Jon discovers he has the ability to control minds. But he's not alone... (unfinished)
Jonathan rubbed the sleep from his eyes as they sat quietly their patrol car. He went to yawn, but stifled it; Cary was in a sour mood. The radar detector was working its magic, speeds showing up as each set of headlights went past. He glanced over at his partner. He was a rotund man, but still athletic. Past his prime a bit; his hair was thinning, the rest going gray. But he was an experienced badge, which was why they'd been teamed up together.
Jonathan had been in the Chicago PD for less then three months and was still getting his bearings. He'd relocated for the job from a small town in Iowa. Needless to say, it had been a culture shock.
They'd been eager for new recruits to the force, but were of course skeptical with a country boy jumping into a city job. He had aced his tests though, and had convinced his superiors that he was the right choice.
In his three months on the job, he'd proved to be invaluable at diffusing violent situations. He'd always been that way. An almost uncanny ability to calm people, or get them to see things his way.
His mother, Sara had been like that too. Richard, his father, had been utterly devoted to her until his untimely death. Even after he died, Jon and his siblings never wanted for anything. People just always seemed eager to help them out. But small towns were like that.
“Feel like making the rounds?” Jonathan asked.
Cary scratched chin and groaned. “Yeah I guess. Let's get some coffee while we're out.”
They set off down their usual route through the city. Jonathan had never like the graveyard shift, but he did find it fascinating how different the city became at night. It was like an entirely different world. People that, during the day, seemed like kind, law-abiding citizen, seemed to transform into these cruel, secretive denizens of the night.
Cary pulled into the Stop N' Shop parking lot and Jonathan jumped out. “Make it a large,” Cary yelled out the window.
He waved back to him and headed inside. Jonathan had been his partner long enough to know how he liked his coffee, black with two sugars. The cashier, a dark-skinned young man in a green apron gave a smile and a nod when he saw him.
Grabbed the coffee and went to look for a snack for himself. As he was perusing the aisles, there was the chime of the front door. He glanced up. It was a pretty woman. Pretty was really an understatement, she was beautiful. Without realizing it, he'd been staring at her for a few seconds. Their eyes met, she smiled, and he quickly darted back to the snacks in front of him. He cursed inside. Dammit Jon, be cool.
Being only twenty years old and from a small town, Jonathan had only dated two girls. Neither had lasted long, there was just too much pressure with dating in a little town. Everyone knew your business.
The woman was by the drink cooler, her back to him. She was wearing dark green hospital scrubs, her wavy hair pulled up in a pony-tail. Not exactly a world-class outfit or anything, but it didn't matter. Jonathan seemed to get lost in his thoughts a for a few seconds, picturing the kind of fantasy we all do from time to time. Undressing, making love, doing all kinds of things he'd never done. It almost felt like an out-of-body experience. As if his invisible self glided to her and started caressing her body.
Jonathan suddenly felt his heart jump when she gasped and turned around, looking at him. “You okay ma'am?” he asked, feeling more then a little terrified.
He face was drained of color. “Y-yes, I'm fine.” She rushed out of the store without buying anything.
Jonathan stood there a moment, trying to process what had just happened. But the sound of his partner horn woke him up. He grabbed a bag of chips, paid, and ran to the car. “Got a possible 211, let's go.”
He quickly jumped in the car. 211, burglary. It was in the rougher part of the city, where most of the homes were rentals and the rest, low-income apartment complexes. They were the first on the scene. The whole block looked like something out of a ghost town. Trash piled up on the sidewalks, no lights on the outside of any of the homes. The home in question was a run-down little place. Couldn't have been any bigger then six or seven hundred square feet. The off-white paint was peeling all over. All the windows were boarded up, but Jonathan could see the door into the house hanging askew.
“One of the neighbors called it in,” Cary said, shutting off the engine and slowly getting out. “Said they heard stuff breaking.”
They both took out their flashlights and had their hands on their guns as they approached the front porch. “Chicago PD!” Cary shouted as they walked up to the toppled door. “We're coming in!”
They drew their weapons and Jonathan felt his heart beginning to race. It was always an adrenaline rush, stepping into the unknown. His training kicked in. He kept Cary covered, checking the blind spots as they moved into the house. There was dilapidated furniture strewn throughout the house. As they stepped into, what was at one time, the living room, Cary let stopped dead and slowly lowered his weapon. “Oh my god,” he whispered.
Jonathan stepped out him and saw what had put him in a state of shock. In the middle of the room were ten people, all dangling by their necks like meat in a butcher's freezer. They were all naked, their bodies mutilated like an wild animal had been at them. Pools of blood were everywhere, soaking into the cheap carpet. “Call it in,” Jonathan said calmly, feeling the bile slowly rising in the back of his throat.
It was going to be a long night. Within minutes, a dozen more cops were on the scene. Followed by the coroner, and then, somehow, the media got wind of it and showed up. Police tape was put up around the house, pictures taken, evidence cataloged.
It was getting close to the end of their shift by the time the bodies were being brought down. “There are no classic sign of struggle with the victims,” the coroner said, as he closely examined one of the bodies; a bloated, dark-skinned woman. He was plain looking man, chubby, with pale skin. He shaved his head, making him look like an overgrown baby. He wore thick glasses that made his eyes look oversized when he looked straight at you.
“So it's a mass suicide?” Jonathan inquired. He'd never seen anything like this before and, based on the reactions of all the other cops, neither had they.
“That's what it's looking like right now,” the coroner replied. “Of course, I'll know more once I do an autopsy.” The bald man stood up and walked over to one of the hanging bodies. “This,” he said, pointing to a turned over chair, “Is the only piece of furniture in the room that they could use to hang themselves. They must have climbed up on the chair, put the noose around their necks and kicked it out from under themselves.”
“But there's only one,” Jon repeated.
“That's the disturbing part,” the coroner replied. “That means they took turns, watching each one hang himself before moving to the next.”
He looked down at the bloated woman on the floor. Here eyes, hollow and opaque, were still open and just staring at the ceiling. It gave Jon the chills just looking at her.
He felt a pat on the shoulder and turned around, it was Cary. “Time to call it, Jon.”
The stench of death was beginning to get to Jon. He was ready to leave. They headed back to the car and Jonathan took one last look at the house.
“Do you think they were part of some cult?” Jonathan asked as they headed back to the precinct.
Cary gave a deep sigh. “I've been on this beat for almost ten years Jon. I've seen a lot of messed up stuff. Murders, rapes, the whole gambit. But there was something about that crime scene.” He seemed to trail off, like he was lost in this thoughts.
Jonathan had to agree, he hadn't seen much in the way of violence the past few months, but he'd watched plenty of crime dramas on TV growing up. What they'd just witnessed was haunting. By the time they reached the the precinct it was 4:53 am. Another night over and done with. Jon clocked out, took a quick shower, and headed to his apartment only a few blocks away.
It was a small place, just the bare necessities. Jon had lived with his parents up until his move to Chicago, so it felt like a palace to him. Going to the bathroom to get ready for bed, he looked at himself in the mirror. He was an athletic man, well cut and built. Growing up on a farm, he'd had a life of hard labor. He was thankful for it though. It had made him strong and given him a good work ethic.
By the time he laid down to sleep, the clock showed 5:45. People would be getting up and heading to work soon. He closed his eyes and tried to get the image of that bloated woman out of his head. But, try as he might, it just lingered there, behind his eyelids. Jon tried to imagine something else. He went back in his mind to the convenience store and that beautiful woman.
It still baffled him. What happened? Why had she gasped like that and turned to him? He was just too tired to think about it. He finally drifted to sleep thinking about cleaning the pig pens.
* * *
“What about her?”
Jonathan glanced in the direction his friend Matt was pointing. The target in question was a skinny little blonde standing around a group of friends with a colorful drink in her hand. He took a few seconds to size her up. She was talking, laughing, and drinking. She wasn't short, but not tall either. She had a pretty smile, not too much makeup either, which was always a plus. Approach would be tricky, being surrounded by her friends.
“I don't know,” Jon finally replied, going back to nursing the same beer that had been in his hand since they'd arrived an hour ago.
Matt scoffed, taking a big gulp and finishing off his whiskey sour. “It's been over three months man, you've gotta be backed up.”
Jon had never picked up a girl before, especially not at a bar. Back home, there was one small dive of a bar and pretty girls didn't go there. The most daring thing Jon had ever done was ask Jenny Marx to the Senior dance. They'd gone steady for about six months after that.
“I don't even know what I would say.”
“Okay,” Matt got up and did a couple exaggerated stretches with his neck and shoulders. He was a good looking man, Irish and Italian, in his mid thirties and still single. To be honest, he was immature and in love with himself. It was hard to believe he was a fellow cop. He slicked his hair back and gave a confident nod. “I'll go in first. Get 'em warmed up for ya.”
“Come on Matt, let's just try to relax. I've had a long day and I don't feel like getting shot down.”
Matt immediately raised his hand to Jon's mouth. “You see, that's why you haven't had a date in three months. Negative energy! Think positive and stop putting the pussy on a podium.”
“You mean pedestal?”
“Whatever! Look, I've read a lot of shit on picking up girls and it all boils down to that same thing.” Matt's eyes got intense as he stared straight at him. “You. Are. The. Man.” With each word he poked Jonathan on the shoulder. “Now say it.”
“I am the man.”
“Good, now keep saying it.”
Jon wanted to protest, but Matt had already downed another drink and was marching in the girls' direction like a man charging into battle. There were four girls, all in a tight circle that suddenly turned their attention to Matt. He was saying something, a magical incantation, some secret string of words. Who knew what the hell he was saying. And then he was pointing in Jonathan's direction. Shit, be cool! He was looking straight ahead, but he could hear laughing. I am the man.
He could feel his heart racing. Why was this so damn hard? “Jon!” It was Matt, waving him over.
Here we go. Jon slowly got up and walked towards them. I am the man. Adrenaline was kicking in. The fight-or-flight instinct was screaming in his hypothalamus. They were looking at him as he approached. Matt had a goofy smile on his face.
“Ladies,” Matt said, over the loud music. “This is Jon, a fellow blue-blood. Jon, this is Staci, Jessica, Patricia, and Katherine.” They each gave nod or a smile when introduced, including Staci, the blonde that Matt had pointed out.
Jon wasn't sure if it was the adrenaline or just sheer terror, but something was making him feel strangely calm, intuit even. He seemed to have each girl figured out just by looking at them.
Jessica was the first to speak, she had dark, straight hair. A lot of makeup with some glitter eyeliner. Even her shirt was sequined. It all just screamed, look at me. “You're friend here said you've been in Chicago over three months without a single date.” She was obviously the alpha of the group, which simply meant the loudest and most obnoxious.
“Yeah, I'm still adjusting to life in a big city.”
“Where did you grow up?” Katherine asked, stirring her drink. She had dark, straight hair too, but much less makeup. Her clothes were revealing, but tasteful at the same time, which wasn't easy to do. Her top shirt was sheer, revealing a tank top where her ample bosoms were practically spilling out. She didn't need sequins or glitter makeup to get men to look at her.
“Bronson, Iowa. A little town in the middle of nowhere. This is my first time in Chicago, or really anywhere for that matter.”
“Wow, well welcome to the big city!” Patricia yelled. She was clearly the most intoxicated of the girls and also the biggest. She'd be an easy target if getting laid was the only goal, but Jon had never been that kind of guy. She's perfect for Matt. Fish in a barrel.
Staci, on the other hand, was a tougher nut to crack. She hadn't said much of anything, although she seemed to be listening intently to everything Jon said. She had on an AC/DC shirt, which was cool, along with a little black skirt that showed off her nice, tan legs.
“Nice shirt,” Jon said, feeling more confident by the minute. There was something strange about pointing out a girls shirt. It always felt like he was just staring at her breasts.
“Thanks, I got it in Austin last year. They put on a hell of a show.”
“Any of you ladies need another drink?” Matt asked.
Patricia, the fat lush was the first to raise her glass. No surprise there. Staci's drink was also about empty. “Same thing, or something different?” Jon asked.
“One more, I guess,” she replied. “But cut me off after that one, Iowa. I'm a light-weight.”
Jon and Matt headed to the bar. “So?” Matt said, looking straight ahead. “How we divvying this up?”
Jon looked back at the girls. They were giggling and whispering amongst themselves, probably having the exact same conversation. Or laughing about what suckers these two guys were and how they would ditch them. Positive thinking Jon, come on! You are the man! He caught Staci looking in their direction. “She's mine,” Jonathan said. “The blonde.”
Matt smiled and nodded. “All right, all right. Then I'm going for Katherine.”
“What about the other two?” Jon asked. He wasn't sure how they'd simply pull their group apart.
“Let me tell you something about women,” Matt said as he paid the barman. “They act like they're a team. But when the end of the night comes along, it's every woman for themselves.”
It was amazing really. Jonathan went back with a drink for Staci and they started talking, and kept on talking. She was enamored with him, hell her and her friends were, and Jonathan suddenly felt something within him that made him feel bulletproof. I am the man.
Matt had clearly struck out with Katherine early in the night, despite Jon's assistance. But he still had the fat one, and she was a sure thing by her sixth drink. By the time last call rolled around, Jonathan had convinced Staci and Katherine to come and see his apartment, only two blocks away.
Matt, gave him a subtle thumbs-up as they left. “Seal the deal my man,” he whispered to him, giving him a slap on the back of his head. He stepped back when the girls stumbled out the door. “See you menyana,” Matt shouted.
The two girls were all giggles as they walked back to Jon's apartment. His mind raced as they went up the steps, towards his door. His excuse to get them up there had been thin at best; basically inviting them to see what kind of view a young Chicago policeman could get in the city.
It was obvious, once they were in the apartment that, neither girl gave a damn what kind of view he had. “So?” Katherine said, flipping her hair back, feigning interest in his apartments layout. “You got us up here, Iowa. What do you wanna do?”
You are the man. Those words kept running through his head. Hell, they were already up in his apartment, they knew why they were there. If they didn't want it, they wouldn't have come along. Staci couldn't stop smiling, a giggle escaping occasionally.
Jon pictured it in his mind, what he want to do to them, what he wanted them to do. Both girls looked at each other and laughed. And then, like some kind of fantasy, Staci pushed him on the couch and they started undressing each other. Jon didn't want to blink, for fear he would miss something.
“Tell us what you want,” Katherine whispered.
And he did. And they did it, everything he wanted. He wasn't sure if they were simply being polite, if it was beginners luck, or divine intervention but both girls made it clear they were being well satisfied. Everything he did seemed to drive them wild, he wanted to give them the greatest pleasure they'd ever felt and by god, it seemed to him like he did. He was just surprised the cops weren't called in the middle of the night because of the noise. Of course, maybe they had and simply saw the address and moved on with a smile on their faces.
The following morning, as his eyes slowly opened, he feared it had all been a dream, the bar, the conversation, the girls, all gone. He rubbed the sleep from his eyes and turned to see two woman in his bed. His hands went to his face. Holy shit Matt's gonna flip!
But how to prove it to him? Jon slowly slipped out of the bed and hunted for his phone. It was still early, he didn't have to be in to work for several hours. Upon finally finding his phone (under the couch) he took a few quick pictures and sent them to Matt.
Jon had been so focused on just getting the girls up to his apartment and sealing the deal that he wasn't sure what to do next. Breakfast! Jon quickly threw on some boxers and tip-toed into the kitchen. He caught a glimpse of himself in the mirror and flexed. He looked good, his muscles still nice and cut. Eating dairy free and watching his sugar always seemed to help.
Jon fired up the coffeemaker and threw open the fridge to looked over his options. There wasn't much. Jon heard shuffling footsteps that gave him a start. “Morning.” It was Staci.
“Good morning. Coffee will be ready in a minute.”
“Okay.” She had on one of Jon's uniform shirts. She skipped over to him while he was still buried in the fridge and grabbed his ass.
Jon instinctively jumped, banging his head on the shelf. “Whoops, sorry,” she said with a laugh. “I don't know if I'm still tipsy from the drinks or what, I just feel a little wild!” She grabbed him and laid a passionate kiss on his lips.
“I smell coffee,” Katherine said, waltzing in the kitchen in nothing but her tank-top. “Last night was fun.”
“Bet you're glad you took that job huh?” Staci said with a big smile.
“You girls hungry?”
“I wish I could, but I have to teach an aerobics class in an hour. I should get cleaned up. Could I use your shower?”
“Yeah I have to be at work soon too,” Staci agreed.
“Sure,” Jon replied. Being a man, Jon immediately pictured the two girls in the shower together, hell why not him too? All three of them in the shower, getting all sudsy. You're the man. “Staci you probably would like a shower too and you know,” Jon smiled but fought it back. “It's important to conserve water. I think the only viable option here is for all of us to just endure taking a shower together.”
Katherine and Staci both laughed. “Damn, Iowa, you've got some balls on you.”
Jon laughed. I. Am. The. Man.
It was as quiet as a church in the conference room as their Police Chief Gutierrez, walked to the podium. He was a stout man of Spanish descent, clean shaven and a stare that could humble the proudest of unruly officers. His history with the force had been built up into a legend, who knew how much of it was real. Mob take-downs, massive drug busts, hostage rescues, the list went on.
“As you know, ten days ago we discovered what appeared to be a mass suicide. Our forensic team has been working around the clock, examining each body and, unfortunately, coming up with no leads. But,” the Chief walked away from the podium and signaled to turn off the lights. “An image snapped on the screen behind the Chief of a blog. “We came across a blog detailing the suicides as a sacrifice to a man named Gabriel. The details found within this blog are things we've not released to the public. What's more, this blogger is claiming there will be another 'sacrifice' to Gabriel tonight. The location isn't specified, but we've tracked down the ISP of the blogger. We'll have two teams. Cary.”
“Yes Sir,” he replied, leaning forward.
“Assemble a team five. Richard, you too. We leave in an hour.”
Cary looked looked over at Jon and shook his head. “Well we started this.”
Jon gave a confident nod. “I got your six.”
The address was in a part of the Northbrook suburb of Cook county, which surprised Jon. It was an affluent area with nice homes and manicured lawns. The suspects house looked like any other, well maintained and clean.
The take-down had been textbook. It was nothing more then a normal looking white man. He immediately fell to this knees cackling about how his master would be there soon to just let him see his master one last time.
“Hide the van,” Cary ordered. “We'll wait for your master.”
Jon had been looking through the house while they waited. On the outside, everything appeared normal. The home owner would say nothing more, he was handcuffed in the corner of the downstairs living-room, quietly chanting to himself.
Two hours later someone approached the house. They unlocked the door and stepped in. Cary, Jon, and eight other cops leveled their guns. “On the ground now!” Cary barked.
The stranger was a thin, gaunt-looking man. His entire head was cleanly shaved, other then his eyebrows. He had on an expensive-looking suit that made him look like a rich businessman. He didn't look scared, or even surprised. He glanced around the room, looking at each of them. His eyes fell on Jon and paused there, just staring at him.
Why is Cary not moving in? Jon looked at the men around him, no one was making a move. “Do it!” Jon barked. “On the ground!”
“Master!” the homeowner cried, struggling to his feet. “Look, I've brought others to hear your words of truth.”
“Gideon?” Jon asked.
The stranger took a step forward and everyone but Jon lowered their guns. Was this really happening? Jon looked at Cary, he was just staring straight ahead. Suddenly, a man on Jon's right lifted his gun and fired, hitting Jon's weapon and sending it flying to the ground.
That was when everything went hazy. Jon saw Cary raise his weapon and fire on himself, blood and brain matter erupting from the side of his head. Shots rang through the room as all Jon's colleagues fell to the floor in a bloody heap.
He was on the ground, shaking, unable to process what he'd just seen. Just a bad dream. He saw Gideon step over the bodies towards him. He pushed himself back, trying to get away. He could hear the crazed homeowner ranting like a mad man in the corner. Gideon's eyes turned to the man and he went silent, falling to the ground.
This was it, this was how he would die. He prayed to god it would be quick. Gideon stooped down and just stared at him. He then slowly extended his hand. “Time to go, Jon.”
He looked at the hand reaching out to him, not comprehending what he was seeing. How did this vicious monster know his name? Jon looked in his eyes. They were hollow, like looking into a doll's eyes.
“Get up, Jon,” he said, more forcefully this time.
He felt compelled to get up, taking the man's hand and standing on wobbly legs. Gideon kept hold of his hand as they walked towards the door. It was strange, almost unnerving, his grip was gentle and he didn't pull him along. But there was something prodding Jon along, pushing him to follow.
He saw his friends laying there on the mahogany floors, bleeding out; there eyes were still open. He briefly paused when he saw Cary, his foot was twitching, his mouth agape and eyes wide.
Jon wanted to puke, cry, and scream, all at the same time. He felt a hand on his shoulder. “We don't have much time, Jon. More blood will be spilled if we stay any longer.”
Why was he leaving with this man? What the hell was he doing? He nodded and walked out the front door, not looking back.
It felt like being in a trance. He could hear a voice somewhere to his left, but it was muted and far away. He looked down at his hands, trying to make sense of what he'd just seen. He he really just watched all his friends kill themselves?
“Jonathan? Jon? Jon!”
He finally looked up and saw the stranger, Gideon, glancing over at him as he drove. The interior of the car was luxurious to say the least. It was a foreign car; a make he'd never seen before. The seats were a buttery-soft, red leather accented with a black, suede dash and steering wheel.
“I've been looking for you,” Gideon continued, “For a very long time.”
“Well, not you exactly. Just, what you are.”
“And what am I?” Jon asked, feeling more confused by the second.
“You're like me,” he answered as he watched the road, a slight smirk peeking out from his lips.
“I'm nothing like you. You killed those men!”
“I didn't kill them,” Gideon immediately retorted. “Did you see me pull any trigger?”
“Well then, you did something to them.”
“They were weak,” Gideon said under his breath. “They're all weak. But you know all about that, don't you?”
Jon still had no idea what Gideon was getting at. Before he could ask any further questions though, Jon turned to the sound of sirens racing ahead of them and in their direction. “Friends of yours?” Gideon asked.
Jonathan remained silent, praying they would be able to stop him.