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