|11-20-2008, 11:06 PM||#1|
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Beaver Dam, WI
Your Fear is Here -- Sequel to Nemesis Game
VG twisted my arm and made me!!!
Foul language, sexual situations--and--er--sex---and violence----and all the nasties that make for an R rating.......
As the second year of his incarceration limped slowly by, Vern was ready for something to happen. He had gotten fifteen years to life, but he could get out on parole in five years—with good behavior, without riddles, and as long as he kept seeing that hot little psychiatrist with the lovely shaped legs, long legs. He smiled briefly. That was always a pleasant way to pass an hour each week, fifty-two times a year for the next five years.
Dr. Beverly Hill. Funny name, but when he pointed that fact out to her she hadn’t been amused. Not too many things amused Dr. Hill. She was way too much into analyzing his every thoughts—at least the ones he surrendered to her. Her diagnosis had been textbook—a “psychotic break with reality” had been the title she had given his crime. The crime of killing Sara Novak.
Pretty, inquisitive Sara. She had captured his interest the first time she had entered his comic book store—looking for thrills—thrills he would have been more than happy to give her. Of course, the games they played—they were only supposed to be the foreplay to the real games he wanted to play with her in bed. But then—wouldn’t you know it—“The Design” got in the way. It had actually decided to befriend him, when making friends was not in his plans.
He looked around at the cement walls, the steel bunk fastened to the wall with a thin mattress on top. The table he sat at, the chair he sat in—all fastened to something! Just look at where being friends with “The Design” had gotten him! It hadn’t gotten him laid! Oh, shit, no! He had killed his prospective ride in bed—and wasn’t that a riddle he’d been trying to solve in his own mind for the last two years?
It all started with Emily Gray who tried to kill little twelve-year-old Dennis Reveni down by the river. Was Emily trying to get laid? Probably not, but she got screwed by “The Design” just as he had. Ah, but then “The Design” told us that everything has meaning or nothing has! Did that bit of nonsense explain why five years after Emily Gray tried to kill him; Dennis Reveni tried to kill Sara Novak? Did it explain why, when the kid failed, “The Design” decided it was his turn to have fifteen minutes of fame?
Vern hated this. The sitting around, with only one hour’s exercise allowed him daily. All his life he had enjoyed the outdoors and the sense of freedom that open spaces—even city backstreets—had given him. He missed seeing the blanket of stars overhead at night, the touch of cooling air blowing in off the lake. And he missed people. He missed his comic book store. He missed feeling human. He was tired of being a caged animal.
He spent his time either pacing restlessly around his cell, or sitting morosely at this steel table with his chin in his hands, staring into space. Occasionally, he would study the rings on his fingers. He wore a pinkie finger ring, a middle finger ring, and a forefinger ring. He no longer remembered where he had gotten them. Perhaps it was at the tattoo shop where he had gotten his ear pierced and the body tattoo done. The tattoo was his way of covering up the scars. The little souvenirs left by the fire that had changed his life forever—maybe Dr. Beverly Hill should analysis that! Of course, killing Sara Novak had changed his life as well—but first things, first.
The prison had a well-stocked library and he forced himself to read. Books he hadn’t seen nor thought about since he had attended the university. He remembered a doctor from India whom he had met one afternoon—a gentle, philosophic man who had spoken of an ancient religion he called yoga. The doctor had tried to teach Vern about detachment and the power of the mind. But in those days, he hadn’t been quite ready for philosophy or a way of life that withdrew from life itself. Now—he had time, too much time. As he read the books he found himself remembering more and more about what this doctor had tried to teach him.
Strength—that was it. A man’s strength comes from within and from the knowledge that he is part of everything that is. There is a potential in all of us that needs to be understood, to be tapped.”
Is that what “The Design” did? Did it tap his strength? Was the design a client looking for a hit man to take out a mark? If he were to look back on what he knew, he would have to say yes. The blue card with Nemesis’ face upon it was an invitation. Seven years ago when Emily Gray took up the invitation she had not been the only one to receive it. Some people got it in the mail or on the computer. The invitation was even painted on the side of someone’s house. And two years ago, when Sara Novak first showed him the Nemesis card Curran had given her, he had known it was starting all over again. He tried to warn Sara, but perhaps it would have been better if he had not explained so much.
If she had not known that the card was an invitation to the game. If he had not explained that all the answers to all the riddles were written on the walls in some abandoned building in the city. He had even explained the rules to her. They were simple. Solve a riddle; put your answer on the wall. Solve enough riddles and one day you are shown “The Design.” Having been shown “The Design” the compulsion to be shown the answer becomes all-consuming. Dr. Hill might call it a “psychotic break with reality”. Perhaps that was what murder was-- a psychotic break with reality.
Vern didn’t get many visitors—and the one he received from Sara’s father shortly after being incarcerated here was one he did not wish to repeat. Standard procedure for visiting guests was that they wait in the visitation room for him to be brought to them—he would be all nicely handcuffed and subdued, of course. That was the rules; so today when those rules got broken, Vern found his curiosity spiked.
The guard looked, both, angry and disapproving as he unlocked his cell and held it open so his visitor could enter. A medium-built, rather nondescript-looking man in a dark suit paused upon entering. He studied Vern without seeming to, his gray eyes cool and non-committal.
“All right—you can lock the cell and wait outside.”
“Yes, Mr. Niven.” The guard replied and did as the man requested.
With a slight, mirthless smile, Niven walked to the table and sat down across from Vern. He had a stack of papers in his hand. Now as Vern watched, he started to leaf through them.
“Well, Vern, I think I have your complete file here, but there are a few questions I’d like to ask—a few gaps you might fill in for me, if you please.”
Daniel Niven had, at first glance, impressed Vern as being colorless and ordinary. But by the end of a half-hour Vern had formed a grudging respect for the man, who was not only coldly intelligent, but surprisingly clever and knowledgeable as well. He seemed to know more about Vern than it was possible for anyone to know—and what he did not know, his blunt questions had soon informed him of. Vern was frank with the man—after all, he had nothing to lose, and it had soon become apparent to him that he might have something to gain—it was obvious that Niven had something in mind; he would hardly make a journey here from Surrey, England, or be so interested in Vern’s past history if he did not have a purpose for doing so.
All the same, he listened almost unbelievingly when Niven offhandedly offered him a job—of a sort; and then went on to outline its risk and possible disadvantages in his concise, rather pedantic manner.
“You understand, Vern, that technically, at least, you will be branded an escape convict. The prison break is scheduled for tomorrow evening. If you take advantage of the escape route I will leave with you, you will be put on our payroll. No one will remember you were in this cell, or this prison—in all actuality, no one will remember you at all.” Niven glanced down at the papers before him for a moment before he looked up again. “You haven’t travel outside Canada before. Your first couple assignments will be outside Canada—in France, Germany and the isle of Crete. We will see how good of ear you have for languages.”
“You’ll be contacted from time to time by—other members of our organization, and given various assignments. Needless to say, all these will carry a considerable amount of risk and danger. But you’re not opposed to that, are you?”
Niven’s eyes were hooded, for a moment. “If you are ever apprehended, it must be understood that naturally, we’ll disclaim all knowledge or responsibility for you or your actions.”
He looked inquiringly at Vern, who said a trifle wryly, “Oh—naturally!”
Niven gave one of his thin smiles.
“Good—we’re beginning to understand each other.”
“What are you? CIA? Interpol?”
Niven shook his head, and it became apparent that he was here to ask the questions—give the order too, and it was up to Vern to decide to answer the questions and obey the orders.
“After you leave here, I will see that you are contacted by—um—one of our more experienced men. He will fill you in about the type of assignment you’ll be handling, and what we’ll expect.”
“I think you need to tell me first,” Vern growled, “just who in the fuck you work for!”
Niven shrugged. “Everything has meaning or nothing has.” Vern stiffened, then tried to relax but when the man tossed down the blue card with the face of Nemesis on it, he came to his feet, pushing his chair away so violently it bounced off the cement wall behind him.
“You played the name. You saw “The Design.” Wouldn’t you like to stop others from finding the answer that you did?”
Vern stared at him nonplused and Niven’s lips twisted into a wry smile. He gathered his papers and walked to the cell door. He called loudly for the guard to come and open the door for him. Vern turned to face him and he said softly, “By the way, Vern—I do believe I forgot to mention it earlier—the bullets they’ll be shooting at you when you escape will be real ones. Do try to be careful.”
"In passing, also, I would like to say that the first time Adam had a chance he laid the blame on a woman."