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Consequences (Chronicles of M Book 4)

Consequences (Chronicles of M Book 4)

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Consequences (Chronicles of M Book 4)

Length:
263 pages
4 hours
Released:
Dec 23, 2013
ISBN:
9781310982439
Format:
Book

Description

Roughly ten years have gone by since the death of A'loc and the unexpected public demonstration from M and Thomas. M, now a minor TV celebrity, is finding out there's more to being a star than just fans and with every turn a new danger lurks. New, blood thirsty mutants attack M at every chance, strange investigations in other countries and a psychopatic mass murderer are just a few examples.

Who are the BLB and why are they so intent on killing M? Why has nothing happened with the Lords and who, or what is a Domitianus? There's never a dull day in the life of M.

Released:
Dec 23, 2013
ISBN:
9781310982439
Format:
Book

About the author

Born in the 80s during the age of Oregon Trail, Nicholas remembers the days before the internet, when the world was young and herds of dial-up BBS roamed the digital landscape in peace. Nicholas went on to college at Kansas State University and studied psychology. It was here, at the pinnacle of his lowly existence, that he met his future wife. After that, life became dull and work-centric, as adulthood typically does. So now he writes to fight back the madness, while his son plays with his imaginary friends.


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Consequences (Chronicles of M Book 4) - Nicholas Forristal

Chronicles of M:

Consequences

By

Nicholas Forristal

Copyright

The Chronicles of M: Consequences

The Chronicles of M Series

Published By: Nicholas Forristal

Smashwords Edition

© 2013 Nicholas Forristal

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or any information storage and retrieval system, without prior written permission of the author. Your support of author’s rights is appreciated.

This is a work of fiction. All characters in this compilation are fictitious. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental.

Also By Nicholas Forristal

Chronicles of M (Book 1)

Chronicles of M: Ammit (Book 2)

Hitori (A CoM Story)

Chronicles of M: A'loc (Book 3)

Five Man Midget Death Squad (A CoM Story)

Chronicles of M: The Lord War (Book 5)

Coming Soon

Chronicles of M: The Purge (Book 6)

Prologue

The cooling winds send a chill down the back of my exposed, recently shaved neck. It’s been a long time since my hair was this short. It’s been a long time since I was in a place where beauty was a larger concern than survival. Places where sustenance is a higher priority over cellular reception. Well, for mortals anyways. I couldn’t care less about any of these things.

Beauty is an odd thing to consider. What’s the latest fashion for one generation becomes the worst of the worst for the next. As if that made no difference whatsoever, by the time the third generation is coming into its own, the first generation’s fashion is the crème de la crème once again. Granted, there’s some variation in the style’s cut, or material, generally stolen out of another time period, but ultimately it’s the same thing.

So, here I am, traveling down the open highway with a haircut made fashionable in the days of the first republic, slightly altered for the times. The past is given new life in the present, until it becomes the past once again. That is the sad state of mortal life: as much as things change, they remain mostly the same.

At least it’s a cool enough night that I can keep the top down. No more dry desert heats for me, just salty ocean air, palm trees, open roads and clear skies, for the time being at least. Non est vivere sed valere vita est: life is not just to live but to live vigorously It’s time to go public once again.

Chapter 1:

Chaos on Channel 8

Welcome back! Our next guest is a man with extraordinary abilities. You’ve seen him on the news protecting this city from giant robots as well as numerous other dangerous criminals. You know him, you love him. And here he is, M!

The crowd wildly cheers by command as I walk out on to the stage for Mid-day with Alison Crumpet. I smile big and cheerful like I find this all very exciting and amazing. I don’t. I find it tedious, annoying and blinding. The crowd is shrouded behind bright stage lights that always cause black spots in my vision for the first minute of the interview. You can’t block the light from your face. No, no, you have to look through it, as if you can see the crowd and at each and every one of their faces. The most I can see is the front couple rows and I really don’t want to see their face-ass smiles any more than I want to make one.

Alison sits down in her big, blue lounge chair and motions for me to sit opposite of her in an identical chair, separated by a coffee table. The table has an assortment of magazines stacked on it. If anyone bothered to look closely, they’d notice the magazines in the bottom of the stack are as old as this middle-aged, soccer mom crowd. I’ll never understand why they try to make these stages look like someone’s home. Then again, I’ll never understand why people need to be told when to express themselves during these things.

Thank you for coming, M. She crosses her legs, like I have any interest in her penis.

No prob Mrs. Crumpet.

Call me Alison.

How about I call you Sweetness instead?

The crowd erupts in oh and ah like they don’t know she’s an anorexic, power-mad, crazy ho. Alison has all the attractiveness of a sock. Sure, she has that made-for-television beauty, with her fake blonde hair, ultra white teeth and enough makeup to hide all her imperfections under bright lights, but she's also bat shit insane.

No more than five minutes ago she was screaming like a banshee at a panicked cameraman for being in the wrong position. That would have made a lot more sense had the camera not been bolted to the ground. The things these people do off camera amaze me. We smile at each other until the crowd simmers back down to a low, mindless whisper.

M, we all know what you do for us. From your first appearance against Santa’s elves ten years ago, to your most recent tangle with the bank robbers, it seems like you’re all over the news these days.

Yup, always someone around with a phone camera.

Has stardom changed your life any?

Nah, it’s come in handy a few times, though.

Really?

Yeah, like that bank robbery you mentioned. Once those guys knew who I was, they mostly gave up.

Mostly?

Yup, one schmuck thought he’d take me on.

She clutches her bony chest in shock. Oh my, were you injured?

I shake my head. He wishes.

Mrs. Crumpet leans back and exhales deeply. I’m glad to hear it. Now, tell me, is it true that you don’t wear a uniform?

You got it. No spandex and cape for me.

So, just khaki shorts and a t-shirt, like today?

You got it. It’s easier to move around in this. The pockets come in useful too.

What about your secret identity? Won’t we recognize you when you’re not saving the day?

I don’t have a secret identity. I’m me all day, every day, baby.

Wow! She turns towards a camera and smiles. We have to take a short break. Afterwards, M will give us a demonstration of his amazing powers.

The crowd explodes in cheers and clapping, just like the prompt tells them to. The hellion hostess and I exchange looks as we wait for the cue that commercials have started. I can already tell what’s coming and I mentally prepare myself. It wouldn’t be good for my image if I ripped her face off with my bare hands.

Do you want to be on this show?

Um, yes? I reply.

I don’t hesitate because she scares me, I hesitate because I wasn’t sure if I should lie.

Then act like it. Her hands go into expression overdrive. You’re boring, a waste of my time and a waste of my audience’s time. This demonstration of yours better wow me because I don’t need you to finish this show. Backstage I’ve got a monkey who can juggle that is ready to come on with a snap of my fingers. You are nothing to me, to my audience, or to anyone else. So, pull your shit together and bring it.

Part of me only hears the sounds you’d hear from an adult in a Charlie Brown cartoon. The other part of me, the part I have to prepare, wants to slap this girl like she was my bottom bitch. I know it won’t do any good. Her head is so far up her ass that it would take major surgery to separate the two.

No prob’.

Remember, this show is live. So whatever you have set up for these tricks of yours better work the first time.

I only nod. Ten years of YouTube videos, news broadcasts, the occasional talk show and most people still think it’s all a trick. Some sleight of hand nonsense to get attention and make money. Even the people who witness it first hand, who I friggin’ save from death, aren’t always sure it really happened. It’s amazing how much people will turn a blind eye so they can keep their false grasp on reality.

A man walks to the side of the camera and counts down ten seconds on his hands, letting us know when we’ll be back on. I walk over to the open portion of the stage, normally reserved for comedians and musicians, and pop my neck a couple times.

With the cameras all on the Hostess of the West, she smiles and greets the world.

We’re back. Our guest today is M, super-powered defender of the city. Today, he’s being kind enough to demonstrate some of his powers for us. Remember, this is a live show, so what you are seeing is real. She turns to me and smiles. Are you ready, M?

Yup, let’s do this thing.

I snap my fingers and the crowd tries to catch its combined, confused breath at my disappearance. It's a simple trick, really. One that I picked up from a cross-dressing serial killer a decade ago that Thomas and I tracked down for the cops. I realized almost immediately that the man would never stop killing, so long as he had the power to remain unseen. So, I took it from him. Now, he's resting uncomfortably in a cell with his unwanted boyfriend and a backside of bruises from his days and nights of not-so-kind, man-on-man, piston-pumping passion. It serves him right for being a women-killing loony.

I snap my fingers again and appear on the other side of the open stage. The crowd mumbles to itself in confusion until the prompter tells them to cheer. Like lemmings, they do as they’re told. It makes me throw up a little in my mouth.

A series of stage ninjas come out from the back holding weights and a long barbell normally used for bench press. They ready the bar with weights I guesstimate to be three hundred pounds. Half my life ago, this would have been impossible. After all, I was an immortal trapped in a seventeen–year-old-body. That didn’t make me Hercules strong, just unable to age.

Now, it’s more complicated. For decades I lived trapped in my own mind as a true-to-life demon possessed my body, killing and causing havoc wherever it went. Once I overtook the bastard, with the help of a few key people and a government facility, I came out stronger and better than I was when I went in. That is, if you disregard the first several months of anger. I believe the shrinks call it post traumatic stress syndrome. Either way, I was an angry jackass, still kind of am.

If the demon possession I lived through wasn’t weird enough, I then used the new demon-given strength and abilities to possess, dominate and utterly destroy a half-crazed, top-tier mage who was almost as old as human civilization itself, and also was my best friend’s brother: A’loc.

In the process I gained his power and his memories. At least, the memories I’ve been able to decipher. Turns out understanding someone else’s thought processes without knowing the person, or even the context of the memory, is a little like arranging a bowl of cooked spaghetti, one-handed and blindfolded, into straight lines. So, when I’m staring down at the barbell of weight, in front of a live audience, on live TV and I smile without a worry, there’s a reason for it.

I lift the bar single-handedly into the air above my head. Even with my strength, I can feel the pressure of the weight all the way through the motion and above my head. It’s not enough to make me drop the weight, but if I held this for an hour I might.

After a few seconds, I gently drop the bar on the ground and the stage ninjas take it away. We decided to keep it simple, clean, easy. Thomas and I didn’t think the world was ready for true magic and the more dangerous mutant abilities; they can’t even accept the few parlor tricks I’ll do on this show today. Can’t say I blame them. There are days I wish I could put the blinders on and go back to living a normal life. Well, normal for me.

The crowd sits idly and quietly as I start my next and final trick for the day: levitation. It’s not true levitation, but another power given to me by Ammit, the demon who inhabited my body.

Margaret was a good, strong lady who didn’t deserve the kind of death she was given. Ammit sucked the very life out of her body, leaving nothing but a dried-up husk of skin and bone. Every time I use her power, I get a short memory of hers as she used it for something. At least I know she won’t be forgotten, not as long as I’m alive.

We always called Margaret’s power a push. It allowed her, and now allows me, to force objects away in every direction. It wasn’t until I had a chance to understand the ability and play with it that I found out it could be tweaked, repurposed, improved. With some effort, I can levitate.

Levitation in this sense is not an easy task. I close my eyes and focus my thoughts to the ground beneath my feet as I slowly lift myself a foot off the ground, albeit in a wobbly way. For the sake of argument and the moronic online comments later today, I lift my arms in the air and wave them over my head and shoulders to show there’s no invisible wiring holding me up. It doesn’t matter. No one will believe it, but it doesn’t hurt to try, I guess. Strangely, this is the skill that made me famous.

A news crew managed to film Thomas and me taking down a giant robot built by Santa’s elves. Long story short, they were on strike and thought St. Nicholas’s only friend, Thomas, might get involved. The elves struck first. It was a quick battle, lasting all of five minutes, with me pushing off buildings and flying through the robot, ripping its insides out. All of this was caught on camera.

I’ve watched the video of that day several times and it always amazes me how not a single frame was recorded of Thomas tearing the robot’s feet up with magic. Somehow my long jump was more incredible than a man melting metal with his bare hands. Even stranger, it wasn’t until I started doing shows and hovering off the ground that I became a media spectacle. Normies never cease to amaze me.

I cut off the ability and land flat-footed on the ground, a part of my brain thinking it made more sense to end with a loud drop, rather than a light step. Again the crowd mumbles to itself, obviously confused, until the prompt comes up to cheer. I have to wonder if this is normal behavior, or are they really starting to believe I’m not an illusionist.

I hadn’t planned on anything more than the three tricks. Either I must have gone through them too quickly, or they are giving me more time. I look to the hostess from hell to see if I should continue. Her fake, opened-mouth smile is as big as her head when she rotates her hand around in a let’s go already motion. I really wish I could put this lady in her place. An elbow to the eye would do the job.

I look around the stage to verify the distance between myself and anything I could destroy. This final, unplanned act is quite a bit more dangerous than the previous and I’d rather not hurt anyone, or anything, if I can help it.

I cup my hands together and a spray of yellow and orange fire bursts out of my palm like a geyser towards the ceiling. The fire, another ability taken by Ammit and given to me, was originally in the hands of an accidental arsonist. From his scattered memories, Jack had accidently burned his house down while getting a little too excited over a football game. To make matters worse, when the flames grew, they jumped over to his neighbor’s house, destroying it as well.

When the insurance company investigated the charred remains of his home, they realized the fire wasn’t electrical in nature, as they had been led to believe. Jack was sent to the slammer for insurance fraud and for burning down his neighbor’s home.

The roar of the fire overwhelms the sounds of the crowd and I’m not too preoccupied to give them a look. Their wide-eyed looks of shock and awe tell me I’ve done all I can with this.

Separating my hands and the flames, the fire halves its distance as I slowly arch each hand downward. With both hands out to my sides, shooting fire towards the hostess and some of her crew, I notice that the shocked crowd isn’t looking at me, but at something else. In a quick glance I know exactly what the problem is.

Glowing orange metal drips off the remaining portion of a camera stand as the flames engulf the entire thing. A camera man, braver than he is smart, must have come in for a close up and I accidently changed the direction of the fire right at him. The man, still sitting on the floor in disbelief, and fortunately unharmed, watches the camera turn into a molten liquid mass. At least he was smart enough to get away. I’ll have to look for the footage later tonight. It should be badass.

In an instant, the fire from my hands cuts off as a spray of water streams out in its place, extinguishing the burning parts of the camera and cooling the remaining, solid metal. I really wanted to avoid using any magic today, but there isn’t a choice. Unlike the fire, I don't have a special ability that harnesses water.

On the bright side, a few years ago I may not have been able to put that fire out at all, not without runes drawn onto my fingers. Today I can, but not without taxing myself physically. Those runes make all the difference. They make most simple magic easy to wield.

The magic and the power are there, compliments of A’loc’s body and memories, but I don’t have the experience or control to wield it at maximum. The first day I was in this new body, I had a real bitch containing all that power. A pile of ashes that used to be a cabin is proof of that much. This time is different; this time I wasn’t paying attention.

This isn’t exactly the way I wanted the demonstration to go, but maybe the masses will have an easier time believing that I’m not an illusionist now. The studio is dead silent as all eyes, at least the ones I can see, watch the smoking mass that was once a very expensive camera. From crowd to crew, no one has any idea what to say, or what to think. Then, out of the blue, like nothing happened, I hear Alison Crumpet, who’s now standing in front of a working camera.

Wasn’t that wonderful? We’ll be right back after a word from our sponsors.

Even in the chaos, she manages to pull off a smile that looks genuine, if you ignore the pure evil in her eyes. I bet she farts hellfire.

With those words, the world of Studio 10 comes back to life as the crew repositions their remaining equipment for her side of the studio, the crowd cheers and the hostess makes her way back to her seat. Business as usual. Nothing new to see here, folks.

I look around the studio, expecting to see someone, anyone, still in shock at a melted camera. I even scan their minds for thoughts about it, but there's nothing. At most, a few people try to figure out the tricks, assuming I must have used mirrors and trap doors to disappear and small tubes to produce water from my fingertips.

Hey! Dumbass!

I come back to reality and look over at the hostess, who is frantically waving me over to her desk on a third, pointless stage. All I can do is roll my eyes and make

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