A Darker Shade Of Pale

Details and a record of the characters exploits, successes and failures within the Parallel Worlds.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:43 pm

Caleb Mustenen’s bedroom door swung open and instead of his father coming in, Maggie Shaw was standing in the doorway.
“Maggie?” Cal frowned. “What are you doing here?”
“Your dad’s got to go out for a while so he phoned mom and asked her to baby-sit for a while.”
“Oh. Cool!”
“Cal?”
“Yeah?”
“How did you do that today? I thought you could only do small things?”
“Dunno. But dad thinks if I lose control then somehow… I dunno, go like the Hulk or something!”
“Your dad?” Maggies eyes were like saucers.
Cal shrugged. “Miss Harrison saw what I did and told dad. He asked me and I couldn’t lie.”
“Shoot,” Maggie said hopping onto his bed beside him and picking up the dragon he’d been playing with. “What will Miss Harrison do?”
“Dunno.”
The two children sat awkwardly fiddling with the toys.
“I don’t mind,” Caleb said after a while.
Maggie had just been thinking about going for a swim in the pool. She gave Caleb a big grin.
“That’s naughty, reading my mind.”
“Sorry.”
Again the girl smiled. “Come on then!”

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:47 pm

UNIC Designation: Pheonix

Quantum: 4

Westchester Manor, 20 miles south of Norfolk, Virginia. April 24th 1966. (Local World Time – 27 Years behind Homeline)
Director Mortimer pulled his Mercedes Benz to a halt on the gravel driveway outside the huge eighteenth century manor house.
As he climbed from the car he ran his fingers through his greying hair and straightened his tie.
Locking the expensive German car, something he’d fallen in love with on a vacation to Europe five years ago, he walked briskly up the front steps and in through the large wooden doors that opened as he approached.
There were two men inside, one in the uniform of security, the other in a black suit, not unlike Mortimer’s.
The Director stood still upon entering the house and awaiting the nod from the suited man.
Once done, the man having scanned his mind and finding it to be the one that matched his body, the Director headed for an elevator in the opposite wall.
E keyed floor twelve and the box dropped steadily until he emerged over one hundred and fifty feet below the ground.
Then his journey took him through numerous corridors and several more check-points until he entered a room that resembled a cross between a military command centre and the bridge of some sci-fi spaceship.
Special Agent Thompson dressed in his shirt-sleeves was awaiting him.
“So, what’s dragged me in early today, Mark?” the Director asked as he made his way to the ‘goldfish bowl’ office at the back of the room.
“Sir, we had Maloney, Cox and Litzenberger on Gestalt Over-watch yesterday, experimenting with the psi-detection satellite we launched six weeks ago.”
“The satellite’s working?”
“Eh, yes sir. Everything appears to be working well, but the satellite’s not the issue…”
Mortimer eased himself into his high-backed chair and breathed a sigh of relief. He had been helping his eldest son move into his room at university over the weekend and had strained his back lifting a box packed with god knows what?
“Explain,” he prompted.
“Sir, at 12:36 hrs yesterday they formed the gestalt connection and began running mock checks on a local level. We had Agent Cobecht incinerating trash!” Thompson’s nerdish chuckle received a stony reception; obviously the Director wasn’t in the mood today!
“Right,” Mark Thompson continued. “At 13:07 hrs EST, the gestalt detected a psi-pulse coming from the southern end of the United States, Florida to be exact, probably Miami.”
Mortimer straightened in his chair and swivelled around to look at the huge map of the US on his back wall.
“The southern end of Florida? That’s some distance. So the satellite works well!”
Jack Mortimer saw the look on Thompson’s face and sighed. “Okay, what’s the but?”
“Sir, we hadn’t engaged the satellite link. The gestalt picked the pulse up on their own.”
“Jesus! Those three work well together. Perhaps we could have saved a quarter of a million dollars on the satellite!”
“Jack, I don’t think you are seeing the picture right. It’s not our guys suddenly improving, they detected this pulse because it was a damned powerful one.”
“How powerful?” Mortimer asked before Thompson was able to say more.
“Sir, our third-edition psi-scale ranges one to twenty. This came in on a sixteen!”
“Sixteen? Sweet Jesus,” Mortimer cursed suddenly realising the magnitude of this news. “Who do we have down there?”
“I checked. We’ve got an observation team in Jacksonville, a telepath an Esper, and a healer. None of them have ever rated over eight on their annual assessments. I also rang them last night – all in Jacksonville still.”
“We’ve no one in Miami?”
“No, sir.”
“Shit! Commies?”
“Not sure, but it has to be, doesn’t it?”
Mortimer nodded silently turning to his desk and scribbling a note down.
“Get the Obs-Team over to Miami right away, flash CIA creds if necessary. I want them looking into police and newspaper reports. Anything they think looks odd, they report it in. Who’s our best detection man?”
“Maloney.”
“No, I want him on the gestalt team.”
“Best alternative has to Pearson.”
“Get him on a plane to Miami and link up with the Observation team.”
Thompson nodded and left the glass-walled office.
Damned commies! Mortimer cursed as he turned to the coffee percolator.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Tue Sep 18, 2012 9:48 pm

April 24th 1966 – Miami

“I’m telling you, Donald, that’s what I saw,” Barbara Harrison folded her arms tempestuously as she stood firm on her statement to Donald Chalk, Principle of Leewood Elementary School.
Chalk was thirty years senior to Harrison and had taught her himself when she was at high school. He knew her to be bright, studious, sensible and not subject to flights of fancy.
They were among the traits that he had hired her for here at Leewood, that and the fact that she was a damned good teacher.
So he knew that Barbara believed what she saw was right, and he had to accept it on face value.
But if she was right, what did that mean?
Okay, so he and probably half the world had heard of Peter Dixon, ‘The Pupeteer’ as the media had named him.
He’d been arrested, eventually, for murder, or at least conspiracy to murder, as he had claimed to have taken over the minds of completely innocent people and got them to steal and kill on his behalf. He’d had them follow him around like some sort of zombie entourage, controlling their every move with his own thoughts,
He’d even taken over the presiding judge’s mind in court and had him dancing around the room.
Then there had been Jackson Mohenby, the man who had stood in the middle of the New York Giant’s football stadium and scored a field goal using a line-backer as the ball.
Both men claimed to be from a group known as The League of Psychics and said they wanted to expose the super-power’s research and experimentation with psychic phenomena.
Chalk had taken an interest in the first case as Pete Dixon was his wife’s second-cousin.
In the end it was discovered that Dixon had drugged the people following his commands, including the judge (Dixon’s lawyer had facilitated that) and Mohenby and the line-backer had been in cahoots and the whole thing had been a poorly planned publicity stunt – the line-backer had died.
Even though the two events had been proven to be hoaxes it had, for a while, brought the phenomenon of psychic powers to the front of the collective public mind, and now rumours and stories and conspiracy theories existed everywhere.
The fringe newspapers were full of stories about people reading minds, controlling people or performing extraordinary feats.
“Okay, Barbara, I know of someone I can talk to. They’ll want to speak to you too, face to face, is that going to be a problem?”
“Not at all, Donald,” Barbara Harrison replied.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:05 pm

Barbara Harrison jumped when the bells began ringing throughout the school.
Instantly the children began scrambling for their bags, some shoving their books in without a care, others being more meticulous.
Barbara noted with a tiny smirk that the divide between shovers and placers was mostly about gender, the boys being the former and the girls being the latter. Then her gaze fell upon Caleb Mustenen, who remained seated while he placed his books neatly in his satchel.
Unconsciously a shiver rippled through her, like people get when they say someone has walked over your grave.
Caleb’s eyes were suddenly on her, studying her like a scientist studying rats in a cage, his face emotionless and showing only curiosity. Was that how Caleb Mustenen viewed other people? Like lab rats to be experimented on?
The teacher let out an audible sigh when the boy finally looked away and Barbara turned to the blackboard, wiping away the mathematics questions she’d put there.
“I hope Donald speaks to someone soon and they do something about that kid,” she thought.
Unbeknownst to her, Caleb’s eyes momentarily flicked back to her and his brows furrowed. “Why would she want the principle to do something about me?” he wondered.
He thought about the day before yesterday and his shoulders sagged, “Oh!” he mumbled, then realising he was about to become the only person left in the room with her, he scurried off to lunch.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Mon Apr 08, 2013 10:07 pm

Two black sedans had pulled up outside the decrepit offices of Harelsson’s International Shipping Company in the early hours of the morning and two men, dressed in crisp dark suits that screamed, to the initiated, ‘Government’ alighted from the car.
There had already been a light on in the office for some time and the door was answered by a man with bleary eyes and five-o’clock shadow on his chin.

Eight hours later Agent Albert Pearson rubbed his eyes and yawned. It had already been a very long day for most people in Miami it was only halfway through.
His team were similarly feeling the long hours, having arrived at three in the they had ploughed through the police and newspaper reports that the Jacksonville team, having rapidly relocated to Miami, had so far managed to amass.

Dennis Rendle wandered over to Pearsons desk and placed a bound folder in front of his boss.
“Finished with these,” he said in his southern drawl. “Only two in there to add to the list. One guy who reported that his neighbour had murdered his cat, says he saw the cat floating past his bedroom window. He looked out, saw no sign of the cat, which later turned up dead, but said that the neighbour was on his own veranda staring up at him.”
Pearson sighed as he took the hand written noted that accompanied the file from Rendle.
“And the other?”
“Couple of kids claim they were attacked by a boy who picked one of them and threw him the length of the school sports hall.”
Frowning and shaking his head Pearson asked with resigned voice, “And that made it onto a Police report?”
Rendle nodded. “The boy’s in hospital with spinal injuries, big scene and all. The investigating officer notes that not everything adds up. One of the boys mentions being picked up an held twenty feet or so above the floor, but he couldn’t find anything on scene that would fit.”
Pearson had learned that, although not psychic, good cops seemed to have good instincts, and when they thought something didn’t add up, it usually meant it didn’t.
“Show me the report,” Pearson asked sitting up straighter in his chair.
Rendle leafed through the folder finding the police report which he had marked.
He handed it across to Pearson who seemed to shudder when he took it.
Immediately, his eyes like saucers, he dropped the paper and sagged.
Rendle had seen this happen before, his senior colleague possessed a trait they called psychometry, the ability to gain insight on a subject by touching an object related to it.
“Interview the witnesses, starting with the kids. I’ll take a team to go and see the alleged perp.” He paused. “A kid?”
Rendle shrugged.
“This is genuine, Dennis, don’t know if it’s the one we’re looking for, but we need to take it seriously.”

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:48 pm

It was seven in the morning and Barbara Harrison groaned at the shrill ring of her alarm clock which her ex-fiance had bought her; another reason to hate it.
Sluggishly she dragged herself out of bed and was surprised by the groan from beside her.
Then it all came crashing back; the memories of a drunken night at the bar, and a stinking headache to accompany them.
The groan had come from a young man who lay naked beside her.
“Oh my god!” the thought horrified. This wasn’t a young man, not really, he was barely more than a kid!
She silently cursed Caleb Mustenen. For the last few nights, since seeing what he did to that boy, she’d been drinking heavily to help her sleep. And she found that she didn’t like drinking alone.

Barbara found the ‘boys’ clothes, she couldn’t think of him as a man even though technically he was only a handful of years younger than her. Throwing them on the bed she shook the naked, nameless occupant awake. “Get up, get dressed and get out,” she ordered grouchily.

After a few minutes of disgruntled protest and some hard to hear words (even though they were true, which made them all the more difficult to accept) her front door slammed shut and Barbara sighed heading for the shower and the start of what would turn out to be her last day of school. Her last day of anything.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Tue Apr 16, 2013 9:50 pm

Agent Lovett, a short thin man in his late forties with dark hair just beginning to show signs of greying, removed his fedora hat before pulling open the door of a long black Lincoln sedan that was parked in the visitors section of St Eddemoor’s General Hospital car park.
Inside were two other men, one of a similar age similar build and same black suit as his colleagues, the other man was much younger and his chocolate brown skin shone with sweat brought on by the heat of the early morning sun being magnified through the back window.
“Well?” the man in the driver’s seat asked of Lovett.
“Kid says this boy lifted him more than twice my height at least, his words, above the ground without touching him.”
Agent Cole’s brows arched. “How old are we talking?”
Lovett slowly turned his head to face Cole. “Eight,” he answered flatly.
The leather creaked on the back seat as Agent Wills sat up straighter. “Eight?” Wills almost choked on the word.
“Eight,” Lovett confirmed.
“And you think this eight-year-old just blasted out a level sixteen? Ain’t anyone in this state can get more than a nine or ten, on a really good day.”
Lovett shrugged. “Well apparently someone can.”
“Christ!” Cole blasphemed before turning in his chair to face Wills. “Can you let Pearson know we have confirmation of definite talent?”
Wills shut his eyes and breathed deeply. After a moment they opened again and the man shook his head. “Too far away,” he said.
Cole sighed, then started the car.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Mon Jun 24, 2013 4:36 am

“Bye dad,” Caleb puffed as he scrambled across the back seat of the car, hauling his sizable bag with him.
Petrick watched his son join the throng of children heading into school.
He shook a cigarette loose from his packet and lit it, sucking the smoke deep into his lungs.
Caleb hated him smoking, he knew, and so this was always his first of the day, the one he enjoyed the most after many hours of abstinence.
The Finn sat back in his seat and spotted Caleb stood at the bottom of the school steps, motionless like a statue or a wax dummy. Then he also saw Maggie as she skipped through the crowd. She saw Caleb, ran the last thirty or so feet to join him and the pair, chatting like old washer-women made their way into school.
Petrick chuckled, blowing smoke out of his open window. He was wondering how Maggie managed to get the awkward little boy that was his son to be so normal.
In no particular rush to visit the dentist this morning, he decided to finish his cigarette before leaving.
More cars came and went, some pausing barely long enough for the children to alight, others lingering whilst parents, like him, watched their spawn all the way to the door.
Another car pulled up, a foreign thing, European, Citroen. Petrick watched it swing into the parking lot and he sat up straighter when he saw Caleb’s teacher climb out. The boy had mentioned that she hd been acting oddly towards him, which surprised Petrick as he had been expecting more than just odd behaviour.
Flicking the butt out of the window he reached for the key and turned it, firing the engine but he didn’t pull away. Instead, as though some sort of sixth-sense drew his attention he watched two men in trim black suits climb from a dark Lincoln parked very near the school entrance.

The men hailed Miss Harrison, making the woman who bore dark rings around her eyes pause uncertainly on the top step.
For some reason Petrick’s heckles were up and then he saw why. As the men approached the young teacher one of them flashed some form of identification. It was too far away for Petrick to tell what sort or to hear what was being said, but Miss Harrison seemed to be doing a lot of nodding and finally shaking her head, looking at her watch and possibly giving the men a time.
Whatever she said seemed to satisfy them as the both nodded in unison and returned to their vehicle.
He watched the men pull away and saw that Miss Harrison was doing the same.

Now he needed to think; those guys were obviously Feds. But what did they want? Obviously their presence here had to have something to do with the incident between Caleb and the two boys.

Mustenen drove away, deciding to give the dentist a miss.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:11 pm

April 28th 1966
10:30 am


It was typically clear, hot and sunny in Miami today, a fact that many of the men working near the beach constructing a huge hotel complex probably wouldn’t appreciate.

Petrick Mustenen was also one of those. He had decided to run a few errands before going home and sitting in the car with the sun slowly baking him had brought him out in a sticky, uncomfortable sweat. At least, Petrick assumed it was the sun. he was nervous, not yet to the point of being jumpy, but he was definitely on edge thanks to seeing those Feds speaking to Miss Harrison.
It was late morning by the time he turned into the palm-tree lined street where he and Caleb lived in a modest house with a private garden.
It wasn’t until he had driven halfway down the long road that he noticed the shiny black Lincoln parked just down the road from his house. He saw that the car was occupied and something about it made him drive on by with only a cursory glance. Perhaps it was the fact that this was not the first such vehicle he had seen containing government types today.
Although the occupants weren’t the same as he had seen at Caleb’s school, they certainly visited the same tailor. That fact that these guys weren’t the ones from this morning gave Petrick cause for more concern than he had already felt. This showed that this wasn’t just a couple of Feds doing the standard investigation. These guys were a part of a team, and that meant the government was taking this incident seriously.
Petrick cruised on to the end of the street, taking a left turn casually before gunning the engine and heading towards a bright, care-free downtown Miami at lunchtime.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:13 pm

April 28th 1966
12:30 am


Two hours later, having called in old favours with several of his contacts, Petrick knew that several stations had been contacted by the FBI and asked to supply copies of their reports for the preceding days to a special task force. The task force had not asked for anything specific and it seemed to some that perhaps they didn’t know what it was they had been looking for.
And now Fed-looking goons were staking out his house and Caleb’s school. It seemed to Petrick that they had discovered what they were looking for.

Petrick had visited a lock-up too, a dusty garage filled with mound formed by undisclosed items covered in white sheets.
Under one square shaped mound was a safe. Petrick had taken half the contents, including a pistol which he hadn’t used since before Caleb was born.
Another, larger cover was removed to reveal a gleaming white 1964 Ford Mustang. It was something Petrick had purchase on impulse and had immediately regretted, knowing the vehicle would draw too much unwanted attention.
But that was two years ago and such vehicles on the road were not so uncommon nowadays.

Later, in Joe’s Bar in the Quays, Petrick started making phone calls.

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