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Aberrant: Children of Quantum Fire - Infinity Infinite [Mature]

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This fic contains all kinds of nastiness of various kinds, and the squeamish is encouraged to come get

the synopsis from me in chat.

There are scenes of extreme sex and violence and sexual violence in this fiction.

You have been warned and proceed at your own risk.

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July 3, 2027, Rainbow Room, Ibiza

Orthon found murdering Infinity to be less than satisfying. The nova liked to kill, and he put a lot of effort into the hunt. He particularly liked to kill women in a certain way, and he really liked to kill nova women in that way. It wasn’t always possible because some novas just couldn’t be strangled to death. But from what he’d been told, this one could be easily strangled – baseline easy.

He’d looked forward to stalking her at an Ibiza club called the Rainbow Room. Despite being assured she was a regular here, it took more than two weeks for her to appear. When she did he confessed that she was attractive enough to do it for him; a little paler than he liked but she was drop-dead gorgeous. Realizing the adjective he used had him giggling to himself – Drop dead… good one!

Some called him mad; he would confess to being a bit angry sometimes, but he didn’t really think that people should call him mad. It was just rude.

Orthon prepared himself for the hunt. This was another good part of his work; the cat-and-mouse game where they went back and forth, with the woman caught in an ever-tightening web of seduction and banter. He’d worked it out perfectly over long practice – what to do, how to say it. It was impossible for a woman to escape him once he’d used this on them.

Smiling, he approached her, knowing what she saw: a tall, handsome nova with a chiseled chin and blonde hair. Orthon casually flexed his muscles as he leaned on the bar next to her, smirking when he caught her brazen glance at him. He’d launched into his banter, but she ruined that too. Instead of being slowly charmed and drawn into his web, she interrupted him, snarling, “Jesus Christ, you’re boring. Can we go fuck already?”

He had wanted to fuck her in one of the private rooms, so there was nothing for it but to accept and follow her up, fuming the entire way. Things were a bit better after that; the making out was stimulating, the bit of foreplay as they slowly undressed one another. But when he took out his rope and the gag, she didn’t protest. Orthon was dumbfounded. Women were supposed to be coaxed into bondage. They all wanted a man to control them, but they were supposed to coyly deny those desires and force the man to coax them into it. But she just shrugged and said, “Sure, whatever gets you off.”

Things seemed to be on track then; he gagged her and bound her arms behind her and shoved her onto the bed. With little fanfare, he penetrated her, unsurprised to find her wet and ready for him. He drove himself to completion, finding her cries of passion around the gag to be amusing. She still thought this was about sex and her getting off. He pulled out of her and ejaculated on her hair and back, and got another nasty surprise; the jizz wouldn’t stick. It slid off her body, refusing to find purchase. That was not the way it was supposed to work! She was supposed to bear his seed, shining and bright in the room’s lights.

I will punish her, he thought. Furious, he repositioned himself and drove himself into her ass. He expected her to understand, finally, that her whims here didn’t matter. Instead, she liked it. Her moans barely changed and her body language still said she was having fun. She was ruining it all!

Enraged, he leaned forward and put his hands around her neck. His strong fingers dug in, and finally, her sounds and motions changed. Finally, she began to struggle against him, trying to get free. Grinning, he squeezed and squeezed and squeezed, feeling himself get harder and harder inside her ass. Thrusting eagerly, he waited for her to expire. And waited. And waited. But the bitch didn’t die; she wouldn’t stop acting like she was desperate for air. She wouldn’t stop struggling like most novas who didn’t need to breath would. But she wouldn’t fucking die already!

Orthon felt tears rise in his eyes as he realized that she wasn’t going to do it for him. She wasn’t going to feed his hunger; she wasn’t going to be a trophy. She was an empty kill, done only for the money he’d been paid. Tears and snot dribbled onto her back as he gave up trying to strangle her; those too, found no purchase on her skin. “You worthless bitch!” he howled as she sucked in air around her gag, choking and coughing. He screamed wordlessly and instead punched her in the back of the head. He was strong, very strong, and she immediately stopped moving. But the blood still coursed in her veins and with another scream, he punched again. Her skull shattered and he paused, listening. Her heart faded. Her lungs stopped. She was dead.

He felt empty, used. Orthon grabbed his eufiber and left her body there, to be found. At least she would give him that, to be displayed for all to see. And thanks to his quantum, the liquids he'd left behind couldn't be traced to him. They would register as other people's, sometimes many other people's. But not his DNA - no, his was safe, locked up by his node.

Seconds after he left the room, her body faded into nothingness, leaving only the rope and gag on the bed. Her eufiber was on the floor and her blood decorated the room. But Infinity herself was gone.

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Dorchester was lounging against the bar, waiting for Infinity. She’d had an itch to scratch, and the nova could understand. He wasn’t going to scratch it, despite occasionally finding himself staring at the girl. She’d been too young for him when she wasn’t this hot, he reasoned, and she was still too young. Dorchester was fifty-three, and though he didn’t look that old, he was old enough to be her grandfather. Though she’d hinted, he’d declined. Besides, there were plenty of women his age hanging out in the Rainbow Room, so ‘getting Infinity laid’ duty was far more entertaining than being back at the house in Nice they’d been using for the Cult’s headquarters. And, as Sunset had tried to convince him, vital duty now that she wasn’t getting like she used to receive attention. As the girl had put it, “the more she gets laid, the less we have to deal with bitchy Infi.” There was a point to that, Dorchester mused quietly.

Of course, he’d been here for about two hours at this point. Dorchester could understand getting laid, but this was a bit much. Some of his sessions had gone for hours, but Infi had promised to limit herself. Sighing, he shoved himself off the bar and waded through the dancing throng, his path taking him toward a small rainbow in the heart of the dancing. Sunset was the center of attention, as always, and Dorchester grimly reminded himself that the gorgeous woman was seventeen, damn it. “Sun,” he called, getting her attention; she deftly wove her way out of the pack of nova boys that had been swamping her.

“Yeah?” she asked cheerfully. “Is Infi done?”

“No, I mean… can you check? She said she wouldn’t go this long,” he said to the younger nova, feeling foolishly uncomfortable that he was asking a minor to check on another near-minor having sexy with a stranger. I’m too old-fashioned for this shit, he sighed to himself.

“You want me to interrupt?” she asked, frowning.

“I… shit, Sunset, she said it wouldn’t be more than an hour. We’re past two now,” he said, aware that he was perilously close to whining.

“Oh… um… okay,” she said, biting her lip cutely. “I’ll take a peek. But you have to come with me, so if she yells, she’s yelling at you instead of me.”

“I’m fine with that,” Dorchester replied, happy to take the heat so long as he didn’t actually have to start the fire. Together, they walked upstairs, locating the room that Infinity had borrowed. Dorchester lounged next to the wall, arms crossed as Sunset knocked softly.

“Infinity?” she called. “It’s been two hours. Infi?” The girl tried the handle, blinking when the door opened. “It wasn’t lock- Oh no! God, Infinity!”

Her screams had Dorchester in the room instantly. His eyes swept over the area, taking in the blood and other stains on the bed, the still-knotted ropes and Infinity’s eufiber still on the floor. He could see blood and flecks of gray matter and bone on the sheets. His heart sank as he realized what had happened. God damn it! I was supposed to be watching her!

The sound of Sunset retching snapped him into action. He pushed the door shut, then knelt next to the girl, cradling her as she emptied her stomach. When she was merely sobbing, he got her settled in another corner and pulled out his phone. “Scripture, I need you in the Rainbow Room. We have a… I can’t go into it on the phone, but it’s bad.”

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“I am… occupied,” the right hand of Mal – in all connotations of the word – said, and his tone made it clear that it wasn’t something he could just walk away from. “Tell me what you can.”

“Someone may have left the Teragen unwillingly,” Dorchester replied after a moment, taking a moment to phrase it in such a way as to avoid the words ‘killed’ and ‘Infinity’. “Our girl without limits.”

Scripture inhaled sharply. “I’ll be there as soon as I can. Draw in whomever you need on this.”

“Yessir,” Dorchester said and closed the phone. His mind was already whirling, and he quickly turned to the crying Sunset. “Sunset… Sunny, darlin’, I need you to pay attention.” With effort, the girl stifled her sobs and nodded, her lovely eyes meeting his. “Alright, I’m going out to get some help. Lock the door, don’t let anyone inside. No one. Understood?”

“Yeah,” she said, her sobs subsiding further as she had something else to focus on now.

“I’ll be right back,” he promised, kneeling to give her a one-armed hug. She nodded and he saw fresh tears, but she seemed more steady. He couldn’t linger; he had work to do.

After the quiet of Infinity’s private ‘meeting’ room, the club was a raucous assault on his senses. Normally, it wouldn’t bother him, but he was angry and wanted any excuse to start cracking skulls. Instead, he calmed himself and headed for the man he’d seen earlier.

Nochlev wasn’t hard to find, even in this crowd. The man stood head and shoulders over most people; all Dorchester had to do was step up on a chair to see him. He was leaning against the bar, speaking to a woman. It was a sign of Dorchester’s aggravation that he didn’t even feel bad about interrupting Nochlev’s date. “Misha?” he called when he was close, seeing the man’s head turn toward him.

Nochlev was broad as well as tall; his features were broad but not unattractive. He was solidly built with black hair and eyes. He displayed little physical quantum backlash; his size had been big before erupting. There was a calming air about the man, though it wasn’t enforced by quantum. It was just that Nochlev was dependable and every inch of the man radiated that competence. He also still walked, talked and acted like the former member of Team Tomorrow that he’d been for decades. It was something that few in the Teragen forgot, even if his joining them last year was a feather in their collective caps. “Dorchester,” Nochlev said in greeting, his Russian accent a mere hint after years of speaking English. “How are you tonight?”

“I need a favor,” Dorchester said urgently. “Can I steal you for a while?”

“Of course.” That was another reason Dorchester had selected him. Nochlev was always willing to help. The man turned to the nova woman, who was already frowning at him. “Andrea, my apologies.”

“This sucks,” Andrea pouted before sashaying forward and plastering herself against the large man. “Catch up with me after.”

“I would not wait. This may take a while. Good evening, Andrea. It was a nice night,” Nochlev told her politely and gently untangled himself. She pouted, but he persisted and she was sent off to find more company tonight. Her parting jibe about finding someone else didn’t seem to bother Nochlev at all.

“Sorry to interrupt,” Dorchester started, but Nochlev shook his head.

“She is a nice girl, but not for me.” The statement was said with no doubt. “Better to end it now.” Black eyes settled on Dorchester. “What is the problem?”

Dorchester shook his head. “Just follow me. Better not to speak of it here.”

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Misha was ready for many things when the door opened, but this scene was rather tame. He’d spent the majority of his career working for Utopia as an investigator and he’d seen some very bad things. Like many law enforcement officers, he had a ‘knack’ for a certain kind of crime, and that was anything involving violence to children. He’d seen more broken little bodies than anyone should see, and was convinced he was only still sane because of his quantum. The blood-stained room was mild in comparison, but he still felt his lips narrow in disgust.

“One of our people-” Dorchester cut off when Misha raised a hand.

“Let the past tell me,” he said, moving to stand beside the door. “While I am looking, I will be blind to the present. Please do not let me hurt anyone or break anything.” Both were concerns to him. “I will tell you what I see, but will not be able to hear you. How far back should I look?”

“Two hours,” Dorchester said, then amended, “add at least another fifteen, just to be safe.”

“Very well,” Misha replied. He drew a breath and asked, “How old?”

“Eighteen. One of our Nursery Children,” Dorchester said softly. The young girl who had been guarding the door began to cry again.

Not truly a child but still too young. Misha swallowed, setting his jaw firmly. He started to draw on the past, pulling the ghosts of the past into his present view. Dorchester and the still-unnamed girl faded from the room, as did the blood and rope and eufiber. It was just Misha and a made-bed. He leaned against the wall and waited. His mind drifted to another case, a similar one, and he tried to dismiss it. The girl’s face swam before his eyes, both her picture before and the way he found her after. He had a memory for faces, but her name was gone, lost to time.

The door opened and Misha’s attention snapped to the scene before him. He watched dispassionately as the couple entered. His hard black eyes watched the blonde man, largely ignoring the girl. He had a memory for faces, but he noted the man’s name when the girl said it. Silently, he watched, his disgust rising at the scene. When Orthon punched her in the back of her head, he flinched but made himself watch. The second blow cemented his hatred of his man. He hadn’t tried to kill her; he’d sought to take pleasure in it.

The man left, leaving behind the body. Misha frowned, watching for the scene to become what he’d seen. Then her body faded into nothingness and he bit back an angry snarl. He didn’t know what this Orthon had done, but he knew he would find out and see if her body could be recovered. Releasing the past, Misha blinked away the slight ache that postcognition always caused his eyes.

“Well?” Dorchester asked anxiously.

Misha told them, briefly and delicately, what he had seen. “I need paper and pencil,” he added. Instead, he was handed a large-screen OpPhone.

“I’m a product of my age,” the girl said with a shy smile and a shrug.

Sighing, he typed out a description of the man on a memo program. “I will still need paper to draw his likeness.”

“I’ve got that too,” the child said, doing something to the phone and handing it back to show a facial reconstruction program. “$15.95 on Opple,” she added with a grin.

Misha shook his head; when he’d been a child, phones were used to make phone calls. As he worked through the program – it worked much like the Project’s FRP had – Dorchester said, “Thank you, old friend.”

Misha smiled grimly at the appellation. Old indeed, he thought, remembering the days when he’d been young and gung-ho, in the Project, before Bahrain had torn away the veil from his eyes. “I am not done. I will see this Orthon pays,” he vowed.

“You don’t have to, you’ve done enough-” Dorchester started, but Misha interrupted him.

“I have not done enough,” the old Russian nova stated. “Not nearly enough.” It would never be enough, because a Child of the Nursery was still dead. Like many sterile novas, Misha could think of no greater treasure than a child.

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While Nochlev went outside with Dorchester to follow the man’s path, Sunset was left alone in the room again. She hated being left here, because all she could think was that her friend was dead. “Infinity,” she sniffed, wishing she wasn’t left her waiting. But she was supposed to let the cleaning crew in when they came; no one outside of the Cult and a select few more were to know about this yet.

Tearfully, she gathered Infinity’s eufiber, folding the dress neatly before collecting her stockings and shoes. She wouldn’t do the same for the rope or the gag on the bed; just looking at them made her completely sick.

A knock at the door made her jump. She clutched Infinity’s clothing to her chest and hurried to the door, opening it a touch. Seeing Tylan and some others on the other side, she let them in the room. “Oh, god, what happened here?” the gay Asian asked.

“Where’s Infinity?” Cobweb asked, her multifaceted eyes latching onto Sunset. “This room reeks of her. Is that her blood?”

“Yeah,” Sunset replied, feeling the tears start again. “Someone killed her. Dorchester is out looking for him. But you can’t tell anyone yet! We will, but they’re trying to find the guy first. And we have to clean up here so no one knows.”

“Has anyone told Potential?” Cobweb asked.

“I don’t know,” Sunset said. Her chin trembled. “I’m gonna tell him. He should know.” She couldn’t stay here another second anyway, and before they could protest, she had teleported back to the Nursery. It took a few minutes to find Potential; the young boy was in one of the libraries, reading a book. He glanced up when he saw her, a slight smile on his face. She was one of his sister’s friends, but they weren’t close. That smile faded at her expression. “Potential, can I talk to you for a moment?” she asked, giving him a tremulous smile when he nodded.


Potential was just as young as many at the Nursery, but his mind was somewhat older. It wasn’t uncommon in nova children, but even he had more maturity than some of his peers. Perhaps it was because his early development had been shared with Surtr. Regardless, he was normally a serious young man who did largely as he was told, because he knew the rules were there to protect him.

He wasn’t obeying the rules now.

A dark streak rose out of the Congolese jungle, careless of the fact that it was centered over the Nursery. A low boom rang through the night sky as the small form raped the laws of physics and instantly jumped to a speed faster than sound.

Potential was crying as he flew, his quantum seeming to burn in him as he pushed himself harder than he ever had before. He had one thought; that Puck would find his sister. Infinity wasn’t dead; she wasn’t! She’d just Apothesized, and she was leading the Cult, and she was just starting to do things. The other kids had stopped telling him what a slut she was, which hadn’t really bothered him but was better because he didn’t like to hear about it, either. But Puck would know, he could find her and tell them all that they were wrong, that Infinity wasn’t dead!

Sobbing, the twelve-year boy flew to New York.

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Hoang Van Tuan was an old man. He’d seen and done much, including surviving a bombing on his village while he was being born during the Vietnam War. He’d fought on the side of the Vietcong but only from convenience. He’d made contacts during that conflict and when he’d grown up, he turned those contacts into a small but profitable gun-running business. From there, he had branched into opium and human trafficking until his fiftieth birthday. A business rival had attempted to assassinate him, and Tuan had felt the brush of death. He was alive only because his hired nova had been better than his rival’s. The attempt had done two things. It had driven him out of the business and into semi-retirement. Now he was a farmer, or rather a man who owned land and got fat while his laborers farmed, who also occasionally smuggled black tech for his friends. The attempt had also made him very paranoid, and he spent much of his income on his own safety.

Today was a good day. The sixty-eight year-old man had not obligations or chores today, only the requirement that he enjoy a life of luxury he’d earned. He was sitting on his hammock right now, listening to the birds sing and feeling the sun warm his old bones.

The bell rang on his garden gate and the old man lifted his head to see Dung coming up the path, carrying something in his arms. “Dung,” he sighed, “it is naptime.”

“The laborers found this in the paddies,” the burly man said, holding the cloth so that Tuan could reach out and flip back the blanket wrapped around it. It was a woman, a shockingly beautiful woman. A nova woman; Tuan could see that before her eyelids fluttered and he caught the flash of red. “She wasn’t even able to crawl out of the water.”

“What did they do to her?!” Tuan squawked. He’d seen images of what Geryon had done to that man, so many years ago. He didn’t want Geryon to do the same to him because of his workers!

“Nothing! They said she was just lying in the water, half-drowning,” Dung protested. The woman muttered something and Dung shook his head. “She’s not making any sense.”

“Get her in the house!” Tuan could feel his old body thrumming with stress as he clambered out of his hammock. They had to get her into the quantum dampening fields before someone realized she was here. Then he needed to think about what to do. He needed to extract himself from this without getting his head removed.

“Where in the house?”

Tuan hesitated. “In the Room of Infinite Pleasures,” he finally said, not liking it but knowing it was one of the few doors with a lock on the outside. He hadn’t used it in years, not since he’d stopped having slaves to sample in the room and he wasn’t sure it would hold a nova. But it was all he had.

Rubbing his hands together worriedly, Tuan fretted as he followed Dung into the house and watched him secure the woman. Dung didn’t try to do anything to her, which was a relief. Tuan was afraid he was already in too much trouble, just because if the girl claimed his people hurt her, then Tuan was dead. Novas had very powerful friends-

Friends! The thought stopped his frantic ponderings, because he knew a man who was friend to all novas, a man who would come and take the girl and take care of her. Ifrit was a Terat, and Terats were friends to all novas. More importantly, Ifrit would know that Tuan meant no harm and would vouch for him if it came to that. He and Ifrit had an understanding, a business relationship.

Hastily, Tuan pulled out his phone and sent Ifrit a message to let him know that he had something for him to pick up. Then he nervously waited.

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Merged from Torch Songs.

*Puck, there's a boy at here, a nova named Potential. He says he need to talk to you. He's upset - really upset.* An image of Infinity's little brother sobbing on the floor in the entrance of the Exalt! headquarters in New York flashed from Eric's mind to Puck's. Darrik could hear the concerned chatter running rampant through the link. To Surtr's eyes, the two beautiful novas that had been so focused on his words suddenly had far-away looks, tensing in their chairs.

"Surtr, I'm sorry, but I need to go to New York. Potential's there. Something is very wrong." Despite being the same age as Surtr, Potential had yet to leave the Nursery save for the brief outing to the large Teragen meeting a few weeks before. He stood, holding a hand out to Darrik, and then the other to Surtr. "You can come, if you'd like, but we'll have to finish our date some other time."

They appeared only a few feet from the sobbing young man; Puck was immediately on the floor, pulling him onto his lap and cradling him there. "Potential, what's wrong? What happened? Did someone hurt you? Is everyone else alright?" He was fairly certain that the Nursery was either safe or entirely destroyed; either way, he needed to know more from Potential first.

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Ifrit summoned the elemental fires of his nature into his body, coaxing his quantum to move him from here to there using the fires of his soul. Or something like that. Tariq had been the one who had insisted on making their powers something mystical and mysterious. Ifrit was happy to know that he could take a step from his living room in Iran and have his foot land in Vietnam, in Tuan’s house.

He didn’t remove his shoes, largely because his shoes were his house slippers anyway, and stepped up into the living room suite. Ifrit knew he cut an impressive image as he mounted the stairs; lesser men would be intimidated by his muscular physique. He had sharp Arabic features, accented by a goatee and a stern widow’s peak. The image was one he’d crafted with care, designed to create trepidation in his enemies and pliancy in his women.

Tuan looked suitably impressed by him, and Ifrit felt satisfied as he took a seat and accepted a drink. They exchanged the necessary pleasantries, even as Ifrit felt a fission of impatience. Tuan usually had something good, but always drew it out annoyingly. Ifrit had issues; he was trying to orchestrate a war against the Iran underworld while being pressured by the government, and that was both time-consuming and expensive. Hopefully Tuan had something good for him.

Finally, the old man said, “I have something to give you.” That drew Ifrit back a moment before he shook that off. The old man may have said ‘give’ but nothing was ever free. “My men found a nova in my fields, and I humbly ask that you accept responsibility for her. I do not wish to have her here, and everyone knows that Terats are friends to novas.”

Ifrit had joined the Companions when he was a young nova and never really officially left. He’d never been involved, either; he’d mostly just been counted among them. But now, it looked to be a burden. Tuan wanted him to take this woman and find who she belonged to; what a nuisance. With a sigh, Ifrit decided that he could take her and make a call to Geyron. “Very well, old friend, I’d be happy to take her from you and see she’s cared for,” he said with a nod. With a smile, he decided to try to get something out of this hassle. “I’m thankful that you would trust me with this. Perhaps next time we have a business transaction, you’ll remember this favor?”

“Of course,” Tuan said with a bow. “Thank you.” Ifrit replied with a bow, even as Tuan said, “Would you like to get her now?”

“Yes, I do have other business I need to attend to,” he answered, putting just the right amount of sorrow into his voice.

Tuan rose and Ifrit followed him; Tuan was still babbling his thanks, while Ifrit tuned him out. He was calculating how much time he’d lose to this matter; how many minutes he wouldn’t have for his own pressing needs. But perhaps it wouldn’t be a total waste, he thought as Tuan opened the door, perhaps he could gain something by it-

When Tuan opened the door, he knew exactly what that gain would be, for he knew who Tuan had found in his fields.


“Sunset said Infinity was dead!” Potential blurted the words between sobs, choking the words out. He had meant to get Puck alone, but the second the older nova had pulled him into a hug, Potential had lost what little plans he had. “She said someone killed her in the Rainbow Room! She’s not dead, Puck! She’s not! You have to find her and prove it to them!” Words failed him as he huddled against Puck, just crying like the child that he still was. As such, he missed the reactions of the men in the room.


Ifrit hummed to himself as he laid the girl on the bed, smiling as he whipped the blanket back and studied his prize. Infinity was still shivering and mutter incoherently; he was a bit concerned about that but he’d give her a bit of time to recover before he gave up and sought care for her. Besides, if he called someone, then they would want to return her. And Ifrit had plans for Infinity, plans that didn’t involve returning her to anyone.

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To all observation, Surtr was as dispassionate as his biological father as he absorbed the thunderbolt Potential had dropped on the group. Puck's face reflected the luminous nova's own shock and immediate grief - emotional honesty was Puck's greatest virtue: he experienced everything in raw format and repaid the world tenfold in his empathy. Darrik, too, looked stricken, though he was not showing the same signs of going out of his head with anguish that Puck was beginning to. Surtr remained apparently calm, unless one looked into his eyes.

But nobody was doing that at the moment. All eyes were on Potential, including Surtr's.

Someone has killed Infinity. His mind reeled from that thought. No. It is apparent that someone has killed Infinity. It appears that she is dead. Appearance is not truth. More facts are required. I sound like my 'father'. If someone has attacked her, they shall pay. If someone has killed her, they will burn. ALL those responsible will burn, be they Terat or Utopian, nova or baseline. They will scream for mercy and I.





Puck and Potential need me. Infinity needs us.

"Of course we'll find her." Surtr's tone was not soothing as he came to kneel by Puck and Infinity's younger brother, encircling both their shoulders with his arms. It was not a voice one used to say 'there-there, it will be alright'. His statement was carved in stone, in letters of fire ten feet high. "We will find her and bring her home, wherever she's gone." He kissed Puck's tear-moistened cheek, then looked Potential in the eye.

"We need you to help us, Potential. Tell us everything you heard from Sunset, and then... Then we'll go and look for our own answers." As always Surtr seemed agelessly confident, the confidence of a star's inexorable gravity, the certainty of plates moving in the Earth's crust. They will burn. "Start at the beginning?" he asked softly.

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Consciousness returned slowly and stubbornly to Infinity, though it may have been the opposite; perhaps she was supposed to remain unconscious and instead dragged herself awake. Infinity was naked, which wasn’t that unusual after a bender and her last clear memory was the Rainbow Room. A face flashed in her mind and was gone, the memory drifting off into the fragments of other memories. Quietly, she took assessment. The back of her head was throbbing. Her neck felt raw and abraded. Her nether regions felt like she’d partied far too hard. None of these were particularly unusual for her, but in the back of her mind, there was a nagging feeling that something was wrong.

Infinity next assessed the room. It was large and airy, with a sense that it was built to dissipate a lot of heat quickly. The ceilings were high and domed and the walls painted white. Pillars dotted the room, cutting the large rooms into smaller pieces. The floor was a gleaming gray, white and black mosaic. The large round bed dominated the room, its light coverings all done in white. Caged birds sang softly around the room, their music adding to the atmosphere.

Infinity rolled into her back and got a surprise; a handsome man had been sitting behind her on the bed, his legs crossed. He was hot in that utterly nova-way, dark-skinned and Arabic. He was the only real darkness in the room, from his black hair to the black silk pants he wore. “Hi,” she said, trying to remember his name. Orthon? No, she was that name went with a blonde’s face.

“Infinity,” he said softly, “welcome to my home.”

“Thanks,” she said awkwardly. “Hey, you haven’t seen my eufiber have you?”

“You won’t need that here,” he told her. “When you leave the compound, you’ll wear the chador over the clothes I provide you.”

Infinity’s eyes narrowed. “I don’t fucking think so,” she told him tersely. “Who the fuck do you think you are?”

“I am your master,” the man told her. “If you comply with what I want, you will probably enjoy your time here. Otherwise, you will not.”

“You know my name,” Infinity told him. “I assume that you haven’t done any other homework, because if you had, you’d know that you’ve made a massive mistake. If you let me go, then we won’t have any further issues.”

“I have no intention of letting you go,” he told her softly, leaning toward her. “You are going to do as I say, when I say it. Or I will punish you.” He reached out and cupped her chin, capturing her face. The look on his face clearly telling her to comply or he’d rape her.

For a second, she almost gave him that fear; almost did as he expected. Then she laughed and pushed her face forward, pressing her lips to his. He jerked from her, his angular features shocked. Infinity laughed again and said, “You can’t rape the willing, buddy.”

“I had heard you were a whore, but didn’t expect the stories to be so… true,” the nova said, looking both disgusted and intrigued. “I have other ways of punishing you, Infinity, and they will not be so pleasant for you.”

“Bring it,” she snorted indelicately. “Because I’m not going to comply with you.”

His other hand knotted into her hair. He rose from the bed, pulling her with him. He was nova-strong too and Infinity moved with him rather than be dragged by her hair. He walked to one of the pillars, bending next to it and scooping up a chain. Twin manacles decorated the end and he locked her wrists into them. The chain ran up to a pulley then to the floor; he seized the other end and jerked the chain. Infinity’s arms were pulled taut; then he pulled again, not stopping until she had to strain to touch her toes. Her shoulders began to ache almost immediately. “Hey, I can handle a little bondage,” she snarked as he stepped behind her. She could hear him opening a cabinet.

Something hissed over the floor. Fear flooded her as Infinity looked over her shoulder. A bullwhip snaked over the floor as he idly flicked it, smirking at her expression. “One last chance before I start.”

“Fuck off,” Infinity told him. Don’t scream! Don’t give him the satisfaction! She steeled herself for the pain.

The first lash was like fire across her back and Infinity wasn’t sure how she didn’t cry out. Her body and jerked and swung on the chain as she reacted to the bite of the whip. But she didn’t scream and she didn’t break.

She screamed on the third lash.

She broke on the sixth.


Potential swallowed and nodded, trying to get his tears under control. “She found me in the Nursery and asked, ‘Potential, can I talk to you for a moment?’” Though he wasn’t mimicking her voice perfectly, he was using the same tones and inflections as Sunset had used. The three older Terats heard the tone of someone delivering bad news. “I said, ‘Sure thing. What’s going on?’ She said, ‘Potential, I have some bad news… I… I thought you should hear it from me. From a friend.’ I asked, ‘What’s wrong?’ She said, “I need you to be ready, ok?’ She was scaring me, but I didn’t say so. I thought maybe something had happened to one of the children. I think I knew it might have been Infinity but I didn’t want to believe.

“I said, ‘Ok.’ She told me, ‘Infinity is dead, Potential.’” Even through Potential’s lips, words were stated as gently but firmly as possible. “I was too shocked to say anything for a moment, then I said, ‘No. That’s not true.’ She said, ‘It is, Potential, I’m sorry but it is. She met someone at the Rainbow Room and they went to a private room and he killed her.’ I said, ‘No, no, you’re lying-’” Potential was weeping again but he pushed on, talking through his tears. “‘Why would anyone kill Infi?’ I asked. Sunset said, ‘I don’t know. His name is Orthon and we don’t know why he did this. But Dorchester and Nochlev are looking and they’ll find him and we’ll learn why. I promise you, Potential, we’ll know why.’ I said, ‘I don’t care, she isn’t dead and Puck will prove it.’ Then I flew out of the Nursery and… Oh shit.” Eric raised an eyebrow at the curse word from such a young man. “Puck! I just flew out!” He didn’t need to tell the two men why that was a bad thing.

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Darrik's expression quietly turned from stricken to pained still, but more of a careful mask. Obviously he could tell Potential's over-emotion had led to a rather seriously careless decision on his part, but the matter of the Nursery's security wasn't his concern. What mattered, resonating in his mind was the thought as the other men. Revenge. And there was a name to go with the killer, though a face would be more matter.

"Do they know Orthon's appearance?" He asked, with a hint of venom at the name.

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While others discussed her death, another tested the streams of information and frowned, as he looked at Cobweb. "Something is wrong.. "

"Sure, Infinity is dead, I'd say that's wrong, damn it.. Scripture.. "

"Did you find the body?"

"I.. no.. it wasn't there."

"Didn't anyone consider that.. strange?"

"Well, maybe the murderer took the body with him."

"No, Cobweb, he did not.. if I hadn't been dealing with other matters, I would have stopped Sunset from panicking her brother, as it is..."

"Well, she can't have survived losing that much blood.. " Cobweb looked a Scripture for a long moment, his tone questioning.

"No, she was killed... but our dear Infinity isn't as mortal as the rest of us anymore."

"What? Scripture, even for you, that doesn't make sense, your saying she's been killed, but isn't dead?"

"For our lovely young Infinity, death is about the same as a starfish losing an arm."

Hope filled Cobweb's eyes and wonder filled his voice. "Your sure?"

"Micheal confirmed it to me, the evening of the gathering, I suspected I saw it in her, but Micheal confirmed it"

"Well, hot damn,if Divis is sure, then it must be so. But, where is she?"

"For Infinity, death means that her quantum essence rebuilds her body reforms somewhere else, generally somewhere safer.. but only her body... I should be able to find her, but someone is hiding her from me...they will have cause to regret that misstep soon enough."

"Oh.. well, at least she's alive.. that's good to know."

"Yes, and for now, you will say nothing to anyone else."

"Wait, why?"

"We'll use this time to find out who is behind her and who is against her within the cult.. as we hunt for her... meanwhile, I will speak to and reassure those who need word about her.. "

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Puck came back to himself and hugged Potential tighter, tears tracing their way down his cheeks. "I'm sorry, I can't find her," the anguish in his voice brought the baselines in the room to their knees. Most of them didn't know what was going on, but the keening pain and seething anger of the novas in the room had pushed the mere mortals back nearly twenty feet already.

He swallowed and the rest of what Potential had said finally sunk in. "We'll...we'll get in contact with them. Make sure...they'll know what to do."

Link members, those not frozen in the lobby, were already moving. Erik sent an email he didn't understand at all to three dozen different Op accounts and others were looking into half a dozen different news feeds and organizations for activities. They didn't know why and Puck made it clear that he wasn't going to tell them. It didn't matter. Everyone had secrets, even in the link. It was part of what made them unique even joined together by the link.

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  • 1 month later...

Misha was walking in the past again. He could feel Dorchester’s hand on his arm, guiding him, but Misha couldn’t see him. The people that he could see weren’t physical to the Russian-born nova; they were ghosts of the past. He was watching a memory of a time already gone.

The blond man in front of him was his target. Orthon trudged with his head down, carelessly plowing through Ibiza crowds. More than one baseline was knocked aside by his shoulder and though many protested, most just let it pass after feeling the strength in that blow.

He turned down a corner into an alley and Misha swerved after him. He felt himself knock into someone; he paused until Dorchester tugged on his arm to let him know to that the path was clear. Misha hurried to catch up to Orthon, feeling relief when he caught sight of the man ducking into a cheap hotel.

“Got him. He just went into that hotel.” Misha pointed and felt someone brush his arm. He realized that he’d almost hit someone; they had just swerved to avoid him. Patiently, he waited for Dorchester to apologize or whatever needed to be done to placate the bystander. Misha sometimes wished his power wasn’t so limiting; it required massive amounts of trust in the other people with him. Misha had to trust that they would keep him from running into objects that hadn’t been there in the past, or to guide him around crowds.

Outside the hotel, Misha dropped the link to the past. People faded from his view as others became visible. He blinked several times and rubbed his eyes, feeling the strain of looking into the past. “You ready?” Dorchester asked and the big Russian nodded.

“Let us apprehend him.” Misha said the word apprehend, and meant arrest, but his heart wanted it to be murder. Or destroy. Or any other word that meant he could return unto Orthon a measure of pain that he had given the Child of Teras. It was something of a comfort to know that Orthon wouldn’t go through a trial; instead, Geryon or someone else would probably turn him inside out after getting the information needed. Misha would have loved the pleasure, but Infinity was not his child. She was someone else’s, and ultimately they would have that honor, Misha hoped.

Together, he and Dorchester stalked into the hotel lobby. The man behind the glassed-in desk glanced at them insolently, then did a double take as he realized what these men were. Sitting up, he hastily said, “Good evening. Can I get you two a room?”

“No. You can tell me where to find the man in this room.” Dorchester held up his phone, with the image Misha had created on the large screen. His other hand held up a hundred Euro note.

“Twelve-B.” There was no hesitation, and Dorchester slipped the note through the slot under the glass. It disappeared into a grubby pocket as the man returned to his soccer game.

They found the room easily; Dorchester knelt before the lock and spent a few seconds fooling with it. The lock gave silently and the two men eased the door open. Misha was instantly overwhelmed with the sound of a porn being played at high volume, followed by the smell of blood. Orthon was watching the porno, his cock in his hand. His other hand held a razor blade, which he was using on his hard member. He was also crying so hard he didn’t notice the two men.

Misha and Dorchester looked at one another; their faces were identical expressions of disgust and dismay. Then Misha stomped over and decked him. Orthon became aware of him in the seconds before he struck, so he was actually looking up at Misha’s fist slammed into his jaw. “Child-killer!” Misha spat on the downed man before kicking him in the ribs and sending him into a wall.

“Misha. Don’t kill him. Others want that pleasure.” Dorchester’s voice was cold and empty. At the same time, that lack of emotions filled his statement with a definite menace.

“Right.” Scowling, Misha reached for the man-

And was thrown into the next room. His flight path involved a wall, which he went through like paper to land on the bed. Thankfully it was empty and Misha powered up his fists and leapt back through the hole he’d made.

Dorchester had not stood by idly. He and Orthon were locked in a battle. They looked to be well matched, but Misha overpowered both men by a considerable amount of quantum. It didn’t take long to truly batter the bastard into submission, and Misha enjoyed every second of it.

Afterward, he bound the child-killer in his own clothing as Dorchester called Scripture. “We have the guy who got her. Who do we take him to?”

“Puck’s tower in New York. I will meet you there.” The line went dead and Dorchester grinned at Misha. “Wanna see the Big Apple?”

“Of course.” He would see this to the end.


Scripture arrived suddenly in the lobby of the building. As Potential and Puck immediately started to speak to him, he held up a hand. “I know. I know everything. Dorchester and Nochlev are delivering the one responsible to us. Where can we put him?”

As if his words had summoned them, the three novas appeared. Dorchester was well-built and somewhat tall, with a handsome face. His eyes glowed softly and tattoos moved in whorls in his skin, but he was otherwise unremarkable. The captive, naked and bound by strips of clothing was also unremarkable, save for the slowly fading bruises. The third man drew the most attention; he was huge and wide. Dark brown hair was cut long around a handsome face. There was a sense of presence to the former-Utopian – and right now, his foreboding anger made him seem more menacing.

“Delivery, already tenderized for you.” Dorchester grinned like a shark. “Puck, where does he go?”

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Puck stood up, pulling Potential gently with him. His gaze on the man between Misha and Dorchester was nearly a deadly weapon in its own right and Scripture put a hand on the young nova before he acted...rashly. Puck nodded to Scripture, but stepped forward. "There's a large items vault in the sub-basement that hasn't been renovated yet."

He flickered into his energy form and, without any of the politeness that marked his usual behaviour, attuned and teleported the entire group and enough air to fill the sealed room directly to the vault. The Exalt! baselines left upstairs were still for a moment, those in the link having mixed reactions to the blocks both Puck and Darrik had put up once they were in the vault. Most considered it a kindness, given the snippets of what they could gather had happened.

Puck moved with a predatory glide, his blade appearing a few feet away, leaned up against the wall. It was still there, but Scripture noted that he was learning to control it instead of being controlled by the rage that had forged it. The younger-than-young man tipped up the chin of the captive nova, tendrils of sharp but restrained pain tracing it's way through the nova's body. "You will tell me everything. This will not save you life. Resisting will merely extend the agony that you will spend your last moments in." Pain seared down the nova's spinal cord and down both sciatic nerves, setting his entire body aflame with just enough pain to be excruciating but not so much that he couldn't answer. "Do you understand?"

Using Bodymorph and Transmit to move them, then Symphony of Touch to be fucking scary; he would also have Confessor in effect, but it's up to the ST if his trick with SoT counts as an attack. The pain is just that, pain, not actual damage. I can do rolls, if requested.

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