Fifth Avenue - The Replacements

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Chapter Three

Hartley opens her eyes slowly to see Trixie over her, dabbing a wet towel on her forehead “Oh your awake” she says smiling lightly at Hartley “Everyone was betting on how long your recovery would take” Hartley slowly sits up pushing Trixie away from her as she does.

“I have recovered from worse” Hartley snaps angrily “but you already knew that” Trix sighs sadly reaching out for her old friends once wounded arm but Hartley pulls it away from her.

“Look Harls, I’m sorry” Trix tries “at first yes it’s true I was just there to keep an eye on you and protect you but over those two years the friendship became real for me” Hartley looks to Trix with a scowl.

Trix looks down “It was always real to me” she says sadly but before either of the women could say anything more Doc walks in.

He wore a neat suit, his hair was slicked back with ease and he has his one arm placed elegantly behind his back whereas his stump had the shirt neatly cut and sewn to fit around it “Trix, Hartley” he greets warmly “I see your much better can I borrow you for a little bit?” Hartley nods forcing a smile and hurriedly goes to her side.

Doc grabs her arm lightly and guides her down the long hallway to his office “now take a seat” he says ushering her to the leather seats that sat in front of his desk which she happily sits in.

Doc took a seat on the other side of his desk. “Now, with your permission of course I would like to show you why I believe Justin has finally come forward” Doc types something on his keyboard and places his hand on the side of the computer screen.

Hartley gives him a small nod and he turns his screen showing Kit’s profile “Kit” she whispers sadly the feeling of guilt overtaking her body “what does Kit have to do with anything?” she questions “I mean, he’s dead, isn’t he?”

Doc shakes his head “we thought so” he explains “but lately, I’m sure you’ve heard of the recent cyber terrorism?” Hartley nods “before every attack this video plays” Doc hits a button on his keyboard and a video begins to play.

‘Society is flawed’ words play on the screen ‘In order to preserve all that we have left we must restart, cleanse this earth of its misdoings’ the screen flickers and Kit’s face appears, with a crooked smile and wide tired eyes ‘We must delete everything’ a song like nursery rhyme begins to play before everything cuts off.

“Voice analysis says that there are two people behind that voice, both Kit and his twin brother Tech” Doc further explains “it seems when they died their consciousness’s transferred into a technical form and merged them together and it also seems that they are continuing Wisdoms plans but attacking it from a different angel”

Hartley leans forward “how do you know Justin is connected to them?” she asks her voice going low as she does; Doc again taps on his keyboard and brings up a new video.

“This is camera surveillance from the night he went missing” he says grimly.

The image on the screen was grainy but just understandable. Two bodies lay side by side on silver counters still clothed in there torn bloodied clothes, Hartley adverts her eyes from the bodies quickly before looking back up.

The room was dark until all the lights turned themselves on, the computer, heart monitors and other electrical appliances lit up as cords rose into the air and connected themselves to some part of Justin.

A large flash of yellow took over the room before dimming away into nothing, all cords fell to the ground, the lights blew and the electrical devices shorted out. A juvenile giggle echoed through the room “see you soon” a voice whispers just loud enough to be heard.

Justin’s body jerks slightly, once again his body jerks upwards before sitting up and staring straight ahead of him. Slowly each of his hands and arms lift-up before falling back onto the counter like dead weight, as if he was being controlled like a puppet.

His entire body was pulled up and he stood on the floor his head awkwardly raising to look at the camera with a lop-sided grin before everything went black.

Hartley covers her mouth and squeezes her eyes shut “Oh god, Justin” she sobs lightly and Doc gives her a sympathetic look. She wipes her face free of any stray tears which might have fallen “the other day I-I was walking home and I thought it was just another hallucination but I saw Kit, he was in control of all the screens at the television store near my work, he was reaching out to me, asking for me to help him” she gulps and Doc strokes his bare chin in wondering.

“On the matter of hallucinations may I enquire about your” he clears his throat “have you had any more of your visions?” Hartley looks down to her hands which she had clasped together in her lap.

She shakes her head “They seem to have faded along with Fifth Avenue” she says, her voice barely higher than a whisper. Doc smile vanishes and he looks to his office door “May I ask” Hartley enquires “does it hurt?” she nods towards Doc’s stump and he covers it with his hand giving a small grimace.

He shakes his head “It doesn’t hurt” he replies weakly “But it sure does prove to be highly inconvenient” Doc chuckles slightly and Hartley gives him a small nod. “Why don’t you go into the board room I’m sure you’d like to meet the team properly” before Hartley could argue Doc cuts in “it’s down the hall and three doors to the right, goodbye Hartley” he says turning back his screen.

Hartley huffs and get sup following Doc’s directions, when she enters the room all eyes turn to her. Flicker was sitting on the arm of the chair which Flutter sat which didn’t seem to be her choice, Whisper sat in the corner reading a black covered a book and Trix sitting on a dining chair facing a long table.

“Hey Blue” Flicker smirks and Hartley freezes before moving hastily to stand in front of him, a large scowl showing.

She raises her shaky hand towards him “do not call me that” she says in a low and dangerous tone, Flicker jokingly raises his hands in surrender which he soon lowers as he sees the ember colour flicker through her eyes.

Flutter chuckles slightly “finally somebody else to ruin your pristine ego Flick” she says pushing him off the chair roughly causing him to land on the ground with a loud thud.

He mutters something under his breath before taking a seat on a separate sofa “it is so nice to be properly acquainted with you, to re-introduce myself I am Flutter only butterfly girl on the team and no not a natural red head I’m afraid it’s dyed” Hartley smiles and takes Flutters now outstretched hand.

A shiver crawls up her arm as her hand touched Flutters, her eyes cloud over and a flash of white left her the only one in the room. She looked around and sighs “Not now”

A little girls giggle fills the room and Hartley looks around seeing a small girl with curly blonde hair playing with an older woman who looked identical to the girl but with fiery red hair “My little Farrah” the woman laughed, a blue butterfly flew past them and the little girl, Farrah, looked at it with wide eyes.

“Mama wot dat?” the little girl asks trying to catch it with outstretched arms.

The mother chuckles “that my baby girl is a butterfly, you see when people die they come back as butterflies to share their last bit of beauty before going to heaven” the mother smiles to her daughter warmly.

Another flash of white overtakes them.

Hartley now stood in mud as rain poured down on her, people were all huddled together holding black umbrellas as a priest read over a coffin. She moved closer noticing the little girl who now looked 14 or 15 being hugged closely by a man who seemed to be her father, the picture which sat over the coffin was that of the mother.

Everything flashed white.

“Your worthless just like your god for sakened mother was” a woman with a rough voice yelled as she threw the girl who now looked to be in her early twenties, into a wall.

“Please” the girl sobs, her beautiful untamed curls covering her tear covered face “Aunt Sarah I swear it was an accident” she hisses in pain as the woman, her aunt, delivered a hard kick to her face.

“You’re always down at that stupid butterfly field” the aunt spits “your mother was a dirty rotten liar girl, you still believe you could possibly find her, she’s not a bloody butterfly she’s worm food and nothing more” Farrah sobs and the aunt kicks her again.

Hartley closes her eyes and when they open again she sees Farrah running through a field of long grass and large swaying trees, she was crying as she ran.

The aunts screaming could be heard in the distance and smoke fills Hartley’s lungs, the familiar cloud of red and orange flickered as it overtook the before beautiful field.

“Mama” the girl called repeatedly before tripping and banging her head against a tree stump and passing out, her limp body rolls into the nearby river, her face upwards to the sky.

A blue butterfly flew up and landed on her pale nose its wings fluttering slightly before the girl jerks upwards, her eyes opening wide “Mama” she says in a strained voice, the butterfly flies up and into the sky as the girl screams.

Hartley and Flutter both stumble back holding their heads but Hartley trips over herself collapsing onto the rug, at the loud sound Doc comes running into the room his demeanour showing him ready to fight.

She looks up to him with a horrified look “Why would it start now?” she asks him seriously confused.

“Perhaps they never left” he answers quietly “but have come to you as dreams or hallucinations until you were ready again” Doc leans down and helps her up.

Hartley coughs “I don’t” she coughs harder allowing a small amount of blood to splatter onto Doc’s before white shirt “I don’t feel well” she says weakly before her eyes roll back and she falls unconsciously into Doc.

Justin’s face flashes into her mind, his laugh echoing through her head, mixed along with the last true words he spoke to her “Why are you crying…?”

She jumps up gasping for air which are soon choked by her tears, Doc is quick to be by her side pulling her into his chest allowing her to cry.

At the doorway, unknowing to both Doc and Hartley stood Trix, who watched over them with the feeling of envy burning inside of her.

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