Note: it is advised that you read Parts 1, 2 and 3 beforehand.
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Part Four - Deliverance
"The secret of success is constancy to purpose." - Benjamin Disraeli
Darren and Leslie sat at the Chief Constable's desk, waiting to be interviewed. They were both cold and still shaken by the previous nights events - their blood-drenched clothes a perminant reminder. Eventually the door opened behind them and two officers entered, two men, one of which lazily dropped a folder onto the desk before slumping into his seat. He flicked a tiny switch on the object on his desk - Darren guessed, a tape recorder - and began speaking into it.
"Test, test, one, two, three... Mr Ball, Miss Stewart, i've turned on the tape recorder, Okay?"
Darren and Leslie, who's reddened eyes were a sign of the tears she was still shedding, nodded in acknowledgement.
"Okay. Todays date is October 25th, 2004, and the time is 1035 hours. I am identifying myself as Investigator Thomas Harris. Present with me is Detective Eddie Jones."
Detective Jones took over. "Okay, thanks, Harris. Darren, Leslie, are either of you under the influence of any drugs or medication right now?"
The two looked at each other, and then both replied with 'No'. The Detective proceeded to inform them of the Witness Rights Act, before asking them to describe to him the crime they were reporting.
Darren knew that Leslie wasnt emotionaly strong enough to shoulder the responsibility herself so he spoke up on behalf of them both. "Last night we saw our three fucking best friends murdered."
"Last night?" Detective Jones asked, "At what time, precisely?"
"I dont know, a few hours past midnight maybe."
"Where did this happen?"
"We're not sure, we're travellers - we're not familiar with the area and the names of the streets, but we know the way from here on foot."
"Okay, we can come back to that later. Start from the beginning, what happened to your friends?"
"Well, we'd been out all night and we were walking back to our Van, and we came across this tramp. We checked his wallet, his name was Terrence something, i think it was Bowen. He'd been mangled up pretty badly, was covered in cuts and blood and shit, we didnt know what had happened but we decided to take him back with us and clean him up a bit."
"Why didnt you call for an Ambulance, or call us?"
"Like that would been worth anybodies while. Look, no offence, like, but we know from experience how 'seriously' you lot take cases of the homeless being abused. We had our own ways that we thought could help him."
"You're own ways?"
"We're Pagans. Wiccan, to be exact. I know you probabaly think it's all bullshit but it works. Well, it fucking did that night."
"I'd like to hear from Leslie, Darren."
Leslie, who had been burying herself in the coar she'd been given by Darren, looked up in horror, as if going over the events was somehow putting her friends through the ordeal again.
"What happened that night?"
Leslie took a second to regain her voice. She hadnt spoken for hours, and her throat was sore from the constant sobbing. "We... um, we healed him. He woke up in a rage, and he killed our friends, thats what happened."
"If Mr Bowen, presumably, was unconscious, then how did you wake him up?"
"It was with a ritual. We cast a circle and used our energy to heal him through magic. It was just a simple spell, he was a fucking lunatic. We went back a few hours later to see if he was still there, but he wasnt, and.. and our Volkswagen had been taken, so had the bodies."
"Did he leave anything behind, any clues?"
"No. There were just the things we used during the ritual."
"Describe to me the ritual and what happened afterwards, Leslie."
"I cast the circle. I called the quaters to guard it, and we raised energy to heal him. Then he woke up and killed everybody. We got away."
"You'll have to forgive me, im a little under-educated on Pagan matters.. but why were you involved more than anyone else in 'casting the spell'?"
Leslie pulled herself upright and, in a moment that almost pleaded with the Detective to arrest her for murder, she responded. "Because it was my idea to heal him."
* * *
Terrence began to regain consciousness. His head was throbbing excruciatingly, and he could tell that yet more of his blood had been spilt - the back of his head felt as if a thick mixture of gore and bodily fluids had stuck it to the surface it was pressed against. As feeling began to flood back into his body he realised that several things were amiss. For a start, his arms and legs were tied to something - possibaly the legs of a table, which it felt like he was laid out on - with not even the slightest slack for movement. Even more worrying, was the fact that his mouth was pulsating in a hundred different sensations of pain, and at any attempt he made to scream, he could not open his lips.
Then three black figures descended over him. Wearing dark robes concealing pale, shaven-headed features, he recognised them instantly - they were the three men who had been invoking Setekh the night before, the three Occultists. What did they want with him?
One of them began to speak for the rest, in a shockingly soft and relaxing voice that constantly flickered between comforting and knife-edged. "Welcome back to the land of the living." A sickly cold smile slowly formed on the mans scarred face. "Didnt your mother ever tell you not to get involved in things that are not of your concern?"
Terrence's eyes darted back and fourth, desperately seeking some form of escape, or atleast something that suggested he wasnt in as much trouble as the situation blatantly screamed at him. He found nothing, just darkness and faint lights eminating from something below his field of vision. He tried to plead with them for his life but all that he could force out of his closed mouth was an indecipherable mumble.
"I think you'll find it's quite impossible to talk," the strange informed him, gently running a finger across Terrence's lips - sewn together with hundreds of cross-hatched threads. "we cant have you blabbing about anything that might ruin our plans, now, can we? No, we cant. Although, i would love to know why you wanted to seperate yourself from our dark lord in the first place?" The man let the question hang in the air for a few seconds before he let out an evil, self-satisfied laugh. "But of course, we may never know now. All that matters is that you have forced us to change our plans, the fact you have brought Set to us simply cut out all of the hard work."
Terrence tugged once more on his binds, but there was no chance he was ever going to be able to break free of this. It seemed that whatever these sick fucks had in store for him, there was nowhere for him to run, no way for him to escape. He was a sitting duck. He could already feel a burning anger building up inside of him, the same feeling he'd had when the Hippies woke him up. His heart was thumping faster and faster, and it felt as if his veins would burst at any second.
"Now all that remains is to wait, and wait. Then your will will crumble and Setekh will be delivered to us. Our plans only required his powers on a small scale, but through you he can achieve so much more." The mans eyes became visably satisfied as he gazed down at Terrence, who was still determined and struggling with the ropes, screaming with all his might as if the seams closing his mouth would spilt in responce. "You are blessed, and you dont realise it. Set will bring you power, he will give you strength like no man and he will make you a god."
The other two Occultsist turned away and began to blow out the candles that were providing the rooms only light, other than was was shining through the semi-open door.
"Untill then, enjoy your last moments of suffering, they'll be your last."
The three men left the room, leaving Terrence to struggle. Eventually the rage went away, but he didnt feel the same. He could tell that he was changing, that Lady Jess was right. Setekh would polute his soul and poison his mind, and he was now powerless to stop him.
The men returned three hours later, but what they found was not what they'd left behind. The table was on its side, and the blood-soaked ropes that had been tied to Terrence's limbs had been ripped apart. The leader turned to the other two and raised his arms either side of him in celebration.
"Gentlemen," He smiled, "Setekh has been delivered."
* * *
Darren and Leslie sat huddled together in the holding cell, where they'd been put - as much for their own good as much as police suspicians on their involvement - staring out into space. The mourning stage had now passed for both of them and they'd entered a weird state of surreal acceptance; their friends had been brutally murdered in the most painful ways either of them could imagine, and the world was going to shit.
"Do you think they're at peace?" Leslie asked.
Darren paused for a few seconds before he answered. "I hope so. No one deserved it more."
"It's my fault they're dead."
"It's not your fault."
"It is. The whole thing was my idea, it was my stuff he used, he went for me. If anyone had to die, it should have been me."
"Look at how strong he was when he woke up. The magic may have helped him, but he was still alive in there, he would have woken up anyway. This probabaly would have been happening right now even if we hadnt have healed him. Its not your fault, its not anyones."
A loud clunk of metal against metal stirred the two from their moment of contemplation. They'd been so lost in thought that they hadnt even noticed Detective Jones walk up to the cell door, and open it. He held in his hand a mobile phone. "Listen, we're gonna let you guys go. We know you dont have anywhere specific to go so we're going to give you this phone so we can contact you within the next few days. Try to keep it on between 10am and 4pm and everything will be fine - you know how to contact us."
Darren could tell that Leslie wanted to stay, she was enjoying the security. "We should go," he offered, "All the time we're here it's just gonna make things worse."
Leslie nodded in agreement and the two rose to their feet. They had nothing with them, their only possessions were the clothes they wore and various pocket clutter. They'd probabaly look for a cheap hotel for a night - Darren was lucky enough to have his wallet with him, as he'd payed for the drugs on their night out - and then get away in the morning.
"What about the guy that attacked us?" Darren asked.
"Well," Jones replied, "We looked him up and we've got a positive I.D - you're right, he was a tramp. He used to be married and they had a house together in the area, we're sending two officers there - it was destroyed in an electrical fire 3 weeks ago, but we wanna make sure he's not squatting in there or anything. We're also going to release statements to the press and issue a reward for his capture. Dont worry, he'll be locked up and serving life before you know it."
* * *
Setekh was home. His basement was now lit with the candles that had circled the table he was tied to, and the overpowering stench of death was thick in the dank air. The three bodies were no longer piled up, they were each neatly layed out in a triangular shape in the centre of the room, surrounded by various medical equipment.
Despite the sudden strength that allowed him to break free of the rope that had held him down, Setekhs mouth was still sewn shut. He could tell as he pressed his tongue against the slit that there was something else, something hard and most likely glue, holding his lips perminantly together. He let out a satisfied moan - for this time he was not checking to see if he could break free, but making sure that he could not. Setekh was not ready to give up the intriguing manisfestation of a human body.
He nealt down by the body of the girl. She had been beautiful, in her early twenties he would guess. Now her upper torso was covered in burns and gaping craters in her skin that revealed various organs and hidden muscles. Now she was beautiful in a different way.
He felt his hand brush over the pile of scalpals that sat to his left, and randomly picked one. He took hold of Alice's lifeless wrist and stretched her arm out onto his lap, and began to sink the blade into her skin. For a moment, what remained of Terrence rose to the surface. He drew the scalpal upwards towards the joint in her arm, like he was cutting out a slice from a flat roll of pastry. Blood trickled out and dripped onto his black work trousers, which were still stained with the blood she'd spilt hours before. He never imagined that such a simple act would be so satisfying. He looked up at her face, which was gazing blindly at the roof. Her eyes had been burnt out, and her face was burnt off. Two rows of teeth, fixed in a perminant smile, shone through from beneath the gore.
He slid his fingers into the wound, cupping out hand fulls of gruesome liquids and carressed the bone in the centre. He wondered how difficult slicing through bone would be?
Before he could wonder anything else, he heard voices. And footsteps. People were in the house.
In the burnt remains of the hallway, three police officers inspected the damage. Two broke off into the back rooms, while one decided to see what was behind a door at the foot of the stairs that was ommitting a terrible odour. As he slid the door open, what he saw startled him.
A man - Setekh - stood, staring blankly straight back at him. His skin seemed scarred and flakey, and a line of stitched X's covered his mouth. A long, black Trenchcoat covered the most of his other clothes, which were covered in blood stains. The officer wanted to scream but his body was momentarily paralysed with shock. A thick, blood-soaked hand reached out and clasped a fistful of his uniform, and with an unstoppable force yanked him forwards and down the flight of steps, atleast a full 4 metre's in the air before he landed head first between the triangle of bodies. His neck buckled under the weight of his body, killing him instantly, but not before he let out a terrified scream which was enough to alert the other two officers.
"Jeremy?" A voice cried, and two more intruders appeared before Setekh.
Apparently the man's name had been Jeremy. Setekh didn't give a fuck, and propelled himself towards the other two officers, landing all three in an uncomfortable heap against the door frame.
One of them managed to get a shot off from his gun, and sent Setekh reeled backwards, clutching his left ear. The other officer stood up as quickly as he could and also pointed his gun at Terrence, who apparently wasnt homeless anymore, he considered. "Lie face down, you fucking shitbag".
A brief moment of pain was soaring through Terrence's head, but Setekh numbed it. He rose again, quickly, defying the order that had been barked at him. More shots were fired at him, and as pools of blood began to appear over his kneecaps, he launched a fist in the nearest officer's face. The door frame was right behind him, and Setekhs fist crunched through the first inch of the man's skull.
Instead of shooting again, the other officer began to put out a panicked call for backup on his radio.
"We got a fucking lunatic on our backs, we need h--"
A bullet from his partners gun pierced his eye socket, and lodged into the wall behind him. He fell forward and smashed his head on a table. A request to repeat the message cackled through the static, but a heavy boot soon silenced the radio.
Setekh threw the gun to the ground, and picked up both bodies on his shoulders and chucked them effortlessly into the basement, where they landed with a sickly satisfying thud. Terrence was happy. It was so exhilerating to fight to the death, and to know you will win. He was fucking unstoppable. The world would soon be at his feet, he decided. He walked into the adjasent kitchen and removed a long, sharpe knife that had been left behind from the drawer and headed back down into the basement, slamming the door shut behind him.
He stood on the bottom step for a minute, staring admirabaly at the death layed out before him. A handful of different people, a handful of different lives, brought together now for eternity. He loved how poetic death could be, and he loved the fact that he was bringing them together, and ending their suffering. In his mind, he was delivering the world from its many flaws.
"Well done." A soft, gentle voice pierced the darkness. Setekh resumed his alertness and raised the knife, ready to free another suffering soul. "Please, there's no need for that." The man stepped into the reach of the candle light, revealing himself - and his two companions - to be the Occultists.
Setekh lowered the knife, and stood at ease. He gazed upon these three mysterious men with the same admiration that he'd had for the release of death moments before.
"That's right," The man continued, "You're beginning to understand. We brought you this life, Setekh. You are our god. We dedicated our lives to you and we gave you the means to manifest in the flesh. But we can arrange for many things and deliver to you the means to quench your thirst for death. With our help, you will free this species."
Setekh stood in silence for a second, as if considering wether to accept their offer or wether to kill them where they stood. Eventually, he nodded in agreement.
"Good." The pale, robed man smiled. "Then, prepare yourself. For tonight, there is work to be done."