Sunday, March 28, 2021

The Sea Hag -Chapter Fifteen-



I heard the missiles launch and lifted my head as we banked. A small black cloud mushroomed over the place our house had stood. My swelling eyes filled with tears once more as Venter erased even the remains of our mother.

I let my head fall back down to the metal floor of the helicopter as waves of fatigue and despair washed over me. My shoulder had been dislocated during the fight with Venter’s mercenaries and every bump of turbulence was fresh agony that made my breath stop and my vision tunnel. 

I had come at them with a baseball bat when they entered--Mom would never let me keep guns in the house--the tasers they fired made all the muscles in my body lock up and I went down like a felled tree, smashing my face against the floor. I held on to the bat, however, and when they let go of the trigger, ceasing the current, I lay still, feigning unconsciousness. When they grabbed the arm with the bat I came up swinging and brained one of them before the other thought to pull the trigger on the taser again. My body seized once more and the one I had hit swore and came at me with a police baton. 

I think that’s when I dislocated my shoulder. He kept hitting me as the electric current poured ceaselessly through my body. I think I was screaming. He hit me in the head several times while I lay helpless, until I finally lost consciousness for real.

Next thing I knew, I was trussed up and hogtied, being dragged into the front room, my mother and brother on their knees beside me, and Altus--fucking--Venter was standing over us, grinning like a maniac.

I saw the back of my mother’s head explode. I was still covered in her blood and brains. I couldn’t unsee it. Every time I closed my eyes I saw her surprised expression as she fell backwards, a hole in the center of her forehead. It played on repeat in my head until I wanted to scream. My bonds were tight, and they had been done in such a way that struggling only made them tighter. I had long ago lost feeling in my hands and feet.

The top of my head rested against my brother’s knees. They had arranged us in a sort of triangle, Sirena’s head rested against my own knees, and his head on hers. She was staring down at him with a look of sorrow so profound that it was plain even on her alien features. I looked at my brother. His eyes were half closed and still, blinking away the occasional tear, but he was otherwise unmoving. I could see Sirena trying to talk to him, but I could hear nothing over the noise of the helicopter. I knew that being unable to hear was a phobia of his since he went blind. He had the look of someone who had just shut down after too much trauma and I was grateful that at least we had been allowed some physical contact during this hellish ride.

The mercenaries began to stir and I raised my head again. We were banking in front of an enormous yacht that was the size of a small cruise ship. It was pure white with smooth, sweeping lines and had to be over five hundred feet long. A large portion near the stern began to open and we descended into a large, cavernous hangar. I could see a small boat launch with a couple of recreational fishing vessels as well as some jet skis and a zodiac.

The helicopter touched down with a soft thud and I tried not to scream as my body weight landed on my dislocated shoulder. Again. The mercenaries had removed their masks and the one Venter had called “Reyes” tore off his headset and scrubbed his face with his hands. He was maybe late thirties with skin the color of dark roast coffee, a neatly trimmed goatee, close cropped hair. His eyes were the bright, startling color of new pennies, and they conspicuously looked anywhere but at us prisoners. The kid next to him was pale with brown hair and forgettable features, except that he couldn’t seem to take his eyes off Sirena and every once in a while, his tongue would dart out and lick hungrily at his thin lips.

 The rest  of the team were a mix of young and middle aged. A stout and grizzled man with a grey crew cut sat next to a lanky young man with long, dark hair and cold, haunted eyes. The only female in the group had cafe au lait skin and a bodybuilder’s physique. Her hair was braided in long dreads and secured with a bandana. Her elbows were on her knees, one foot tapping rhythmically as she repeatedly glanced at Reyes. The man next to her looked like Guile from Street Fighter, complete with blonde crew cut and psychotic blue eyes.

Venter leapt nimbly from the helicopter and motioned for his mercenaries to pick us up and follow as he issued commands through a cell phone at his ear. None of us put up a fight as they grabbed us by our upper arms again, but my agonized noises at being carried around by a dislocated shoulder made Reyes call a brief halt. He knelt next to me and poked around my shoulder joint. I stared hard at him but he wouldn’t look at me. He briskly tilted me on my side, then jerked on my arm, hard, pulling out and down until my shoulder slid back into its socket with a wet pop. The sudden cessation of pain was like a narcotic and I panted as a dull ache replaced searing agony.

Reyes nodded in satisfaction, looking at me and I finally caught his gaze with mine. That copper gaze held everything he was trying to hide: sympathy, regret, disgust, and...yes, a little bit of lust. The man liked what he saw when he looked at me, even as beat up as I was.

A tiny seed of hope was planted by what I saw in those eyes. I knew lust. I could work with lust. Perhaps all was not yet lost.

I returned his gaze with an acknowledgement and a subtle invitation. Just a conversation between two pairs of eyes. The barest of smiles flitted across his face before he stood, dispassionate mask back in place. When they picked me up again my battered shoulder screamed in protest, but I bore it silently, sneaking glances up at Reyes as we boarded a large elevator. The elevator took us down a short way and opened on a room the size of a warehouse. The walls were thirty feet high and lined with floor to ceiling windows that showcased the underwater vista surrounding the ship. All was glass and stainless steel and shining white plastic. People in lab coats and pristine white scrubs bustled about, intent on their tasks.

An asian woman with short hair and severe features approached us, glancing down and tapping on an electronic tablet as she did so.

Venter spread his arms wide as he faced her. “Doctor Kusanagi!” he said, by way of greeting and swept an arm behind himself to indicate Sirena hanging between two mercs like a prize catch. “The original specimen, as requested.” Venter bowed melodramatically as she passed by, hard eyes fixed on Sirena.

“She appears undamaged,” the Doctor said to no one in particular. One of her delicate fingered hands reached up to grip Sirena’s jaw, tilting her head back and forth. Sirena responded by hissing and trying to bite the hand. Kusanagi’s lips quirked slightly and she let go. “This is good. I want her ready for implantation as soon as possible. Secure her in the med bay. Thank you.” She waved a dismissive hand at the mercs carrying her and they began to retreat.

Micheal stirred for the first time, lifting his head and calling out for her hoarsely. She called out to him in turn, her voice breaking. This earned him a cuff to the back of the head from the blonde crew cut and now I was crying out, hurling insults and threats at the bastard who dared strike my brother.

Kusanagi rolled her eyes and made a slicing motion across her mouth, and a bit-gag was shoved into mine and my brother’s mouths. The hard plastic cylinder forced our teeth apart and our tongues down, making speech impossible.

“And for what purpose did you bring me these, Altus-Sama?” she said, crossing her arms over the lab coat and glancing sideways at Venter.

“They’re twins,” Venter said, grinning proudly. “Monozygotic. I know you were lamenting the lack of human test subjects for Formula 23, and it seems fate has smiled upon us.”

“The female appeared to have an emotional attachment to this one,” she said, stepping closer and gesturing to Michael. “Explain.”

Venter shrugged. “They have at least attempted to mate very recently.” He walked around behind Michael and pointed at the puncture wounds. “You see these marks? They are a perfect match to her claws.” He pumped his eyebrows and gave her a lascivious grin.

Kusanagi walked over and stood over my brother. He jumped when she prodded his wounds and a small line formed between her brows. She grabbed Michael’s chin the same way she had Sirena’s and forced him to look up at her. She tilted his head back and forth for a moment, staring into his eyes, then let go with an exhale of disgust and stepped back. She glared at Venter and actually  wiped her hand on her coat. The bitch. “He’s blind!” she spat at Venter, as if he were somehow responsible. It was the most emotion I had seen her display so far. 

“Well, he wasn’t born that way, I can tell you that much,” Venter held up his hands, palms out as if warding off an attack, though the self-satisfied smirk remained on his square-jawed face. “Whatever took his sight, it wasn’t genetic. Their father worked for me once, he was thoroughly screened.”

Kusanagi crossed her arms again and stepped back, waving at the mercs who held us. “Very well. Take the hairy one to Isolation One, the blind one to Isolation Two.” She tapped a few times on her tablet. “You will find injector pens prefilled with sedative in the small box next to each door. Please allow no further damage to be done to the subjects.”

With that, Reyes and the dreadlocked woman hoisted me and turned around, making for a far corner of the cavernous hold. I craned my head to look back at my brother. He hung limp, head bowed between the blonde crewcut and the pale, dark- haired one. Neither of the mercs had any expression beyond impatience and boredom. I stared up at Reyes and the woman but they didn’t look at me, even when they set me down inside a brightly lit, solid white, featureless octagon. The walls and floor were padded and there was a molded plastic toilet/sink combo jutting from one wall. The ceiling was one big, bright light I couldn’t look directly at, and every sound had that weird flat quality that happens with heavy duty sound proofing.

There was a click and a bite of a needle in my shoulder. I didn’t even flinch. A chemically induced nap actually sounded pretty good right now. A warm heaviness pushed at me, like I was being lovingly crushed by a water mattress. My eyes fell closed and I was unconscious before I toppled over.


  1. Spiral, I'm loving this story more and more each week. I love how you flesh it out with secondary characters and action scenes that don't directly involve Michael and Sirena. Looking so forward to this Sunday because that means a new chapter! :)

  2. I'm gonna miss having you around weekly!! Your story makes me so happy to open the site each week. Love it so much. Fantastic characters and worldbuilding