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~o0o~ Chapter ~o0o~
"What has he told you I was?" Harrier asked the trio.
"He calls you a prison guard," GhoulSpawn answered. "He says you keep him locked up, in White Rock."
"You are him, younger, yes?"
"So you know how he thinks. How his mind works... or doesn't. Seeing how he is you. He is what you become."
"And you are from the future. You're not actually from the 1400s, you just live here for whatever reason."
"So you know modern terms. You know medical terms, that the rest of the people in this era have never heard of."
"What has he told you White Rock was?"
"He says it's a prison."
"Has he ever mentioned.... a lobotomy?"
"Yeah. He says he had one. More then once. And always against his will."
"A lobotomy is a medical procedure."
"Have you ever heard of a prison doing it?"
"Who knows what happens in the future."
Harrier sighed. Looked down at Gremlin, laying on the bed and then sat down in the chair beside Dr. Triten.
"Dr. Triten works for me. He's a physician. A very good one. Do you think a prison guard, would employ a doctor?"
"Again. You're very far in the future. And you admit the world has vastly changed."
"Hmmm. You're from the 1970s, right?"
"Then you know about hospitals."
"Have you ever heard of schizophrenia?"
"And do you know what a psychiatrist is?"
"GhoulSpawn, I'm a psychiatrist. And I'm also the chief administrator of a hospital named The White Rock Asylum For The Criminally Insane."
"Is he a criminal?"
"Most of the patients in White Rock are."
"Then why's he there? Why not some other mental health institute?"
"Because he's not Human. And White Rock is the only hospital left on the planet that will treat None Humans. Originally, all our patients were criminals, serial killers mostly, it's what he specialize in. But that was a long time ago. There are very few Non-Humans these days. I am 1 of only 5 Phookas left on the planet. He is the last Uruisg. Antaras is the last Each-Utsy. If there are any Gnomes, Dwarves, Giants, Leprechauns, Dragons, or Pixies left, they're well hidden. And you know things are bad when ALL the Elves are banded together: Blood Elves, Feral Elves, Wood Elves, High Elves, Half-Elves. About 10,000 of them, huddled together in one terrified community, just behind the Twighlight Manor. All the Elves in the world. They're the last. Living in a down star ship, they haven't set foot outside in decades. They don't dare to. That's the world we live in now. The Human have control of everything. And when they find one of us, they put us in a cage. On display. Freak shows. There's big money in that these days. And that's Humans care about. Money. Power. Control. If things continue as they are, within a hundred years, they'll be no Non-Humans left. That's why he's in White Rock. Outside of The Twighlight Manor and the VISION-D8, it's the only safe place left for non-Humans."
"So he not a prisoner?"
"No. He's my patient. Not my prisoner. He has schizophrenia. He sees things that aren't there, is chased by hallucinations that are trying to kill him, lives in mortal fear of invisible paranoias that don't exist, and write on walls, when he... runs out of other things to write on. He was an LSD addict for most of his life and, somewhere along the line he... took too much, fried his brain. We try to help him. But... as you can see... he lives in a world, that only exists in his head. I can't even begin to imagine the nightmare he walks through every day of his life, just trying to escape the things that no one else can see."
"You're saying he's crazy."
"I'm saying he has a serious mental illness that is compounded by damage due to a drug overdose and was further made worse by a lobotomy that I was against him being given. He's very sick and needs help. And he's good about getting it. Usually. But sometimes he forgets to take his medication and he gets like this. And then we have to back to square one to try to get him back on it again. When he's on his medication he's fine. When he's like this, he can become dangerous. More to himself then others."
"So, how did he get injured? Are you saying he did this to himself?"
"No. No. Unfortunately, he right. This time. The guards did beat him up. I reviewed the video footage. Security cameras. He saw... well... he thought he saw a little boy being beaten up by several grown men."
"Yes. And no."
"What do you mean, yes and no?"
"Sunta. He saw Sunta. Another patient. He escaped. Sunta is a criminal. A serial killer. He's... he's why we built White Rock. He's the patient that we keep in the Inner Sanctum. A cell, inside of a cell, inside of cell, inside of room, inside of a room, many cells deep, many room deeps, so many locks, so many barriers. So many wizards, so many scientists, gathered together to build and impenetrable cell, to contain a creature, unlike anything the world has ever seen. Some people call him a god. From what I've seen, they may be right."
"An Elf. A very dangerous Elf. Poor thing. I hate solitary confinement. I try not to use it unless absolutely necessary. But with him... it was more than necessary. Cheka abuses him."
"One our doctors."
"Gremlin's mentioned him."
"Yes. Cheka. Our lobotomy happy doctor. Poor Sunta. He got worse after the lobotomy."
"How did Gremlin get hurt? His leg's almost cut off."
"He tried to help Sunta. He's very dangerous. Greymorse, didn't know the other patient, didn't know Sunta, didn't know what was going on, he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time. And I fear it'll not bode well with his mental state. And he's been doing so well of late. Poor thing. This is going to set my work so very far."
"How did that happen to his leg?"
"He saw another patient, Sunta, being beaten up. He's deceptively old, Sunta is, but he looks like a little boy. He's a wizard who uses glimmer spells to hide what he really looks like. He was injured, centuries ago. Very vain. He was burned. His face disfigured, so, now he reinvented himself, with glimmer spells, as a 15 year old boy. It's an illusion. He's been in White Rock a few hundred years now, and yet Sunta's always a 15 year old boy. He never gets older. Greymorse, thought he saw a little boy being beaten up by several grown men, and he tried to help, not knowing the boy was not a boy and that the boy was in fact and escaped serial killer whom the guards were trying to capture. They attacked Greymorse with more force then they needed to and sadly, once they got him down, they didn't stop, and, well, you can see what they did to him."
"How did they do that to his leg?"
"A night stick."
"A night stick? Did that?"
"Yes. A big guard, strong arms, carrying a big night stick. He came as Greymorse from behind, went right for his leg. Greymorse is old. And he's not in good health. His bones are brittle. And he's a sheep. Hind legs of a sheep are not, not strong and sturdy like a Human leg bone is. The bone broke easily, under the circumstances."
"I know I have the legs of a sheep, but how the hell do hit someone that hard. The bone's cut clean off!"
"You have to understand, the type of patient our guards are trained to deal with. Like I said. Most of them are prisoners. Most of them are serial killers. Most of them are cannibals or at least will eat Humans. The guards are trained very specifically to take an escaped prisoner down by any means necessary without killing them. And it's a proven fact that the best way to disable a dangerous criminal is to take out one of their legs."
"You said he's not a criminal."
"Yes. That s correct. Greymorse is not a criminal. But he was helping an escaped criminal."
"But you said he didn't know that."
"That also is true. Like I said. It was a mistake that Greymorse got hurt. He was in the wrong place at the wrong time and well see to it that this is fixed. After Dr. Vangoneese, Dr. Triten is our best doctor. Greymorse will walk again. It'll take time, but reattaching a leg is not that difficult for us. Our medicine is quite far advanced from what you have back here in the 1400s."
"Why do you keep calling him Greymorse?"
"His name is Greymorse Liore."
"I don't have a name. I never did."
"You do. Your name is Greymorse Liore."
"My father got sent away, my mother died, and her family only ever called me GhoulSpawn."
"You were 9 years old when your father left. 15 when your mother died. You had a name. You just forgot it."
"And how do you known what it is my name supposedly is?"
"It's a long story that is not important right now. You know too much about your future already.
"So what about all the things he's told us over the years. Ongadada and needing the change the past to change the future..."
"He probably told you the truth. He's not in the habit of lying. Even when he's talking crazy, he at least believes he's telling the truth. And usually he is telling the truth on some level, it's just his perception is warped. He's not trying to be deceitful. The Battle of Ongadada did happen, the Kats did hire him to open portals and zip back and forth through time trying to change things. Time travel didn't help his mind any. It's not easy to go back and forth through time and hold on to one's sanity. You start getting a guilty conscious of 'what if i had caused this' or 'what if Hitler rose up, because I went back and changed that thing which was not connected to Hitler at all'?"
"Hitler?" Quaraun asked.
Harrier looked to GhoulSpawn: "You understand the reference?"
"Hitler killed millions of people, because they weren't white enough, weren't Christian enough."
"Think of Ongadada, like Hitler, but on a larger scale, and then expand it, multiply it to multiple planets, of multiple solar systems, and instead of 20 million lives lost, 31 billion lives taken."
"You mean Ongadada?"
"Yes. Ongadada. If you could go back in time and stop Hitler from killing 20 million people, would you? Do you know people have tried and couldn't. Do you know why? Because he wasn't an evil man. He loved dogs and children and art. He was a vegetarian, and an artists. A kind, gentle soul. He had friend and family. And never missed church on Sunday. But like everyone, he had a breaking point. Do you know what his breaking point was? A little beagle. A little dog. He loved that dog. And one day, a soldier, just back from war, boasting to his friends, how good he was with a gun... walked into his neighbours yard, and for no reason other then to show off to his friends, blew the dog's head off with a gun. He was Jewish. that was the breaking point. Hitler made up his mind, to get revenge for the senseless murder of his beloved little begal, by killing every last Jew on the planet."
"So, you're saying, Hitler, evilest Human to ever walk the face of the Earth, wasn't evil and was actually a good person?"
"Than what are you saying?"
"I'm saying everyone has someone who loves them. Every one loves someone. And only through great love, can come great hate. The purest evil on the planet, can only come from the purest good. This the nature of life. Do you know how many times, poor Gremlin has come back here, to kill the evilest man to ever walk the face of the Earth, and returns back to us, without doing what he set out to do."
"Has he tried to kill Hitler?"
"He comes back here to kill Quaraun?"
"I don't understand."
"Once upon a time, there was a family. A father with two sons he loved very much. Their mother was very dear to him. She was pregnant with their third child, and one day, two soldier walked into their home, and for no reason at all, killed the young mother and her unborn child. There was no motive. They just did it to show off to their friends. The two boys, ran after the soldiers. Their father was in shock over what he'd just seen. That few seconds, those few seconds where he didn't move, that the time we need to change. We need him to turn around and grab his sons. Don't let them follow the soldiers, Once they've followed the soldiers it's too late. By the time he reacts, they're already dead. That was the breaking point. Not his wife or the baby, but his two sons, whom he loved dearly. Because of those two boys, he killed 31 billion people. Men. Women. Children. Humans. Non Humanes. It didn't matter any more. He just killed them all. And watching him do that... that's your breaking point. GhoulSpawn ceased to exist after Ongadada. Gremlin took his place. Gremlin continually goes back in time to that point, trying to change it. He's over burdened with guilt. Save the world, kill his friend. He can't do it. That's what happened to his mind. That's why he's like this now."
"Is your world as bad as he says it is?"
"Probably. If fact it's probably worse. You've only seen our world through the eyes of a mad man, broken by guilt and grief. He can't see the world beyond his own little realm of existence. He doesn't see the bigger picture. The big picture is too scary for him. He's too busy focused only on the small details, and only those that affect him directly. The world's a big place, and he's a hermit whose not seen much of it. I doubt if the our world as he's painted it for you, is even half the horror, of what our world really is. He doesn't watch the news. He doesn't read the papers. He doesn't know what's going on out there. The world is far worse than even his morbid mind could imagine."
"Then why can't we do anything now to stop it from happening?"
"If you tried to go back in time to kill Hitler, you could probably do it. Because you didn't personally know him. But what if Hitler was your family, your best friend, your lover. You wouldn't see him the same way the world did. And you wouldn't be able to stop him, no matter how much you tried, because love always comes first. If you loved an ideal, you would the ideal before your family and you could kill your wife and children for that ideal. If you loved a god, you would put that god before your family, and when that god tells you to slit your wife's throat, you'll do it no questions asked, because you love the god more then you loved your family. Quaraun loved his children, do you know how they died?"
"He killed them."
"Did he ever tell you how? What exactly it was that he did? He poisoned them. And when they were asleep, he gutted them. Disemboweled them. Cut out their hearts. Cut off their heads. Children. 4 and 9 years old. His own children. And after that he turned on his wife. But he didn't kill her. Not yet. First, he killed her lover. His own father. And he eat him. Quaraun's not just a murderer, he's a cannibal. Then he killed his wife. And he ate her too. You live with a monster GhoulSpawn, and you know that. You've seen it. You've seen him kill. You know what he's capable of. But you love him, so you can't stop him. You want to, but you love him, more then life itself. Quaraun's a serial killer and you know that. You ignore it. And because you try to push it aside and pretend it isn't happening, this..."
Harrier pointed to Gremlin.
"This is what is gonna happen to you. This is your future. After Quaraun's dead, and you've had time to think, enough time away from him, to forget how much you loved him, and see for the first time, the monster the rest of the world sees him as... you'll be so overcome with guilt, that you'll finally find the determination you need to find a way to harness the portals, to go back in time, hundreds of times, with one goal: kill Quaraun. But you'll never be able to do it. You'll always come back, with less sanity then you left will. You'll drive yourself mad, trying to stop him, and continually failing, because you love him too much to hurt him."
"So your saying there's nothing we can do to change the future?"
"No. The future does change. Every time he comes back here, the future does change."
"How would you know?"
"Because I'm a Faerie. And I live in White Rock. And White Rock doesn't exist on Earth. The Humans can't see it. White Rock is in the Realm of Fae. What he changes on Earth, changes only on Earth. It doesn't effect other dimensions. So we see the changed. But the Humans, they do not know any change happened."
"What if Ongadada's not what we needed to change?"
"What would you change?"
"The events before it. The events that lead up to it."
"You'd have to go back, to before BoomFuzzy died. And you've already done that. You already tried. Ask Quaraun. The day Gibedon died. When Gibedon stabbed BoomFuzzy. That knife was meant for Quaraun. The way Quaraun tells it... a shadowy figure, suddenly appears and pulled him out of the way. Dragged him to the other side of the room, just as Gibedon grabbed BoomFuzzy and dragged him upstairs. Do you remember that, Quaraun?"
Harrier looke past GhoulSpawn to Quaraun, who had remained silent this whole time.
"I remember," Quaraun said. "But I've never talked to you before."
"You talk to me every day. I'm one of the few people you will talk to. I think, because I'm a Phooka."
"We only ever meet you once before."
"Well that's not important right now. The man you describe as the shadowy figure. You didn't know who it was. And he wouldn't let you upstairs. And you didn't know why. That was GhoulSpawn. He changed history. The world was different before he did that."
"It doesn't matter. What's done is done."
"Why wouldn't it matter? The world changed. Life changed. Life matters."
"Do you really believe that Quaraun? That life matters."
"Yes, I do."
"Sunta doesn't. He just wants every one to die."
"Who is Sunta?"
"A little boy. A strange little boy. The one Gremlin tried to save, when he saw the guards hit him. The guards who broke his legs, because he tried to help Sunta. Which unfortunately he did. He helped Sunta escape and I don't think he knew he did it. Did you Greymorse?"
Harrier looked over at Gremlin.
"Not talking to me? Alright. Have it your way. You usually do."
"You lied to me," Gremlin said, his voice barely above a whisper.
"I've never lied to you."
"I saw him."
"Sunta? I know you did. That wasn't suppose to happen."
"Because you, like your father, keep changing the world. And the less you know about the world the better. You got a Messiah complex. You can't stop trying to save the world."
"I just want to be with my family."
Harrier was interrupted by a ringing sound that startled those from the 1400s and was nothing unfamiliar to the ones from the 21 century.
Harrier pulled out something akin to a cell phone and a familiar voice came through on the other side.
"What do you want, Spriggan?" Harrier asked the cat.
"We seem to have found the source of the portal."
"It's coming from the Twighlight Manor itself."
"Not that surprising, seeing how it opened up in the front parlor."
"It's still open, and Roderic is... you know... being Roderic."
"He says the house is alive."
"He's always saying the house is alive."
"Nooooo, not like this. He says she's awake and is... eating people."
"Has anyone gone missing?"
"No one else no. There's no sign of Sunta anyhere, Sir. I think he went through the portal."
"That's not what I wanted to hear."
"He's not with the Gremlin?"
"What do we do?"
"I don't know. No. I do know. I just don't want to do it. How is Phozeen?"
"Irritable. He's changing fast."
"He would. He's a Ratzin. The infestation will spread quick in him. The change normally takes years, he'll probably change in a matter of days. Spriggan. Watch your back. If someone in the Twighlight Manor opened the portal... there's not many people there who know how to open portals."
"You got a list of people who can open portals?"
"Other then the Gremlin? Phozeen, but it wasn't him, he can't do time portals, he only does wormholes, bridges. Antaras. But he's locked in an iron maiden. Etiole, but he's too aloof to lift a damned figure, I doubt he'd do it, and his portals are rather distinctive, you'd know if it was him. AlKeeme. I don't trust AlKeeme, but I don't know why he'd do it. Caddy. But I don't see why Caddy would do it."
"Can Caddy open open portals?"
"Yes. And he's quite good at it."
"I didn't know that. Is is a wizard?"
"Yes, he is. I wish he wasn't, boy is he ever."
"Have you told Caddy about Gremlin yet?"
"He's gonna want to know, you know."
"I know. I'll tell him. Soon. I just have to figure out how. I don't want him losing his temper. No. No Caddy didn't open the portal. He doesn't know Gremlin is hurt, and he'd know that if he'd opened the portal."
"What is it?"
"I know everyone ere takes orders from you and no one here will tell Caddy about Gremlin, because you told us not to..."
The little white cat paused.
"But, Roderic's flipping out. And you know Roderic. He tells Caddy everything. They're like two peas in a pod. One never knows anything without the other soon finding out. Any no one will disoby Roderic. Roderic's word is law you know."
"I know. Just... keep Roderic away from a phone. I'll think of something."
"Anyone we should keep an eye on?"
"Blackbird? He can't open portals."
"He was supposed to be watching Sunta. Something happened. He's good at his job. Sunta escaped...just keep an eye on Blackbird, let me if he... does anything... out of character."
Harrier hung up the phone.
"Sunta's missing?" Gremlin asked.
"That's why you're here. I knew you wouldn't come here for me. I'm not that important to you."
"You're right. Partly. You are important to me. But normally I wouldn't come through a portal for you, because I trust you to take care of yourself and not do anything crazy."
"And you don't trust Sunta."
"No. He's deviant. Conniving. Manipulative. And has the brain function of a rabid animal. He bites every one that gets near him, kills any one he can, and eats everyone he kills. He's a vicious monster, he uses glimmer spells to change what he looks like, and he's out there lose somewhere."
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