Chapter 15- The Beginning of the End

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Grease clogged his nostrils, the air was laden with it. Berrick leaned back in the seat and poked at the gelatinous pie in front of him. The waitress a tired middle aged woman was busy on the other side of the diner. A stained rag in her hand smearing some clean-all substance across the tables.

Berrick looked at the files again. On top of the Drambish files, lay another set covered in looping handwritten letters. Sometime after disembarking, the documents were slipped in his bag. The Intel came from Allison— who else? The copious notes all detailed Halis' behavior patterns. Page after page of times he left the house, how long he stayed out, who he saw, who he slept with, who lived after sleeping with him. That she'd written the notes on paper only showed she had always intended them to come to him. Surely, whatever report she sent her agency was done electronically.

The house on the hill waited for him but he'd come here first— to find Allison. He hadn't fully understood what Halis and Silvia could do, what they were, or the vendetta they had when he met Allison the first time. That was no excuse for not warning her properly. He's only warned her about Silvia but after reading the government papers he understood the full threat that Halis posed.

He didn't have to read the words anymore to see them. He could have recited all twenty pages. Allison stood about as much chance against Halis as Berrick's brother stood against Silvia.

The secretions were designed with intent of allowing the Drambish soldiers to gain access to dangerous areas in a covert fashion. Initial findings were all positive, the reaction of the opposite gender to Dramish secretions could seduce intended victims even when the infected test subject was deliberately belligerent. The chemical reaction in the unaltered humans resembles the chemical reaction of love. However, at this stage in the experiment the secretions cripple any idea of a tactical strike at the population.

Would warning her have changed anything? When she left him in the station, the implication of her words was that she foresaw her own death. Allison had already been caught up in the web, but that did not absolve him of his guilt.

As the waitress moved over, Berrick lifted his hand. Studying her notes here wasn't safe. Best get to the point and get to his newly rented room.

"I was told a girl worked here—Pale, blonde, beautiful. Goes by the name Lilly?"

"Yup. Did. Hasn't showed up in over a week."

So, she was dead. "Any idea where she went?"

"Nobody tells me nothin'. Boss had a meeting with some law-men. You a law-man?"

"No, just a friend."

"Well, rumor has it, just rumor mind you, she cracked. Had to send her away. Too bad. Rich handsome boyfriend and all. She was getting out of this place."

"Boyfriend?" That would be Halis.

"Yeah, handsome dark-skinned fellow. Lives in a mansion on the rise over the ocean with his bitchy sister."

Halis and Silvia.

"Well, thank you." Berrick turned to his unnaturally red pie and the waitress continued her tidying. The sticky red goo tasted like congealed cherry syrup.

Berrick turned to Allison's handwritten notes. Despite an urge to drive up to Halis and Silvia's house, waiting needed to fill the next few days. He'd study her notes, watch the house for himself. Only then could he start to take them out. One at a time until none of them remained. Annabelle last... first Silvia.

Doctor Drambish's notes on creating a central consciousness have disappeared from the computers. From what remains, his subjects were linked much like ants to a central mind. This mind centered in Doctor Drambish. His early notes indicate this was to provide a stop measure should the experiment get out of control.

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