Note: read “System Shock” first.
After mentioning my idea to Jack, the two of us head down to where Pierre and Valerie are attempting to extract any useful information from that blipper part.
I quickly explain what I have in mind to Pierre, and he gives it some thought.
Eventually, he gives us his answer.
“I suppose we don’t have any other options…”
So, we quickly blip back to the School.
We see that the Commissioner is in the lobby again, looking grimmer than ever. Victor and Scarface are with him.
“Another Foundation branch just went down. In the South this time.”
Pierre reassures John.
“Cal was at Faucheuse Tower, John. And there was only one of him. I’m certain of it.”
Pierre has that power analyzing tech built-in. He also recently installed flight tech, too.
“To be honest, I didn’t think it was Cal from the beginning. But I needed to be sure.”
I smile back.
“We’re getting closer to solving this, John. Pierre, Jack… let’s get those Bands on those wrists.”
“Alright. Let me just tell Val about the third branch. Hopefully, she’ll be able to figure out the pattern now.”
So, after Pierre contacts Valerie, him and Jack put the Bands of Merging on.
They stand side by side, the gems on the bands glowing.
“Are you ready for this, Jack?”
“About as ready as I can be, Pierre.”
There’s a flash of red and blue light, that becomes purple.
When the light fades, we look the result up and down.
John doesn’t know what to make of it.
“I’ve never seen merging with my own eyes before. I was expecting it to be more… visceral.”
The new gestalt entity’s physical age is halfway between Jack and Pierre. Jack’s about three decades old, and Pierre… well, I’m still not sure what his actual age is, but he looks like he’s in his seventies. And he’s aged gracefully, but that’s a no-brainer. So, the gestalt entity looks like he’s about fifty. His height is also between Jack and Pierre, the latter being about a few inches taller than average. The Death of Humans is taller than that.
His face looks like a more effeminate version of Pierre’s. Like Cajack, the entity has Jack’s chin.
The new entity has Jack’s hairstyle, but with a significant bald spot, in a shade between Jack’s lighter blond, and the golden blond hair Pierre had in his youth.
I’ve seen his family portrait.
He’s wearing a lab coat, over the casual clothes Pierre was wearing, which are now saffron like Jack’s battle suit. He’s got Pierre’s metal hands and glowing blue eyes.
“Dis am su fukkin stwange.”
“Tell me about it, Soul Brother.”
I smile at the gestalt entity.
“So what are we gonna call you? Pijack? Jaierre?”
He smiles, and replies in Pierre and Jack’s voices.
“Actually, I was thinking… Jacques.”
Erick appears on a another hilltop.
His hooded cloak is even more bloodstained now. It’s impossible to distinguish the fluffy blood from the human blood from a glance.
He hears someone coming.
A lone hiker climbs the hill, intending to have a one-man picnic at the top.
He doesn’t realize that he’s about to meet a terrible fate.
The hiker sees someone standing at the top of the hill.
Before he can get a good look, the individual on the hilltop raises a hand.
The hiker blacks out.
And dreams of being chased by many fluffies in a dark space.
When they close in on him, the hiker wakes up.
“Uh… wut happund?”
And quickly discovers that he’s been turned into a fluffy.
Erick watches the newly transformed fluffy panic.
Then Erick takes out his map, crossing off another Foundation branch, and picking another branch to destroy at random.
His finger lingers on a branch in Portland.
Before he can blip out, the fluffy waddles up to him.
“Can… can mistah pwease hewp fwuffy? Fwuffy nu wan be fwuffy aneemowe. Fwuffy wan be hoomin again.”
Erick decides to have some fun with the fluffy before he moves on.
In the School’s meeting room, Jacques sits down in the chair Deston usually sits in when the Cabal is meeting.
Me, Victor, Scarface and John watch as Jacques looks into the future.
His head is twitching back and forth wildly, and the expression on his face is shifting constantly.
It’s like he’s in some sort of trance.
Then he suddenly breaks out of it.
“Jacques! Are you alright?”
He takes a few deep breaths.
“I’m alright, Cal. And I know which branch will be attacked next. The one in Portland.”
“Then we need to move out to Portland immediately.”
“Pierre and Jack will be sitting this one out, I’m afraid. After I demerge, both of them will need to go have a lie down.”
In the Abuse Syndicate’s meeting room, Vanessa types on her phone.
Hahahahaha! I can’t believe you didn’t know that parsley makes mares miscarry! You retard newfag hugboxers are all the same!
Then she makes her latest post on FluffChan, and smiles at the other Syndicate members.
“You’d think those morons would know by now that Abby is short for Abuser, wouldn’t you?”
Everyone laughs, except Garm.
It’s not that he doesn’t think it’s funny, he’s just snacking on a basket of foals right now, and Vanessa has asked him not to talk with his mouth full.
“SCREEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!! BABBEH NU AM NUMMIES–”
Garm bites the foal’s head off.
Erick, having procured a hammer and nails, finishes nailing the formerly human fluffy to a tree.
The fluffy is still alive. Erick is planning to check if that’s the case later.
“Huu… wai mistah du dis?”
This isn’t the first time Erick has heard this question today, and he hasn’t answered it yet.
Erick blips out.
Erick arrives in the parking lot of Portland’s Faucheuse Foundation branch.
When he walks inside, planning to do what he did to the other three branches…
He finds the ChaotiX waiting for him.
Miles. Quin. Both Marleys, and the other four nephilim, all five nephilim transformed. Drake, Diablo, Dexter, and Edward. Dave, Slayer, Robert and François, all in demon form. Alpha, Beta, their son Gamma, and Prometheus, who are all golden. Deston, Victor, who is heavily armed, and Scarface. Valerie and Susan, the latter in her power armor, which now has “Hers” engraved on the chest plate.
None of them look happy to see Erick.
And at the front, Calvin Korkea himself, his arms folded.
He looks even less happy to see Erick.
Calvin’s burning red eyes stare into Erick’s glowing round, yellow eyes, the only thing visible under the hood.
When Erick tries to blip out, he discovers that teleportation has been jammed.
Calvin smiles smugly, and addresses Erick in a deceptively calm tone.
“Gotcha, bitch. Let’s see who’s been trying to frame me.”