Saturday, 28 June 2008

Fictional Freakouts: The Phantom Brigade Issue #5

Here's another episode of my ongoing blog-based story that I'm making up as I go along. If you just stepped in on this, then check out the earlier chapters here:

"OK, Tanaka, Fahey, you're with me and Emma," said Thorn, as he marched out of the meeting room and into an underground garage lined with vehicles. The rest of Thorn's 'team' kept up with him and nodded at his orders, Emma tried to keep up with their brisk pace. "Cohen, Montgomery, I want you and Hawkins working on tracking that thing. Make sure it doesn't hurt anyone."

"Open rules?" asked Cohen.

"If necessary," said Thorn. "This one might not be lobotomized, and we might be able to communicate. So try to stun it first."

Cohen and Montgomery nodded and headed for a plain looking black minivan. Emma watched Tanaka and Fahey head for another van, marked with a courier company logo. Emma was going to go with them, but Thorn pointed her to a non-descript sedan.

"Where are we going?" asked Emma.

"We're going where those things always seem to go," answered Thorn. "Your place."


"Report," said Thorn into a headset as they entered Emma Grail's condo.

IT'S IN THE SEWERS, said a voice from nowhere that Emma recognised as the telepath they called Professor Hawkins. IT'S APPROACHING A MANHOLE NEAR ECHO PARK, IT'S IN YOUR NEIGHBOURHOOD.

"Nice place," said Mitsou as she came in, a black box under her arm, "a little out of the way for the celebrity set."

"That's why I picked it," said Emma with a shrug. "I'm not really part of the Hollywood scene, and there's no paparazzi here. Plus, it's an older building, and something about it appealed to me."

"What exactly?" asked Thorn, looking around at the condo's somewhat plain decor.

Emma shrugged again.

"We're getting something," said Fahey. "Quantum thread activity."

"Is it the creature coming?" asked Thorn.

"No," said Fahey, "it's too strong, it's already in the building, and it's stationary."

Thorn put his hand to his headset, and listened for a few seconds.

"Cohen has a visual."


"This one is extra ugly," said Cohen as he watched the creature step into the alleyway. It shook its narrow head and blinked its eyes. The sunlight seemed to bother it.

Cohen slipped his plasma pistol out from under his coat, and adjusted the setting to stun. Lydia Montgomery came up behind him, a netgun in her hands.

"I'll knock it out," said Cohen, "you wrap it up."

"I know the drill," answered Lydia annoyed that they still treated her as the 'junior member' even after six months on the team, as if she still hadn't earned the place her family had carved out for her in the Brigade.

The creature sniffed the air, and it looked confused. Then it took a step forward.

Cohen aimed his pistol, and Lydia prepared her tool, but instead of the sharp crackle of the plasma pistol, Lydia heard the squeal of a truck's air brakes, and the thud of something being hit, hard.

"I'll call a clean up crew," said Lydia while she thought Hawkins we need a memory wipe too for the driver.


"It got his by a truck," said Thorn. "It's dead."

"I'm still getting that Strand activity," said Fahey, studying his instruments. "I think I got it pinpointed downstairs."

"I do have a basement," said Emma, "it's right this way."

"Do you go down here very often," said Thorn as he led the way, a strange, looking pistol in his hand, followed by Tanaka, carrying an identical weapon.

"Not really," said Emma.

"There's a full blown rift forming," said Fahey, pointing to some dials on his scanner.

Thorn looked over and saw some light seeping from beneath a door at the far wall.

"Is that an exit?" asked Thorn.

"No," answered Emma, "it's a closet."

Thorn opened the closet, revealing a stone path, brilliant coloured plants and flowers, and a large white sun, hanging in a brilliant blue sky.

"It's not a closet now," said Tanaka.


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