Date: 18 November 2035
Emma rubbed her eyes before looking back at the profiles. Pictures of the missing girls were scattered on her bed while she looked at the possible candidate for fake-Phil. She wasn’t planning on going out, but kept radio connection in case Wesley found something.
Emma signed and decided to get some water from the kitchen, she really needed a break. Leaving her room, she walked towards the kitchen, surprized to find the light on. And voices inside. Were they being robbed? Emma shook her head, before shifting her body weight. She creped silently towards the kitchen, only to stop when she realized it was her parents inside. Sighing, she relaxed and started to move through the doorway, only to stop again when she heard her name.
“…and Emma’s been leaving her bed almost every night. Abby, we need to do something,” Adam said calmly.
“It’s nothing she hasn’t done before Adam.”
“June’s been out too you know, DeeDee told me.”
“And what? You think their back to their old ways?”
“It’s been two months since the Diamond Dust incident. Truthfully… I pretty much expected them to act sooner. Then again, there was the whole not talking to each other incident.”
“And you’re usually encouraging her to experience everything-”
“Not when it comes to breaking the law.”
“-You and that man anyway.”
“Do not bring my brother into this.”
“I will say nothing more than we should have expected it.”
“Emma, are you there?” Emma almost jumped when a voice suddenly spoke into her ear. Carefully walking away so no one could hear her she answered.
“You seriously almost gave me a heart attack Wesley.”
“Nothing I’m just…never mind it’s stupid. What’s on the air?”
“I think I might have found something. A man rented an apartment on West Gate Street. Number 34. The thing is however, he is hardly ever seen coming and/or going.”
“He does have a fire escape, but using it as a door way?”
“I’ll go check it out.”
“Tell me if you find anything.”
Nightmare crept into the ally way, making sure none of the cameras saw her. Not that they would, with Wesley controlling them, but an extra bit of carefulness wouldn’t hurt anyone. Jumping, she grabbed the ladder, pulling it down. Nightmare immediately noticed that it did not make the recognisable ‘creek’ most fire escape ladders made. After all, no one used them anymore.
“Well, there’s defiantly a back entrance,” Nightmare said.
“So we were right about the fire escape?”
“Pretty much. My visor isn’t picking up any oil, which means-“
“He’s been using it enough times for the rust to have been scrapped off.”
“Got anything on him?”
“His name is John Miller. He’s been in prison a few times, but is quickly released when charges are dropped or evidence goes missing.”
“Any friends?” Nightmare asked as she carefully opened the window.
“Not anyone who would be there,” Wesley said. Unfortunately at that moment the lights went on and three large men stood in front of her.
“So, what’s it like being wrong?” Nightmare said smugly, only to laugh when Wesley growled at her.
Activating her external speakers, she turns to them, “I’m looking for John Miller,” she says, her voice hard.
“Well, I’m looking for a new punching bag. And guess what? You’re it,” the man in the middle said before charging at her. The second he moved, her visor calculated the time before he reached her. Just before he did, Nightmare jumped up, causing the man to smash his head through the window.
Landing in front of him, Nightmare turned to the other two men, whom were now wielding long metal pipes. They, like the other man, charged at her, not having mush success. Nightmare kept evading them, intent on tiring them out.
“Why are goons never good at fighting?” Nightmare asked Wesley.
“Because they’re arrogant and stupid. Oh look, you’ve found some of your own kind.”
“Cute,” Nightmare said as she moved out of the way, causing the man to run into the wall. Nightmare stared at him, wondering if anyone was really that stupid.
“Behind you,” Wesley said calmly. Nightmare, without turning around, grabs the oncoming pipe, causing the man to freeze on the spot. Slowly, she turned her head towards him. Franticly, the man started trying to pull the pipe lose. At first she was going to just let go, but Wesley stopped her, “Wait for my signal…now!”
Nightmare let go just as the man gave a hard pull, causing him to fall into a pile of boxes, burying himself. Nightmare turned to the window, watching the first man stand up and turn to her. He charged at her again, but she grabbed his neck, slamming him against the nearest wall.
“Where is John Miller,” she asked him again. The man struggled, stopping only when he felt the suit’s claws touching the skin of his neck. The man whimpered, before his eyes glanced at something behind her.
“Man, these people are stupid,” Nightmare said to Wesley as she kicked the man behind her in the head.
“They’re used to people being intimidated by their size.” Wesley told her.
“You’d think whomever hired them would have gotten people with brains.”
“I suggest you first find some for yourself. The man has been talking to you and you haven’t been listening.”
“Crap! What did he say?”
“He just told you where Miller works.”
“Which is, ‘Your royal Highness’?”
“Black Gold Casino. Now, be a good little subject and knock the man out.”
“With pleasure,” Nightmare said as she removed her hand from his neck and smashed it into his face.
“Got a problem with it?”
Nightmare spun around, grabbed the man and threw him into the living room. As he landed a white cloud of something rose from beneath him. Her visor identified the substrates as heroin. Hearing the police in the distance, Nightmare tied up the men before placing a sticky note on one of their foreheads. The note contained only one word.
Date: 19 November 2035
Time: 22: 39
“Why come here today? He’s not going to be here.” Nightmare said as she stood on the roof opposite the Black Gold Casino.
“If you had gone yesterday you would have arrived passed curfew hour. In fact, you almost missed it again tonight.”
“The guy needed help.” Nightmare said.
Gambling Industries had an 11pm curfew. At first governments were happy enough to remove them completely, but many people, including mobs, didn’t like that. So businesses, casinos especially, were started illegally. Thus, after several years trying to shut them down, government legalized several of them again, but with restrictions.
“I’ve never been in a casino.”
“Concerning your track records with bets, you should be thankful.”
“Cute. What am I looking for if Miller’s not going to be here?”
“Miller worked at the roulette, his replacement might know something.”
“And if he doesn’t?”
“How do you know?”
“Because it his cousin.
“Hm,” she heard him said, rolling her eye, already knowing what was coming, “Now if you’re done wasting time-”
“I’m going. I’m going.”
Nightmare wondered for a second if she should go through the back, only to remember they didn’t have a back. Well, they did, but it was more guarded then the front. Most Casino back entrances had DNA scanners, just to make sure no one… ‘unnecessary’ comes in. These days only mob establishments used DNA scanners. Most of them argue that ID cards were to easily faked, but then again, so are DNA scanners.
It was during the Great Nuclear War when scientist learned how to forge DNA. No one knew who came up with it first; maybe the world had been working on it before the war started. It was actually due to DNA Forgery that there had been such a high death rate, no one knowing who they could trust.
Shaking her head, Nightmare shot her grappling hook at the building and swung towards the door, smashing them open with her feet. Doing a backwards summersault, she landed crouched down, everyone staring at her. Standing up, she watched as the guards ran towards her.
Pulling out her whips, she extended them, causing the guards to falter. They looked at each other, before pulling out guns and pointing them at her. Nightmare took a deep breath, not that anyone would know, a rolled her shoulders, allowing her cloak to cover her more.
“Just like we practiced. Don’t forget to breathe.”
“It’s going to be hard to forget to breathe.”
“With you? Large possibility.”
Closing her eyes, Nightmare spread her powers, feeling herself become hyper aware of ever shadow, no matter how small, that littered her body. Opening her eyes again, she set her visor to start calculating the direction of any and all incoming bullets.
“Well?” Nightmare asked the guards, causing them to tense due to her demonic sounding voice (Something Wesley thought was completely unnecessary), “Are you just going to stand there?”
One of them couldn’t take it. Maybe he was already too scared, or maybe he was just cocky, but he walked right up to Nightmare, pointing the gun at her head and fired point black. Everyone expected her to fall over, to crumble to the ground, dead. But Nightmare didn’t move. Her hood covered her head, creating quite a bit of shadows on her forehead. She merely pulled the bullet in (something that wasn’t very easy at that speed) and deposited in her mouth.
Everyone stared at her, the guard losing grip of his gun. It fell to the floor as she spit out the bullet, the man following soon after. Immediately everyone stated firing. Luckily, Nightmare expected it as she formed a blanket of shadows around her, making the bullets pass through harmlessly. This didn’t mean she didn’t have to move, no, she moved quite a bit.
Her whips flew everywhere, knocking a gun out of a person’s hand one second, only for her to twirl and grab a man’s leg from under him, throwing him out of the way. On and on it went, slashing and pulling, twirling and side stepping, up and down, left and right. She danced her way through the security, other people hiding beneath tables or behind furniture.
She was on the last leg, almost done when she felt a bullet pierce her stomach. Nightmare dropped to the ground, her whips falling out her hands and sliding away. There were three men left, two of them bending out to pick up her weapons, only to be electrocute on the spot. Her whips were coded to only work for her, meaning they would hurt anyone else.
The last man walked over to her, pressing the gun to the back of her head, were no shadow was. Nightmare tried to control her breathing, feeling her control of the shadows start to disappear.
“Goodbye freak,” the man said, his voice smug and full of hate. Nightmare- Emma felt her body cover itself in sweet. She was shaking, trying her best on to cry out in pain. She could feel the dark start to cloud her vision. Not the normal darkness of the shadows, no, the shadows were never dark. She brought her hand to her wound, her shirt had ridden up while she was dancing, giving the man a clear target. She felt the blood soak through her gloves, going in-between the metal. It would be so easy, just to give up, just to lie down, just to-
“Nightmare! Get control of yourself and dive!”
Wesley’s voice snapped her back to focus. She grabbed the man’s foot, dragging it out form him and slipping into the shadows beneath her, the shadows her own body created. The man was coming with her. She felt him scream in the shadows. Scream and yell and cry before he became silent.
She rose up from the ground, her hand holding the limp man’s collar before throwing him away from her. The injury still hurt, and the blood was still flowing. She was sure if anyone tried to attack her she would not be able to defend herself, but no one came near. They all started at the man on the ground, eyes blank and drool escaping from his mouth.
After grabbing her now retracted whips, she walked over to the boy at the roulette table. He was dressed in a uniform, but had punk hair. Nightmare grabbed him by the hair and pulled him into the back room. The boy came quietly, following fast enough that she didn’t hurt him.
Entering the back room, she growled at the people inside, “Out!” They ran off, no hesitation. The last one was nice enough to close the door behind him. Alone, Nightmare dropped the boy on the ground, before sitting down on a highly decorative chair. The boy stayed on the ground, shaking.
“Where,” Nightmare started, her voice coming out with difficulty, but the boy still flinched, “in your cousin?”
“W-what?” the boy asked, “You mean, you mean John?”
“No, I mean the Easter Bunny, because who else could have done your hair?” Nightmare said nastier then she intended. But she honestly didn’t need stupid answers when she’s hardly conscious at this point.
“Where is he?!” she yelled, cutting him off. The boy fell back, shaking even more now. Nightmare took a deep breath, more to keep herself awake than to calm herself down.
“Who does he work for? Where does he normally hang out? Has he said anything to you?”
“No,” the boy said, starting to cry. Nightmare looked at him. She’s never really been around when people cry. Jupiter never did and Jessica had other friends for that kind of thing. And Wesley… well if Wesley ever starts crying she would hold a gun to his head and demand who he was.
“Do you know anything?” she asked as calmly as she could.
“He, he- well sometimes he talks to the boss-of the casino I mean, not a mob one, though I guess the boss is in the mob, but I’m no-
“To the point.”
“So-sorry. S-so he talks to the boss about these shipments that he takes to the casino’s cruise liner. I’m not sure what he means but he always whispers and makes sure no one is around and the cruise liner doesn’t GET shipments so I guess that’s important, but I don’t know-“
“When is the next voyage?” Nightmare interrupted, slightly unsure. After all, they couldn’t be getting those girls for that, could they?
“This Friday. The boss invited all these important people and he mentioned a load of credits coming in and-“
“Get me everything about the voyage. Every paper work, every list, everything!” Nightmare said. The boy jumped up and ran off, leaving Nightmare sitting there. She felt the darkness come in, felt her vision blur. She was just so tiered. She couldn’t-
“Miss?” a voice asked, unsure. Nightmare looked up, the boy standing there, holding out a file. How did he get back so fast? Did she black out?
“Thank you,” she said, taking the file and slowly standing up, stumbling a bit. The boy reached out, intent on grabbing her, but she stopped him.
“Are you alright?”
“I’m fine.” Nightmare said, whipping her forehead. She walk to one of the windows, the curtains creating sufficient shadows and placed her hand on the wall. She stopped however, turning to the boy slightly.
“What my advice?” she asked, causing the boy to stiffen. He held still for a few moments before nodding, realizing she wasn’t going to talk till he gave her an answer.
“Go home. Get out of all… this,” she said, waving her hand around, “Live a life that isn’t going to get you killed or something like that.”
With that, she pushed in, not waiting for an answer.
Time: 23: 56
“AAAA!” Emma screamed loudly as Wesley pushed his gloved fingers into her injury. His face scrunched up slightly as he pushed further in, twirling them around, trying to find the bullet. He looked at her briefly, his face set as he saw the tears running down her face. She arched up as he pushed in further, finally feeling something.
“Almost got it,” he told her.
“Well get it out!” she screamed at him.
“Please stop acting like you’re in labour,” he said as he grasped the tine metal piece with his two fingers, pulling it out slowly, so not to drop it.
“Not now,” she sneered at him. He glanced at her, but kept quiet. Pulling the bullet out completely he pressed a cloth against the wound. Securing it, he dropping the bullet into a small metal bowl and took of his gloves. Quickly washing his hands, he returned to the girl’s side. Wesley picked up the injection, taping the needle a few times. Taking her arm, already prepared, he pushed the sleeping drug into her.
“You’re not even a doctor,” Emma muttered. Wesley looked at her. She was pale and sweat covered her body, her eyes dull.
“I took a course in university.”
“Yeah… ok,” she said, her voice growing soft, “You look like a dragon.”
Wesley raised an eyebrow. He wasn’t sure why she called him a dragon, but he assumes that she didn’t really know she was talking, the drug already working.
Once Wesley was sure that Emma was completely asleep, he picked up the regenerator. One didn’t use a regenerator on someone who wasn’t asleep or without pain medication. Mainly because the knitting process was extremely painful. The other reason was that the machine caused the person’s body to work harder than normal, making them extremely tired, but would not let them drift into unconsciousness. This was also the reason one couldn’t use a regenerator on someone repeatedly.
The regenerator was a large machine, consisting of two main parts: the handheld and the base.
The base was a large rectangular machine that was covered in buttons and leavers. In the middle were three cylinders, filled with three compound chemicals. What was in the compounds was a N.I.C. secret. The chemicals would be shipped from a N.I.C. headquarters to hospitals and private owners. Inside the machine was a Ninnic Generator (a safer, smaller version of a nuclear generator), that turned the compound chemicals into radiation.
The base was connected, via wires, to the handheld. The handheld looked like a men’s electric shaver. The ‘head’ had three ‘lights’ that would transmit the compounds-turned-radiation to the injured part. One ‘light’ would remove any impurities in the body. The other would knit the flesh together from the inside outward. The last would force the body to increase its natural healing properties.
The Regenerator Wesley owned was a private use model, which could only heal one injury at a time. The ones NIC hospitals had were much larger. A person’s whole body could fit inside and healed all at once. The only thing neither Regenerator could heal was the mind. The mind is to complex and not even NIC scientist have found out how to cure any problems it could have.
Sighing, Wesley put away the regenerator and went back to his computer. He paused, looking back at the girl. He walked back to her, watching her black hair spread around her like the shadows were trying to swallow her up again.
His hand twitched, like it wanted to touch her. Instantly the memories of her in the hospital came back. Him sitting there day after day, not saying anything, but holding her hand. His eyes narrowed. He knew why he cared for her. Even with her black hair… he still felt it.
Suddenly, in his mind eye, the black hair turned red, the face aged and the eyes opened to reveal his own blue eyes staring back at him. A wound appeared on her chest, bloody but no longer bleeding. He heard a scream, his own, as he fell back, closing his eyes. He took a deep breath and opened his eyes, seeing only Emma and not…her.
Standing up he went back to the computer, going through the files he had scanned in. Next to him was a Net-News report, telling people about Linda Man, the eighth girl missing so far. If they were right, the girls would be on that cruise liner when it sets for voyage. The question is however; would they be there before then? And if they weren’t, how else can they save them?