I fell hard. Really hard. I fell right onto the concrete sidewalk, hitting my right shoulder first. I could feel it crack and break... The shock of the impact ran all across my body, and warm blood flowed onto the sidewalk...
I had jumped, and twenty five floors later, I was alive. Not well but still alive. I didn't know if I had to thank god or divine providence and all. Or maybe I just had shit luck.
What I knew was that I couldn't move a finger anymore. I saw a black Mustang stop right next to my head, drifting to that position like it was from a street racing movie. Slowly my vision darkened and my senses fell asleep.
Oh unconsciousness, You were a welcome moment of rest in an eventful and stressful day...
My eyes opened again sometime later, I was sitting on the leather back seat of a car, a blanket and pillow tucking me in, while Heaven and Hell by Black Sabbath played in the car's stereo.
Driving the car, like a maniac I guessed by the car's wobbling from one side to the other, was a Woman, I couldn't see much of her but her flowing raven hair, her long white furred coat and tight leather pants.
"I see you're awake" She spoke softly, her voice was different from the cell phone, it seemed much more caring and feminine in real life.
"How... did..." I babbled
"Don't speak. You're still weak. I'm taking you to safety. By the way, I'm Camilla. Cam will do." She turn around and looked at me, revealing her hazel eyes and olive skin. "I'm sure you have a lot of questions but you need to rest."
Before I could say anything, she whispered a soft phrase in a foreign language drowned by the stereo‘s music blasting away... At the sound of it I felt, my muscle eased up and my eyes closed themselves. I drifted into Morpheus’s embrace a second later.
Next time I woke up, I was in a double sized bed. I'd been stripped down and bandaged, clean bandages covered most of my body and a salty, foul stench filled my nose. The pain was there but it was not exactly at the crippling level. I forced myself to sit up, using only my left hand, a pretty hard task considering my condition.
Sitting across me, on another bed, was Camilla. She had dropped the coat and was now in a black corset now with another pair of leather pants, ripped at the knees this time.
"Good morning sleepy head." She said with a smile
"Where are we?"
"Somewhere safe. More importantly; how are you?"
"Alive for one, that’s already a lot. How... How is it possible?"
"I'll answer if you tell me something. How did you kill that ghoul?"
"Ghoul? You mean will... That thing?"
"Yes. What did you do to it?"
"I don't know... I punched it."
"Is that really all that happened?"
I reviewed the scene in my head a few times. The punch I first threw had just broken my arm... But the second... That one wasn’t just a normal hit.
"I did something... I don't know what."
She gave me a broad smile. "But you did something that wasn't just a normal punch. Something that you can't explain. Right?" She only continued after I nodded absently "You used a force you didn't know you had."
"What force?" I blinked at her confusingly.
I stared at her for a full minute. She displayed a complete poker face. She was serious. Serious as Hell!
"... You mean like psychic powers?"
"No. I mean magic, like Merlin and Gandalf, if you want some examples. Real, actual power, true magic, none of that stage show crap."
"So… Basically; psychic powers."
"There's a difference. Psychic powers assume you have them. What I say is that subconsciously, you understand the universal truth."
"And that would be?" I asked, getting seriously confused by that point
"Everything is true"
"What about false things?"
"Even false things are true."
"How can that be?"
"Because the mind is all, what is true to the spirit, can be made true in the real world.
Magic is the force behind life. It is nothing more than to impose your belief on the fabric or reality.
It's not something you have to be special, everyone has it. They just need to awaken to the nature of the universe. To learn how to use it consciously"
"And I did?"
"Yes. It doesn't make you a god, it means you started the long path toward ascension. You've probably gotten some cryptic messages, seen messages everywhere, been told by graffiti what to do. Read things off the cracks in the sidewalk. That kind of stuff."
WELCOME TO THE REAL WORLD!
That message came back to mind, like a sledgehammer to the head. I saw the warnings again. Those message I'd received. They'd saved my life.
"What happens now?"
"It's up to you. I won't lie. You didn't fall down the rabbit hole into wonderland. There's a war going on; a war for reality. It‘s one that we‘re losing."
"The Mirror shades, The M.I.Bs you saw. They've been called the New world order, the inquisition, the illuminati, the elder of Zion, the Templars, they’ve aided Hitler’s rise to power. Until he became obsessed in the occult that is, they saw him as a good tool to reach their goals. Think of every conspiracy theories you’ve heard. If anything of it is real, they’re linked closely to it.
What they seek is perfect order, unity and control. Not bad things in themselves but it also mean the end of individuality, creativity and freedom of choice to reach that goal. You've seen their methods, they are prepared to do anything. The blood of innocents are nothing in the their long term plan. Plans they‘ve been working on since the middles ages."
"And I have to fight them?"
"Not if you don't want. You can run away, disappear, make a new life for yourself. Or, you can stand up for yourself. Refuse to live standing down, shackled in the system. Become something more than an office worker who waste his life away.
What do you say?"
"Red Pill or Blue Pill?"
"Exactly. I can teach you, show you what you've been denied all this time. Which is it you want?"
"Count me in. There's nothing left for me back here."
I probably should have thought about it. But in the end, I accepted it because I knew I couldn't go back. I'd been wanting something a meaning to life since I was but a kid.
"Where do we start?"
"First thing, we finish what you started. You killed a ghoul, but someone infected your friend. Any clue where to start?"
"Chinese hospital. That's where he was when he... changed." I forced myself up, but I stumbled back down to the bed, my left leg refusing to move.
Camilla sat next to me on the bed and spoke softly
"I couldn't get the ghoul's venom out of you. But I slowed it down so your body will be able to break it down. It'll take several days, but you won't be falling into complete paralysis and suffer delirium. Just rest I'll do the investigating."
Again she spoke that sentence, making gestures with her right hand. It was a low chant, halfway between a choir and glossolalia
Just like last time, my eyes shut down and I drifted into the realm of dreams.
I woke up again some time later. I didn't know how much time had passed, but by the IV jammed into my left arm, I guessed it was a while. I stood up, this time much more easily.
For the first time, I got a clear view of this room. By the look of it, it seemed like an old and cheap motel. With the 70's shag carpeting and tapestry on the walls. The place contained two beds, a large drawer and a crummy TV.
The room was empty, beside me, no one else was there. I ripped the IV out and gazed thru the orange drapes. There was still snow, so I felt relieved not to have missed much. After a long, lukewarm, shower, a long overdue shave of my caveman-esque beard and half a bottle of aspirin someone had left on the counter. I also found the source of that god awful smell, under the bandages some kind of paste had been spread out.
I went back to the main room and it's clashing colors. There, I found a post-it, slapped upon the outside door. In black marker the words; FOR EMERGENCIES, was written, a phone number scribbled below.
Without much left to do, I crashed down in the bed again. I couldn't find my clothes and I thought Camilla would come soon enough. So I settled in and watched the hotel's horrible range of channels.
So I waited.
And... you get the point.
Time went by as I stayed holed up in the motel. Eating from a box of military rations Cam had probably left there. Say what you want, modern MRE aren't bad.
It was on the third day I that I finally called. Using the Rotary phone set on the wall near the door. (Seriously?)
"Who is it?" came a voice I didn't recognize.
"Eh... Is this Camilla's phone?"
"Oh. I see. You're Cammy's new guy." He or she said. I honestly couldn't tell if it was a man or woman speaking, but I could still hear the inflections. Who ever that was, knew her personally."
"Where are you?" He/she asked.
"Don't know. Some crummy motel."
"Ah. You're at Marty's Motel." She then gave me an address and the way to get there. However, there was a problem with that plan. Problem being the temperature outside and my attire.
"Sorry to interrupt, but I can't get out..."
"How so?" The person replied mild annoyance in his/her voice. Seemed like He (Let's just call him a he until I know) had something already at hand...
"Eh... This is kind of embarrassing... I don't have any clothes."
"I can fix that. Stay here for a while. In five or ten, a man will knock at the door. Open it and get what he'll give you." Just as he finished that sentence, he cut the line. Leaving me there somewhat dumb founded.
But surely enough, a man, the owner I guessed. Knocked, a cardboard box in hand. As I opened he greeted me with a nod, saying; "Nova (which he pronounced Nowah) asked fer' me ta bring tis." I took the box from it and rummaged thru it's content.
"The one ye spoke to kid. Called me up to do this"
"You know Nova?"
"Aye. I provide shelter fer folks like ye. I can't do much, but defense's mah business" he said
"You're a...eh... Magician... I guess?"
"Aye. Just a Sorcerer, minor talent an' all. But 'nouf talk ye better get dressed."
"Thanks pal. I owe you one."
I'd kind of forgotten I was wearing nothing but boxers... So I closed the door just after saying it.
Inside the box were sweat pants, An AC/DC Tee, socks and boots. Along with a worn winter coat. Not exactly stylish but beggars can't be choosers.
So I left the motel, heading for the designated address.