Sunday, July 6, 2008

Slippery Minds

"Did you honestly think your pathetic half prayer would save you from my grasp Cameron?" Buck heard in his mind very clearly in the voice of Nicholia Carpathia, who was broadcasting his thoughts as he discussed petty politics with the men at the table. "I'll let you watch for right now, please, do not get up."

Every second next to Carpathia was toxic to Buck, like microphone feeding back directly into his brain. He wanted to plug his ears, or bite his lip, or jump out a window, or something to take his mind off the dull ring in his subconscious. He wanted to, but all he could do was watch. Anytime he made a motion to do anything other than sit and watch his mind filled with images of the security detail surrounding Jonathan Stonagal ventilating him at the slightest twitch.

"Now to the true business," Carpathia announced in a regal fashion, "Your promotion Mr. Stonagal, will see you far too busy to handle your usual business affairs. I will take charge of them from now on, please relinquish all your assets and files to me."

"What?" roared Stonagal, blood rushing to his face, fixing his eyes into a glare that would have killed its target had it not been directed at the  iron constitution of Nicholia Carpathia. "Have you forgotten whose plan this is? I've been pulling the strings for decades, you're nothing but a stepping stone, an errand boy. I will not stand down now that my work is almost complete."

"Please Mr. Stonagal," calmly replied Nicholia, smirking in the face of stare that withered the house plants behind him. "I would not want to have to abuse the great power that has been recently invested in me to deal with you."

Stonagal was shocked, anyone could tell that Carpathia was referring to much more than the powers of the UN, but Stonagal seemed to know exactly what he meant. Flustered Stonagal went into a momentary blinking fit, his eyes desperately darted around the room finally coming to rest for a brief moment on Buck. Quickly Stonagal's facial expression changed to a complete poker face, staring Carpathia straight in the eye. The only thing that could be gathered from Stonagals body language was that he was bracing himself for something.

"Guards, kill the pretender anti-christ," Stonagal thundered, making a violent gesture towards Carpathia.

Nicholia put up his hand, and the body guards made no move.

A single chuckle escaped Carpathia's curled lips, "Poor choice of words," said Carpathia then clenched his fist.

Stonagal's guards turned on their heels, and opened fire, going for clean body shots, minimal blood splatter.

Just before Stonagal slumped over for the final time, the feedback in Bucks head crackled and ceased. He could think again somehow, but he thought it was not a good time to make a move.

Todd Cothran did not share the same reservation for action. Stonagals men turned towards him, and moving to cut the head off the snake, Cothran quickly un-holstered his Colt .45, drawing a bead on Nicholia. Far too late, impossibly it seemed as if Nicholia somehow had a gun in his hand the whole time, and shot Cothran through the heart before the Colts safety was off. Cothran fell inelegantly forward, and his corpse smashed into the table, letting the gun slide out of his hand on impact.

Brushing the debris from the fired bullet off of his suit and getting straight back to business, Carpathia addressed Stonagal's now former head of security, "Bring me his files, I want to make the transition as soon as... Wait."

Nicholia quickly jerked his head to his left and saw Buck Williams trembling, pointing Cothran's gun across the room at him.

"Don't move," Buck stammered as he slowly backed toward the door, directed more at Stonagal's men than Carpathia.

Carpathia didn't flinch, he knew Buck couldn't hit him if he was two feet away, let alone twenty. He raised his arm to order the Guards to fire, but Buck let out a shot before he could say the words. The bullet hit nothing but ceiling tiles, but it provided enough of a distraction for Buck to dash out the door. There was no point going after him, the hall outside was a maze of hallways that all lead to an exit.

"Remind me to repeal the fire codes as soon as I get back to my offices Plank," sighed Carpathia as he sat down.

"Sir, I thought that was a marvelous display of power otherwise," replied Plank obediently.

"Too bad it is all wasted, we can not let my inner council see this as weakness," said Carpathia as he buried his heads in his hands, the rest of the men in attendance sat in a silent stupor. "Apparently Mr. Stonagal freed Mr. Williams of the mind control just to spite me, it was all his limited powers could accomplish, how childish of him. I shall take this memory from them, in the meantime find someone who looks similar enough to Stonagal to stage this again. I think we can do without a Cameron Williams next time around, arrange for an accident to befall him."

"Yes sir," Steve Plank responded quickly as Stonagal's former security guards removed the bodies from the room and prepared for take two.


Spherical Time said...

Now that's an interesting take, that Stonagal was protecting Buck. Actually, that's kind of a cool idea. One part Antichrist fighting off another one, and it ends up being a Good Thing.

Dan said...

I'm not sure the intention is to say Stonegal was actually protecting Buck - only that RockyMountainHigh interpreted it that way - how else would Bucky be resisting his mindmeld mojo?

Anonymous said...

It works really well either way- Carpathia sadly under-estimated God, as is his standard practice, or Stonagal just gives a simple "screw you" to Carpathia. Either way, it's much more tension than the book was capable of.

I think I might write this scene myself...