The Vanquishing part one is below this installment. Tomorrow I’ll post part three.
Dominic placed the letter face down on his desk, determined to control the urge to vomit. After a few minutes he poured himself a drink from the bottle of rum he kept in the bottom drawer. Never in a million years could he have seen this coming, Grace confessing to something he already knew. He was overcome with guilt at the thought of her sitting at this very desk, writing each word carefully, full of fear and love. Grace never knew him completely either, and if she only knew he was the type she described in her letter as monstrous; part human and part essence. It had been so hard to keep it from her and a few times he was afraid she had guessed it when his thoughts were nearly transparent. Fortunately he’d only been spooked by his own anxiety at keeping something so monumental from the one he loved more than any other. They first met during a lecture during his last year of teaching at the university and in the beginning Grace’s soaring intellect drew him to her, the familiar and sometimes hypnotic expression of a cool brilliance fascinated the essence within him, but her emotional innocence and lack of feeling was what finally ignited the passion that kept them together, appealing to the human half of his being. He was a hybrid, a third species, the child of a human mother and a presence father; therefore he understood each aspect of her nature and how to reach her. Everything was new for Gracie. He enjoyed leading her into feeling emotion or as it was known, the realization and corrupting her with the passion of lust was a bonus. Their lovemaking was explosive and within no time they fell in love and became too involved to turn back. When she told him they were expecting a baby, he nearly confessed his own deception, and now, picking up the letter she left, he wished with all his might he disclosed the fact of his own background. Grace ignited a fire in the center of his being that would burn forever, and existing without her or their baby was impossible, he knew that much and he had to stop her vanquishing before it was too late. Being a hybrid gave Dominic certain credentials to other realities. He had to leave his body and risk dying to do it, but it was possible for him to find her out there on one of the threads where they held presences for elimination. He’d never done it but there were old timers who had and he knew it could well kill him but he had no other choice if Gracie’s replication had been deceased. He had to hurry.
Dominic looked down at the list, sliding his index finger over every name, seeing the faces of each. The White House, The Kremlin, Rome, Buckingham Palace, Israel, Saudi Arabia, they were everywhere, even Siberia. He knew them all, and some he could telepathically communicate with but that had become too risky lately. The Presences were monitoring thoughts, and even when you shrouded them in feelings, they could decipher meanings. They were too damn adept at infiltrating the human dynamic and now we have to prevent the coming cataclysm, knowing full well the risk for everyone, he thought. If it weren’t for my father, I’d hate them all. The memory of a man he barely knew caused his stomach to churn and his heart to beat faster. Dominic had blotted the old man from his mind for so long that when memories of him announced themselves, usually by way of his mother, they were intrusive and unwelcome phantoms that remained with him for days afterward. His parent’s past had been kept murky and hidden from him for most of his childhood, but when his father disappeared one day, his mother finally told him everything. His father couldn’t take the pressure of having a foot in each reality and ran off. His father’s lack of loyalty and courage still affected him and the thought of doing the same thing to his own child inspired a new determination inside him, He had to find his wife and unborn child before it was too late. They were relying on him to save them and he damn well would, or die trying. He grabbed the list Grace had left with her letter, just in case there were a few names on it that even he didn’t know, names of presences who were like her and who could help him locate her thread. Before closing the front door Dominic spoke into the horrible emptiness of a room without Grace. “I’ll find you Gracie, I won’t fail you, I promise.” He got to the car before the tears fell streamed down his cheeks. He cleared his throat and backed out of the driveway while wiping his eyes with his sleeve.
When he got to his office it was crawling with about two dozen presences in body, wearing the badges of the identities they’d replicated. He knew they were searching for any evidence that Grace had told him what she was, but they had no idea that he was a hybrid, of this he was certain. Being undiscovered gave him power over the situation. The change or human Armageddon would be underway soon and if it couldn’t be stopped he wanted to at least be with Grace when it happened. There had been political rumblings in Pakistan for some time and everyone was expecting the first nuke to be launched from there. Only the hybrids and the presence knew that the Americans and Russians were having a pissing contest off to the side that would most likely result in a deadly avalanche of bombs. If only the humans could see how they were being manipulated. Of course, it could all work out for the best if the hybrids banded together, preventing war from happening and effectively interfering with the completion of an essence thought thread surrounding the earth. In order to do it, they would all have to feel love at every level of their being, clouding their thoughts with the strongest emotion. It would take enormous collective discipline, but could be possible and had already been proven. It was about a year ago at Fort Dix. A small pocket of hybrids had been discovered through thought patrol and the only way out was to collect together and elevate emotion to a love level. In the end, ten presences left their replicated bodies, never to return. No one was sure what happened to them but it is felt they may have been eliminated for partial contamination. It gave Dominic hope as he walked down the hall toward his office, but if they were permitted to finish their thread, it would be over. They would catch all thought in its web and the hybrids extensive worldwide network would be exposed.
Shifting past a presence, he saw the hollow intelligence in its eyes, a razor sharp intellectual precision, unspoiled by what they considered the taint of passion. If viewed objectively, it was a starkly beautiful way of being but that beauty became hideous and cruel when it was used to destroy for the survival of their kind. In many ways, they were worse than humans because their need for survival was coldly calculated and anything or anyone in the way of that survival held no significance at all. He shuddered at the thought of this planet, his earth being controlled by such a sterile group of parasitic creatures. The human side of him felt the hot quickening of rage churn in the pit of his stomach and by the time he reached his office, he wasn’t prepared for what awaited him inside.
Gerard, an old hybrid friend from his college days, and a colleague within the hybrid movement, was sitting on the edge of his desk, one leg planted firmly on the floor and one dangling higher, propping up a file folder that held his attention, until Dominic shut the door behind him.
“Long time no see old friend, how goes the toil on the top floor of life?” Gerard said, with just enough sarcasm to contaminate his friendly smile. Dominic wasn’t quite sure what to make of this new development. Gerard had never exactly been his favourite person and for him to show up right now, was damn ironic he thought. Time for some delving beneath old Gerard’s surface, although he was pretty sure there wasn’t anything there since the last time he poked around.
“Well, it’s still work Gerard, whether it’s on the top floor, the bottom floor or your spot in the middle of the road, but I think you know that. Whaddya want?”
“Well, now that you mention it, it is about want, not mine, but yours old pal.”
Dominic’s jaw felt tight and his heart quickened. “You better explain yourself Gerard, because I don’t like the direction this conversation is taking.”
“Relax Dominic, I’m here to do for you, not have you do for me, okay? I need you to get really upset though and I’ll do the same, because of course, we need to have a discussion, understand?” Gerard raised his eyebrow, waiting for a Dominic to gather an internal emotional storm to act as a wall against a presence who might be tuning in to their thoughts. When Dominic looked sufficiently worked up, Gerard passed him the folder. Dominic’s eyes scanned it quickly and when he came to Grace’s name, next to the number of the anchoring terminal where she was being held, he was speechless. She hadn’t been taken away yet, she was still in body and alive. Dominic had never felt so relieved and grateful in his life.
“How long has she been there?” he asked.
“A hybrid who shall remain nameless because he’s shameless, told me they brought her in this morning and isn’t slotted for vanquishing until tomorrow night.”
“Gerard, I think I owe you an apology for jumping to the conclusion that you might be doing favours for the other side. We haven’t always hit it off and when I saw you in here after Gracie’s…”
“Yeah, I’d have thought the same thing in your position old pal.”
“I don’t know how I’m going to thank you for taking a risk like this. You know now that they will be trailing your ass all over now.”
Gerard lifted a dismissive hand. “Don’t mention it Dominic, but let this be a lesson to you old pal, I may walk, talk and act like a dick most of the time, but this dick does have a heart, as well as a wife and two kids of his own. Now will you get your ass the hell over to their compound and be her hero?”
“I’m already gone my friend, and…uh, thanks bro, I really do owe you one.”