A Darker Shade Of Pale

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

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A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:37 pm

A Darker Shade of Pale

Night had fallen over the island, the shelling had stopped and relative peace reigned once more as the locals began sifting through the wreckage of their town, mourning their dead and cursing the American warships in the harbour.

Up the hill, on the road out of town a blinding white flash from within a small room outlined the non-descript but heavy door that barred entry to it.

A moment later the door opened and a figure emerged, a mere shadow in the blackness.
Dressed in a long black top-coat, tight fitting and with a tall collar like a mandarin jacket at the top and flowing like a cape below the waist it hid most of what the man wore beneath.
Only the bottoms of his black pressed trousers and his high gloss sturdy shoes could be seen.
His manner of dress was far out of place but the figure didn’t worry about that.
The man, tall, dark haired and handsome, surveyed the site of the farriers from behind dark glasses.
The place was mostly craters filled with debris now, after the Americans had nigh-on flattened this part of town.
In complete silence the figure picked his way across the site and as he departed the area, so th crickets started their chirping again.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:38 pm

Captain Edwardo Delanzo rubbed at his tired eyes. It had been a long day, fraught with danger and mayhem and his body was worn out from the constant deluge of adrenaline. Despite his tiredness he didn’t think he’d see much in the way of sleep tonight.

The morning had started early with fighting against the insurgents becoming bogged down near the docks.
The Americans had stayed out of it, keeping their own guard on their holdings and dissuading the locals from going anywhere near.

But then the civilians had kicked off, rioting in the streets and suddenly the American ships were blasting everything in town.
Ignoring the near decimation of his town, what bothered Captain Delanzo was what was it that had set the civilians off?
He felt sure that if he’d been out with his men he’d know, but he hadn’t been. Instead he’d been in the saloon trying to assess the strange old American with the metal and glass contraption over his eye.
The strange device appeared to be grafted to the old man’s face. Delanzo had never seen anything like it, and that encounter bothered him more than any other event.
In fact it wasn’t just the American, it was his two strange Australian companions too.
All three were dressed in such an unusual manner and were so out of place that he would not have been surprised to find them cowering in a corner. But the three men seemed completely unbothered by the battle raging around them. That was except for the brief moment when the American took down eight of the insurgents with his pistols in the mere blink of an eye.

That strange eye kept re-appearing in the captain’s thoughts; it was just so “other-worldly”. The captain wasn’t even sure that was a real phrase but it seemed to suit.
As he sat at his make-shift desk he wondered if the trio had been spies. They had appeared shortly before the shelling started. In fact the dandily dressed one had arrived at the saloon mere minutes before the rioters. Had he and his companion instigated it?
And now there was no trace of any of them, not even amongst the dead. Were they resting easily on one of the big American ships still moored in the harbour?

Delanzo decided he’d have to report this to his superiors. Perhaps there would be more Americans sporting these odd additions dotted around the Southern Americas?
Would there be a prelude to attack? It was something else for the captain to worry about.

There was a knock at the door and a runner came in, sweat glistening on his brow in the candlelight.
“Latest report from the east quarter, Captain.”
Delanzo took the offered scrap of paper and read the hastily scribbled note. One hundred and forty three dead recovered from that quarter so far.
The officer shook his head in disbelief.
“Tell the sergeant to stand down until morning,” he said and returned the corporal’s departing salute. “And corporal, send Private’s Hernandez and Morales to see me will you?”

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:39 pm

A shadow moved silently through the dark night, an electronic map of the town overlaid on his vision so he knew where he was headed. The shadow carefully avoided the areas lit by the still burning fires.

Two US Marines picked their way through some of the buildings not blasted by the navy.
They moved carefully from room to room, their rifles at the ready searching for anyone who might have been involved in the days attacks.
Both men were nervous in the darkness, aware that anyone could be lurking in the building ready to slit their throats.
With relief they declared the building empty and made their way to the door which lead out into the alleyway.
Corporal Tom Bruce stepped out into the narrow lane between this and the neighbouring house and collided with a figure in the blackness.
He leaped backwards bringing his rifle up but the move was too slow. The figure moved with uncanny speed at the off balance marine and set something hard and cold against the man’s temple.
“You okay, Tommy?” came a voice from the doorway.
The shadowy figure scowled at the newcomer for making this into something the figure didn’t really want it to be.
He pulled the trigger on the near silent pistol pressed into the marine’s head and at the same time gestured with his free hand at the second marine.
Tom Bruce’s lifeless body slumped to the floor and the other man shot forward at incredible speed, slamming into the wall opposite with such force that he was stunned.
A knife swept across his throat, ending his life before he regained any awareness of his surroundings.
With a sigh the figure turned away from the dead men, genuinely sorry for what he had had to do.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:40 pm

Privates Hernandez and Morales stood to attention before their captain.
“Relax,” Delanzo said in a friendly tone. “Tell me your thoughts on the events of this afternoon. I want to know what you thought of the strange men I the saloon?”

A little nervously the taller of the two men spoke. “Senor, we have been talking about them, after the fighting was over. They were very strange indeed.”
“Have you ever seen or heard of anything like the older man’s eye contraption before?”
“No senor. It gave us both the creeps.” The other soldier nodded in support.
“Describe it to me,” the captain instructed.
The men looked nervous again. “But captain you saw it too!”
“Yes, Yes, but I want to make sure I remember it correctly. Let me write down your words.” Delanzo reached for a pencil.

“I’d rather you didn’t,” said a dark shadowy figure from the outside balcony.
All three soldiers looked up in surprise as the oddly dressed man walked into the low light
Delanzo went for his gun but stopped as searing pain erupted through his head causing him to double up, clasping his skull.
Both privates were distracted by their captains predicament and didn’t notice the strange man with the dark glasses move behind them.

Two indistinct clicks and ‘phuts’ were all that marked the men’s deaths as they were shot in the back of the head.
Both bodies remained standing as though held by an invisible force; which they were.
The dark figure put away the silenced weapon and gestured at the bodies which slowly lowered to the ground.
Delanzo slumped in his chair, his head fit to burst. His mind reeled from both the pain and the incomprehensible way his men’s lifeless bodies were somehow lowered to the floor.
He noticed the mysterious figure half shrouded in shadow.
“Why?” he croaked.
“Because you were unlucky.”
Pain, greater than before pierced the captain’s skull again and he spasmed. Then another wave came and blood trickled from his ears.
Delanzo’s body shook for a moment before its life too slipped away.
The figure moved to the desk and took the small black notebook.
He read the captain’s detailed recollections of the American’s odd attachments and the strange Australian.
Pocketing the book the figure stepped out into the night and floated eerily to the ground.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:41 pm

Closing the sturdy door the man pulled a brass key card from his pocket and placed it into a slot just below a round green-glowing screen.
He glanced at the small black box with the digital timer on it. The device would make this portal explode in on itself, ripping apart its connection with temporal and trans-dimensional space.
The resultant explosion would take a fair part of this side of the hill with it.

The locals would guess and wonder at what could have caused it. But not for long.
Once the barman was discovered crucified in his own saloon with American Marine paraphernalia scattered about the resultant chaos and general anger should remove the giant crater from the forefront of the minds.
Those two events should then be enough to place any memory of the strange old American into the realms of obscurity.
Thus, his job was done.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Tue Oct 11, 2011 9:42 pm

A quick flash of white signalled an arrival in the main hall.
A red light flashed and a klaxon sounded alerting everyone within the complex of the portal activation.
The Main Hall was a round room with what resembled empty guard-huts or perhaps old police boxes with the doors removed, lining the walls. Each one contained screens and dials and levers.
Above each box, upon the paisley patterned wallpaper was a plaque stating the name of a destination or series of destinations.
From the box marked Munro 2 stepped a man in black and wearing dark glasses. His shiny gloss shoes were tarnished with mud as were the bottoms of his trousers.

Armed men in blue and black military style uniforms rushed into the room, fanning out ahead of another man.
Of average build, Julian Mammott had a mop of red hair with chin whiskers to match. His suit showed him to be someone of standing though the darkly dressed newcomer did not find the style to his liking.
Victorian fashion always struck him as being overly cumbersome and a bit too starchy.
“You’re back sooner than expected,” Mammott said waving the guards into a relaxed posture.
“Luckily for you!” the newcomer’s Scottish accent broke through slightly.
“Err – Quite!” Mammott gave a nervous laugh and watched as the man began to leave the room, then stepped in alongside him.
“Did all go to plan?” Mammott asked jovially.
“What plan?” the man replied sternly.
“Well, you know….” Mammott found himself awkwardly uncomfortable around this man.
The figure stopped and turned to face the station controller.
“I had to kill more people than I intended,” he said flatly.
“Ah!”
“You tell Reynolds…” the man began.
“Lord Reynolds,” Mammott interrupted automatically and instantly regretted the correction.
The man stared at him silently for what felt like an age.
“You tell Reynolds,” the man repeated calmly, “to exercise more caution next time. I don’t like having to clean up after people who should know better.”
“But that is your job,” Mammott naively protested.
“NO – it isn’t.”
There was a pause and the man moved off again. “You just let Reynolds know; once or twice, okay – shit happens. Any more than that and I’ll look at cleaning him up instead.”

Mammott, a native of Etheria had grown up in a world with a strong and defined class system. The threat against a member of the aristocracy didn’t sit well.
“I…” he started to protest but stopped himself.
The man had also stopped and he concentrated on the door before him for a moment before the lock clicked open.
It was the door to the executive suite.
Now this was well outside protocol.
“Agent Black, what are you doing?”
“Getting cleaned up,” Black replied. “Then I’m going home.”

The statement sounded final.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:16 pm

Calico – Quantum 6.
Divergence Point: 1912 – The Russian Revolution fails to overthrow the Czar and the Russian royal family remains in control. The Soviet Union never comes into existence. The relative peace and stability in Europe fails to escalate tensions between Germany and her neighbours. The Great War occurred in 1943 and lasted over ten years with the defeat of the Germans and Italians.
Current Events: There are two democratic capitalist superpowers in existence; America and their close allies, Russia, both waiting and watching in a cold war with Communist China. In the mean time, powerful corporations rule the roost.
17:45 hrs June 5th 1999


“I’ll drive!” said a tall dark haired man dressed in a dark tailored suit and equally dark sunglasses, holding out his hand. He wasn’t smiling.
“Like hell you will,” replied the shorter slightly balding man with him. Boris Karkarov had only got the new Ferrari yesterday and so far he hadn’t taken it out for a spin. There was no way he was giving up this chance so that he could let the hired help get all the pleasure.
The suited man, Dennis Barker raised his eyebrows as if to a petulant child.
“No! Not today Barker. We do not have work today so it I’ll drive.” He stared at the American as though daring him to object. He glanced momentarily at the bright sun sitting in a pale blue sky.
“I have forgotten my sunglasses,” he said throwing Barker the keys. “You may start her up and bring her to the front doors.”
A hint of a smile flicked at the corners of Barker’s mouth as he pulled the car door open.
Boris had taken no more than twenty paces when he heard the engine purr into life. A second later his ears were assaulted by a huge explosion, the shock wave throwing him to the ground.
When his senses returned he rolled over and stared in horror at the roiling fireball that was once his brand new sports car.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Sat Feb 04, 2012 11:19 pm

Detective lieutenant Dan Marcowitz of the Chicago Police Department slammed his fist down onto the cheap interview room table.
“Dammit, man! We’ve got you on camera planting the bomb, you really can’t deny it. Now I just want you to tell me why?” the detective yelled.
“I didn’t do it!” Peter Eddington said once more, his voice exasperated and pleading.
Marcowitz pointed at the screen, the black and white image frozen, Eddington’s face clear for all to see. The image had been stopped just moments after the bomb had been planted.
“That’s you, Eddington!” he said calmly.
Eddington shook his head. “No!”
“Oh Christ, you know, you’re right!” Marcowitz suddenly said stepping back from the table, his hand to his forehead in mock horror. “That’s not you is it? That’s Santa fuckin’ Clause!”
He was back at the table, both hands out wide and flat on the surface supporting his weight as he leaned in, his nose almost pressing against Eddington’s. “You think I’m fucking stupid? That’s you on the screen and the sooner you just admit that, the sooner we can get on with the rest of this shit!”
“Detective!” a warning tone came from a man in a light grey, rumpled suit, sitting next to Eddington.
Marcowitz gritted his teeth and glanced at the greasy haired lawyer. He backed away from the suspect.
“Mr Eddington, let’s start this again, shall we? The face on the screen, do you agree that it is yours?”
Eddington looked to his lawyer who nodded silently.
“Yes,” the young man admitted.
“Hoo-fucking-ray!” Marcowitz threw his hands in the air and span on the spot to face his fellow investigator, Sheila Warrick who rolled her eyes.
“Then you’ll also agree that’s you planting the bomb then?” she asked.
Eddignton shook his head. “I really don’t remember doing it,” he said in a flat yet resigned tone.
“Oh good god!” Marcowitz’s shoulders slumped.

The scene on the TV paused at the press of an icon on the pad that Graham Luxton, Infinity station commander for the US gateways on Lambert 3 held in his hand.
“Your thoughts?” Luxton directed the question to a woman sitting at the opposite side of the table from him with a similar pad in her hands. She wore the blue and silver uniform of the Infinity Patrol.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Sun Feb 05, 2012 10:24 pm

“None right now, should I have?” Susan Wallace leaned forward her hands locked together on the tabletop as she looked back at the handsome Luxton.
“Karkarov is an important contact here on Lambert. He has a lot of influence in the business world and has proven to be very useful to us. So far the local police and even their security agencies have not been able to uncover a culprit.
Wallace knew there had to be more to this and as much as she hated these little power games, she deigned to play along. “Eddington not our man?” she asked dutifully.
“Guilty as charged, caught red handed. But there was no motive whatsoever, in fact for him even if he hadn’t been caught it would have been counterproductive for him - he’d lose out big time. On top of that he has no recollection of planting the bomb at all. He’s not the only one either. Zenith Corporation sold four hundred million dollars worth of shares it didn’t intend to for a rock bottom price. Zenith’s CEO knew nothing about this until he started getting irate phone calls from the shareholders.”
“I take it Karkarov is Zenith’s CEO?”
Luxton Nodded.
“How did it happen?”
“Alex Jackson; a mid-level finance manager for Zenith, on the fast track for promotion, great prospects and one of Karkarov’s favourites.”
“And you’re going to tell me Jackson doesn’t remember doing it?” Wallace put in, beginning to see the picture.
“Correct,” but he remembers being elsewhere. In fact he was able to describe events at a function Karkarov was throwing, as though he had been there, but the Corporate Watchmen have him on CCTV not only in the building, but entering the Finance Director’s office. Zenith’s own IT department have him recorded as logging in on that PC moments before the transactions took place, then he used the Director’s personal Log-In to instruct Marcus Raiminov Financiers, Zenith’s brokers, to sell the stock. Neither the Watchmen, nor our own people have been able to find a link between the director and Jackson.”
“Doesn’t rule out some dodgy scam between the two though,” Wallace pointed out.
“Agreed, but we’ve had Jackson, Eddington and Director Tulton on a very advanced polygraph and they’re all telling the truth,” Luxton countered.
“Or they believe they are telling the truth,” Wallace said. “You think there’s something odd going on?”
Luxton nodded. “Could be nothing out of the ordinary. Karkarov’s an asshole, so this could be one giant conspiracy. Could be industrial sabotage. Or then again, there could be some outside influence at work. Either way Karkarov is a very useful tool and I could do without losing him.”
“Okay, Graham, I’ll get hold of Central and put forward your case, see what they can come up with.” Susan Wallace stood and shook Luxton’s hand flashing a friendly smile.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:56 am

Boris Karkarov sat at his desk reading through a report on Zenith’s current financial status. It didn’t make for pleasant reading, but then it was what he had expected after the recent fiasco with the shares.
The official investigation was on-going and all shares and monies had been returned to normal, with compensation pay-outs to boot. However, confidence in Zenith had taken a knock and several of the shareholders had bailed out. Again, it was something he had expected and so was not overly concerned, but the sharp downturn in profits did make and unpleasant looking valley in the otherwise ever increasing slope of his profit and loss chart.
A knock on the door drew his attention from the disaster in his hands to the stark glass and chromes of his office. “Ya?” he called. Patricia Price, Karkarov’s PA, poked her head around the door. “Mr Mavin to see you, sir.”

Paul Mavin was a man in his late thirties with a thick head of jet black hair and cleft chin. An ex-US Marine with the body to prove it, he was now Karkarov’s head of security at Zenith. He was also Karkarov’s primary link with Infinity.

Mavin, in his usual dark security uniform, came into the room with a strikingly beautiful woman. This immediately grabbed Karkarov’s attention. The Marine introduced Susan Wallace.

“And what can I do for you Miss Wallace?” Karkarov sleazed as he sat in his high backed leather chair.
“Stay alive would be a good start,” Wallace said bluntly, soliciting a surprised look from the overweight Russian. “I am, shall we say, in charge of regional security for one of your major backers, Mr Karkarov. It has come to our attention that you have been having a spot of bother.”
“Well,” Karkarov tried to brush the comment aside. “Nothing I can’t take care of. Which company did you say you work for?”
Wallace smirked. “Not a local one, but one with much to offer you, Mr Karkarov.”
The penny dropped. At last, Karkarov thought. “There is nothing to worry about Miss Wallace.”
“On the contrary, Mr Karkarov, some of my people are concerned. Time and collateral have been expended, making you a prized asset” A prized ass more like, Wallace added silently.
Despite himself a glow of self-importance washed over Karkarov at her words and Wallace grimaced inside. The easiest way to manipulate these corporate types was through their ego.

“So what are you doing here, Miss Wallace?” Karkarov inquired.
Leaning back in her chair, crossing her long slender legs, she said sternly, “I want to make sure you are taking these threats seriously. You have been targeted twice now, and we don’t want there to be a third time lucky for the perpetrators.”
“Twice?” Karkarov inquired seeming surprised.
“Yes, twice. Some tried to blow you up, as you are well aware. When that failed or perhaps in addition to the previous attempt, they tried to ruin you financially. Now although the culprits have been arrested, we think there is more to it – that there may be someone looking to force your corporation into a position where you will be vulnerable to take over. This would not be good for us.”
Karkarov sat up straight in his chair. “Miss Wallace, I take threats to my life very seriously, and threats to my company even more so. However, I am a great believer in letting the experts do what the experts are paid to do and have left the investigations to the appropriate bodies. But if you and your organisation feel there is still an underlying threat then I must bow to your expertise. What should I do?”
“Be vigilant. Mr Mavin has increased your security detail and I am sending in an investigator, of sorts, to look into this situation more closely. I trust you will be open and co-operative with him, if I know him he’ll be digging around in all your dealings, Mr Karkarov.”
“Zenith deals with many sensitive clients, Miss Wallace, so I may be tied contractually in some areas with regard to how much I can share with this man.” Karkarov smiled.
“I understand that, but his is not just anybody, this is one of my organisation’s experts,” Wallace said.
Security issues were going to be an issue, Karkarov knew and he told Wallace so.
“You may have to come up with something, because I can assure you that our agent will be probing, trying to weed out your true adversary.

You stupid bitch, Karkarov cursed mentally. Someone poking around his business and his life without so much as a by your leave? He didn’t like that idea of it one bit.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:56 am

Chrissie Simmons walked quickly up the long path towards the colonial style mansion with its white washed walls and thick columns flanking the large glossy black doors.
She hated this house. Yes, the structure itself was pleasing enough, and the manicured gardens were the envy of the neighbourhood and everything she could have dreamed of, had the circumstances been different.
What she hated was what this house stood for, and who it belonged to.
Boris Karkarov was a man who brought misery to her life. Him, and her weak willed, naïve father.
Karkarov had persuaded her father to go for a business proposition that turned out to be highly illegal. The deal went south, her father got caught and her father’s business was brought to the verge of collapse.
Boris Karkarov had saved him, hiding evidence and keeping her father from going to prison by providing some of the best corporate criminal lawyers money could buy.
He also acquired her father’s company, ‘Zenith’ and all of its lucrative contracts, building it up to one of the United States’ most successful companies.
And as part of the deal, Chrissie’s father wound up with next to nothing and Chrissie had to work for the man who had brought down her family. It was the price she had to pay for keeping her father from prison.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:57 am

The sleek black high performance motorcycle sped through the downtown Chicago streets, picking through the traffic like a bat out of hell. It looked like something off of a concept artist’s drawing board, and had caused the local Infinity station chief to break out into a cold sweat, something the rider had merely stared blankly at.

The bike turned south, ignoring the curses from the drivers it cut up.

Once out in the suburbs it came to the gates of a huge house.
The gates opened before the motorcycle and the rider guided the machine up the long drive.
The concerned district security personnel who had been tracking the unusual visitor to their exclusive neighbourhood breathed a collective sigh as the gate swung sedately closed behind Mr Karkarov’s guest.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:58 am

On the journey home Karkarov spoke with the two men Mavin had assigned to replace Barker.
They had already shown that they were very thorough, always one I front, one behind, not letting him expose himself until they had checked that all was clear.
Disappointingly, these men were not from Infinity, that would have made things easier, or could have proven useful, at least. They were serious about their profession though, even though Karkarove knew that he had nothing to fear. He knew exactly who was plotting these attacks and when the next one was scheduled.

Progress was slow through the mid-afternoon traffic and Karkarov was getting agitated. God only knew what this damned investigator was looking into, and what he might be uncovering that could prove detrimental to Karkarov’s future plans.

He needed Infinity on his side right now.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Wed Feb 15, 2012 10:59 am

The rider dismounted and stood beside the motorcycle surveying the huge building. He noticed the cameras dotted around the grounds, recording all that happened within.
Alongside the mansion was a garage gig enough to house at least four large vehicles and room enough outside for many more.
The man noticed the blackened smear up the walls from the exploding Ferrari, though the chippings had already been renewed in the parking bays.
Tall, with jet black hair and of an athletic build, his complexion was darker than would be considered the norm for his native Finland, though he attributed that to his Israeli mother.
He wore a black tailored coat that bore a slight oriental cut to it, and reached to the floor. Under that only a pair of black pressed trousers and patent black shoes were visible.
As he finished his observations of the building and its grounds, he turned slowly to the black doors, and peered over the top of his dark glasses.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:54 pm

Jeremy Stephens ran his finger along the top of the sitting room door architrave and looked at the digit for signs of dirt. He was a little disappointed to find none.
“Very well, Miss Simmons,” he said to the housemaid who waited patiently by the other doorway through to the lounge. “You may proceed to the kennels and clean the dog’s beds. I must see the chef and discuss this evening’s meals.” He was pleased to see the look of disappointment on the woman’s face.
Chrissie Simmons really disliked the dogs kennels above all other places in the god-forsaken mansion. Well, except for that place, she thought shuddering as she did so.
‘That place’ was a room in the south wing that Karkarov liked to keep private. Stephens, the head of household, was the olny member of staff allowed in there, unless directed specifically, and usually unwillingly by Karkarov himself.
Karkarov had taken her in there before, drunk and angry with someone. He’d dragged Chrissie by the hair and …
She blinked and swallowed hard, forcing the images away and fighting back the bile that rose in her throat.
Bastard! She’d love to get her own back one day. Pity the Russian hadn’t blown up in the sports car instead of Mr Barker.

“Wait,” Stephens said as a thought came to him. The chef was making a curry this evening. The dogs always got a bowl too. Tomorrow’s mess in the kennels would be so much more… fluid!
“Angeline has a hole in her stockings, she can do the kennels as penance. You will do them tomorrow.”
Chrissie nodded. “Yes, Mister Stephens. What would you like me to do now?”

Stephens was about to answer when there came several sharp knocks at the front door.
He frowned, “Who the devil is that?” he huffed as he made his way towards the hallway. No one was scheduled to come today, workmen always came in through the rear entrance, Mr Karkarov would just walk in, and any guests of course would have to be buzzed in at the front gate anyway which would mean he would already know about them.
“Come with me, I’ll find you something to be getting on with once I’ve sorted this out,” he told Chrissie.
Stephens marched down the hallway and pulled the door open.
The figure standing silently before him, hands clasped casually behind his back certainly didn’t look like a workman. His clothes were impeccably clean, his trousers pressed almost to a knife edge (something the housekeeper found strangely reassuring) and his shoes gleamed.
Then Stephens saw the unusual bike and did a double-take.
“Yes?” he asked eventually, snapping the word out.
“I’m here to see Mr……”
“He’s not here, did you have an appointment?” Stephens snapped again, cutting the man off in mid-stream.
Unperturbed, the man continued, “Karkarov’s private office.”
“What?” Stephens was taken aback by the strange demand and before he could say anything more the dark suited man in the long coat was stepping in, pushing Stephens gently aside.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Thu Feb 23, 2012 2:55 pm

Caleb Black’s footsteps faltered as he entered the marble enshrouded hallway. The gold-veined white marble lined the floors and walls, blending into the curving stair off to the right, with wrought iron rails and gold finishings. A crystal chandelier hung from the high ceiling two floors up casting its brilliant light down over the entrance.
But it was not this magnificent splendour that caused the out of character hesitation.
Beyond the fifty-something, salt and pepper haired Mr Stephens was a woman in a maids uniform.

Her face, her hair, her eyes, all so familiar yet at the same time, completely unknown.
He felt as though his heart had stopped and he was unsure why. This was not the first time he had come across her in his cross-world travels, yet it always hit him like a tsunami.

“What in the blue blazes do you think you are doing?” Stephens fumed. “Miss Simmons…”
Another wave crashed against Black’s heart.
“… phone the police!” Stephens finished.

“Get a grip!” Black scolded himself. An enormous tidal barrier formed in his mind against the crashing memories of a love departed.

He knew his mind so well, he could get inside with no resistance, and planted although, strong and full conviction: “Disobey!”

Chrissie took a step backwards, away from the two men, nervous and timid.
Not like Nikki, Black realised, and the waters on the other side of the barrier calmed a little.

“The police!” Stephens barked at her, and this time she flinched but remained where she stood.
“Quiet,” Black said in a calm but authoritative voice.
Stephens was taken aback.
His indecision was Black’s moment. The agent reached out with his mind, forcing his way into the butler’s.
Stephens winced as his head began to throb.
“You seem to have a headache. Why don’t you go to your room and lay down for an hour or two?” Black said quietly.
The butler nodded slowly rubbing his forehead.
“I do have a headache,” he announced. “I’m going to lay down.” With that he walked away towards the back of the house.
Chrissie Simmons watched him go with some degree of confusion. She’d never seen Stephens act in such a submissive manner to anyone but Karkarov before.
She looked back at the strange visitor, “I think you’d better come back later,” she said with trepidation.
“I’m sorry Miss Simmons, but I cannot.”
It’s not Nikki, not her, he told himself as he threatened to melt into her eyes.
Even through his dark glasses Chrissie could sense the intense stare and her cheeks reddened.
Black snapped himself out of it. “Sorry,” he said again reaching into a pocket and producing an identity card. “I’m with the Bureaux,” he allowed her time to read the card with the large letters spelling FBI.
“Oh, okay,” Chrissie couldn’t understand why, but she wasn’t convinced. “Shouldn’t you have a warrant or something?”
Black replied, shaking his head, “Not if Mr Karkarov has asked for our help.”
“Oh okay,” Chrissie said again.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:19 pm

Karkarov’s limousine raced out of the city and up into the hills. As soon as the black car came to a halt outside the big black doors, Karkarov alighted from the vehicle, noticing the strange motorcycle as he stormed past it.
Throwing open the doors he was surprised to find no sign of Stephens. Perhaps he was detaining the investigator.
“Stephens?” he called like a man summoning a naughty dog.
Scowling at the lack of response he moved towards the lounge, assuming that to be the first place Stephens would take an unannounced visitor.
There was no visitor, no Stephens, only Angeline Wottabo, the black maid, cleaning his crystal glasses to an incredible gleam in a bowl of hot soapy water.
She immediately assumed an attention-like stance as he entered.
“Have you seen Stephens?” Karkarov barked without warmth.
“No, sir.”
“Anyone else here? Not staff?”
“I don’t know Mr Karkarov.”
He moved out towards the sitting room and heard cutlery chinking from within the kitchen.
Again, upon noticing Karkarov, the occupants stopped what they were doing and awaited instructions.
“Stephens, where is he?” Karkarov barked once more.
“He had a bad headache, sir, he’s gone to bed,” Chrissie Simmons offered, regretting it the moment the sound left her lips.
“What?” Karkarov had never heard of the like, Stephens was never ill. He turned to leave but remembered the bike.
“Who’s is that motorbike?”
Chrissie genuinely had no idea what Karkarov was talking about but again, against her better judgement offered, “It could belong to the FBI man.”
“FBI!” Karkarov almost choked. “Where is he?”
“In your office, sir.”
“My office? Who let him in there?” Karkarov stood with his hands on his hips, his face a visage of pure anger.
Although Chrissie didn’t want to tell him it was her, she felt compelled to answer, a voice at the back of her mind urging her to tell. “Me,” she said meekly.

Upstairs, in the large plush office, Caleb Black froze as he sensed something he had not expected.

“You stupid bitch!” Karkarov almost screamed and he lunged across the room, grabbing Chrissie by the hair. “Come with me.”
Again Chrissie didn’t want to go, but something in her head told her she should obey, in fat she had to obey. Yelping from the sharp pain from her pulled hair, she stumbled awkwardly behind him.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Fri Feb 24, 2012 4:21 pm

Black placed the book he was leafing through back on Karkarov’s desk.
It was Karkarov’s personal diary containing his meetings and appointments. There was an interesting note there about an electrical supplier.
Karkarov’s business was about buying and selling other businesses, so why would he need to meet with this low level manager, Black wondered? And why was it that when Black called the supplier’s number, the man had said, “Hello Mr Karkarov”?
Was there some activity that Karkarov indulged in that Infinity were unaware of? It seemed unlikely. Infinity was usually pretty careful on who they approached, or dealt with.

Black could hear someone coming down the passage towards the office, but he made no attempt to turn to meet them. Instead he pulled open the top drawer of the desk and began looking through the contents.

The door burst open.
“What the hell do you think you are doing?” a furious Karkarov asked, his voice quivering and high pitched.
Black was going to continue his search, ignoring the man, but a shrill yelp made him look up.
He saw the woman, the ‘not-Nikki’, her hair clasped in Karkarov’s hand as though it were a lead and he was dragging a dog to heel.
Anger flared within the agent.
“I asked you a question, boy!” Karkarov spat.
“You are Karkarov?” Black asked calmly despite his inner turmoil.
“Mister – Karkarov, yes. You are Miss Wallace’s investigator?”
There was no point in denying it so Black gave a slight nod.
“What gives you the right to go snooping around my personal things?” said the Russian as he made his way to his desk, Chrissie in tow, ingnoring her yelps as he dragged her along and slammed the drawer shut.
“The things here are either private or confidential,” Karkarov explained to the passive, expressionless face Black had adopted.
“You have spoken with Inspector Wallace?” Black asked.
“Yes.”
“And she has informed you of my purpose here?”
“Indeed she has,” Karkarov replied bitterly. “But I do not see how you snooping around my home and private office has bearing on what has happened?”
“Ow!” Chrissie gasped as Karkarov dragged her to his side and she caught her hip on the corner of the desk.
Black looked into her pleading eyes but forced himself to remain dispassionate; this was not Nikki.
With a sigh the Finn moved to the armchair located alongside a packed bookshelf and sat down slowly.
He smiled at the Russian. “If we were to meet for the first time in your office in the city, you would naturally choose to present yourself in the best light, offering me you public persona and not a true representation of you. Am I correct?”
“Not necessarily,” Karkarov said, though his voice contained less anger now.
“You would wish me, knowing who I am and what I am doing to think the worst of you upon our initial encounter?”
Karkarov shifted uncomfortably in his own chair. “No,” he conceded the point.
“That is exactly why I had to come here, while you were absent, so that I could glimpse the private side of your life, without my assessment being clouded by any influences you would otherwise employ, knowingly or not.”
Karkarov still didn’t look happy.
“I have no care what I find, Mr Karkarov, that is not my concern nor my purpose here, however I do need to understand you. From that point I try to understand what could motivate someone, either on a business or personal level to mount these attacks on you.”
Karkarov was silent for a while as he studied the black clad agent.
“On your knees, and stay there,” he instructed as he pushed Chrissie to the floor.
She could only obey.
Behind his dark glasses, Black’s eyes narrowed suspiciously as he felt the man’s will enforce itself on the woman.
Interesting, the agent thought silently, let us see where this goes…

Karkarov let go of the maid’s hair and sat comfortably in his own chair. “Very well, Agent…?”
“Black.”
“Indeed! Very well, Agent Black, I understand your motives, however, as I explained to Miss Wallace, I am not overly concerned about these attacks.”
“You could have been killed in one of them, does that not bother you?”
“Of course, but additional measures have been put in place now so that any such occurrences cannot be repeated,” Karkarov said, pausing. “a man such as me is always going to have enemies, Agent Black, it is the nature of my business that not everybody is going to like what I do.”

Black studied the man sitting in the leather chair behind his desk. He had already removed the magazine from the pistol strapped to the underside of the desktop, but Karkarov wasn’t making any meanings to be looking for it. Now he was looking for some indication of the businessman’s intentions. Was he going to play nice, or not?

Karkarov said no more whilst he too studied the man that sounded European, not that any of the Americans over this side of the Atlantic would be able to tell the difference, but he was guessing Scandinavia.
The Russian looked at Chrissie, obediently waiting with her head hanging in shame on her knees and instructed.
Karkarov couldn’t know what the agent had found, and where else he might have gone whilst left alone in the house, and it was this stupid woman’s fault. “Idiot girl,” he cursed in Russian, slapping her hard on the side of her head.
She yelped at the blow and whimpered as she moved herself back into position on her knees.
Black’s knuckles had turned white as he gripped the arms of the chair in anger, a move that didn’t go unnoticed.
“Oh, don’t conern yourself with this one, Agent Black. She is worthless, one who needs to be taught where her boundaries lay. I have ways of teaching these women their boundaries.” Karkarov allowed himself a chuckle.

“So I understand,” Black commented with a nod towards the cabinet which contained Boris’ DVD collection.
Some of that collection was home-made.
Karkarov gritted his teeth, there were things in that cabinet that this agent must not discover. “My personal life has no bearing here. You will leave it alone.”
The Russian’s eyes remained locked with his and Black could feel the command pressing on his mind, urging him to comply.
Obey… Obey… leave his personal life alone… Obey the instruction went on unrelenting, becoming steadily stronger and Black could feel himself wanting to do as he was told. He fought the desire.
His mind suddenly let the command in and he saw a shift in Karkarov’s position, a relaxing of his shoulders.
The command sat there in his mind, like some pedagogue, forcing its will on him. Then Black’s own mind turned upon the command and crushed it completely.
He could see that Karkarov was unaware of the turn of events. “Very well, Mr Karkarov,” Black said monotone. “You are right, I must stay out of your personal life and stick with business only.
Karkarov smiled. “Leave us, wait in the lounge,” he instructed.
Black crushed the command just as it was getting comfortable, but rose from his chair and walked out the door.
Infinity were unaware of Karkarov’s psychic abilities. This was an interesting development indeed, and as such help distract his thoughts from what might be about to occur within the office.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:16 pm

Tears poured down Chrissie Simmons’ cheeks as Karkarov dragged her to ‘the room’.
Inside the place was an S & M style dungeon. Karkarov locked the door.
“Take off your clothes,” his voice commanded.
Her eyes were clamped shut so she couldn’t see him. Sobbing, he obeys his insistent words.

She could do no other.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:18 pm

It was two hours later that Boris Karkarov came into the lounge to meet with Caleb Black.

The Infinity agent, of course had not spent all that time waiting, but had in fact use the time to do some research on the Russian.
He was still waiting for the results of his inquiries.
“I am going to ask you questions,” Karkarov announced, “and you are going to answer them truthfully.”
That was a strong one, Black thought as he once more smashed the command away.
“Yes,” he said anyway, playing along with the overweight Russian.
“You work for Infinity?” Karkarov knew the answer, but like a polygraph operator, he wanted a few test positives.
“Yes,” Black replied. There was no harm in answering some of the Russian’s questions honestly, especially as it was likely the man already knew the answer. Of course, Black considered entering Karkarov’s mind but he wasn’t sure if that would warn him off, make him change his plans. Black was also unsure of the man’s capabilities, and didn’t want to reveal his own hand so early.
“And who is your superior?” Another question Karkarov already knew the answer to.
“Susan Wallace.”
Karkarov nodded appreciatively at the image that formed in his mind’s eye of the young woma dressed in a business skirt suit, her longlegs crossed as she sat in her seat opposite him earlier this morning.
“She is very pretty, yes?”
“Yes,” Black answered honestly, in fact, stunning seemed more fitting to the Infinity agent.
Karkarov’s eyes seemed unfocussed, as though his mind was elsewhere.
“The bastard’s not in my head, is he?” Black wondered silently.
“I hope you weren’t too hard on your housemaid, she was only doing what she thought was right,” he said, hoping to distract the Russian from whatever he was doing.
Focus returned to Karkarov’s expression, and he frowned deeply.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Sat Feb 25, 2012 10:20 pm

“I told you before, she’s none of your concern,” Karkarov said, then stopped, studying the agent.
“I hit had her stripped naked and beat her with a belt, then I raped her,” he said matter-of-factly, and on seeing Black’s face darken, he quickly added, “But you will accept this and do nothing about it.”
The command battered against Blacks defences which were momentarily stunned by the news and was scarcely able to fight off the oppressive words.
Karkarov struggled to read the man’s face – he seemed in turmoil. “Does that bother you?”
Answer… answer… tell him… came the command and off-guard as Black’s mind now was, it reacted too slowly.
“Yes, it does,” he answered, horrified.
“Why?” Answer… answer…Black couldn’t resist. “Must resist,” he thought but the words tore painfully from his mouth. “She is somebody I knew on another world.”
“Who?”
ANSWER!! The command shouted.
“My dead wife.” Bastard! Black didn’t say aloud.
Karkarov just grinned.
“How did you get to this world?” the Russian changed the subject.
The secret! Blacks mind focussed on the secret, but Karkarov had a hold on him now and Black struggled to push him out.
“Parachronic Conveyor,” he said.
“A machine?”
“Yes.”
Karkarov grinned again. “I’ve needed someone on the inside. It has taken some effort to get someone here, and you’re it. You will help me get one of these conveyors. You will help me, Mr Black, won’t you?”
Obey… obey… obey… help him… obey…
“Aaaarrrgggghhhh…!!” Black’s mind yelled at the command, sending it reeling away like a scolded dog.
Karkarov swooned and pressed a hand to his forehead, massaging his temple.
What is this? Karkarov thought as he screwed his eyes up tight.
He caught hold of a sofa to steady himself.
There had been a scream and then pain. Was this investigator resisting? That was one of his most powerful commands and no one had ever resisted them before.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:20 am

Caleb Black let out a long sigh.
In his mind’s eye all was at peace again, the commands from Karkarov batted away as black regained control.
Pieces of the puzzle were slotting into place now that he was able to think clearly again.
“Karkarov wanted someone on the inside of the Infinity organisation in order for him to get his hands on a Conveyor. And he’s a telepath – a puppeteer, in fact.” Black thought silently.
The Infinity agent had, at first, wondered if Karkarov was a passive psychic, thinking himself very persuasive, but not knowing why people so readily did as he asked. But now it was quite apparent that Karkarov was well aware of his ability, able to alter the level of insistence from gentle hint to bellowing order.
Another thought came to Black then. Could it just be possible that Karkarov himself was behind the attacks? Had he organised for the bomb and the financial embezzlement?
With his apparent levels of power it wouldn’t take much for him to command the accused men to plant the bomb or embezzle funds, and then forget that they ever did it.
Karkarov must have either guessed or found out through Mavin that Infinity would get involved if someone were to openly threaten one of their important assets. It was a sure fire way of getting someone with higher security clearance to come to Calicos.

But the Russian had made one or two errors; first he had failed to understand that he couldn’t just take a conveyor, the ones on this world were not portable, and second, he had underestimated Infinity.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Tue Feb 28, 2012 9:22 am

Boris Karkarov had his eyes screwed up as though he was peering into a very bright light. He was also fighting off the most horrendous headache he had ever had. Through his squinting vision he could see Black sitting relaxed where he had been all along.
“Answer me!” Karkarov hissed through gritted teeth, still trying to regain control.
Answer… answer…
Black climbed from his chair and cocked his head as a man examining an unexpected or unusual item.
The powerful command seemed no more bothersome than a fly buzzing around his head.
“No, Mr Karkarov, I will not help you. Nor will I submit to your commands any longer. You were foolish to reveal yourself so soon, before you knew what you were up against. Consider yourself lucky that I have orders to protect you, otherwise you would be dead. However my report is not going to look favourably on your choices and your actions.

The throbbing was already subsiding and as the almost blinding pain receded, so Karkarov’s anger surged forward.
“You what?” he bellowed. “You will obey me!”
Still he does not understand, Black shook his head as the command crashed against the barrier in his mind and shattered into a thousand pieces like glass.
Black walked towards the door without another word.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Tue Feb 28, 2012 4:01 pm

The Russian was not used to being ignored when he gave such commands, but he was also a strategist, and had planned for such a mishap. He hadn’t been sure just how effective his power would be against these – aliens.
“There’s more than one way to skin a cat, Mr Black,” Karkarov said in a sinister tone.
Black pulled the door open.
“Wait!” Karkarov now pleaded, and Black looked back at him.
“It’s over, Mr Karkarov,” he said.
Laughing Karkarov said, “Not yet it isn’t!”
Alerm bells went off in Black’s mind. He turned to see Karkarov’s two bodyguards in the hall. One had a gun pointed at him. The man pulled the trigger before Black could react.
It sounded all wrong and the slap on his leg didn’t feel like other times he had been shot.
Looking down Black saw the pink tufted flight on the end of the dart.
Shit!
He ran, pulling the dart out and throwing it aside.
Already his legs were heavy and sluggish, and his head was beginning to become groggy.
Hi couldn’t make it to the front door, his mind was too cloudy, his abilities cut off by the anaesthetic running through is veins and he dropped to his knees at the foot of the wide marble stairs that led up to the next floor.
There was another figure on the stairs, frozen halfway down, her face an expression of abject fear, the mascara around her eyes was smudged and running in streaks down her cheeks.
Her hair was a mess and her maid’s uniform dishevelled and torn.
“Nikki” Black called out, barely able to speak as he dropped into unconsciousness on the floor.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Thu Mar 01, 2012 12:08 pm

Caleb Black felt sick as the world began to coalesce around him.
It felt as though the world was moving, spinning around his head. As his eyes opened he saw the room and had to shut them again as bile rose in his throat from the nausea.
Slowly he opened them again, ready this time for the image of the upside down room.
Karkarov’s two bodyguards were there, one sitting in an armchair playing solitaire with a deck of cards. The other was standing near Black, watching baseball on a portable TV.
“He’s waking up, go and get the boss,” the nearer one said.
Black’s head pounded as he watched the man walk out of the room on the ceiling and he realised it was him that was inverted, not the room.
“Too slow,” Black cursed his own mind for its sluggishness.
“Quiet!” the bodyguard said, emphasising his point by punching Black in the stomach.
The wind rushed from Black’s lungs and his throat burned as acid from his stomach surged into his mouth.
He threw up, coughing and blinking as the vomit flowed up his nose and into his own eyes.
“You filthy bastard!” the bodyguard swore, jumping back from the suspended man.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:04 am

Boris Karkarov entered dramatically. This morning he was dressed in comfortable casual slacks and shirt.
“Good morning, Mr Black, how’s it hanging?” he laughed heartily at his own joke.

Black was struggling to focus his mind, what with the stinging bile and throbbing pressure in his hand.
Slowly his mind’s eye crept forward, leaving his corporeal self and projecting out into the room.
This place was dark and full of equipment he had seen before on some of the DVD’s in Karkarov’s office. There were tables and chairs and a set of stocks all standard S&M dungeon stuff.
Then there was the device that he was attached to; an X shaped frame that could lean forward and back and rotate.
Black realised he must have been upside down for some time as his face was bright red and puffy.
They had stripped away most of his clothing, thankfully leaving him with his modesty.
Black had seen Karkarov perform at this cross on some of his home-movies.

Karkarov looked up and down the tethered body. It was lean and muscular, bearing more than a few scars, but what intrigued him most were the bizarre tattoos that festooned his body.

Ignoring them for the moment he moved over to a silver case sitting on a bench at the side of the room. Black watched from outside himself as the Russian extracted a hypodermic needle from the case.
“You proved rather resistant to my demands yesterday, Agent Black,” Karkarov said as he filled the syringe from a small bottle.
“I have here an interesting concoction that will help you get over the anaesthetic. It might also have something in it that will make you more open to my suggestions.”

Realising too late, once more, Black returned to his own mind and concentrated on controlling his body. He needed to burn off the drug before it took effect.

“Tell me about you odd tattoos,” Karkarov instructed.
Tell… tell… came the insidious whispers and Black, distracted by his own efforts to combat the drug failed to defend himself against them.
“They are ritual markings. They show my place and rank in the Obsidian Gestalt on Pheonix.” He couldn’t stop himself speaking; the commands were just too strong for him at the moment and this was something he was never comfortable talking about.

Luckily for him, Karkarov didn’t have a clue what he was talking about.

The pain in his head, the disorientation, the nausea and the drugs made him lose his grip on his own mind and it summoned up an image of Nikki Simmons being raped on this very cross.
“It’s not Nikki!” Black shouted at himself, unaware that he had just vocalised the reprimand.

Karkarov laughed. “Oh yes! She was very surprised to hear you call her that, as was I. She doesn’t use her forename, even I didn’t know it, she’d always been Christine, or Chrissie. How is it that you know her again?”
Tell… tell… answer…
“She was my wife.”
“On another world?”
“Yes.”
“Very interesting. And these worlds, are they more like parallel universes rather than different planets?”
“Some are.”
“You said she was your wife. You are divorced?” Karkarov probed.
“She is dead.” You bastard, Black thought silently.
“So it must have been a bit of a shock to find her here. I would say what a small world, but I’m not sure that’s entirely appropriate in this case. Does she look exactly the same?”
“Different hair.”
Karkarov sighed getting bored now. “And you miss her?” he probed again, deliberately grating on the raw nerve.
“More than I thought,” Black answered, surprising himself with the statement.
“That could be useful,” the Russian muttered.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:07 am

“Tell me what you know of these… Parachronic conveyors,” Boris Karkarov instructed when he returned from his lunch.
Black didn’t answer right away, he was struggling with ‘The Secret’ that Infinity held so dear, but eventually he had to give in to the command.
“They are transportation devices that allow you to travel through time and….” He paused searching for the right phraseology.
“Dimensions,” he finally settled on.
“And you can operate one of these devices?”
“I have some basic knowledge of their operation.”
Karkarov glared at his captive. He so hated it when they told him things he didn’t want to hear.
“If I had one could you set it to go anywhere?”
“No.”
Karkarov didn’tlike being told no either, but in this case he had to put his annoyance aside as a pointless distraction, for the moment anyway.
“Who can?”
“Stations have operator teams, they are technicians who use and maintain the facilities, and some senior members of the Patrol are given training in their more detailed operations as are all members of the survey teams.”
The rotund Russian didn’t like the sound of ‘senior members of the Patrol’. They sounded like they’d have lots of people around them wherever they went.
“How do I get a technician?”
“You won’t.” black said flatly. “Techies don’t go into the field often and certainly not at the request of a native.”
Karkarov thought this over for a while. It made sense, but there had to be someone who he could isolate and use. “Could you call for one?”
“Not without a damned good reason and they would come as a team.”
Survey team then? Do you know any of them?”
“Yes.”
Karkarov smiled. “Get one for me.”
The command was a very strong one.
Black shook his head despairingly. “They won’t come here, they’ve already surveyed this world.”
Karkarov let out a yell of frustration. He wanted a conveyor, that was the important thing. He could set someone to reverse-engineer the damned thing if necessary.
“How do I get my hands on one of these conveyors?”
“You’d have to take over a hub facility, but Infinity won’t let you keep it for long. They send at least one kill team with orders to take out you or the facility, or both.”
“No one’s going to take me out, Mr Black, no one!” Karkarov spat and stamped a foot. “And you will not mention any such thing again.”
“I won’t,” Black promised.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Thu Mar 08, 2012 7:47 am

Karkarov was getting frustrated now. He’d invested too much time in planning and too much money nearly collapsing his company to be thwarted now.
He moved to a cupboard and removed a three foot length of hose.
“This,” he said waving the black rubber in front of Black’s eyes, “is a rubber hose. A favourite of many of our governments covert agencies for getting information from prisoners. Causes a fair amount of trauma damage without leaving much of a mark. It can ruin a person’s internal organs. I read that the Gestapo made much use of it in the Fifties.”

Karkarov positioned himself in frot of the agent and began beating him with the hose. He kept going until his arm ached and the body before him was purple with bruising and blood oozed in a constant stream from the man’s mouth.

Panting with exertion Karkarov paced around the room. “How do infinity get to worlds you haven’t been to before?” he asked finally, turning to the inverted prisoner.
“Portable conveyor,” Black replied, although his words came out in a bubbling gurgle.
“I knew it!” Karkarov hopped with glee, his face bright. “You’re a strong one, I’ll give you that. I asked you specific questions and you gave me the bare minimum of answer. You will be more forthcoming from now on.”
“Yes.”
“Good! Can you get me a portable conveyor?”
“No.”
“You know someone who can?”
“Wallace…”
Karkarov grinned as a plan hatched in his mind. He would get her alone, where no one else would see or hear, and command her to supply one.
Looking at Black’s beaten and swollen body he imagined the cute blond form of Susan Wallace in his place, tied to the frame. He felt a stirring in his loins.

Opening the ‘Room’s’ door he summoned his bodyguards.
“Kill him and get rid of the body,” he instructed.
The two muscled men nodded and moved in past their employer.
“Wait!” Karkarov said. “Don’t kill him yet, I may need him alive.”
With that the Russian closed the door on Caleb Black.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:04 pm

“Mavin,” Karkarov said into the cell phone.
“One moment sir,” replied his secretary.
“Paul Mavin,” the Head of Security for Zenith Corporation answered.
“Paul, I want you to get Miss Wallace for me, arrange a meeting in my office. Tell her I must speak with her on a delicate matter concerning the investigator she has sent.”
“May I ask what that matter might be?” Mavin was Infinity and he knew the I-Cops didn’t like to be summoned for no good reason, especially by local assets.
“Of course,” Karkarov said uncharacteristically. “It seems there is someone on my staff that could prove a serious distraction to him and cloud his judgement.”
“Very well, sir, I’ll contact her office straight away.”
Karkarov knew he would, Mavin couldn’t help but do as he asked.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:05 pm

Boris Karkarov listened to the heads of his divisions argue back and forth, each trying to score points off of their fellow directors.
The Russian had already switched off to the inane twittering. His thoughts were now with the undiscovered worlds he would visit, and exploit!
He was so close now, he could almost taste it.

A knock at the boardroom door brought the heated conversation to a halt.
The door opened and a man in his mid-twenties entered. He was sweating and the Zenith Corporate Security uniform he wore was straining at the seams.
The conference phone in front of Karkarov rang and a little cautiously he answered it. Everyone else stared expectantly at the guard.
“Yes, hello?” Karkarov said to the caller.
“Mackenzie, sir, Duty Security Manager,” came the voice over the loud speaker.
“How can I help?” Karkarov said calmly, staring at the guard, who had so far said nothing.
“Our men have just found one of our guards unconscious. His uniform is missing. I think that our security has been compromised, sir. Shall I order the building shut down while we conduct a search for the imposter?”
“No need, Mr Mackenzie,” Karkarov replied. “I think we have your imposter here with us in the boardroom.”
Several eyes turned to the phone on the desk, and then back to their unexpected guest.
“Understood sir. There is a team on its way. What is the man doing?”
“Nothing, he does have one of your nasty looking rifles over his shoulder.”
“Do not do anything brash, Mr Karkarov, and don’t let him know there are people on their way up.”
“It’s a bid late for that, comrade. How long?”
“Thirty Seconds, sir.”
Karkarov gave an almost imperceptible nod, his eyes locked with the imposter’s.
It was the signal the Man had been waiting for.
He unslung the assault rifle and clicked off the safety in one swift move.
“Oh my god!” one of the board members gasped.
It was too late; the man squeezed the trigger sending a hail of bullets out into the sitting businessmen.
The noise was deafening and the staccato retort of the rifle drowned out the terrified screams of the Board of Directors.
The assailant walked the bullets up one row of seated men and women, then started on the opposite side.
Karkarov tensed despite himself as the man to his immediate right collapsed over the table, several holes in his chest and head.
He kicked his chair backwards toppling it to make it look as though he was trying to escape, even though he knew the man would not shoot him.

The door to the conference room burst open again and more uniformed men came in.
They were already bearing arms and the lead three men fired their weapons at the imposter.
Well trained, all three shooters found their mark, each hitting the man with a controlled three-round burst.
The attacker had so far shot at least three-quarters of the Board, killing several and leaving only four, plus Karkarov, unharmed.

There was momentary silence as more security guards came in and secured the room.
Then one board-member let out a half-agonised, half-terrified wail.
“Medic!” yelled one of the guards and a different kind of hell broke loose in the board room.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Mon Mar 12, 2012 2:05 pm

Still in his blood-stained clothing, Boris Karkarov jabbed a finger at Paul Mavin.
“I don’t give a damn about protocol,” he ranted, “You get your Miss Wallace here. I have more than just her wayward investigator to worry about know!”
“I am sure Inspector Wallce will meet with you, Mr Karkarov, however she is not on this line. We have to give it time for the message to get through, but I will chase her up again right away,” Mavin added with a placating wave of his hand.
Karkarov watched Mavin leave and sat back in his chair, grinning. He was pleased with the way his plan had worked out.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:20 pm

Susan Wallace let out a small moan as sweat beaded on her forehead and chest and ran in little streams into her heaving cleavage.
Her heart was pounding and her breath was coming in quick, short gasps.
She was nearing the end and she knew it.
Oh god! She thought, then in a hoarse voice instructed, “Harder.”
“That’s it,” she said, her legs and arms burning with each thrusting movement.
“Harder!” she called again, following each forward lunge of her hips with an animalistic grunt.
“Harder, goddammit!” she almost screamed the words, her hands gripping tighter with the strain, her chest soaked in sweat.
“Oh god yeesssss!” she called out as she saw the red light flashing.
She didn’t stop immediately, but let herself come down from her peak slowly.
After a couple of minutes she let go of the bar in her hands and said, “Normal setting,” putting the rowing machine back to the resistance level she usually started at.
Susan liked to push herself hard as she neared the end of her daily routine.

Her home was on the beach and from her floor to ceiling windows she looked out over the crystal clear waters of the south-western Pacific. Despite working for I-Cops she had insisted on keeping her Australian home as well as her Company New York apartment.

It was a bright day, the rich blue sky devoid of any cloud and she believed there was no substitute for the clear skies, golden sand and rolling surf.

She watched a couple of gulls performing some fantastic aerial gymnastics, squabbling over whatever morsel the lead gull had in its yellow beak.
The rear bird was squawking away, calling in reinforcements perhaps?
More gull were indeed coming into view now, swooping majestically over her roof.
The first gull dropped its cargo but somehow managed to twist in the air, dive, and reclaim it before any of its peers made off with it.

So engrossed in the chase was she that Susan didn’t hear the phone ringing straight away.
She answered it.
“Oh,” said the voice. “I thought you might not be there. I have been trying to get hold of you for some time, Inspector.”
“I was out,” Susan lied, not quite sure why she did.
She listened then as the man on the other end of the line explained about the situation on Calicos.
“Damn!” Wallace cursed aloud. “I’ll come straight in.”

Within an hour she was boarding an Infinity jet that whisked her off to headquarters.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:20 pm

Susan Wallace stepped from the conveyor and was surprised to find Paul Mavin waiting for her.
“Agent Mavin!” she greeted him with a smile.
“Ma’am,” Mavin said, his face grave. “Thank you for coming. There have been some tragic developments.”
“So I understand. Shall we walk and talk?”
Mavin nodded, stepping in alongside the confident strides of the senior I-Cop.
Mavin then explained that Karkarov was now staying in rented secure accommodation out on the lakeside. A Corporate Security Force had been employed to keep him safe.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Tue Mar 20, 2012 9:22 pm

The drive out to the lake-side house was pleasant and swift, and Wallace sat in silence for the whole journey, just watching the scenery roll by.
She made a mental note to visit this area once she was back on homeline.
Susan had expected to find some sort of log cabin affair, albeit on a more grandiose scale, but Karkarov’s lake-side safe-house looked more like something out of a sci-fi movie; a weird amalgamation of glass and steel saucers all joining a central hub.

Mavin led the I-Cop through the ultramodern house to a saucer shaped room that reached out over the lake.
Almost out of place, a log fire crackled away in one of the internal walls and the room itself, although furnished in a modern style had an alpine-lodge feel to it.

Boris Karkarov turned to greet his guest, his face sporting an obviously forced smile.
“Inspector Wallace, thank you for coming at such short notice,” the Russian said offering his hand, which Wallace shook.
“Not at all, Mr Karkarov. After I heard what happened yesterday I felt it important I come and see things for myself.”
Karkarov looked the blond woman over, without being too obvious. Her hair was different today, it cascaded in ringlets down over her shoulders. Her business suit was not styled as severely as it was the last time he saw her, and the knee length skirt had an enticing split up the back.
He looked into her pale blue eyes and said, “Please, have a seat.”

“What have the police discovered so far?” Wallace asked as she lowered herself into a leather armchair.
“Nothing of any use. Apparently the gunman had just started working for one of my subsidiary companies as a security operative. Very good pay I might add.
“Another unlikely suspect,” Wallace mused. “Has Agent Black managed to uncover anything?”
“Ah, well, it’s your Agent Black that has become one of my issues, Inspector.”
Wallace straightened in her chair. “How so? Mavin mentioned a member of your staff may be influencing him?”
“Da,” Karkarov said, pausing to look pensively across the lake. He returned his gaze to Wallace and noticed her intense attention.
Karkarov knew that these infinity types were somehow more resistant to his influence than his own people and Black had proven that to an extreme. But things were not such hard work when the commands were easily accepted, like when the recipient was distracted.
It would have been simple enough to force Wallace to obey with inhibition reducing drugs, but her mind, if it understood what was happening in the slightest would resist and that just meant he had to push his commands harder. It became very tiring.
However. If he could get her to lower her guard, a few subtle commands would open the door for further, more direct instructions.
So he would play along for now, answering her, playing the worried little infinity lap-dog.
Of course, he had an entire squad of men waiting to enforce the issue if need-be.

“Black has done something hideous. I wasn’t to know her presence would set off in such a disgraceful way.”
“Whose presence, Mr Karkarov?”
“Chrissie Simmons, one of my housemaids.”
“Simmons? What has she got to do with this?”
“Apparently she is his wife, or something,” Karkarov shrugged.
Susan Wallace then remembered. Nikki Simmons had been Black’s wife, until she was murdered by an entity that was supposedly some sort of half angel. But Black had come across her facsimile on many worlds, in many variations and not gone off the rails before.
“What is Agent Black supposed to have done?”
Karkarov could already sense the confusion mounting in Wallace’s mind, just a few more shock revelations and the door would be wide open.
“He raped her.” Karkarov had to try hard to stifle his laugh when he saw the abject horror on her face.
She shook her head. “He couldn’t have!” She thought she knew him so well and this definitely didn’t sound like him.
“I wish that were true, inspector, but I have proof.”
Karkarov placed some photographs of Chrissie Simmons’ naked body on the table between them.
The graphic photo’s showed the bruising to Chrissie’s arms, wrists, her throat and cheeks. It also showed bruises around her breasts and between her legs.
Karkarov’s face showed sombre, restrained horror, but inside he was appreciating the work he’d done on Chrissie.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:52 pm

Susan Wallace couldn’t believe what she was seeing and hearing. Something must have gone seriously wrong if Black had resorted to this… this barbarism.
Rape was the most heinous act a man could commit on a woman, better that he kill her, almost.
But Black?
Surely not.
But the photo’s?
No, she knew him so well. Or did she, really?
“My god!” she breathed, horrified with even the slightest inkling that Black may have been capable of this.
“I know,” Karkarov said softly, “appalling isn’t it?”
Wallace shook her head silently, she so didn’t want this to be right.
Christ, this could have been her. “What am I thinking?” she thought to herself.
“You are sure it was Agent Black?” Wallace asked.
“Definitely. Let me show you.” With that Karkarov went to an adjoining room.
Proof? Wallace’s heart sank.
“Won’t you come in here,” Karkarov said to someone in the other room.
Moments later an exact copy of the woman pictured in Black’s file walked in.

Karkarov saw the look on Susan Wallace’s face and knew it was the right time. Her thoughts would be in turmoil and confusion and his subtle entry would go unnoticed.
“Miss Wallace, this is Chrissie Simmons from my household staff.”
Chrissie smiled pitifully at the woman, just as she’d been instructed to do.
“Would you like to ask Miss Simmons some questions, or leave her to recover peacefully?”
Leave her… leave her… you’ve heard enough… leave her!
Susan Wallace felt uneasy, almost like she’d been on the receiving end of a tele-sales cold call and had been suckered into something she didn’t want. She couldn’t put her finger on what was troubling her though.
“No, I’ll leave her, she’s been through enough,” Wallace surprised herself with that answer, she’d normally try to delve to the bottom of an issue.
“Leave us,” Karkarov instructed Chrissie, who walked out of the room having said nothing.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Mon Mar 26, 2012 12:55 pm

The door was ajar now and all Karkarov had to do was step inside.
“Can I get you a coffee or tea?”
“Yes, coffee please, I don’t drink tea,” Susan Wallace answered, needing something to give her time to think.
“But tea is better. You’ll have tea won’t you?”
Have tea… have tea… drink tea…
“I’ll have tea,” Wallace said smiling.
Karkarov picked up a phone and ordered some tea.
When it arrived Susan sipped at it and wrinkled her nose in disgust, wondering why she’d asked for tea.

“Miss Wallace?” Karkarov said solicitously.
“Yes?”
“You’d do as I aksed, wouldn’t you?”
Obey him… do as he says… Obey…
“Yes.” She said it as if he’d asked her nothing more than to confirm the time.
Karkarov smiled.
“You’ll do as I tell you and think there’s nothing wrong at all. You’ll never question what it is I ask of you.”
Obey… obey… obey
“Whatever you want, Mr Karkarov.”

Karkarov had to stifle a laugh. Now for the test.
“You look uncomfortable, why don’t you take your skirt off?”
Susan stood, unzipped her skirt and let it fall to the floor.
Karkarov laughed aloud this time. “Got you!”

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Mon Mar 26, 2012 1:05 pm

George Milner looked over to the clock on the wall and said, “It’s two o’clock, Frank. Your turn to check on our carcass.” He was referring to the black and blue form currently hanging by his ankles in the locked room at the back of Mr Karkarov’s house.
Last night their boss had returned to the Room and beaten the captive to within an inch of his life.
This morning he had instructed his bodyguards to remain behind and watch over him. Karkarov wanted his prisoner alive for the moment.

With an annoyed huff Frank Arrow got up and strolled into the adjoining room.
Switching on the light he saw the broken body tied to the frame.
The bruises were a deep purple colour, one of the man’s arms was broken, and there were numerous lacerations on his torso where either the whip had cut in, or the flesh was so badly bruised and swollen that it had split, like an over-ripe tomato.
The man was very still and quiet, as usual, and Frank wandered over to give him a poke in a particularly deep wound.
The man didn’t respond.
Confusion quickly turned to comprehension. The man’s chest which had been struggling to draw breath into his body no longer rose and fell, and his eyes looked vacant and lifeless.
Frank checked for a pulse at the man’s neck and both his wrists but found nothing.
“George,” he called, “I think this fella’s croaked.”
George huffed and walked into the room. “He’s done what?”
George was a Californian and Frank from the East End of London.
Despite a common language there were times when George didn’t have a clue what his friend was saying.
“He’s croaked it,” Frank repeated.
“What?”
“I fink he’s slipped his muddy soil, mate.”
George looked around and couldn’t see any earth in the room.
“You know,” the Californian said, “the words are English, but I’ll be damned if what you’re saying is!”
“Don’t you fackin’ start that shit wiv me sonny!” the big Londoner threatened. “Bloody Yank lecturing me about the Queen’s English, you fackin’ twat!” He grinned at George then pointed at Black’s inert body. “The bloke’s gone to bed!”
Still baffled George examined the hanging man closer, looking for some clue as to what his friend was on about.
“Shit!” George cursed after a few seconds. “He looks dead to me.”
“That’s what I was sayin’, you bloody septic wanker!”
“Boss wanted him alive,” George commented.
“Yeah,” Frank said shaking his head. “Guess he got a little carried away last night and broke ‘im.”
“You’re going to have to call him,” George said.
“What? Why me? He gets on better with you – says ‘e can’t understand me,” Frank objected.
“Hey, you found the body – you call him,” George grinned at his friend and colleague.
“Bastard!” Frank spat.

Boris Karkarov was enjoying watching Susan Wallace clean his office in just her underwear.
She was now being very compliant and had easily fallen under his ‘spell’.
He had found that with many people, once they became used to his suggestions, then he had to spend less concentration time getting them to do his bidding.
In fact some of his staff were so conditioned to his commands that he often didn’t need to use his powers at all. They just obeyed him without question.

The phone rang on his desk.
“Karkarov,” he answered.
“Hello boss, it’s Frank,” came the response.
“It’s about the geezer you’ve got in the Room.” He looked at George who glared at him in warning.
“What about him?” Karkarov asked suspiciously.
“Well boss, I think you must have gone in a bit brutal on ‘im last night cos e’s gone and curled his toes up.”
George shook his head in disbelief at the Englishman’s inability to just say one word instead of several seemingly unrelated words.
“He’s dead?” Karkarov learned his English in London.
Frank grinned and cast a victoriously smug look in George’s direction.
“Yes boss.”
“You are sure of this?”
“Yes boss. I knows me a stiff when I sees one.”
“That is unfortunate,” Karkarov said, though he wasn’t that bothered now he had this blond beauty under his control. He had no further use for Agent Black, and even less for a corpse.
“Put him in the back of the truck. Come nightfall you will take him to a farm where I have some contacts. They will dispose of the body. I’ll text you the details later.”
Karkarov put the phone down.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Wed Mar 28, 2012 12:24 pm

“Come on George,” said Frank walking back towards the room. “We’ve got to get rid of this body.”
George just rolled his eyes and followed Frank.

They unlocked the clamps that held the body in place and let it drop to the floor. They decided they needed something to wrap the body in so George went off to find Stephens.
Frank dragged the body to the centre of the room so that they’d have better access to the corpse.

Caleb Black was relieved to be down from the X-shaped frame.
In utter agony he’d shut most of his bodily functions down, making himself appear dead to anything but the most complex medical device.

Now that he was down, his pains from days of hanging in that position, and the intense beating Karkarov had given him were threatening to overwhelm his self-control.
Slowly he allowed his heartbeat to increase back to normal rate and almost screamed as the pain in his body seared him like fire.

Even in this poor state Black knew that he had to act fast, and act strong. He waited for the right moment, patient, a spider waiting for his two flies.
George returned with a tarpaulin under his arm and a long machete-like knife.
“Christ mate!” Frank exclaimed. “Whatya plannin’ to do wiv that?”
“The scissors won’t cut the damn tarp. I had to get this from the garden shed.”
“Fuck,” Frank was relieved. “I thought you were going all Godfather on me. I mean, getting rid of a stiff is one thing, but hacking it up? Nah, not for me, Blue!”
“Me neither,” Caleb Black said, making both men jump and George even yelped.
“Jesus Christ!” Frank cursed as he jumped back away from the now sitting Black.
Black raised his hand as though grabbing some invisible thing in front of him. He then threw that invisible thing away.
Moments later Frank Arrow flew across the room as though he had been struck by some giant ghostly hammer. He hit the solid wall at almost forty miles an hour with a sickening crunch.
George Milner was frozen to the spot. He’d never seen anything like it before and was convinced that this was some sort of wraith comeback from the dead to seek vengeance. He’d seen The Crow!
Caleb Black dragged himself to his feet, cradling his broken arm.
George pointed the machete at Black with a shaking hand. “Stay Back!”
“Where are my things?” Black demanded, though his voice was barely above a whisper.
“What the fuck did you just do?” George’s voice had raised an octave.
Suddenly, by some unseen ghostly, yet immensely strong force the blade was wrenched away from his grasp. It rotated quickly and arced in towards his own head, stopping just as it pressed into his forehead.
“My things?” Black croaked, pressing the blade ahead a little to emphasise his words.
George dared not move but indicated the door with his eyes.
“Show me,” Black instructed, keeping the machete blade pressed to George’s head.
George led Black to a wardrobe where his things had been shoved into a box.
His pistol was on top.
“Back off and don’t move,” the Infinity agent told George and the American, almost mesmerised by the floating sword did as he was told.
“You’re the one who darted me?” Black asked, although he already knew the answer.
“Uh-huh!”
“Let me show you what you should have done,” Black said, a cold edge to his voice.
The machete dropped to the floor with a clatter and Black visibly relaxed as the effort of holding it there faded.
George relaxed too, but only momentarily.
Suddenly Black’s gun, the long silencer wavering slightly was pointing at his face.
“This,” Black explained as he pulled the trigger.
George Milner’s lifeless body thudded to the floor and Caleb Black nearly collapsed with exhaustion. He knew he couldn’t stay here though; he had to get away and recover.

Slowly he dressed as best as he could and staggered out of the mansion, using the manicured shrubbery and flora as cover.

He didn’t travel far, but he didn’t need to. He needed rest, and the boathouse of one of Karkarov’s neighbours provided him somewhere he could hide.
The boathouse extended out over the lake and a motor yacht was moored in the gently lapping water.
Black staggered onto it and fell onto the small bunk in the tiny cabin.

Within moments he was asleep.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:49 pm

Jeremy Stephens got off the phone from the dry-cleaners. The idiots had forgotten to put one of Mr Karkarov’s suits on the delivery truck.
Stephens smirked, someone was about to lose their job. It gave him a warm feeling.
He strolled through the house on his way to the office when a shrill scream made him freeze. It was coming from the rear wing of the house.
Stephens ran towards the continuous sound, joined by the chef and three other housemaids.
As they entered the room where the scream’s source was, they all saw the body George Milner, a neat hole in his forehead, a huge ragged one just visible at the back of his head.
“My god!” the chef said turning away from the scene, his face ashen and ushered the now screaming trio of housemaids back out. Then he threw-up.
Stephens gave him a grateful nod as he moved towards Angeline. She had run out of breath and now stood whimpering, tray of hot food in her hands still.
Seeing the second plate, Stephens remembered about Frank. Ignoring Angeline he opened the door to the Room.
He saw the crumpled form of Frank Arrow, looking like he’d been run over and saw that their supposedly dead prisoner was now missing.
In an instant he was on the phone.
“Get her out of here, and keep the women quiet,” he instructed the chef who had come back in.

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Re: A Darker Shade Of Pale

Post by Keeper » Thu Mar 29, 2012 2:50 pm

Boris Karkarov was a happy man.
He had bombarded Susan Wallace with commands until any sort of resistance was gone. Then he had instructed her to supply him with a conveyor and Wallace had immediately contacted Infinity instructing them to deliver one. She’d torn strips off whoever was on the other end of that phone.
It would take a couple of days to get one.

A couple of days was good for Boris, he had a few ideas on how to fill that time.

Susan Wallace was straddled across the Russian her naked form writhing as Boris pushed himself deeper into her.

The phone on his desk rang.
“Oh, for god’s sake,” Karkarov grumbled trying to ignore the call but it wouldn’t stop.
Eventually he shoved Wallace away and answered it.
“What?” he snapped.
“Boris, it’s Jeremy,” Stephens said.
“I’m a little preoccupied Jeremy, is it important?”
“Frank and George are dead. Black is missing.”
“I thought he was dead?”
“Apparently not, sir.”
“Thank you Jeremy.” Karkarov hung up, a cold sweat breaking out on his brow. Fuck, fuck, fuck.

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