The Destroyer


The Destroyer
By
Morpheus

A private eye searches for a kidnapped girl and ends up getting mixed up with a dangerous cult and the dark god they worship.

This is my third story in my Lost Gods universe, though like the other two it can be read as a complete stand alone. I had originally planned on writing two more stories in this universe where I would expand upon the past revealed in this story and bring the main characters of the stories together. Sadly, I never got around to writing the other two but if there is enough interest, who knows.

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Part 1 of 3
By Morpheus

I stood in the rain, hiding back in the shadows of night. Fortunately, my hat and overcoat kept me from the worst of the weather while my stubborn streak let me pretend that I didn't notice the rest. Without removing my eyes from my target, I took a final drag from my cigarette then flicked it to the ground.

My name was Adam Sinclair...and I was a dick. That almost sounds like I was in AA or something. Maybe assholes anonymous, except that I wasn't trying to quite being an asshole. I was a detective. A private eye. The kind that you saw in old movies or read about in Philip Marlowe books. Or at least I was something like that.

Just the day before, a girl had been kidnapped, right out in public. Several witnesses had seen a couple of guys dressed in weird costumes jump out of a black van and pull her inside. That should have been enough to give the cops a little lead, but like I said...should have. They were on the case, but the cops in this town didn't exactly have the highest reputation for competence. That was why the girl's dad had immediately gone to an old acquaintance for help. Specifically, to my boss.

Of course I quickly proved just how smart my boss was for putting me on the case. There had been a police report of a stolen van, almost right after the time of the kidnapping. However, the cops apparently didn't notice that the owner of the van had a little record himself. It didn't take a genius to figure that he was part of the job, then realized at the last minute that someone might link the van back to him. Bam...the kidnapper calls the van in stolen, then plays the victim to avoid suspicion.

"Not too bad an idea," I muttered to myself, silently adding, "if he hadn't been such a dumb-ass." One of his neighbors had seen him in the van about an hour after he'd reported it stolen.

At the moment, I was at the guy's house. There was no sign of the van, which wasn't too surprising. There is usually a limit to just how many stupid mistakes even the biggest idiot can make. That just means that he probably has both the van and the girl hidden away somewhere else. And all I had to do was wait until he led me there.

"Never underestimate human stupidity," I told myself with a smirk, repeating one of my cardinal rules. Of course, another rule was never overestimate it either.

Just then, it seemed that my waiting had paid off. The idiot was acting pretty suspicious as he came out and climbed into another car. I was just as quickly in mine, hoping that the trip wouldn't be far as I didn't want him to notice that someone was following him. Fortunately, I was in luck as he didn't even go much more than a mile, pulling into the driveway of a pretty expensive looking house.

I parked down the street just a little bit, then hurried to where I'd seen him go. One hand patted my cell phone as I considered calling the cops in, but knew that it wouldn't do much good until I had more. Besides, I was pretty reluctant do deal with those lazy bastards any more than I absolutely had to. And finally, there was my professional pride and stubborn streak to consider as well. With that, I patted the other bulge in my jacket, the one created by my gun. I didn't think that I'd need it if I was careful not to be seen, but you never could be sure.

When I got closer, I wasn't at all surprised to see the 'stolen' van through the open garage door. However, what I was more interested in were the voice I was hearing from the greenhouse just a short distance away. The lights were on, and from what I could see, there had to be close to a half dozen men there.

"We should have waited until tonight to grab her," one of the men grumbled.

Another added, "It would have been a little less risky." He snorted loudly, "Keeping her here is dangerous."

"But not as dangerous as failing to have her when we need her," a third man warned in cold voice. The others nodded nervously at that.

As I moved closer, still being careful to not be seen, I saw her. The girl. 19 year old Emily Clark was tied to a chair and gagged in the middle of the greenhouse. And she was surrounded by her kidnappers, half of whom were wearing strange red and black robes of some sort.

The man with the cold voice was tall and thin, looking in his late forties or early fifties. He was also the one I took to be their leader. For one, there was the way the others seemed a bit nervous of him. For another, there was also the fact that his robes were cut just a bit differently from the others, and a bit fancier. He also held a knotted black wooden staff in his hands.

"What is this," I quietly muttered to myself, "Some sort of cult?"

This was definitely getting weird, and I decided that it was probably time that I called the apathetic boys in blue. After all, I'd found the girl like I was hired to, and if any bullets were going to be flying, they could be the ones to catch them.

Just as I was starting to back away, I bumped up against a bush and made a little noise. It wasn't much, but it was enough to get their attention. One of the men yelled out, while I jumped out to the side.

Suddenly, the leader held out the staff and yelled, "Agazaar Kai!" And without warning, a ball of fire actually shot out of the head of the staff, exploding against the ground just several feet from where I had been standing.

"Shit," I squeaked out, my gun clenched firmly in my hand as I tried to get some cover.

"Hey!" one of the men yelled out, "What the fuck are you doing?" It took me a moment to realize that it wasn't me he was talking to. It was the guy with the piece of wood. "That’s my yard you fried."

"There's someone there," another guy snapped back.

However, the guy who claimed it was his hard slapped him alongside the head. "That's just my cat you idiot."

The men grumbled at that, but visibly relaxed. As they turned away, I let out a sigh and started to get out of there a little more quickly. I silently gave thanks to the cat, wherever it was. I'd always known that a little pussy was good for my health, and this sure proved it.

As I was getting back to the street where I could safely call the donut munchers, I heard the leader order, "Get the girl in the van. We don't dare be late..."

I quickly got back to the street, not to mention out of sight due to the hedges they kept for privacy. But while I was simultaneously reached for my smokes and cell phone, someone grabbed my shoulder from behind. I quickly snapped around, ready to either punch whomever it was...or raise my hands in surrender if they had a gun pointed at me.

"What...?" I paused, seeing that there were three men standing there, and none of them appeared to be armed. At least not with guns or knives...which might have been more comforting.

There were three men, the one in front who'd grabbed me was bald and looked his fifties. And all three were holding wooden staffs, each carved somewhat differently. Normally I would have laughed at that, but after just having seen that one guy use his like a flame thrower....

"Go," the bald one told me, "Stay out from this."

"Stay out of what?" I asked, playing for time as I tried to reach my gun unnoticed.

"This does not concern you," he insisted.

Just then, I was distracted by the sound of a motor running. A moment later, the black 'stolen' van pulled out of the driveway and started down the street. I silently cursed at not having called the badges quick enough. At least then I could have said I'd done my job. But if they took Emily with them... Then I would have to start all over again.

"Damn," I snarled, turning back to the three men who'd caught me.

To my surprise, they were hurrying away. The bald one looked back at me and said, "Forget about this. For your own sake..."

And right before they went around the corner and out of view, one of the other men called back, "You've been warned..."

"What the fuck was that?" I demanded. It made no sense. Those cult freaks had caught me…then took off like bats out of hell.

However, I didn't have too much time to think about those three at the moment since they'd taken off with the girl...leaving me to with a job that still needed finishing. I let out a solid stream of curses, wishing that I'd thought to follow the van as soon as it left, but by now I knew I couldn't catch it. Then again, there might be something inside the house that would give me an idea where they'd taken her.

I hurried back to the green house where they'd been keeping Emily, but stopped short as I heard more talking. A couple of them were still there.

"Hurry up," one of the voices snapped. "I don't want the others to get too far ahead of us."

Then, another voice that I recognized spat back, "Shut up and let me finish locking my house. I don't want someone breaking in while I'm gone."

That nearly caused me to laugh, though I didn't stick around long enough to catch any more. I ran back to my car and started the engine, lighting a cigarette while waiting for them to come out. Fortunately, I only had to wait another minute before a second car pulled out of the driveway, then headed down the street in the same direction as the van.

After waiting a few more seconds, I followed behind them. I was careful to remain far enough back that they wouldn't see me too clearly, and hopefully wouldn't realize that they were being followed. At the same time, I silently wished that I had some of that James Bond shit like one of those freaky GPS tracking devices on their car. But I was strictly a low tech operation.

The car hit the main road and left the city, with me trailing some distance behind. Apparently they hadn't expected to be followed so weren't looking for a trail, or at least they never showed any sign that they'd noticed me. I followed them further and further away from the city, getting away from any of the real main roads and ending up in the middle of nowhere.

I had been following them for well over an hour when they finally pulled over, right next to the van. Then I pulled over as well, doing so a ways back, my headlights already off as they had been for the last couple miles to avoid notice. Fortunately the full moon had provided enough light for me to make my way with.

"Taking a girl to the middle of nowhere," I told myself grimly, "Not a good sign."

My gun was in hand as I made my way towards their vehicles, hoping that I wasn't too late for the girl. If it wasn't too late yet and I managed to get the drop on them all, she just might get out of it alive. I wasn't going to bother holding my breath though.

When I reached the car and the van, the cult members had already left them...and taken the girl. After I'd verified that she wasn't in the van, I started down the path that they had obviously gone down, pausing after only several steps.

"Damn," I gasped, seeing what looked like strip mine spread out before me.

There was a large crater, with obvious mounds of dirt spread around, mostly on the other side. And of course, there was the mandatory digging equipment and dump trucks. However, my attention was mostly drawn to the tents at the bottom which I could barely make out in the darkness. That was obviously where they were heading. Of course, the flashlights I saw down there might have given me a clue too.

I quickly scrambled down the path to the bottom of the crater, then ran to the cluster of tents. Then I listened intently, hearing voices talking a little distance away. A faint smile formed on my face as they told me exactly where they were, and then I carefully continued creeping towards them. My finger was feeling pretty comfortable on my trigger about that time.

Just to be on the safe side, I paused behind one tent and reached pulled out my cell phone. If things went bad, it would be good to have someone know where I was. However, that idea was quickly dashed as my cell was picking up no signal. That was the problem with being out in the middle of the boondocks. It looked like I really was on my own.

"I ain't getting paid enough for this," I grumbled, though I was far too stubborn to just give up now.

Taking a comforting glance at my gun, I started towards the voices again, but just as quickly paused as the area ahead of me suddenly exploded into light. I had to jump to the side of a tent in the hopes of not being noticed. A moment later, I peeked around towards the source of the light, letting out a loud gasp as I did so.

It was right against the side of the crater wall...or more accurately, right in it. And in daylight, it was probably completely hidden from where I'd come down the crater, both due to position and the tents which I now suspected where purposely blocking the sight. But at the moment, there were several lights spread around it...giving me a clear view.

"Oh man," I gasped.

Sticking right out of the crater wall was...a stone wall. It looked like the end of a marble building which had been unburied...and which obviously didn't match the surrounding ground. However, as I moved closer, I couldn't see any seams in the wall...as though it was all carved of a single piece. What I did see however, was the large open doorway, surrounded by some sort of strange symbols that I didn't recognize.

I took a long look at the doorway they were going through, pushing an obviously reluctant Emily. Once they had all gone inside, I muttered, "Weirdo cult freaks," and started towards the door behind them, my gun ready.

As soon as I stepped through the doorway, I barely managed to keep from gasping out again. There was a huge room...all made of the same marble as the outside wall, including the several large pillars. The most noticeable features of the room though was the huge statue of a man on the far end, and large throne on a platform just in front of it.

After giving the room a once over, I saw that all of the cult members that were at the house were gathered around, and all of them were now dressed in those black and red robes. The leader stood there with that twisted wooden staff of his, bowing down before the empty throne. A moment later, he stood up, gesturing to both the tied and gagged girl, and then at a stone table set out in front of the throne.

"We are here oh master," the leader called out loudly, his arms outstretched. "Here to do your bidding." Then he turned to the others and added in a loud, clear voice, "Tonight is the night that the stars are aligned. Tonight is the night that we free our god..."

A moment later, the other cult members started pushing Emily towards the stone table. It took a second longer for it to dawn on me that it wasn't just a table...it was an altar. Those freaks were going to do a human sacrifice thing. I'd been afraid of something like that.

Since I couldn't well let them cut her up...or whatever they were going to do, I decided that it was time to announce my presence. With that, I gave off a single warning shot, just enough to make them all turn towards me with looks of surprise that almost made the whole thing worth it.

"Don't make a move," I warned them, pointing the gun straight at the leader. "And drop that fucking stick." He gave me a glare that almost hinted that he could kill me with it, but did as I had told him.

"You know that you will die," he responded, saying it almost as though it was a fact rather than a threat. There was even the hint of a smirk on his face.

I just snorted at him, ordering them to back away from the girl and then going to her myself. While keeping my gun on them, I told the girl, "Run," gesturing towards the exit. Her feet weren't tied up and I figured that it would be a hell of a lot easier untying her hands and removing the gag when I didn't have to worry about these guys getting the drop on me. "I'll meet you up by their van..." She just nodded, then started to run.

The leader looked mad at this, though I noticed that he glanced at the statue, which struck me as a little odd. However, I figured that they were all freaks anyway so didn't give it much thought. I even told them not to bother following me as I backed out of the door, then turned and ran after the girl.

I was less than a quarter of the way back across the crater when I nearly stumbled over the girl. She'd tripped while running and was struggling to get back to her feet. Without a word, I helped her up, though none to gently.

Then I heard them again, running towards us. "There he is," one of the cult freaks yelled out.

"Get that girl back NOW," another voice came.

"Run," I urged the girl, giving her a shove to show how urgent this was.

Deciding that I had better discourage the bastards from following us, I let off a couple of shots in their direction. My shots were a little high though as I wasn't trying to hit them, just scare them back. However, to my surprise, I heard some more gunshots in return.

"Shit!" I exclaimed, not liking this turn of events. I'd thought that they were unarmed...except for those fireworks. And it was a mistake that could damn well prove lethal.

Several more shots were fired on both sides, with me no longer aiming high. Suddenly, Emily stopped her running, falling face first into the ground. And this time, I knew that it wasn't just because she tripped. I fired another shot, then ran to her side to check on her. Then just as I reached her side, a burning pain shot through my shoulder.

I let out a piercing scream, dropping my gun from the agonizing pain. As I grabbed for the injury, a single glance was enough to tell me that it hadn't hit anything vital. But in spite of what was shown in action movies, you didn't just shrug off a 'flesh wound' and keep fighting as though it wasn't there. I was finished, and knew it.

Just then, I heard the cult leader yelling out some nonsense...right before the sky exploded into light. The sudden brightness hurt my eyes, but was nothing compared to the pain in my shoulder. Still, the sight of a glowing ball of blue light just floating in the air above us all was enough to distract me from that pain...for a second.

An instant later, I was grabbed by two of the cultists, wincing in pain as they were rough on my shoulder. "Got the fucker," one of them snarled, pointing a gun straight into my face.

Then the man grabbing at the girl gasped, "She's...she's dead."

"WHAT?" the leader demanded furiously, pointing at him with that twisted staff of his.

"She's dead," the man repeated nervously, looking almost afraid. Actually, there was no almost to it. He was downright terrified. "One of the shots..." He gestured to the blood all over her back.

"What do we do now Kaspar?" another man asked, looking at their leader nervously.

Then the leader, who was apparently named Kaspar demanded, "Which of you fired the shots?" His voice was cold...deadly cold.

"It was an accident," the man with the gun to my head stammered, dropping the gun that was still in his hand. "I only meant to hit him..."

"Kezchen Nocazaar!" Kaspar snarled, pointing at him with the black staff.

An instant later, the man screamed out in pain, sounding as if he hurt a hell of a lot more than even I did. And after a second more, I didn't doubt that as I saw blood leaking from his eyes, nose, mouth and ears. His scream was cut off into a sick sounding gurgle, just before he collapsed motionless.

"Fuck," I gasped, wincing in pain as I did so.

"We needed her tonight," Kaspar snarled at the others. "TONIGHT! Corwin may have ruined EVERYTHING!" Then he muttered, "Our dark master will not be pleased."

"Should I whack him?" one of the other men asked as he picked up the gun and pointed it at me. I definitely didn't like that question.

But one of the others muttered, "Whack him? Who the hell talks like that?"

"Too many movies," added another.

"Quiet," Kaspar spat, giving me a glare that hinted that he could kill me with his very look. And after seeing what he'd done to that other freak, not to mention the ground at the house, I wasn't sure that he couldn't. "Bring him," he gestured to me, "He may help us fix that idiot's mistake and salvage this night."

I gasped out in pain...or maybe sort of yelled just a little bit when two of the cultists grabbed me by my arms and lifted me up. "Let me go you fucking psychos!" Then I added, "The cops'll be here any minute."

That made them stop for a moment, while I silently wished that I actually had managed to call the donut munchers. For the first time in my life, I was actually counting on those lazy bastards to come and help me. And I didn't like it one bit. Not one bit at all.

"He's lying," one of them said, though he sounded uncertain.

Kaspar didn't seem worried though and gestured for them to continue. "We must hurry."

Once again, I grunted in pain and struggled to get away as they started carrying me back towards that room. However, I was not only unarmed and outnumbered, but in a hell of a lot of pain from my gunshot wound and unable to do much. But at least I tried putting up a token struggle, which soothed my pride a little if nothing else.

Several minutes later though, I was brought back into that huge room and thrown unceremoniously onto the floor just before their altar. I tried my best not to show how afraid I was, though I wasn't sure that I succeeded all that well.

Suddenly, I felt something...something strange. Then I noticed that all of the freaks were bowing towards the throne, turning to look at it myself and letting out a loud gasp. There was an image there, a ghostly image that was slowly becoming more visible. It was a man...and not just any man. He looked identical to the statue that stood behind him. Well, with the exception of the fact that he was transparent.

The man was tall, probably 6 foot 6, and very athletic looking. He had slightly dark features and long black hair. He was wearing strange red clothes, with bits of black metal armor added to it. Then there were his eyes. They were dark...seemingly pure black.

"Where is the girl?" the strange man demanded in loud voice, though he gave every indication as though he was talking in a conversational tone. He glared at the group of bowing cult freaks, not looking happy in the least.

Kaspar looked extremely nervous as he got back up and responded. "Gone my lord Garavas." He took a deep breath, "She had an accident." Then at the hard look on Garavas' face, he rushed out, "But all is not lost..."

Garavas glared at him, "Explain."

All I could do was stare at this Garavas guy, wondering what the hell was going on. First there were all of these cult nuts, then the weird special effects, followed by the freaky temple. And now I was looking at a guy that I could see through. It was enough to make me wonder if I'd stumbled into the Twilight Zone.

"You said that you required a woman," Kaspar told the strange man on the throne somewhat nervously, "But not that specific one."

"You mean to acquire another," Garavas said in a calm voice that somehow sent shivers down my spine. He was obviously not pleased with that.

Kaspar nodded, then gave me a deadly look. "In a way my god...I mean to create one. You said that all you needed was a fertile womb..."

After a long minute that seemed to take forever, Garavas gave a smile. The kind of smile that a shark might give its prey before striking. "Very well," he sneered, his harsh eyes settling on me and making me want to cringe. I wasn't sure what was worse, the pain I was in...or the way that bastard was looking at me.

"Master?" Kaspar asked nervously while the other cultists cringed even closer to the ground.

I sneered, putting on as much of a tough guy act as I could considering my situation, "Damn freak show."

Then Garavas stood up stretching his arms out and exclaiming, "Soon I shall be free. Free of this accursed prison." He paused to glare around the room, seeming to talk more to himself than to me or his little pet freaks. "First I'll have my revenge on those fools who destroyed my body and sealed me in here. Then..." He gave something of a stock evil villain laugh, "I'll crush this pitiful humanity beneath my heels and remind the mortals of their proper place." His attention turned back to Kaspar and the other robed lunatics, "Just as you have learned it."

In spite of my pain, I managed to stand up...or at least get somewhat on my feet though I wasn't stable. However, I figured that if I didn't get that looked at soon, I'd probably fall over dead of blood loss. And since I didn't think that I was going to get that medical help soon, I was damn well going to at least bandage my wounded pride instead.

"Sounds to me like the first thing you should do is see a shrink," I sneered.

Before Garavas could even finish glaring at me, one of the robed loonies had grabbed me and slammed me back to the ground, growling into my ear, "Bow you fucking idiot. He's a god and you don't go pissing off a god. Especially not him."

Though Garavas seemed pissed at me, he made no move to leave the platform with the throne, or even have 'Guido and the boys' rough me up, which they seemed more than willing to do. Instead, he calmly announced, "Once I have a new body, I will reclaim my full power and make the world shudder at my name once again." Then he turned to me, giving me a cold look and a sneer as he added, "And you mortal, will give this to me."

"What?" I started, feeling extremely confused as well as scared. I didn't really know for sure what was going on, nor did I want to. But unfortunately, I had a strong suspicion that it had something to do with that altar, a knife and some human sacrifice.

Garavas didn't even look at me as he sat back down and calmly said, "Proceed."

Kaspar gave Garavas another bow, announcing, "As my god commands."

Suddenly, Kaspar faced me, holding his staff in the air. Though my every instinct was to get up and run, I realized that it would take most of my strength just to get back to my feet, which wouldn't leave much for the running part. Especially not when I was surrounded by freaks in robes. In my current condition, I might as well have tried breaking through the defense of the Chicago Bears.

"Naga traigoth," Kapsar announced in a loud voice, then continued spouting more of that gibberish.

All that I could do was standing there, nervously looking around, pleased at least that none of them seemed to be holding a knife. However, after seeing what had happened the last couple times old Kaspar had spouted gibberish, I figured that a knife would have been more comforting. Damn, I would have killed for my gun. Then again, that was what I wanted it for.

Just then, I felt a strange tingle run through my entire body. That was quickly followed by intense cramping which made it seem almost as though I had a charley horse in every muscle of my body at the same time. At this point, I lost any pretense of being able to stand on my own two feet and flopped around helplessly on the floor.

A moment later, I felt something else strange...perhaps even stranger. It was hard to explain, even to myself. The closest that I could come would be to that it was almost as if my very flesh had turned into clay and some invisible hands were starting to sculpt it...to reshape it. This part didn't quite hurt, but it was uncomfortable, not to mention extremely freaky. I couldn't help letting out a scream...a scream that slowly got higher in pitch, almost like someone was squeezing my balls or something.

A thousand strange sensations hit my body at once, though fortunately the cramping ones were quickly fading away. Hell, even the pain from the gunshot had completely vanished. Instead, it felt like my bones were moving around, not to mention everything else, though I couldn't quite make out exactly how. It was too overwhelming.

When it finally ended, I remained where I was on the floor, too confused to do anything but gasp. My whole body was no longer hurting, but it still felt incredibly odd. I felt all swollen and stuff, though for the most part, everything just felt...wrong.

Then I sat up and saw that all of the cult freaks were looking at me with impressed expressions, a few even grinning smugly. Kaspar and the freak on the throne looked especially pleased with themselves. For some reason, that didn't exactly make me feel any better about this. Not in the least.

"You fuckers..." I started, then froze as my voice sounded alien to my own ears.

Garavas gave a nod, then before I could even think of what to do, the cult freaks were yanking me to my feet...and then tearing at my clothes. I struggled, but even though I no longer felt hurt from the gunshot, it didn't do any good at all. They outnumbered me and stripped me naked with little problem. It was only then that I see what it was that they had done to me. What all of those weird feelings had been about.

I let nearly let out a scream, though somehow managed to retain enough self-control to keep from doing that. Instead, I gasped, "What the fuck did you do?"

My arms were being held tightly, keeping me from moving. But my head was free enough to look down, to see the pair of TITS on my chest. A quick glance over my naked body revealed that it wasn't mine at all. It was a chick's body. I'd somehow been turned into a woman. It wasn't possible...not by a longshot, but that was exactly what I was looking at.

Kaspar let out a low laugh, and not a pleasant one either. Then he gestured to the others, "Now...let us free our god..."

An instant later, I was picked up and thrown across the stone table...the altar. And as they held me tight, thoughts of being a human sacrifice once again ran through my mind. I yelled and screamed at them, struggling as hard as I could to no effect. One of them held each of my arms down, while others grabbed at my legs.

But as terrified as I already was, that was absolutely nothing compared to the horror I felt as I saw one of my captors pulling open his robes and dropping his pants. As the realization hit me, I started screaming and fighting twice as hard as before, though it got me nowhere...except a hard slap across my face and a wad of cloth in my mouth. However, that was absolutely nothing compared to what came next.

The man...the monster came inside of me. I tried to scream through the gag...I tried to fight. But I could do nothing. Tears burned in my eyes, while rage and humiliation both burned in my heart. The physical pain was nothing compared to the rest. When he was finished, I thought that it would end. But it didn't. Several of the other's took their turns as well. Finally, they seemed to be done with me, letting go of my arms and standing back.

With tears of shame pouring down my eyes, I fearfully looked around the room, absently noticing that Garavas had disappeared sometime during my...ordeal. But that wasn't really important. After what had just happened...nothing would ever be the same again. I was a man... This kind of thing was NEVER supposed to happen... My hands clenched in helpless rage and all I could do was curl into a ball on the altar..crying like the woman I now appeared to be.

The Destroyer
part 2 of 3
By Morpheus

The room was a moderate sized bedroom with an attached bathroom. It had all of the necessities for a guest bedroom, but little more. There was a dresser, a chair in the corner and of course, the bed. The bed that I was currently curled up in the middle of, wrapped tightly in a blanket while I tried to keep from shivering.

I tried as hard as I could not to think of the events from the night before, but that was like trying not to think of an elephant. That just guaranteed that it would be the very thing that you thought of. But in spite of that irony, I kept trying not to think of it.

After the...incident. Hell, I might as well face facts. After the rape...my rape, the freaks had taken me out of their temple. And while I was helplessly being loaded into their van, I had only barely been aware of my surroundings, being too freaked out of my mind for that.

However, I had been pulled out of my stupor when one of them had set off some explosives. Half of the crater seemed to explode, right where the temple was...or at least had been. After seeing that explosion, and the way the crater collapsed on that side, I didn't think that the temple was still there. But their blowing up their own temple was more than a little surprising.

"Now our god's prison is destroyed," Kaspar had laughed, "and soon his freedom will be complete."

A short while later, I had been brought back to the house where I had first found them with the girl, and then thrown into the bedroom. The bedroom where I had remained ever since. This time...I was the prisoner. But that was the least part of my problems.

"Impossible...," whispered to myself in a shaky voice, not for the first time either.

I was a tough as nails dick...but at the moment I was more terrified than I'd ever been before in my life. Terrified, confused, and shaken up to my very core. My whole world had just been torn out from under me, everything that I'd held to be true and all of my confidence. Not only had my very body been transformed, but I had been brutalized...violated in a way that no human should ever have to suffer. And as strong as I had always thought myself to be...I wasn't sure that I was tough enough to survive this.

Finally, old man nature decided that it was time for me to get my ass out of the bed. I grunted as I dropped the blanket and made my way to the small bathroom, completely naked. At the same time, I was very careful not to look down at myself, not to see what had been done to my body, as if by denying it I could pretend that it hadn't happened. However, as I stood in front of the toilet to take a leak, I realized that it was time to face facts.

"Fucking freaks," I spat as I sat down to do my business. I swore to myself that if I ever got my hands on those bastards...those monsters, that I'd cut their balls off with a steak knife. No...that I'd nail their testicles to a stump and set it on fire...leaving them the steak knives to do the job themselves. But even that wouldn't be enough for what they had done to me. "Damn it..."

Once I'd finished doing my business, I had to wipe myself dry, having made a bit of a mess. I grimaced as I did so since I was still extremely tender down there from what they had done. It was the first time that I had actually looked at it since my transformation, and tears ran down my cheeks as I did so. I was torn between screaming in rage or curling up and sobbing.

Instead though, I did neither. At least not at the moment. I carefully avoided looking at the mirror as I left the bathroom, refusing to face what I knew had happened to me. With a grimace, I made my way to the door and carefully tried the handle. As expected, the door was locked. And when I listened, I could even hear someone on the other side. They'd not only locked me in, but left a guard as well.

"Not quite as stupid as I thought," I muttered to myself as I made my way back to the bed.

As I sat there, once again wrapped up in the blanket, I couldn't help thinking over my situation. Actually, it was about the only thing that I could think about. And I still had no idea why. Why they had changed me into a chick...not to mention how. Hell, I didn't even know why they were keeping me prisoner...especially since if they had wanted to get rid of me, it would have been a lot easier to knock me off. Though at the moment, I was almost beginning to wish that they had.

I had no idea just how long I was on the bed, curled up not only in the blanked but my self-pity. However, that ended...at least the being wrapped in a blanket part, when I was suddenly hit by a wave of nausea. I barely managed to get to the toilet before emptying my stomach into it.

"Just perfect," I spat bitterly, "Now I'm sick on top of the rest of this shit."

After I had finished my short bout of vomiting, I felt better for the next couple hours. But then I was hit with another quick wave of nausea and stomach emptying. That was quite a feat too since my stomach was completely empty. Though there was no clock to tell me what time it was, I figured that it had probably been close to 24 hours since I'd last had a bite to eat.

Though my empty stomach and the hunger that came with it were currently the least of my problems, they were beginning to become more noticeable. Still, I would be damned before I knocked on the door and asked my 'hosts' to get me something to eat. I grimaced at the very thought, knowing that I'd much rather starve to death before giving them that kind of satisfaction.

Eventually, the door started to open, just giving me time enough to pull the blanket tightly about me before someone came in. I automatically cringed back in fear, suddenly filled with the memory of my being violated. What if they were going to do it again? I shuddered where I was on the bed, ashamed of myself at the same time for my actions...and inaction.

A moment later, a man stepped inside of the room while another one stood by the door. But I only recognized one of them so it was obvious that the group I'd followed to the temple weren't the only members of their freak show. That just made it even worse though as I no longer had any idea how many of them there might be.

Without a word, the one I didn't recognize set a tray filled with food on the small table beside the bed. Then he tossed a bundle of red clothes on the bed before turning to leave. I didn't say a word, silently thankful that he was gone...and at the same time, cursing myself for not taking advantage of a possible opportunity for escape, or at least to learn more about my situation.

Not being one to cry over spilled milk, or at least I'd never thought of myself as the type, I focused my attention on more important matters. Like diving into the food since I was close to starving. Fortunately, they'd left quite a bit of it on the plate, and decent food at that. It was gone before I bothered taking the time to look at the clothes they'd left me, which turned out to be a jogging suit.

"Better than nothing," I sighed before I started to put it on.

However, as I stood there about to pull the pants up, I couldn't help but catching a good look at my body as I looked down. That made me pause for a minute, then sneer in annoyance. I couldn't believe that I was being such a chicken shit about looking at myself.

"Face it like a man," I ordered myself, realizing at the same time just how ironic that statement was.

Still, I braced myself and then took another, deeper look at myself, I figured that I had better get it over with since I didn't know how long I'd be stuck looking like a blasted chick. From what I could see, my body wasn't too bad. Not for a chick at least. A nice slender body, with smooth skin and pretty decent curves. My new tits were just a little more than a handful. If they'd actually been on a real woman, I would have said that they weren't too small or too big. However, that was just a look at my body.

"Damn," I spat out, feeling a mixture of feelings at my self-examination. Shock and disbelief for a couple, though there was a large helping of both humiliation and anger and well.

A moment later, I was back in the bathroom and staring at myself in the mirror. I hadn't wanted to look, but it was something that I needed to do. I sure as hell wasn't going to get out of my situation by ignoring it...no matter how painful it was to face.

The woman in the mirror wasn't bad looking, not at all. She wasn't no super model, but she was still a bit of a looker. There was a bit of that girl next door thing to her, though she also had a harder edge to her appearance, not the soft and innocent look that might have otherwise been expected. But the look was mostly in her eyes. In my eyes. Her hair was just a little longer than shoulder length and just a slightly lighter shade of reddish brown than my own had been.

"Wait a minute," I mused as I realized that she looked familiar. Hell, she looked pretty damn familiar. She looked quite similar to what I normally did, minus the frequent beard stubble. There were even the same gray eyes and the light scar on my forehead from a childhood accident. In fact, it was almost like looking at the twin sister I didn't have. "Weird."

It appeared that I hadn't just been turned into any girl. I'd only been turned into a girl version of myself. That gave me a faint sense of relief...very faint. But it also let me suspect that my fingerprints would probably be the same as normal as well. Though they wouldn't do much good at the moment, they might prove useful later on in helping me prove my case.

"If I survive," I told myself grimly.

With that, I went back for the clothes and then made a careful search around the room. I figured that I probably should have tried that earlier, but had been too out of it to even think of it. However, now I realized that it might be necessary for my very life. After all, I sure as hell couldn't count on the doughboys in blue to come to my aid.

Once I was finished with my look around though, I wasn't quite as hopeful as I had started out. Then again, I hadn't had too much hope to begin with so that wasn't a very good thing. There was no window so I couldn't slip out that way, and the door was locked again. Hell, I couldn't even find anything that I could use as a weapon.

There was no clock and no window to show light through. Because of that, I had no idea of what time it was when I finally went to bed. I think that it was more out of boredom than anything else...though I had a very difficult time falling asleep. And when I did, it was filled with strange...horrible dreams.

Again, when I woke up, I had no idea what time it was or even how long I'd been asleep. However, there was no doubt that it wasn't nearly long enough. I groaned as I crawled out of the bed, trying to shake off the memory of the nightmare I had just broken free from. Free from one nightmare just end up back in another, and one which was a lot more difficult to escape from at that.

I was a little surprised though to find a new tray full of food sitting beside the bed though. Obviously they weren't going to let me starve, which was some small consolation. With a grunt, I ate my 'breakfast' and then reluctantly went to the bathroom to do my morning business...as well as empty part of my stomach again.

"Just great," I grumbled, annoyed that I was still puking.

After a stream of curses, I looked down at myself, scowling deeply as I did so. Then I glanced over at the shower stall, realizing that it had been awhile since I'd taken a shower. And at the moment, I was feeling pretty dirty. Especially when I thought about what they'd done to me. A shudder of rage and self-pity shot through me at the memory.

A minute later, I was in the shower and bracing myself against the spray, the water as hot as I could possibly stand it. I scrubbed at myself so hard that it almost felt like my skin was going to come off...but that only encouraged me to scrub all the harder. Tears ran down my cheeks as I cleaned myself...or at least tried to clean myself. It was as if I could possibly clean the horror of what was done to me away with the dirt. I knew that it was silly...but it was how I felt.

When I was finished, I felt a little better, though not much. I didn't think that I'd ever be clean of what they'd done to me. The tears had stopped, but I was angry at myself for ever letting them come in the first place. Hell, I had barely been a chick for a couple days and I was already crying like a little girl. It was pretty damn embarrassing.

Eventually, the door opened again and the same guy from the day before came in with another tray of food and what looked like a change of clothes. From the way he was watching me, I figured that he expected me to attack him or make a bolt for the door. Not that it would do much good since there was someone else standing by the door, and I could see that had a gun on him.

"Why are you doing this to me?" I demanded, desperate to get some answers.

Then, remembering that I currently looked like a chick, I tried to give my best pathetic look so that he'd feel more sympathetic. It wasn't hard to be pathetic considering my situation. His expression softened slightly, just enough to let me know that it might be working a little.

"Because you got the other girl killed," the man responded with a snort, giving me a glare as if to suggest that the whole thing was my fault. That just made me angrier, though I tried my best to hide it at the moment. "Since we couldn't use her...we had to use you."

"Please let me go," I begged, not having to force the tears that started coming to my eyes. "I won't tell anyone..."

"I don't think so," he shook his head firmly, "and don't bother trying again." He gave me a steady look, "Trust me, you don't want to piss off Mr. Kaspar and you sure as hell don't want to mess with Garavas." The man gave a visible shudder at that.

I just glared at him, sitting up straighter and fighting back the urge to deck him one and try running. That wasn't going to work right now and I knew well enough to bide my time. To wait until I had a better chance of getting out of there.

With a snort, I spat, "I don't think you have to worry about that freak Garavas. Your buddies blew up him and his little house."

For a moment, the man just stared at me with a look of surprise, then to my surprise, he started to laugh. "You don't know?" Then he shook his head, "Master Garavas wasn't in that place when they blew it." At my blank look, he smirked, "He's in YOU."

"Huh?" I responded in confusion.

The guard at the door chuckled at that, "What he means girlie, is that our god needed a new body to get out of his prison."

"And now he has one," the guy closer to me grinned, leaning over and patting me on the stomach, "once he's reborn from your womb that is."

All I could do was gasp, "What?" half sure that I'd misheard him.

He just grinned smugly as he started to back away, "You're pregnant girlie. And you should feel honored. You're going to give birth to a god." With that, he slipped out the door and it slammed shut.

For a long moment, I just started at the door...glared at it actually. I couldn't believe what I'd just heard, knowing that he had to be out of his fucking mind. I'd seen crazies on the streets who'd made more sense than that. Hell, even my last tax return had made more sense than that. But at the same time, I had a dreadful feeling that there was something to what he'd said.

"No fucking way," I whispered, trying not to believe a word of it.

That Garavas freak wasn't no god. Hell, he wasn't anything more than a ghost. But then again, after what I'd already seen...after what had been done to my body, I wasn't sure what to believe anymore. Maybe he really was a god. There sure as hell had been something strange about him...something powerful. And that wasn't even taking into account the Casper routine.

Finally, I stood up and looked down at my stomach where he'd touched me. I grimaced at the thought, feeling dirty just from that touch. Was it my imagination, or was my stomach actually a bit bigger than it was the day before? A shiver ran down my spine at the very consideration that there might be something to that.

And after nearly a minute of staring, I was almost sure that it was bigger. A loud scream followed that realization, and I was almost sure that I heard some laughing from the other side of the door.

---------------------

It was late the next day, or at least I thought it was, and I had spent most of my time in self-pity mode. It wasn't something that I wanted to do, or even something that I was proud of. Hell, I was ashamed as hell of what I was feeling, but that only added to my misery. My whole life and reality had been torn out from under me, and I wasn't handling the latest bit about being pregnant to boot very well.

And in that time, I had undoubtedly gotten bigger. It was like my stomach was just swelling out, not so that I'd notice it at the time, but so that it was definitely larger than before. I was stunned at that, not to mention confused as hell. There was no way that a girl could get knocked up and then be showing it just a couple days later. But I was showing, of that there was no doubt. It was like I was a couple months pregnant, not just a couple days.

The only good thing that I could think of...besides my still being alive in the first place, was that my puking had stopped. Actually, by now it was pretty obvious that it was some kind of morning sickness, but I preferred to think of it as the flu. After all, with the flu you just had to give it a couple days and it would all go away. I hoped that this would be the same, and I didn't mean the puking part. However, I knew otherwise. Nothing would ever be the same again.

I had seen people a couple more times when they brought me food and clean jogging suits, but we hadn't talked. I wasn't exactly in a talkative mood, nor were they, except perhaps to give me a few insults or comment about how 'honored' I should feel to be giving birth to their god. More of their cult bullshit.

Then it happened. He came. The door opened, but instead of being one of the guards with food, it was that Kaspar guy. This time though, instead of those robes he'd been wearing before, he was in a nice gray suit, making him look a lot more normal. However, the effect was somewhat ruined by the fact that he was still holding that weird staff.

"Aw," Kaspar mused as he stood at the door staring at me, "I see that things are proceeding well."

"Fuck you," I spat at him, not bothering to move from the bed. However, my hands were clenched into fists, having done so by pure instinct.

Kaspar gave a tolerant smile, the kind that you'd give a little kid who didn't know better. That just made me angrier, but there was nothing I could do at the moment. So I bit my tongue and glared at him as if my eyes were a pair of glock pistols.

"Feisty," he mused to himself, "Perhaps appropriate for the mother of a god."

A moment later, Kaspar said some gobbelty gook words and I was startled to find that I couldn't move. It was like my muscles were all numb with Novocain or something. Then he came over to me and pulled my jogging suit top up a little, putting his hand on my bare stomach. He waited patiently for a moment, a strange thoughtful look on his face. I really wanted to deck him.

"Faster than normal," Kaspar muttered, "though slower than I had expected."

"How soon?" the guard by the door asked hopefully.

A second man by the door eagerly asked, "When will Lord Garavas be reborn?"

"The pregnancy proceeds about a month per day...," Kaspar told him with a gleam in his eye. "In less than a week...our god will regain his full powers. Then...the world will shudder with fear and the weak will be crushed beneath his heel."

Kaspar backed away from me, looking strangely satisfied. He gave me another look, scowling slightly as he did so before leaving the room. It took nearly another minute after that before the numbness wore off and I was able to move again.

"Fuck," I snarled, running up and kicking the door. Then I let out a long string of curses, using up every profanity that I knew, even the ones that weren't in English. It seemed appropriate that the first words you almost always learned in another language were the dirty ones.

Once I'd exhausted my supply of swear words, I used them all again just to be sure and then collapsed on the bed in a fit of fury. However, that quickly shifted back to self-pity and depression. I didn't know if that was because of those mood swings I'd heard that pregnant women suffer, nor at the moment did I really care.

Sometime later, I wasn't sure if it was the same day or the next, but I finally climbed off of the bed. Since there was nothing to do in the bedroom, I made my way to the door and tried it once again in the vague half hope that Kaspar had left it unlocked when he'd left. Of course, as crazy as those freaks were, they were smart enough to lock a door behind themselves.

But as I stood by the door, I could hear something on the other side of it. A couple of men were talking, so I pressed my ear against the door to see if I could make anything out.

"I still don't see why we have to use my house," one of the men complained. I recognized his voice as being the man who owned the place. "I mean if the cops..."

"Like the cops are going to matter," the other man told him. "By next week, they won't be able to touch us. Not once Garavas is reborn."

"I know, I know," the house owner sighed, "As his loyal followers, we'll be spared his wrath. We'll even be rewarded..."

I grunted faintly, but continued to listen carefully as the one described how he expected to have his own harem of sexy women when it was all over. But that only led into talk about what they expected once Garavas reclaimed his power, or whatever happened. It sounded like they expected him to single handedly destroy over half the world...then enslave the rest.

"Damn cult freaks," I muttered to myself, definitely not liking the sound of what they were saying. I'd already started to believe that maybe there was something to that Garavas ghost being a god. Now I was wishing that I didn't. Ignorance is bliss and all that. I didn't want to buy into their crap, but it didn't seem that I had been given much choice. I'd seen way too many freaky things.

"I still think it's funny that they found the temple by accident," one of the man chuckled. "I mean, just stumbling across it while mining..."

"It was no accident," the other one stated firmly. "It was the will of Garavas."

"But Mr. Kaspar said he didn't have any power outside the temple yet," the first corrected him.

The second man wasn't going to have any of that and told him, "He is a god. He can do whatever he wants." That seemed to settle that point as far as they were concerned.

A moment later though, the house owner said, "Yeah, but Mr. Kaspar showed up right away and knew that Lord Garavas was inside. I mean, I wonder where he found out about him..."

I continued listening for a little longer, but their conversation turned to meaningless drivel and I lost interest. However, I had learned a few things about what was going on, though I wasn't sure exactly how much of it to take at face value. Still, it was a bit to think about.

--------------------

I was on my fourth day of pregnancy and I definitely looked 4 months pregnant. My stomach was pushing out noticeably now and was making me more and more uncomfortable with every minute. However, the physical discomfort from it was only the smallest part.

The night before, I had not been able to sleep very well at all. I'd even woken up screaming from a nightmare. A nightmare where a monster had ripped right out of my guts like in the Alien movie, and then turned into Godzilla and started stomping through the city, killing everyone in sight. I hadn't been able to get back to sleep after that, nor had I really wanted to.

Ever since I'd heard those bastards talking about Garavas and what he was going to do, I had been filled with horrible thoughts about it. It was like living a waking nightmare, though I had already been doing that anyway. But what was worse than knowing what he was going to do when he came back, was the fact that I was going to make it happen. That he was going to use me to destroy the world.

My emotional state had already been a bit...fragile since what had happened to me, but these latest developments had only made things worse. I couldn't get my mind off of what they'd done to me in the temple...and what I was going to be responsible for. Guilt, rage and despair ran rampant through me, and my self-pity graduated into self-loathing.

At the moment, I was sitting naked on the bed, knowing that the guards probably wouldn't be there anytime soon since they'd already brought me food about an hour earlier. I had just finished examining my changed body, staring at it with horror and shame. My swollen stomach was the worst part, reminding me what was inside. That freak show Garavas, who was going to total the world. I no longer doubted that.

"I've got tits," I grumbled as I grabbed mine and squeezed gently. It was a strange sensation, though I had just begun to get used to their constant weight. Still, they were a far cry from being comfortable just yet.

With a shudder, I climbed off of the bed and moved to the bathroom, staring into the mirror with a sinking feeling. My eyes were red and puffy, sure signs of the fact that I'd been bawling my head off like a little crybaby. I hadn't been able to help myself, and that only made me feel even more ashamed. If that was possible.

I splashed cold water on my face and tried to clean myself, then I started to snoop around the medicine cabinet and the cupboard under the sink. I'd already given a quick look through them, but at the moment it seemed a better way to occupy my time than just crying. There were a few things that had probably been left by a previous occupant of the guest room, probably a willing one at that. There was tooth paste, a tooth brush, dental floss, and a shaving razor with a can of foam to go with it.

"Like I really need that anymore," I spat bitterly, at the same time remembering that girls usually had to shave their legs instead of their faces. "I don't think so," I muttered grimly, running a hand down mine and being slightly startled to realize that they were still perfectly smooth. I guessed a real girl would have been pretty happy at that, but I didn't particularly care. Somehow, I didn't think that I'd live very long once Garavas was born. Or that if I did, I'd probably soon regret it. Hell, I was already regretting it.

Just then, stared at the shaving razor again, shaking slightly as I realized that it was my chance. My once chance out of this. I was ashamed of what I was doing, even as I did it. However, I didn't think that I had any choice. I was so filled with self-loathing and despair that it seemed the only thing I could do to end it.

A moment later, I'd pulled the razor out of the handle and held it in my shaking hand. I grimaced, tears running down my cheeks as I slowly moved it towards my wrist. Again, I paused for a moment, taking several deep breaths before taking a single motion to push the blade in and yank it in a long slash.

"Damn!" I spat out as the sharp pain hit my wrist, the tears burning in my eyes even more.

I sat down on the edge of the toilet, shifting the blade to my other hand so that I could get my other wrist as well. That way I could make sure that I finished the job. However, it took me several seconds to realize that there was something wrong. The blood wasn't coming. Sure, there was a little bit of it around the cut, but barely any more than if it had just been a scratch.

"What?" I demanded in surprise, even more shocked as the cut itself started to close up again. Right before my eyes, the skin resealed, the only sign that it had ever even been there was light smears of blood against my skin. "How...?"

Then someone started laughing and I snapped around, only to see Kaspar standing at the bathroom doorway. He was watching me with a smirk on his face, not even bothering to gesture that damn stick of his at me. Instead, he just gave me that damn superior look of his that made me want to knock his teeth out.

"You and Lord Garavas are bound together," Kaspar laughed smugly. "He requires your body for nourishment and protection while he is still helpless. Because of that, his power will not allow your body to come to any harm. Even from your own hands."

All I could do was stare at Kaspar in horror for a moment, then down at my own naked stomach and obscenely swollen stomach. Then with a scream I slashed at him with the blade that was still in my hands, surprising myself as I actually caught him on the arm. But just barely. He'd jumped back fast enough to avoid my getting him too deep.

"Insolent bitch!" Kaspar howled in pain as he lashed out with the staff and hit me with it alongside my neck. As I collapsed to the ground in pain, he hit me with it several more times, then calmly picked the razor blade up and stepped back. "Be thankful that you are currently under my god's protection."

With that, Kaspar turned and left me sprawled on the bathroom floor. I could hear the door to my prison being slammed shut again and could even imagine hearing the sounds of the lock turning. I was once again alone in my little room. And for that I was thankful.

"Damn," I winced as I sat back up, noticing that the pain and what bruises there probably would have been were already quickly fading.

Then I paused as I noticed the drips of blood on the bathroom floor. The blood that wasn't mine. And for the first time since I'd found that fucking freak show temple...I smiled. I'd hurt him. I'd actually hurt that Kaspar freak...and it felt pretty damn good.

The Destroyer
part 3 of 3
By Morpheus

I was feeling pretty antsy as I paced back and forth in my little room, or at least as much as I was able to considering my condition. I had been a prisoner for about a week and was probably around 8 months pregnant and showing it. My stomach stuck out obscenely, looking...not to mention feeling as though I'd swallowed a damn pumpkin.

"Being knocked up sucks," I told myself, not for the first...or even the hundredth time.

My whole body felt wrong enough as it was, but this being pregnant had only made it even worse. For one thing, the weight on my stomach was a bit uncomfortable, not to mention being a bit more awkward than a good healthy beer belly. Hell, moving around at all was a bit more difficult, and I was having to piss a lot more than normal. Even my tits were swelling up and becoming more tender. But at least I wasn't having any inexplicable cravings for pickles and ice cream.

"I'd kill for a smoke," I muttered as I sat down on the edge of the bed, glaring at the door in frustration.

Several minutes later, the door started to open up again. "Feeding time at the zoo," I snorted, standing up as the guard came in.

They changed the guard fairly frequently, but this time it was one of the men who'd been there at the temple. But more than that, he was one of the bastards who'd raped me. The sight of him filled me with fear, self-loathing and disgust. Yet at the same time, there was a cold rage, though I could do nothing about it. Not yet.

"Don't worry," he told me with a sneer, "I don't think that you'll be here much longer..."

Then, just as he moved to set the tray down, there was a sudden explosion from somewhere outside. At least it was a loud boom that sure as hell sounded like an explosion to me. The noise startled me, but I wasn't the only one. When my guard snapped around in the direction of the noise...I saw my chance.

"Asshole," I spat, already slamming the tray of food into his face...and my knee into his groin.

As expected, the freak went down, though I didn't take the time to enjoy it. Instead, my hands were still on the tray and I was already moving forward and slamming that right into the other guard's throat. I might not be able to move fast in my condition, but I was fast enough to catch him while he was distracted. He fell backwards, his hands going for his throat.

I gave a satisfied grin at his gasp of pain, then snatched his gun before he realized what I was doing. Then as he started to regain some awareness, I punched him as hard as I could in his nose, which wasn't as hard as I used to be able to. However, it was enough to make a nice crunching sound and plenty of blood. He screamed...or sort of gurgled in pain while I pushed past him, the gun firmly in hand.

"Stop!" the first man called out, already back on his feet and coming towards me, though I could tell that he was still in some pain.

There was almost no hesitation before I pulled the trigger, a spurt of red appearing in the middle of his body just before he collapsed to the ground. I didn't know if he was still alive or not, nor did I plan on checking. The important thing was that he wasn't going to get in my way again...though I did sort of hope that he was still alive...just so that he could die slow and painfully.

"Your turn," I commented as I shot the other guard, this time in the thigh. He hadn't been in the temple, but I sure as hell wasn't going to let him stop me from getting away.

I hurried down the hall as fast as I could, which admittedly wasn't very fast considering my condition. Hell, it was closer to wobbling than running, but it was the best I could do at the moment. Fortunately, the firepower in my hand would make up for my lack of speed.

"Fucking freak baby," I spat as I glared down at my swollen belly.

I'd never cared about that whole right to life, right to choose thing until it hit me so personally. And I had to say, the word 'abortion' had never sounded so nice. Unfortunately, I kind of figured that it was a little late for something like that. Not when I'd probably give birth to the thing that would destroy the world in the next day or so.

"And it'll probably hurt like a son of a bitch," I growled, trying not to think about it. My first priority was to get my ass away from the freak show.

Just then, there was another explosion, this one sounding much closer. My finger tightened comfortingly on the gun trigger, but not enough to fire it. I looked around nervously, not seeing anyone else yet. Somehow, those explosions...or whatever the hell they were, didn't sit right with me. I already had plenty of trouble on my plate and didn't need a second helping.

I turned the corner, nearly running face to face with another one of the cultists. Without needing to think about it, I sent my fist into his solar plexus, though apparently not hard enough to knock the wind out of him like I'd intended. However, that was all right because as soon as he started to recover and swing at me, he found a gun in his face.

"Go ahead," I couldn't resist saying, "make my day..."

I had to admit some disappointment when the cultist turned out to be a little smarter than I'd thought, or a little less fanatical since he slowly held his hands up. I frowned slightly at that, having really been looking forward to an excuse that would let me give him a third eye. But business before pleasure so I gestured for my new hostage to move down the hall in front of me. If nothing else, he'd make a damn nice bullet catcher.

As we went down the stairs to the main floor, I heard another explosion, as well as gun shots and some screams. With every step, I was debating more and more about whether I should continue getting my ass out of there as fast as I could, or find some nice safe corner and bunk down until everything was over. However, I'd been locked up in that house long enough as it was and was eager to get my ass out of their as fast as I could.

"You know," my hostage said, "you can't escape your destiny..." His voice sounded nervous, even afraid, but I had the feeling that it wasn't from the gun I had in his back.

Ignoring his religious babble, I demanded, "What the fuck is going on around here?" I looked around nervously, definitely not liking the sounds I'd been hearing.

"I...I do not know," he answered, turning to face me. "I was going to find out when you stopped me." He gave me a look as if suggesting that I was responsible for what was going on, or at least knew all about it.

Then the man gave me a determined look before holding out his hands, "I can not allow you to go any further. You carry our Lord Garavas and must remain among his faithful..."

"Move it," I order, gesturing with the gun, but he refused to budge, insisting on blocking my way. I kind of got the impression that he was expecting to be some kind of martyr or something. Just my luck. I get a hostage who wants to die for his cause.

Without warning, another one of the cult freaks suddenly jumped around the corner and started shooting at us. My hostage caught at least one of them in the back, possibly two. And I had the feeling that as soon as the shooting started, he was actually trying to protect me from it. Fat lot of good that did though as one bullet caught me in the thigh and knocked me to the ground.

"Oh shit!" the man who'd just shot at us exclaimed, a look of horror and disbelief on his face. "Malcolm... I didn't mean... I thought..." Then he looked at me again and the look of horror on his face grew even worse, apparently having thought that we were someone else.

For my part, I was just staring at the man in horror, recognizing him from the temple. Another surge of anger bubbled to the surface as I glared at one of the men who had raped me. Raped me...and now shot me. Saying that I was pissed would be an understatement.

I didn't say a word as I quickly aimed the gun, not giving off some clever quip or comment about him getting what he deserved. Instead, I just pulled the trigger, a splatter or red appearing in his crotch as he collapsed to the ground, screaming in unbelievable pain. I just smiled at that, knocked the gun out of his hand and then kicked him in the face.

"Dickless bastard," I sneered, as I stood up and started to stagger away. My leg was still hurting from where he'd shot me, but not nearly as much as I would have expected. That just reminded me of the trick with the razor blade and Kaspar's comments about that Garavas guy healing me. "Now where's that door..."

Before leaving dickless behind, I took his gun, feeling a bit better now that I was armed with two of them. Then I started towards the doorway, hoping that I could avoid any more trouble. My luck had been good so far...at least during my escape, but I'd never been one to count on luck. As I always say, luck and a 45 will get you a lot further than luck alone.

Just as the front door was within easy sight, another man suddenly burst through it. However, unlike most of the cult freaks, he was holding a wooden staff, sort of like Kaspar's. Then I recognize him, remembering him as one of the three who had warned me away that first night.

The man grimaced, his staff already aimed at me as he cried out, "Akvel Vraidis..."

Though I tried shooting him, I wasn't fast enough before flash of blue shot out of the end of the staff...missing me by nearly a foot. An instantaneous flash of relief shot through me, just as I was about to pump him full of lead. But then I heard the screaming from behind me and snapped around.

"What the fuck?" I gasped, seeing one of the cult freaks standing there with a gun pointed at me...and glowing blue. There was a look of intense agony on his face before he collapsed to the ground.

I snapped back to the guy with the staff, startled by what had just happened and having the feeling that he hadn't just missed me. Then it dawned on me. This guy had to be one of the attackers making all of the explosions. I had no idea if this was some kind of cult civil war, or maybe one cult trying to move into another's territory. Nor did I particularly care at the moment.

"Oh shit," I cursed as I tore off down the hall before he could get a chance to catch me too. I was surprisingly fast for a pregnant chick with a bullet in her leg, but desperation does amazing things. Of course, a couple shots fired in his general direction discouraged him from following me.

I barely heard him yell out, "Wait," behind me, as if that would actually make me surrender and be a good little brood mare.

"So many crazies," I muttered to myself, "so few bullets..." I just hoped that I still had enough to do the job.

With a grimace, and a careful grip on my guns, I staggered towards another exit, glancing around nervously with each loud noise that I heard in the distance. A minute later, I was heading out one of the side doors of the house, sighing faintly in relief. However, I wasn't about to make the mistake of letting my guard down. Not when I was still in enemy territory.

Suddenly I heard a voice call out, "Traitor!"

I quickly moved to where I could see two men facing each other from a distance, making me instantly think of gunfighters waiting for high noon in the old west. Both were holding wooden staffs which helped give that impression. One of those men was Kaspar, dressed in some of those robes again. And while the other man was less familiar, I recognized him as the bald man from the first night who'd warned me away.

"You are mad to unleash the destroyer," the bald man snarled at Kaspar, holding his staff ready.

"Not mad," Kaspar snarled back, "determined. Mankind is unfit to rule itself. Garavas will do much better...with my help."

The bald man looked horrified, "Garavas will destroy the world."

Kaspar just shrugged at that, as if it wasn't important. "That may be."

"You're MAD!" the bald man called out furiously.

"I thought that we had already clarified that," Kaspar yelled back, just an instant before he called out, "Agazaar Kai," sending a huge ball of fire flying straight at baldy.

Kojak there just yelled out something himself, and the fizzled out before getting to him, like cheap fireworks. He wasn't done though and shouted something else, sending what looked like a shotgun blast of icicles flying towards Kaspar. But unfortunately, the bastard created some sort of invisible wall around himself or something because not a single one of them touched him.

"No fucking way," I gasped, suddenly feeling as though I was in the middle of that Lord of the Rings movie...not that I'd seen it. I prefer more realistic stuff, not that fantasy crap. Now I was really wishing that it was just fantasy.

They shot it out for another few rounds, with me just crouching to the side, trying not to be noticed. If I wanted out of there, I'd have to get past those two, and I definitely didn't want to get in the middle of that.

Then Kaspar got past Kojak's defenses, knocking him to the ground with some sort of weird lightshow...and sending his wooden staff flying. Though baldy struggled to reach his staff, apparently needing it to fight, it was too late. Kaspar was standing above him, his own staff aimed straight at him.

"It ends now," Kaspar sneered triumphantly.

It was obvious that Kaspar was going to do the magical equivalent of putting a bullet through his brain, with me just watching. I knew that this was my chance to run for it, though I felt a bit guilty about leaving baldy there to die. I didn't know why since he was some sort of cult freak too, but then again, it sounded like he was completely against Kaspar and his goons.

"The enemy of my enemy is my ally," I muttered.

An instant later, my finger had squeezed the trigger and sent a couple of rounds into Kaspar's back. I know that it was somewhat cowardly shooting him from behind, but to be honest...I didn't give a rat's ass. I'm more about surviving than being honorable.

I hurried over to where Kaspar had fallen over, kicking his staff away...just in case. Until I knew otherwise, I was going to treat that thing like it was a loaded gun. Then, and only then, did I pause to look down at him. I couldn't help smiling faintly at my handiwork. He was still alive, but barely.

"Fucking bastard," I sneered, giving him a swift kick in the ribs. I think that I might have broken one of them too. It was the least he deserved for what he and his goons had done to me...and to Emily. But mostly to me.

Just then, a sinking feeling ran through me and settled in my gut as something had dawned on me. I stared at Kaspar again, suddenly regretting that I'd just put him on the straight path to the morgue. He was the bastard who'd turned me into a chick...and he was the one that could have changed me back.

"Shit!" I howled, kicking him again as if it was his fault that I'd shot him and blown my chance of getting back to normal. Then I let out a long stream of profanity that would have made a sailor's ears bleed...or at least turn red a little.

When I stopped cursing, it was only because it dawned on me that I wasn't alone. Baldy was sitting up and staring at me. "You saved me," he groaned as he slowly got back to his feet, obviously a little nervous about the guns in my hands. I wasn't about to make him feel more comfortable by dropping them. Not when I still didn't know who the players were, not to mention what the rules were.

A moment later, he reached over for his own staff, but I quickly pointed my gun at him, "I don't think so Kojak."

"Excuse me?" he asked, looking a little confused...but getting the message.

I shrugged, "Would you prefer I called you Mr. Clean?"

"There is no need for the gun," he told me, standing back up but leaving the staff. "I mean you no harm."

Just then, the guy with the staff that I'd run into in the house came into view...still holding it, much to my nervousness. "We've neutralized all of them...," he started to say, stopping when he saw me with my guns on baldy.

"No," baldy held out his hand to the other one, "This is the one we came for." He turned to me, looking extremely sympathetic, "I am very sorry for what they have done to you..."

I gulped, surprised to realize that he meant it. At least I was pretty sure that he did. I wasn't sure what to say to that, not to mention exactly what it was that he and these other guys wanted either.

Finally, I took a deep breath and demanded, "What the hell is going on here?" Then I gestured to the staffs on the ground, "And what was that...? I want answers."

The bald guy just stood there silently before letting out a long sigh. "You are right. I believe that answers are owed to you." Then he gestured to the house, "Please put the weapons away and we can talk inside."

For a moment, I just stared at him, then I nodded agreement. Still, I kept the guns in hand, not sure what was going to happen. I figured that I'd earned the right to a little healthy paranoia.

Once we were inside and sitting on one of the couches that were in there, both of the other men from the first night joined us but were waved back by baldy. They both nodded, then stepped back some though remained within the room.

Then baldy gently put a hand on my stomach, looking as though he was listening to something. A worried look passed over his face and he muttered, "It is true. He is in there..."

I just snorted, muttering, "No shit." That was the problem. However, he acted as though he didn't hear as he sat back and composed himself.

"My name is Simon Belford," Kojak...Simon introduced himself.

"Adam Sinclaire," I responded, daring him to make something of the fact that I had a guy’s name but looked like a chick. A very knocked up one at that.

Almost to my disappointment, Simon didn't say a thing about that. He just gave me a steady...sympathetic look. Then he groaned, shifting position on the couch and looking thoughtful.

"We tried to prevent their freeing Garavas...to stop their ritual that night we met," Simon said, then looked embarrassed as he admitted, "We followed...but took a wrong turn and got lost, arriving far too late." There was a pained look in his eyes at that.

"I am not sure where to begin," Simon sighed. "I suppose the beginning is best."

"Usually is," I responded neutrally. Simon gave a faint nod to that.

"Once...," Simon began slowly, "another race of beings walked the Earth. Powerful beings who were spread across the globe. These were the gods...remembered by nearly every culture in myth and legend. Though whether they actually originated on this world or some other...I do not know."

There was a moment where Simon looked at my stomach before he continued, "One god was not satisfied with the way things were. Garavas craved destruction...and power. Power over the whole world...including the other gods. He and his followers attempted to claim that power."

"Okay," I nodded, gesturing for Simon to continue.

"In the chaos that ensued, Garavas destroyed several of the other gods. Then," Simon said, staring me straight in the eyes, "he destroyed several of his nearest rivals at once, by obliterating their homeland...and the island continent it resided on."

"Oh shit," I gasped, more drawn into what Simon's story than I had expected to be. There was little doubt what island continent he meant.

"Needless to say," Simon continued, "this infuriated the other gods. They captured Garavas and his followers, imprisoning them to the four corners of the world...scattered across the continents. But for Garavas, they even went so far as to completely destroy his body...and all of his power along with it. Then they sealed his spirit within the prison, with him unable to leave it until he could gain new flesh of his own. And he could only do that...," Simon frowned deeply, "If a new body was conceived within that prison with him."

"Garavas...," Simon told me with a grave expression, "is within your womb. Fortunately, his mind is...asleep. He will remain so until the moment of birth...when he will awaken and regain his full powers. But until then, you two have a symbiotic relationship."

I didn't say anything for a moment, thinking about what he'd told me about Garavas. It was horrible to think that the monster who'd done that kind of thing was actually inside of me. At the moment, I think that I would have been more comforted if that thing from the Alien movies was gonna burst out of my chest instead.

Finally, I took a deep breath and looked Simon in the eyes. "Okay," I told him, "That explains Garavas...but not you guys...or everything else."

Simon gave a faint nod, but said, "I will get to that. There is more." It seemed that there was always more. "Several thousand years ago," Simon told me, "the race of gods left this world...they disappeared. Whether they died or went to another is not known, nor is the reason why...though theories abound."

"I am...," Simon paused, then looked to his two companions, "We are sorcerers. The origins of our order have been lost...even to us. However, we have dedicated ourselves to keeping the destroyer and his followers from being freed." Then he looked down sadly, "And though it shames me to say it...Devon Kaspar was once counted among our members."

"He was...," I started, my thoughts beginning to race.

Though I never would have thought that there was really such a thing as a sorcerer before a week or so ago, I'd seen more than my share of shit to convince me otherwise. But that wasn't what had really caught my interest. That Kaspar freak had been the one to change me into a chick, obviously using that magic. And since Simon could use it too...

I'd tried not to think about it since there seemed to be nothing that could be done and I had more immediate things to worry about. But for the first time, I began to feel hope for getting back to normal. "Can you change me back to into a guy?" I tried to keep myself from sounding too eager.

There was a pause before Simon responded, "Yes...I can change you back to a guy." But just as soon as I started to let out a sigh of relief, he added, "Though I can not do so as long as you are still with child."

"Great," I grinned, "Let's get me an abortion and kill two birds with one stone." I patted my swollen belly smugly, "Kill that Garavas prick before he's born, and I can get back to normal." And hopefully forget this whole freaking mess, maybe putting it down to a nightmare. I figured that it would probably be for the best.

"Yes but...," he scowled deeply, "That is the problem." Simon took a deep breath, suddenly looking very tired. "As I said, as soon as Garavas is reborn, he will awaken and his full powers will return. He will probably age his body back to adulthood in minutes, and then begin his destruction of the world." Simon shook his head, "Once his powers return...he will be unstoppable. No mortal force will be able to contain him and the Earth will be doomed."

"So kill him before he's born," I snapped back in annoyance. I knew that it was late for an abortion, but that didn't mean it couldn't be done.

Simon just shook his head slowly, giving me a sad look as though there was something I was missing. I frowned, wondering it could possibly be.

"The destroyer's spirit is no longer contained in his prison," Simon told me gently, "So if his body is destroyed, he will immediately be drawn to a new one somewhere else. He would still be reborn...just from a different woman...and we would have no way of knowing where."

I stared at Simon in horror, letting out a stream of profanity that obviously embarrassed him. "So if he's born...the world is doomed. And if we kill him before he's born...he'll still be born and destroy the world anyway?" Simon just nodded at that and I let out another stream of curses. "And that damn prison is blown up so we can't throw him back in there..." Again, Simon nodded sadly, resulting in yet more profanity.

There was half a minute where Simon and I just sat there in silence. Even his two friends looked nervous and uncomfortable, but neither of them said anything either. They were obviously satisfied to leave the speaking up to him.

Then I looked down at my pregnant stomach in disgust, feeling like a deformed freak with it that way. But it was even worse when I thought about what was inside of it. It wasn't a nice healthy baby, the kind that were all sweet and adorable...not to mention loud and messy. Instead, it was the end of the world.

A could shudder ran through me as I thought about what was going to happen. And though I knew it wasn't my fault, I couldn't help feeling guilty. After all, Garavas was using my body to be born. I had no choice in being changed into a girl, being...raped or impregnated, nor in what that lunatic god was going to do once he was back. But still, that didn't change the fact that I felt partly responsible.

"So that's it," I groaned, looking at Simon for any sign of hope. "There's nothing we can do to stop him..."

There was a long moment where Simon just stared at me, a sad, guilty expression on his face. I hadn't become a private eye by being dull. My instincts told me that there was something he wasn't saying.

"What?" I demanded coldly, "What aren't you telling me?"

"There is something we can do," Simon admitted, staring me straight in the eyes. "Though I was unsure of how to broach the subject." He took a deep breath. "There is a way that we can imprison him once again. However...," he paused to give me a steady look, "it would not be easy on you. Not at all."

"What is it?" I demanded again, not at all in the mood for games.

"The old prison is useless," Simon told me, stating the obvious, "but there is...another." He frowned. "As long as the destroyer is within you, his powers infuse you as well, protecting your body and preventing it from being harmed. It will remain in the healthy condition it is in now. What I propose," Simon looked me straight in the eyes, a steely expression on his face, "is that we strengthen that bond."

I just stared at him, not exactly sure what the hell he was talking about. I wanted to get rid of that bastard inside of me, not bond with him.

"If we strengthen the bond between you," Simon explained, "his protection of your body will increase even more. The destroyer's own powers will be turned against him." Then Simon sighed, "It would result in your no longer aging... In your pregnancy proceeding no further. And in Garavas being unable to be reborn."

For a moment, I just stared at Simon in disbelief, then glanced at the other two sorcerers, who both looked down uncomfortably. "Then you're saying..."

Simon lowered his head. "To stop the destroyer from being reborn...you would have to become immortal. YOU would have to become his new prison. Forever."

My stomach knotted up at those words, and it wasn't just a bad anchovi pizza, or even the 'baby' causing it. What Simon was asking me was more than I could ever have imagined, and there was another part that was obvious. To keep Garavas imprisoned, I would have to remain pregnant with him...for a VERY long time. And as long as I was pregnant with him, I couldn't be changed back to normal. I'd be stuck as a chick...a very pregnant chick, for the rest of my life. For...forever.

"Christ in a hand basket," I whispered in horror. The immortality part certainly didn't sound too bad, but the rest of it... It was worse than any kind of nightmare. Even worse than that one I had that night about my old girlfriend doing a Loraina Bobbit on me. I couldn't help shuddering.

"As desperate as we are," Simon told me uncomfortably, "we can not force this on you." He gave me a pleading look, "But you must decide soon." He put a hand on my stomach, "We don't have too much more time."

With a faint nod, I stood up, muttering, "I need a smoke."

I found a pack of cigarettes on one of the injured cultists and soon lit up. I didn't care much about harming the health of my 'baby'...but then again, according to Simon there was no way I could. Hell, with Garavas inside of me, I didn't even have to worry about the big C or any of those other nuisances that anti-smokers always harped about. Like I didn't know about the risks.

For the next half hour or so, I stood in front of one of the windows, staring outside as I thought about what was going on. I looked down, putting one hand on my stomach and another on one of my tits. It was strange to think in the terms of 'my tits', but I'd gotten a little more used to it over the last week. Being in a room by myself, it wasn't like I'd had a lot to do except look at the changes in my body.

The sight of my new body wasn't at all pleasant. Sure, I didn't feel quite as alien being a chick as I did previously, but I sure as hell didn't feel like I was one either. And that didn't even take into account of everything else. The very sight of my body reminded me of that night...of when they'd raped me. Of course, my watermelon gut did that too. And I was unbalanced as hell with it sticking out that way.

"Get over it," I snarled to myself, always having hated people who whined about things that had happened in the past. I'd always figured that it was best to live for what was in front of you, not behind. It was like crying over spilled beer. It might be unpleasant when it happens, but that just meant that you had to clean it up and get another can.

Of course, all of that was pretty minor considering the shit with Garavas. I shuddered at the thought of him inside of me, but that was nothing compared to the thought of him outside of me. Of that freak bastard running around and blowing up continents. Of him killing millions of people, just for the hell of it. Even people I knew and cared for...though admittedly there weren't many of the latter. Oddly enough, I think I felt just a little better knowing exactly where he was and what he was up to. Or at least what he wasn't up to.

"Damn," I spat, cursing loudly as I started back to the room where Simon and his buddies were still hanging out. I stopped in the doorway and glared at all three of them before dropping my cigarette to the floor and stepping on it. "All right," I growled, "Let's do it."

None of us really said much to each other after this, though it seems that they had gotten prepared...just in case. I felt pretty nervous as all three of them surrounded me with their staffs, though I would be damned if I'd let them see me show it. And when they began their chanting in that silly gobbelty gook language of theirs, it was all I could do to keep a straight face.

Oddly enough, I only felt a strange tingling run through me while they did whatever it was that they were doing, though I'd expected to feel a whole lot more. There was a flickering of light around me, and I could even feel the thing inside me just a tiny bit. It felt...asleep. Deeper than that. As if it was just a soul in a coma. Not yet dangerous...at least not until it was reborn. But then the feeling faded, though I could remember it clear as day.

Finally, the three sorcerers finished and stood back. "It is done," Simon announced, looking both tired and satisfied at the same time. "The destroyer is no longer a danger."

"Thankfully," one of the other two gasped in relief.

I just stood there myself for several seconds, taking several deep breaths as I thought about what this meant for me. One of my hands went to my stomach and I let out a sigh. There was no going back now. I had gone from being just a dick...a private eye...to being the living prison for an insane god. And of course, I was immortal.

That suddenly reminded me of some movie I'd once watched and I muttered, "There can be only one..." I just hoped that there weren't any freaks with swords that were gonna come gunning for my head. In my current awkward condition, I didn't think that I'd be up for that kind of thing. Besides, a high caliber gun was more my style.

Just then, Simon came up to me. "We have a place where you'll be safe," he told me seriously, "Where our order can protect you..."

I just shook my head at that. "I don't think so." I frowned, "Not right now. I've had my share of being locked up." I glared at him, daring him to argue with me or try forcing the issue. I half expected that he would.

To my surprise, Simon nodded, "I understand." He looked at his buddies before adding, "Though we will have some of our people remaining close by...watching you. Just in case." This time, it was him who gave me the look that dared me to argue.

Though I was more than a little tempted to tell Simon where to go, I looked down at my stomach instead and let out a sigh. I might not like the idea of being tailed, but I had to admit that they had a good reason. A damn good reason. So I just nodded acceptance, deciding that it was decent compromise.

"Very well then Mr...Ms. Sinclaire," Simon told me gently, "I wish you well. And if you need us for anything...we will be there."

I shook Simon's hand before he started to turn, responding with, "Good luck to you too Kojak." Then I muttered, "Be seeing you." There was little doubt that I would be.

A minute later, Simon and his buddies were gone, leaving me alone in the house. I just took a long look around, kicked a dead cultist's body, then headed towards the door myself. After all of that effort to get away from the place, I sure as hell had no intention of sticking around any longer. Besides, there were still a couple of injured freakos lying around, and I didn't want to be tempted to put a bullet in their heads. And I was already mighty tempted.

When I was finally off of the property and standing on the sidewalk, I paused to take a long, deep breath. My first real breath of freedom in awhile...though at the same time, I knew that I'd never bee free again. I had just been given the job of being prison warden and I was stuck with it for the rest of my life. But still, it was a hell of a lot better than being stuck in a room and waiting to give birth to a monster.

However, I realized that there were going to be a lot of problems ahead of me. My identity for one. I sure as hell couldn't keep using the name Adam either. But I knew some people, and with a few greased palms, I'd have a new identity in no time. I just had to come up with a new name to go with them. Maybe Alice. Not too girly so I might be able to live with it. But I still had time to think about it.

Of course, there was also the small matter of what I was going to do for a living. I sure as hell couldn't go back to doing my usual thing. Not being as big as I now was. It really slowed me down as well as made me a lot more noticeable. Snoop jobs were probably out of the question, though I realized that there were still some things I could do with my skills. Again, I would have to think about it, but at least I already had a good amount saved up in my bank account. Enough to last me several months at the very least.

With that, I lit a cigarette and started down the sidewalk towards my new life, muttering, "A drink. After this, I definitely need a drink."

THE END



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