Having a Gas

Sirens whooped and wailed in the distance, announcing with startling clarity the intrusion of humans into the world of the night creatures. Rubicon was starting to have second thoughts about having called in the 911, but he was past the point of no return, and would just have to improvise as needed. He clung tightly to the mortal's detached brain, which he believed might be his most powerful piece of evidence. Once he got a safe moment, he would drop back into a trance and attempt to glean some more insight from the psychically imprinted tissue. The signal strength wouldn't last much longer, so he needed to act fast.

Within minutes police, detectives, and medical personnel descended onto the scene, scattering around, surveying, identifying, and securing what little evidence they could find. They had no problem determining that they were dealing with two deaths, what with one corpse having no brain and the other no head.

"This is a bad one Bill," said the lead detective. "Jesus, look at this mess! Seems like we're seeing more of this lately. I hate taking this shit home."

"Nonsense," said the lieutenant, "It's obviously a shark attack. Look at those bite marks. No knife is gonna do what you see there. They've been eaten and chewed on, and ended up being washed up on shore. Dogs probably dragged 'em up into the mouth of this tunnel."

From his location hidden within the tunnel, Rubicon placed a psychic impression of agreement into the mind of the detective.

"Yeah ...yeah, I think you're right. It seems rather clear to me actually. God, I really feel good about that being the answer. You seem like you really have a handle on things, sir. Sincerely."

The lieutenant cocked an eyebrow in confusion at what he just heard. "Uh ...yeah. Let's, uh, get the scene packed up here. How's that."

Rubicon half in a trance, realized he had overdosed the telepathic suggestion just a bit. He would have to recalibrate.

THHHPPPPPP ...thhpppp...thhppp!

"What the hell was that? Sounded like a massive...uh...fart back in the tunnel. Better go have a look, guys," said the lieutenant, startled but half snickering.

"Yeah, well, I think I need to gather some more evidence. Heh Slim," the detective called over to the policeman first on scene, "check it out and let me know what you find back there."

"Goddamnit! I get tired of doing the pissy jobs," snorted the short, exceptionally plump policeman.

"Watch your mouth rookie! Act like a professional and do your job," yelled the lieutenant.

The policeman angrily shook his flashlight and tapped it on the wall a couple of times until it emitted a brighter beam, and then waddled back into the deep recesses of the dark hazy tunnel, mumbling "asshole" back to whomever would listen.

Rubicon, meanwhile, was quite perturbed, for he had been rudely broken out of his momentary trance by the obscene sounds of a smelly ghoul, the name of whom he telepathically ascertained.

"Oliver, what's the matter with you? You're going to give our position away you little twerp," Rubicon whispered angrily, shaking his head to clear the cobwebs.

"How did you know my name ...and ...and ... how dare you talk to me like that!" screamed the ghoul. "You're in my domain, and you didn't even ask permission!"

"I'm sorry, I stand corrected," said Rubicon. "You're right, of course. I'll remember your kindness in allowing me to stay these brief moments until the situation clears. Please, keep it down."

"Alright. That's better then," replied the ghoul.

Rubicon felt quite pleased that he didn't have to expend vital resources to implant another power of suggestion. He was getting better with his diplomacy, he thought to himself.

However, out of spite the ghoul lifted his leg and, so as not to make a sound this time, peeled back his butt cheeks which were conveniently bulging from his breeches. He then ripped an even gassier one, with all the might he could muster. The tunnel was assaulted with the odor of foul, rotten eggs, which made Rubicon's nose burn and violently spasm. Rubicon dropped the brain on the ground, and with watering eyes, groped frantically for the back of his trench coat and began flapping the living hell out of it. A skirmish of tooting and flapping then commenced, and progressed for another couple of minutes until the ghoul teetered with feelings of wooziness, having thoroughly exhausted himself.

"Oohhh! Hoooey! Okay, stop!" said Rubicon. "Enough, please! Christ, you're making my lungs burn. I've gotta crank back my senses just so you don't blow out my olfaction."

The ghoul scratched his butt crack to relieve the itchy singe. "I just don't like being talked down to. 'Sides, the master's blood never sits well in my stomach. Plays havoc with my ulcer."

"Nothing a good Cork Flatulence spell couldn't fix. 'Course, living in these tunnels, you guys probably never had a need for such things. You're crapping your pants all day down here and no one's the wiser."

Oliver laughed momentarily, and then abruptly frowned, feeling insulted.

Rubicon put himself back in order, wiped the blur away from his damp eyes, and recovered the dropped brain. For good measure, Rubicon sent out a general, psychic broadcast for the crime scene to wrap up.

Back at the tunnel opening, the policeman emerged. "Sarge, this place stinks to high heaven! Nothing's gonna be down there. That noise was probably a pocket of air that popped to the surface. I'm comin' out. You can fire my ass if you want."

"Okay folks, let's cap this stinkin' hole and get outta here," said the lieutenant

In response, the coroner and paramedics extracted the corpses, the police finished up their various notes, and then vehicles sped away.

Quiet eventually returned, at least as quiet as the night allowed. That smell though, left by Oliver ...it just wouldn't dissipate.

Not one to necessarily take credit for himself, and recognizing the contribution the ghoul made, Rubicon turned to Oliver. "Well my friend, your little stunt with the air seems to have worked. They've packed up and gone home."

"Master taught me that. Says not to over-engineer, but always look for the simple solution."

"A wonderful master he is, I suppose. Ashurnasir is he? I'd very much like to meet him at some point. I understand the Nosferatu have great knowledge and computing resources."

"I'll see what I can do. Not sure he much likes you warlock types though. Never know." Oliver scrambled off into the dark shadows, deep inside the tunnel, to report the cleanup progress to his master.

Rubicon, knowing Nosferatu security was tight, looked up and around for the presence of a security camera. Ah, there you are. He then gave a several-second stare into the camera before he glided to the edge of the tunnel. Ensuring no one was around, he ran back up the hill, then used his MindLink device to call forth his mechanical stallion. He climbed in, placed the brain in a compartment behind the seat after bagging it, and then initiated a sequence of events on the center console.

The Vette's wheels rotated up inside the vehicle, while at the same time counter-rotating, ducted fans swiveled out of the wheel wells, causing the vehicle to lift vertically. Since he hadn't yet adapted MindLink to control the vehicle in the air, as the axes of motion were more involved, he used two control grips located on each side of the steering wheel. The vehicle slowly rose over PCH, and then another five-hundred feet, air pounding air from the force of the powerful fans. Rubicon then squeezed the thick triggers on both grips, while at the same time twisting those same grips to adjust the direction of the fans.

The hover-Vette accelerated away from the ocean and out toward the dancing lights of deep L.A.