Disclaimer: This adult short story is a work of fiction. It is meant for those eighteen and older. There is sexual and fantastical content. All characters are eighteen or older. Though there are inspirations from other fictional sources, any similarity to real people, live or no, is merely coincidental.
Author’s Note: A sci-fi tale. There are two distinct seeds for this story, which will be told in two parts. The first is Elektra, a very dark antiheroine from comic books, and the second is from an early draft of what became the Other Minds tale, Dark Seed … Enjoy!
Unbound Edition: eBook
Harbinger of Darkness
They had planned to spread – and had brought up that which to help them, but now they must wait once more. — H.P. Lovecraft, The Shadow Over Innsmouth
Elizabeth was happily walking down to her apartment after a few drinks with friends, including the once (and future?) boyfriend Jason. It was only two blocks from the bar. Walking past an alley she past a thousand times, an odd shimmer caught her eye. She turned and walked to where she thought she saw it.
There was an odd stillness around her, like the world was no longer relevant. Before she could put serious thought into the distant world, she saw it. Though, it didn’t look real: a shiny black orb floated within an impossibly shadowed corner of the alley. “Floating” was the wrong word, because it was perfectly still. She felt a powerful pull toward it, so powerful it was beyond any urge she ever knew. She outstretched her hand, and touched it.
A flash of pleasure and power exploded into her, as the black orb melted onto her hand. It moved, expanded over her body so fast, she could not think. Or was she already not thinking? The world became as black as what consumed her. Thoughts flowed through her she could not comprehend, while she felt the darkness flow into her very being. Yet, it didn’t feel like a physical encasement or invasion. It felt as if it the blackness was already there. The orb awoke it somehow. It was the answer to everything. But to what? She could not think. The more she was consumed by what felt liker her own darkness, the more pleasure she felt. It grew more and more, until …
Elizabeth suddenly woke up in bed through the most powerful orgasm of her life. She quickly caught her breath, quickly realizing how different she felt. It must have been the hangover, she assumed. Still, it wasn’t like any hangover she ever had. Her phone suddenly buzzed with a text.
Jason: Hey, Lizzy, couldnt catch up with ya last night after the bar. Hangover not too bad?
Smiling, she texted back: Fine, I guess. You?
Had worse in college, remember?
Yeah … well, the next day 😛 She honestly didn’t remember most of that night, and neither of them planned drank that much again.
So … Don’t know when you’ll be done working today, but you wanna meet up again today sometime?
Elizabeth was an independent investigative reporter, who now does more blogging than “mercenary work,” as she liked to call it, for news agencies. Sure, she texted back. She saw it was past ten already, seeing her phone’s clock. I should be happy with the article before 1pm. See you at Sunny Diner at 1:30?
Nothing about the next couple hours felt normal. There was something right about the strangeness, but didn’t even understand it. It made her feel stronger, more aggressive. Well, she was always a bit aggressive and independent minded, and the feeling, she slowly realized, was almost an outgrowth of that. She didn’t know what to make of it, but the decisiveness from it made her write and finish an amazing article on “secret slum lords” in her city …
The two minute walk to the diner was the same yet different. Elizabeth not only felt a greater awareness of the city around her, but also a greater understanding of it. Everything was so alive, vivid. It should have been a sensory overload, but her mind had easily processed it all. What finally unnerved her was a new feeling that she was above them all.
Walking into the diner, Jason sat quietly a few booths down from the entrance. He looked uncomfortable, like he wanted to tell her things he could not yet bring himself to tell her.
“Hey, Jason” she said sitting before him, automatically hiding what she was experiencing for reasons not fully clear to her.
“Hey, Lizzy” he answered lovingly. He was masking himself, too, and Elizabeth somehow suspected he always had.
“How you feeling?” he asked, failing to hide a deep concern.
“Um, OK … Sleeping late was always a good cure-all. Got the article set for release a day early, too.”
“Elizabeth … Always ruffling feathers …”
“Hey, you wanna tell me something?”
He looked uncomfortable for a moment. “Um, I dunno … I, err, really missed you.”
She saw a deep truth in those words. She sensed she could now see right through him, but feared to do so. “I’m sorry I kinda ran away from you. Didn’t know where we were going. I guess that scared me …”
“It’s all right, Elizabeth. You were the one to always call the shots. When you decided to move on … I forced myself to accept it.”
“But you really didn’t, did you?”
“No,” he said with a nervous laugh, “but you’re an untamable tigress, Lizzy! If I let myself beg for you to take me back then, I would’ve had three black eyes.”
“I would’ve kept you’re man-card, too,” she half-joked. Elizabeth was rather athletic, and was secretly proud of her more than alluring physique.
He laughed with her, knowing the truth in it all.
Elizabeth could tell how crazy about her Jason was. “So, just fucking say it, Jason! I never took that card from you.”
He smiled awkwardly, like the first time they met. “You always went right for the truth, Lizzy! Let’s be together again.”
She leaned over the table, and gave him a confirming smooch …
It just happened really. They found themselves in Elizabeth’s apartment an hour later. The kissed deeply, holding each other tightly. They slowly removed their clothes, and fell into the bed, hot bodies tingling at the touch of the other. Thrust, thrust, thrust they passionately went. Their eyes locked. This was perfection, this was right. They soon grunted and cooed lovingly in mind melting orgasm …
Shiny blackness soon surrounded Elizabeth. It was comforting, yet a part of her felt as if that was an artificial comfort somehow. The tainted comfort seemed to scream at her for not fully embracing it, she somehow understanding that others embraced it. By she and the blackness knew something was wrong, different. Something, somethings were missing. The blackness didn’t care, but Elizabeth did. Her very psyche was being stretched in different directions, and she found herself lost between the two …
Elizabeth slowly opened her eyes to her darkened room. She sat on the edge of the bed with her head in her hands. She was resisting something with every ounce of strength she had, but had not idea what she was resisting! She felt pain, weariness, and frustration.
“You OK, Lizzy?” Jason asked with deep concern.
“No,” she forced. “I don’t know … Something is horribly wrong … I think something happened to me last night after the bar …”
Jason shifted himself to her side, placed his arm around her trembling, naked body, and said, “I need you to come with me, right now.”
“To where?” she asked confused.
“I’ll answer everything once we’re there. Trust me …”
It didn’t look like they traveled across the city by a regular taxi, but Elizabeth was too overwhelmed by whatever was happening to her to pay much attention. They walked into an aging building Elizabeth never saw before. With an apparent thumbprint in the bright, stainless steel elevator, they went downward. The doors eventually slid open to an apparent reception area likely filled with more more guards than it had normally. An old tapestry hang at the opposite end of the oblong room. It depicted a wise yet troubled samurai in a flowing robe. He held what looked like a broken sword. A vibrant star field shown behind him.
An older, deeply concerned man walked up to them. “Are you sure about this, Apprentice-General Abrams?”
Jason took a quiet yet deep sigh. “Is the room prepared, Master Salazar?”
“What the fuck is happening, Jason?” Elizabeth blurted.
The man stood aside, and Jason answered, “Maybe something new …”
They soon made their way into a small room with what was obviously a one-way mirror on one end. A stainless steel table with two matching chairs sat in the middle. Neither sat.
“Elizabeth … I’ve been a part of this … Cabal all my life. What’s more important is you.”
“Me?” Her confusion was only matched by her extreme discomfort, now mental and physical.
“We defend humanity from the shadows, because that’s where the threat lives. You were born out of those shadows. Not an ‘evil,’ per se, but of a malevolence toward humanity.”
“I’m some kind of mission for you?”
He went teary eyed. “I failed at the original one to … to kill you. I changed the rules for you. I …”
“You lied to me, Jason!” she interrupted in a scream, bashing the table hard enough to leave a slight dent. “I don’t even know what the fuck I am, and you lied to me!” Elizabeth growled through the growing discomfort of her resistance.
He sighed. “Not really … I just didn’t tell you everything.”
“Then tell me now. I need to know more before whatever this is overtakes me …”
“I am part of an ancient Cabal of those fighting against the invasion … You, Elizabeth, are not the first of what you are.”
“What am I?” she growled through clenched teeth.
“A Queen, as we’ve come to call them. More fully, Kurai Sora no Joō or Queen of the Dark Sky. Now, not every detail of this is known or fully understood. Over a thousand years ago, an alien race implanted an artificial strand of DNA into at least one Human, a very distant ancestor of yours. She became the first Queen upon hearing the signal. A battle scarred Samurai by the name of Minamoto no Yoshiie and his compatriots became aware of the alien plot after 1090 CE in Kyoto.
“Now … the alien plans were already in motion for some time, them already involved by proxy through government and early organized crime. Yoshiie’s connections with government by that time was how he stumbled upon the fledgling conspiracy, which he did not yet know was alien in origin. He gathered many men to fight the corruption before Kyto and the rest of the country were lost.
“By the time they located the first Queen, she had already transformed, and they later learned that her offspring, which she had prior, were taken elsewhere. That was when they learned they were fighting monsters from beyond this world. He lost over half his men in the battle against the first Queen and the Hogo-sha or Protectors, the skill and bravery of Yoshiie was the only thing that kept his men from collapsing under the weight of all they knew crashing into nothing. Katana and fist against particle beams. Yoshiie impossibly won the battle at too great a cost, plunging his broken Katana into the Queen’s chest.
“The wise Yoshiie knew the war was far from done, and that it would not be won in his lifetime. In that very stronghold of the first Queen, he formed Bōei no Himitsu Kessha, the Cabal of Defenders, which worked to uncover all the alien secrets to ensure the safety of our world. The Protectors, who the Cabal continued to fight afterwards, are now as global as the Cabal today. At semi-regular intervals — a generation, a century — a new Queen comes into being. We later learned how to anticipate a future Queen, sometimes preventing an all out battle with the Protectors. You are becoming the tenth. We’ve never fully understood the mechanism, nor why the aliens haven’t changed their tactics.”
Elizabeth knew this was the truth, and found herself falling into the corner of the room. All her life, she sensed something different about herself. Yet, she always thrust that into the back of her mind, even though she was sure now that difference affected her more than she ever realized. “I don’t understand,” she breathed. “Shouldn’t I be surrounded by Protectors now, or murdered by you?”
He smirked in both pride and regret. “The massive economic downturn in 2008 actually weakened the Protectors, and we took advantage, already knowing what you will soon be after you were born. This city and much of this country is now virtually purged of Protectors. My generation of the Cabal has seen more blood than our Samurai founders …”
“You pretended to love me, killed all who would protect me, tell me everything …” She shook her head. “Maybe it doesn’t matter … Just kill me, Jason. Save me and the world …”
Jason squatted next to her in her with both love as pain. “You know what war sometimes does to warriors, Elizabeth? We can fucking tire of it … I never pretended to love you. Yes, I and the Cabal instead worked to nudge you in specific ways — keep you from having a relationship that could lead to children, but it wasn’t planned for me to fall in love you! There’s a dark shadow over you soul, but I see so much more! I could never hurt you, Elizabeth. I was the one to kill you, but I changed the weary Cabal’s plans, which may still change back to your death. Everything hinges on you know, Elizabeth. The Cabal and economics has perhaps permanently crippled the Protectors. Prove those that want you dead wrong; prove those that want you to conquer wrong. You have no children; I believe you have a choice that perhaps all Queens had; I believe you have the strength to break this cycle of death; I believe in you, Elizabeth!”
She held her head in her tingling hands. “I don’t even know what I believe …” Then something became clear to her, and looked up to Jason with a haunting stillness. “I … don’t think it is darkness in my soul … Whatever it is, it’s twisted into my very being. Resistance to it will drive me insane. Maybe I do have the urge to lead and change everything; maybe I accept it … Maybe … you’re right, Jason … Good, evil; I am as gray as anyone. I don’t have to transform the world the way anyone wants. I can no longer deny what I am …”
She nodded to herself, ready to accept herself. “After I let myself transform, Jason, there must be no more lies between us and the rest of humanity. I can sense betraying those aliens now will finally change everything. They will come and fail to pull me back to them. It will take so much more than the Cabal or me to save us. This country and world might have weakened itself too much in all their bickering!” she spat. “This choice will lead to so much blood I may come to love it, but a real stand against those aliens must happen. This war has lasted for a thousand years, and we will finally bring its chaotic end …”
She slowly stood, releasing all resistance toward what was a part of her all along.
Embracing all that she is, she felt herself becoming whole for the first time in her life. She could feel her body begin to change. Her mind sharpened, as her intelligence increased dramatically. All her senses heightened, as her mind adjusted to process it all. Her skin became hairless, sleek, and subtly rubbery, incapable of breaking save for the hardest of impact. Her muscles grew ever so slightly, while they be became super efficient. In the wild excess of energy flowing through her, she ripped the metal table off the floor like it wasn’t even bolted down, and threw it through the glass, letting loose a primal scream. The anxious Jason holding up his hand toward those behind to prevent them from drawing their weapons.
Elizabeth stood for a few moment, catching her breath, looking downward with half-closed eyes. Her clothes were now visibly tight and uncomfortable from the increased muscle mass. Her mind now processed information faster than any Human, making everything seem slow around her while she adapted. She could sense, feel all those around her: Jason’s love, the fear, the anxiousness, the amazement, and the confusion of all of them. She could feel the whole of the living city above and around them: every strength, every weakness, every curiosity. It was all too much for a moment, before her mind fully adapted to insane mass of data.
“Yoshiie must have been special himself in some way to have personally killed the first Queen,” she said slowly, looking up toward Jason, her once deep blue eyes now a beautifully haunting glacial … I can sense that no other Queen died in such an interpersonal way …”
“That is a prevailing theory. We have worked with people that are more,” he said quietly. “Are you OK, Elizabeth?”
Elizabeth found herself laughing at it all. “In that I still don’t want to conquer this world? Yes, I am ‘OK,’ Jason. I am more powerful than my predecessors. Control is a trap, I see. They controlled their humanity, weakening themselves, and unwittingly allowed themselves to be slaves …” she observed in her amazement, her speech not able to yet express all she intended smoothly. Instead of simple empathic linkages, she could actually control and read the minds of others with great effort. She was never a micromanager, though.
“So what’s next, chain breaker?”
She smirked, finding a growing smoothness in expression. “Because I have not linked my mind to the Protectors, the invaders will know something is very wrong very soon … Yes, I can sense the Protectors still in this city are going nuts trying to find out my status!”
Jason looked toward Master Salazar. “And you thought we purged this city completely!”
Elizabeth put on a large smile. She always loved how he never truly bowed to authority. A glorious irony for someone so intricately connected with such an ancient, hierarchical organization, but that was often overlooked thanks to his highly strategic mind, she now knew. She quickly walked up to him, and gave him a long, deep kiss, which he returned a moment later. Now, finally, Elizabeth hit a sensory overload: the passion of a kiss. She loved every second of it …