Journal Entry - Unspecified Date
Daniel Oates, Supervisor of Ops for the Awakened
I remember the night very well. I was driving home from one too many rounds of drinks from the city, making my way home to the love of my life. Cynthia, wife and soul mate, was all that mattered in the world to me. I would have done anything for her.
Before this night I was a successful man with only the future to look forward to. In fact, my wife had just informed me that she was pregnant a week ago. Pregnant! I was going to be a father. It was hard to imagine caring about someone as much as I did my wife, but I already felt the swell of love inside me for that child that waited in her. People might have their arguments on when life begins, but I'll tell you one thing, to me it begins when you know there is something there.
I started an economics magazine years ago with a few friends from college. It was mainly just a hobby. They quickly lost interest in it, but I saw the promise of the future. They sold their ownership to me and I trucked on with it, eventually establishing a great following and raking in some dough. When the time was right I sold the magazine. I took my winnings to the casino and that was where I met my wife, as well as a lot of luck. Lets just say I retired at an early age. Memories of my wife back then . . . are things I can't write, let alone speak of, right now. The wounds are still too deep.
The darkness of the night was thick, almost choking. Fog didn't help the matter any as I drove home. It was hard to see more than a few feet in front of my car. Occasionally I veered a little off the road since I wasn't sober, but I always brought the car back to the road. Staying on the right path is something I excel at in my life.
Eventually I got home, the kitchen light was on; indicating Cynthia was cooking something up or waiting for me to come inside to eat. She always heard me pull up and would turn on the porch light for me.
No light came on.
I waited a few minutes; still no light.
We had lived at this home for years now. I could not recall, even in my state of mind, one dark night my wife had not been there to turn the light on for me. I pulled my .357 from the glove box of my car and stumbled out. Slowly I made my way up to the porch, grasping the railing for support. I made my way up to the door.
When I reached out and turned the knob, the door lurched inward as I was putting too much body weight on it. The next thing I knew I was on my face in a pool of wetness. I sat up against the wall and brought my hand up to my face, it was saturated in blood. I looked up in horror at what lay in the room.
The first thing I saw was my wife, or what was left of her. Nothing from the breast down remained. Her face was frozen in a look of horror and shock. The sight broke my heart and almost broke my mind. There was blood; blood was everywhere. Once again I looked at my hand and realized in horror what it meant. I clenched my fist in rage and droplets of redness dripped back onto the floor.
She was gone.
It was only then that I saw the beast clearly.
The thing was a dark blue-black, sleek and thin, almost feline. The horror of the sight has put the particulars out of my mind . . . but if I ever saw the creature again I would know it for what it was. What I can remember for sure is the way its jaw was unhinged like a snake, eating my wife's body with rows of razor sharp teeth. It was looking at me with those yellow eyes as it did this. I aimed the gun and fired at it, only then realizing I had not turned the safety off. The thing abandoned its meal and rose on all four legs. Quickly I turned the safety off and began firing as it rushed at me. I felt something club me in the head and everything went black.
Daniel Oates sat in the passenger seat of the 69 Mustang Fastback. In the drivers seat next to him was the man who had introduced him to the real world, keeping him sane all the time. Jace Baer was a strange man with a lot of secrets, but Oates hadn't pressed him on anything. Not yet at least.
They were waiting on a street corner of the red light district. This was just supposed to be a scouting mission; the rest of the crew was off on their own tasks or back at the base. Jace had been working this case and wanted to bring Daniel in. He said it would teach him something about being the leader of a group in their occupation.
"There he is." Jace said in his deep, cool tone. Someone in a station wagon pulled up next to one of the street corner hookers. The woman was thin and athletic, with average size breasts and a nice round ass. She dark hair down to her shoulders and was wearing a fishnet halter-top and matching cropped football pants. Black high heel shoes accentuated her look. She was very attractive.
"So you said this thing has been abducting these hookers and then eating them?" Daniel had a special hatred for creatures that ate their victims. His trigger finger was itching already.
"Yes. Their pimps will only miss hookers, in most cases. Pimps don't even care if they disappear unless they are a big earner, and if they were, they can always find more. Smart strategy being employed but someone would have caught on soon enough. Unluckily for this one, a pro spotted him."
"How many has it taken?"
"Three." Jace's response infuriated Daniel.
"And have you watched it take these three away? How can you just stand by and let that happen!"
"This is part of the lesson. When you spot any of the creatures that hide, preying on humans, do you think its smart to always go guns blazing and just crush them? It is not smart and it is a not a good gameplan. You have to study them sometimes, see their moves. Does he use the same building?"
"Well does he?"
"I've observed two of the killings and yes he does." Of course Jace never explained how he had spotted the creature in the first place. He had a vast amount of knowledge of pretty much everything. When questioned how he knew so much his only response was, "I've been around a while."
"Something to remember, Daniel, is that while we fight evil we can't always be good ourselves. Rules and morals have to be bent." Jace gave him a probing look while he said this, trying to get the point across.
"Now here comes the big lesson." The hooker approached the car slowly, laughing and flirting with the driver as they discussed business. "Another reason you have to let there be victims is recruitment. How else do you think people like us can keep our numbers and strength up without new recruits? We have to find the right people to bring into our fold. Some come to us naturally and some . . . we have to design their recruitment."
"So what are you saying, the three women previous to tonight were weak?"
"Precisely. I've observed the activities and people of this neighborhood. The women this predator went for before now were weak."
"Weak? You sound fucking cold blooded man." Chills went down Oates spine.
"They were either too young or too addicted to drugs. In fact all of them were visibly addicted to drugs, until tonight." Jace laughed. "You'd be surprised what these creatures can taste, and when its victims do drugs, it corrupts the taste. I knew it was a matter of time until it went after one who was clean. A clean hooker is one of the rare hookers you can find that is sound of mind, probably has a square head on her shoulders and is just here because she desperately needs the money and hasn't been trapped into it. That, or some just enjoy the sex."
"So you waited until it chose one you deemed strong, recruitable?" Daniel looked down at the holstered .357 at his hip. "Did you do the same thing with me?"
Jace paused, then turned and looked at him.
"Of course not." Then he looked away. Apparently the hooker had come to a deal with the John and walked around his car, hips swaying. The door opened for her and she got inside. The station wagon started off down the street.
"We have to adjust to change Daniel, and this mission just changed from scouting to elimination and recruitment."Daniel wasn't so sure he believed Jace when the man said his recruitment wasn't designed. After all, if it weren't for Oates their group wouldn't be functioning anywhere near the level it did. He would keep an eye out and start questioning him and his close friend Leland more to get down to the truth of his recruitment, if anything was hidden. They started tailing the station wagon, staying at a subtle distance.