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|11th Oct 2008, 02:54 AM||Ciem: The Human Centipede #1|
Description: Dozerfleet Productions presents... Ciem: The Human Centipede. This is an action drama superhero tale with serious subject matter, told in a story that intends to partially parody the Spider-Man movies among other things.
Discussion Forum: Official Ciem: The Human Centipede Discussion Forum
Wiki: Ciem: The Human Centipede at DozerfleetWiki2
Legal: Ciem, all related characters, and such, are property of Dozerfleet Productions. All stories, pop culture entities, and characters being parodied are the property of their respective owners. All game mods being used, usernames, game mod titles, and website titles remain the property of their respective owners. Dozerfleet Productions and all related graphics and logos remain the property of Dozerfleet Productions.
(C) 2007 Dozerfleet Productions.
This is the S2C version of the story in progress for 2 years by Dozerfleet. The DRS rating is 13-UP. While there is implied sexuality, stylized action violence, and blood, the story is considered mild. Reader discretion is still advised. This story has the approval of HystericalParoxysm for upload to this site.
CHAPTER 1: "What Secrets Lie"
It had been over 43 years since two faithful pioneers founded the city of Gerosha with their marriage in the forests outside Craterville. Stan and Shalia were very devout in their faith, and had made the lives of many better as they also encouraged many to think of where they were going in the hereafter. But now their children were growing up fast. The old ways had passed.
The world, in the passing generations, would quickly forget—even outright reject—what Stan and Shalia had gone to great lengths to prove. Exactly why defied all common sense, but it happened anyway.
In their day, they had seen what they were convinced must have been miracles. Little did they know that the greatest miracle of their legacy was the one they wouldn't live to see. Over 13 years had passed since their deaths.
Their adoptive daughter Erin was convinced it was her place in life to carry on Stan and Shalia's legacy. It grieved her to know that she was unable to find a suitable husband to help her do so. Lured by the deceptions of legalism though, her authoritative nature frequently frustrated her in her attempts to do the one thing she most wished to: love her sisters, and ensure that they were aware of it.
She did her best to try raising Shalia's triplets: Candice, Miriam, and Marina. But as the culture would move further and further away from everything the town of Gerosha was built around, even Gerosha itself would soon be corrupted. As much as the Flippo girls all tried to protect themselves from harmful influences, each one of them would find themselves succumbing to one temptation or another.
The children of the generations to follow Stan and Shalia had lost their way, and the Meethlite aliens would yet again capitalize on the resurgance of evil. They did some good, keeping the pedophile Kerpher Gang in check in Dirbine, but they did that mostly to secure power for their own mob.
In ancient times, the first century church had converted a slave named Zeras before he found the planet Metheel. Zeras, after Metheel's discovery, would forge the first civilizations there.
Yet, the modern Meethlites were mutated beings who cared only about their own greed. The Flippo family's faith and convictions only made them even more of a threat to them, so they joined with every opposed campaign they could.
Since Shalia Flippo stood for her convictions, and employed them to expose the Meethlites' tactics in the early days of the town of Gerosha; that made every child she had a target in their vengeful eyes.
Rumors abounded in the Meethlite camps. There was an oracle in their past on a scroll, with the word "lIPO" written on it. That same scroll warned of a centipede getting involved, but did not specify if that centipede and the "lIPO" were one and the same. Various cults interpreted it as a Centhuen Prototype, created to-spec by the rival Phaelite aliens.
This being would be born to a human family, and would possibly bring about the extinction of an entire dynasty of Meethlite imperialists. The politically-minded began to interpret that this had to mean that one of Shalia's children would rise up and become the alleged destroyer. That presented them with another problem: which one of Shalia's children was the real threat?
Candice Marie Flippo was the fifth-born child of Stan and Shalia Flippo. She clearly lacked the wisdom and insight of her mother, but was still considered wise and moral given that she exercised restraint in her life that was not common with her other sisters.
She often found herself defending them, even when she knew they were in the wrong. However, she usually refused to actually participate in their wrongdoings herself.
The sixth-born, her triplet sister Miriam Ann Flippo, had become her best friend; and was also raised under the adopted sister Erin Wyer-Flippo. The other triplet in the batch, Marina, had been involved in a scandal with paperboy Matthew Baret. Candi loved this sister very much as well, but agreed that it was best for Marina to marry Matt and move away, especially after witnessing how Erin was affected.
Candi lay peacefully on her bed one fateful night; the night before her entire world would be radically altered.
She could not have known the significance of this one night: the night before her innocence died. It would also be the last time she would see Miriam in years.
Candi had much to think about; namely, her big secret. She was not allowed by Erin to share this, not even with her own sisters. She missed Marina, and hoped that Marina's marriage to Matt would be a happy one. Candi knew they would have a boy named Andy, but feared her destiny would not allow her to relish the thought of being an aunt.
The rain outside was picking up heavily. Candi was fearful of what her future held. Normally, she would be sneaking outside to either visit with her secret boyfriend or to be training herself to use her special abilities. The rain plus the cold, however, made her prefer to stay indoors. She had little else to do that evening except be lost in thought that unseasonably cold day in August, so there is where she remained.
Miriam, by contrast; was always a reckless, restless adventurer of a soul who seldom took advice. The boredom of not being able to go outside with friends, combined with the incessance of the rain maddened her. She was the kind who would resort to what she knew best: her double life as the "Hacktress Extraordinaire..."
Miriam: "No! You ruckin' feetard!!! Port 18 is the security trap! I said 34! Slammit! No! Fine! I'm aborting mission! You're on your own, jailbird!"
Candi: "Regina's done it this time, I take it?"
Miriam: "Yeah. She never listens to me!
Candi: "My...where have I heard that before?"
Miriam: "I'm serious, Candi! You don't just go snooping around in Licnoz Pet Supply's database without a tour guide! I know her quest for knowing it all, but for cad sakes! There's ways to avoid getting caught!"
Candi: "You know, I'm so gonna laugh if you swear at her in Swahili next!"
Miriam: "If she continues to be this stupid, I just might!"
It was 8:30 in the evening, yet the phone rang. Nobody ever called Erin Flippo's house at that hour!
Miriam: "Ugh! That had better not be Jess harassing me about Phil again! How insensitive can one girl get?"
Candi: "Never mind, I'll get it!"
Hesitantly, Candi put the phone next to her ear.
Static. A menacing moan came from the other end, like someone struggling to say anything coherent. This voice, or whatever else it may have been, soon cut short. Candi paused for several seconds, waiting for a completed though. When none came, her nerves began to expend their confidence.
voice: (cutting in-and-out) "Flllllliiiiiiiiiiipppppppoooooooo!!!! Is this....Flippo residence???"
Candi: (nervous) "Yes...wha..what do you want???"
The voice was one of the most chilling she'd ever heard! Whoever it was, they seemed to only want to know that they had reached the Flippo residence. Candi sensed that somehow, her answering that phone would have serious consequences. She hung up, trying hard to shake the discomfort of the moment by telling herself it was just a prank.
Part of her secret, her special sensation of a phantom scream, went off. Something dangerous was lurking about! But just this once, she chose to ignore her sensation.
Miriam: "Yaahh! Candi! Don't sneak up like that!"
Candi: "Off so soon? That's not like you."
Miriam: "Yeah, well, somehow, I just don't feel like a full night's work tonight."
Miriam: "So...who was our mysterious caller?"
Candi: "I...only wish I could tell you. Probably just some prankster."
Candi: "It wasn't Jess, if that's what you're afraid of."
Miriam: "Very true, very true. Kinda weird though. Nobody ever pranks us!"
Candi: "Do you think it's a sign of something bad?"
Miriam: "Bullocks! Candi, you are always so wrapped up in pondering signs, wonders, and things of the beyond! Maybe, sometimes, that beyond wants a vacation too! A prank is a prank!"
Candi: "I only wish I had your certainty."
Miriam: "The real reason I'm so upset tonight..."
Candi: "I've spoken with Erin. She agrees she needs to treat you nicer."
Miriam: "No, it's not about that!"
Candi: "Then what?"
Miriam: "What is this 'big secret' that you're supposed to keep? It sounds exciting; but I can tell it's eating you! You have to hide it all the time; you never join me with my friends to events anymore; it's devouring your social life! Why does Erin want you to be such a hermit? I'm almost sure I've got it pinned; but it's starting to eat me too! I want answers!"
Candi: "I knew it would come back to that eventually. Erin promised me that before we move away, she'd tell me what's going on!"
Miriam: "I'm not a fool, Candi! Well...not about this anyway! You see things well before they happen; you never get sick; you heal a lot faster than I do, you can jump to tremendous heights..."
Candi: "Well, I..."
Miriam: "Don't be so modest! There should have been no way for you to find me back when I was eight and got trapped in the well! You...found me somehow! And that rope! What was that made of? Where'd you get it? Candi...I know why those Meethlites are after us!"
Candi: "Why they've been after us since we were young...since they caused us both to repeat first grade..."
This has been the first section of Chapter 1. If you liked this chapter, please read on. Don't forget to rate this story...your feedback benefits future entries in the franchise; as well as the wiki.
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|14th Oct 2008, 01:51 AM||Chapter 1, Part 2 #2|
Candi: "Miri...I don't know how to say this...I'm different!"
Miriam: "Darn straight! I know we don't plan on attending the same college; but we're becoming strangers faster than you realize!"
Candi: "I'm going to get answers from Erin...tonight if I can!"
Miriam: "I've seen you! Running around...fighting crime..."
Candi: "You follow me around?"
Miriam: "I did that one time! I...don't know where you got those ropes from; but...I just hope you aren't the one to put me behind bars some day!
Candi: (frustrated) "Okay, I confess! I...kinda have this superheroine gig thing I do on the side. I...have centipede superpowers, I guess you'd call them! Erin thinks I'm this so-called 'Gifted One' that the Meethlites talk about. I don't understand any of it either!"
Miriam: "Why do you not have a single costume that you stick to?"
Candi: "Uh...well...I'm not professional yet! I...don't know if I'd even want to be a professional!
Miriam: "If this is your gift from birth, you can't just waste it! Deep down, you know that! Candi...I feel so sorry for you! I...could never live that life no matter how much I'd enjoy the thrill of it! This may sound hypocritical coming from me; but...you must pursue it!"
Candi: "I'm not sure why I do half the things I do! I want a family, Miri! I want...a loving husband! But I also can't stand to sit idly by, while criminals run amock! I wander off to stay in shape and do what I do best! Why did God give me this curse? I don't know! Erin does! But she's not telling me!"
Miriam: "Wow...so then, the ropes?"
Candi: "Shhh!!! If this becomes widespread, we're doomed!"
Candi: "No!...let me show you!"
No sooner than Candi made this promise, she performed one of her swift moves to Miriam's astoundment. The brown protrusions the whistled out from Candi's body came as a shock to Miriam; who decided that this somehow had to make sense.
Miriam: "Even I didn't know you could move that fast!"
Candi: "The last drug operation I stopped, they were heavily armed! I can dodge crazy things like bullets though. Another mystery Erin has yet to solve for me!"
Miriam: "And the ropes?"
Miriam: "Centilegs??? Wait...centilegs...as in... Centhuen Prototype!"
Miriam: "That's what you are! A Centhuen Prototype! Experimental bridge between man and centipede! I'm a hacker, Candi! Erin can't keep me completely in the dark!"
In a moment of pause, Candi's feelings of being impressed with Miriam's research skills soon turned to dread.
Candi: "Well, I'll be! I just broke a life-long promise to Erin that I'd never tell you the truth! And in the end...you know me better than I know myself!"
Miriam: "My specialty! But Candi...this means we don't have much time!"
Candi: "No...time? Miri? What are you talking about? Don't do anything crazy...Erin will suspect!"
Miriam: "You're right! But Candi...realize something...we're dead where we stand!"
Candi: "I...don't understand!"
Miriam: "Let me see your hands...holy!"
Miriam: "You were right! You're different all right! That extra crevice on your thumb is a giveaway! Somebody experimented on our parents! Question is... why didn't I get the centipede powers?"
Candi: "I'm...not even entirely sure what you mean! Miri...I'll interrogate Erin later tonight! Honestly! This is...kinda creeping me out right now!"
Miriam: "Creeping you out? You're the one with the freaky...things coming out of you!"
Candi paused some more, as both girls' nervousness grew. They realized they had been keeping plenty of other secrets from each other. Candi had told Miriam as much as she was comfortable to tell.
She had been running vigilante missions in makeshift costumes, in an attempt to train for what she feared might end up being her life. But would she be able to keep up the pace? How would she ever be ready for the chance of a Meethlite threat? She wished she could understand what divine purpose, if any, her circumstance was governed towards. Yet, she had to confess that she was in the dark, at least at this moment, regarding exactly where her place was in life.
Miriam: "Finally, that dang warm front's hitting! I can feel it getting warmer already! About time summer actually felt like itself! I'm switching into something cooler!"
Candi: "Ah...Miri! Master of the non-sequitur!"
Candi: "Fair enough! I think I'll change too! But after that, there's something you need to tell me! Let's...try to keep this a two-way street, okay?"
Miriam: "Sure! And I promise you...if Erin asks...you told me nothing!"
Candi: "You already knew all along...even more so than myself!
As the girls got dressed, Erin struggled in her bed. The call that made Candi so uncomfortable was just the first message of its sort to be received by Candi. Erin, at both home and at work, was receiving numerous similar messages.
It was beginning to give her nightmares. However, she wasn't sure she wanted to flee Gerosha just yet. Her family had been running from Meethlite threats for so long, was it not about time that she—or someone—faced up to the threat?
The thought then entered her head: what were the girls doing? And why did she hear a phone ring in her dream? She had been through a lot.
It broke her heart when she kicked Marina out of the house for her promiscuous behavior. There were rumors that conspirators were trying to get Candi in all sorts of trouble, even that some were trying to smear her over the Internet in every imaginable way!
At the same time, there was Miriam and her obsession with discovery. Miriam herself was the survivor of a tragically-ended relationship with a boy named Phil. As far as Erin knew, Phil was just a dirty boy with bad parents who was suicidally manic-depressive.
Erin suspected he had seduced Miriam on at least one occasion, and while she knew Miriam would never be as reckless as Marina had been, fear still ruled in Erin's heart.
She knew the girls wanted to flee Gerosha, but Erin felt she needed to keep them away from college just one year longer—to teach them to stand up to evil! She felt the girls were just trying to run away from the Meethlite threat as they had always done. She knew there was simply no way to run forever! But she also knew of Candi's great secret. She'd at least need Candi for her own protection!
But could she fairly hold Candi back in life just for her own safety? After all, Erin was now in her early 40's; and Candi was soon to turn 20.
Miriam, it seemed, might want to leave simply because Erin was too hard on her. She couldn't emphasize enough to the girls how dangerous it was that any of them become too lenient with their sexuality, especially in a world where they could easily be betrayed to the Meethlites! Miriam, as far as Erin was concerned, had already crossed too many lines!
Yet, Erin still cared about her sisters; and as she awoke in the fearful darkness, she was convinced she simply had to check on them.
Candi: "Are you sure I need a haircut, Miri?"
Miriam: "Absolutely! Candi, if you're that obvious, you'll be a magnet to them! You seriously need a makeover! Besides, you look like a freakin' onyrô! You need a new look...and...a new identity!"
Candi: "Miri...I'm scared!"
Miriam: "It's just hair!"
Candi: "Not that! It's...about the whole identity thing! How do we even know if it will work?"
Miriam: "It has to work! We don't have much choice! The only other option is for us to stay here forever, as Erin's prisoners! And that won't happen!!!"
Candi: "I...guess you're right! But, I mean, how far do we have to take this?"
Miriam: "As far as it will take us to be under the radar! Now hold on a sec...there! Improvement already!"
Candi: "Well...it's definitely shorter! But...I don't see how this is helping!"
Miriam: "We can't just run away from our old looks...we have to run away from our old lives!"
Candi: "So...why am I the only one getting the haircut tonight?"
Miriam: "Because I still have a social life here, though not for long! You, however, are already an outcast; so the time to reinvent yourself is now!"
Much to her inevitable shock and curiosity, Erin stumbled in right that moment.
Erin: "GIRLS!!! What is going on here??? It's getting late! And why are you cutting each other's hair??? Candi...by Goldie!!!"
|14th Oct 2008, 04:06 AM||Chapter 2: "The Zeran Fallout" #3|
Chapter 2: "The Zeran Fallout"
Candi and Miriam knew they were busted. They knew that an inexplicable fear had taken over their older sister, who was acting as a mother for them. It was time for all the girls to get some answers from each other.
Erin: "Candi! How could you do this to yourself?"
Candi: "Erin, please understand! Miri already knew what was going on all along! Besides, I'm tired of keeping this a secret from my own family! I should at least be able to tell my family that I'm part centipede!"
Erin: "You know your brothers! One Meethlite pressuring them, they squeal, there goes everything!"
Attention was soon turned to Miriam. She didn't think it fair that Candi was under so much pressure. If anyone was the scoundrel, it was she.
Miriam: "I know how you're looking at me, sis...I'll admit it! I'm guilty!"
Erin: "Well! It's high time I got some honesty out of you, Missy!"
Candi: "Erin...I don't understand. Where did the Centhuen Prototype thing in me come from? What is this prophecy?
Zeran holes? I don't know what's going on! I only know what I can do...yet, what I fear about me. I don't know anything of how I got this way, or why I'm burdened with all these expectations!"
Erin: "Hmm...I guess it is about time I told you the truth. I've been demanding it from you two, I may as well give it myself. But we're going to figure out what's going on with Miriam first!"
Candi: "Must we convict her again and again?"
Erin: "You're not her lawyer. Let's hear it!"
Miriam: "All right. Yes, Phil and I went too far. I'll never forget how it all went down either."
Candi: "I recall, I seemed to be the only one on the trip that was even concerned that you were missing."
Erin: "You didn't tell me this why?"
Candi: "We were on a field trip. I ran out of Canadian money for the phones."
Erin: "You didn't think there was anything I could have done about it."
Candi: "Nothing that would've helped matters any."
Miriam: "Phil and I were very sneaky about it! Look...he was a man burdened with many problems. But I loved him. I have to live my own life, so do you two!"
Candi: "I know how you feel. I like doing my detective work and you like breaking into things. Both are dangerous hobbies and you feel Erin's unfair because she lets me do what I want but gets on your case about everything."
Miriam: "We're both out of high school now! I want a life of my own!"
Candi: "Same here. The only difference is, I'm in no big hurry to throw that future life away before it's even given to me!"
Miriam: "I wanted to give Phil some assurance that he wasn't worthless. I told him that if God still loved him enough to send me in his life, that it wasn't all pointless. I tried to make a decision your way! Preaching!
He didn't buy it. So I gave him something I felt he could listen to! But he was too far gone...even to a girl like me selling everything short of her salvation to make him happy!"
Candi: "He was a suicidal madman, and there was no stopping him! Be thankful he didn't take you to Hell with him!"
Miriam: "I realize everyone thinks I've become a complete skank now, just like what happened to Marina! Yes, it was all a big mistake, one I almost got away with!
But it broke my heart to see his face in the obituary section of the paper! Don't think a part of me didn't die!"
Candi: "That's why I'm thankful you're still here, Miri. I need you around to know what would happen if I succumb, lest I ever do! Just because I've not let the world have its way with me yet, doesn't mean my mind is G-rated!
Before Don went crazy, he...tried to lure me in the same way...I almost said yes! I...came dangerously close being you. And I would have enjoyed it far more! I know what would've happened had I given in. I am in no way your superior!"
Miriam: "I...knew that Don guy was a creep! You were very brave, Candi! I'm afraid I simply can't be you."
Candi: "You're better than you give yourself credit. Miri...If you can't trust divine advice with your body, how can you possibly expect to tell someone as downtrodden and forsaken by the world as Phil to trust that same source for anything?"
Miriam: "Hmm...I'll tell you Candi, I'm glad I have you around here! I'm afraid if I didn't have you on my case, I'd be..."
Candi: "Lost...pregnant...scared...hunted by the law...hunted by God-knows-what-else?"
Miriam: "Probably. You sure nailed that list pretty quick!"
Candi: "Don't feel too bad, Miriam. I don't always make wise choices either."
Miriam: "I'm not like Marina! I won't sleep with just anyone!"
Candi: "You don't have to be! I know you mean well, but we're both selfish at times...and cowardly. We both have a rough time trusting God for anything. You're just more forward about it. If only you knew the struggles I have—it's better that you don't."
Erin was struck by the compassion these girls had for each other. It reminded her of what she got under Shalia a long time ago. Somewhere in her education, she had lost sight of it.
Erin: "You girls continue...I'll make some coffee."
As the girls continued conversing, Erin listened intently. The more she learned of their emotional poverty, the more she learned of her own failure in parenting them. She was getting a bit old for having children of her own, but she still yearned to find a perfect man and marry.
She kept herself looking young for this very reason, though she began having second thoughts. Should she keep the girls living under her roof to teach them courage, or would real courage be her lesson in letting them go and taking the risks of life alone?
The Meethlites were back. There was no question about it. But was it yet time to act?
Miriam: "Anything else that bothers you?"
Candi: "I keep hearing the voice of some girl...about our age. Evil as can be. Thankfully, I stick to my principles...and I can usually tell that voice to shut up. I wish I could get her out of my head though. She gets extremely annoying."
Miriam: "Are you sure you don't wanna see a shrink about that? Sounds a little weird!"
Miriam: "I don't know, Candi. You're so much of a romantic at times...and yet, such an idealistic moralist!"
Candi: "Grace is what saves, Miriam! And it ain't the grace of mere folk like us that saves either!"
Miriam: "Ain't that true! Camille still hates you for the time you embarrassed her in school. In my opinion, that girl and her grudge are both psycho!"
Candi: "Oh please! I demonstrated that her security scheme wasn't so secure! I wanted to do a favor! Yes, it got out-of-hand! But must that weigh on my conscience forever? I doubted my faith for a year after that incident!"
Miriam: "You're too hard on yourself! You trusted her too much as a friend, and she wasn't one! That doesn't mean you have to turn your back on anything or anyone else!
Don't give up who you are because of her! And if you let this weigh on you forever, that'd be exactly what she wants!
That witch has a vendetta! She's told several of her friends on every message board she owns to figure out who you are if ever you join, and ban you on sight!"
Candi: "I appreciate you looking out for me...even if you do have to resort to spying!"
Miriam: "Not a problem either. I've already been kicked off one of her boards by that guy who drools over her...simply for asking that they not bad-mouth you.
I made sure to get even with them for everything bad they said. They're now a laughingstock on many sites...and they don't even know it yet! Buzzards! I now wear their mark of scorn like a badge of honor!"
Candi couldn't help but admire her sister's willingness to defend her.
Miriam: "But you're on your own with that Don guy..."
Candi: "I could not have predicted he'd be a criminal!"
Miriam: "Maybe you should take some tips from me, if you want to be a detective! He's now with those Meethlites...the ones our parents were always running from! He may be plotting to kill us!"
Erin: "So...how did you manage to sneak off with Phil?"
Miriam: "Phil separated me from the others that night. I...used some of my inheritance money...I know I shouldn't have..."
Candi: "You didn't even stay at the same hotel?"
Miriam: "No. I was desperate. I didn't want Phil to go on believing his life was hopeless..."
|14th Oct 2008, 04:38 AM||Chapter 2, Part 2 #4|
Miriam: "We knew that the school officials might have an issue...but they had so many to take care of! Everyone just assumed Phil and I were safe on our own with another group! They didn't collaborate or anything!"
Candi: "So the schools have failed us yet again?"
Miriam: "I guess. Look, I know. The whole thing was crazy. The guilt was driving me mad. But Phil and I stayed in a special room at the Lars Arola Hotel. I thought a night of indulgence would turn him around. I never imagined how he'd end it all!"
Candi: "I have had the same desires for both Don and for Donte at different times. This is like my nightmares coming back to scold me for my own thoughts. What else happened the night you fell?"
Miriam: "I think you pretty much know what happened next. I lost my self-respect. Since that night, God has always seemed a million miles away. I've not been the same girl sense. Yet, I don't know if, given a second chance, I would have had the character quality to change the outcome..."
Miriam: "I felt something in me die, especially when he started his lie. I should have known: my sacrifice would mean nothing. But I didn't want to believe that. He told me a sweet-sounding lie.
He stated that the kindness I showed him would forever change his mind. I don't know if even he realized what a lie it was even as he was telling it! I promised to him...any time he had his fears and doubts returning; any time his family was unsympathetic and the medicine wasn't enough; that he should look to me.
He promised that evening that he would look to me from now on. I'd do whatever was in my power for him...so completely was I under his spell!"
Candi: "Poor thing! You were both deluded! You should have sent him to a clinic! Instead, he messed you both up!"
Miriam: "My heart was not entirely pure. I knew that I was breaking the rules, and that there'd be a price to pay. For some reason, that night, I didn't care. Now, I don't know how to make myself right again! I'd love for that...almost as much as I wish I could have saved him!"
Erin: "You're lucky you didn't get pregnant, or have something worse happen to you!"
Miriam: "I don't think I'd mind pregnancy too much. Though, it would get in the way of my online career as the notorious Sniperbadger. It also would limit my ability to travel the world.
But, I can handle the thought of having a baby! After the scorn I got in high school over little things, what's the use of fighting this one? It's all this...death I want to get away from! We live in a city of rotting bones! Seriously, Erin, ever think that, maybe...we're sitting ducks here?"
Erin: "The world is dangerous, Miriam. Gerosha has been a safe place to live for over eleven years!"
Miriam: "Websites and mainframes are safe until somebody breaks in. I would know. I am, after all, Sniperbadger."
Erin: "Sniperbadger? Care to elaborate?"
Miriam: "Maybe later. Suffice to say, and I'll put this in terms you understand...a volcano..."
Erin: "Okay, now I get it. But I don't think you're right. This town isn't that bad!"
Candi: "Uh...are you really so certain?"
Candi: "Relax! Only Miriam knows it's me! But you wouldn't believe how bad this town is getting!"
Erin: "I'm still not going to move. I know you girls will in due time. I'm staying in this house that I built; at least until someone evicts me from it!"
Miriam: "So, Candi...who is Donte?"
After a brief pause, Candi figured out the best possible way to explain herself...
Candi: "Okay...suspend your disbelief...Donte...is Emeraldon!"
The blanks stares would have been sufficient. But Miriam had no intention of remaining silent.
Miriam: "Impossible! My sister cannot be dating the legendary hero of Dirbine! Tell me another myth!"
Candi: "About a year ago, I was practicing inside the old Stolly's storage building..."
Miriam: "The old porn warehouse? That's just down the street from us!"
Erin: "Why do you go there, Candi? That place is in ruins! I'm surprised they don't tear it down; it's an eyesore to the whole community!"
Candi: "It's where I usually go to practice for what you tell me is my destiny..."
Erin: "Fine, what happened?"
Candi: "Remember how that old lady, Linda Treville, was reported murdered in the news?"
Candi: "I was out stopping the killer. Jeffery Limbacht. The Meethlites had found a way to turn him invisible! He was wearing a cowboy hat and jacket for some reason, and he decided to hide in Stolly's, of all places!
I was wearing my mask...the one you gave me on that clown parade...and I was also wearing some sunglasses. Anyway, I chased after him, and the fight soon ensued..."
Candi: "I demanded that he explain why he killed her. His only reply was that I'd be next! I managed to sting him a few times, and he started to slow down, I finally got a lucky move on him, which he didn't like at all."
Candi: "I got a little scared at that point. I realized all he had to do was take his clothes off, and I would be unable to stop him. He must have read my mind!"
Candi: "He dragged me...forcefully, up the stairs! I tried my best to use my centilegs, but he grabbed me by a choke hold! His strength had been somehow made to equal mine!
I realized I couldn't stop him unless I could get a clear shot! He seemed to be able to over-ride my danger sense and prowl sense, so I couldn't even use those to help me!"
Candi: "He punched me several times, and marveled at how I couldn't breathe. Somehow, he had fastened a guillotine into the rotting upper floor! I smelled some strange gas in the air, which was making me weaker! I knew I was done for!"
Candi: "I realized the smell was from the guillotine...he had drenched it in liquid bezeetol! Somehow, he knew about this Meethlite gas and its abilities! Why would he drench a guillotine in it? He told me...to make any intruder weak from the fumes, lest they ever get too confident.
He told me that he had also made Stolly's his hideout, and that I had clearly bitten off more than I could chew. I asked him how he wasn't made weaker: his invisibility potion made him immune to bezeetol!
With what I could muster of my strength, I grabbed the guillotine with my centilegs and threw it his direction. They both fell to the first floor. It didn't kill him, but at least he didn't kill me."
Candi: "I could hear him below, shouting something about the Gifted One. Erin, you simply MUST explain this nonsense to me! Anyway, I could still smell the bezeetol in the air!
I knew that I had to get away from that building. But how would I manage an escape if I were being chased by an invisible entity? I was doomed!"
Miriam: "You...never told me this before!"
Candi: "Of course not. Erin wouldn't let me! At any rate...that's when he showed up..."
Candi: "The man of my dreams! He was in full Emeraldon gear! Somehow, he knew that he was chasing Jeffrey, because he thought to bring night vision goggles! "
Candi: "He was clear as day to Emeraldon with the goggles on, and the two of them soon fought. I know it sounds childish, but I was awestruck the moment I saw Emeraldon for the first time."
Candi: "He too seemed to have a hard time functioning in that room. The bezeetol-soaked guillotine was weakening him! He too could barely match the strength of his adversary."
Candi: "I barely knew the man in the green suit...but I knew I didn't want him to lose! I could have become a spectator at that point, but I had something come over me! Instead, I jumped. I used my centilegs to break my fall..."
Candi: "Our invisible foe didn't like being double-teamed. He seemed to be stronger than both of us, as we were now both exposed to this gas that was weakening us. I urged Emeraldon to keep fighting, and I would move the guillotine outdoors if he bought me time. He agreed."
|14th Oct 2008, 05:20 AM||Chapter 2, Part 3 #5|
Candi: "It was a struggle to get that thing out, but I managed. Fresh air began to replace the bezeetol-fumed air, and I could feel my strength coming back."
Candi: "I made sure to destroy that guillotine as best I could. I threw it out of the way of the entrance. I saw the night vision goggles lying on the ground.
What would Emeraldon do without them? He was now too weak to fly! And he couldn't see a being that was as strong as he was! I put the goggles on. Now I'd had enough! I was not about to let MY mission kill off such a great hero! At this point, it was personal!"
Candi: "I guess what he saw next startled him...a Centhuen Prototype...battling against Jeffrey and winning! He had helped save my life, and now I was saving his! I finally had Jeffery beaten bloody, and as I kept stinging him, he begged me not to turn him in."
Erin: "Incredible! My own sister! Even I didn't imagine you'd make this much discovery so soon! Yes, I'll definitely tell you where you came from, but finish this story!"
Candi: "I stung him one last time. He passed out. I decided I'd done enough, and retracted all my legs."
Candi: "He hid me until after the police had finished hauling away Jeff the Invisible. After that, he had me come out of hiding. He asked me for my name, and everything else. He must have seen something in me, because he asked if it were okay that we go somewhere more private to talk. I told him that I'd be honored."
Miriam: "Where'd he take you?"
Candi: "To Viron University. He was renting a house nearby. I figured that nobody was home and that you all were probably going to be at a party, so I spent the night on the sofa.
The following morning, he woke me up with the smell of his cooking. We had a very lengthy Bible devotion time at his house before he decided it was bed time. Therefore, I trusted him not to try anything."
Erin: "Even then, what you did was risky!"
Candi: "Yes. But he was a good-hearted soul. He introduced himself as Donte McArthur."
Candi: "At this point, he already knew my name, and was impressed. He reiterated that I was the Gifted Flippo, and that I needed to be protected at all costs until it was my time. I told him I had no idea what this stuff was about. He told me it was probably for the best!"
Erin: "Okay. I'll give you a small bit of information now: Emeraldon got his suit through your Phaelite half-brother, Ploribus!"
Miriam: "Wait! Ploribus is our half-brother? How is that possible?"
Erin: "I'll explain in a minute, let Candi finish her confession!"
Candi: "We quickly became the love of each other's lives. His is a very sad story. Maybe it's better if he tells you the details. But I can tell you this much: lost his father at age 9.
He's five years older than myself, so he was about 23 or 24 at the time we met. He had never bothered with women until I came along. Like me, he has had to fear losing loved ones to the Meethlites. He's also had to face the Kerphers, etc."
Miriam: "How did he become Emeraldon?"
Candi: "I...really don't know the answer to that one, sorry! All this time, and I've never asked him. Something to do with the Phaelites, I'll bet!"
Miriam: "Why the sad look on your face?"
Candi: "Because...he works with the Phaelites. Ploribus, even my godfather Imaki Izuki!"
Erin: "The tailor who made the suit Ploribus gave to him!"
Candi: "Yes. The Meethlites have found a way to invade the Phaelites' home planet. They've asked him to assist them in the war. He's conflicted, but I fear he may have no choice.
His mother is a Meethlite prisoner! I fear we might not see him again alive! I am to speak with him tomorrow, to see if he's going or not..."
Miriam: "Well, pardon me for being rude, but this small world stuff is beginning to bug me. I'm gonna just take a peak at what's in here, and call it a night. You two think you'll be done soon?"
Erin: "You're likely to miss out on a lot of history."
Miriam: "Ah, whatever. I'll just lounge. I'm feeling tired, but I'll listen."
Candi: "You're not too upset that I didn't tell you about Donte until now, are you?"
Erin: "No. You did well. Even in such odd circumstances, you've proven you can be trusted. Now, poor child, I must tell you where you came from..."
Erin: "The time to act on what I'm about to tell you may come sooner than you think. But you must know who the Meethlites really are..."
Candi: "I'm listening..."
Erin: "It began in the Dark Ages, some time after the fall of Rome... Feudalism was beginning to take hold. There was a feudal lord, and he was something of a tyrant."
Miriam: "This sounds pretty far-fetched..."
Erin: "It's not technically my family history...but it does involve Candi's. Anyway, a man named Zeras led a rebellion among the serfs. Numerous attempts had been made on his life, but he sought to liberate all he could. While hiding in a catacomb...he came across a mysterious hole in the air around him..."
Erin: "He didn't know it, but he'd discovered the phenomenon of Zeran holes, named after him. His descendants would develop Zeran technology...quantum packs we call them...which would allow them to carry in something the size of a belt buckle...a complete wardrobe! His first visit would take him to the planet Metheel, the next to Phaelon."
Candi: "This stuff really is out there..."
Erin: "His faithful followed, carrying with them an extreme curiosity and highly scientific minds.
Zeras, the founder of Zeran hole technology, was so loved by those he liberated, they made him their king. But his was a lonely rule. He had no queen, and his children had all been sold as slaves before he achieved greatness.
Through their discoveries, the Zeranites were able to keep contact with those still on Earth, and developed their plans for what to do with Earth..."
Erin: "Even after death, some said it seemed like he was haunting the halls of Metheel's main castle, Dilfirrnus. This could be little proven...but the natives swore by it. After his death, the two worlds agreed to grow apart. But their common legacy drove them both to scientific obsession...especially in regards to forced mutation.
Come the nineteenth century, the movements in science either discovered anew or copied from Earth became unstoppable.
Both planets, Phaelon and Metheel, decided that they had to claim parts of Earth for themselves to remain relevant. But the Phaelites and Meethlites both decided major changes needed to be made to their worlds...and to themselves..."
Candi: "What kind of changes?"
Erin: "They wanted to start work on mutations. The hype over creating a superior species was the rage in circles of pseudo-science fanatics. The same mindset that would lead us on Earth to supremacist dictators like Hitler and Pol Pot was taking hold among the Phaelites and Meethlites."
Erin: "This was especially true of the Meethlites, who had the means to create human-animal hybrids.
Insel of the Meethlites was the last king on Metheel to sit on the Zeran throne. One of his first moves as king was to oversee the destruction of the ancient castle.
'Progress' demanded a new means of organization, and both alien breeds wanted to answer the call. There were two animals that had been created in labs...the Metheel Millipede and the Phaelotorian Centipede, specifically for purposes of this human-animal hybrid obsession on both worlds."
Erin: "And did the experiments ever begin...werewolf experiments, some of which they're trying today...AI possession...also their fad...but there was one thing the two types of aliens had always been in a race over...they wanted superhumans. And they looked everywhere for the means. They did many experiments, some of which were disasters.
Both the mutated centipedes and mutated millipedes were incredible creatures. The millipede in question could sense things...pretty much before they happened. They could stick to almost anything, and they were extremely agile. The new centipede species was even more extreme. While it couldn't stick to just anything, it had retractable spare legs.
Rather than store deadly venom like many Earth centipedes, this alien variety merely carried a sleep inducer. The retractable centilegs could do far more than just sting though...they could...allow the creature to throw things around!"
Candi: "Including things five times its own weight?"
Erin: "Yes. The Meethlites wouldn't stand for it! Even among their own number, lives and reputations were at stake. These new species were exactly what both the Phaelites and Meethlites were looking for: a creature that they could splice genes from to experiment with their agendas. Already, the Phaelites had those in their number that insisted on reforms.
They insisted the unethical science experiments must end. Your half-brother Ploribus was among them, and still is. The Meethlites though, were all greed and conquest. The human-millipede race they sought to create, Milthuens, proved tricky business, but they were by no means willing to give up..."
Erin: "A prophecy developed among the Meethlites, that if a Centhuen Prototype grew too powerful, before they had successfully created the Milthuen race, that even before the Phaelites had perfected Centhuens, this human centipede would be the downfall of one of their clans.
Duke Arfaas is believed to be the leader of a particularly obnoxious one that's attacking our world.
In World War II, the Phaelites almost had their adversaries convinced they had created the Gifted One they so feared. They called him Centipede Charlie. The OSS, and later the CIA, made sure to keep him out of public knowledge. He's everything you are becoming, Candi. And perhaps you'll become something even more..."
Candi: "What do you mean?"
Erin: "It's hard to be sure. But the Germans feared him...until they were lucky enough to ambush him..."
Erin: "With the memory of Centipede Charlie all but gone, the Phaelites knew that the Meethlites would plot numerous supervillains to unleash. The Phaelites knew they needed to act fast to make another Centhuen prototype..."
Erin: "Not at first. Alison Ligash was very down on her luck, the live-in girlfriend of Steve McNolan, a minor league baseball player. He was abusive, so she left him and married Tobey Flippo, but not before she conceived Steve's child. Steve died soon afterward, from lung and throat cancer.
But Alison was desperate! Toby was injured in a car accident, and that left Alison's son Stan Flippo temporarily without a father. She was in bad health herself, and the gangs in Craterville were constantly targeting her. The Phaelite scientists who were coming under fire for their unethical experiments were willing to offer her protection...at a price..."
|14th Oct 2008, 05:37 AM||Chapter 2, Part 4 #6|
Candi: "Those animals!"
Erin: "She had no choice. She would allow them to use her infant son for two key experiments. The first was to use some of his DNA to create a test tube baby...Ploribus."
Candi: "Who to this day, fights against the establishment that created him!"
Erin: "Yes. That is how, in spite similarity in age, Ploribus can claim your father as his. When Ploribus grew old enough to be too big for the test tube, he was placed inside a surrogate mother Phaelite, named Insila Murtillo. There he grew, and became, along with Mitch Brandel, one of Gerosha's heroes."
Erin: "To play the experiment safe the second time around, the Phaelite Malferinus, put in charge of Stan, decided not to make Stan himself a Centhuen prototype.
He laced Stan's DNA with the necessary centipede DNA, and ruled that in a chance encounter, a switch would be activated. This switch would cause one of his offspring to become the enhanced Gifted One that the Phaelites needed to end the Meethlite threat, or so it was believed. Stan himself would be only a carrier."
Candi: "And our mom Shalia was the catalyst? So by a selection of the genes, I won the centipede lottery?"
Erin: "Yes. That is why the Phaelites have been protecting us."
Candi got out of her chair. Suddenly, everything she and Miriam both knew about Candi and her adventures was coming together.
Erin: "I'm...so sorry I kept this from you for so long."
Miriam: "Incredible! Now all my research on this makes sense! This is worse than a Greek tragedy! And I get scolded for a little fooling around?"
Candi: "I can't believe it! I'm a total abomination!"
Miriam: "No you're not! The Phaelites are! All these dang aliens are! Who needs them anyway?"
Candi: "I...no. I can't. Donte wouldn't like it. But..."
Miriam: "Forget Mr. Magical Flying Boy! Candi, he's more than likely going to be in that war! He'll be on the front lines, and there's no telling what the Meethlites will do! You can forget running away with him, you'll only end up in worse danger!"
Candi: "I wanna marry him!"
Miriam: "And maybe some day you will. But don't rule out other guys. Men like that usually don't live very long! He's a wild, passionate spirit, and I know you love pursuing spirits.
But you need stability. Gosh, I've hacked more websites than most could dream of without going to jail for it, and even I know we're talking madness!"
Candi: "You're right. Tomorrow may be the last time I see him...ever, let alone alive! But I don't want to break up with him!"
Miriam: "Then don't look at it as the two of you breaking up, but as being broken by circumstance. That has helped me in getting over Phil...I know it's not easy!"
Candi: "What'll we do?"
Miriam: "What little we can, sis. I'm going to that party tomorrow, and I'm gonna have all fun I can...er, legally, of course! And then, I'm going to start packing my bags, and off to Farrenville! Good luck those Meethlites ever finding me!"
Candi: "I'm not sure about that. Maybe I'll join after I've wished Donte goodbye...assuming he is going to war."
Miriam: "Fine. You could use some time in the party scene. Socializing a little could do you some good. I'll make sure they don't corrupt you...too much!"
An uneasiness set over Erin yet again. Somehow, she just couldn't shake the feeling that her time was growing short. She was in her forties, but felt like she was younger than that - even looked so!
Yet, she was certain she would not live to see old age. She wasn't sure why she felt death walking by, but was convinced something horrible was destined to happen soon.
Erin: "Girls...we'd better be getting to bed. Much is about to happen tomorrow for you both. I don't want you to be too tired."
Candi: "Very well. I could use a night's rest--shake all those horrid thoughts!"
Miriam: "I can afford to sleep in. The party isn't till late, what am I afraid of? Ah, whatever! I'm hitting the sack too!"
Candi could feel her centipede powers growing slightly stronger even while she slept. The thoughts and realizations occurring in her after hearing Erin's words shook her.
She knew she could not sleep well that evening. But after what would soon happen to her, she would wonder for a while if she'd ever again be able to sleep peacefully.
|14th Oct 2008, 05:46 AM||Chapter 3: "Gunner and Skellig" #7|
Chapter 3: "Gunner and Skellig"
As the girls struggled to sleep, they knew not the significance of the phone call, though they could wager a guess. Tiffany Ascelene, their mysterious and yard-negligent next-door neighbor, was not really negligent - she was dead.
Buried poorly under the the lillipods and other things lay her meat-less skeleton, slowly decaying in the water below. Gunner and Skellig, Meethlite brothers, had seized her home as a hideout. The girls had no clue how much danger they were in.
To some credit, the two gangsters were not very smart. But the girls would have been underestimating to believe that was their only concern. If only they knew how close the evil had come to their own front door.
On the other side of the house, Gunner observed the opening of a Zeran pathway—Duke Arfaas was arriving soon on Earth, with his sister Harga Hebbleskin!
Gunner: "Yes, my lord!"
Arfaas: "Do you and Skellig have a confirmation?"
Gunner: "We've got something of one! The house next door! A gal confirmed there's at least one Flippo living there! Whether that's the Gifted One or not, she's gonna feel like a whack-a-mole!"
Harga: "I am sending in our man Don. He will take care of his old flame, Candice! We know that she was a witness when he was defeated by Emeraldon! Before he was put to death, he confessed to seeing a girl at the scene. We have confirmed reports that Candice Flippo has been seen with Emeraldon! I'm not 100% she's the Gifted One, but keep an eye out for her!"
Gunner: "There's probably another in there."
Harga: "We know Marina is in hiding with Matthew Baret. We doubt she is the Gifted One! The findings on her child are not impressive. Very strong, but no Centhuen DNA!"
Arfaas: "Miriam is also one to watch with caution! She is, after all, Sniperbadger! That little snoop invaded one of our web operations! She is clearly a threat to us, so we must be a threat back!"
Gunner: "So...what me and Skellig s'posed ta do in there?"
Arfaas: "When the ship flies overhead, and the sky turns dark and red, invade the Flippo's near homestead; and leave each found one dead!"
Come early daybreak, Gunner approached his brother Skellig inside the old bedroom.
Skellig: "What is it, man? I was just getting to enjoy myself!"
Gunner: "Today's the big day! If we find the Flippos at home... well, you know!"
|17th Oct 2008, 06:55 PM||#8|
Join Date: Jan 1970
I really love the way you use custom content! Well done!
|3rd Nov 2008, 02:09 AM||Chapter 4: "Conflicting Celebrations" #9|
Chapter 4: "Conflicting Celebrations"
Day had finally come, and the afternoon seemed to arrive faster than Erin hoped for. She knew there was a party her sisters were going to; but she had more important things to get done besides worrying. She knew that by the time she got back from running errands, both girls would be gone.
Erin backed out of the driveway cautiously, as she was prone to. She knew that she wouldn't be able to play a mother role to her two sisters much longer. She also knew that Miriam's choice of friends left at least a few things to be desired.
Candi seemed to be all right, by comparison. Still...she was the Gifted One! Erin sensed that whether the girls were wise or foolish with their lives, it wouldn't make a difference.
They would both spend their lives in constant danger, where each mistake could be their last. As Erin drove off, she thought through prayers for each of them. She was convinced they'd both need as many as they could get...
Candi was also nervous. She feared there might be illegal activity at the party. At the same time, she wanted to change her look even further. She didn't want the Meethlites to be able to find her easily. Nevertheless, she didn't feel her appearance had changed sufficiently to convince them to ignore her.
She had to think of the near-future. She'd be seeing Donte again soon...for what could easily be the last time! She didn't really care what the party crowd thought, only be going to it for her sister's sake. She was very introverted and reflective at heart, having no use for Miriam's parties.
Hers was a paradox: making herself still recognizable to Donte, but without being too obvious to the Meethlites pursuing her.
She did, however, have to chuckle upon noticing Miriam in her full party gear, walking into the bathroom.
Candi: "Well now, look who's trying too hard to be sexy!"
Miri: "Yeah, I know, it's wild! But the party's gonna be wild! I'll have no problem blending in! Though...I can't say the same about your garb."
Candi: "Miri, you do realize that if Erin knew you were dressing like that..."
Miriam: "Aw, lighten up! It's just one night! Besides..."
Candi: "You're a bit too outgoing for your own good! I'm afraid for you, Miri. One little thing could change that!"
Miriam: "Like what? World War III? Maybe. I know...she thinks I'm gonna get drunk and pregnant and all that jazz!"
Candi: "Or worse...knowing what goes through the minds of some of those guys!"
Miriam: "I'll be safe! I've got my ladies to protect me!"
Candi: "And if Meethlites show up?"
Miriam: "Well, okay, I'll admit...the news rumors of increased Meethlite activity are a bit frightening! But you'll be there, won't you?"
Candi: "After I've exercised and said goodbye to Donte."
Candi: "After I've exercised and said goodbye to Donte."
Miriam: "Hey...good point! By the time you arrive wearing that, nobody's gonna care! Sheesh, I just hope they don't smuggle liquor into the party!
Some of those dimwits will try anything just to see which laws they can break! Oh well, if they do, I won't drink it! Besides, they'll be too drunk to care what you're wearing!"
Candi: "I...kind of appreciate the gesture. I do wish you could be more certain who's chaperoning this event!"
Miriam: "Chaperones??? Candi! We're both going on 20! In a little over a year, we can each drink! I know you've pretty much sworn off alcohol, but for cad sakes! Live a little!"
Candi: "Me? Live a little??? I fight criminals...by using creepy tentacles from my extremities! How much more 'living it up' do I have to be?"
Miriam: "Okay, you got me on that one! Still...I know what you're thinking! You want a better disguise!"
Candi knew Miriam was right.
Candi: "You read my mind! But...I don't know what to do!"
Miriam: "Relax! You can always live and work under a fake name! How about...Candi...Farmington?"
Candi: "Farmington??? Too far-fetched!"
Miriam: "Well, we already know that the last name of Flippo isn't safe! Smith?"
Candi: "Too predictable."
Candi: "Oh...quit teasing! Yes, I want to marry Donte! But I'm not desperate enough to steal his last name!"
Miriam: "Fair enough...Stevens?"
Candi finally found a suggested rolling off of Miriam's lips that was worth consideration. Stevens? That would make the perfect false name for her! Would Donte would approve?
On the other hand, he didn't have to know either...but it'd be something she'd do apart from him. She didn't want him hurt. Then again, what if he didn't survive his journey?
Candi: "Fine. We'll go with the last one."
Candi: "So...how are you planning on doing this?"
Miriam: "Me? I won't likely be wearing this garb! I'm gonna go underground for a while...maybe a long while! This is my last to be Miss Party Girl, and I'm gonna make the most of it! The world will know me as...Sniperbadger. But as Miriam, I'll be a nobody!"
Candi: "I see you have no problem changing who you are. But I don't know how! How do I hide myself?"
Candi didn't know why she was being redirected to the chair she sat in last night, but she decided to give her sister a chance.
Candi: "Is chopping more of my hair off really necessary?"
Miriam: "More than just chopping it off, dearie! You have no idea how much you are defined by your hair! I'm known for my antics...but you're known for your beautiful hair! Long, silky, and...black!"
Candi: "Well, I am proud of my hair being silky! Although...I can tolerate having it shorter. I love having it black and beautiful...how God made it! What would I switch to if not black?"
Miriam: "Well, I'm not about to dye your hair blonde! That's not even trendy right now! It's so 2001!"
Candi: "Fashions do make comebacks...kinda like your retro CRT All-in-One PC! I don't like blonde either. Not even on a guy! Marina can have blonde hair if she so chooses. I guess I would have to go with...red."
Miriam: "Red? Excellent choice! Of all the hair dyes Lillia's brand offers, we not only have red in this house, but it's the least likely to cause cancer! We have an hour and a half before the party girls get here! Hold on, Cinderella! Your fairy godsister is about to remake you!"
|3rd Nov 2008, 03:53 AM||Chapter 4, Part 2 #10|
ONE HOUR LATER...
Candi stared at her sister's concoction in the mirror of above the bathroom sink. She wasn't sure if she liked or hated this new look. She didn't think the earrings were a very smart edition, but she was willing to let Miriam tamper with the idea. They were fake earrings, so it was at least not a serious commitment.
Candi: "This will definitely take some getting used to! Who taught you how to cut hair anyway?"
Miriam: "Susan. She owed me one for bailing her out in chemistry class!"
Candi: "You sly little devil!"
Just then, they heard the party crowd on the other end, clearly indicating they had arrived.
Miriam's friend Meadow couldn't wait to get the party started. Being far wilder than either Miriam or Marina and certainly a few cuts above Candi, Meadow was convinced she'd be the center of attention. Meadow and company exited her old-style Volkswagen, taking their sweet time.
Meadow: "Miri! The fitzinzadoo! You ready to rock this joint?"
Robi: "Well, now! The badger's come out of hiding!"
Miriam: "About time, eh?"
Robi: "Heck, yeah! I thought you were shipped off to some jail or something; you know, how I never saw you! You'll never guess! I found an inflatable that looks a lot like Phil!"
Miriam (giving false face): "Gee...I...probably won't get it! Bad memories."
Robi: "Ah...right. Never mind!"
Robi: "Holy...Candi? Whatever possessed you to abandon the goth thing you had going?"
Candi: "Er...Robi, do...you have to always get so close to me? I'm really not in a mood to discuss anything!"
Robi: "What's with you Flippo chicks anyway? I'm striking out left and right! Somebody's gotta get you laid, Candi! You can't be the wallflower forever!"
Candi: "Yes I can! And it'd help if you let us explain what we're willing to explain of our backgrounds...before acting in total disregard!"
Robi: "You've had your whole life!"
Candi: "I'd have to kill you if I told you everything about me! And that's hardly an exaggeration!"
Robi: "Emo! You see Meadow over there?"
Robi: "She was mine last night!"
Meadow: "Robi!!! Good gravy! Tell the whole neighborhood, why don't ya!"
Robi: "Yes, dear!"
Meadow: "I'm not your 'dear', duffel bag!!!"
Robi: "Is that a little growth I see on the belly there?"
Candi: "You two are...really beginning to creep me out! I need a breather."
Meadow: "My apologies, Candi. Robi's a little stoned!"
Candi: "Figures. Must be some party we're going to!"
Meadow: "Hey, you have no idea! And Sean back there...he's waiting to see how quickly he can become a father!"
Sean: "Am not!"
Meadow: "It's gonna be one rockin' great time! Are you gonna join us?"
Candi: "Sorry to be the wallflower...yet again! But I promised my boyfriend I'd see him again before he enlists in that war between the two types of aliens!"
Meadow: "No sweat! I can easily hook you up with someone new!"
Candi: "I'm interested in faith, faithfulness, and long-term commitments, Meadow. I'm sorry but...I don't want your flings!"
Meadow: "Fair enough. Madame Meadow will say no more! I'll see you at the party later on then. I'll bet you'll get totally smashed!!!"
Candi: "Smashed? I'm not even legal yet!"
Meadow: "Fake ID's, babe! That's how it's done!"
Candi: "I won't get smashed! You know I don't drink!"
Meadow: "Very well then, be the stoic of the party! Just be there! Oh...have fun with your boyfriend!"
Miriam: "Catchya later, Candi! I won't let them corrupt me—too much! Take care saying goodbye to Donte!"
Candi: "I'll remember!"
Just like that, Candi knew that the beginning of what could be a terrifying future for her had just begun. Soon, she would have to leave Erin behind and step out into the world; with only her faith, convictions, and inheritance money to guide her. She could not have predicted it; but that was the last time she'd see her best friend and sister, Miriam, in years.
She knew that time would drift the two sisters ever further away from each other. It was time to put away her old life with her sister - time to find herself in the arms of the right man. But who? Would Donte survive the war? If not, whose arms would she find herself in? If not Donte's, then could she forgive herself? And what about this centipede side to her being?
She knew that this departure of her sister, somehow, wasn't like the other times. This time, Candi's journey had to begin: learning the truth of whom she was meant to be.
|4th Nov 2008, 12:28 AM||Chapter 5: "Fatal Miscalculations" #11|
Chapter 5: "Fatal Miscalculations"
Candi continued to train as she was accustomed to at the abandoned building of the old Stolly's warehouse. The sudden entry of rain into the atmosphere had her concerned - the sky continued to look foreboding and the temperature was still not as warm as she had hoped for.
As the rain persisted, so also did her confidence. She thought she could hear something rumbling in the distance. Even with her superpowers, she was not in the mood to test her luck against a thunderstorm. After just a few more centileg strokes, she'd decided she'd vanquished enough imaginary foes. She wasn't really feeling like a battle anyway - her heart ached for something else...her last chance, quite possibly, to see Donte alive!
The moment she had been dreading arrived—Donte's arrival! At last, she could get her long-standing and painful questions answered. He seemed almost unreal to her as he stood there.
But the minute she saw him, all she could think of was her own urge to cry. If ever femininity were to be described as a weakness, this was one time in which she had no need to feel ashamed of showing it.
Her Donte as available to her at last! What else need she fear?
Candi: (nervous) "Uh...hi. So...glad to meet again?"
Donte flew towards her, not saying a word. The look between the two of them was awkward, but they subtly already understood.
Donte: "I'm so sorry Candi..."
Candi: "Donte...I...will love you forever! I pray every night that you'll live! Regardless of what happens to me...I should hope that one day..."
Donte: "It's okay, Candi. You don't have to tell me! I knew I found someone special indeed, the minute I took you to my place! Believe me, darling; if there is any hope in me that you're alive when I get back, I will swear off all other women!"
Candi: "But...if I don't...will you understand? I want you more than anything else, but...I'm just so convinced this is the last time we'll ever get to feel each other's warmth and presence again!"
Her words tore at him. He had prior commitments, as Emeraldon, to go to Phaelon and fight. But he would have to leave the love of his life behind! How could he possibly do this?
Donte: "Candi...I...don't know how else to say this!"
Candi: "I'm listening..."
Donte: "I will get a break within three weeks. We will have established camp. The trip to Phaelon and the establishment of camp in the Turquellis region is probably one of the most dangerous parts of the quest.
If you don't hear from me within three months...then don't let me interfere with your life! Remember...I'm doing this for you! Right now, the Meethlites want to exterminate your whole family! I must provide the distraction...even if it kills me! It is the only way to see you become what you are meant to be!"
Candi (tearfully): "I...understand."
Donte: "Come here, my burdened beauty! I don't know why else you'd even come here tonight!"
Candi: "Because...I...cannot escape what I am meant to be. Or can I? Erin told me everything last night. I'm afraid it won't be long, if you die, that I'll be forced to take over your job. Awkward, huh?"
Donte: "I fear for you. Candi...your heart...is in too many places! Will you be able to pull off anything like you did the night we met, when you're soul is decimated by hardship?"
Candi: "I have noticed I'm not consistent. Adversity will either shape me or else I was not meant for it."
Donte: "You don't know what you really want. It is hard to make a right decision when you don't even know what the right decision is, or even when you don't know what you hope for. Be extremely careful if you are this conflicted later on. You are a Centhuen Prototype! Your biggest enemy, aside from maybe getting pregnant...will be distraction! Master that, and you'll be unstoppable!"
Candi: "Self-help nonsense! I can be stopped by a bus, silly! I doubt I'll ever have the strength to lift one of those!"
Donte: "You're smart then! Always know your limits...it will keep you alive...even when I can do so no longer."
Candi: "You seem so certain you're gonna die! Stop! I want you to live!"
Donte: "That's for God to decide. You need him too, Candi. He will always be there for you. I...cannot promise the same. You deserve so much better than I can give you! Comparatively, I am nothing!"
Candi: "And yet, you're so good at what you are! Such contradictions our lives are!"
Donte: "We'd best be leaving here soon. You will need time to heal. The full shock of my absence has not yet hit you; but when it does, you may need a dozen therapists to set you right! This place...its memories...are the last thing either of us needs right now."
Candi: "The high and mighty Donte...why do I feel like I'll never get over that?"
Donte: "Let me fly you down...I don't know if the stairs are really safe anymore."
Candi:(whispering) "I don't think they ever were..."
Inside, a part of her refused to let go. Another side urged her to let go, lest she become too scared to know life apart from the man who had come to mean everything to her.
Candi: "Forgive me, Donte...this may sound cowardly...
I love you, and as much as you're doing for me, I...want to do a favor for you! If you do die...I want you to have the honors of knowing your legacy will never die with you. I'm willing to do whatever it takes to assure that! If you would like all of me...tonight...before you leave...then..."
Donte: "No! Dearest, don't ever give that up! Hard as it is to believe, not even I am worth that! I would sooner die a complete vagabond than rob you of your honor!"
Candi:(astounded) "Then...I have truly found someone that I fear...I will never be able to replace!"
Donte: "But if life directs you that way...use your discretion! It is safer than acting merely out of raw fear."
Candi: "I will try."
Donte: "And know to Whom to look, if ever you do fail!"
Candi: "I will."
Donte: "And I must say...I love what you did with your hair!"
Candi: "Protection from the Meethlites. It was Miri's idea. She snooped and heard everything!"
Donte: "No matter. She'll probably try to teach herself to forget everything! Give it a few years; I'll be amazed if she still has enough living brain cells to recollect it all!"
Candi: "She is very smart, dear! Just...she doesn't always have the best morals, that's all."
At that point, neither of them cared to mince words or indulge thought. Candi felt dirty inside at her recent suggestion, but was content that the last moment she'd share with Donte was still beautiful and pure.
It was a time of subtle comparison. Was she meant to provide the example her sisters failed to for today's youth? Marina's example was neither pure nor honest. As for Miriam, the differences were becoming clearer. Donte was a man of few flaws, spiritually, having the occasional fits of depression. His biggest self-consciousness was the flaws of his body. Yet, he remained resolved in his convictions.
The biggest difference Candi could see developing between herself and Miriam lay in their reasons for allowing themselves to fall. Candi wished only to provide a departing present for someone who had only ever made a positive difference in her life. Candi realized her inadequacy, as nothing she could offer would ever be enough.
To the contrast, Miriam had disingenuously tried to use the sacrifice of her honor to save another from himself. Candi realized that Donte could not be saved by anything she did. His fate was now out of her hands. Perhaps she could do something for him in the future, but there was nothing for them now. Miriam, to the contrary, found out too late that she was in the same circumstance, and that her sacrifice meant nothing in saving Phil.
Candi continued to hold on to Donte, but she sighed under her breath, grateful that she had been saved from a major mistake; but also fearful that the same wayward spirit lived in her as did in her sisters, tempting her body and soul to repeat their paths of error.
Donte: (under breath) "I must leave now. I have no guarantee when or if I'll get back, but the group of Phaelites on their way leaves within a few minutes! Goodbye Candi..."
Candi: (fighting back tears) "Farewell then...and good luck...love of my life!"
|4th Nov 2008, 01:46 AM||Chapter 5, Part 2 #12|
* See video on how this shot was made: here.
And away he went. The bright, young Donte, barely out of college, was now a legend as Emeraldon. So brief, and yet, so meaningfully, he shared his final thoughts with his dream woman. Then, just like that, he was gone. It had been the second love in Candi's life torn from her by circumstance - though certainly not the last. He flew into the air in all the glory of his form.
This begged the question - if this were the final time they were together...what should Candi do with her life?
Donte flew as far out of sight as Candi could imagine possible. She was left alone...or was she? The sky suddenly turned a very dark, very menacing red hue. She only wished she could figure out why, but what she knew for certain is that it did not bode well.
Suddenly, out of nowhere, she thought she heard a phantom-shriek in her ear - danger was nearby! It was the feeling she'd had the last time a bully in school tried to throw a dart at the back of her head! But now, she felt it from behind!
She dodged in the nick of time! Two bullets whizzed past her! She quickly turned around to see what the source of her sudden threat was.
Feelings of horror began to chill her when she realized the source of the assault: Don Mendoza, her old middle school crush!
Candi: "Don! Are you completely psycho?"
Don: "Well, now! If it isn't my old time friend: Candi the GIFTED ONE Flippo!"
Don: "So nice of you to waste my two bullets, toots! Now I'll have to deal with you personally!"
She ran back into the building to hide. She didn't want to fight him. She still had feelings for him, even though it had been a long time since they'd seen each other. But why was he so intent on killing her?
Candi: "Don! I've done absolutely nothing to you to deserve this! Don't make me fight you!"
Don: "Ah...no sweat! I ain't necessarily in this for revenge, sister! I'm in this because you're the reason the Meethlite ship Sirlot is hovering over the city! Just imagine how I'll climb through the ranks if I kill the Gifted One! And you've made it far too easy!!!"
Candi: "Don! The Meethlites have a track record of betraying their human accomplices! You will get nothing out of this! Besides, I DON'T want to fight you!"
Don: "Then let me at ya! I know you heal fast, but a quick enough lopping off of the head should overcome that! You've wasted my bullets, but not my resolve!"
It angered Candi that he should talk like this. But still...this was a man she once had tremendous respect for! She couldn't just turn so quickly on him in fury now, could she?
Candi: "Let it go, Don! I'd rather we talk about this!"
Don: "You know...that Donte and you are awful close...or should I say...Emeraldon? Ha! Won't this be a fine way to kill two birds! And then for that wretched 'badger' sister of yours! Ha! That'll be a racket!!! Hickory dickory dock! Miri went up the clock! The hands struck twelve, off came the Flippos' heads! Hickory dickory dock! Tick tock!!! Ha ha ha ha ha!!! I bet she'll make good times in bed too!"
This was the last straw! The accent didn't sound at all like the Don she remembered. And it was one thing that he was menacing to her...but to threaten her close family?
Candi: "Urrrrrrrrr....Bring it on, bastard!!!"
It was clear to her now that this was no longer her Don. This was a mind so poisoned by Meethlite indoctrination, that his only thoughts were bent on malice. She looked into his crazed eyes, and prepared for the ugly confrontation to follow.
In spite her best efforts, he somehow was gaining the upper-hand!
Don: (under breath) "I'd love to rip your head off right this instant...Gifted One!!!"
She was finally able to separate herself from her memory of affection. Seeing the monster, she quickly broke free. Donte was right about focus! Somehow, Don had become incredibly strong, but Candi was now determined to fight back!
Candi: "You settle down!"
Where was Don getting his strength? He gained an edge, in spite her stings, and threw her violently into the back wall of the Stolly's warehouse kitchen area! As she got up and brushed herself off, she could smell something in the area near the stove...
Don: "Ha! You amuse me! So willing to spare my life, just because we held hands at recess years ago? And all I get are a few stings?"
Candi: "Stop tempting me!"
Don: "Tempt? Sista! You couldn't if you wanted to! I've got stelmiod strength enhancers! I'm your equal now!"
Candi: "I am not worth your life, Don! If you kill me, they will kill you!"
Don: "Hardly! Nobody knows, except me, that it's even you! But I bet your sister Erin's not going to like the surprise that awaits her!"
It suddenly dawned on Candi...while she was wasting her time in the Stolly's...the Meethlites were out hunting down her entire family!
Candi: "Don, what have you done?"
Don: "Ah!!! Can't you smell the bezeetol in the air?"
Candi: "Bezeetol??? Why do you keep bringing that crap here?"
Don: "You see, sista...you took out my friend Jeff! So they gave me a similar enhancer...albelit, without the invisibility! I've been hiding drugs in here quite nicely, building myself to the top!
But I can now easily move my operations elsewhere! I actually lied...I do have a revenge motive! Not that it matters! You could try all you want to sting me like you did Jeff, but that won't matter if I TORCH you!"
Candi had to get to higher ground. She wanted to scream out Donte's name to help her, but she knew he wouldn't hear her. Only if she made it to fresh air would she be able to put up a competent fight against Don. But could she endure the fiery environment long enough to reach fresh air?
Don: "In fact, I've got all day! To think! Seven years go, I would have tried to deflower you! And now, I'm gonna light you up in a very different way! Some 'gift' you were! Ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha!!!!"
The blaze very quickly took hold, and Candi realized that she was trapped. The longer she waited to take action, the worse off she would be! But she'd never been tested before with fire!
The hatred of the Meethlites was now transparent: all her fears about them were justified! What would remain of Gerosha if and when Candi got out of the blaze? Donte couldn't save her, she hadn't delayed him long enough! She'd have to save herself! But would anything remain of Gerosha to save?
When she would move to Viron, she thought to herself, she'd have no choice but to find some way to keep Dirbine and Viron from becoming another Gerosha!
Amidst the roaring flames, she could hear the cackling of the evil Don outside. This was no longer the man she knew, but a monster. She no longer had any reservations against fighting him, but she realized that with the strength enhancer, her stings alone wouldn't be enough to stop him!
Would stopping him even be enough? He knew too much! She feared the worst would happen, but how could she live with herself if she had to kill him?
On the other hand, her stalling was about to cost her the very essence of her own life...and possibly that of her sisters!
|4th Nov 2008, 05:22 AM||Chapter 5, Part 3 #13|
Mallory: "I had no idea this place had a pool!"
Meadow: "Well, that's just the benefits of knowing me!"
Fred: "Hey...what the...?"
Miriam's predictions were apparently coming true; she just never imagined that they would happen so soon! To protect her sister, she couldn't explain to everyone what was going on, though she was remarkably tempted to! Another prediction of hers was already coming true...she was already able to relate more to Candi; she felt the tension inside of knowledge that could not be shared with anyone!
Mallory: "Miri...this isn't funny!"
Miriam: "I'm not doing anything!"
Fred: "Is this the end of the world?"
Miriam looked out at the road ahead of them, eager to do anything if only it would allow her to answer their questions better. What she saw was anything but a comfort! Her friends may have been dense, but she was more than aware of the fact that the party house had suddenly grown very quiet.
Miriam: "No…but it might be the end of our world!"
Suddenly, police began swarming the area, quickly rounding up whomever they could. Miriam realized there was nowhere to run! But the party crowd had mostly left! Why would the police be after the few still-sober party-goers if there were no illegal activities?
Miriam: "Come on! I didn't do anything! This is an outrage!"
Greg: "Wrong! The house smells like there may have been liquor in it at some earlier time!"
Miriam: "Isn't that most houses?"
Greg: "Don't get smart with me! Only idiots like you would be at a party anyway! Don't you realize that there's a Meethlite invasion going on? This is for your own protection!"
Miriam: "If this is for my own protection, then where are my friends?"
Greg: "I told you! Don't get smart with me, bitch!!!"
Miriam would be fortunate that the Gerosha police could be trusted. They seemed to share a matter of unprofessional conduct comparable to that of the police in Dirbine. Still, they were nowhere near as corrupt. Miriam did, however, question the wisdom of the police in taking her and her friends in separate vehicles all to the same jail for "protection."
He proceeded to slap the cuffs on her. It would, alas, not be the last time Miriam would have brash run-ins with the law.
Much to Erin's dismay, when she got home, the power was out! There was no lightning accompanying the storm, so why had the power gone out? The girls were at a party, to her knowledge. Why and how could they be home pulling such a prank?
Something didn't feel right. The house bore a presence of...evil. Never accustomed to being superstitious, Erin was reluctant to belive that it could be a ghost. A break-in? From where? Her heart paced anyway, as her sense of something lurking grew stronger...
She opened her bedroom door...nothing! She decided it was probably just a glitch that reset her circuit breaker. It would be of no major consequence for her to reset.
Suddenly, there was power...
The lights were all still off...but the TV was on! How could Erin possibly explain this phenomenon? Who could be controlling the remote? If they weren't in the garage, they'd have to be in Candi and Miriam's room, right?
Which should she check first?
There was no sign in the living room of any unusual activity, save for the TV. Still, Erin grew more and more frightened; as ever since she got home, something in the house just didn't feel right.
TAT TAT TAT TAT TAT!!!!
Before Erin even knew it, several barely-audible bullets needled their way right through her!
The excruciating pain quickly took its toll, and Erin felt the life force fade from her in haste as her body went into shock and accepted its fate!
Gunner: "Wrong guess, Flippo!"
He held tightly to his silenced MP5, watching intently as the last bit of life ebbed out of the being that had taken such pains to raise her own sisters.
Did Gunner and Skellig really care if their target was the Gifted One or not? No. They were just thankful to have finally made a kill.
Skellig: "Dead on, brother! The next Flippo is mine!"
Gunner: "Hurry! The ship will be leaving soon! We must cause the absolute most damage possible here before we leave!"
Skellig: "How? Burn down the house?"
Gunner: "No. Put the body in the shower! Help me remove the head though...Arfaas...personally desires it!"
Skellig: "Very well then! But I'm not a big fan of all this ceremonial head-on-platter stuff! Why can't we just leave the corpse to rot?"
Gunner: "Because! The more horrifying we are, the more fear we instill! This isn't complicated; now get to it!"
It didn't take the two of them long to find the necessary tools. They knew they'd be leaving behind plenty of evidence for the police. But they weren't concerned about the police catching them either. They had what they wanted - Erin's head! They had murdered a Flippo, thereby making themselves useful.
As Skellig pointed out to Gunner, it wouldn't be practical for them to head next door. Nor would it make sense to run away carrying a bloody garbage bag with a severed head inside.
Instead, Skellig, wishing to prove his new-school ingenuity to his old school gangster brother, convinced him that the easiest thing for them to do at that point was the obvious...make off with Erin's car.
Skellig: "I told you, bro! I know a thing or two about this myself!"
Candi wasn't sure what it was...determination beyond normal...a slight hope to see Donte again? Whatever it was, she found that she was growing more powerful, in spite the smell of the burning bezeetol and its effects on her. She no longer cared that the building was on fire...she had to get out somehow, even with Don at the front entrance!
She noticed a cool spot, and headed directly for it! Before making her great leap, she activated some of her centilegs. She had a feeling she might need those to help her with the stunt she was about to attempt!
|6th Nov 2008, 01:07 AM||Chapter 5, Part 4 #14|
The air was growing smokey, and Candi knew her time was short! How long before she'd have to worry about burning debris? The stairs luckily held!
There it was! The hole in the ceiling at the top! If only she could reach it...
Just as she feared, the ceiling and floor began to collapse! She'd have to secure another exit! In the nick of time once again, she made a daring jump to a safe section of the decaying floor!
The air was getting hotter! She immediately leaped out of the nearest window, floor tiles incinerating behind her! She activated her centilegs, knowing she'd need anything she could get to break her fall!
A streak of luck! The Stolly's Building was condemned, so a bulldozer was parked outside. Between the dozer and the wall, her centilegs allowed for a chance to avoid a very painful fall!
She knew that escaping the burning building was only the first step! Don was still out there, and he had taken some sort of strength enhancer! He'd follow her - give away her secret! He had to be stopped! But could she stop him? Could she protect Miriam from this madman?
Don: "Very resourceful, you little hundred-legged pest! But you've lost!"
Candi: "It's over, Don! We're evenly matched!"
Don: "Oh...no...we're not!!!!"
SWISH! SWISH! SWISH!
Out popped her centilegs! Where had his enhanced strength gone?
Don: "I'll get you back for this!"
Candi: "You stay away, Judas! And...lay...off...my...family!!!"
No sooner did they start battling again, than he erupted in a fury of strength-enhanced rage! Managing a few scratches to her face and a lucky blow to her head, he sent her flying back. The pain!
She knew she was a quick healer, but the scratches were still harsh! She could feel the blood on her face, and the impact of the blow. This foe was bent on her death!
The nightmare was spreading! The sky, already red because of the Meethlite ship presence, was now glowing with the embers of the Stolly's building as it burnt to the ground. With it, Candi could see that her entire childhood was also disappearing. Training was over - it was time for the real challenges to bring down their wrath!
Still writhing in pain from her facial injuries, a piece of the falling building fell on top of her, quickly engulfing her shirt in flames! She knew she'd have to lose it in a hurry before facing the threat of Don, still obsessed with being her undoing.
After wrestling her for a few feet, he took advantage of a moment of weakness in her, thrusting her to the ground!
Candi: "Don! No! Not like this!"
Don: "Your stings won't stop me! Throw me around all you like! I know what you don't have in you...I'll give you what you once thought you wanted!"
Candi: "Stop!!! Come to your senses!!!"
Precious seconds ticked away, and in a panic, Candi knew she had to make a decision fast! She could not afford to let him kill her, but she wasn't too keen on being raped either! As he tore off her ash-singed bra, she knew she'd have to defend herself quickly, but how?
|6th Nov 2008, 03:09 AM||Chapter 5, Part 5 #15|
She could feel the heat of the building behind her; and his violence against her as he kept her pinned, hurling insults.
The flames kept bursting out of the building, even as the rain attempted to douse them. With his main shirt, hat, and trenchcoat off; Don was now serious about his attempt!
The smell of burning bezeetol made her sick to her stomach, and memories flooded back of when they were together in middle school. It was nothing like her love for Donte, but it was a time she cherished even so.
She felt the weakness of her earlier years flood back. True, her childhood telepathic tormentor was scarce to put thoughts in her head anymore, but she now realized in full how Miriam's weakness was in her as well. She couldn't kill Don. But she could try to incapacitate him somehow! She had a plan to hurl him, with the last of her strength if necessary!
Right as his hands started reaching for forbidden territory, she put her plan into action...
She let up the quick thrust with her centilegs, and threw him as hard as she could! She heard a thud, and assumed that was where he landed. As she got herself up, she realized her mistake! Her sense of direction had been all turned around! It was too late...she had thrown him directly onto the flames!!!
Don (shrieking): "No!!!!!!! Gifted Flippo!!!!! Centhuen curse!!!! Feel the revenge in your mind!!!! Kimi!!! She will...Ahhhhhhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!"
Candi: "What have I done?"
She knew now what her future would involve. Even if she didn't immediately make her life around this...it would forever shape her future. This was her destiny! She vowed though, that she would one day...somehow...find a way to hide her true self from her enemies. She knew that if this were her calling, she would somehow have to find a way to bring justice about...without killing the perpetrators!
Feelings of weakness followed, as she remembered that she used to love the man she just fed to the flames! She knew she had to carry on - and make sure her sisters were safe!
But the way she was feeling at the moment, her heart could not believe she had truly acted in self-defense. From where her insecure feelings stood, what she had done could only be murder!
For her family's sake - and for the sake of what she knew she must do with her life, she would carry on. But she yearned to turn herself in...a desire she would have to deny!
As the shock further set in, she realized in full...sure, she had not physically compromised her virgin's honor like her sisters...but she had killed someone!
She simply had to flee Gerosha now! If she stayed, she'd have to either seriously explain her actions, or face prison!
A voice in her head tried to numb her, saying: "Big deal!" Her mind quickly lashed back against the spirit of stupidity.
She could end up at a crisis center, given what he attempted to do to her, or she could cover up her crime and bury the evidence. Neither the crisis center nor prison sounded like viable options. She knew she'd have to bury the incident...she couldn't allow her public shame to exceed that of her sisters!
Then again, this was imposed on her! She didn't choose this! Her sisters made choices! What would hers be?
She had failed! She was every bit as horrible as her sisters - worse! Miriam and Marina may have been a little loose; but they weren't murderers!
A message came to Candi from inside:
"I know about it, but I am not leaving you! I'll deal with this burden now! Don has caused you to suffer enough here!"
She had been taught valuable lessons. Now, she could hear the still, small voice, setting her straight when she had lost everything. The pain of guilt was still overpowering.
The flames relented. A fire truck and a police car managed to make their way to the scene of the burning building. They were surprised to find the Stolly's, now almost nothing. What they didn't find, to Candi's relief, were Don's bones in the wreckage.
The invasion was soon over. Candi had managed to escape, but at a cost - her life was gone. Where were her sisters? Could she live up to her responsibility to protect them, or was it already too late?
Her battle with Don was long and hard, but she had managed to overcome. Getting away from the bezeetol that was burning, her healing factor resumed, and the scratches on her face were soon a memory.
Still, the emotional pain lingered. She hid in the shadows while wearing Don's trenchcoat, to hide the indecent remains of her clothing. From a distance, she watched as the police attempted to analyze the scene. She ached to turn herself in - but could not.
Why did he mention Kimiyato? Why was her tormentor in childhood not doing her routine now?
Candi knew that Kimi was still sometimes getting inside of her, doing whatever possible to rob Candi of her courage. In younger years, Candi had tried in vain to resist this strange presence from within. A voice once called to her: "Stand back! Let me handle this!"
Convinced at the time it was Jesus, Candi dropped her defenses. A cold chill up the back of her neck later, and Kimi's telepathic grip over her quickly weakened. It wasn't gone forever, but the link was never as strong.
Nevertheless, Don somehow knew about it. This was in spite the fact that she had never mentioned it to him! Don believed the link would one day get stronger.
Even without Kimi to torment her, Candi knew that she had now crossed a line. She had to flee Gerosha...possibly forever! Miriam was right: Candi Flippo had to die, and must never be found!
|6th Nov 2008, 03:48 AM||Chapter 6: "No Turning Back" #16|
Chapter 6: "No Turning Back"
Candi knew that since her sister was friends with the McAuleys, that she could rely on them as friends also. She needed a place to hide and collect herself; and with them seemed the safest place.
Tracy, Erin's former college roommate, was almost like an aunt in Candi's eyes. The rain was gone, but the storm inside her was far from over. She knocked on the door, nervously awaiting a reply.
Tracy: "Candi! Where have you been?"
Candi: (panting) "Tracy...it all happened so fast! I..."
Tracy: "Dear gravy, child!!! What happened to you???"
Candi: "It's not so much what was done, as what almost happened, and how I escaped! This isn't my jacket!"
Tracy: "What are you babbling about?"
Candi: "I didn't go to Miriam's party! I was exercising at the old Stolly's. After I said goodbye to Donte, my good friend going off to war, Don...he..."
Tracy: "That buffoon from your grade school days?"
Candi: "Yes, that Don! He...came from...out of nowhere! The Meethlites did something to him! He tried to kill me!"
Candi: (sobbing) "We...struggled...and he...and...I didn't even mean to but...I threw him into the fire!!! I...killed him!!! It was an accident, I swear!!!"
Tracy paused with a sigh. It was very tragic news indeed, but not quite as bad as the news she'd soon share.
Candi: "I know it was self-defense...but...he tore most of my clothes off after they were burnt! He...went for...what he should not!
I had to steal his jacket to have something to wear! If he didn't completely burn up in the blaze he made...then...I'm pretty sure the police will come looking! You...won't turn me in, will you?"
Tracy: "No, Candi! Dominick might. But I won't tell him! You did well!
You have to learn to forgive yourself for mistakes like that. And if you do end up in court...I'll find you a good lawyer! Don was Meethlite scum, and they have a way of manipulating justice! If you stand trial, you won't get a fair one, so I will help you hide this tragedy! Come inside with me...I have far worse news to share with you!"
Candi: "Why the lights off?"
Tracy: "Safety. Can't be too careful right now. Hurry, to the guest room! We need to get you something more appropriate to wear, and burn that skanky evidence!"
Tracy: "You do smell like smoke! No injuries?"
Candi: "You...know I'm a quick healer!"
Tracy: "True. "
In a matter of just a minute's time, a set of evening clothes had been picked out. It didn't look much better than what she had been wearing, but was still an improvement of modesty.
Candi: (sulking) "I have to leave Gerosha...forever!"
Tracy: "You can keep that dress. Impress your husband with it some day! I have no use for it anymore! I'm getting too old for those old, rowdy days with Dom anyway!"
Candi: "Thank you."
Tracy: "Candi...I will help you with whatever you need! I am the only mother figure you..."
Candi: "Mother figure??? I thought that was Erin's job...to take over for my mom when she died!"
Candi: "Wait...what are saying?"
Tracy: "Dear young one...I know how eager you are to start your life on your own. I know how hurt you are; but I must tell you something that will hurt even more!"
Tracy: "Candi...Erin's dead!"
Candi: (shaking) "What? No! When? How?"
Tracy: "While you were battling Don, I would imagine. Gunner and Skellig left their filthy marks all over the house!
Police found your sister's body. Her head is missing. MP5 bullets were found at the scene of the crime. The Meethlites wanted evidence to be left...plenty of evidence! This was an act of terror...an act of war!"
Candi: "I should have known! Don laced the building with bezeetol so that he could fight me without worrying about my reflexes. He didn't want a fair fight! I should have stayed home! Erin would be alive!"
Tracy: "Don't blame yourself for Erin's death! You could not have known they would raid your house!"
Candi: "I...got a strange phone call the night before, I should have taken that as a hint that something wasn't right!"
Tracy: "Erin would not have believed you anyway. You did all you could, child. If you ever need to come back to Gerosha..."
Candi: "I get it; but I don't want to return here! I have to move to Viron...and soon! I need to change! The Flippo name...is no longer what it once was."
Candi didn't like talking in the crowded bedroom. She walked out to the dining room table, where she turned on a light and sat at the table. Tracy joined her, knowing the two invariably had to talk.
Candi: "I don't know if I'll ever see Donte again! I'll be under tremendous pressure to marry someone else, I just know it! I...need to change may name...and the sooner I can legally do so...the better!"
Tracy: "Each of you Flippo girls will have to find her own way out of the mess the Meethlites have just made. Just remember Who is on your side, in all things, Candi! You don't have to face this alone, though you will be tempted to feel alone! Realize...that this will be your curse."
Candi: "And Miriam???"
Tracy: "Well...the party was raided by the police. She was found in her swimsuit. The police were in a panic, so they just went crazy and arrested everyone! Your sister went with little resistance. Right now, Dominick is bailing her out of jail. He won't be back until tomorrow, or maybe even the day after.
He's going with her, once she's out of jail, to Farrenville. They'll send her job hunting first of all. Next, they'll find her some housing. I know you love your sister; but I fear you two may not see each other again for a long time!"
Candi: "I understand. My family is falling apart! It is my job to stop Arfaas and his lowlifes! I won't have many friends, so I must cherish the few I have!"
Tracy: "The case of Erin's death is being considered very high-profile. Even things not directly involved in the incident are being analyzed."
Candi: "You mean, looted?"
Tracy: "That's one way of looking at it. I'll help you move to Viron. But...you're on your own in terms of men! I can help you get some clothes, since you're here! I doubt you'll even want your old clothes back by now!"
Candi: "Probably not."
Tracy: "Cheer up! You are rich, after all! Besides, you've got your whole life ahead of you."
|6th Nov 2008, 04:29 AM||Chapter 7: "Not-So Prime Real Estate" #17|
Chapter 7: "Not-So Prime Real Estate"
2 WEEKS LATER...
Candi decided to make very good use of her inheritance money. She knew that if Donte were truly dead, as Erin was, then the money might be the only Earthly comfort she had. She was looking forward to developing her centipede skills, but knew that couldn't be her first priority.
She had lost so much so soon - and had nightmares about losing even more! She actually envisioned Donte's death in her dreams! It had become too much. She decided it was about time she spoiled rather than tortured herself.
She was about to observe the new house that she was about to purchase, to make sure everything was in place as she had ordered it. It didn't take long to get herself a new car and a new wardrobe. She knew she would have to save whatever she could of her fortune. But it was also about time she made a name for herself in the world.
It didn't take long for a strange man to be immediately in her face.
Ramin: "Hi there! Raymin London here! You must be Candi Stevens!"
Raymin: "Well...no need to be shy!"
Candi: "Believe me, pal...you have no idea!"
Raymin: "One of the few lakes in this area, besides Gerosha's lake! And it's right in your back yard!"
Candi: "Yeah. Good to know. I don't know how much time I'll have for fishing though."
Raymin: "I used to have a car very similar to that one you've got over there. Well, since we're here, what do you say we take a look at the house?"
Candi: "I suppose."
The location seemed perfect. There was a garden on the side, a small place to go fishing in the back, and it was very close to school. She knew she'd need a dorm room for her first semester, but that didn't concern her. In a year, she could waive the requirements to stay in the dorms and live wherever she pleased. Her roommate wouldn't mind the free space at all. The house seemed just right.
Candi: "It's...really dark in here!"
Raymin: "I know! That is one of the mysteries of this house...why it has all the windows it does, and yet, remains so dark all the time!"
Raymin: "Well then...shall I show you around?"
Candi: "That's okay...I think I can find everything on my own."
Raymin: "Suit yourself! I'll just use the bathroom real quick and call up Susie. I'll be out of here in no time!"
Darkness - Even the bedroom was dark! Candi was nevertheless thankful that it was so luxurious. She may have preferred something less ornate, but the dark provided her a solace. It was missing the necessary desk for her to place her laptop on...but she felt she could make due without for at least a day or two.
Candi knew she had nowhere near explored all there was to her new house. But she didn't care. Her mind was still anything but at ease. She decided to lay down for a bit, seldom wearing high-heeled shoes until that point. She almost never bothered with skirts before either. Miriam's plan for her was working so far, but she wasn't ready to embrace the new red hair entirely.
She rested herself in the knowledge that at least with her false glasses, she would look different enough from her true self to avoid the Meethlites for a time.
|6th Nov 2008, 05:28 AM||Chapter 8: "More Needs She the Divine" #18|
Chapter 8: "More Needs She the Divine"
The sky seemed forever foreboding, even in the new town. Candi knew her heart was too far sunk to pursue her calling at the moment. She had to find someone else to confide in - someone local. Rumors abounded of a church nearby that was going through significant changes in its structure. Curious, Candi stopped by to investigate.
She found herself standing before what looked more like a puzzling house of mirrors. The entire front of the building was a mirror sculpture! But why? Where was the entrance? The last thing she wanted was to see more of her own misery staring back at her.
This town she was in - Viron - seemed to be filled with marvels. There was a glass mansion near this church as well. She didn't expect downtown Dirbine would be quite as pleasant as this budding college town.
She gazed inside—very quiet! Was anybody there at all? She wondered...maybe she should just leave. But what if somebody were inside?
Just as she turned around and was ready to leave, a man popped out of the building. Candi wasted little time turning around...
The man bore a curious appearance. He was obviously the minister, given his clothing. Yet, he appeared to be youthful and lively, in spite clearly being an elderly man.*
Candi: "I was just beginning to think nobody was home! So...you must be Wilbur Brocklyn?"
Wilbur: "Indeed, I am. Sent here to annoy the old ladies who drive away young things like yourself. And who are you?"
*This is an allusion to the description of the character of Evangelist in John Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress. The character of Wilbur was intended originally to be a parody of Morgan Freeman playing God in Bruce Almighty.
Candi: "I'm Candi...er...Flippo. Well...technically. I go by Stevens on the papers...because..."
Wilbur: "It's okay! I know you look like a child of the illustrious Stan and Shalia! I've heard there's been a lot of tragedy in your family lately."
Candi: "Actually...today is my day to tour the town. I was wondering...since I came here for a tour of this place, could we look inside?"
Wilbur: "I'd very much appreciate that!"
Candi: "Interesting architecture. I'm not sure how many members you can attract this way though."
Wilbur: "This place has never been interested in winning masses merely for the sake of winning masses. It's been all about defending the integrity and infallibility of scripture from the slanderers and their false 'pre-Bible' histories; as well as compelling the insiders to think deeper about what they really believe and what that really means.
All souls won have to be won for a good cause, even if that means trying out risky ideas. So far, there haven't been too many problems.
Though, we did one time have to deal with an angry chat board user. All I did is remind him of God's original definition of marriage, not our modern world's convenient redefinitions; and he went crazy. I guess the day has truly come, when men cannot tolerate sound doctrine anymore. What a pity."**
Candi: "I like the hallway here...though it is a tad claustrophobic."
Wilbur: (smiling) "Well...you know what it says...narrow is the path..."
Candi: "True. I admire your sense of humor."
**2 Timothy 4:3
Candi walked into the sanctuary to find a scene that she was surprised to find so predictable. What was the meaning of this architectural paradox?
Candi: "Dark, but beautiful. I don't get it; the outside is so weird, why's the inside so...normal?"
Wilbur: "The architect of this building had a purpose; just as the Greatest Architect does for our lives. Nobody said we had to fully understand either for truth to be as it is.
The mirrors outside, Candi, make it hard for those who don't purposefully look for the entrance to find it. Likewise, the Law shows us where we err, and why the truth evades us so easily. The Law as a Mirror is there for self-reflection - quite literally in the case of this building."
Candi: "Obviously, I'm no exception. And the glass roof?"
Wilbur: "When we think we're on top of things because of pride, God sees right through us."
Candi: "Comforting...I think."
Candi: "I suppose the coloring of the indoors here has a meaning too?"
Wilbur: "Not intentionally, but you're not the first to ascribe it a meaning. The beauty in the lights, the sharp contrast with the dark red hues...yes. Volition Dilemma. And for it...death becomes necessary for life to prevail. A paradox! The colors inside here were actually picked because they were cheap and went well together. We spent too much money on the outside to get too elaborate indoors."
Candi: "And yet...it brings more comfort to me than the grandeur I've seen in Gerosha's churches."
Wilbur: Consequential fallout of Volition Dilemma...the Law of Irony. And yet, even more paradoxical...is that these forces are not entirely blind."
Wilbur: "So then, Candi...what is driving you most right now?"
Candi: "Driving, or troubling?"
Wilbur: "Either works. Let's start with driving."
Candi: "I would have moved here anyway. I've decided to go to Viron. They threw me into Criminal Justice, but I said I wanted to go into Forensic Investigation. They told me it'd be a few weeks before I could get a program switch to correct the problem."
Wilbur: "Solving murders. Sounds interesting. Why such a field?"
Candi: "I've lost a lot of friends and family growing up...at least one of them to a murder. I want to fight back against those who've left me with so little! I may have a quite a bit of money...but I'd rather have someone who takes care of me!"
Wilbur: "A bit vindictive, are we not?"
Candi: "I was prophesied by some Meethlite as being their downfall. They are all paranoid that I'm going to actually do it. If I do decide to bring down Duke Arfaas' criminal empire...then I have to find some way to make that happen! I've had to live for years in the shadow of these expectations...from family members I hardly even know!"
Wilbur: "Nearby Dirbine is crawling with Meethlite sympathizers. Some say, they're paying the police to ignore the Meethlites' crimes! Some even say that the chief...Merle...is on their payroll! I don't know if vigilantism is the field you want...but realize: you have a tremendous sense of responsibility!"
Candi: "My sister was murdered...just a few weeks ago! Another sister got married. A third fled, just as I have. My brothers have just about disowned me. I have nobody now."
Wilbur: "What is the plan from above? I believe that is your real question. I wish I myself could give you the answer. But surely, you can't blame yourself for what happened!
We don't choose those who hate us from birth. Mary and Joseph didn't choose to be hated by Herod. I didn't choose the education board members that have produced so many hard-left rabids that shout death threats at this congregation. But we have all chosen to accept the responsibility our situations have brought on us!"
Candi: "Erin didn't even get the luxury of a funeral! We couldn't afford to stack up her remaining loved ones like dominoes for an impending bloodbath!"
Wilbur: "It is not just your sister that you miss. I sense hesitation in your voice."
Wilbur: "What happened?"
Candi: (fighting back tears) "He...was enlisted in the Phaelon-Metheel War. His ship was...attacked. All aboard are rumored dead!"
Wilbur: "Poor thing!"
Candi: "Worse...I offered myself to him...he told me to protect that."
Wilbur: "He'd rather you keep your honor...a true gentleman!"
Candi: "I...I wanted to have his child, so that the world would never be completely without him."
Wilbur: "An understandable motive leading in the wrong direction, I suppose. Your time to have children will come. It is not now. Deep inside, you realize that."
|6th Nov 2008, 06:23 AM||Chapter 8, Part 2 #19|
Wilbur: "You will see him again. But you can't fear change too greatly either, Candi. Yes, the changes you've faced or more horrible than what anyone should have to live through! But the goal is to cross that river - one side to the other. Sometimes, that means fighting the tide. Sometimes, that means flowing with it."
Candi: "When is it ever wise to fight the tide?"
Wilbur: "That depends on where you are in relation to a motor blade, or waterfall, or piranha, or whatever. Fight the tide when it is evil; flow with it when it is not. But the point is, don't stay in it when your goal is merely to cross it! Life won't always give us easy bridges, so we'll have to brave treacherous streams."
Candi: "Then...I should feel free to fall in love again?"
Wilbur: "Yes, child. But in your own time. Only you can know when the time is right! But if indeed Donte is looking down on you, and you feel he is urging you to embrace your new man...embrace the truth fully. You're incredibly special!"
Candi: "How do you know that?"
Wilbur: "Well...for starters...you don't have a cell phone in your hand! And you didn't pick out the most girly thing in the store to wear! On the other hand, you're not a complete tomboy.
You also are on your toes when I present you deep things, and require only minimal instruction. You came alone, and in spite your grief, you are charming."
Candi: "Do you character profile everyone so efficiently?"
Wilbur: "It's a hobby. I'll bet you've never even been to the mall yet...though I know you didn't come straight here."
Candi: "Mall? Hah! Except for essentials, what use have I for that place?"
Wilbur: "There you go! You have graduated the realm of the shallow, unlike most women your age! I've not heard you swear once in here either. Don't let anyone take what you have away from you!"
Candi: "Well then...this place seems to have it all! Maybe...I'll...see you Sunday?"
Wilbur: "Count on it! You'll need to keep touch with whatever friends you can get, Candi! The old women in this church, I guarantee you, will not be very receptive of you. Let's just say...the nearby college gives women a bad name."
Candi: "I'll remember that."
Wilbur: "Remember Candi...don't be ashamed of the way you are made...only of how the others might tell you to mishandle it."
|6th Nov 2008, 06:40 AM||Chapter 9: "The Sociological Centipede" #20|
Chapter 9: "The Sociological Centipede"
Candi did what she could to get herself to relax and mold better into her role. Fighting back against the darkness somehow had to still happen. Even in the middle of her first class - sociology - she felt something was horribly wrong. But when would she be able to do anything about it? After classes were done for the day, she'd plan how to make her double life as student and crimefighter possible.
Prof. Niles Beldon: "Wow! How come we got such a small class today?"
Patrick: "You kiddin' me? It's sunny out!"
Niles: "Sunny? But we could be learning about the distinctions between Weber and Marx! Wouldn't that be much more fun?"
Candi: "Hmm...do you think this class will be interesting?"
Dhalia: "To you? Maybe. I'd much rather be at work!"
Candi: "Where do you work?"
Dhalia: "Lots of places...gas stations, bars, etc."
Candi: "Never mind."
Niles: "So...for starters...my name is Niles Beldon, and this is Sociology 111. Anyone who will volunteer to introduce themselves?"
Anything Candi said could give her away! Rumor had it there were Meethlite spies on campus. She decided to go forward with her story and that if she went first, she'd be the least remembered...
Niles: "You in the back...let's hear it!"
Candi: "I'm Candi...Stevens. I've lost nearly my entirely family in a fire this past summer...and...I'm trying to get into the forensic investigation field."
Dhalia: "That's creepy."
Candi: (fighting back a smirk) "Believe me...you don't know the meaning of creepy!"
Dhalia: "Are you gonna go all emo on us now?"
Candi: "Do you want me to?"
Niles: "Okay then...who's next?"
Candi knew her story was only half-true, and littered with white lies. But it was easy. Those in the class that believed her story were sympathetic.
The rest ignored her, preferring to be nervous about when it was their turn for introductions. It didn't seem to Candi like the semester would be all that bad. On the other hand, she knew that life would not be easy no matter what her decisions.
* This chapter's classroom is modeled after a real classroom at Ferris State University. The dialog is based on actual conversations that were held in that classroom in January of 2007. The teacher, Niles, is modeled after a real-life sociology professor. The girl sitting next to Candi, named Dhalia, is modeled after a real-life gal named Darla. Darla volunteered her likeness for the role.
|8th Nov 2008, 08:28 PM||Chapter 10: "All the Rave" #21|
It didn't take Candi long to find trouble in town! An unusually well-dressed thug showed up, holding a woman against the wall.
Tristen: "Shoot me! I won't change my mind! You won't get a thing!!!"
Amin: "This is your last chance! Comply, or die, I say!!!"
Amin never saw it coming! Candi didn't waste time; she just leapt. Her centilegs burst out immediately. He had to be stopped!
Candi fought ruthlessly, until the gun was missing from Amin's hands. He had clearly suffered too much from the stings, and passed out. It was a crude maneuver, but at least he was alive...and so was Tristen.
Tristen: "Oh my..."
Candi: "Relax! He's not dead! I'll leave that for the judge!"
Candi retracted her centilegs slowly, so as not to startle the already-shocked Tristen.
Candi: "No injuries?"
Tristen: "No. But whatever the heck you just did, that's creepy!"
Candi: "I am the city's centipede guardian. Before he wakes up, make sure you inform the police that he has a gun!"
Tristen: "Sure...whatever...just get out of here!"
Candi: "No problem!"
She leapt into the air quickly, and with a few whisps of her centilegs, was back on the roof again.
Who was that freakish girl that Tristen had just scared off? And without her, how was she to explain anything to the police? After all...the girl was wearing a mask.
Tristen didn't make good on her promise. Amin would wake up without the gun and with Tristen gone.
There weren't any witnesses to the events, and neither Candi nor Tristen felt like the trouble. Amin would be picked up by guards for loitering. In the mean time, Candi thought she'd try her hand at something fun that evening.
Without removing her mask, she entered the skating rink whereupon she had recently made a daring rescue. Entry fees were paltry, so she decided to give it a shot.
A woman looking similar to Tristen was on the roller rink: Amy Goldman, the unmatched master of the floor!
Candi was soon greeted by a very enthusiastic stranger.
Ed: "Hi! Name's Eddie! I'm very close to the guys that run this joint!"
Candi: "Hi Ed...I'm...not supposed to say who I am."
Ed: "That mask is hot!"
Candi: "Nice you think of it that way!"
Ed: "I'm gettin' you in the groove pretty quickly!"
Candi: "Yeah, I know! But these moves are awfully suggestive, don't you think? Say...I really don't know you...so, could you lay off a bit?"
Ed: "You'll loosen up! Say, you see Amy out there?"
Candi: "Who's Amy?"
Ed: "That girl that thinks she's all that! Out there! Tell you what...I have a prize waiting for whomever wins the contest!"
Candi was on guard. She didn't need to worry about money. And this guy wanted to give her a prize? But she decided to go along with it, lest he catch on that she was alarmed.
Ed: "Pretty soon, the DJ's gonna announce it! When the roller ball comes out...well...few survive the roller ball!"
Ed: "Get inside the Ball of Doom...and give us a better show than what Amy can!!!"
Candi: "Oh...all right."
Ed: "Say...got at least a stage name?"
Ed: "Everyone has one!"
Candi: "Er...the Orange Centipede."
Ed: "Vigilante Centipede! We'll call it a deal!"
Ed: "Be ready in the back! You know what to do!"
Ed: "Everybody out there!!!"
The house suddenly fell silent, and Ed took to the floor.
Ed: "We would like all of you to get ready! It's that time of year in Viron; and now, Amy the Amp has a contender!"
There were mixed reactions in the club, as not everyone there was a fan of Amy's.
Claire: "Let her have it! I'm scarier than that centipede wench! But if she can top Amy, sure thing!"
The contest continued to rile itself up, and Candi didn't quite know why she was being so easily thrown into it. All she knew is that all eyes were now on the mysterious centipede that had dropped from the sky.
Candi: "Wait...what do I do?"
Cale: "Just hang on for dear life, that's what!"
Candi: "Hovering? Nobody said anything about hovering!"
Cale: "Well...that means you're new to town!"
Candi decided to put her apprehension about the spinning behind. After all...she was the human centipede! But she was concerned about Eddie. Instincts told her he was up to no good.
Amy: "Any day, anywhere, any time! No ditz in a centipede suit is going to steal my thunder!"
Ed: "Trevor...back so soon! Got the darts?"
Ed: "This is our chance! Once those things are in their systems, they'll be down for the count!"
Trevor: "For cad sakes, Ed, you're gonna get yourself sick the way you go at 'em!"
Ed: "Yeah. But I like to break the rules! You're a wuss!"
Trevor: "Ain't nothin' wrong with a little respect!"
Ed: "Just shut up and get ready!"
|8th Nov 2008, 08:48 PM||Chapter 10, Part 2 #22|
Amy had been warned that Ed and Trevor were up to no good. She'd heard rumors of what Ed liked to do with women. But she never dreamed she'd be a victim! Nevertheless, the minute she felt the piercing of the dart go through her stomach, she lost her grip on the bars!
The crowd was so used to seeing her win every semester, they never bothered to pay attention anymore. But Candi's phantom scream in the ear tipped her off: there was foul play involved!
The poison immediately started taking effect, and Amy felt the effects in spite also feeling a broken bone!
Candi used her danger sense with more determination - she was next! As the dart headed her way, she had to think of a maneuver...but what?
In a flash, her centilegs were out! She used them to balance herself as she dodged the dart flying at her! It flew all the way to the outer reaches of the rink!
The crowd stood by dumbfounded, uncertain what to do. But at the same time, it was friends of the operators of the rink that were doing this!
They had darted contenders before, and had the girls been found, a rape charge might have been filed. But they had never seen anyone actually dodge the darts!
Making a break for it, Candi leaped out of the machine, and activated her centilegs as she prepared for a rough landing!
Ed and Trevor watched in total shock. How could this woman do all this? And now she was on to them!
Trevor saw the mysterious girl coming after him, and could only think to run! Too late! She'd already grabbed him with several centilegs, and thrown the darts out of his hand! His ace aiming was no match for her! He was soon himself the one passed out on the floor.
One of the tyrants that had caused so many missing women in town to go missing had finally met his match. As the majority of the crowd gazed on, unable to think, some were more receptive.
Claire: "Ha! Got your just desserts, you filthy pig!"
Ed knew that Candi knew what he was up to. But at the same time, he trembled. What could he do? If he ran, the police would get him. But she was more a fight than he bargained for.
Candi decided that she'd done enough, so she slapped him—minding her strength not to tear his jaw off - and stung him with two of her centilegs.
The place erupted in cheers! Not only had Candi put on a more marvelous show than any they'd ever seen...she'd also secured incriminating evidence against Ed and Trevor!
In response to that evening, more in the future would have the courage to stand up to the perversion and violence in Viron's party houses!
The crowd continued to cheer: "Centipede! Centipede! Centipede! Centipede!!!"
Candi knew she had just become a small-town hero. But she had to keep her scantily-cladden identity whatever amount of a secret it was. Rather than stay and be celebrated, she fled. The police would arrive soon, she reasoned, and they could sort through the mess.
Candi rushed into her car just as soon as she had jumped over enough back alleyways to successfully escape the public spotlight.
Where were the police? Why were there so many threats in town? Because nobody knew it was Candi inside that makeshift suit and mask, she felt safe showing off her powers.
Still, she was shocked that she was able to do everything, get into her car unseen, and still drive past the place—all before seeing any sign of law enforcement. It begged the question: what was happening in nearby Dirbine?
|8th Nov 2008, 09:38 PM||Chapter 11: "Whose Endorsement?" #23|
Chapter 11: "Whose Endorsement?"
The seasons were changing, and Candi was growing very unhappy in her new environment. Suspicions of Meethlite activity were everywhere! She had only the minister, Wilbur, for understanding and support. Yet, she couldn't tell him everything!
Whom could she trust? Was Donte really dead? And if so, who could ever be there for her? She passed through the halls of the Scarr Building* with overwhelming loneliness.
What she'd encounter next wouldn't help matters any.
A phantom scream! It was tiny, but her ears perceived it. Something evil was going on in the classroom nearby! She had to listen in, but how could she without getting caught?
She'd invested in numerous tricks to her identity, fake glasses and even fake freckles. But she felt the disguise would only continue so long. As she put her ear next to the wall, she listened intently. What she heard was anything but what she wanted to hear!
It was Emille!!! The girl that had grieved Candi so much in high school was back! She was now a teacher at Viron; and she was arguing with none other than the most sinister professor Candi had yet encountered on campus—Yuri Krennt!
Yuri: "What rot! What do you mean that girl simply escaped?"
Emille: "The Meethlites didn't find her!"
Yuri: "Purpose-driven nonsense! That girl is a thorn in both our sides! I have little doubt that this Candice Flippo IS the Gifted One!"
Emille: "Neither do I! Though, we shouldn't give up searching for her sister Miriam. That twit is now Sniperbadger! Why Gunner and Skellig didn't finish the task Arfaas gave them is beyond me!"
Yuri: "This simple-minded twit will exhaust herself! If she tries to hide, she'll be found!"
Emille: "I had her removed from more than one website, but I won't rest until she is completely gone! Meethlites or not, I don't want this girl breathing!"
Yuri: "Easy! We don't know who is overhearing us!"
Yuri: "She could be...right outside this door!"
Tan...bleach...what would Candi do about her skintone? Emille knew who Candi was; and not even the glasses and last name of Stevens would fool her!
Yuri, she had been able to fool. But with Emille, she was trapped! And sure enough, she had overheard them talking. They hadn't revealed anything other than that they were aware of the murder of Erin. But still, they were conspirators who were after her! Candi grew desperate - where would she turn for cover?
Just what Candi needed—Merdie showed up!
Merdie: "Hey there!"
Candi: "Just...stay there!"
A nervous Krennt, following the lead of Emille, opened the door to check. To his surprise, Merdie, not Candi, was right outside!
Yuri:(enraged) "Insignificant pig!!! What are you doing here?"
Merdie: (calm) "Oh, nothing in particular."
Believing that Merdie had heard everything they were talking about, Krennt dragged her into the classroom!
Merdie: "Oh! A kidnapping stunt! Am I on Candid Camera?"
Emille: "What does she know?"
Krennt: "Hard to say! But I have a feeling she wasn't the only one that heard us!"
Emille gazed at Merdie, emotionless.
Candi panicked as she made her way down the steps. She felt guilty for having set up a fellow classmate to Meethlite spies. But on the same token, how would anyone believe her for accusing a teacher? To accuse, she'd have to go public, and that would threaten everything she loved that was still living!
Candi made it all the way down to the first floor, near the passageway that led to the theater, and caught her breath. She would not be able to forever disguise herself! She had to face the evil around her sooner or later! But with whom for an ally?
The blandness of the cinder blocks around her began to resemble a prison.
This figurative prison resembled the one her heart was in. If there was a way out, she hadn't found it yet! How would she be able to navigate if there were more Meethlite spies? Leaving Gerosha, alas, hadn't made her any safer!
Priya: "Oh, Candi! What are you all bent out of shape over?"
Candi: "Ur...uh...nothing! Just...you know...some punk from Detroit giving me trouble."
Priya: "And how'd it go down?"
Candi: "Uh...his girlfriend tied into him."
Priya: "The usual! Sorry about that."
Candi: "See you in class."
Priya: "Yep, I'll see you."
"Over here!" a man waved at her. Who could this man be?
Denny: "Your name's Candi, right?"
Candi: "What's it to you? Mr...."
Denny: "Levens! Denny Levens!"
Candi: "Fine, Denny...what's going on???"
Denny: "I know what Krennt is up to up there!"
Candi had to admit in her heart that she did find this new stranger quite amusing - if not charming. But she still wasn't sure she could trust him!
Denny: "You're very beautiful and all, Miss Stevens, but not all of us are as naive and moronic as the majority of dregs who go here!"
Candi: "What's that go to do with anything?"
Denny: "Let's just say that I've had a few bad run-ins with Meethlites and their spies as well. You match the physical description of the missing Candice Marie Flippo!"
Candi: "You can't be serious!"
Denny: "Relax! I know you don't know me, but if I've deduced so easily who you are...they'll eventually figure it out as well!"
Candi: "What'd you ever do to get them after you?"
Denny: "Well...let's just say that when I discovered who they were, I stopped trading with them..."
Candi: "You're a supplier?"
Denny: "Shhh!!! Yes, I used to give them some of my inventions...but no drugs! Come with me!!!"
Candi's phantom screech danger sense didn't go off around him, but she was still uncertain as to whether or not he could be trusted. She decided to follow him anyway. She could easily defeat him if he proved trouble.
* The "Scarr Building" is a parody of the Starr Building at Ferris State University.
|8th Nov 2008, 09:57 PM||Chapter 11, Part 2 #24|
He immediately rushed her into the men's room - thankful that nobody else was there!
Candi: "The men's room? I'm not that easy, sleaze bag!"
Denny: "Relax! If I wanted that, I would've suggested it sooner! Nobody will think to look for us here!"
Candi: (sarcastically) "Well that's reassuring!"
Denny: "Ye of little faith! Look!"
He gazed into the mirror, where there reflected the image off the ceiling. One tile didn't match the other tiles!
Denny: "That's the service area! I'll help you get up there, and you can hide! This is a strong Meethlite event!"
Candi: "How do you know all this?"
Denny: "Tammy Hamstrin from Stolly's doesn't know it; but not all the funding for her 190-minute condom commercial going on right now in the Walben's Auditorium** was funded by taxpayers!
The Meethlites, in their quest to rule the world, have a very vested interest in the corruption of American youth!"
Candi: "Denny, what are you doing here?"
Denny: "Use the escape hatch! I'll sneak around with my car and take you to your house! We can talk more later! Then…well…I can explain myself to you better!"
Denny: "And for cad sakes, lose the glasses! You're not Clark Kent!"
Candi still wasn't sure whether to trust this strange man or not, but once again, with no phantom screams in her ear, she was certain it was worthwhile.
Candi couldn't believe she was putting faith in this man. She had only met him a minute ago! Still, as much as he seemed to know, and as much as he wished to help her; what could be so bad about him?
Conventional wisdom told her not to wait for his car - that it was a trap! But something else in her told her to keep trusting him.
** The Walben's Auditorium is a parody of the Williams Auditorium at Ferris State University. The speaker and event mentioned are a reference to the Fall 2006 visit of former Playboy affiliate Rebecca Armstrong to the Williams Auditorium, to lecture about life with AIDS to students.
|8th Nov 2008, 11:10 PM||Chapter 12: "Building a Better Centipede Trap" #25|
Elsewhere, the events in Gerosha and the escape of the two Flippo sisters did not entirely escape the notice of the Hebbleskin family. Harga tirelessly toiled away at the sets of formulas in the lab, as she awaited her brother's meeting.
Arfaas: "Let the scientists work on those, sister! That's what we have them for!"
Harga: "Brother Arfaas! So you've decided to come out of hiding?"
Arfaas: "Hardly! But I am tired of no results! We're under a huge deadline; and we have to prove ourselves...starting with eliminating the Centhuen Prototype threat!"
Harga: "Most Centhuen Prototypes are only aware of a few of their special abilities! Many of them only have fractions of the powers they should. Those that have more than partial mix...well, they don't always even know how to use what they have."
Arfaas: "Ah yes! But this is an age of discovery, where desire comes first! Centhuen ability ignorance is a lot like virginity. In an age of discovery, it won't take them long to figure it out! And I'm sure the special one we have most reason for concern about has already long figured out what she is!"
Harga: "You needn't worry about that! Nor about the slams we've been taking worldwide! I've recycled what was left of our neural interface back-visors! With a little time, I can make more! Just some extra enhancements, and we're looking at our future warriors right here!"
She led him to the demonstration chamber, where a brainwashed man was trying on what appeared to be a prototype suit. Arfaas watched on, only mildly impressed.
Justin: "Where is threat?"
His shiny suit inside the containment booth revealed its mechanical splendor. Justin, who had been just a mere mechanic before, was now trying on a warrior suit template being tested by Arfaas and company.
Arfaas: "Even with your enhancements, this guy is an amateur!!!"
Harga: "This suit is only the beginning!"
Harga: "That's because we picked the biggest dumbbell who wouldn't hurt a fly to test the limits of our engine! Just wait until we get someone who is capable of at the very least getting angry, and we'll see some real action!"
Arfaas: "I hope so! Why aren't we working on making ourselves that army of werewolves that we..."
Harga: "I know that this whole thing has been very hard for you. But consider your age! You're getting too old to be getting that upset about things!"
Arfaas: "I guess you're right. But we are so far behind! That Flippo child has completely slipped under the radar! And the closest those morons Krennt and Kayne have been able to do is kill a mangy witness! Now they're wanted for murder and on the run, and the Flippo is STILL missing!"
Harga: "Oh, is she now? I'm surprised we still haven't found that two-bit traitor, Denny Levens!"
Arfaas: "He's only a supplier! He doesn't know enough to be of any real concern! Let him go!"
Harga: "Rumor has placed him and one of the Flippo girls somewhere in the Dirbine-Viron area!"
Arfaas: "Is it natural around here to allow possibly-irradiated lab experiments to share a common dinner table with us?"
Justin: "Where is menace? Fight, I will."
Harga: "Relax! As long as his backvisor isn't damaged, he will never attack us. We're completely safe!"
Arfaas: "You know, Harga..."
Arfaas: "I believe we've been going about this whole preliminaries thing blind!"
Harga: "Whatever do you mean?"
Arfaas: "Yes, it's...nice you should be so concerned about hunting down the one and only Levens that has given us any problems in this area. It's nice that we're building this strength-enhanced macho aggression thing over in the corner there...but..."
Arfaas: "If you're going to hunt a centipede, you don't send a mere macho bot to do it! We need something...that would truly be threatening!
This thing needs a paint job...a host...everything you can imagine! We need to make this thing over! What is a centipede's worst enemy in nature?"
Justin: "Smash centipede!!!"
Arfaas: "Your cheap attempts at conversation bore me, you abominable mass!"
Justin: "Smash centipede!!!"
Harga: "Well, he does have a point. The centipede's worst enemy in nature is other centipedes!"
Arfaas: "I am not amused! What non-centipede creature is the worst enemy of all centipedes?"
Harga thought briefly for an answer, and finally, it came to her...
Harga: "Uh...a shrew?"
The distraught Arfaas suddenly turned around. Had his sister just inspired him?
Arfaas: "Wait...what was that?"
Harga: "A shrew, brother! A shrew is the worst enemy of the centipede in nature! In fact, it's just what we need to give this mecha warrior suit a touch of originality! I can get a team together to create Shrew-Bot in no time!"
Arfaas: " 'Shrew bot'? That's stupid! And 'Shrew' is already taken! Besides, we need something that truly will inspire fear in the heart of the Flippo! We need to have this thing able to take the entire city of Dirbine hostage! Right as my ship flies overhead for the overkill..."
Harga: "What are we to do, name him in Spanish? Musaraňo doesn't inspire anything in me!"
Arfaas: "Then we'll shorten it...Musaran! Hard to go wrong with that name! Now, we just need the perfect warrior for the suit...and the perfect set of fall girls in Janette Bunny suits!"
Harga: "Fall girls? You mean...to use up those old units, and have the police help us out while leading the public to think they've got everything under control? Sure!
In fact...I believe there's a certain librarian and her husband that we've been dying to meet..."