A Brief Moment of Insanity Ch. 04

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All characters are 18 years or older. Warren decides it is time to end Loki and her manipulation of his family and loved ones.

*****

Diary of a Dead Man:

The crew was packing up after the installation of the holographic projector in my office and other key points in the mansion. I thanked them for their fine work and promised to use them in the future if the need ever arose. Three of the maids entered with cleaning supplies in hand and I let them have their way with the room. They had already cleaned up in the other work locations apparently. I watched them as they swept up plaster dust, wood shavings and bits of snipped wiring. Then they made sure there wasn’t a hint of dirt or debris before they left.

“They are quite efficient,” Jeanie replied.

“Why don’t you test your birthday gift,” I asked my A.I.

There was a soft whirring as the projector’s servos fired up for the very first time. Jeanie calibrated the device and let out a soft purr as she appeared before my desk. She had altered her appearance again but I had given her free reign when it came to those sorts of things. She was tall and leggy, like a runway model and was wearing what appeared to be a black silk dress with an open back that showed off the S curve of her spine quite nicely. Jeanie had been attempting to tweak the perfect size, shape and bounce of her breasts over the last few weeks and I think she finally succeeded. It was her face that had undergone the most significant modifications though. Our first little session of creating her persona had been all well and good but she has displayed a certain desire for perfection. This latest example had been patterned off the manifestation of Loki. Jeanie had created an algorithm that could take a single biological aspect and build a perfect construct around it. In this case the breasts.

“What do you think?” She asked.

“I like the eyes,” I replied. “They are striking and sensual.”

“Exactly what I was going for,” Jeanie replied. “I have been perusing the Codex and the Keystone as well as other sources for information about non-human races. This current configuration is loosely based off of one.”

“What do you mean loosely? What is different from the texts than you are using now?”

“The race mentioned possesses four fingers and two opposable thumbs. They were quite dexterous it is said.” She replied with a brilliant smile. “They also possess quite a few other genetic enhancements that make them far superior to unmodified humans.”

“Unmodified, did the text actually say they were genetically engineered?” I asked and she nodded.

“Not in those words of course but the text is quite specific about enhanced breeding practices. I can only take that to mean genetic manipulation of some sort was involved in their creation.”

“Show me,” I asked her and the changes were subtle yet profound.

Her eyes remained the same blue-violet color but the bright light revealed the feline pupils with their vertical slit. Her hands and feet both possessed six digits and while at first a little disturbing I grew used to them quickly enough. The rest of the changes were all internal and had to be shown using a second display. Jeanie had to explain what I was looking at and I was impressed. If there were any of this race still walking around they would make formidable enemies or valuable friends. Plots, plans and ideas blossomed in my devious little mind. What were the odds I could locate one of these individuals? Who was I kidding; the chances of finding such a rare person would be astronomical. I had other more important things on my mind.

“How goes the research,” I asked Jeanie.

“I have whispers and innuendos,” she purred. “But I think I may have something. I cannot claim that it is anything more than a legend though.”

“At this point I don’t care,” I said. “Show me what you have.”

“There is a mention of a powerful weapon,” Jeanie said gesturing with her left hand and another display appeared. “This text speaks of a weapon called Sicarius Deus, the God Slayer. However, there are also mentions of spells, incantations and other items of potency. None of them can be verified by other sources. So I cannot offer them as anything other than conjecture.”

“What is that mark on your wrist,” I asked ignoring the image for the strange characters on her wrist.

“These are connected to the race I mentioned before, why?”

“I have seen one of them somewhere. But I can’t remember where it was.”

I stared at the characters but damn it eluded me. Where the hell had I seen that symbol before? Oh god that pissed me off! I grumbled and bitched until Jeanie told me to relax. She suggested that I forget about it for now and just let my subconscious work on it. Jeanie was right of course so I asked her about this god slayer weapon as well as the other items she had mentioned. The god slayer, according to the text, had been split into three pieces and hidden. The history of the weapon was supposedly linked to mythic Atlantis and its downfall. The spells aliağa escort and other objects were equally questionable. But at this point I was willing to try anything.

The sad part is I had no idea where to even begin. I was no historian, hell I was just managing to keep a grip as head of the Family. Sure I had mastered the mind palace technique but it was my Castellan that was keeping me afloat. If it wasn’t for Sophia I hated to think about it. The rage rose up like a white hot heat when I remembered what I had allowed to happen. That fucking bitch had forced me to do that despicable act! That is why I wanted the god slayer. I didn’t need it; I fucking wanted it so I could teach that cunt a lesson! I doubted it would actually kill a being like Loki, but it just might hurt her. That was enough for me.

I could still see the four security guards having their way with her and it broke my heart. Was that was Loki really wanted? Did she want to break me? Did she want to prove that I was just a pawn? I had to prove her wrong. Jeanie was still standing there watching me. I told her to pull up all the major financial activity for the Family. This was followed up with a global map and the businesses as glittering icons. The next step was historical activities of the Family to try and spot patterns. They were there and Jeanie was able to project future activity. A ten year projection showed where and more importantly who was going to benefit from these decisions. It was obvious now that the other members of the council were working on robbing me blind and leaving me a penniless pawn. I would have funds but it would be at their discretion.

Jeanie showed me what to do and how to do it. It was a long term gamble but it would prove profitable in the long run. I created shell companies and snatched up businesses, resources and technologies while they were cheap. I gave Jeanie complete access to my finances and told her what I wanted. I ran this Family and they were going to learn the hard way what happens when people crossed me. It felt good to be able to do something. I told her to monitor the markets and act accordingly. This was a game of chess and I intended on winning. Jeanie vanished in a puff of digital smoke and I sat back and closed my eyes. There came a knock on the door.

“Come in,” I called out.

“I am sorry to disturb you Sir,” a female voice spoke and I opened my eyes. There were two cute women standing in the doorway. “Tell him.” The older woman said to the younger.

“Please forgive me,” the younger gal said her lip quivering in fear.

“Hey… relax; I am not going to fire anybody today. What is going on?” I asked.

“I didn’t finish cleaning all of your grandmother’s things from the room. I uh… I stashed them in the bottom drawer of your desk. I am so sorry!”

“This one,” I asked as I leaned down and touched the drawer on the left hand side of the desk.

“Yes Sir, please let me take care of it and I promise it will never happen again.” The girl pleaded while the older gal frowned.

“How about I look through what’s here and if I want to throw it away I’ll take care of it.” I told her. “Now relax, dry your eyes and finish up with what you were doing, okay?”

“Thank you Sir,” she said and fled the room in relief.

“You were too easy on her,” the older gal said as she turned to leave.

“Stop,” I growled at the older gal. “Come over here… you are awful mouthy for a maid.”

“I am the head maid,” she replied her voice cool and her eyes narrowed. “Your grandmother would have never let that kind of thing slide.”

“My grandmother,” I said getting to my feet. “You just mentioning her could get you fired.”

“What…?” She said the color draining from her face. “I thought you were close.”

“Hardly,” I said as I closed the distance between us. “Give me one good reason I shouldn’t let you go?”

“I need this job,” she said her lip quivering now. “I will never mention your… that woman ever again. I promise… please let me make it up to you.”

“I see you’re married,” I said seeing her wedding ring. “Do you love him?”

“Of course I do,” she replied. “He is a good man.”

“I am sorry to hear that,” I told her.

“I don’t understand,” she replied.

“The sex must be terribly boring,” I said and smiled. “You can leave now. I will keep an eye on you. If you displease me consider it your last day.”

She left and I heard her crying as she closed the door behind her. I hate bullies and the way she treated… what were their names anyway? Oh this is just sad. I called up Jeanie and ran through the entire list of the employees working for me. I put to memory names and faces so that I could greet each and every one of them by name. It was the least I could do as their boss. I returned to the desk and opened the lower left hand drawer. It was brimming with stuff so I pulled out the drawer and carefully put it on the surface of the desk. The contents were as weird and varied as anything I had ever seen. On aliağa escort bayan the very top was a plastic cube and inside an autographed baseball.

“Who the heck is Babe Ruth,” I said and the A.I. rattled off statistics and how much the baseball would fetch at auction. “Sixty thousand dollars, for a baseball, are you kidding me? I wonder what else is in here.”

I pulled out each item and she told me what it was, where it came from and it seemed to me the collection didn’t belong to just my grandmother but her brother as well. The memorabilia had a definite theme to it and I doubted the Old Vampire would collect or keep such things. I found new homes for my great uncle’s possessions and boxed up the rest. I picked up the drawer to return it to its place in the desk and that is when I saw it. There was something taped to the bottom of the drawer. The tape had dried out and it hung loose on one corner. I plucked the notebook from its hiding place and opened it.

The handwriting was clean and precise. I noticed the bold flourishes of the style and knew that it was written using a fountain pen because of the gorgeous calligraphy employed. The writing had a left handed slant and that nailed down the author as being none other than my uncle Charlie. There was that and I had seen a few samples of his writing before this one. I called for a two liter of Mt. Dew, a box of ding dongs and my mp3 player. I thanked Helen when she brought my things in and she smiled. I read and reread the notebook three times all the way through.

I couldn’t believe what I was reading. The notebook chronicled my uncle’s thirty year search for the Deus Sicarius, the God Slayer. But he never went after it, something happened to him before he could. The journal ended abruptly when he spoke of gathering the three pieces. Had the Old Vampire done something to her own brother? Did she discover what he had planned? Is that why he simply disappeared? Did she murder her own brother? Oh grandma you’ve been a wicked little girl! I returned the drawer to its spot and closed it. I looked at the notebook and wondered if I could decipher the clues my uncle had left behind.

“Where are they,” I said talking to myself.

I set the notebook down and opened to the first page. Jeanie was standing behind me and I read out the key points for her to record so we could brain storm on them later. The creation myth was interesting and ironic. Loki had been the one to design and make it possible for Ragnarok to come into being. That was just one of its names. It had appeared several times in human prehistory. The Atlanteans had held it for millennia and it was in the end the reason for their homeland’s destruction. While the island dwellers did not have gods there were others that did. It was these religious zealots that plotted and brought about the destruction of the island continent. In the chaos they managed to steal the weapon, break it into three parts and place it in its current locations. They are supposedly guarding it to this day.

I read off the clues that described the elemental temples that housed the god slayer. While I was absolutely clueless it was Jeanie that puzzled them out. The poetic stanzas mentioned gods and monsters that went right over my head and I told her so. Jeanie laughed and said that it was there that the clues pointed. Three seconds later it hit me, constellations. There were of course other lines that described geographical references as well. She pulled up satellite imagery and began hunting. This was going to take time so I left her to it. I was really good at delegating tasks especially ones I sucked at.

So I decided to work out some of my frustration and went downstairs to my game room. The room was huge and had once held three full sized pool tables, dart boards along the walls as well as some classic arcade games. The dart boards remained but the middle of the room was dedicated to table top war gaming. One of those holographic projectors sat above a six foot square table. I fired up the game interface and picked out how many points each side could spend on troops. I chose my race and built my army and was happy with the nice rounded armor, weapons and vehicles. The computer built a random terrain to battle on and I placed my squads and vehicles. The computer picked a race and built an appropriate army with the points it had.

“Alright let’s do this,” I said and we battled it out.

The troop animations were freaking amazing! It was like something out of a movie and even though I lost I had a blast. I was about to play a second round when the doorbell rang. One of the maids, Sarah, appeared and told me that my mother was here. I told her to fix some coffee and see my mother to the arboretum. She always liked the flowers and the view of the back yard. I headed upstairs and met mom in the rear of the mansion. She was smiling and was dressed to the nines.

“You look good,” I told her as I kissed her cheek.

The room smelled of roses, jasmine and a dozen other flowers that hung escort aliağa from the ceiling and planted in stone beds around the windows.

“Thank you,” she replied as she sat back down. “Willow told me the good news.”

“Huh,” I said confused. “Her last visit was a little different so I am lost on what you think of as good news.”

“The Fuck Off,” mom said smiling again. “She told me you agreed to hold it.”

“Is that all she told you,” I asked and mom bit her lower lip. “So she did tell you about what happened to her.”

“Yes,” she purred just as the maid set down the silver pitcher and two china cups. “I’ll pour. She didn’t leave out a single detail. Why are you so upset?”

“I didn’t let it happen out of choice,” I told her. “I am not letting this abomination of an event happen out of the goodness of my heart. If I don’t do this something worse will happen. So, if you want to fucking enjoy it then you do so without my approval.” I said trying to read her reaction. “I love you. I love all of you but I hate what you and the others are forcing me to endure. So enjoy your coffee and get the fuck out of my sight.”

“Warren, that isn’t anyway to talk to me,” she replied shocked at the venom and animosity in my voice. “Why are you acting like this?”

“You missed the part about hating the entire concept of what you are so fucking eager to engage in. I will make sure you are taken care of financially. I plan on moving soon and using this as a summer house. I just can’t be around you or the others anymore. It just hurts too much.”

“We never meant to hurt you sweetie,” mom said her face flushing with color. “We love you. But…”

“Ah, here it comes… but you want this obscene event to take place. Get out mom… GET OUT NOW! Don’t stop by unless I call for you.”

Mom got to her feet and left without a backward glance. The pitcher and china went flying a few seconds later. My scream of rage followed a moment after that. I opened the French door that led to the garden and decided some fresh air would do me good. My hands were clenched tightly and I walked over the manicured lawns and around the exquisitely designed flower beds. All that beauty surrounding me and it was like ashes in my mouth. How the hell did the Old Vampire endure this kind of thing? Is that why she was so damn cold? Oh god I don’t want to end up like that! Another scream escaped my lips and I dropped down to my knees.

I punched the earth and the fear of becoming like my grandmother horrified me. I couldn’t do that. I’d rather die than turn into that! One of the security guards walked up to me and placed a gentle hand on my shoulder.

“Are you alright Sir,” he asked. “Can I call someone?”

“No, there isn’t anyone… she is dead to me,” I replied thinking of Willow. “Get the jet ready… I have to get out of here. Have Claudia pack a few bags for a warm climate. I need a change of scenery.”

“Yes Sir,” he said and left me there on the lawn.

I knelt there staring at the dark violet blooms and the simple symmetry they possessed. Loki had to die! Even if it meant my death I was going to take the bitch out. The heat of my rage turned ice cold now. I was determined to be my own man or die trying. Maybe if I survived this ordeal I could forgive them. But until then I was set on a course of action. The limo pulled up in front of the mansion and my bags were placed in the trunk. I informed Arthur, the house’s equivalent to a butler, to keep things running smoothly while I was gone. He was an Old World soul whose family had served various members of my family over the generations. He smiled and nodded and in that simple exchange I knew he would do his best until I set foot here again.

I climbed into the back of the limo and we left. The only thing I carried with me was my uncle’s notebook. My fingers clung to its exterior like a life line. I suppose in its own way it was. It was my anchor and promise of a better life. I closed my eyes and let my mind drift. The limo stopping woke me up. I opened the door and the noise of the airfield struck me and I flinched. I got out and I noticed the brand new motorcycle parked near the jet. A moment later Willow walked into view. I flinched again and she frowned.

“Where are you going?” Willow asked.

“It doesn’t concern you,” I replied as the driver opened the trunk and took my luggage to the plane.

“We are family Warren,” she tried and saw my cold reaction to that. “What?”

“Does family lie to one another? Does family manipulate one another? Do I need to go on?”

“What we did, we did to protect you.” She said and took a step back when I snarled. “You don’t understand.”

“Have you seen the Dark One Willow? Have you stood face to face with Loki? Now try and tell me I don’t understand.”

“You saw Him… that is why you let it happen isn’t it?” She said her eyes staring at the tarmac.

“It wasn’t my decision to let that happen. If I had a choice that and other things would never occur. I will say this and then I am done. If you and the others decide to go on we are done. Please don’t test me on this, you will lose. I will continue with your financial support but that is it. If you and mom and Janine have this event don’t ever speak to me ever again. I love you, I will always love you but if that happens I just can’t deal with it.”

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