THE BLOOD OF OTHERS
E-mail: notmanos at yahoo dot com
Disclaimer: The characters of Angel are owned by 20th Century Fox and Mutant Enemy; the------------------------------------------------
character of Wolverine is also owned by 20th Century Fox and Marvel Comics. No copyright
infringement intended. I'm not making any money off of this, but if you'd like to be a patron of the
arts, I won't object. ;-) Oh, and Bob is *my* character - keep your hands off!
Even though he was ready for the Sargasso Sea of tentacles to come at him,he was surprised by the sudden exit of one of the ugly mothers on his right:it seemed to be thrown backwards,right through the wall it had just come through,this time hitting hard enough to take out most of the remaining wall and some of the ceiling.He seriously hoped that was not a load bearing wall.
A quick glance over his shoulder showed that Jean was at the end of the hall now,white doctor's coat shed but still in her 'street clothes',right hand raised palm outward towards the fuglies,a look of deadly serious concentration on her face.But she also looked like she was in pain,a blue vein on her temple throbbing so visibly he thought he could take her pulse just by looking at it,and he wondered how much telekinesis she could throw around in a short amount of time.As tentacles swarmed towards him,he noticed that the skin of these goddamn things seemed to flow like molten silver,their flesh becoming metal even as he lashed out with his claws in two directions and delivered a backwards kick at the same time,trying to force at least one of them back.
Sparks flew on contact,but the metal encasing their tentacles-whatever it was-was not strong enough to keep his claws from slicing through them like flesh,and while he felt an electric shock of pain shudder down his leg from his foot connecting solidly with metal,the metal inside his foot was a hell of a lot stronger than what it had coated itself with,and it staggered back with a high pitched sort of 'eep'.
Another one staggered back from a telekinetic shove,and a nearly ear shattering scream erupted from one of the fuglies,or maybe all of them:it was so high pitched Logan couldn't help but collapse to his knees and cover his poor ears,which felt like they were going to explode inside his head and make his cranium collapse like a bad souffle.He was aware,somewhere beyond that pain inducing tide of noise,that glass was exploding like a bomb had gone off.
The pressure in his head became almost unbearable-Logan was sure he was screaming even though he couldn't hear himself -and then it was like a dam burst:suddenly there was no more pressure,and the scream had stopped,filled in with a hollow, distant white noise.
The things were still here,but retreating,leaving their twitching severed tentacles and an ocean of muddy,swampy smelling blood behind.
Logan got to his feet unsteadily,feeling stickiness on his hands.He assumed it was some of their blood,but the blood slicking his palm was red,and he could feel warmth running down his neck,too viscous to be sweat.The noise had stopped because his eardrums had shattered like the windows and the skylight in the middle of the hallway ceiling:he was now deaf.He assumed he would recover from it like he recovered from everything,but he'd worry about it later.
He looked down the hall,and saw she was now laying on the floor,writhing like she was trying to escape the noise,but how did you do that unconscious?She was seizing,and he could see the blood trickling out her ears from here.
Sure their attack was done for now,he raced to her,retracting his claws,and said her name-well,he thought he said her name:he heard nothing now but that white noise,like a constantly in-rushing tide threatening to sweep him away-as he tried to hold her head steady.But she was convulsing quite violently,and he didn't know if it was due to the sound,an over-exertion of telekinesis,or both.He picked her up and held her as still as he could as he carried her to the elevator,noticing blood was gushing out her nose in a flood,staining her white blouse liquid red.
He glanced out the elevator doors before they closed,and saw something that seemed like a nightmare.
The fuglies were not retreating,they were shifting position.As he looked on,he saw new tentacles growing from the bloody stumps of the first one he had literally disarmed,muscular strands of sinew like giant tongues slowly but steadily poking there way through the ruined remains of their limbs.
Holy fucking shit.
He laid Jean down gently on the floor of the elevator,and as he left it,he reached around the door and hit the sensor that would take her to the underground portion of the school.Hopefully the Boy Scout would be standing by to take care of her.
He stalked down the hall towards the fuglies again,popping his claws and trying to ignore the disorientation sudden deafness had thrown down on him.He didn't care if he had to hack them into bite size chunks:these fucks were so goddamn dead,no matter how long it took.
The fuglies turned metal as he moved in,even though that didn't work the first time,and from a vibration that seemed to shimmer through the air and radiate through his claws,he guessed they were screaming again,using sound as an offensive weapon.But they couldn't make him deaf again-not yet-although the reek of their blood was nearly taking his legs out from under him,cutting him off at the knees.He thought you got accustomed to smells,no matter how awful they were (and he had become accustomed to a lot of them),but it wasn't happening here-it seemed to be ratcheting up in intensity,to the point where he thought it might actually make him sick.It was making his head start to hurt (unless that was the blood streaming from his ear canals,but he didn't think so:the worst had happened there already).If he didn't know better,he'd think they were somehow amping up the smell on purpose,as if they knew he had sharper senses than anyone else.
Shit:maybe they did know.Maybe they knew they couldn't take him physically,so they were trying to get to him this way. Fuck,they were smarter than they looked.
Trying to ignore the smell,trying to ignore the simple wrongness of hearing nothing at all,he slashed at them,at these monoliths of demons,noticing for the first time that these fuglies had legs as thick as tree trunks in their true form,and in some coldly calculating part of mind,the part that assessed the weakness of opponents and decided on the best ways to hurt (kill) them,he knew that was why they had to travel as human simulacrums:they couldn't move very fast in their true form. Also, quadruple tentacled,nine foot guys would stick out like sore thumbs,even in a tractor pull crowd.
He slashed at tentacles coming towards him,and nascent ones still budding from the stumps,eyes watering from the stench of them (which was now threatening to take his vision) but they showed no sign of retreating.They probably could have their tentacles cut off all day:they just needed to wait for him to exhaust himself or slip up,make a fatal error.
Too bad they weren't a little shorter-he could chop their heads off and be done with them.
Hey,wait.If they didn't shrink,maybe it was time for him to get somewhat more vertical.
Clearing his eyes with a swipe of his forearm,he ran to the side wall and quickly climbed up it,using his claws like climbing pitons in the thick wood walls,boots flat against the surface as he scrambled up towards the high ceiling,and as soon as he felt he reached the precise height he needed,he jumped off the wall and twisted in mid air as he sailed over the head of one of the demons.
He slashed his claws down,and they sliced through something with a rubbery texture,thicker than the tentacles,something that he knew was bone as his claws passed completely through the ugly bulbous growth of its featureless head.
He almost hit the floor on his feet on the other side of it,glad that Xavier liked high ceilings and wide hallways,when he caught the blur of a tentacle moving right towards him.He slashed down reflexively,but the instant before his claws made contact with the metal appendage of the demon,the tentacle touched his leg,wrapping around his thigh.
The contact lasted only for a millisecond or two before his claws severed it,ripping it free from him and its owner,but the contact was bizarre and savage:he felt instantly like something was being sucked out of him,maybe his very will,as his vision instantly narrowed to a grey pinpoint,his conscious spiraling away like water down a drain.
As soon as the tentacle fell away,his energy came back to him with an almost electric snap,and he managed to land on his feet although he stumbled back,and if it wasn't for the wall he would have landed flat on his ass.His vision was still compromised, he was still looking through a thin mist of grey fog,and he felt enervated,the sweat on his body cooling instantly and making him feel clammy.
That was happened to Storm.Fucking hell,that was even creepier than what Rogue did.
In spite of being exhausted,rage spurred him forward,and he slashed wildly at thick trunks of the demons,muddy blood splashing him,burning his eyes,but he didn't stop;hatred turned his vision red as he shredded these ugly fuckers.
The one whose head he cleaved and abdomen he slashed open stood still for a moment,wavering slightly,before it began toppling over like a giant redwood in slow motion.He felt a tremble in the air,and he saw the others finally were retreating, moving back through the gaping hole in the outside wall,trailing bloody body parts behind them.
He got out of the way as the leader fell over dead,making the whole mansion shake like there was an earthquake,and he knew he should follow them,but the anger had petered out,and now he thought he was about two minutes away from passing out.
Son of a bitch-what had they taken from him?
He headed down the hall towards the elevator,the smell following him,and when he looked down at himself he saw why:he was covered in their blood,his clothes sodden with it.It looked like he had been dragged through a freshly plowed field after a sudden squall.There were strips of flesh hangs off his claws,looking like gore streaked rubber,and he snapped his hands back hard,sending the remnants flying before he retracted his claws back into his hands.He didn't want to be contaminated by those things,even if that were possible:knowing his rabidly over-zealous immune system,that was unlikely to happen,but even so, the idea of their blood mingling with his made him queasy.
Or maybe that was just the smell.
At the elevator,he looked back,but the things were gone-well,four of them.The fifth lay dead in the corridor,looking like it had been killed with a cheese grater.Wow,how mad did he get?
And would the Professor ever get the stink out of the hall?
He punched the sensor that would take him down to the lower levels,and leaned against the wall,feeling the vibration of motion and missing the sound.Any sound.He assumed he would get better,that the hollow white noise in his ears would eventually give way to sound as his eardrums healed and knit themselves back together,but what if it never happened?What if he had finally found a body part that didn't heal from a mortal injury?
Ah hell,he was too tired to worry about it now.Maybe later.
Maybe when he ran out of things to worry about.
When the elevator opened on the bright steel corridors of the lower levels,he had one moment of being blissfully alone,and then he saw Scott come out of the infirmary ahead,Jean's blood staining his blue shirt black.He said something-Logan was pretty sure his lips formed the word 'what',and maybe 'happened',but he had no hope catching the rest of whatever it was he said to him.Logan told him,"Eardrums burst.Can't hear." or at least thought he did-it was in his mind to say that-but whether he did,and at what volume (whispering,shouting,in a faux British accent) he had no idea,as he couldn't hear himself speak yet either.Just in case he actually said nothing,he gestured at his ears and shook his head,and hoped One Eye figured it out.
He did.He canted his head to the side,sort of like a parakeet,and must have seen the blood trickling from one of Logan's ears,because Logan clearly saw his lips form the word,"Oh shit."
Damn.The only time he loses his hearing,and Scott curses just like a real boy.That was a once in a lifetime thing too,he bet.
Scott actually came up to him,saying something,and he got the idea he was trying to help him when he made a grab for his arm, but Logan yanked it away and sincerely hoped he said,"Fuck off,I'm fine."Of course he wasn't really,but he wasn't about to admit that to the Boy Scout.He didn't know if he said it,but just yanking his arm away seemed to send the 'don't touch me' message.
He tried to ask,he hoped he asked,"How's Jean?"But even if he had said it,how could he hear the response?
As soon as he was inside the infirmary,Scott cut ahead of him,and he saw him gesturing back towards him as he spoke to the Professor,but Logan paid no attention as he walked over to the table where Jean was now laid out,covered haphazardly with a dark blue blanket splotched with her blood.
She looked deathly pale,but was no longer actively bleeding from her nose or ears,and she appeared to be breathing,which was always a good sign.
He was so tired he knew he would have to sit down or collapse,so he took the less embarrassing option and sat down in the closest chair (at Jean's desk alcove,in fact),and propped his elbows on his knees,resting his head in his hands.
"Logan,"he heard the Professor say,and he almost looked up,but he knew instantly that he was hearing his voice inside his head.Ears no good,fall back to telepathy:good old Professor."Are you all right?Otherwise."
'Can you even hear me?'He wondered.It wasn't like he was a telepath.
"I assure you I can."
Shit.Wasn't that creepy?'One of them touched me for a second,but I'm okay,just a little tired.It was close,though.'
"I realize how silly you think me asking if you need medical attention is,but you may need it this time,Logan."
'I don't.How's Jean?'
There was a brief pause-did he actually sense hesitation in that?-but he finally said/sent/whatever the hell it was called:"She should recover,but she was badly injured.I suspect you were too."
'I'm just deaf.My eardrums will grow back.'
"Not only that,Logan.You're very lucky to be alive."
'I'm never lucky to be alive.'That thought was out of the gate before he could stifle it,so he quickly thought of something else.'I killed one,but the others took off.I want to say I scared them off for good,but somehow I doubt that.'
"I doubt that as well."Another pause."You believe them to be inhuman?"
'You'll think I'm fucking nuts-I think I'm fucking nuts-'
Ah shit.'That's what the guys in L.A. called them-I just know they don't smell human.Beyond that,I don't know what they are.'
"That's why I asked you to come back,Logan.Jean told me you referred to a man you met in L.A. named 'Maximum Bob' as not being Human."
He should have known that would come back to bite him on the ass.Did she have no secrets from Xavier?'He wasn't.I have no idea what he was.'
"Do you think he could help us understand what these things are?"
Logan sighed.He would have rather dealt with Angel,but he hadn't told them of his less than human status,and there was that sunlight issue.And frankly,as annoying as he was,Bob was probably right about one thing:the thing that could kick his ass had not been invented yet.The power coming off of him was intense and frightening,and doled out so easily it was like he was doing nothing at all as he took control of every mind in his vicinity.It was a shame he wasn't a mutant,because he could kick some major ass.'Yeah,probably.I don't know his number,though.'
"He gave it to Jean."
Of course he did.Shit,Bob was a nosy son of a bitch.'As soon as I can hear myself talk,I'll call him and see if he knows what these uglies are.But I think I need to lay down for a minute.'The tired feeling was not passing,and it actually seemed to be getting worse,weighing his head down like a chunk of granite.
"I think that would be a good idea."Logan was surprised he agreed with him,but he had to have some idea how much he was flagging over here."Your room is still upstairs."
Again,a surprise,but maybe he knew an offer of a medical bed would go down like a ton of bricks.'Thanks,'he thought,and as soon as he had the strength he levered himself up from the chair,and took one last glance at Jean and Storm,laid out on their respective beds;the somber Xavier,still looking remarkably glum and almost funereal;and a single accidental glance at the way over his head Scott,who was by Jean's bed,holding her hand with his one good one.
All this to just kill one of those suckers.Son of a bitch:they did need Bob,ASAP.
It was A Perfect Circle:he knew that much having heard the song before,but he didn't know its title.But the angrily shouted "Fuck your god!" (a sentiment he sympathized with greatly) had a tendency to lodge in the mind.The song was raging in the background,a perfectly enraged sonic backdrop to what was in the club before him.
Bodies.Lots and lots of bodies.
The funny thing was,even though they were quite clearly dead,there appeared to be no marks on the bodies,almost no blood at all on the marbleized floor.Most were splayed out on what he assumed to be the dance floor,or at least the main floor of the club,but there were a few slumped in chairs,sprawled over tables or laying propped up against the bar.There were few colored lights:just steady crimson and vivid blue gel lights that made the place look half bloody and half bruised,the corpses reflecting the color disposition of whichever side they were on.
"He did it all for you!"The singer howled from the speakers,as
Logan crouched down to get a better look at the closest corpse.
The corpse was a young woman,maybe seventeen,brunette,with a barbed wire tattoo encircling her left bicep,pretty.He was tempted to ask her how she died,aware on some level he was dreaming,but even so he bet she wouldn't tell him.
Dream or not,this felt real.Real and familiar.Memory?
No,that didn't make sense.He'd have remembered walking in on a massacre.
(Unless the time frame is all wrong:unless your mind,playing tricks on you,has updated it.It wasn't A Perfect Circle on the sound system,you don't remember what it was-just something loud and angry,maybe punk.But at the time you paid no attention at all...)
He woke up,not with his usual violent jolt,but a seriously bizarre question uppermost in his mind.
Did his bloody little fight with the fuglies warp his mind a bit?Was it the ride through decimated Riverton?Or did he remember a similar massacre from his past?
Ah shit,he didn't even have time to think about it now.
A quick glance at his watch-he hadn't bothered to get undressed:he made it up to his room and just collapsed on the bed- showed he'd barely slept for two hours.But he felt a lot better:brief or not,it had recharged his batteries,as it were.
But could he hear again or not?
He stumbled blearily to the bathroom,and looked at himself in the mirror over the sink:what a mess he was.Demon blood like mud was dried on his face,splotchy on his cheeks and forehead,while dried runnels of his own blood streaked his neck like war paint,and he wasn't even going to spare a glance at the ruin of his clothes."Hey,asshole,"he said to his own reflection,and heard himself loud and clear.Yeah,he was fine.
He shucked off his pathetic ruined clothes and took a quick,scalding shower,just to get the stink of the things off of him. Shit,those things needed body sized Odor Eaters.
His clothes would have to be burned,of course,along with the bedsheets,because there was no way he'd ever get the stink out of them,not to his satisfaction.Sometimes having a sensitive nose was a bitch and a half.
Wearing only his boxer shorts,which seemed to have escaped the bloodshed,he looked in his closet for the generic clothes that Xavier seemed to have around the mansion,figuring it would do until he could get something decent.But much to his shock,he found a small pile of jeans and plain,unmarked t-shirts all folded and stacked with a perverse,anal retentive sense of neatness.It was all the right size too.
Since he had left nothing here the first/last time he was here-having
nothing and therefore having nothing to lose wasn't just a saying:it was
a way of life-he wondered if this was an example of precognition,anticipation,or
hope that he would return.
No,correction:he knew exactly why Xavier wanted him.Maybe his 'X Men' had experience working as a unit,and they had the coolest toys on the playground,but did they have a true fighter among them?Scott liked to play General,but his actual down and dirty in the trenches fighting was virtually nil,and he couldn't fight worth a shit without his 'gift',which wasn't really in his control in the first place.Logan could fight without his claws,and often did;he was probably as close to a born fighter as you could get-whether he liked it or not-and Xavier knew that.That was the other reason the Professor called him back here and they both knew it.
Logan pulled on a black t-shirt,wondering why Angel had wanted him to join his little rag tag group of misfits.Xavier needed him,but Angel didn't really:Angel didn't really need anybody's help.He was a good,solid fighter,and,according to him, technically dead-he only needed to worry about sunlight and pointy wood things,also according to him.Although avoiding sunlight in California sounded like a bit of chore,certainly the pointy wooden things wasn't,which left Logan to figure he gave him the offer to join up for one of two reasons:he felt bad for Logan (an infuriating notion),or Cordy made him ask (she was kind of pushy:she said frog and everybody seemed to hop).In a strange and obscure way,it was sort of nice to be wanted by people other than shady government guys with paralyzers,high tech torture chambers,and sinister agendas.
He paused for a few minutes to trace the lingering stench of demons still filling his nostrils,and traced it to splotches of blood on his boots.He wasted a few minutes scrubbing off the spots as well as he could:the bloodstains came off easily,but long after it was gone the stench lingered,little atoms of irritation embedded in the leather.After a few minutes he gave it up,figuring he could live with the trace smell until he could get new boots.
Next time he fought those goddamn things,he hoped he was wearing a HazMat suit.
Finally,he pulled his boots on and went to the door,where he found a crisply folded piece of blue paper slid underneath it.He picked it up and opened it,and on it,in precise black pen,was a phone number with an L. A. area code,and two words written underneath :My office.
Xavier must have been desperate,and after having fought the fuglies and barely staggering away with his life,he knew why. They honestly could use all the help they could get.
Walking down the hall towards Xavier's office,he got an eerie feeling that crawled down his spine like an insect:despite the smells of many people passing through recently,it was as quiet as a tomb.Had Xavier evacuated the school?A good idea,until they took care of those bastards.
Logan knew he was expected,so he didn't bother to knock,but Xavier wasn't waiting for him:his office was empty,the bright late morning sun streaming in on an empty desk.He was probably down in the infirmary still,or maybe supervising Scott's attempts to crispy critter the corpse of the fugly in the back garden.Hell,considering the stench,Scott should probably just take out all of the atrium along with it.
Feeling slightly foolish-he just knew he would regret calling Bob-he punched in the number on the rather old fashioned looking black telephone and sat on the edge of the desk with the receiver glued to his ear,trying hard not to tap his fingers anxiously on the desk.The way he was feeling right now,he might leave big ragged gashes in the walnut finish.
There were three rings before the call was an answered,and a woman's voice snapped,almost bitterly,"Way Station."
That was the name of the bar where Bob pretended to do business,although Logan suspected Bob was far too big a player for such a small and seedy place.He thought the woman might be Lia,the rather short tempered (and attractive) bartender he met the last time he was there,but it was sort of hard to tell with all the noise in the background.
What?If it was eleven here it had to be eight in the morning there...was
it legal for a bar to even be open?"I need to talk to Bob,"he said,figuring
this was no time for small talk.But for a woman who smelled nothing like
human,Lia had been pretty hot.
"Hold on,"she said,but rather than put him on hold,it sounded like she threw the phone on the bar itself,a loud and unexpected noise that made him wince and curse simultaneously.
Yep,that had been Lia all right-she must have recognized his voice.
He could hear voices talking a language he couldn't even begin to recognize-it sounded far from human-and behind that he heard a singer drawl darkly,"An empty body but it still bled."
Wow,Bob had a fun place,didn't he?He almost felt homesick.
Finally,he heard a familiar Australian tinged voice say in a firm
but low voice-perhaps that's was as close to mad as Bob got-say to someone,"You
will go home and never come back.And the next time you have a homicidal
urge,you will take it out on you."
Finally,he heard the receiver scooped up off the bar,and a remarkably chipper voice said,"Bobbus Maximus,at your service."
There was nothing worse than a mind fucker who thought he was funny.
"Bob,look-"he began,but Bob didn't let him finish.
"Logan?Holy shit,mate!Is the world ending?"He interrupted,sounding only partially facetious.
Logan huffed an impatient sigh through his nose,and willed himself not to lose his temper.Not yet:not until he could skewer the guy in person."You tell me,"Logan growled in reply.
"It must be-you're calling me for help,"Bob said,and this time he sounded serious.
"How do you know that?"
"You wouldn't call me to shoot the shit,"he replied matter of factly.And Logan had to admit he had a point."Fuck,mate,you're calling from the Xavier School?"
Logan almost asked how he knew that,then figured it out for himself:caller i.d.,the bane of obscene phone callers everywhere. "Yeah.Just listen,okay?A town near the school was wiped out by some kind of demon that nearly got the lot of us too."
"Fucking Jesus crackers."Logan almost hit his ear to make sure he was still hearing properly.Had Bob really said 'Jesus crackers'?"What were they,do you know?And are they coming back?"
"I don't know,but I doubt they're done with us.I can tell you they're fuckin' ugly,and they smell like the septic tank of an abattoir in Saudi Arabia."
Bob was quiet for several seconds-a lifetime for him."You've just described seventy two percent of demonkind."
Logan mentally reminded himself he had to kill him in person-throwing the phone across the room would only result in a broken phone."They start vaguely Human-ish,but seem to be some kind of huge shapeshifters with tentacles and a scream that could shatter eardrums for miles in all directions.That narrow it down?"
"A bit.Could you hold on a minute?"
"What?"Logan exclaimed,shocked."No,I cannot fucking-"
But Bob had already put the phone down on the bar.But at least he had done it much more politely than Lia.
Logan was about to rip the phone out of the wall and toss it through the goddamn wall-who puts someone on hold when they're asking for fucking help? (Besides an HMO,of course...)-when he felt a sudden shift in the air.
There was a sense of displacement,and a strange smell,like ozone and...beer?
He glanced behind him,which was technically towards the front of the office,just in time to see Bob appear out of thin air.
"Okay,so they looked like what again?"He asked,picking up their conversation where they left off.
Logan stared at him in open disbelief as he heard a woman say over the phone,"Is he there yet?Hey,is he or not?"
"Yeah,he's here,"Logan told Lia numbly."How-"
But he was answered by a dial tone,as she had already hung up.Well fuck you very much too,he thought as he dropped the reciever back on its cradle.
"You got lucky,"Bob said,answering the question for him."Amaranth was at the bar and owes me a few favors."
"A witch,a good one too.She teleported me here via spell.Pretty cool,huh?"
Logan just stared at him,wondering if he was joking,and figuring he was not."So how do you get back?"
"Oh,I have a miraculous homing device."He pulled a small black square out of the back pocket of his pants."It's called a cell phone."
Logan's glare became murderous,but Bob only smiled as he put his phone away.
Bob was looking remarkably awake and well put together for so early in the morning,but that was Bob:maybe he had some supernatural gift for always having it together.Today he was wearing crocodile patterened black leather pants,black leather biker boots complete with chrome accents that were probably way too expensive for any actual biker to afford,and a deep purple long sleeved shirt (silk?),open at the collar and showing off some chest hair,while the sleeves were pushed up to his elbows, revealing an expensive looking chrome watch on his left wrist and a chunky gold bracelet on his right.His brown hair was,of course,impeccable-he looked like a male model fresh from a photo shoot.Logan wondered if that could be a supernatural power-always looking decent.
"So,can I see?"Bob asked.
"In your mind.Pictures are better than clumsy explanations any day."
"My explanation was not clumsy,"he snapped resentfully,but after a moment he shrugged in surrender.As long as he was going to fuck with his head-and he'd better not-what was the harm?
Bob's strange nuclear blue eyes locked onto his,and for some reason he reached out and clapped him on the shoulder,like he was giving him a congratulatory slap on the arm.He felt something-it wasn't quite like anything,and yet he knew something had happened,even if he couldn't describe it-and then Bob's gem toned eyes widened as his hand dropped away from his shoulder."Holy shit,you do have a problem.Someone's sicced Legion on you."
"No,they're just called Legion,"Bob said,looking troubled."They're not really a race more than a...conglomerate."
He didn't know what the hell he was getting at,but after a moment,he thought he followed his drift."A group of demons?A hive mind?"