All Rights Reserved
by Z. M Dawson
Lawrence Stomare had stepped on many heads, literally and figuratively to become the head of Bradbury. He had spent his youth in London, constantly fighting and being in trouble because of his gifts. When he graduated from high school, he was on a plane to America the next morning. The educational visa had been his ticket to go where no one knew what he was. Lawrence counted on that anonymity because he had big plans for his future. He had been accepted into Harvard and he knew in time he would become a brilliant attorney. His gift for being able to see the future would assure his success.
When the movie-cliché in the flesh had approached him he had no expression on his extremely average face, his light brown hair was cut in a neat businessman’s cut, his mud brown eyes gave away nothing. He had worn a grey suit design to be high end enough that he did not look poor, but not so high end that he stood out. One day while he was on break from his job at a cafeteria, the completely average man had stood at the end of the back alley and stared at him. Lawrence had fixed a look of boredom on his face and prepared to go back inside, he froze in place because he was hearing the man’s thoughts and they were directed at him. The man had introduced himself verbally, and to complete the cliché, his name had been Mr. Grey. The walking, talking cliché had been a recruiter for a private corporation who utilized persons such as Lawrence to bring about positive outcomes for their clients. He had left Lawrence a card with a number on it and nothing else. After a two-day war with the part of him that dreamed of fame in the courtroom, he had called. And shortly he began his journey to becoming the leader of the most secret and shadowy of all CIA shadow groups, Bradbury. Named for the author of ‘Something Wicked This Way Comes’, a very appropriate name if ever there was one, for if Bradbury comes for you, rest assured the something is very wicked.
What had finally turned the tide and won him the position, as director of the program, was his discovery of a very rare specimen to add to their arsenal. Energy vampires were a dime a dozen and their talents had very little to do with vampirism, more often than naught they were simply skilled empaths. However, he had found and procured a true Chi Vampire. Chi Vampires came along maybe once a millennium, and upon reaching maturity they stopped aging. They needed to feed on the life force of humans or just like their sanguine-needing counterparts they starved or became revenants.
He had worn her down over a period of months, with promises of easy, uncomplicated meals. Salving her conscience by telling her that Bradbury only hunted those who were evil. And the beautiful vampire was so desperate for love that adding seduction to his wooing had sealed the deal. She not only joined Bradbury, she had become one of its stars. Lawrence’s career high taken off and everything was perfect.
Then a few years into his meteoric rise to the top, he had acquired another rare specimen, a dynastic witch. They were even more and precious than Chi Vampires and their abilities, while varied, were always powerful. It turned out that this particular specimen was especially gifted; she was a true elemental as well as being just psychically gifted. Most elementals had control over one or two elements. This one had control over all, which the elementals of legend had, but they had become all but extinct. She was also telekinetic, pyrokinetic, telepathic, empathic, a touch know, clairsentient, and just about every other psychic gift you could think of. She was the only telesomatic that Bradbury had ever encountered. She could literally transport her corporeal body from one place to another using her mind. She was a once in a lifetime find. And her hunger for justice had made recruiting her easy.
What Lawrence had not counted on was the ability to read minds that both specimens possessed. Unfortunately, the ability had allowed them to discover that they were not only assassinating the guilty, but also anyone who stood in the way of what the United States Government wanted. He had also underestimated the need of family each had, so they had become fast friends and discussed their cases via their thoughts so no one knew.
A case had arisen that would require both of them to clean out the enemy encampment and Lawrence had sent both in. They had efficiently dispatched anyone they encountered for the drug dealers were deserving of their wrath. However, when it had come to several children, they deemed them innocent. They had asked for permission to leave the children alive and it had not been granted. So, they had killed the other operatives with them, taken the children and disappeared off the radar.
It had taken all of Lawrence’s not inconsiderable telepathic abilities to influence the Director not to put a bullet in his brain. He had already planned on making them pay for almost costing his life. To compound his need to see them suffer they had begun to convince other members of Bradbury to leave. The trickle over the years was why they were facing erasure. Both specimens were quite adept at hiding in plain sight or out of it. There ability to shield their auric signatures far exceeded any psychics he had known.
They simply knew the minute he was following a lead that might have led to them at some point, and they made sure when he came to the end of that particular path, he would be left with nothing. No idea where to search next, no person in the area who remembered seeing them or had talked with them, they just disappeared.
Lawrence planned on making sure they suffered for a long time before he granted them death. Their torture would inspire others to behave so they did not end up on his bad side. A horrible smile spread over his handsome face, twisting them into a glimpse of the monster that lived inside.
Lawrence turned and saw his personal attendant, Fuller standing in the doorway. The man was ugly as homemade sin, but he was an excellent aural tracer.
“Come in, Fuller. You have good news for me I hope.” Lawrence put as much malice into the words as he possibly could.
“Yes, sir.” The tall man loped to the desk and stood there waiting for permission to sit down.
“Please, sit and share.” Lawrence gestured to the chairs on the other side of his desk.
Fuller sat down. “We found a paramedic who remembers working with a Finn Moroney. Unfortunately, to acquire this information we had to dig deeper into his memory than was survivable. He remembers this Moroney having worked with the Marysville Washington Fire Department, sometime in the winter, approximately six or seven years ago. The description we pulled from the memory fits that of a man that was seen traveling with the vampire and the witch in late 1992. The subject had no viable memories of either woman having lived in Washington. However, as I mentioned to you from my last aural trace of the witch, she and this human are bound, their auras intertwined. It was her aura that led me to Washington, which means though I could no longer find a trace, she had to have been there as well.”
“That is good news. Try searching outward and westward from that point. If they follow past patterns, they have either moved southeast of Washington or northeast of Washington. Considering where Washington is, I would wager they have moved to Utah, Nevada, Arizona, New Mexico, or Colorado.” Lawrence let just the tiniest bit of pleasure slip into his tone. You should never over-flatter your subordinates or they became lazy.
Fuller stood. “Yes, sir. I will begin the search immediately and with your permission I would like to send Newicki to cover the Northern possibilities, just as a fail safe, sir.”
“Yes. You may send her.”
“Thank you, sir. I will begin today.”
Lawrence merely nodded his head and the tall man loped back out the door. He was offensive to look at and to smell, but he was very useful. Lawrence opened a desk drawer and sprayed a small amount of air freshener out into his office. He sat back in his chair and smiled as visions of peeling the skin from the witch’s pale back filled his mind.