Beyond the Red Line

The hotel was quiet, and of course no one stopped him from coming in. Why would they? He didn’t exist, facial recognition would confirm this, he was a ghost. A memory of someone who used to be someone else. That was a long tim ago though, a longer time than he cared to admit. Who would he admit it to? He was an enigma even to most of those closest to him.

He’d gotten a note from someone he owed, someone who knew how old he was, how much he’d been through. Back in LA he’d gotten the note one day on his desk, lord only knows how it got there. It gave him a date, a time, an address, and a room number. Then it said one of the most cryptic messages he’d received in a long time, but he understood it perfectly. The message itself wasn’t important, the words were just words. He knew what they meant.

He casually walked to the elevators, took the car up to the right floor… It was the middle of the night, the trio were getting ready from the sounds of things. His mind reached out, even a fellow psionic would be frightened by the power that was flowing forth from his mind, unchecked. He felt the minds of those present, he found the one not to harm… The bystanders, and the target. The feeling in the room began to get cold, ice cold in fact. A sadistic smile crept over his face. He let it sit, the casual conversation inside died down as everyone inside began to see things differently. The insecurities in the room increased, each person writing their own writ of destruction. Each person becoming their own worst enemy.

He had no need to kick the door in. He used det-cord instead. He knew he’d have limited time once it went off. He’d have enough time though, plenty actually. This would not take long. He backed up and set the cord off, the door exploded into splinters from the hinges inward and the rest fell. Lance Thomas entered the room. There was a woman there, one of the bystanders, she turned to see him and when their eyes locked he forced his way into her mind. She was weak, as most were, her mind offered virtually no resistance to his invasion. Then she shrieked, the blood curdling scream was made all the worse by the fact that as far as anyone could tell nothing warranted it. She fell to her knees, pawing at the floor, shrieking at the top of her lungs.

For her, all she could see was her children dying, blood pouring from nose and mouth, begging for her help, but as she reached to touch them, they died grotesquely. It played in her mind as if it was the real world in a loop, pleads, death, look at her, smile, pleads, death, over and over again. And it would go on like that for the rest of the girls life, Lance cared not. The man next to her acted like he was going to be tough guy, turning his gaze to the man, Lance reached out with his telekinetic powers and the man’s kneecaps both exploded outward, he crumpled to the ground with shards of blood, bone, and cartilage everywhere.

Then there was the target. He turned to his man, a short-ish man, overweight, scruffy beard. He was dressed nice at least, by this time the other one in the room had returned, half dressed herself. It appears she’d been putting makeup on, it looked nice though half done. Lance didn’t look at her, he simply looked at the man and his eyes got an intense look on them. He whispered… But in the man’s mind it was as loud as the voice of God, “You… Have been weighed. Measured. And found, wanting.” With that, the man became weak, Lance was inside his mind already. Stripping his way with claws of sheer power, slicing through the man’s psyche. Memories, sliced, sense of self, cut through to the quick. Knife blades cutting through every, single, thing that made the man who he was. It would take time to realize its full potential, he’d have a few hours at the most left to be himself. Before the bleeding cuts in his mind could no longer be held together, before he started to lose himself in the chaotic garbage heap that would be is mind now. This was permanent, it was doubtful the man would ever be able to string more than a few coherent sentences together again. Once last gift Lance gave to the man, one last, final, gift. Reaching deep into the man’s mind, he left one place untouched. One solitary place, and he pushed the memories having something, having something precious and special to that one place. As a final barbaric act, Lance made sure that no matter what ever happened, no matter who cared for the crazy, insane, corpse of a man that he was to be… That he’d always know what he’d lost, and it would always cut through his soul like the very first day. The frayed edges would never heal, forever when the shattered and cut bits of his mind aligned together and he had a coherent thought, the pain of loss would hit him anew.

Then Lance sealed the one safe place, so nothing else would be able to enter it. No refuge, just pain. Just unlimited, pain.

Turning to the woman, he looked at her and said quietly, “You deserve worse. But my friend says that he wants nothing to happen to you. Be glad, be… Very… Glad.”

He left the room, with the agonizing howls and screams of the woman he’d first seen there. The man with her, was immobilized, kneecaps exploded, he’d never walk again. And the target… The target was left shaking his head, holding his mind together, and Lance grinned knowing this man’s last few hours of being sane would be spent on triage with the rest of the situation. Any refuge he could find would be stolen by the carnage around him.

It was less than he deserved. Debt. Paid.