apple!!!"
Candi: "Eww!! Don't you remember? I just told you, I already have a man!"
Victor: "So what? You…need to be broken into! He'll like it better when there's room...and competition!"
She couldn't believe what this man was saying to her! He was no respectable business man - he was a pimp!
Candi: "Why does everyone in this town think I'm easy!!! ? I came here to work at a bowling alley, not prostitute myself for a man who hates God!"
Victor: "Ah...wrong answer! And don't give me the whole lecture! I know all that stuff! You think I care? I'm a made man! I dress like a nobody cause I like living this way!"
Candi: "Then I quit!"
Victor: "Oh, come on! You'll make a lot more money as a stripper here than you ever made at that stupid bowling alley!"
Candi: "I'm not concerned about money! Sir! You know what kinds of crowds are drawn in by strip clubs, if that's what you intend to build! This is a residential neighborhood! With a lot of kids that…"
Victor: "It's a college town with a lot of horny students! That's money for me, toots! As for the kids, well, that's their problem! It would do them some good to get a little experience!"
Could she believe her ears? Did he just say that? That was the kind of talk of someone from the Kerpher Gang! Was this new Victor Nanale a member? It would explain his poor judgment on where to build a strip club.
Victor: "What's the matter now, angel girl?"
Candi: "You! You're...."
Victor: "A what?"
Victor: "Yeah? What are you gonna do about it??? You're fired! If I see you around here again, I'll rape ya!"
Victor: "In fact...ladies...break her in!!!"
Resisting the urge to use her centilegs, Candi quickly put up a few moves, and the two strippers were easily defeated!
Victor: "You'll NEVER see the end of me!!!"
Candi: "Maybe, maybe not! You're as slippery as something you've probably used far too often! But the legacy of Hazy Eighty's will live on! You come for me again, and I'll knock down your hookers just as easily next time!"
Victor: "Fair enough! But I have legal rights to this building! And the police and district ain't told me what I can't do yet! So just you go home, little doll, and let your boyfriend do his worst!
Besides, next time, I'll bring big, sweaty guys to teach you some respect! What's there for a college girl like you to do? Get with the program!!! I’ll let you lick them while they kick you around!"
9th Nov 2008, 06:52 PM
Candi: "College life offers more than one program, snake!"
Candi knew that the presence of a Kerpher in the neighborhood was asking for trouble. But who would believe her? She knew that Victor, as part of that gang, would eventually act on his evilest desires. But she was a lone witness, and everyone believed she was just like the women who had just threatened her!
With her former workplace now a sewer for all the scum of society to indulge their appetites for evil; who would believe that Candi was legitimate in anything? She had enough money that she didn't have to worry about having a job, but what about doing something with her life besides her late-night vigilante work?
Outside her extremely small circle of allies, nobody had connected her to her vigilante work. How would she keep that from becoming a full time job and endangering her if she had to put up with all her non-Meethlite enemies with no escape?
Chassy: "I don't know what to think, Clay! It's just me, Carla, and Sarah! And this field could really use a better paint job! I don't know if any of these lines are straight!"
Clay: "We'll get a pom-squad together, don't worry!"
Mike: "I must admit, I like you new look!"
Larry: "Gee...thanks! Sheesh, we don't even have a team, a full cheerleading squad, nor a real helmet for me to wear! This looks ridiculous! Whose big idea was it to call us the 'Camelorem' anyway? We're not even the Camels! We're the something 'Of-Many-Camels'!"
Sarah: "I think it kinda funny though...we're out here to form a pom squad, with no cheerleaders and no goal posts! Three girls does not a pom-squad make!"
Candi: "Here I come! I'm not too late, am I?"
Chassy: "Not at all! In fact, we're pretty desperate! What convinced you to join?"
Candi: "Some creep took over the bowling alley, and wants to make it a strip club!"
Chassy: "Hazy Eighty's? Yeah, that's insane!"
Candi: "I told the guy no way in hell was I going to degrade myself like a prostitute for him, so he fired me!"
Chassy: "Well in that case, welcome to the team, Miss..."
Candi: "Stevens! Candi Stevens!"
Chassy: "Candi? That's a cool name! Welcome aboard!"
It was a cheap way to keep occupied; but Candi felt that at least when she wasn't fighting crime or doing school work, that the pom squad would help her fill the gap left behind by not having a job.
Yet, she feared that the others in the squad would eventually begin asking her tough questions - such as why she never feared her parents' opinions of her. Would she be prepared to answer?
9th Nov 2008, 07:42 PM
It was hard for Candi to believe, but a year had already passed since the death of Erin. In that time, she had thrown herself into fear and doubt about Donte's death or possible life; found herself a questionable new relationship, seen the return of her greatest telepathic foe, battled numerous street criminals, had several revisions to her crude night vigilante centipede suit.
She had also witnessed the transformation of Jeral Cormier into Botan, and gotten fired from work after being threatened by a sex-obsessed new manager. She was growing tired of the idea of being on the pom squad at school, and while she was not failing her classes by any means, she wished to take some of her studies more seriously.
Just as was the case over a year ago, so also now...she just could not sleep peacefully! Her mind was beginning to wander in numerous directions that she wasn't sure she enjoyed. She wasn't sure if it was merely wandering or if it was beginning to wear down!
Everywhere she went, even her own local church, she was facing pressure of one sort or another! Pressure to let Denny have too much of her too soon, pressure to give up on life; pressure to think too much or too little of herself; pressure to give up hope on Donte; pressure to chase after the notion of Donte to the point that she abandoned Denny...
Why were all these forces tormenting her? And why did they not give her any peace of mind...not even in sleep?
And did her mind ever wander that evening...
Everywhere she could imagine, she had been with Denny already. She no longer felt the need to fight the desire inside, save for ensuring it didn't actually happen.
Kimi's words were seeming all too twistedly seductive to her in her vulnerable state of mind...nobody cared about her dignity anyway! Nobody believed she had any! And the fantasies...they were becoming so enjoyable!
The whole time, all she could recall thinking was: "God, help...I cannot stop myself!" She knew that when she woke up, it would be a lot harder for her to keep what had happened between her and Denny from manifesting in real life. She wanted it!
How could she win a war against her own desires? At the same time, she knew that she was playing right into her worst enemies' hands! And yet...she yearned like never before to take the path her sisters had taken...to feel the sensations which they had oft transgressed to get their hands on!
Candi knew that she could not forever hold back her desire.
She vowed not to take the road of her sisters...but the lure was so fantastic! She knew what she had to do. She knew that sooner or later, Denny would ask her to marry him! Hiding under the name of Stevens was getting old, and Candi didn't know if there were any Flippos left besides herself!
It was becoming clearer to her...Denny was the way out...or so she believed! Why did she still fear Donte? He was in a better place, where they would never be separated again! But in her time on Earth...why not enjoy herself little? Her sisters had!
Then again, Candi feared judgment from all those whom she would be leaving behind! If her parents were alive, would they understand? What about Donte? How would she feel knowing none of them would attend her wedding?
The zombies in her dream kept getting closer, threatening to avenge her failure to honor them in life! Desperately, she tried to deploy her centilegs...but they would not deploy!!! She had no powers in her dream world!
"Gurrrrrr!!!!" they cried out to her!
Candi: "Go away!"
Try as she may, the zombies simply would not leave her alone!
Candi: "No!! No!!!"
The figures of her parents and of Donte grew more grotesque the more she looked at them!
They surrounded her with even more determination than before, and her dread grew stronger!
Candi: (sobbing) "Just kill me already!!!!"
She quickly woke up in terror! The zombies were gone...but her conflicted priorities and emotions remained! She thought she heard something from outside though...a struggle!
Candi decided to sneak out the back to get a look at who the outdoor menace might be, given that the voice seemed to remind her of something she may have heard before...
It was a Meethlite! But he wasn't pointing his gun at her or at the house! It was being pointed at...Denny?
Gunner: "I want to make this quick! Before I blow you away! Why are you at this house?"
Denny: "None of your concern, Gunner! I told you guys! I'm done dealing with you!"
Gunner: "Done, eh? 'Done' means dead! Where's the formulas? Are they in that house???"
Gunner: "Oh...I see! Your girlfriend's got the goods!"
Gunner: "Don't play dumb with me, kid! I know you're 100% hetero, so don't be trying to play that angle on me neither!"
As the two of them chatted, Candi kept a low profile, eying intently the Meethlite before her. She could have sworn she'd seen him before...or at least heard that voice before! And Gunner? Why did that name ring a bell?
The more the Meethlite spoke his arrogance, the more Candi could feel the rage swell within her.
Denny: "All I do is pediatrician work these days! I take care of kids!"
Gunner: "Well, you'd better tell me where the formulas are! Project: Musaran is only the beginning! We can't get far if we have to start the other formulas over!"
Denny: "Project what?"
Gunner: "Urrr...Darn! Now you know too much! Hand over the formulas, or I'll add your head to my trophy case! Along with...Erin Flippo's!"
At that point, Candi could take it no longer! She recalled what Wilbur's sermon contained in it, but Gunner just wasn't sorry!
She was not about to let her sister's killer get away with killing her possible future husband as well! Leaping out from under the fence before Gunner could react; she quickly pummeled him, heaping one abusive blow after the next!
With each passing sting, Candi felt her resolve growing; and feeling a little bit safer in the world. Her sister's killer would be subdued before long, and justice would at last be served!
Gunner: "The Gifted One!!! How???"
Candi: "Stop calling me that!!! You killed my sister...now go to Hell!!!"
Gunner: "Not till you've tasted this!!!"
As the phantom scream grew louder and louder, she knew it was not any mere liquid being tossed at her! Narrowly, the stream missed her body as she dodged quickly to avoid it!
Denny: "That's right! The Stevens residence! Hurry! My girlfriend is out there battling this thing, and it's got a gun!"
9th Nov 2008, 07:45 PM
Denny: "What? What do you mean, 'it's not a priority to save us'? Are you insane??? No! Don't hang up! Dang it!!!"
The police didn't care about Denny's safety. That was the first indicator that something was very wrong in Dirbine and Viron's law enforcement.
Noticing that Denny was back outside, Gunner quickly became distracted. He had set out to assassinate Denny and get the information! He was not about to be denied a second time!
Gunner: "It's over for you, Mr. Levens!!!"
He lowered the gun, quickly attempting to take aim at his literally helpless target below...but the split second he took his eyes off of Candi was all she needed!
In an instant, he was all wrapped up, and was being stung even more! He was not about to let the pain of the stings stop him! He could feel her venom making him slower, but he wasn't a quitter! Still, she quickly threw him with a slam to the ground! The gun soon flying out of his hand and firing in the distance, he knew that she had beaten him!
Candi: "It's over, Gunner!"
Gunner: "Are you really so foolish? It's over all right...but only for me!"
He quickly grabbed something from out of his trench coat pocket--a vat of something - but what?
Denny: "Gunner, nooooooo!!!!"
Candi needed only hear Denny shout in horror, and she already knew what the deal was: the vat was suicide!
She desperately jumped to get out of the way of the blast, but the sheer heat of the flame could be felt through her entire body anyway! She'd not felt a fire that hot since the Stolly's building was burned down!
When she got back up, most of her clothes had been fried right off of her! Miraculously, her hair wasn't gone...though she could tell it had been singed!
She felt burned all over her body, but she was all right. She was thankful that she had healing powers...or else she may not have made it very far after that blast!
Denny: "Candi! You're..."
Candi: "I'll be all right! It'll hurt for a few hours, and then I'll get better!"
Denny: "Are you sure? You got badly burned, you need to be in the hospital!"
Candi: "No...positive! I'll be fine! Just...stay here, for the night...I'll explain in the morning...okay?"
Denny: "I came here to get away from Gunner! I didn't want him to know where I really live, but I thought I'd out-run him by coming here! He found me anyway! And...where were the police?"
Candi: "Dear...the police won't come! If you told them it was a Meethlite, they probably told Merle! He's not going to send in troops for his own bosses! Your life doesn't matter that much to them. Besides, if they found out about me..."
Denny: "You're right! You'd have to change the details of the story! That vat was intended as a signal that the Gifted One is in that location! Gunner's suicide is a clue to our whereabouts!"
Denny: "Tidy yourself up in the shower. I'll go put out what's left of those flames! We have to start working together more...or we're both dead!"
Candi: "And if you cannot completely remove the evidence?"
Denny knew it was the last thing she wanted to hear, unless it came with a marriage proposal, but he let it out anyway...
Denny: (sighing) "Then...I'm afraid you'll...have to move in with me." *
Candi was glad to be in that shower...a brief period of time to escape the insanity of the outside world! Her hair was thankfully only mildly singed, something which could be prepared. And while her skin hurt a lot under the water at first, the burns quickly healed.
Would marrying Denny help her to win the security she sought? His plans were clear: after she graduated, they would run away together to another state; and away forever from the madness and bloodshed!
Candi was still horrified by the nightmare, but was convinced now that she had to move on with her life. She could always choose another town to fulfill her destiny, couldn't she? She could also find work in another town. Why this one?
Denny: "You need to graduate...that's for certain."
Candi: "And then...where to?"
Denny: "I don't know. Any place but this God-forsaken town! Any place where they can't find us!"
Candi: "We could go anywhere, I suppose. I don't suspect with your job that we could fairly be traveling like Miriam plans to. But as long as we're both safe and happy. But I would like some reassurance of something..."
Denny: "You want to marry me first? But of course! Silly me, I forgot in all my running scared..."
Candi felt flattered by his words, but she knew to expect it. As the times passed, they both knew things were headed in that direction. But how could they have become so mild-mannered about it?
Candi felt for certain that she had to do something to put the charm back into the moment, in spite the fact that they both knew it was coming.
Candi: "I'll be right back! I've gotta get something!"
As she left, he had no idea what she was up to, though he suspected it was something to impress him with. Rejected by his family and barely avoiding being an outlaw, Denny had much to atone for in life.
He also knew that unless he and Candi kept running, the Meethlites would eventually catch up. He loved her, but he was afraid of letting her fulfill her destiny. He wanted to have a normal life; and realized that his past activities would make it extremely difficult for either him or Candi to enjoy such.
* The idea of cohabiting offends Candi's morals.
9th Nov 2008, 08:32 PM
Before too long, there she stood, staring at him. He wasn't sure what had changed, except that the smile on her face would suggested that their fear and dread from earlier had suddenly turned to a soft, warm happiness.
Denny: "I...don't get it!"
Candi: (still smiling) "Sit in that chair...and I'll tell you!"
He couldn't understand the sudden change in mood, but he knew that Candi rarely kept anything a secret from him for long.
Denny: "So...what is it this time? A centi-tickling...again?"
Candi: "Not quite...Romeo! Feel under the table! You won't surprise me, but you can still make my night!"
He wasn't scared of commitment, but he was alarmed by being put on the spot. Nevertheless, he knew the moment was bound to happen. This was the woman he had always wanted! And as the velvet of that ring case brushed against his hand under the table, he knew that this was to be an extra-special moment in his life!
Candi: "This is a replica of the ring my father Stan got for my mother Shalia...cut the same way and everything! I've kept this in my private jewelry collection for a long time, along with the male counterpart, so that I could always remember the made-perfect love that made me possible! Now, I want to wear it...for you!"
Denny: "Quite true then. And I will do the honors! But I will warn you, my bride-to-be...you are a Centhuen Prototype! I am a former supplier, a man of many sins! We already saw our clothes get roasted after trying to cover up the remains of someone trying to kill us! If anything happens to me, I want you to promise me that, like Donte before me...you will move on!"
The reality of the message was almost too much, but Candi knew that she had to face it. Her life; his life; were both uncertain. And they could easily both die!
Candi: "If you were to die, as I have lost so much already, I should be honored to go with you! But if not...like with Donte before me...you have my word! I will not let that my sister Erin may have died in vain! That Donte did not die in vain either...I shall give my best to love you as I loved him!"
There stood the box, right in front of Candi. It was not like she had never seen such the box before; but it was also now more meaningful. What was once just a rock in her collection now symbolized everything she had hoped for: a new life!
She had failed to get a new life by way of hiding under the name of Stevens. She had failed to get a new life by every other method. She had lost the job and was certain to quit the pom squad.
But finally, finally...could this be what she had sought? Everything short of seeing the day when her crimefighting antics would pay off? She knew that the road ahead was plagued with more responsibilities, and that what she had fantasized about earlier was not quite accessible to her.
But she was confident that now...she could at last be with hope that her long-awaited new life was not far away.
That evening, though she felt it wrong, she was convinced that she simply had to peek at her prize resting on the sofa: her new fiancé! How peacefully he slept on the couch!
Before heading back to bed herself, she relished the moment observing him there, and thought giddy thoughts about them being able to, at long last, share a bedroom without awkward feelings.
9th Nov 2008, 08:47 PM
Chapter 18: "Have Means, Will Elope"
Courtesy of Wilbur Brocklyn's kindness and understanding, he agreed to help Denny and Candi do the one last thing they intended to do before Candi would move in with Denny: get married.
They knew that with the Meethlites everywhere, and suspicion mounting given the evidence that Gunner used the suicide vat so close to Candi's home, they didn't have much time.
They also knew that if Candi had honored the wishes of her family and friends back in Gerosha - namely, inviting them - it'd be a death trap! The ceremony was performed with only Wilbur and God as witnesses, an elopement that Candi was more than sufficient to settle for.
It wouldn't be the absolute happiest day of her life; but it was clearly the happiest so far. Even with the dangers all around them, at least the new Levens family members had each other.
It mattered not to Candi that they had to move everything indoors on account of rain...she could not have been happier...unless of course...Donte had been there to celebrate with her.
Denny: "So...how are we...Mrs. Levens?"
Candi: "Never better, Romeo!"
Denny: "In that case...should we start by planning where we'll move to when you graduate, or by planning...."
Candi: "Don't get so technical, Denny, it's our wedding night! Come here, you rascal!"
Denny: Don't mind if I do. But answer the question as to which house we keep...my place or yours?
Candi: "Silly! I'm all yours now...so...your place."
Not long after uttering those words, the two of them embraced for a kiss. They drifted off from clear thought to the surreal soon after, reciting the motions as instinct compelled them.
They cared not about whether they were doing anything correctly. To their best knowledge, they now had all their lives to learn from each other...and no comparisons to others to hurt each other's pride with. Not even Donte's kisses could top what Candi now possessed.
Even as the two souls enjoyed their blessed union, Candi's heart began to fill with doubt. She sensed that somehow, she had made the wrong choice, and was making many wrong choices. But she brushed it off.
All her cares seemed to slip away as the scenery grew increasingly blurry with each kiss. She would come to regret this night; not only because she did not choose Donte, but also because of what it would lead to.
Yet, in spite these logical consequences; she at least rested with comfort in Denny's arms at the notion that finally, she could, without shame, cross that bridge that her sisters had done so long before her.
7th Dec 2008, 07:38 PM
A month had passed. Candi was now able to accept that she had moved on with her life, though she still could not shake off the guilt that somehow, she had not done Donte's memory justice.
Was she ready to live as Denny's wife? She hadn't given herself much choice. She knew how, even at the expense of their intimacy, he refused to entangle himself too much in her affairs. She feared them acting too much like they were still single, but was not willing to change anything. She enjoyed the freedom for what it was worth. Nevertheless, it would take an extreme change in him before she'd convince herself to leave him. She had given her word, and that word had to count for something.
Her second year at Viron University had begun, and she was wondering how her grades would hold up alongside her night prowling as the city's centipede protector.
Denny was nothing but wonderful to her, but his past life enemies were criminals. And there were some among them who wished to frame him for crimes he didn't commit.
Laurie Pegol, Candi's best friend from forensics class, was among those who were on to the problems. However she was also very preoccupied with her own life's pursuits, and had to confess that she could not be there for Candi nearly as often as she desired.
Laurie: "Candi! Where've you been?"
Candi: "Uh...what do you mean?"
She was not certain how not to reveal too much.
Kathy: "Hey, Candi...Stella and I were off to see that new Lobsters of Atlantis movie, you wanna join?"
Candi: "Er...sounds tempting, but not today. Laurie and I have some studying to do later."
Stella: "Oh. That's cool."
Kathy: "We'll tell you how it went!"
Candi: "Sure. I'll...maybe run into you in English class."
Kathy: "Will do!"
All four girls went down the stairs, with Kathy and Stella leaving the store. Laurie could tell that Candi was unusually distant.
Laurie: "I know you tend to avoid everyone; but not this much! Is something wrong?"
Candi: "I'd...rather hear what you have to tell me."
Laurie: "Candi...about...Kelsea Linney..."
Candi: "Oh....that bitch? I remember her! She tried to sabotage Denny! He had to find a new barber because of her! And she had the nerve to approach me and tell me that I was in danger with him! I..."
Laurie: "I know what you mean! involving the police, when he did nothing wrong! Shameless! I think the police are not talking to her about her impropriety because they are in on something more..."
Laurie: "Did Denny lose a debit card?"
Laurie: "I've traced several stories together. Many claim they saw her walk away cursing at an ATM when a debit card didn't work! I think she's stolen his card, and is trying to paint him as a stalker because he's been trying to get the card back from her!"
Candi: "Figures! And of course, the police, from what I've concluded, have some sort of deal going with the Meethlites! It's going to be hard to prove her guilt and his innocence with Arfaas usurping the judiciary!"
Candi: "Denny is not a bad man! He just has a lot of enemies! What I wish I knew is why does everyone seem to cast me ugly looks for defending him?"
Laurie: "I don't! But I'm a slower judge. They're wondering why you defend him so much, I think. Any lesser woman than you wouldn't bother against these odds!"
Candi: "Wouldn't bother? It's just the right thing to do! To be interested in what's right!"
Laurie: "Indeed. It's also the Christian thing to do, and I know how serious you are about your faith! But you're a rarity! Most girls your age are so selfish and backstabbing, your attitude would make no sense to them!"
Candi: "I'll admit...I do have other reasons to support him."
Trying to keep her optimistic face, Laurie repressed her urge to show what her words were already thinking...why Candi's sudden shift from righteous rage to shameful and shy?
Laurie: "Oh no...you're not!"
Candi: "Not what?"
Laurie: "Candi...are you compromised?"
Candi: "Compromised? Now what exactly do you mean by that?"
Laurie: "You're sleeping with him, aren't you!?"
Candi realized something...her marriage would do no good if she kept hiding it from everyone! Even so...should she really be flaunting her secret wedding where the Meethlites could hear the details?
Candi: "Laurie, you're gonna think I'm a total fool..."
Laurie: "You are, aren't you?"
Candi: "I...married him...last month! We wanted to keep it a secret, because I didn't want my sister's killers to find out!"
Laurie, as Candi predicted, was in complete shock, but tried to keep her posture.
Laurie: "No! You are a fool! But you're my favorite one! I know Denny needs insiders to protect him, but...I think you may have gone just a little too far!"
Candi: "Since Donte's death, I've needed love in my life too! I'm not leaving Denny, if that's what you're suggesting."
Laurie: "Oh, don't worry. I'm not suggesting anything...yet."
Candi was more than angry enough over Kelsea Linney's antics; but the attempt on Denny's life by Gunner, the death of Erin by Gunner and Skellig, and the fact that the police seemed ever less and less interested in justice was beyond frustrating.
They hadn't yet suspected her of being the centipede prowler in the evening, but how long before they did? Still, something else was wrong, and Candi could feel it...
Laurie: "Something else is eating you, I can tell. What? I've never seen you this distressed before."
Candi: "I've...been unusually unable to handle stress. I've felt more on a roller coaster this week than I have in ages. I..."
Laurie: "Feel bad? We all feel guilty about things."
Candi: "No, nothing like that! It's..."
Candi: "I feel...weak...sick! I never get sick!"
Laurie: "Are you eating normal?"
Candi: "I...actually have been eating more...but I feel like I've lost weight!"
Laurie: "Hmm. Enough beating around the bush! Are you pregnant?"
Candi could barely stomach it! The word hit her like nothing she'd ever faced before, not even Jeff the Invisible!
Pregnant? Her? Now? This would force her to have to change all her plans...or at least to decide on a strategy! But she wanted to fight crime in secret some more! Settling down to motherhood? It was too soon!
Candi: "I...don't really know!"
Laurie: "Get yourself a test, girl! You're a great sidekick, Candi, and I hope to have you back. But I don't doubt that you'll also make a wonderful mother too."
7th Dec 2008, 10:15 PM
Candi: "Maybe...but not everyone will think so! After all...I don't like to be a grouch like a lot of women are! I'm afraid I'd be too carefree with my children."
Laurie: "And that might come in handy. We have too many grouchy parents in the world, most of them because they don't deserve to be able to have children; and they know it! Get yourself checked out; you'll do fine!"
Julio: "Hey...aren't you that Denny Levens' lawyer whore?"
Candi: "What? Who do you think you are, sir? I'm not his lawyer; and I don't think he'd appreciate you treating his wife that way!"
Laurie braced herself for whatever happened next.
Candi: "He does have the right to marry, does he not?"
Julio: "You? Hah! You're too good for him! Ditch that sucka!"
Candi: "That's not your call!"
Julio: "Denny's a dead duck, Missy! Just as soon as the chips are in place. It'd be a shame for you to go down with him!"
Candi didn't quite understand this threat; but Laurie's talk of Arfaas influencing the police was a clue. She wanted to say something, but figured it best if she and Laurie kept walking. This Gestapo mentality in Julio brought with it the invitation of the idea that anything the girls said beyond this point would only get them both in jail.
After Julio the officer left, the two decided take a shortcut between two homes where Viron gave way to Dirbine proper. But just as the two of them were ready to part ways, the phantom scream returned to Candi's ear! Something really evil was about to happen...
Before either girl could react, they were quickly blown away by the blast that befell them! A van had just crashed into the side of the house on their right, immediately exploding!
Laurie mustered her strength, getting up to observe her surroundings. But where was Candi? Everything around her was burning! The smell of oil and parts filled the already suspenseful atmosphere!
Amidst the blaze in front of her, Laurie saw what remained of the back end of the van sticking out of the side of the house. What had prompted this? The smell was very strong to her, consisting of a drug of some sort...but what? She remembered...Donald Quindely was a family man and a drug runner on the side! Was this his blue van? Hopefully, he didn't have his entire family in that van!
Battling her way past the blaze with the heat intensifying, Laurie approached as close as the scene would let her. There were children in the back, and they were burning to death as they panicked!
Part of Candi's jacket was included in the blaze! Had Laurie's friend, possibly pregnant, just gone up in smoke with the others?
Candi immediately left behind the old scene, hoping that Laurie wouldn't question her whereabouts. She immediately pulled out her mask and took off all but her emergency brown shirt underneath. Her prowl instincts were half-working and half-not, but just enough that she was able to get a lock on a car that was driving maniacally through the city.
The van had wiped out because the car had knocked it off the road. But what was the cause of the driver's haste?
Jumping on the roof of a house, Candi quickly assessed the direction and speed of the car. Would she be able to catch up with the driver?
Candi did her best to keep up, jumping rooftop after rooftop, but this guy was not giving up!
Herman Gressel was, to say the least, one of the best carjackers in town. But he had bitten off more than he could chew.
Herman: "Great! I just took out one of the biggest drug-runners in town, the boss is giving me half an hour to provide him a ride, and I've got some plant-like abomination following me! What else could go wrong?"
As he looked in the rear-view mirror, he gazed upon what he felt was unmistakably a girl flying through the air and preparing to land on the roof of his car!
Herman: "What the devil???"
Candi wasted no time getting out in front of the driver and ejecting her centilegs for grip!
Herman: "Holy cribs! Got off my windshield you....!!!"
Candi: "Stop this car!"
How could Herman match a large centipede trying to smash in his windshield and a plant-like thing chasing him through the ground?
Herman: "Not this time!!!"
He swerved the car around in what Candi believed was the most dramatic 225-degree spin ever! Desperately she tried to hold on to the sides of the car, maintaining her balance as she made for another offensive!
Herman: "Screw this! Goodbye, freak!!!"
Herman, drove the car another block or so, and then to Candi's dismay, he bailed out of the car at the last minute and tumbled! She jumped just in time to save herself, the car below smashing violently into the building she was standing on top of! Whoever this carjacker was, his desperation was now obvious.
7th Dec 2008, 10:55 PM
Herman: "Back away from me, you...thing!!! You have no idea what's going on!!!"
Candi: "No idea, huh? You killed a man, that's what's going on!"
Herman: "He was in my way! Look...let me get outta here, or else..."
A huge birch tree sprouted up from the ground, consuming Herman instantly! How would Candi explain this?
Herman: (gasping for air) "I...don't wanna die!!!"
His head fell. He had been eaten alive by the tree! A murderer, yes; and did deserve death...but not like this!
The most horrid weed popped out of that bloom that Candi had ever seen! What was that???
The creature then assumed a more recognizable shape: Botan!!!!
Botan: "That was my car!!!"
Botan: "Promise me one thing, Candi! That man has ruined my last possession! My last hope of being normal, I fear!
I intend to leave town until I figure out what I need to mix the formula with to free myself! Now, stay out of my way! I don't want to kill you like I did him!"
What was suddenly coming over Candi? She felt dizzy...even cold!!! Her super strength was suddenly gone! As Botan wrapped her in his vines, she couldn't help but cramp up in her helplessness!
Botan: "I haven't mastered poison plants yet, but I'd rather not have to! You're not so tough this time!"
Candi: "Jeral, this is insane! Snap back to your senses! I have a family now!"
Botan: "You should've thought of that before following me!"
Her centilegs would not eject!
Candi: "Go then! Find your freedom, but stop this madness! Jeral...I remember you as you were before...you don't have to be the villain!"
What was this? Someone still had faith in him? Jeral was beginning to think this was impossible. No matter. He had to make certain that she kept her word! Otherwise, who was to say that the rogue Phaelites responsible for his predicament wouldn't exploit Candi as a way to track him down?
Tearing off her mask, Botan wasted no time ripping it to pieces! He let her go, but not very gently.
Candi: "Go, hurry! Before the police find you! I can't make excuses for you...my husband is in enough trouble!"
Even the pain of being wrapped in the vines was lasting longer than it normally would have!
Botan paused. Why was she acting like this? He felt a soft spot for her, knowing that she had only ever tried to help him. But he wasn't about to let his tough exterior fade completely!
Botan: "Hmmm...very well then! You get out of here yourself! And don't tell them where to find me! We'll meet again...when one of us has answers!"
Candi: "Agreed. Someday, Jeral. Someday...we'll shut down both the Phaelites and the Meethlites! Someday, both will have to answer for the crimes of creating us! For now...we both need to be under the radar. Be careful out there!"
In spite their anger, their tendency towards action; the two of them felt a bond that kept them from killing each other. They shared the common pain of being outcasts. Not outcasts by direct divine revelation; but because of the malicious crimes against nature committed by their green and graphite-skinned foes.
Jeral: "Be...careful? I once had a wife, who spoke those words to me. That was before her heart turned black; and we both turned to other lovers that weren't meant to last. One day...I'll have another wife; and we won't make the same mistakes!"
Jeral had been embittered himself against the world. He was one of few Plant-Men left. Others died rapidly, but he couldn't seem to die. He couldn't permanently change back either, because of a catalyst found in the blood of one species which he did not know of. He knew it was one the Meethlites were manufacturing, but nothing else.
Even so, Candi's voice was like that of his wife before she turned against him. He couldn't bring himself to betray his better memories!
Candi: "We can't keep resolving our every single problem by killing someone, Jeral! I...have already seen what happens when that is the case."
Botan: "You can at least pretend to be normal! But I you've made your point. If I weren't such a freak...I'd seriously get some help right now! You're right...I need it. I will remember you for this!"
That quickly, Botan had fled. The tree that consumed Herman was now itself a dead piece of wood, a remnant eating up the road.
Candi quickly turned her shirt inside-out before trudging her way to the nearest pharmacy. She didn't want anyone seeing the unmasked version of her with a big centipede on her chest!
Worry was beginning to set in: a pregnancy could ruin everything! On the other hand, it could prove to be the most exciting day of her life! Was Denny ready for the responsibility? Was she? She knew there was only one day to discover if they even had reason to fear at all!
With nobody looking, she tried to fire her centilegs from out of her arm...nothing! Nothing from her legs either! Force them out was painful! The strength necessary to use her centilegs for battle - gone! She could feel that she was still physically very healthy...but her superhuman side was now fully suppressed!
What had she done to herself? Was this what Laurie suggested? She knew that she'd technically not done anything wrong, but what if it were merely irresponsible for her to time this? The city was in need of her more than ever before, and she couldn't even fire a centileg!
7th Dec 2008, 11:05 PM
The pharmacy was also not very busy, just as most of the section of town where Viron gave way to Dirbine was usually not very busy. It was ironic, it seemed, that the junction of the two towns was the least active place in those towns. But alas, there was the pharmacy. The Camelorem banner was clearly on the wall, next to an old Lord of the Rings poster.
Nervously, she unpacked the kit. She knew she couldn't just rejoice, as a normal married woman would! She had to give up Emeraldon himself for this! She had to go into hiding!
She married in spite her doubt; had killed a man, and witnessed countless death along the way. She felt cowardly about herself, knowing she had a lot of reasons to be ashamed of herself. And now...a baby? True, this was her husband's...but was her heart in the right place?
The new model's flashing blue lights began to stay on continuously.
Candi: (moping) "No! Not now! Please! Not so soon!"
Whether she was ready for it or not, she would have to get used to the idea of parenting. She desperately attempted to block her insecurities from her mind. After all, she had money! She had a husband! What was she afraid of?
On the other hand, she knew all too well that these things could evaporate. All the Meethlites had to do was deduce her identity and crack the right safes, and her wealth would be gone! All they had to do was find Denny before she did!
She realized in this moment...she had made a mistake! Not as bad as those made by Miriam or Marina, but certain one for which she had reason to feel bad. She would need divine forgiveness for those she was about to endanger!
Her sisters had not been blessed with the calling of being Centhuen Prototypes; she had! They had let down their family. She had let down not only her family, but possibly all humanity!
Candi: (with grief, sarcasm, and tears) "Terrific!"
8th Dec 2008, 12:54 AM
Why? Candi just didn't know what to do about the flood of emotions garnering over her. She had always been told to plan her future very carefully. But had she planned it well enough?
Why did she feel as she was going to Denny's house like she was telling a complete stranger the news? Inside her heart, the doubts returned. But if she found Donte, how could she bear to tell him?
She had married a lesser man, and was now the mother of his child! On the other hand, thousands of women have had far worse confessions to make to men who were not their husbands.
Candi: "Denny? You home yet?"
The entry room was as silent as it had been, with only the clock on the wall making any sort of noise.
Not in the living room either! She feared he was somewhere in the basement then - his lab! What was he up to this time?
As she rushed down the stairs, her fear and worry accelerated within her! He was alive! But for how long?
Candi: "Denny! Denny, wake up!"
Groggy but responsive, he arose, quickly embracing the woman who had lost so much for his sake.
Denny: "Candi! Dear, you are a pleasant sight! I'm ruined!"
Candi: "We both are."
Denny: "I should've told you sooner! I should've known all along it was that Kelsea Linney! She's taken everything! The Meethlites will be on to us before long!"
Candi: "What do you mean?"
Denny: "We...have to move! I know you want to graduate and all, but we have to find another university!"
Candi: "But...the contract with the house! We can't leave this place for another two years!"
Denny: "That's assuming we have another two years! Candi...I have the formula for lycanthropy! That's what the Meethlites want! I can't maintain forever this illusion that we're just an ordinary couple!"
Candi: "You're right! Laurie knows we're married! We must eventually owe up to who we are, painful as that may be."
Denny: "Everything's been complication, tension, anger, us against the world lately. But why?"
Candi: "Perhaps we've celebrated a little too much in spite of thunder?"
Denny: "I...don't understand."
Was her deficiency that obvious to him? She knew this was the moment of truth...how could she bear him the news?
Denny: "You look like you're coming down with something!"
Candi: "My powers...they failed today!"
Denny: "That's it? I'm sure there's an explanation...bezeetol trap?"
Denny: "Okay...I'm a terrible guesser! What's eating you?"
Denny: "I admit, this Kelsea nonsense has been distracting me. I haven't been spending enough time with you and I feel like a jerk because of it. Please...you're not..."
Candi: "I'm not cheating!!!"
Denny: "Sorry! Uggh! I suck at this! Kelsea's lies have spread to the clinic, and so they fired me! What could be worse than that?
Candi: "I...I don't know why I can't just say it..."
Denny: "Candi...please! I need something to believe in..."
Candi: (tearfully) "I'm...I'm pregnant!!!!"
Candi couldn't believe herself...she finally let it out! What was so bad about it anyway?
Candi: "I didn't expect it this soon, but I should have! We...we're going to have a baby! I know I'm technically old enough physically. I just...I don't know if I'm ready...I'm only 21!"
Candi could no longer bear to let him see her. She rushed off to their room, and the tears came out uncontrollably. Denny followed slowly, reluctantly. Should he even be near her at this point in time?
Quickly, he tore off his old clothes, jumping into something more comfortable and rushed to the side of his agonizing wife.
Denny: "I...know your fears, Candi. But God is still on our side! Don't feel like you've made a mistake. I was the bigger fool of the two of us; trust me. There is still much we do not know about parenting...but we'll learn!"
After giving him a kiss, she jumped out of the bed, quickly erupting into a tantrum!
Candi: "Erin, you and your judging eyes, get off of me!!! I've played by all the rules! Donte, I know you've forgiven me already! World, I am married, and proud of it! I am Candi Levens, and I am not a whore! I am not ashamed of this child! I will be a good mother! I will embrace my destiny!"
Denny: "Excellent! Let it out! Let it out!"
Candi: "Powers or none! We will not let the Meethlites continue to persecute us like this! We will restore sanity to this town, and avenge my family!"
Denny stood by in terror, as an image of Kimiyato floated over Candi and cursed her on its way out of her.
Candi: "And if either or both of us is crushed before then, then Arfaas will NEVER AGAIN know peaceful sleep!!!"
8th Dec 2008, 12:56 AM
Denny: "Kimi! You stay away form my wife, you sick whore of Satan! Pick on me, if you have to pick on someone, wretched coward!"
Candi: "Denny, no! I'm so sorry for the way I'm acting! Kimi...is my burden to bear! We can't leave. We have to stay...and fight as soon as I am able! There's so much death and hate in this town! I already tried to run away from it when I fled Gerosha; it only followed me here!"
Denny: "You have a good heart, Candi! The Meethlites can never take that from you! They will never have my soul, or Donte's, and especially not yours, unless you let them!"
Candi: "I...I think I need to lie down. Denny...our baby could pick up these horrible traits from me."
Denny: "Nonsense! After being conceived?"
Candi: "They can always learn!"
Denny: "Okay. But I'm confident it'll be my fault if the child is evil."
Candi: "This...calm. Denny...for once, neither of us is living a lie. I feel like I have been living one for too long! It was becoming too much!"
Denny: "I should've done more to protect you! I'm as scared as you...I...don't know the first thing about being a father! But I promise you...this is one responsibility I will not dodge!"
Candi's heart itched for adventure...to fulfill her destiny! She knew she would never be content with merely trips to the gym. She didn't want to lose Denny, but she regretted that they had been so carefree with their marriage.
The city was falling apart, and Candi feared that by not planning her child smarter, she had sentenced the city of Dirbine to death!
Her sister Marina had a sense of violated calling with her pregnancy, but it was nothing like the sense of violated calling that Candi felt.
On the other hand, what if this was part of her training? As that question lingered in her confused, troubled heart, it brought her comfort, the chance to be more open about just what the path of her life was supposed to be.
Why should she care so much about her human foes, if she still had the divine on her side? As it were, some of her human foes were now falling on hard times. Could they be saved?
Candi decided to lay aside the crimefighter side of her life. After all, if she had to take it up again, God would see to that, right?
How perverse was she to worry so much? She had everything, and no rightful reason to regret her child! Women who waited, as she had, rejoiced over their children! She was neither the reckless Miriam the Sniperbadger nor was she Marina the Harlot. She had done what her sisters lacked the morals to.
Was her false shame just a way for her to cope with her petty insecurities? As Denny slept nearby, she clasped his hand before drifting away herself.
She began to wonder: at this point, what right had she to deny others the chance to make her happy? Didn't she always want to be happy? She would not let what little happiness was owed to her slip past her...not this time!
8th Dec 2008, 02:03 AM
The months went by from that morning, December had come. Candi still couldn't shake the depression completely, but she was able to collect herself now. She noticed that Kimi's signal on her was getting significantly weaker, even when she didn't pray.
Nevertheless, she wanted to be close to God as much as possible. The police stopped harassing her and Denny, and she began to wonder why they were suddenly so scarce, as well as why they hadn't heard anything more about Kelsea Linney.
Nolle and Pete were not present at the church that particular Christmas Evening, and Wilbur made sure that Candi knew it was safe to come to church. Denny, a Levens at heart, followed her cautiously in.
The Christmas lights did little for Candi, and the couple really didn't have anything much to buy for Christmas. With each other at hand and the baby a few months away yet, what was there to shop for?
Denny's family, with the exception of his sister Jessie, was less than approving of the marriage. Miriam and Marina were in hiding, and Candi's brothers showed little delight in her wedded bliss either. Cards they had sent were returned unopened.
Nolle was in poor health, and Pete was with family elsewhere. Because of this, Wilbur decided not to attack them directly for scaring Candi away from church for so long. At the same time, he knew the extent to which Candi had been harmed; and was eager to do something to make it up to her.
Wilbur: "Good evening, everyone!"
Congregation: "Good evening!"
Wilbur: "I see we have a much larger tree this year than we can manage, courtesy of our good friend Pete!"
The congregation laughed, but the mood was dry soon after. Where were the cliché Christmas messages?
Wilbur: "I know what you're probably all thinking about tonight's sermon. Well, scrap what you were thinking! Tonight, we're going to leave you with something so profound, it will hit a little too close to home for some of you!"
Callista, a travelling Phaelite who knew she wasn't supposed to be seen in public, decided against conventional wisdom to attend that evening. She feared the attention would be drawn to her, but instead, she felt almost ignored.
She had introduced herself as Callista Carmine, hiding the fact that she was in fact the half-Phaelite Callista Cormier, Jeral’s true birth mother. Like Ploribus, she had been delaying her aging process, though not to the same extreme.
Meadow was there, though she tried not to let Candi see her. The fun and games of her youth were quickly fading away, and she was beginning to feel that her wild and rebellious life was making her age faster, just as Callista's potion was making her age slower.
She was not with her husband, but went alone. She feared where he might be that evening, as he was not at home where she wished. But she wished to enjoy a sermon from the already-legendary Wilbur before she went searching for her missing husband.
Another loner was Victoria Keldine, fearful that the congregation would figure out that she was carrying the child of Roberto Jimerez. She had her fears, but no proof, that the officer behind her by the door was there for something far more sinister than just to hear a good sermon on Christmas Eve.
Wilbur: "Ladies and Gentlemen...what was it like for Mary?"
Victoria, Callista, and Candi all clenched their fists nervously, expecting they would all feel something prod at their consciences.
Wilbur: "We are told only that she was fully compliant, unlike Zechariah! She didn't even have to have her voice stolen! That must have required more faith than most of us could even dream of having!
But seriously, what was it like? As we speculate, we must wonder..."
Candi sat relaxed. For once, she eagerly awaited what Wilbur had to say, no matter how she sounded in contrast.
Wilbur: "You see...she had her moments, her thoughts would drift, she'd fret over small things; a typical woman of her time! She played by all the rules on the outside.
That's quite a feat, given most teens in this town in our time have forgotten there ever were such things as rules!"
Sitting separately from Candi so he could converse with Alvin, a child who looked up to him, Denny grinned and nodded at Wilbur's suggestion, thinking to himself: "And by the time they're adults, they no longer care!"
Wilbur: "The battle for Mary was in the heart, where we're only left to imagine what must have gone on! Clearly, on the outside, she played by all the rules!"
Wilbur: "Yet...I'm not so sure she was quite so wholesome on the inside. Like all of us today, the stresses and cares of the world tend to cause us to so easily lose our way!
We are not told if she ever objected to the assignment of Joseph as her husband, only that the arrangement was made, and she ultimately complied.
I would suspect that he was not her first choice; but she was meant for greater things than the human notion of romantic perfection...she just didn't know it yet!"
Candi was fearful that Wilbur was hitting too close to home! While she loved Denny, they were not always romantic perfection. Nor was Denny her first choice!
She now felt guilty. Even though she'd waited, Candi was angry inside...why did Donte have to be so stubborn!? If she HAD to be such a young mother, and have such a bad reputation, she wished she could at least have deserved it! If she had to have a child, she wanted it to be Donte's! But would Emeraldon's legacy ever be carried on? Had he so quickly doomed himself in this sense...all to protect her?
On the other hand, what if he wasn't meant for children? What if there were something evil in his genes he didn't wish to pass on? What if there were something evil in hers? What if the whole point is that she wasn't meant for romantic perfection, but for what she now couldn't do?
For Vicki, the pressure was off...she hadn't played by the rules! Or was it really off?
Wilbur: "Thankfully, none of us have to worry about carrying the Son of God in our bellies! Though...letting him influence our gut feelings may at times feel just as taxing! But we can only wonder...what was it like when Joseph threatened to leave her?"
Wilbur: "She'd done everything by the books...on the outside at least! Yet, we are not told where her mind may have been, only about what she decided to do about it!
And even then, that decision was not made solely by her own power! The major decision was made for her...many of the great decisions were made for her, and only with the Spirit's help, could1 she have possibly accepted the outrageous decisions that were made for her!
Anyone else would have refused what she clearly understood to be her vocation! And who among us could have blamed them?"
Wilbur: "Can't you hear the voices of today's young mothers? 'Yeah right!' they shout with utter sarcasm, and then they turn around and call an exorcist!
Then, they probably have an abortion! And most of them are not even smart about that, holding off until they've significantly increased their own fatality rate! Clearly, Christ came into our world at just the right time in history. Our time would have been far too late!"
Wilbur: "And yet...even in our so-called 'tolerant' society, how easily we will make each other feel rotten for things we ourselves would just as easily have done if we could've gotten away with it!
I'm sure there were cries for Mary's death, women who spoke nasty things about her behind her back! Playing by the rules didn't make her life any easier. She was accused, probably abused, and most of the time, probably felt isolated...or worse...ashamed! The synagogue probably didn't welcome her!"
Callista already felt better. She was not clean; but was quite welcome, and nobody even suspected that she was, in fact, partly responsible for the creation of Botan!
Wilbur: "Yet! When man would have killed his own means to salvation because of his prejudice against one woman; God persisted to forgive them their arrogance, and through this woman, brought about man's Savior anyway!"
This was already leaving Candi confused...did this somehow relate to her situation as well? She knew her child wasn't any closer to being god-like than herself, but what about this whole thing of calling? Just what did God want from her anyway?
Wilbur: "Ladies and Gentlemen, I regret to inform you that, in our quest to remain pious, we have had those in our number go too far.
Instead of kindhearted inquiry, gentle admonishment, and sparing discipline within us; they have gone so far as to trade those traits in for rushed judgment, singled-out wrath, suspect persecution, bullying, and intimidation.
This is unacceptable; for we depend on this college town full of lost souls! We are here to steer them out of the muck and mire of that wretched university in our backyard, not scare them back into it!"
Candi was now convinced that he was drawing largely off of her experiences, but she didn't mind the vindication. She only hoped nobody started looking at her.
Wilbur: "So tonight, we must look at the options! Men sought out Truth Incarnate; but they also wanted to kill his mother! So, that is where we must ask God to help us make the right decision: would we kill Mary, or seek out the truth?"
Wilbur: "Would any of you kill Mary? Any one of you here, who has ever condemned and chased away a college girl, from activities here, without proof of the allegations brought against her, is guilty of something almost as despicable!
Any of you who has harvested evil opinions about another, even based solely on doubt that individual would have ever married as they walk in here with their children, is like the Jews with their throwing stones in-hand, foaming at the mouth for their chance to throw said stones at a woman on mere suspicion of adultery!"
Candi tried hard not to let her vindictive glee over the implicit criticism of Nolle show, as she knew it was just as out-of-place.
8th Dec 2008, 03:09 AM
Wilbur: "I know putting anyone on the spotlight like this is awkward and usually avoided, but I have to tell you all here tonight, I know about one family, that I'm proud to have here! The Levenses. They have had a very strange background, with lots of ups and downs."
Candi was nervous, but trusted Wilbur not to give away too many details.
Wilbur: "Denny's family was as dead-set against faith as can be; with half his family claiming to be proudly atheist ever since Denny's great-great-great-grandfather was turned off by the outcome of the Scopes Monkey Trial!
Yet, the Spirit saw no reason why this legacy had to stand in the way of Denny joining us!"
Wilbur: "And perhaps even more spectacular...his wife! You all know her as Candi Stevens..but she's a Levens! They hid their marriage until now, trusting no one with the truth as she lived with much fear.
Candi has had several of her family members murdered by unbelievably ruthless criminals, many of whom have never seen justice! Many here assumed the worst about Candi; and I'm sure you've all begun to notice her pregnancy by now."
Wilbur: "She was banned unjustly from being a Sunday School teacher; because nobody believed in her. I regret, I did not intervene sooner on her behalf! We almost lost this Levens family from our greater family, because we did not act soon enough to come to their defense in time of need. We were complacent in letting pre-judgers and accusers have free access to them!
And that is why I ask all of you again, tonight...the next time you see someone in need...would you kill Mary?
Would you seek out the truth? Some of you will forget, and will kill Mary in your hearts. But that is a small matter. Women are killed all the time. Why does it matter then?
Just remember: if the Jews had killed Mary; whom would they also have killed, before he could have done the job he was meant for? If you decide to kill Mary; remember Whom you are also killing!"
Wilbur: "What you do to the least of these; we are warned...we do to Him as well! We set up cute decorations every year, and fight for the right to do so legally, of a baby in a glorified towel being held by a possibly-oppressed mother with a man holding a cane nearby that. As far as we can tell, doesn't have much to say!
Yet, we dress up our little children to give us year after year of their nauseating cuteness as we applaud them for singing off-key!"
Wilbur: "But are we so willing to defend the truth of why we need that baby so much?
Nostalgia fades, cuteness loses its valor. I'm an old man! I know how those adorable things which can do no wrong on Christmas morph into ignored and regretted planning failures, just as soon as their hormones begin to rob them of that cuteness!
Let us then; be thankful for the infant in the glorified dish towel, who would grow into a despised wanderer and die; to save the Lilliputian population that includes each one of us!"
Wilbur: "And while we prepare for the children to get here from St. Bart's Choir Ensemble, prayerfully not to focus on just how cute the old ladies think they are but on their message, I would be honored if Candi Levens would stand up and perform for us this evening!"
Candi had tried a number of things; but had always traditionally left the solo singing to Marina! She was honored that Wilbur was able to arrange for her to sing with minimal incident; but would the congregation accept her chosen song?
Candi: "Thanks, everyone! The song I will be performing tonight was written long before I was born, but is fairly under the radar of most. It was performed in 1991 by a band named GLAD for a Christmas CD, and has remained one of my all-time favorites...it's called, 'One Quiet Moment...' "
Almost instantly, the congregation began to melt away their past feelings about her. She prepared for her performance, but wished she could tell what was going on around her outside the building.
The whole time that Candi performed, her tears barely held back, she felt cares beginning to melt away. It was subtle, but she could feel the stresses of her life leaving her for just a moment. Even so, she worried about what life was like without her patrolling the night.
She had read that the police were looking for any and all Centhuen Prototypes that might be in the city, in the hopes to corral them all up for questioning about the increase in the number of crimes foiled by a mysterious vigilante.
She knew that this was a cover story: Arfaas and his cronies' real intentions for Centhuen Prototypes was to exterminate them, regardless whether or not they were involved in any actual incident.
The Hallison Hall had some as part of their diversity protection program, but they were reluctant to release names. Candi's worst fears about missing out on her duties were about to be realized.
Sophie: "Joanne...when are you due?"
Joanne: "I...don't know! Probably got...I'd say seven months...to worry about that! I wish I were more sorry...but...I've always wanted this!"
Sophie: "Do you know where the father is?"
Joanne: "No. I've not talked to him ever since. He probably doesn't even know!"
Grant: "So...where's the music sheets?"
Chloe: "I...I'm afraid I forgot to bring them! That's okay...we don't have to play our flutes to sing carols! How's life as a father-to-be?"
Grant: "I...don't know! But I can tell you, Sophie's excited! Don't you have anyone, Chloe?"
Chloe: "I've tried. I've destroyed every man I ever came into contact with, so I prefer to keep my distance!"
Jon: "Uh...guys...what is that up there?"
Sophie: "A clock!"
Jon: "No not that! The...HOLY!!!"
The explosion of the grenade deafened the ears of the poor carolers! What had just happened? Jon clearly didn't make it. But as Grant arose, he desperately looked around to see who else had!
A strange, beast-like figure confronted the crowds that were quickly gathering to see what the noise was! Immediately, there was an urge by that same set of crowds to flee! What was this thing that had just jumped off the top of the clock tower?
He could hardly stand it! The horror of what had just happened to his wife!
He darted away from the scene; nothing able to console him! How could he ever live with himself after witnessing such a gruesome end to his life's dream? And why were the police not already there? Just what were the police doing anyway?
Claire: "Hey...lookin' for..."
Chloe: "Course not, sicko! Didn't you hear that outside?"
Claire: "A firework?"
Chloe: "No! A flippin' grenade! Our friends are dead! There's some metallic freak here to kill us all!"
Claire: (frozen in fear) "Holy crap!!! What's that...thing?"
8th Dec 2008, 04:13 AM
Arfaas' voice rang inside his helmet: "Remember, my pet shrew: Find any centipede...and squash it!"
Musaran: "It will DIEEEEE!!!!"
While Candi finished her song, the congregation quickly grew relaxed. If only they knew that there would be no relaxation or peace on the campus of Viron! The Hallison Hall continued to burn, the campus' pride achievement going up in smoke as Musaran's rampage continued unchecked!
He correctly deduced that the school was hiding known Centhuen Prototype students there. After he left, the fire crews quickly arrived! But while they were able to save the hall...the clock tower was lost!
The clock tower, where the campus president had first authorized the nearby hall as a safe haven for students in need of protection of their deepest secrets, received the full wrath of the killing machine known as Musaran. Only in the paper would Candi even become aware of the incident. But what could she do?
It was a tough scenario for Candi. True, the enemy didn't yet know that she was Candi "the Gifted One" Flippo-Levens - or about her powers! But...should they ever find out...there were few other CPs left in town that could take the blame for her...and most, like her, dared not let anyone know they even existed!
Candi tried to keep her composure as the lyrics began to have more relevance to her than they ever had before.
Candi: "In this one quiet moment...."
Immediately, Denny felt the significance. Candi was the future of Dirbine, not the mother of all humanity's savior. But the fact remained: she was a mother-to-be in need of someone to defend her.
He understood that he was not her first choice, but was what circumstance left her with. Yet, she was willing to choose him anyway! He would be horrible to disappoint a woman so wonderful...but could he ever possibly guarantee that he'd be able to play the role of Joseph in their 21st-century drama of a life? Was he already there?
This is the short version of this section. The unedited, extra-gory version is at the Dozerfleet Forum.
9th Dec 2008, 01:42 AM
Candi continued to exercise at the gym, always anticipating her eventual return to her old ways. Even so, she feared things would be more difficult. With many of the other Centhuen Prototypes dead, hiding her secret would be that much harder!
She tried to keep a low profile for the next several months, but the threat of the Meethlites and the corrupt officers continued to grow.
Arfaas, using a youth potion, decided to hold a meeting with Merle and a few others from the Dirbine downtown in the concession room of the Scarr Building. Business was going great...but they were still intent on one thing...Denny Levens had to die!
Candi, more so than usual, was running way late. She was enjoying the classwork catch-up opportunities that pregnancy had afforded her...but missed the action of her freshman year!
Just when she started believing her future would be a miserable one, stuck in a lab, her phantom scream...returned!!! How??? Why??? She heard the voices coming from the room, and knew that she had to make herself unseen - but still listen in!
Arfaas: "You see those two over there? Beautiful!"
Merle: "I do say so myself, Sir!"
Arfaas: "The neural backvisors keep them perfectly in suspense! They have no idea of what they're up to!"
Cherrie: "I'm concerned."
Adam: "What's there to be concerned about, Cherrie? We've got the whole thing covered!"
Arfaas: "Hear the woman out...this could be interesting!"
Cherrie: "Now, Duke!"
Cherrie: "You've never questioned our loyalty to the cause, right?"
Arfaas: "Not seriously. Why?"
Cherrie: "Because...I fear that we're among the few faithful! We've been losing numbers and support all over the Earth!
The next wave could be a decade or so, and we're not helping the cause of the throne of Metheel at all with these constant defeats!"
Arfaas: "What's your take, Miss?"
Cherrie: "We're relying too much on corruption and not enough on conversion! That's bad! They…say...Ploribus is on his way!"
Was the anti-age formula getting weaker, or was Arfaas really just that shaken? Desperately, he tried to maintain a stoic demeanor. Inside, he was trembling!
Arfaas: "Wha...Ploribus? That...half-bred abomination? Yes! I know! The Phaelites are advancing their agenda through the National Guard! They've learned from us only too well! This could lead to civil war! And I know Ploribus would despise that!"
Adam: "We've had no luck on pinning anything on Denny Levens!"
Immediately after that, Cherrie stood up in a sudden rage!
Cherrie: "We couldn't even pin him in the case of those bums at the cafeteria! Face it! If we don't deal with Denny within the means we have; then Ploribus will zero in and find us out for certain!"
Merle: "You're right! There's nothing we can do! But Denny's gotten away with too much for too long! We'll have to play this one cool...like we usually do."
Arfaas: "Then it means what I fear it means, gentlemen!"
They all grew chilled at the certainty in Arfaas' tone. Could it really be so?
Arfaas: "Gentlemen! I know you're gonna despise how difficult this will make it for all of us...but you know that in the name of our cause, each one of you has to be willing to sacrifice yourselves!"
Arfaas: "Then it is decided!!! We shall hit the Levens household with our slave...Musaran!!!"
With the exception of Cherrie, the others all cheered! Candi, still trying very hard not to give away her eavesdropping, could barely tolerate to hear what she was hearing! How could they? How dare they???
Arfaas: "I'm discomforted by your lack of excitement, Cherrie!"
Cherrie: "I have my reservations, sir! Remember what he did Christmas Eve? He was supposed to only kill the Centhuen Prototypes! But it didn't stop there. I have little faith his rage can be contained!"
Arfaas: "Yes! He is...a little...too perfect!"
Cherrie: "He's a terrorist! These machines here may not be much, but that Musaran is more than we had imagined! We cannot risk overusing him! What would happen if we ever lost direct control?"
A great uneasiness that fell over all of them...why had they never thought of that???
Merle: "It...it will never happen! Besides...even if it did...he'd still have a preference for us, just not absolute faithfulness!
He wouldn't choose the Phaelite saps over us, ever! He's too hardwired to hate them; even if he does lose faith in us!"
Arfaas: "In other words, he'd be a hired hand, and not a slave. A minor inconvenience, but I doubt that the damage to the AI would ever be sufficient to turn him completely against us!"
After a brief pause, Cherrie agreed to speak up:
Cherrie: "Well...in that case...goodbye, Dennis Levens!!! Still...I don't trust Musaran. He's bad publicity!"
Candi had heard enough. No more! She knew what she had to do...dart back to Denny as soon as possible! Every step ached, and she feared she'd go into labor; but the steps were worth it! Since losing Donte, Denny was all she had left...how could she afford to lose him too?
Merle: "I hear footsteps!!! We have a spy!!!"
Candi: (gasping) "Please, God! Not now! Not now!!!"
She had a hunch that the ceiling problem in the men's room was never fixed—correct! She'd use that exit as she had the day she met Denny. If tonight was the last night she saw him alive, wouldn't it only be right to repeat what happened the day she met him?
9th Dec 2008, 02:16 AM
Merle: "Search everywhere!!!!"
The spy was quicker than they had thought! Cherrie took her responsibilities as a new mother very seriously; but she was also very serious about her loyalty to Duke Arfaas.
If she found the culprit, would she have mercy knowing the culprit was, like her, new to the idea of motherhood?
Merle, more willing to try every invasive technique he could to find the culprit, quickly barged into the bathroom! His ears proved the most reliable...but he still wasn't quick enough!
Arfaas: "What have you found?"
Merle: "Our culprit took the ceiling route!"
Adam: "That's not impossible!"
Merle: "Not if we have a Centhuen Prototype on the loose! And from the looks of things...this one is sloppy!"
Arfaas could have sworn that nearly all the registered prototypes had been eliminated! Was this one the Gifted Flippo? The story he'd been given stated that the Gifted Flippo was destroyed in a blast by Gunner! Who then, was this mysterious being spying on him?
Arfaas: "An unidentifiable Centhuen Prototype? That does it! It's Musaran or nothing! Denny Levens dies...tonight!!! And when we're finished with him...we're going to hunt down that spy! This...is...unacceptable!!!"
In her panic, Candi had found herself in what could have been the most difficult situation so far...she had nowhere to go but up! And Denny wasn't there to catch her! She felt her powers slowly returning to her...but would they be enough to ensure her a safe landing?
Candi: "Come on now, Angie! Do this for your momma, please!!!"
Panic was setting in! She knew that Angie, ready to leave the womb any minute, had to stay inside long enough for Candi to make an escape!
It would be a balancing act: labor pain would make Candi stronger, but ruin her focus! Backing away from labor demands would give Candi her focus back, but make her other powers weaker!
Success! Candi wasn't certain how, but that didn't matter! Amidst the incredible pain involved in getting her powers to work, rescuing Denny was now her top priority!
Alas, she would never have been able to run, drive, or even fly fast enough! Musaran was already on the prowl in the area; and a quick call-in to his helmet was all that was necessary.
Arfaas: (hysterical) "Make quick work of him!!! And find that spy!!!"
Musaran: "They will DIIEEEE!!!!!"
Musaran wasted no time at all trashing the front door! He was not content to simply use the entrance—when he could make one!!!
Denny: "What in the???"
The smashing instantly awoke him! He knew Candi would be out late because of lab work; but he didn't count on hearing that loud a noise when she returned! He knew, right away, that the noise was not his wife.
The air was quiet again. Still, he wasn't about to take any chances! Denny knew that he had one too many enemies. It was enough that they had lied about him in horrible ways!
It was enough that he and his wife had been harassed by the police when they were the victims! It was enough that Candi's past consisted of warding off hideous monsters! But now...a break-in!
His breath hastened, and he could feel the cold sweat as he nervously held the pistol in his hand. He knew that whatever was on the other side of that door, it could be the final showdown for one or both of them...
He never saw it coming! With the gun grabbed from him effortlessly, he found himself thrown forcefully back into the room by the intruder, whose intentions couldn't have been clearer!
Denny: "You leave me...and my wife...ALONE!!!!"
Denny leaped quickly to evade the first assault, but it wasn't enough! The monster quickly overpowered him!
Denny: "Put me down!!!"
Musaran: "Not till you diiiiiieeeeee!!!!"
The neck! The back of his head! The creature continued its trail of abuse, as Denny found himself the rag doll in a one-sided match!
It soon dawned on Denny that the beast before him was not finished until every ounce of life was bled out!
Denny: "God!!! Keep Candi from this...somehow!!!"
Denny: (choking on the words, begging) "No! Please!!!"
Just like that, one crushed and mutilated trachea later, the world would never hear from Denny Levens again.
9th Dec 2008, 02:47 AM
The horror seemed to be happening in slow motion! That foot stomping down, alas, would be the last thing that Denny would ever see.
Candi (panting): "Not now, Angie! PLEASE!!!! Not now!!!!"
As Candi approached her own house, she could sense the danger level was very strong...but just what was she in store for? She couldn't pin it, given her powers were still not very strong...but what did she sense behind the window?
What just hit her at inhuman speed? She barely saw the nemesis coming, and he landed her straight on the ground!
Her reflexes kicked in quickly! She knew she couldn't afford to use all her centilegs to escape the pest, but she had to use some! As he pushed her to the ground, he attempted to end her life the same way he did the terrified Denny's...a stomping straight to the neck!
But she was more prepared. Spinning out of harm's way, she quickly fired a centileg - not strong enough to do much damage! His attempt to harm her worked to her benefit! He lost his grip and she ended up on the roof of the house!
One false step on the roof, and she fell right through! She was glad that nothing was broken, though she feared that she nearly broke a leg in the fall, and was lucky she didn't break anything else!
Horrible grunting noises came from outside as Musaran decided he wasn't about to quit his rampage until all residents of the house were extinct! But could it really be? Was he...trying to lift the street lamp out of the ground?
He wasted not time at all in hurling it violently at the house!
Musaran: "Everyone!!! DIIIEEEEEEE!!!!"
Musaran tried in vain to run into the house and knock it over, though he did make the house shake! More debris fell on Candi as she fell to the floor, both in shock and from the pain of Angie.
Candi: "No, Angie! Not here! Please!!!"
Little did either Candi or Musaran know who else was up and about that evening! The stolen sports car turned ferociously around the corner and on to the street! Musaran could see the car in the distance, but was entirely uncertain as to who...or what...was inside!
The crazed Kelsea Linney had never given up. Inside the car was a bomb, intended for the Levens family. The police weren't getting rid of Denny fast enough for her, she reasoned. In her insanity, she felt she had to finish the job herself. She failed to predict one thing...Musaran was already there!
Kelsea: "Holy crap!!!!!"
Musaran immediately jumped on top of the car, irritated that someone dared show up to witness him killing the Levens family!
In a panic, Kelsea determined her only option was to kamikaze the horrid thing off her windshield!
In a desperate, last split-second, she made a hard left with the car, aiming right at the broken-down front entrance of the Levens family's house!
She knew this was the end for her and the Levenses both if she pressed the button. She didn't care! All that mattered was that Denny was dead! Her hatred for Denny was all-consuming! Thanks to Musaran as well, there was simply no turning back!
A clear reminder of herfate quickly took to the air all around the house, as the car and house both erupted in a violent inferno!
The explosion caught on to Denny's lab in the basement, only adding to the power of the bomb! The whole house caved in; and the burning rubble destroyed the foundation! Candi barely had enough time to recuperate from the blast before finding herself buried in the debris!
Musaran was nowhere in sight. He reasoned that Kelsea had finished his job for him. Right before the blast, Candi thought she saw a bloody hand in the bedroom. The blast hit before she could investigate...but she knew there was no need! Her husband was dead! Her worst fears hit her...what would it mean for her to be a single mom?
First one-then another! The aching! Gradually in the darkness and the heat of the rubble, an overwhelmed Candi pulled herself up from the wreck!
The heat of the debris around her was unbearable! The smells! The horror! She knew Denny was somewhere in the rubble, but she couldn't risk any more burns to herself if she wished to give birth!
Desperately, she looked for a way out! A part of her wondered if she weren't in Hell already; but she pressed on...
Note: The uncensored version of this section can be found at the Dozerfleet Forum.
9th Dec 2008, 03:06 AM
She at last reached the top; but looking down made her feel almost tempted to go back! As she looked down in the trench below, she could have sworn she saw what looked like a femur, in amongst the rubble.
Denny may have been a mistake, but he was her most important one! How could she live without him?
If Donte weren't still alive somehow, then she would be convinced - she must never let herself fall in love again!
If she weren't feeling so hot - almost burnt - she'd still have tears to cry! But as much as she tried, she couldn't get the tears to fall.
She knew that the answer lay somewhere other than that pit, yet she perversely wished she could just throw herself into that damnation below her, wanting to believe that if her life ended, Dirbine would again be at peace!
Yet, she knew that this would not solve the problem. She knew what she had to do. Yet, the pain of labor and the pain of guilt were overwhelming! How could she ever get over either in time to do what she had to? Why should she even bother trying anymore?
Candi: "No! Not now!!! Please, Angie!! Please, I beg you! Not here!!! Not now!!!!!"
It was too late. The infant would stop at nothing! Her time had come. As badly injured as Angie was, she had her mother's determination never to quit in spite the odds being overwhelming!
Candi: (shouting, and in tears) "Nooooooooo! Angie!!! Denny! Donte!!! Where are you all when I need you??? Somebody...please!!!"
The screams of labor carried on into the night, and the fire began to spread to nearby houses. Police who were not part of Merle's inner circle agreed to allow the fire department and paramedics to arrive and do their thing. They thought it best not to reveal to the inner circle the identity of the woman they recovered.
How could they, who always wished to be good cops, betray a pregnant woman to their genocidal superiors? The whole while, Arfaas and the like were terrified how Kelsea Linney's brashness might draw the National Guard's attention. Ploribus was on the move! Suspicions were being confirmed, and the Meethlites knew that the cleansing of Dirbine would be like a second Battle for Gerosha! Would they be prepared for such a humiliating defeat again?
Kelsea had forced their hands. Musaran had only functioned as the hit man he was programmed to; but Kelsea's suicide bombing was not part of the plan! There was no stopping the media at this point! They feared Ploribus would advance any day.
There was no reassurance for Candi that evening either. The flames continued to spiral as the fire trucks feverishly attempted to quench the blaze; and as Candi feared, she began to feel more sleepy than in pain from labor.
As the paramedics lifted her into the back of the ambulance, everything her eyes perceived grew very dark. The last thing she witnessed was a stranger gazing at her...wearing a leather jacket and a red bandanna.
9th Dec 2008, 04:28 AM
The calm nothingness soon gave way to mild background noise. Real an imagined, memories flooded back to Candi. How long was she out? She barely remembered giving birth in the hospital, but the lack of pain in her abdomen suggested she was no longer pregnant.
A new sensation was forming in her...a strength beyond what was normal for her! Still, her spirit was filled with its usual frailties.
Where was Kimiyato? Her dark influence, constantly hovering over Candi? Gone! She dared not press to invite the cruel being back; but where did she go? More importantly, Candi pondered: where was her daughter?
Candi: (gasping) "What in the???"
As she snapped awake, she felt numerous strange sensations come over her all at once!
There, standing near her bed, was the stranger from before. Who was he? And what did he want from her?
Man: "Relax, Candi. It's me...your brother Tom!"
More of her strength suddenly returned, and she snapped the IV cords off and leaped up to him!
Candi: "Tom!!!! Everyone thought you were..."
Tom: "Hey, hey, easy! You're a lot stronger than I remember you being!"
Tom: "But to answer your question...yes, I'm alive! A lot of folks wish I were dead though, and I ain't just talking the Meethlites!"
Candi: "Where have you been? Erin had to take care of Miri, Marina, and me while you were gone!"
Tom: "You may want to sit down. I don't think the nurse wants you hopping around, even if you are the Gifted One! After all...you just had a baby!"
Candi: "I...never imagined you'd be willing to return for me."
Tom: "I don't have much choice now. Imaki has been keeping an eye on you, every now and then. He knows all about you, Candi! But he won't live much longer, given his heart has grown weak!
He does, however, want you and I to visit his house one least time before he goes. Ploribus is on to Merle Hourvitz! He suspects! I personally know little, but he wanted me to come out of hiding and check things out."
Candi: "Then...is it time for all the Flippos to come out of hiding? Make a stand together?"
Tom: "No. Reily won't endanger his investments. Mike and Jeff won't do anything either. Ploribus is aging, and trying to fight it! His son Lex is growing anxious. Nancy is dead.
My girlfriend...is expecting! Obviously, I've heard about Erin's death. Nobody can find Miriam or Marina. They're smart to stay under the radar!"
Candi: "So...I'm the only one that hasn't completely failed Mom and Dad!"
Tom: "Reily was never a failure. But he wasn't meant for what you are; so in a sense, yes! Me...I'm just a biker with no direction! Face it...you are the last of the Flippo family's battle pride!"
Candi: "What about Angie? Where's my baby?"
Tom: "I...think you'd better hear it from your class friend! I'm sorry! I've done my part!"
Candi: "Please! Don't leave! Not...until Ploribus shows up!"
Tom: "All right then. Imaki is the man sleeping across from you. If you need me for anything, he'll give you my contact information. I…I really hope you do well out there, whatever the heck it is you're supposed to do!"
Candi: "When you do leave...tell your son or daughter that Aunt Candi says hi!"
Tom: "I will! And don't forget to check the bathroom. I have a little gift there, that should cheer you up...a reminder of our mom!
I'll return when we need to go to Imaki's together. Much has been happening in the time you were out! Time is really precious now."
It was never reassuring to her when someone inexplicably took off. Tom's hurry to leave, especially after they hadn't seen each other in years, was particularly odd.
Yet, in front of her stood what she found to be only too obvious - the solution to a lot of her identity problems! It was so simple, and Miriam had it right all along!
Her mom had dyed her hair red frequently. Candi had cut her hair short so that she could wear masks more easily. Denny had given her a new name! Now, the picture was complete…Candi Levens was a whole new being.
She feared the nurse wouldn't appreciate the use of dyes or such so soon after a woman had given birth, so Candi decided she had to hurry.
Candi: "Uh...here goes?"
Meanwhile, Laurie was eager to see Candi, thirsty for knowledge on how her friend could have—yet again—defied death!
Laurie: "Imaki! Get back in bed! You know you're not doing well!"
Imaki: "Ugggh...where's Candice?"
Laurie: "Candi is right…"
A pause came over the forensic intern's face…where was Candi?
Candi: "I'm right here!"
Laurie: "Candi!!!! Are you completely insane, girl? Do you want to die?"
Candi: "It's okay, Laurie...I...I don't understand why, but...I've never felt better!"
Laurie: "But...just a few minutes ago you were…"
Candi: "It doesn't make any sense to me either! I know it'll be hard to explain; but there is something I was hoping you could explain to me!"
Laurie: "Candi...I don't know how you survived! Your family...they..."
Candi: "I know Denny's dead! But...what about Angie?"
Imaki: "She's...in paradise! With her grandparents!"
Both women suddenly turned towards the old man who had clearly ignored orders to sleep.
Candi: "Imaki? You're…?"
Imaki: "Yes, Candi! I...am your godfather! I baptized Angie before it was too late! She seemed healthy at birth...but her brainwaves were weak! I sensed she was fighting something very evil...the whole short time she lived!"
9th Dec 2008, 05:02 AM
Candi: "Oh no...Kimiyato! I don't…feel…held back by her anymore! Her evil has left me. How?"
Imaki: "I...could hear screams from that child...that didn't belong to the child!"
Candi: "The telepathic link! Angie broke it! I asked her to help me; I meant I wanted her cooperation escaping the Scarr Building when conspirators were afoot! Instead...instead, she sacrificed herself...to get rid of Kimi!"
Imaki: "Then vigilant, you must be! Students of mine back in the old country...they fought valiantly against her! But they were no match for that witch!
She will never enter your mind again…unless you let her! But for being expelled from you, she will never stop seeking her revenge!"
Victoria: "Mr. Izuki! You know you need to be resting now! And Mrs. Levens…"
Laurie: "It's okay! They...have some very important things to discuss! I checked on them, they're both fine!"
Victoria: "You're not a nurse! You study the dead! Get back to the morgue!"
Laurie: "Candi's not a normal girl, Miss! I don't know how, but...she's already healed!"
Victoria: "What are you doing out of bed? And...your hair! Get back in there!"
Candi: "Let Imaki finish what he has to tell me! This doesn't have to be war!"
She turned her attention away from the irate nurse, and back to Imaki.
Candi: "What is it that awaits me at your house?"
Imaki: "Your brother...will show you! My bracelet bears the phone number you must call him at! I know your big problem, Candi!
You...betrayed your second-greatest love for convenience and dreams!"
Candi: (puzzled) "What? No! What are you saying?"
Imaki: (breathing heavily) "Dear...Donte...lives!"
The words were instant grief! It was the truth! Could things get any worse for her now?
Candi: "No! It...it isn't true! Tracy...she would not have lied to me about something like that!"
Imaki: "The Meethlites have him hidden. Where, I know not! Some...Musaran...is to execute him in public...this coming June!
I know not where to find him! But the great ship...is to fly...overhead!"
Imaki: "His only prayer...is that you are doing well...and that...no matter where you are, you realize that if you stay...."
Victoria: "That's enough!"
Imaki: "Silence, witch!!!! Candi! Stay...in Christ...as Donte hoped you would...and you needn't be ashamed of doing so!
Even if you...lose Donte now...you can...you will...be saved! Your way...will find you! Don't fight it...when it does!"
Candi: "What'll I do? I've already lost my husband and daughter! What do I do? How do I stop it?"
Imaki: "You...already have the answer to that! You...have everything you need now, save for two things. You need proper attire now...and proper tools!"
Imaki (coughing): "Child!!! I am old, and weak! Follow Christ, and heal your soul! Follow your brother…and your suit will be whole!"
Candi: "Imaki! Imaki!!!!"
It was too late! Victoria, losing patience, pushed Candi violently to the side, and rushed to check on Imaki. But he was dead!
Victoria: "You wench! You should've let that crazy old man sleep!"
Candi: "He did this to himself! I...half think...he wanted to die!"
Victoria: "Do you have any idea what this will do to my internship???"
Candi: "Laurie also urged him to sleep! He wouldn't shut up for her until he'd told me what was on his mind; he's Laurie's department! Now if you'll excuse me, he told me to take his wristband for reference before I leave!"
Victoria: "Filthy wench!!!!"
The slaps barely hurt; but Candi still wondered how Victoria could get away with it! This was completely against conduct code for a nurse!
Candi knew it would take some exercise before she could do the stunts she was used to. She'd worked hard to keep in shape; but she knew that without powers, nothing she'd done while pregnant would be enough! She had to get back into the habit of what she once did…and fast!
The road ahead would be grueling, especially if she were to find Donte before time ran out! Her brother was in town for a short time, and more than happy to help her set her life back on the right track.
She checked in the morgue one last time, and saw a body similar to Denny's lying under the covers. She began wondering why she'd chosen such a morbid profession, even though knew it was necessary.
It was obvious now: she was one of the city's last beacons of hope for life; and yet she was surrounding herself with death! Convenient then; that her fighting spirit would be reborn...in a place of death!
Tom: "Whoever that is, he reminds me of Joey the Motown Frog! That guy never did know when to back down from a fight! Route 29 will forever be stained with his blood! Imaki croaked, didn't he?"
Candi: (sighing) "Yes. Another one...gone, I'm afraid."
Tom: "A pity. It's the trend in our family now. Live under a rock, or die! What do you say then...that we get out of this hell hole of an existence and give these Meethlites a little tit-for-tat?"
In spite having plenty of the right motivations, Candi couldn't help but nurture a revenge motif after hearing those words. The Meethlites now controlled the police; and both had crossed the line. Both had to pay for what they'd done to her boyfriend. Both had to pay for what they'd done to her husband. And above all...they would all have to pay for what became of her daughter!
How? Little by little, she would have to weed out Arfaas' cronies. She'd have to rescue his enemies; and she'd have to work her way up the chain.
Death by her hands would be too good. Before Arfaas himself met with the Grim Reaper, he'd need to suffer something he would perceive to be worse - watching all the precious political and police power he had acquired slowly sift away!
But first...the rogue public executioner known as Musaran had to be stopped!
Candi: "Brother...I say...ready when you are!"
9th Dec 2008, 08:32 PM
Getting ready was not quite so immediate as Candi had promised to Tom. After he had gone to lay low, Candi took quite some time adjusting to her new suit, and to her new role.
She was amazed at the abilities Imaki's inventions gave her, but she knew that getting herself back to her former physical condition was critical to success.
Two weeks had passed, and Candi was preparing for an upcoming summer class at Viron. But to her distress, things were not improving in the city fast enough. The murder rate, for one, was getting out of hand.
Worse, the city's immigration issues were colliding. The Kerpher Gang, being hunted to near-extinction by the Meethlites and the police, was about to make its last stand.
They had done the unthinkable! Their leader, Victor Nanale, had abducted Maria Sanmarcos, the daughter of illegal Mexicans living on the poor side of town.
Poor Maria was only six, and spoke no English. As Candi's centuition began to sink in, she began to think less and less over the deterioration of her former physical condition due to pregnancy, and more on her anger. Something had to be done!
Maria: (begging) "¡Vaya quiero! ¡No duelame, se mendigo!"
Victor: "I'll Mendigo your sorry tush if you don't comply! Do as you're told, you little BRAT!"
Maria: (crying) "Dondesta mi mama? iNo quiero ser su amigo! No malo! Malo!"
Victor: "Oh don't worry! You're far too young to be a mom! Now hold still! If you won't comply, this bullet will ease your suffering!"
A sudden noise! Where could that noise come from?
Immediately, Victor and Maria both turned around! Had they been spotted? Victor had sent the rest of the Kerphers out to patrol for anything suspicious, lest the police discover him having his wicked way with a child!
But there was something not right in the alleyway. A zooming sound - and then nothing!
Another noise! Victor nervously aimed his gun up at the sky; desperate for any indication that something could have been up there - still nothing!
Victor: "Hold still, brat, while I look around! Move ONE INCH...and you're brain soup!!!"
Just Victor? Candi knew this wouldn't be too hard for her to handle! She'd dealt with far more dangerous foes than Victor!
This was a high-profile little girl! Candi knew she couldn't afford to botch anything up! Victor hadn't figured out her location yet...but she had to time her next move very well.
This is what Candi had trained for all these years!
Victor: "Whoever you are! Whatever, wherever you are! I've won! This girl is MINE!!! Whatta you gonna do about it??? Huh? WHAT!!!!"
Out came Candi's centilegs, stinging full force as she made her descent on the unwitting crook!
Victor: “Owwwwww! What the hell???”
What was this terrifying thing that had just jumped him!?
Candi: "What am I gonna do about it???"
Victor: "Put me down, freak! Now!!!"
Victor was instantly knocked unconscious as he flew backwards into the alley wall!
Kicked in the face, punched multiple times, and stung a few times, the clueless Victor was finally beaten. Being hurled into a dumpster after being slammed into the wall further ensured that he wouldn't follow anyone.
His life would be spared by Candi; though not by the justice system afterward. All he needed to be for the moment was to be out of the way.
Maria could only watch in horror as her captor was quickly and soundly disposed of by the giant, bug-like stranger!
Maria: "¡Eh…eh…no duelame! ¿¿¿Por favor???"
Candi: "Dear...where is your home?"
Maria: "¡Mal gigantesca de bicha!"
Candi: "¡No corra! Uh...¡Espera! "
Candi did her best to speak to the terrified child, in what little Spanish she knew.
Quickly, in spite the risks, she took off her mask. The child had to know that there was a good face underneath!
Candi: "See? I'm here to help! Do you speak any English?"
The look on Maria's face went from terror and dread to a look of renewed confidence - she was being rescued!
Maria: "¡Mia ciempiés!"
Maria: "¡Maria! ¡Te llamas mia ciempiés!"
Candi liked the new title...Ciempiés. She wondered if it might be easier to shorten the title somehow, but figured she'd wait.
She wasn't impressed with others giving her names at the moment. This child needed to be brought home - and fast! Evil was everywhere in the city!
Candi: "¡Maria! ¿Donde está su casa?"
9th Dec 2008, 08:36 PM
Maria: "¡No...no sé!"
Candi: "¡Necessito…su ayuda! ¡Somos en mucha molestia si no huir!"
Maria: "¡Ayudaré! ¡Protéjame!"
Candi: "Maria!!! Hold up!"
Too late! She had to chase the child down before something bad happened!
Just as Candi feared - Maria didn't listen!
The Zeran teleporter device on Candi's suit proved useful in the nick of time!
Driver: "Hey! What the???"
Very quickly, the two girls found themselves facing an even bigger complication!
Candi: (thinking aloud) "It's...times like this I wish I were a little better connected..."
Flavio: "Drats! I'm unarmed! Sparky!"
Sparky: "Why are you paging my phone?"
Flavio: "I've spotted the Maria girl! She's worth millions if we capture her! But we're gonna need backup! There's some fruitcake bitch in an orange Halloween suit guarding her!"
Sparky: "Take her down yourself!"
Flavio: "Hey! Hold it right there, you two!"
Candi knew she had to act fast!
Candi: "¡Maria! ¿Me confias?"
Maria: "¿Por que?"
Jumping not a moment too soon, Candi launched both of them onto the top of the semi truck that was racing its way through town!
They knew this was only a temporary solution, and that their troubles were about to grow!
Flavio: "May day! We have a Centhuen Prototype in that suit! Repeat! We've got a CP loose...in an orange Halloween suit! Send in Musaran!"
Sparky: "How do you know she's one of them?"
Flavio: "She just...jumped on top of a semi truck...with a little kid! I saw her centilegs!"
Sparky: "This better not be a rumor!"
Flavio: "Oh no joke, man...this one's legit!"
The truck was headed towards the highway, and Musaran knew he had to act quickly to catch up!
He darted towards the edge of the building, and used the tarp to break his fall! From there, he wasted no time finding another truck; which he intended to use for his pursuit.
Anne Marie: "Dear! What was that?"
Larry: "Don't know! Woke me up, whatever it was!"
Anne Marie: "I knew we should've picked a better honeymoon location!"
Andrew Weldinger was eagerly moving along on his shift. He had to get to the next freight location by the following morning, though he as not given a specific time.
Still, with nothing better to do, he was on his way out of town.
He wondered why he felt a thud sound, but since it went away, he assumed everything was normal.
To Andrew's shock, when he looked to his right to see what was going on...he was greeted by a stowaway!
Andrew: "Ah!!! A little girl!!! How'd you get here?"
Maria: "iSiento, senor, necissito mi familia!"
Andrew: "Holy crap! I...I don't speak gibberish, kid! I'm pulling over!"
Candi: "Sir! Calm down!"
Candi: "Take the kid to Latin Town! I'll watch for danger from above!"
Andrew: "What are you talking about? Get off my windshield!"
Candi: "Watch your driving! The kid will direct you!"
Andrew: "Latin Town? Say…you're that little Maria brat in the news!"
Maria: "iSoy! iQuiero ir a mi casa! iMismo! iMismo!!!"
Andrew: "Shut up!"
Candi: (observing Musaran leaping through the air) "Great! Just what didn't need to happen!"
Musaran: "Impossible!!! You're DEEAAADDD!!!!"
This section's unedited version can be found at the Dozerfleet Forum.
9th Dec 2008, 09:02 PM
Candi: "Not again!"
Musaran wasted no time leaping to the top of the truck, his target clearly in sight!
As he struck, Candi dodged him! Again she dodged! From one end of the truck's trailer to the next, they persisted in their bizarre wrestling match.
She hastily took advantage of a weak spot while he was distracted, striking him on his helmet and puncturing it! She could hear the pain of him being stung, but knew that he was far from done fighting!
Getting smarter, he grabbed one of her centilegs, spinning her around and nearly causing her to fall off the truck! She knew she'd have to more than sting him to win! If she didn't get creative fast, she'd lose!
As he threw another careless move, Candi managed to get a few good shots. This only enraged him, and he began inflicting damage on the trailer itself. Soon, both of them found themselves inside the trailer!
Candi: "Come one now! Why the back? At least Denny and Donte only broke my heart!"
Her time to jest was short; as he tried charging at her yet again! She quickly leaped out of the way! Using her centilegs, she grabbed at a portion of the ceiling where his stomping had made a hole. She feared that the sharp metal would cut, but was fortunate that it didn't.
Her trick soon dawned on him, as he sent the left trailer door flying onto the highway!
Candi: "Almost there!"
Andrew: "For gash sakes, child! Buckle up! It's bad enough those two freaks back there are tearing my trailer apart!"
Musaran came at Candi again! He simply would not give up!
He finally got on top of the trailer again...but where was Candi?
Musaran: "Impossible!!! DIIEEEEE!!!"
Andrew: "Ah! You again? NOW what?"
Candi: "Sir! Count to ten, then slam the brakes...HARD!!!"
Andrew: "Are you crazy?"
Candi: "Trust me!"
Candi: "Any day now!!!"
She desperately tried to keep Musaran at bay with a few centilegs, whilst she used others to help secure herself to the top of the truck.
Musaran: "DIIEEEEE!!! NOOOOOOOWWWW!!!!!!!!"
The very next second required instant thinking and reflexes! While the truck clearly couldn't stop on a dime, Candi didn't count on its brakes working as well as they were!
Lucky for Candi, her centilegs were just in enough control that she could keep herself from flying! Her adversary, on the other hand, wasn't so fortunate!
Musaran flew over the highway, but didn't count on ending up inside a run-down old building in the valley below.
He had smashed through a window, which broke his fall. He landed back-of-the-head-first and flipped! Upon regaining his senses, he stared up at the sight of utter defeat around him!
Something strange was also coming over him...something...he could not comprehend!
Musaran: "Must...crush...CENTIPEDE!!! Must make...DIIIEEE!!! Must.....must...."
Quickly, he ran distraught to the bathroom on the floor immediately below. The old building still had running water! Musaran wasn't sure how long the place had been abandoned, but he could not shake the new sensations he was having either!
Careful not to remove his backvisor, Musaran managed to remove the rest of his helmet. The very captive Jeraime Malestrom was still clearly underneath, but the impact of the head injury proved to inflict one problem...the complete slumber of Jeraime and barrier between the two beings had been compromised!
Jeraime knew he still did not have enough control over himself nor enough will power to defeat Musaran and remove the damaged backvisor, but he was glad that, for once, something other than Musaran was in partial control of his body and thoughts!
Jeraime: "This...this is quite an unreal...feeling! Wh...where am I?"
Musaran: "FOOOLLLLL!!! You're supposed to be ASLEEEEEEPPPP!!!!"
Jeraime: "Funny, I don't recall you being programmed to say that!"
Musaran: "What? Programmed? I? DIIIEEEE!!!!! Wait! Why say I this?"
Jeraime: "I...may not be able to stop you...but you could maybe learn from me not to be such a bad guy?"
Musaran: "Must...kill...Centipede! Must...kill....Donte!!! Must not deviate!"
Jeraime: "I don't know were we are...but I feel like we're...not that different!"
Musaran: "You're right!"
Jeraime's mind quickly shut off again. Musaran knew he had to maintain control of Jeraime at all costs, or perish!
But at the same time...he felt different. He could learn from Jeraime! He was no longer isolated to just what the Meethlites had programmed into him!
No...he could tap into Jeraime's mind, memories, and persona! He could develop himself into something so much more than programmed!
Musaran: "WE!!!!...My slave!!! We...will kill the centipede! Don't ask why! Must get tools! New helmet! Soon...they will know we will take charge! We no longer their slaves!!! And then...kill the centipede!!!"
9th Dec 2008, 10:05 PM
As Candi and Maria made their way, they were able to get Andrew to stop them off somewhere close to their intended location. He was more than happy to be rid of them, especially given the damage done to the trailer! Candi decided to hide on the roof for a short time, while Maria informed everyone of her return.
The two of them made this plan while Maria's mother, Anita, hovered sorrowfully over the well. The well was one of the many things that made Latin Town so special to its residents.
Anita wondered how another day would even be able to go by if her precious girl were not found. She was terrified to get the police to assist any further, convinced that if she did, she'd be deported for causing trouble.
Meanwhile, Jose and the rebellious Jessie were debating whether or not Jessie should continue her relationship with a Dirbine officer.
Jose: "¡No cuido si él es una policía! ¡Esas teorías marxistas de la mierda en la pobreza ellos enseñan en la Universidad de Viron...están equivocados! ¡Eres la causa de la pobreza...y chicas que están como! ¡Putea! ¡Nos da un nombre malo!"
Translation: "I don't care if he's a cop! All those Marxist bullcrap theories at Viron about our poverty...they're all wrong! You are the reason for poverty...and girls like you! You whore!!! You give us a bad name!"
Jessie: "¡Tengo que decirlo que él es el padre! ¡Si nosotros no lo incluimos, entonces conseguiremos más pobre!"
Translation: I have to tell him that he's the father! If we don't include him, then we will get poorer!
Jose: "¿Lo dice? ¡Es un aliado de los de Metheel! ¿No es suficiente malo que su hermana todavía pierde? ¡Dejamos México porque fue un lugar loco. ¡Ahora, esos condenados de Metheel hace América más loco!"
Translation: "Tell him? He's with the Meethlites!!! He could have us killed! Is it not bad enough that your sister is still missing? We left Mexico because it was a crazy place...but those damned Meethlites are making America even crazier!"
Jessie: "¡Dinero obviamente no fue un concierne para tú y para mamá! ¿De ahí…Jeraldo?"
Translation: "Money obviously wasn't a concern for you and mom! Hence…Jeraldo?"
Jose: "¡El dinero no es el asunto...supervivencia es! ¡Esas policías son peores que el país viejo! ¡Ellos nos podrían matar, y eres implicado con ellos! ¡Esto debe parar!"
Translation: "The issue here is no longer the money...it's survival! Those cops are worse than in the old country! Our lives are at stake, and you're meddling with them! This has to stop!"
Anita knew that it was bad for her figure, but she couldn't shake off her need for more sweets. It helped dull the pain of knowing that Maria had been taken - by pedophiles like the Kerpher Gang no less! She didn't expect to see Maria alive again - ever!
But just before she walked further towards her condo and past her arguing husband and daughter...she got the urge to turn to her left and look...
Maria: "¡Mama! ¡Mama!"
Anita: "Niña? ¡Mia Maria!"
Maria: "¡Mama querida!"
Anita: "¡A donde estada mi anjel!"
Jose: "Maria? ¡Impossible! ¡No puede ocurrir!"
A very excited group of Latin Town members exited their homes, eager to see for themselves. Maria had returned! But...how?
Maria: "¡Mia Ciempiés! ¡Mia Ciempiés! ¡Ella me salvó!"
What? A centipede? They didn't want to believe that! This was nonsense!
Maria: "¡Adios, Mia Ciempiés! ¡Te estimo!"
Anita: "¡Maria! ¿Que diablos?"
Anita: "¡Grillos santos!"
The view from the roof left her in complete shock, as she didn't know what to make of the spectacle she beheld from it.
Candi waved goodbye, as she was sure that Maria was in no big hurry to betray her secret.
The crowds gathering below of curious Latinos would find themselves every bit as puzzled as Anita. Was this thing friend or foe? Why did this thing hold Maria's curiosity?
Candi activated her Zeran teleporter immediately after waving goodbye, and was gone! She had darted to across the highway, as her teleporter was only good for short range. She had to find a place to hide...and to change clothes!
The crowd below began cheering at the sight! They now understood the meaning of the being's presence: the city's new protector had arrived!
Crowd: "¡Ciempiés! ¡Ciempiés! ¡Ciempiés! Ciempiés!"
9th Dec 2008, 11:12 PM
Mack Bern from the local TV-26 station was relaxing briefly before coming in for work, when he found a startling article in the newspaper and wondered why the station hadn't covered anything on it!
Mack: "Whoa...what's this???"
The front page of the local paper was riddled by a shot of a lady thug being taken out by what appeared to be a woman in an orange centipede costume!
The pages inside discussed at length the final elimination of the Kerpher Gang, the truck-top battle between this spotted centipede and Musaran, and more!
Mack: "That does it! Henson's gotta know about this!"
Mack arrived as soon as he could, but the studio was already buzzing. What could be done about this breakthrough? How could they improve ratings? Even the mellow Harold Harvey Henson, the TV station's owner, was nervous.
Henson: "Patsy! So nice of you to stop in for work today! May I ask why you're not looking well?"
Patsy: "Hmm...let's just say that it has a lot to do with Terry, beer, and that party at your place!"
Henson: "Well, I've always been one to like the idea of new families, but it sounds like yours is a tough scenario."
Patsy: "If that dirt bag doesn't pay child support; I'm hiring a hit man!"
Henson: "Now now...that wouldn't do either of us any good!"
Henson: "A yes, Darci! Looking sharp as ever! Tell me now...why are you looking so upset?"
Darci: "Not so much upset, as just...well...I'm perplexed, Harry!"
Henson: "Hmm...good to know only one of my lovely ladies is grouchy."
Patsy: "I heard that!"
Darci: "Mack's going on and on about the headlines! We apparently have a giant centipede on the loose, and no name or graphics. That's not a good start!"
Henson: "So I've heard."
Darci: "And...well...every headline is similar! We're way behind on the event, and we need to spin this somehow in our favor? How?"
Henson: "Does this centipede even have a name?"
Before too long, Henson's Down's-inflicted daughter, Hannah P., decided to join in.
Henson: "Hannah! What brings you here? Your date with Jordan go okay?"
Hannah: "He...stuck himself!"
Hannah: "A man and car show up! He try fix car! It fall! He say me go! Bad date!"
Darci: "And you tell us this now? I doubt at this point that it's even still newsworthy!"
Henson: "No worries, Darci! We'll get the headlines."
Darci: "We have less than three hours..."
Darci: "Oh...fine! Fewer than three hours to come up with a name for this orange freak, or we'll probably fail in the ratings! Look at Knock-48 across the street! They're still riding on the coattails of having named both Emeraldon and Sapphire King!"
Mack: "Where's Terry?"
Patsy: "Hiding from me!"
Mack: "Fine. Let's all be fair! We need to reach on consensus."
Terry: "Hi everyone, sorry I'm running late! You'll never believe what happened! Some punk stopped me at the bridge and robbed me! My...cat is…gone!”
Mack: “You sure you ain’t drinking? Why the Hell would that guy want your cat?” *
Patsy: "What's up? I'll tell you what's up! I've got your kid, punk! And you're going to the abyss for it! Just as soon as I drag you there myself!"
Henson: "Patsy, easy, gal! You love children best when you love their father as well! This doesn't have to be a war!"
Terry: "Well...if it's any consolation to you...I never said we had to get married!"
Patsy: (gaping jaw) "We'll...sort this out later!"
Mack: "Hate will do no good now, Patsy! Besides, remember when I warned you that you were drinking too much?"
Patsy: "You stay out of this!"
Henson: "Well..with that in mind...shouldn't we turn our attention back to what we're really here for?
We have this whole studio to ourselves, due to that conference and the strike and all that! What is this centipede's name?"
Patsy: "With boobs? Get real, jerk! Centi-Woman!"
Darci: "You're both uncreative! Centick!"
Henson: "Gee...this is going over worse than my global warming panel! Uh...how about...Centi-Girl?"
Terry: "Sempeezie? That's got nothing to do with...ANYTHING!!! Scolopendra!"
Darci: "Too long, show off!"
Patsy: "Hey, that's my line!"
Mack: "Wait! Remember how those Mexicans in the video takes kept shouting something at her?"
Henson: "Wait! Mack might be on to something!"
Hannah: "They go: 'Sempeezie! Sempeezie!' Her name's Sempeezie!"
Mack: "Wait...she's not trying to say Sempeezie, everyone, she's trying to say...Ciempiés! They called her…Ciempiés! Over...and over! I say we fly with Ciempiés. It...has a nice ring to it."
Henson: "Say...I actually like the idea! Though...Ciempiés? Why not shorten it to...Ciem! I'm sure she won't mind us doing it! She can always correct us later!"
Darci: "Who is...Ciem? This will either really fly with the other networks, or make us complete laughingstocks! I guess we have nothing to lose though."
Announcer: "Welcome to 26 News at 6! With your hosts, Terry Silverberg and Darci Lane!"
Darci: "Who is Ciem? That is the question on the minds of all Dirbine and Viron residents this evening!"
Terry: "That's right! Is there more to this orange vigilante than just what we've seen? Where does she disappear to? What is she really trying to hide?"
Darci: "Reports are that the missing Maria Sanmarcos, believed to have been abducted by the notorious Kerpher Gang, is now safe at home with her family, thanks in part to Ciem!"
Terry: "She is also rumored to have destroyed the last remnants of the Kerpher Gang, and even has the city's biggest menace, Musaran, on the run!"
Darci: "Well...I wouldn't so much say...on the run! More like...now he actually has a challenge!"
Terry: "Aren't centipedes and shrews natural enemies?"
Darci: "Exactly! And we're seeing this play out in our streets now!"
Terry: "We have yet to find out exactly what motivates this strange being to act the way she does, but as several local residents have stated: 'As long as we have someone who will do what the police will not, then we're safer off'!"
* This is an allusion to the movie Anchorman.
9th Dec 2008, 11:16 PM
Darci: "There have been several requests to speak with federal intelligence on the matter, but so far, the only time a 'Centhuen Prototype' has been allowed to be given mention was briefly, when a so-called 'Centipede Charlie' was rumored to have been captured behind enemy lines during World War II.
Most of the information was to be kept classified. There are rumors that some of the students of the Hallison Hall Massacre may have been Centhuen Prototypes.
Yet...today we have living proof that such beings exist among us. Are they for good or ill? We don't yet know. How they shoot those extra legs at enemies is also curious.”
Terry: “But all we can hope for is that Ciem, and future versions, are on the side of public safety..."
Harga: "I'm right here!"
Arfaas: "We have an emergency! On two fronts!"
Harga: "Yes, sire?"
Arfaas: "The Levens family...first of all! How did that Candi Levens survive? How??? She might know something! We have to inform Merle to investigate her immediately!"
Harga: "She'll be wanted for questioning, just as you ask!"
Arfaas: "A second concern...HOW did that orange pest the news is now calling 'Ciem' manage to survive?
I thought Musaran killed them all in the Hallison Hall Massacre! One spied on us and escaped recently! Musaran destroyed the Levens house and the Centhuen Prototype got away! Now it's going by 'Ciem'...and running amok!
I want to find out who this wretched thing is...and have her head delivered to me personally!!!"
Harga: "The police had to move the guillotine out of their station! It looked too suspicious to have it there. Ploribus could come at any time, and there goes our support!"
Arfaas: "Never mind the head then! We mustn't let either Mrs. Levens, nor Ciem, nor ANY of these other pests we've been discovering impede us!"
Harga: "We need to launch the ship, brother! By next week, we simply must! There's no turning back!"
Arfaas: "Yes, you're right! And we must fry that obnoxious Emeraldon...where the whole city can see!!! Then, we'll dispose of the vat with his powers inside! We cannot allow otherwise!"
Harga: "And Ciem?"
Arfaas: "Once we figure out what went wrong with Musaran, we MUST get him after her as well!"
Arfaas: "Hell will freeze over! I will see to that, before I let her destroy my worldwide empire!!!"
10th Dec 2008, 02:17 AM
Candi took quite nicely to the new-found fame of Ciem. Yet, there was little time to celebrate. There were many mysteries that had to be unraveled...fast! She did her best to explain her situation to Laurie. Even so, the agenda had to happen. The desperation in the air was mounting.
All who did not sympathize with Arfaas were now under surveillance! Merle's control over the city was growing tighter and tighter the more fearful he and Arfaas became of Ploribus' impending invasion.
The girls knew that they were among those suspected of supporting the liberation of Dirbine, and were most likely wanted for questioning.
Candi: "Rather dark in here!"
Laurie: "I know! You'd think with all the lights and stuff! Whatever! Okay...what do we want to know?"
Candi: "Shhh!!! Not so loud!"
Candi: (whispering) "We know that the creature that killed Denny was named Musaran! We know that Ciem battled Musaran and sent him flying into a building, but that he apparently survived!
We know that Donte's half-brother Khumar was visiting with the Malestrom family on the night they all disappeared. But we don't know if Musaran took them! We don't know Musaran's identity!"
Laurie: "We also don't know if he kidnapped the Malestroms or not! Personally...I don't know why he attacked your house!"
Candi: "He mistook Denny and I for spies that were harboring Ciem!"
Laurie: "Right! And the Meethlite vendetta against Denny! But why, Candi? WHY do you care so much to find out about Donte's fate?"
A brief pause overtook her, and she needed time to formulate a proper answer.
Candi: "Because...well...before he was rumored dead..."
Laurie: "What? Is there something you haven't told me?"
Candi: "Much! I was...more or less engaged to Donte at one time! He wanted to wait before making it official, though I hoped to marry him right away!
He wasn't my first love...but he was my truest...and still is! By believing the lies of his death, I made the mistake of moving on, marrying Denny.
This is my one chance to find him...maybe even lead Ciem to rescue him...and atone for my careless mistake!"
Laurie: "Girl...I'm speechless!"
Laurie: "I've never seen such faith...such loyalty...in anyone! Why you'd even want to bother righting your wrongs after all this time has gone by, is completely beyond me!
I was content to let my good-for-nothing fiancé die! He deserved it after he beat me! But you...unbelievable!"
Demi paced straight past the two girls talking, and headed to a station to check her e-mail. Short for her age, Demi normally kept to herself. However, Candi and Laurie needed information. Would she be able to help them?
Candi: "Excuse me, miss..."
Demi: "Oh! Hi! Say! You're that Levens girl! The one whose house burnt down?"
Candi: "Uh...could you keep it down? I...don't need a huge audience! Can you tell me where the news archives are kept?"
Demi: "In the basement...I think. Good luck! I've been trying to find information on this Musaran character in town...and I've been told never to ask again, or risk being banned from the library!"
Laurie: "So much for the Freedom of Information Act!"
Candi: "With Merle as the police chief, I'm not surprised!"
Demi: "Be very careful not to ask the wrong questions...security is very tight around here!"
Laurie: "We'll be careful!"
Demi: "You'll try! I gotta go!"
In no time at all, Demi got up and walked casually to the upper level. Candi suspected that she wished to avoid undue association, given her apparent fears.
Candi: "This place looks unusually dead today!"
Laurie: "Yeah, I know! Nobody wants to be flagged with checking out the wrong books, apparently! Wanna get something to drink at the Scarface?"
Candi: "'That's okay. I don't drink coffee; and I can do without their root beer!"
Something Candi hadn't had to worry much about since her last encounter with Musaran...her phantom scream danger sense...had just kicked in! She quickly turned around with Laurie, to be greeted by a less-than-friendly service desk worker!
Bumphrob: "DON'T talk to her!!!"
The two girls were puzzled, but Candi decided to play innocent.
Candi: "Is...something the matter?"
Bumphrob: "You're interfering with university activities! Do I need to report you to the Dean of Conduct?"
Candi: "May I ask how asking someone for directions is an offense?"
Bumphrob: "You CAN'T ask HER!!!"
Candi: "Any particular reason?"
Instead of answering Candi's question, the man headed quickly back to the desk, a look of mal-intent streaming across his face. The girls knew they had to act quickly! The library was a trap!
Candi: "Laurie! Take my keys...and my purse!"
Laurie: "But your purse is in the car!"
Candi: "Drive the car to my apartment! There will be a stash of emergency supplies there! Find Ploribus if you can, and let him have those supplies immediately!"
Laurie: "What's that strange thing on your keychain?"
Candi: "Don't mess with it! Just get the stuff and be out of here! I'll maybe catch up with you later! We can't afford to both get in trouble! If one of us gets taken down, it may as well be me! I'm the one they're after, not you!"
Laurie: "After you? Why? This...this doesn't make any sense! Besides...how many suicide attempts have you not committed in the past year? Why'd we come here in the first place?"
Candi: "Just go! And don't let them find you!"
Laurie did as told, but was surprised how quickly officers began arriving on the lot! She hid behind a school bus, praying they didn't think to look for her there! She knew that whoever Ploribus was, she had to find him! She also, somehow, had to find Khumar! She figured that Khumar would be easier to get to than Ploribus would be, so that was where she'd go first!
Laurie: "Candi...I hope you know what you're doing in there!"
Duvoint: "She's gotta be in here!"
There was nowhere for Candi to go except the basement, where she knew that she wouldn't have long!
Candi: "That's IT!!! Hidden in the wide open! Now...if only I had Miriam's hacking skills!"
She tried, briefly, to get in - success! The password was easier to crack than she thought it would be.
Candi: "'DieLevens'? How one-track are these guys' minds? Holy...!!!"
The Janette the Bunny neural backvisors had indeed been reused and repurposed into more aggressive AI! The Malestroms were missing...because Musaran was Jeraime Malestrom himself!
Candi: "Perfect...and these same clowns are only inches from knowing who I am!"
She pressed on, and discovered that the attack by Kelsea Linney had indeed been something the Meethlites didn't plan. Denny had a very long track record of business with them indeed! And Donte was in the city jail of Dirbine, awaiting execution as Emeraldon to be publicly televised!
10th Dec 2008, 02:18 AM
Candi: (sighing) "This is just great! I once promised Mom that an army of angry police would never be needed to bring me down!
Yet...I fear this will not end unless I let them have me! But...I can't let it look like I want them to catch me! They'd suspect! I must pretend to want my freedom! Darn it! Sorry Mom...this is another promise I won't be able to keep!"
Donald: "Hey you!!! Don't move another muscle!!!"
Donald: "That little..."
Guvoint: "We'll get her! She's got nowhere left to run!"
Callista: "You boys guard up here! I've got a hunch she's athletic; I'll catch her downstairs!"
Donald: "I'm gonna KILL that little..."
Callista: "NO! Lethal force - not authorized!"
Donald: "Hands in the air, skank; or I'll BLOW them off!!!"
Was that any way to treat a widow? Could Candi attempt a perfect escape? Donte would die for certain! She knew in her heart that while she could technically live without Donte as long as she had God and her convictions in her life; she could never fulfill nor do justice to them - or to her existence - if she didn't act!
What a terrifying - and seemingly foolish thing - she'd have to do! It had to happen: She'd have to turn herself in! It was the only way to the truth! Thankfully for her, the Guvoint wasn't very bright. It gave her time to form a plan!
Guvoint: "Miss! Why are you crying?"
Candi: "I...all I wanted was...to ask for directions to the basement! And a big, scary guy downstairs tried to pick a fight! Why is everybody after me?"
Guvoint: "Now, miss! I'm sure this is all a big misunderstanding!"
Donald: "Guvoint, you sissy fool! This is the whore we've been told to bring in!"
Guvoint: "Donald, have some respect! She's a scared little girl!"
Donald: "HANDS AND KNEES HOOKER!!!"
Candi: "I'm nobody's hooker!"
Donald: "I TOLD you those were crocodile tears!!!!"
The other officers were annoyed by Donald's hysteria; but he began to calm down once Guvoint had Candi safely in cuffs. It infuriated him inside that she was so compliant - he was ready to beat her skull in with is baton if she resisted!
Callista: "Excellent work, Bumphrob!"
Bumphrob: "My pleasure!"
Callista: "Where did you think you were going, Missy?"
Candi: "Getting my friends out of Hell, before leaving it myself! It's growing impossible to simply live here...all this paranoia and insanity! Someone really needs to tell Arfaas to relax once in a while!"
A life with no ambition, and for Candi, no Donte...would be a life devoid of meaning! But whether or not it was worth it, and in what sense it may be so, no longer mattered!
What mattered to Candi was that there was no turning back! The more she thought about it, the fact that she went through with what the pragmatic world would call foolish only increased the thrill that they told her was so good - contrary to their advice!
On the other hand...her guilt started coming back to haunt her! She would have to face Donte...and confess everything to him!
What if her questioning the worthiness of her path was nothing more than her own pride? It didn't care if she were being arrested or not. It just didn't want her to think of love as a real concept...only because that would mean she'd have a need to confess her wrongs to another being! Then again, wouldn't her willingness to do so be what would set her apart from a lot of her enemies on campus?
Elise: "Don't think you can play dumb with me, Mrs. Levens! You were trying to find out where Emeraldon is, aren't you? You and those other ignorant peons that want to 'free Gerosha'! Why were you scouting? To tell your friend Ciem perhaps? Forget it! You are all as good as dead!"
Candi: "If that's your attitude, then I guess remaining silent won't do me much good!"
Elise: "You catch on quick! Now get in the car!"
What kind of police were these? Candi wondered...should she attempt to save Donte...or should she die with him? She'd be eager to do either, just so long as she didn't have to live on in the constant state of guilt at her living and him being practically already dead!
As she thought it over...they never even read her rights to her! She didn't have rights in their eyes. Since Arfaas was running the town, it made sense that he had put the bounty on her!
Arfaas somehow knew she'd spied on him; even if he didn't know about her being Ciem. He knew that she had enough essence of importance in things to be of interest to Ciem, and therefore, Candi was a threat!
The city of Dirbine was in sight, and so was Candi's ability to have her questions answered...maybe! What she did know for certain was that the fate of Dirbine now lay in the hands of her good friend...Laurie Pegol!
10th Dec 2008, 03:18 AM
Candi had little warning! Cries bellowed out on the surface of Ploribus arriving! One thing did trouble her...how did they know that she wanted to find Donte?
The city jail just seemed wrong. Why was it specially painted so? Why had the forensics team never seen these cells in the jail system? And why did the cells have different-colored lights? Moreover, why was the jail system so much like a medieval dungeon? This was not normal for a modern police force!
Dazed a little at the confusion, Candi at first barely even noticed that she wasn't alone...
Candi: "Who...who are you, back there? I...can sense that you're pure...much more so than myself... You're probably not a rapist or murderer, or else...you'd be on me by now!"
Stranger: (Grunting) "Your...voice! It...sounds familiar! Wh...where have I...heard that voice before?"
The stranger asked about her voice! But...his voice...could it really be?
Candi: (astounded) "Donte!!! It's...it's really you!"
Candi: "Oh, my Donte dear!!! There's...just so much to tell you; and not nearly enough time!"
Both: "Wh...what have they done to you???"
The pause following was immediate. Who should begin? Where?
Candi: "How did they know? How did they know that I was looking for you?"
Donte: "It was a guess they made...a correct one! That...Ciem..."
Candi: "Dear...I'M Ciem!"
Donte: "Shhh!!!! We can't risk someone overhearing! You're in enough trouble!"
Candi: "I don't care anymore! If we must die...then let it be together! Like Adam and Eve, rib and side, we will face it!"
Donte: "I admire your courage; but...I'm afraid if you don't fulfill your destiny as the Gifted Flippo...then what you just said may very well come true!"
Candi: "What do the lights mean?"
Donte: "The Blue Hall is where these cells are connected. It is distinguished for the white hall, where normal operations take place. This hall is for enemies of Arfaas!"
Candi: "I see."
Candi: "Red probably means they're gonna kill us!"
Donte: "Correct! Green means they need to detain someone for a very long time! Magenta means they'll torture someone and exile them!"
Candi: "They said I was wanted for questioning! Why am I being executed?"
After a few coughs, Donte continued.
Donte: "Pardon me, dearest! I...I have cancer!"
Candi: "What? NO!!!!"
Donte: "They...they know that you shouldn't have survived the destruction of the Levens house! But you did!
Now...I don't know what connection you have to Denny Levens, but you were there! And you survived! They believe Ciem rescued you, and that you and her are in cohorts!"
Donte: "When they gave me this illness, they sealed the fluid from my body that enables my powers in a special tube! They also made sure the cancer would keep me from regenerating my powers efficiently! They believed Ciem wanted to find me to get me some help from Ploribus! You...were her spy...the ship!"
Candi: "Like...the one that flew over Gerosha?"
Donte: "Worse! Dirbine is doomed! But I can...or once could...stop it! They know this! They know...Ciem...can't do it alone! You were someone of interest! That's why they wanted you!
Why they haven't done teeth impressions to prove you're a Flippo, I don't know! Why they haven't killed you immediately, I don't understand either! But they aren't putting us in proper cells anymore! Too much concern!"
Candi: "Ploribus is on his way! They're going on about it constantly upstairs!"
There was a pause, and then the slightly disfigured Donte continued.
Donte: "If your half-brother is already here...then absolute chaos will surely ensue! Once they have control of the situation, they'll kill us both!
They won't do it here; they'll take you to a barn, which they've set up specially for killing enemies of Arfaas' state! Your head will be delivered to Arfaas himself, just as your sister's was two years ago!"
Candi: (bowing head) "A fate I deserve! If I had taken that prank call more seriously, she'd be alive today!"
Donte: "You couldn't have known!"
Candi: "My phantom scream went off, and I ignored it! Donte! You have no idea!"
Donte: "I...don't understand!"
Candi: "Dear! Forgive me!"
Donte: "What could you have possibly done that was so wrong?"
Donte: "Oh no! You didn't seriously get back with Don the Psycho!"
Candi: (tearful-eyed) "Worse! I...I killed him!
Candi: "Right after you left! You were captured! Don...he set a trap! He tried to trap me in the building and burn me! When that didn't work, he attempted other things! It was an accident, I swear! But I still did it!"
Donte: "Don's life isn't worth you holding in years of guilt, especially if it was in self-defense!"
Candi: "I've done worse things...I've...betrayed our love...in ignorance!"
Candi: "Tracy told me that you were dead!"
Donte: "I perfectly understand. For the past two years of Meethlite torture and deep-freeze hibernation, I may as well have died! In some ways, I wish it were so!"
Candi: (crying) "I'll finally say it! I...I...married Denny!"
Donte: "I'll...never be able to say you were solely mine...that's what I get for getting so wrapped up in this STUPID war!!! This is my fault!"
Candi: "And...I had his child! My daughter...Angie! They killed her too! I'm sorry Donte...I'm...unworthy of your love!"
She was half-convinced that this was the end. She didn't want to push Donte out of her life after risking so much just to find him; but she knew that as Ciem, with God's help, she could manage her life, however miserable, without Donte. She was prepared.
Donte: "As much fear and doubt as I have nurtured in my mind...I have no right to hate you! Your pain, your losses: All this is my fault!
I abandoned you to this path; to choose a path I thought was right at the time. I could not have been more wrong! I am a hero on Earth; but I am no interplanetary mercenary! I was a bigger fool than you...and I will pay the price for it the rest of my days! If you will have me, then you are still my Candi...my love!"
Candi: "I'd sooner die than lose you again!"
Donte: "Likewise; but we may die fairly soon together! You cannot save me here; and I'll soon explain. But please! Don't let the thought of losing me again drive you insane! I'm not worth it! I've been reduced to ragged, weak bones! I age worse by the minute!"
Candi: "Angie died to free my mind from Kimiyato! I'll risk death to save you...and restore you! I wanted so badly to just raise a family and be normal! But I now understand that I must earn the right to be normal. I am not yet there."
Donte: "I want you to be my wife some day, even if it will never be the same! Love...will still find a way!"
Candi: "I'll find a way out of here...and I'll track down Jeraime and free him! I promise you! I'll find a way to save you...or die trying!"
Donte: "In one sense...I'm already saved...simply knowing that you've become what you were meant to be!"
Forgiveness! Victory! Candi had it all! She didn't care that she was still trapped in a jail cell with a guillotine's blade practically already hovering over her neck.
She didn't care that she hadn't yet formed an escape plan! She had regained the love of her life, and all that mattered to her at that point, was to enjoy being safely back in his arms. However, as she feared, old temptations came back along with...stronger than before!
11th Dec 2008, 03:18 AM
Candi: "Your lips? Pure as sunshine!"
Donte: "Yes. A pity...we don't have more time to relish it!"
Candi: (smiling) "Now, why should that stop us!?"
In a way, it felt wrong. The ink on the paperwork for Denny's funeral was barely dry, and she was already kissing another. Even so, it was the correct man this time. Even so, she wanted just this short time with her other half; before she continued to right her wrongs.
Meanwhile, a criminal justice student named Elle was working an internship at the police station. She sympathized with Candi, but was not willing to put herself in danger if she didn't have to.
Ernie: "Oh, Elle! How are you today...princess?"
Elle: "I'm not your princess, Ernie!!! Just because I need money for college doesn't mean I'm your fly-by-night! Now, would you give it a rest?"
Ernie: (mocking) "Aw...that hurts! You know...you and I need to get together...more often! Breathe some fresh air in the Latin Town motels! I get sick of the boss...always whining about that fool Ploribus! Then I think of you...and I get to thinkin' something...more...pleasant..."
Elle: "Why should the police be afraid of the National Guard? I thought we were on the same team!"
Ernie: "Don't play simpleton!"
Elle: "Hey, I don't want to end up like Candi! My mom can understand me getting drunk. And she can forgive me letting you have your way when drunk...but let me tell you...if I ever end up in jail..."
Ernie: "Sweetums...sweetums! If Ploribus does come for us today, we can always hide in Latin Town!"
Elle: "You know what? You're a creep! I want a REAL boyfriend!"
Ernie: "I'm the best you'll ever have!"
Elle: "What? You...you're...OLD! You ugly, smelly...I was drunk, dammit! Leave me alone!"
Ernie: "I'm beginning to think you are like Candi...maybe you two could keep company? I'd rather you kept it with me..."
Elle: "Ick! NO!!! Back...OFF!!!"
Ernie: "Make me! In fact...why don't I just have some fun right here and now?"
Elle: "Just because the others are all outside screaming 'the sky is falling'? How did you ever become a cop??? You're...a PIG!!!"
Ernie: "I'm your destiny!"
Elle: "Eww!!! Enough! One more line of BS from you like that...and I'm telling your wife about us!"
This enraged the philandering officer, who realized he was about to lose everything! How DARE the little wretch threaten to snitch!
Ernie: "Somebody's gotta teach you some respect!!!"
As Ernie and Elle struggled, the alarm went off! Not just any alarm - the raid alarm! Eric, one of the only other officers in the police station at the time, quickly joined his friends outside as they lined up to face the oncoming threat of Ploribus and the National Guard.
Eric: "Judgment day already!"
Merle: "Attention!!! Attention all personnel! We are under attack! Everyone...report to your assigned pose IMMEDIATELY! Ploribus is here! Repeat! Ploribus is here!"
Candi and Donte were again getting serious about their situation.
Donte: "It's happening...you gotta get yourself out of here!"
Their thoughts were interrupted by a sound both of them could suddenly hear ever so softly...a hissing sound...
Candi: "What's that...noise?"
Donte: "Oh no!"
The two of them were still there, so it could not have been a bomb. Dynamite?
Donte: "Dolly! Why??? She just doesn't listen to me!"
Candi: "What now?"
Donte: "The girls...found the stash! Larry the Whack Monkey, as he used to be known down here, gave the girls some dynamite so they could plot an escape.
I don't know how...he got it down here, but I urged them not to use it! They were determined!"
The blast was far enough away that it didn't hurt their ears, but they were both still at odds what to make of it.
Merle: "Attention!!! Attention all personnel! The prisoners Dolly Malestrom and Lindsay Hamilton have escaped! Repeat! The Weiss sisters have escaped! If seen, KILL THEM...IMMEDIATELY!!!"
Candi: "Oh, great!"
Candi: "I have a Zeran wardrobe hidden in my bra with a spare suit; but I forgot to pack a Zeran teleporter for it! I gave my purse to Laurie!"
Donte: "Merle knows...I'm not a liar...I'll tell him...that Ciem rescued you...and helped the Weiss sisters escape as well. It... is technically true..."
Candi: "Good idea. Watch the entrance...I need to change!"
Donte: "You'll come for me soon."
Candi: "Yes. Otherwise, there would have been no point in me ever being born!"
In the midst of the ensuing chaos, Ernie finally fell in his struggle. Elle had finally proven that she, not Ernie, was the one in need of respect!
11th Dec 2008, 03:38 AM
Elle: "That'll teach that punk! I don't care if I get 20 years! Hey, Laurie!"
Laurie: "Elle! I can't talk right now!"
Elle: "I'm trapped the in police station! You were right about them! Candi's in the basement!"
Laurie: "No matter what the circumstance, grab her out of there and get the both of you out! Stat!"
Using her super strength, Candi finally warped the bars, right before trashing them completely!
Candi: "That was curiously easy! Merle may be aggressive; but when it comes to jail doors, he's unbelievably cheap!"
Donte: "Hurry! There's no telling what trouble Dolly and Lindsay will get themselves into up there!"
Elle: "I am so moving to Arizona!"
Donte: "My alibi won't hold up...if we do nothing but chatter!"
Ciem: "The blast occurred this way! I forgot my teleporter, so finding either Dolly or Lindsay will be a challenge!"
Elle: "This place is going to Hades, and that's that!"
Ciem: "When we get to the surface..."
Ciem: "Tell nobody about what you saw!"
Elle: "Yeah, sure!"
Ciem: "Flag down Laurie, but don't tell anything her about me! And whatever you do, don't follow me!"
As the girls were making their escape, Merle decided the time had come to take some measures into his own hands! He knew that Ploribus and the Guard were waiting for him to join the other Arfaas loyalists.
He also knew that things had grown too serious for him to act like it would be simple. Quickly killing the alarm to give himself more cover, he began powering down the entire station...
Merle: "Now's the time!"
Donte: "Yes, Sir! Ciem got in. She...she took them! I told her...I was...already dying!"
Merle: "You're lucky I don't have my WHIP today!!! You disgrace! You had the chance to escape...yet, you aided theirs? You're sacrificing yourself for them? We will hunt those women down...and make TROPHIES out of them!!! You are a fool!"
Donte: "What is the measure of my life? You boast as though Ploribus were not here!"
Merle: "You DARE to utter that name here!!! If I didn't have to preserve you for tomorrow afternoon; I swear, I'd shoot you this instant and be done with you!!!"
A sudden, excruciating pain overtook Donte's side!
Donte: "No!!! What is this???"
Merle: "Something that would be totally reversible if you got your powers back; but you won't! You're aging! You won't look much like yourself, but we can use you anyway!"
Donte: "Candi! Help Ciem...find...a way!"
11th Dec 2008, 04:06 AM
Laurie ultimately decided it best to flag down Khumar, and to leave Candi's things at her place. As she headed towards the old Malestrom home, eager to avoid capture, she ran into someone she didn't expect!
Laurie: "Elle! What are you doing here?"
Elle: "Ciem rescued me! Candi's still out there somewhere, fending for herself!"
Laurie: "Holy schmuckfeldt! What happened to your face?"
Elle: "Ernie. I threatened to tell his wife!"
Laurie: "His wife? You're crazier than Candi!"
Elle: "Yeah, I know. That's why I intend to move as far from here as possible... I can't take much more of this insane place!"
Elle: "So...why are we here?"
Laurie: "Rumor has it that Khumar still lives in here somewhere."
Suddenly, a very-alert man in what looked to be very dirty clothing rushed out at them!
Khumar: "Hey you!!! Get out!!! Get out of here! NOW!!!"
Laurie: "Khumar! Relax! We're..."
Khumar: "You're spies! I know it! That worthless Arfaas has got everyone gone mad! You've come to take me, haven't you? Just like you did my wife! Are you gonna kill her, or me? Like you did my brother???"
Elle: "No!!! Listen to us!"
Khumar: "Or maybe you've come to drink the last of my stash of beer! My comfort before I die!"
Laurie: "SNAP TO YOUR SENSES, Khumar!!!"
The distraught man was suddenly speechless.
Laurie: "Elle and I are also wanted! We are ALL outlaws right now! Right now...Candi, your brother's ex-girlfriend and my best friend; is launching a scheme with Ciem to set your wife and sister-in-law free!!!"
Khumar was visibly shaken! His first encounter with anyone in two weeks, and he was unable to believe what he was hearing! His wife had to be dead!
How could he not be next? These girls couldn't be telling the truth!
Khumar: "I want proof!"
Elle: "Then keep me around!"
Khumar: "How is that proof???"
Laurie: "Elle, what are you talking about?"
Elle: "I have nothing left to lose! Ernie will undoubtedly get a warrant for me, now that I've beaten my way free of him!
Mr. Hamilton...do what you like with me, take me hostage if you wish! But let Laurie help you! She needs you to help us find shelter!"
Khumar: "I...could use some company...but I'd prefer my wife!"
Elle: "Then you're one notch better than Ernie!"
Laurie: "Elle, this is stupid talk!"
Khumar: "She's right! What do you have in mind?"
Laurie: "I've got it! Come out here, you two! I've got a plan!"
Laurie: "Khumar...does that car have gas?"
Khumar: "The insurance is long-expired!"
Laurie: "Big deal! We're running from the cops already!"
Elle: "I'll stay here."
Khumar: "This sounds like a trap!"
Elle: "Shut up!"
Laurie: "Guys! Girls! Enough! Okay, here's the idea: we will all drive to Candi's old church, and get Wilbur Brocklyn to meet us!"
Laurie: "He's a good guy! I don't go to that church either, but Candi trusts him. I see no reason we can't."
Laurie: "In a church, we can get cleaned up. Here, we're all sitting ducks!"
Khumar: "But how will Lindsay find me?"
Laurie: "Uh...good one!"
Elle: "Hey! That's it!"
Elle: "Remember the first semester?"
Laurie: "Professor Ryan?"
Elle: "He'll be our lookout!"
Laurie: "He's on sabbatical, hun."
Elle: "Ah..but he hasn't left yet! He'll stand post here while the preacher stitches us back together. Andrew will help Lindsay and Candi find the rest of us!"
Khumar: "What about Dolly?"
Laurie: "Dolly? Well...let's just hope that we don't need Ciem to find her. I have a hunch she won't be as easy to handle as Lindsay!"
Elle: "Guess he doesn't need me after all!"
Khumar: "Lindsay!!! My angel!"
Lindsay: "None the worse yourself?"
Khumar: "I'm...so glad to have you back!"
Laurie: (sighing) "Why do I get all the crappy assignments?"
11th Dec 2008, 04:28 AM
Dirbine's orange centipede couldn't have arrived on the scene soon enough! Where to find Dolly? Sirens below hinted at the fact that the chaos that started in the Dirbine Police Department was getting worse.
Patsy: "Well, Darci, I must say, there's nothing but sheer chaos out here! Police and military are at war with each other, and it's not very safe! This place is starting to look like Iraq did some 20 years ago!
As you can see behind me, there's a fire. There've been other fires in town and firemen are not sure which to put out first!
Some want to keep the fires in some areas to help the police and others are siding with the Guard. It's sheer chaos!"
Merle: "Get out!"
Merle: "I said get out!!!"
The fighting in the streets intensified. Due to the desperation of the Arfaas loyalists, they charged on well past the range of the Guard's guns. Hand-to-hand combat quickly ensued!
Merle: "I will not be taken down so easily!"
Then, up above, what should he see jumping the rooftops?
Merle: "Ciem? NO!!!! Somebody!!! Kill that centipede!!!"
SWAT Man: "Sir! We're being beat back!"
Merle: "Never mind that!!! Get Ciem!!!"
SWAT Man: "Right away, sir!"
Mark: "This...this is an outrage!!!"
Guardsman: "No! Your loyalty to Arfaas…that, IS the outrage!"
Griffin: "General Philippine, sir!"
Ploribus: "Good news, Private Griffin, we've got this city's sanity back! Now to round up the traitors and be done with this!"
Griffin: "But what about the orange centipede?"
Griffn: "It's all over the news!"
Ploribus: "Oh…right! She's on our side! Let her deal with the giant shrew!"
Griffin: "Yes, sir!"
Continuing his rampage, Merle rushed out into the road, where he saw to his horror that Arfaas' army was no match for the might of Ploribus and company! He ran into a face he didn't expect to see…
Merle: "You...you DON'T BELONG HERE!!!"
Grant: "Your monster killed my wife; you featherplucker!"
Merle: "You have a lot of nerve, boy!"
Grant: "Indeed...but you're out of ammo!"
Before Merle could respond, the enraged Guard enlistment dealt the crooked police chief a brutal blow to the face, firing two shots at both his shoulders and hurling him to the ground!
Merle: "Your whole family will suffer for this!!!"
Grant: "Hey, Jules, you got that thing working?"
Grant: "Then hit it! Now!!!"
Merle: (screaming while engulfed) "Curse you all!!!"
The fighting would continue in the quest for control of the streets of Dirbine, but with Merle dealt an instant death blow of flame from the napalm, it would soon be decided that Arfaas' control over Dirbine's leadership was at an end.
Yet, with Dolly still on the run, Candi had to act fast!
A lone Swat member, poor George saw little wisdom behind Merle's commands. However, he was still convinced that the centipede had to be stopped, so off he went in search of her.
George: "I don't even know why I'm doing this! Who ever heard of a lone SWAT man?"
George: "And just like me to forget my gun!"
To George's disgust, his target was well aware that he was trying to set a trap!
Ciem: "What have you done with Dolly Malestrom?"
George: "Let me go!!! You're going to the abyss, centipede!!!"
Ciem: "Not without you, I'm not!"
George: "No!! Owwww!!! Dang it!!! That stings!"
Ciem: "Ploribus is waiting for you!"
George: "Look...I don't care all that much for Merle, but I know my place!"
Ciem: "Do you?"
George: "If you want that hooker, find her yourself! Just don't kill me! Ouch! Stop that!!!"
George: "Ow! Why are you continuing to sting me?"
Ciem: "I'm giving you a low dose! You won't die...but you won't follow me either!"
Continued application of her prowling instinct paid off!
No use! The panicked woman persisted in running as far away as she could. She'd seen all the horrors she cared to; a giant orange bug chasing after her was just one too many!
Dolly: "Holy crap! Get away, you freak!!!!"
Ciem: "All right then; force the issue!"
11th Dec 2008, 05:00 AM
Catching up with this determined woman would prove only half the battle; Candi had to calm her down!
Even without powers, this Dolly fought like a true warrior! How could Candi get control of the situation?
Ciem: "Dolly! Stop!!!"
Dolly: "Nooooo!!! I won't let you do it again! I won't let you freaks hurt me like you did my husband!"
Ciem: "I'm trying to save you from them!!!"
Dolly: "I don't believe you!!!"
Ciem: "Dolly, LISTEN!!!!"
The two continued to wrestle, Candi not going full strength as she feared she might tear Dolly's head off with her strength! But when she got too soft, Dolly grabbed her mask, going for a tumble to the ground herself!
A sudden fear came over Dolly. She had exposed her stalker! Would this incredibly strong being take revenge? Why had it not killed her already? And who was behind this orange mask the whole time?
Dolly: (frantic) "Who the heck are you?"
Candi: "I am Candice Marie Flippo-Levens! I am Donte McArthur's missing girlfriend; and the widow of Denny Levens! Rumor has it, you were once looking for me!"
Dolly: (shocked) "Candi? You are the Candi that Donte kept talking about???"
Dolly: "I...I...I don't know what to say…it's not possible! How?"
Candi: "The Meethlites are going to kill my boyfriend, and possibly your husband, unless I can free Jeraime from his insanity!"
Dolly: "What'll I do?"
Candi: "First...we're gonna go to my place and get some Zeran teleporters. I should've never left them with Elle and Laurie!"
Candi: "Viron Forensics Team; for safekeeping. We're going to hide you in Latin Town! I'll leave you with contacts for Laurie, and she will hopefully be able to get you reunited with your sister and brother-in-law!"
Dolly: "And what about you?"
Candi: "Me? If I don't come back within a week, assume the worst."
Dolly: "Then...all the rumors of the Meethlites are true!"
Candi: "They don't know that Ciem and the Gifted Flippo are one in the same. They may suspect, but they don't know. Tell nobody!"
Dolly: "Right. But please...try to bring Jeraime back to me alive! I feel like less of a woman every day that I am without him!"
Candi: "I can promise only my attempt. But we'd better get outta here! I'll explain more on the way!"
As the chaos downtown continued, the survivors waited patiently for either Dolly, or Candi, or both, to return.
Laurie: "I do hope that Ciem character gets them back safe!"
Kathy: "Yeah, and not charred!"
Khumar: "It's a little late to worry about that. They'll burn; just as we've been burnt!"
Wilbur: "Khumar, this is no time to be a coward! What good did it do Elijah to be cowardly before God?"
Khumar: "Sorry. But...don't you see it? Your own church has been burnt to the ground! My family's house is in shambles! I'm just...happy to have my wife back, but what now?"
Andew: "This wreck of a church is nothing. At least nobody died when it was leveled! Plus, there were building code problems with the design anyway."
Wilbur: "He's right. It is time for us all to rebuild. The Lord was in the calm...and he still is!"
Laurie: "Mr. Ryan...what's your take on Ciem?"
Andrew: "Well, Laurie...I've never been a huge fan of vigilantes. But I must say; when we're faced with a crisis like this, if God's in the calm...then I'm glad somebody's in the fire!"
Wilbur: "That's what angels are for."
Andrew: "Perhaps. But I guess you girls should all take a look at how far we've come along! Candi and Dolly are still out there, somewhere, but I believe they're still alive.
We've managed to survive the mess...so far. We're reunited with each other, another plus! Elle's in the hospital for her injuries, but she'll live, and no damage to her unborn baby either!"
Wilbur: "Ploribus has succeeded...another blessing! Merle's no longer the police chief; and the majority of Arfaas' loyalists are either missing or dead.
Their influence is quickly waning! True that they've tortured most of us; but they will never destroy our spirits!"
The painful memories began to return to Lindsay. She knew well what "torture" was, having been confined to the same orange prison suits for about a year and kept away from daylight. The uncertainty of her sister's whereabouts troubled her greatly.
Laurie: "Mulwi? What are you doing here?"
Mulwi: "I wanted t'see you! I's-bored when you're not ar-und!"
Laurie: "This place...is very dangerous right now."
Mulwi: "All 'da more reason I need to b'near you!"
Laurie: "I was a hard-hit curmudgeon, until you came along!"
Mulwi: "Gi'b-y'self credit! I never expected t' find you!"
Laurie: "Muey...I'm scared! I don't know where Candi is, or Dolly!"
Mulwi: "I didn't know where you wuh eh-lier. They's big girls! Dey manage!"
His Sudanese accent aside, Mulwi was one of the few beings that could console Laurie's endless worries.
Kathy: "Say, not to interrupt, but it's getting late. Pastor Brocklyn wants to get us all inside at his place. I'm gonna go to the hospital and check on Elle!"
Laurie: "Very well then. We may as well call it a night."
Professor Andrew Ryan was torn. He had hopes that Candi would make it out alive, with or without Ciem or Dolly. As he looked out at the night sky, and it looked normal, he felt a calm come over him.
Yet, the temptation to despair was everywhere. The church was in ruins. The arson against it was completely senseless; but the determination and hope in Wilbur was enough to over-ride the horror.
The rumors were out. Arfaas' airship would arrive. The fate of Dirbine was just a short ways away from being determined.
11th Dec 2008, 06:10 AM
In keeping with his promise, Arfaas sent down the ship planned. The battleship was his last-ditch effort to reclaim Dirbine!
Even though he found he couldn't redden the sky as planned, he sought to cause as much damage as possible. More importantly, he wished to make his newscast very clear: Emeraldon was going to die...TODAY!!!
Arfaas: "Why did you not rob the bank yesterday like you were told? You were supposed to transport the systems off this ship, not fry Donte ON the ship! No matter!"
Musaran: "I will KILL him! AND the centipede!!! They will DIIIEEEEE!!!"
Arfaas: "I will fix that AI unit yet! Next time you need it charged! And I swear, you will never have a mind of your own again!"
Arfaas: "What? Noooo!!!!"
Before he even knew it, Arfaas was pushed back into his own vortex!
Musaran: "I learn from Jeraime! You DIIEEEE!!! I kill Centipede and Emerald! I...never under your control...AGAIN!!!"
As the prideful Musaran continued to storm about his new intelligence, Donte awoke, desperately wishing to take advantage of the distraction! There, standing before him, was a tube. If only he could break it open and drink the green fluid, his powers and youth would be restored!
Donte: "Oh! The pain! This...cancer! So...close..."
Musaran: "Get to your feet!!!"
He quickly kicked Donte in the face, and the aged man complied in agony!
Donte: "My nose!!!"
Musaran: "It will DIIIEEE!"
Musaran: "Get in!!! NOW!!!! DIIIEEEE!!!!"
Donte wished so badly that he could defy, but his rapid aging forbade it! He was about ready to resign himself to his fate. After all, how could Candi possibly save him now?
Donte: (breathing heavily) "Hurry...Candi!!!"
Ciem was now just a few short feet away from the room where Donte's doom was about to happen! How could she distract Musaran enough to zero in for the rescue?
Arfaas: "City of Dirbine!!! Observe your screens carefully! Here, we have footage of one victim of many! And now! You will witness - LIVE - the death of Emeraldon!!! Let this be warning to ALL who cross us!"
Musaran: "Get on with it!!!"
Candi suddenly remembered Erin reading something to her once, when they were hiding her secret from Miriam: Meethlites often put security devices in place in their death machines, so that if there's a leak or malfunction, they won't kill themselves in the process of killing their victim!
What if this incineration chamber were the exact same thing? With both Musaran and Donte distracted, now was the time to act!
Before Musaran could react, Ciem lashed two centilegs around his throat, sending him flying into the glass as quickly as possible! Overreacting, he lashed out at the glass, smashing it just as she'd hoped!
Very quickly, the foe recovered from his blow. He immediately returning the favor!
Ciem bounced off the wall, and awaited the next blow!
Missed! Ciem launched her counter-strike: a bounce off the wall and kick in his face!
Ciem: "Hurry Donte!!! Hury!!!"
She knew she had to keep Musaran's focus on fighting her!
He knew he'd get injured, and that it would take nearly all his might, but he HAD to break open those valves!
Success!!! One of the valves was opened, and now he could slowly regain his strength!
Over the announcements system, Arfaas quickly shouted out orders!
Arfaas: "Attention! Attention! Personnel! We have lost control of
Musaran! He is helping Emeraldon escape! We must kill him on sight! All units report to the Town Slayer! Don't let them get out alive!"
It was what the new Musaran most feared: Arfaas had misinterpreted events, and now was wishing the Meethlites to kill him too!
He knew only how badly he wanted Candi dead, but he would let the ship's security kill the two of them while he formed his own plans!
Musaran was not about to be betrayed by his own masters so completely! But if they would, then he would not abandon his own dreams for revenge and conquest! He'd show them all!
Musaran: "Backstabbers!!! DIIIIEEEEE!!!!!"
To let his fury be known, he nabbed the nearest escape pod he could find on the roof of the ship, and make his way to the ground below.
11th Dec 2008, 06:12 AM
In his desperation, Musaran had also opened up the escape doors for Candi and Donte's ground level. The two heroes knew they wouldn't have long to bail out if they valued their lives!
Candi: "Hey you!"
Donte: "Ah...my gem! We meet again!"
Candi: "So many things happening all at once!"
Donte: "I know! Arfaas is getting sloppy with his hysteria and paranoia. Musaran isn't our only irrational enemy now!"
Candi: "My Zeran teleporter isn't very reliable for long ranges. Think you can fly me down?"
Donte: "It's worth a shot!"
Alas, Donte was not about to battle to take the ship down in nothing but his underwear; and the two of them needed to find Musaran before he could cause any more significant damage!
On a hunch, they believed that Candi may have stored one of Donte's suits in the upper compartments of her old house. But would a new family have moved in to find it? They had to fly to Gerosha first and investigate.
Candi: "No! It' can't be!"
Donte: "Incredible. Nobody's been here in ages!"
It seemed almost unreal...the house could not have aged this quickly on its own!
The siding had been corroded by someone's malicious intent. The blinds to the front living room window were gone, but the house wasn't boarded up.
Candi: "Is...this a trap?
Donte: "Chin up! I'm the one dying of cancer here!"
Candi: "And I'm dying...of guilt!"
Donte: "You can do this, Candi! I've got your back now. Besides, never fight the enemy in only your underwear...remember?"
Candi: "Yes. Bible study. Long time ago."
Donte: "Just because we've lost our way so often, doesn't mean God is dead. We're superheroes Candi; but that doesn't make us gods. We can still look up to Him."
Miraculously, the door was unlocked! Why had there not been more thieves if entry was this easy?
Donte: "Sense any danger?"
Candi: "Someone's been here...but they're not right now! Let's grab the suit if it's here, before they find out we've been here!"
There it stood on the wall...the phone that had caused Candi so much misery for so many years! No service. As much as Candi wished she could smash it, she figured that the phone's inactivity was punishment enough for it.
Candi: "You. Phone. But it really is my fault, isn't it? I can't hurt you; you only did your job."
The air was different...almost...haunted! Candi's old bedroom lay bare, possibly looted by Miriam on her way out.
It was as if Erin were speaking from the grave, warning those who desecrated the exterior of the home that they had better not dare invade the interior. Still, Candi pressed on in her tour.
She knew that a carpet had been laid over the former wooden floor in the living room to cover up the blood stains left there by Erin on her death.
The bathroom had been cleaned, but the chair...the chair where Miriam had cut Candi's hair almost a full two years previous - still there!
She could not bear to torture herself any further! This walk back in time was agony!
Candi: "This is too much!"
Donte: "What are you talking about?"
Candi: "This house...the memories!"
Donte: "Then I say we get out of this nightmarish time machine and get back to the present day, shall we? We've still got that maniac Musaran loose, and Dirbine is at Arfaas' mercy!"
Candi: "I agree. Let's leave this house, and never come back!"
The two flew fast, but fairly low to the ground, so that Candi could lock on to Musaran with her centiprowl instinct. Sure enough, it didn't take them long to find their menace!
Musaran had made his way to the back of an office complex in Viron, where he wasted no time finding random victims!
Roger: (coughing) "Please! Don't do this!"
Emeraldon: (in pain) "My hair grows back; but my back still aches! You sure you don't want me to stick around and help you, dear?"
Ciem: "I'll be fine, Donte! Just get take care of that ship! I...know what I have to do now!"
Emeraldon: "Right. Godspeed!"
In no time, Ciem was off to battle Musaran yet again, and Emeraldon was off to once again face the dreaded ship that had once held him captive. Candi feared for his life, but realized that if he died, it was only to be expected.
After she'd completed a Zeran teleport jump to the roof, she would have to find some other way to make it down the slope before Musaran finished having his way!
She managed to snag Musaran from behind right as his would be victim was freeing himself!
Roger: "Forget this, I'm outta here!"
Ciem: "Hold still, brute! I'm gonna get you out of this thing!"
Musaran: "DEATH to YOU FIRST!!!!"
Ciem: "Not today!"
He got a lucky move on her, and the monster grabbed her feet as they wrestled! Before she could think to activate her centilegs again in self-defense, he sent her flying through the nearest window!
11th Dec 2008, 06:29 AM
Startled, she knew she had to get back on her feet, and fast!
Ciem: "That suit is nearly invincible! I can't match him in strength...but somehow, something's gotta get that helmet off!"
Musaran: "Gifted Flippo!!!! I know who you are!!!! It must be YOU!!! DIIIIEEEE!!!"
Although Donte knew it was very serious business that he finally destroy the ship, he feared that he was having too much fun taking his revenge on the lowlifes inhabiting it!
After getting past the armed divisions, he ran into none other than Skellig, who foolishly tried to engage him in open combat!
Emeraldon: "Not today, Skellig! NOT today!!!"
Thinking over the design of the helmet, it then dawned on Candi...the face was the least-protected! The face was made of a more flexible material than the rest of the helmet.
She knew he was right outside the door, and she'd have to time this just right...
Better than planned! He rushed through the door with an insane urge for bloodshed; and Ciem, overreacting, did a roundhouse flip and kicked him in the jaw! She was hoping to punch him, but her instincts kicked in.
Ciem: "That was for killing my husband!"
She miscalculated! His helmet was off, but not his backvisor! The still-deranged beast wasted no time fighting back, throwing her effortlessly into the office room objects!
The pain! The volts from the monitor were almost unbearable, but Ciem knew she couldn't give up!
Musaran: "And now....you...DIIIEE!!!"
Ciem: "That phrase is getting...OLD!!!"
Every ticking second, more of Dirbine was destroyed! Still, having conquered the others, it felt satisfying to him that he had just knocked out one of Erin's murderers.
However, he also knew he had to stay focused! Thinking about easily defeating Skellig to avenge Candi only made him worry...would Candi hold up in her battle against Musaran?
She desperately tried to fire a centileg at his face, but with no luck!
Musaran: "Nice try!!!"
Musaran: "Now, I tear off limbs!!!"
Candi: "Not till you answer...for my DAUGHTER!!!"
She didn't hesitate! Right as he was preparing to break her leg, she let out a swift punch right to his face, breaking his nose instantly!
As the shocked monster flew backwards, flailing uncontrollably as he dropped his prey; he smashed into another monitor! The shock Ciem felt was now going through HIS metallic body!
Musaran: "Die! KILLLL!!! Noooooooo!!!!"
Knowing she risked more painful shock, Ciem quickly pulled out a centileg and grabbed at the backvisor, holding it in her hand!
Ciem: "And now, you wretched thing...THIS IS FOR DONTE!!!"
She smashed the backvisor in her hands over her knee, right as Jeraime fell to the ground! The unit let out what sounded like a shrill, demonic scream. The lights in the unit went dim as she thrust it violently into a corner. Jeraime was still fighting for life; but the butcher Musaran had finally paid for his crimes!
With more security on the way, Emeraldon quickly secured an exit, and began setting the control decks on fire! He activated the ship's self-destruct at the last second! More armed soldiers headed towards him, only to die as he flew away!
Emeraldon: "This is for you, Candi!!!"
Almost instantly, the entire sky was set ablaze! The redeemed hero flew away as quickly as he could, realizing that even though the ship was destroyed and the debris would land wherever, that Candi might still be in need of his help!
If his motive were revenge, it would have been sweet. Yet, he was content in simply knowing that the city would survive another day; and that the menaces of so long were once again put in their place.
Meanwhile, Candi rushed to save Jeraime's life. She pulled him out of the way of the electric surge, unplugging the devices that were causing him the grief!
It was a shame - all that expensive equipment destroyed in one battle, especially since the building was brand new, and employees were supposed to start work within a week at the grand opening!
Nevertheless, Candi had promised Dolly that she would make an effort to get Jeraime back - alive! She had no intention of going back on her word now!
His wounds partially cauterized by the burns, Jeraime slowly came to; and felt very little blood. Yet...the pain in his nose was agonizing!
Jeraime: "Where? What? Time for a charge already? Ow! My NOSE!!!"
11th Dec 2008, 06:39 AM
Jeraime: (coughing) "Who...who's there?"
Candi: "It's all right now, Jeraime!"
Candi: "No. My name is Candi. Your wife was once looking for me. I'm here."
Jeraime: "I...can...barely see you..."
Candi: "A secret to keep...I am known now to criminals as Ciem! I destroyed the backvisor, Jeraime! It won't pollute your mind any further with thoughts of killing and destruction!"
Jeraime: "You...took my eyesight too, I fear!"
Candi: "I'm sure Dolly will accept you, no matter what we've all lost to get to this point!"
Jeraime: "Don't...be too sure my nephew Henry...will understand!"
Candi: "I'm sorry. There's nothing I can do about that. But I'm gonna get you to a hospital, stat!"
Jeraime: "Candi...before I go...completely blind..."
Jeraime: "I'm...sorry about what I did to your family! I will...never be able to repay you for their murders!"
Candi: "Arfaas and Musaran are the real murderers! They've merely used you -and me - to achieve their ends! Musaran, I'm confident, is no more. And one day, Arfaas will be brought to justice too!"
Jeraime: "I will be forever haunted by the memory of crushing Denny's neck!"
Candi: "As will I be haunted for marrying him against my better judgment, putting him at further risk! I will also be haunted for not taking Arfaas' goons more seriously, the death of my sister, and the loss of my daughter.
We have both let everyone down. But today...today...I feel, we have both found the redemption we have so long sought for!"
Candi knew she had to be quick about her actions, lest she draw too much suspicion to herself. She helped Jeraime shave after getting the last of the Musaran armor off, and then changed out of her own suit before crafting a story. Donte, successful at defeating the Meethlites, felt it best if he helped.
The paramedics arrived to help haul the injured blind man away, with National Guard trucks assisting since the police were still being reorganized to replace the fallen Arfaas loyalists.
Andrew Hanby: "Well! I must say...it's a good thing Ciem was backing you up, Mr. Emeraldon! I'm pretty sure this one will be fine. But the mess upstairs could cost thousands of dollars to repair!"
Dolly: "Musaran was a true monster! Having my husband back is more than worth the thousands...even if he will be blind for life!"
Dolly: "Thanks, Candi. You truly are something wonderful! And if things work out between you and Donte...I'd be honored to have you...as a sister-in-law!"
Candi: "Thanks. I'd be honored...just to have a family again! I'll pay for the treat..."
Dolly: "No! No need! Don't punish yourself more than you already have! It is partially my fault and Jeraime's that Denny and Angie are in the morgue...I'll pay!"
Dolly: "AND...I'll make sure your secret's safe with us! I won't let Henry know anything he doesn't have to!"
Dolly: "You're on your own paying for the funerals!"
Candi: "Agreed. Now get going with the meds! Your husband's gonna need you now...more than you'll ever know!"
The military and paramedics left with the Malestroms, finally leaving Candi and Donte with the moment they had wished for - a moment along together! They hadn't had this luxury in almost two years. They were finally alone...and for once, nothing sought to disrupt them!
Donte: "So much death. So much war! At last...love found a way! What now?"
Candi: "We'll both need homes."
Donte: "We'll cross that bridge when we get there, hun. I'm afraid though...what if our lives together don't last?"
Candi: "Silly! I didn't bust us out of jail just so we could...fear-and-doubt our way to oblivion!"
Donte: "The cancer...my love! Getting my powers back hasn't stopped it! I...I have to find Ploribus and..."
Candi: "One second..."
Realizing that she was aware of what he wanted to say, he agreed that they needed a brief time out. Her kiss was not enough to erase his fear, but was more than enough to awaken in him desires of youth he had feared he would never experience again.
Clearly, she had helped him return from the dead, as her love for him had saved her from death numerous times. All they needed now was to clean up the enormous mess that their enemies had left behind, and slowly rebuild their ravaged lives.
Donte: "I'll need to lay low somewhere. I'll...have to find your half-brother Ploribus, and go in to him for treatments. I fear though, that the treatments will cause me to lose my powers over time.
A Meethlite prison warden once told me of my illness. He has stated that the Phaelites can treat it and nearly cure it...but I will need to be in constant therapy!"
Candi: "You'll...be leaving? So soon?"
Donte: "Not to Phaelon, never! I never want to see another trip to Phaelon! But for the next six months, I may be scarce. You'll need to call me often. Therapy...won't be easy on us!"
Candi: "I understand. Until I have learned how to walk alone, as Ciem, I won't deserve to walk with another!"
Donte: "You've done great! You're only just beginning your career, dearest! You'll be wonderful as my replacement!"
Candi: "You...can never be replaced!"
Donte: "Nonsense! But I can assure you...with the events that have just unfolded, I'm pretty sure Dirbine is willing to accept Ciem now...more than ever!"
Candi: "I think we'd better get going. Laurie...still has my purse."
Donte: "Er...good point."
11th Dec 2008, 06:41 AM
It was finally June, and Candi was torn between her desire to embrace her new life with Donte in it, and her desire to pay due respect to Denny and Angie.
The funeral service proper in the church would be held soon, but Candi wanted a private ceremony as well. It was easy enough for her to arrange with the funeral home owner, Pong, since he was quite familiar with her from forensic science classes.
Pong: "I am convinced, that in both life and death, Denny really wanted for Candi to find happiness, even if it wasn't with him.
He would be proud today, to know that she has found what she always sought. Greatness has come to us today, even though it had to come via extreme chains of horrific tragedies."
Pong: "And so, in closing, do I say, Amen!"
Donte and Candi: "Amen!"
Donte: "Your hair...why did you switch back to black? I kinda liked it red!"
Candi: "I don't feel like a widow with red. The red helps me have confidence...independence! But I don't want that today!
Today, I want to pay homage to Denny, who only ever knew me as his black-haired wife! My hair is also the way it was when I gave birth to Angie. She deserves to see her mom the only way she's ever known her."
Donte: (whispering) "I like it black too. Red reminds me too much of Ciem. And you're right; this is no place for Ciem!"
Donte: "I'm hearing rumors that the Sapphire King is back. I know I can stop him again; but with my back the way it is, I'd love to have you as backup!"
Candi: "Absolutely! And I promise you, love, I'll be back in the red hair and the orange tights...just as soon as I've paid in full my proper respects to the dead."
Donte: "You're going to Gerosha then?"
Candi: "Yes. I've flagged down Marina's number, and I'll be staying with her for a short while. Her trailer park is just a few feet from the Gerosha Cemetary."
Donte: "The prodigal daughters have finally come home."
Candi: "Yes. I go as a Flippo to my old land. I will resume my Levens charades when I return!"
Donte: "I'll miss you while you're away!"
Candi: "And I'll miss you while you're in therapy!"
Donte: "The war is far from over. Will Ciem be ready for whatever comes next?"
Candi: "With the help of Emeraldon...I'm pretty sure she is!"
The bliss the two were caught up in was in full bloom. The two knew they would one day marry. Yet, even once their wedding day came, their love would never be as pure, as free from worry and guilt and shame, as it was on that day they wished each other goodbye, to face the consequences of their separate pasts.
11th Dec 2008, 06:43 AM
The Sanmarcos family felt that it would be a fine day in June to venture into town. They were wrong! The police were back in business, with most of the Arfaas loyalists gone. But new trouble was brewing in town.
Officer: "Señor, Señora, I'm gonna have to ask you two to leave the premises! We have an emergency!"
Sapphire King: "That's right, Emeraldon! I'm back too! I'd've thought that the Meethltes could do a better job!"
Emeraldon: "You're despicable, Saph! Don't you know I'm trying to retire? I've been at this game far too long!"
Sapphire King: "Code language! You're losing your nerve! You know you can't retire! Even if you stop me this time...there will be other threats to the city! You know it! One by one! One by one, they'll wear you down! And I'll come out on top!"
Sapphire King: "I know about your cancer...DONTE!!! See how everyone else has already fled? They don't even guard their own vehicles anymore! I can make this quick and easy, and save you the trouble of a painful death!"
Emeraldon: "Cute, Jordan! But you forget something!"
Sapphire King: "Yes?"
Emeraldon: "First...they're all right beneath us, ready to strike the minute I disable your firepower!"
Sapphire King: "The same old, same old! What else???"
Emeraldon: "I'm…not the city's only protector anymore!"
Sapphire King: "What??? No!!!..."
His look of certainty turned to gloom! He knew that while Emeraldon could easily disable his firepower temporarily; he still lacked the physical strength with his back pain to take down the horrific Sapphire King!
But Sapphire King never imagined his old foe would have a sidekick capable of snapping spines with a crushing embrace!
Just one building away from him stood Ciem, a pest he knew he hadn't prepared for! Having Zeran-teleported to the scene from a few buildings away, she was ready for action, and Saph knew that one way or another...this new centipede would be his undoing...and the undoing of many a pest in Dirbine for years to come.
11th Dec 2008, 06:56 AM
CREDITS FOR CIEM: THE HUMAN CENTIPEDE
Candi Levens/Ciem - N004_User00244.package
Miriam Flippo - N004_User00243.package
Donte McArthur/Emeraldon - N004_User00255.package
Erin Flippo - N004_User00238.package
Gunner - N004_User00260.package
Duke Arfaas Hebbleskin - N004_User00258.package
Harga Hebbleskin - N004_User00259.package
Denny Levens - N004_User00398.package
Imaki Izuki - N004_User00491.package
Merle Hourvitz - N004_User00383.package
Don "the Psycho" Mendoza - N004_User00256.package
Phil Couric - N004_User00129.package
Jeraime Malestrom/Musaran - N004_User00403.package
Dolly Malestrom - N004_User00402.package
Tracy McAuley - N004_User00367.package
Poison Dart" Eddie - N004_User00055.package
Victor Nanale - N004_User00051.package
Maria Sanmarcos - N004_User0049.package
Jeral Cormier/Botan - N004_User00421.package
Merdie Dolon - Meredith Doyle
Niles Beldon - Nick Budamir
Dhalia Lorrice - Darla Lattimere
Laurie Pegol - Elizabeth Pegouskie
Mod the Sims 2
CaptFalcon007 - Live Camera Fix 1.0
Conker87 - Agent Smith suit
Fanseelamb - Prison Outfits
Fumiko - Mulder and Scully FBI suits
Gwillewyn - Snakes on a Plane T-shirt
Lord Aaronus - Power Ranger suits
Kaiburr - Stormtrooper suits
Brasstex - Musaran's mecha warrior mesh template
DamageInc356 - Baby Outfits
Sup@Tramp - Child Female Hula Skirt
MactheKat - Doctor's outfit, Nurse uniform
GeneralZoi - Magneto's Helmet (template for Musaran's helmet)
Natrobo - Long Dress for Children
Nicvncnt - Preteen Jeans
Wind - University Clothes for Adults
Morellco - Nun and Priest Outfits
xxBethany275xxx - Hospital Gowns
Keineeier3 - Bath Towels
JaseMorden1 - Claude Speed jacket and pants
Newto411 - Winter Outfits and Coats for Female Adults
Minanna - Closed Long Coat for Adult Male
Mia86 - Child Robes
Owaizoo - Unlocked Maxis Bridal Dress
Makeup and Accessories Department
IcedMango/JoanneDyer - Eye Color replacements
Barcelonista - Crying Girl tear makeup
JoanneDyer - Contacts
KiaraRawks - Bloody masks
PickPock - More head trauma
Aikea - Guinea pendants
Boblishman - Hospital Wristbands, Right Leg Plaster
Dr. Pixel - Earrings
FunnyyCats - Wireless Headset
GeneralZoi - Bodybuilder Bunched Cuff, Slanted Glove Cuffs, School Days Accessory Pack, Superhero Capes, Wearable Trenchcoats,
PhoebeHexe - NOVICA Earrings
Ronyu02 - iPod Shuffle
Siren - Noserings
Schwerelos - Buffy Sword and Scythe
MissSimGameFan - Enayla's Newest Skins as Defaults
MsiFan101 - Zombie Skin Override
Wycked - Vampire Masquerade Pendants
Buntah - Authentic Dirt & Stone Terrains
JackassBoy - Temple Floors
PuzzledMonkey - Dirt/Ploughed Textures
Bink13y - Lab Sets
Doors, Windows, Walls, and Fences
DevGuy - Grafitti Wall Set
Fanseelamb - Jailhouse Height Chart Walls
Isliel - High-Tech Wallpaper
Lethe_s - Medical Posters
Pixelhate - Damaged Wall Set
Skyline-X - Fake Garage Doors
Bink13y - Lab Sets
JGWhiteus - Visible Ceiling Tiles
Mazerwolf - Sewer Pipes
Marmy - Single Built-In Closet
Macarossi - Urban Reflections Window Frames
Numenor - WallWindow Glass Set
Fanseelamb - Jailhouse Height Chart Walls
Sup@Tramp - Tall Wirenetting Fence and Gate
Alanayaangel - Simsistic Broken Window, Halloween Floors and Walls Set
CynicalChick - Trashy Old Yankee Door and Window
Mary-Lou - Counter-Friendly Windows
JWoods - Latch-N-Lock Window and Door Set, Illusions Animated Windows and Doors
WitchZenka - Tiny, Tacky Trailer House
Dr. Pixel - Hearse with Options
Fresh-Prince - Dodge Caravan, Ford Fairmont, Infiniti G35
Hexameter - Hanson Rendezvous Horse Carriage
Mickyss - Rideable Bike, Harley Driveable Detailed, Rideable Moped
Wintermuteai1 - New VW Bug, Buyable Ambulance, Area-51 UFO
DBCab - Glass Car Recolor, Buyable Police Car
PTMCD11 - Got Shot on the Runway
Petreak - Buyable Decorative Vehicles
PurplePaws - Wintermuteai1 VW Bug Recolors
GunMod - Radiance Lighting System 2.1
JGWhiteus - Colored Spotlights
DBCab - Disco Ball
TheFuzmixman - Antique Banker's Lamp
Atavera - Grillitan Diner Sign, Hanging Bug Zapper, Nightclub Wall Lights
Visual Effects Department
Morten8035 - Silver Wedding Rings
Bink13y - Transparent Skintone
Cathair2005 - Community Lot Scene Control Enabler, Get in Car Pregnant Hack, Hacked Dresser for Easy Wardrobe Control
Eddief66 - No Fight Clouds Hack
Jaxad0127 - Community Lot Items Anywhere Hack, Buyable Fire without Panic
Numenor - Color Enabler Package, No Slap Stars Hack, No Visual Effects for Stereos Hack, No Visual Effects for Instruments Hack||
Pinhead - Teens Can Find Own Place Hack
Preifor - No Clothes necessary for sleep Hack
Skankyboy - Bathrooms More-Than-One-At-A-Time Hack
Smonaff - Fall Asleep Doing Homework Hack
Ceedj - TS2 Studios
Jordi - Teleporter Shrub and Painting
Mr. Biggles - Sky Projector Recolors
Chris997 - Weather Atmosphere
OoGaBbErZiCkEoO - Neighborhood Snow
Obekorn - Krepuscular Skeyes Holoprojector
Targa - Pond Water Recolor
Pfish - Transparent Bed Cover
ChrisNJosh w/Dozerfleet - Domino's Pizza Box
ByDemonsBeDriven - US Dollar replacement for Simoleons
Lindaetterlee - Snow Replacement for Dirt Terrain
Spmjcom - Rain Storms
Christianluv - Sim Copy Mirror, Skintone Selector,
Squinge - Fried Chicken Meal
JCFranklin2272 - Swanson TV Dinners, Oreo, Soft Batch, Chips Ahoy, cookies
PacoTacoPlayer - Banana Split, Spicy Tacos
TheFuzmixman - Antique Banker's Lamp
Pre-Built Sets Department
MooreSpino - 1407 Graymalkin Lane (X-Men Mansion, for alteration purposes)
Nengi65 - Starter Cabin
Numenor - Sunset Estate
Opzs - 2nd-Hand Trailer
PlasticBox - Cheap Motel
Jamez_2006 - Ultra-Modern Glass Mansion
Dewbyz - The Craterville Neighborhood
Hair Design Department
Bo0mbastica - Ashlee Simpson Hair
Bell_Ange16 - Kaori Hair
Biobong - Short hair for girls
Ciboulettebis - Simple ponytail with new mesh
DameSporkalot - Lucille Ball hair
EmapthLunabella - Long cornrows
Kayx - Abbey Hair NCIS
Nouk - Afro Hairband, Girls' Anime Hair
Plicka - Teen female long hair
Seomi - Unique Short Hair
Zenman - Curvier Adult Female Body Mesh
Faeriegurl - Fat Guy Mesh, Fat Lady Mesh, Less Curvy Teen Mesh, Waif Body Meshes
GeneralZoi - Bodybuilder Set
Hackster - Red Bull Can
HChangeri - Ultrasound Machine, Medical Dental Chair, X-Ray Machine, Hospital Signs Collection,
Luslipz73 - Counter and Cabinet Clutter Set
Atavera - Metal Bunk Bed Frame Recolors, Toddler Floor Blanket,
Boblishman - Range/Cooker Hood, Baby (decorative) for Bassinette, Hospital Transfusion Drip, Laundry Baskets, Tall DVD Tower, Vertical Blinds, Triple Photo Frame, Slice Toaster, Tree Stump Seat
Boblishman and Numenor - Any Counter Ceramic Hob
DBCab - Medical Set, Guillotine of Many Deaths, Electric Chair, Church Set
Miche - Bunk Bed
SnowStorm - Hospital Bassinet
4EverSimFantasy - Outdoor Rocks
Bienchen83 - Christmas Plate with Cookies
Cazwiki - Decorative Tire
DragonSlave - Horses, Lucy and Ginger
HelloitsJoe8 - Glade Plug-ins
Mickyss - Decorative Dog
Targa - Corner Cobwebs, Ladder Stairs
ALSuiryuue - Cardboard Boxes Set
Cheng101 - iPod Nano in Black and White
HystericalParoxysm - Antique Table Phone
Mohd14 - Moto SLVR L7
Charlie7 - Train Tracks
NoFrills546 - Moneywell Notebook Computer
Fat_D - Corner Tub
Windkeeper - Wheelchair
SP2 - Simple Stairs
Holy Simoly - Hutchy Desk in Walnut
Mia86 - Adjustable Length Table
Weedco - News Desk
Jpaugh78 - Washer and Dryer Set
Jasmine1 - Fanatico Teen Bedroom Set
The Dream Team - The Grand Trionan Set
Echo - Farmer's Set
Leia_Organa - Mobile Itsewema and Tabung Caca
Lledford12 - Simsmatic Washer and Dryer
NikkiBailey - Laundry Detergent and Bleach
Tigmonx4 - Complete Modular Gutter System, Utility Pole Mini Stuff Pack
Brasstex - BTX Trashed PC
Luthien - Sonic the Hedgehog Bedding
DumbBlonde - Trashed Set
DaisyTightfield||Sim Realism Movie Posters
PurplePaws - Classroom pack
KarialSim - Classroom Chalkboards
Petreak - Buyable Objects Previously Unbuyable
Worship4Ever022 - Various Church decor and props
- Fried Eggs with Bacon
- Fried Fish
- Chocolate Fudge Cheescake
- T-Bone Steak
- Vehicles and Other Props
- Rhinoceros Head
- Exnem Car
- Makeup and Physique
- Helaene Skintones
- Various Makeup options
- Tear Makeup
- Eyes (combined with Enayla and IcedMango)
GeneralZoi - Short Leather Jacket, Superhero's Utility Belt
Marvine - Slanted Cuffs, Ju for Sgooby
Marvine and BeosBoxBoy - Slim BodyBuilder Mesh
Special Action Coordination
(multiple contributors) - InSimenator Object Edition UV 2.6
Jase - InTeenimator
Squinge - Breast Feeding Enabled, Ghosts Occur More Often, Leap Into Arms Interaction Enabled for Pregnant Sims, Pregnant Sims Wear Anything, Throwing Up Interaction Enabled, Sneak Here Enabled, Washing and Looking Out of Windows Enabled, Chill Interaction Enabled for Adults, Turn off the Computer When Done
SimsBaby - University Clothes Enabled for Adults
Squinge - Fried Chicken
Special Thanks to More Awesome Than You for the following:
JM Pescado, TwoJeffs - Movie Maker Tools
Other Prop Contributors
Rose - RoseSims.net - Various Hairstyles, Swords
Staff - XMSims - Flora Hair Mesh and Base
TwilightRegalia - ModTheSims2 - XM Sims Hairband Recolors
Staff - SimFantastic2 - Canon 2005 Printer And Scanner
IngeJones - SimLogical - Among other things, the Plumbob Zapper
MJOLiner - The Sims 2 Exchange - Red vs. Blue Halo Outfits
MaxoidMonkey - The Sims 2 Exchange - Various Christmas props
VampCat - The Sims 2 Workshop - M79 Grenade Launcher, Handgun01, P90, MP5-A5
Ciem ©, all related characters, and such, are property of Dozerfleet Productions.
All stories, pop culture entities, and characters being parodied are the property of their respective owners.
All game mods being used, usernames, game mod titles, and website titles remain the property of their respective owners.
The Sims 2™, game engine, characters, NPCs, and base game environment are the property of Maxis ® and Electronic Arts ®.
Dozerfleet Productions and all related graphics and logos remain the property of Dozerfleet Productions. ©2007-2008 Dozerfleet Productions.
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